Windows 10 problems and how to solve them

Windows 10 problems and how to solve them

Still, if you’re having a hard time with the operating system, we’ve compiled a guide to 100 of the most common Windows 10 problems, and how to fix them – whether it’s a Windows 10 problem with a printer or connectivity issues. So, if you’re trying to troubleshoot your device, keep reading.

1. Having enough space to install Windows 10

Image Credit: Microsoft

Image Credit: Microsoft

If you’re planning to move to Windows 10, actually installing the OS is the first area you could potentially run into problems with. Installing a new operating system requires a certain amount of free space on your drive so that it can be downloaded and certain elements can be run successfully.

For Windows 10, the space requirement is 16GB, which should be kept free on the main system drive the computer uses. This is actually the same as previous versions of Windows, so if you’ve upgraded before you can most likely do it again.

If you want to check how much space is left on your PC, go to My Computer (or This PC, depending on which version of Windows you’re running) where any drives you have will be listed. You can see the remaining space indicated beneath each drive, or you can right click and select Properties for a better overview (your system drive is usually C:)

2. Checking you have a powerful enough PC

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

Just as with space requirements, your PC will also have to be capable of running Windows 10. This means that it must reach certain minimum system requirements.

The requirements for running Windows 10 are relatively low: A processor of 1GHz or faster; 1GB (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit) of RAM; 16GB of free drive space; Microsoft DirectX 9 graphic device; and a Microsoft account combined with internet access.

To find out your PC’s spec, go to Control Panel and select System and Security, then System.

However, keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements, and you should shoot for higher specs to have a smooth and enjoyable experience.

3. Activating Windows 10

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

Some users have reported issues with activating their copies of Windows 10, which could have been down to a number of different reasons. In some cases, the easiest way to get around the problem is to purchase a legitimate copy of Windows 10.

Unlike previous versions of Windows, the latest one is almost exclusively available online, which means that official Microsoft websites are the best bet for your purchase. The company was giving the OS away for free, but that promotion ended quite a while ago.

Microsoft has a helpful website that provides a downloadable copy in either 32-bit or 64-bit versions.

If you do find that you’re unable to activate Windows 10 successfully, handily Microsoft introduced a new activation troubleshooter feature way back in the Anniversary Update. You’ll find this in Settings, then click Update & Security, go to Activation and select Troubleshoot (you won’t see this option if the OS has been activated).

4. Avoiding inconvenient software update reboots

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

Windows 10 is, in many ways, a truly internet-based operating system. Mostly, this is a bonus but there are times when it isn’t – and Microsoft’s attitude towards operating system updates is one such time.

The most annoying part of automatic updates is the restarting, which can seemingly come at random (and inconvenient times). The simplest way to counteract this is to head to Windows Update (in Settings > Update & Security), click on Advanced Options and then Notify to Schedule Restart, which means the OS will request a reboot instead of interrupting everything you’re working on.

5. Updating old software to work with Windows 10

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

Each version of a new operating system comes with its own set of backwards compatibility issues and Windows 10 is no exception.

The transition from Windows 8.1 to 10 is far less jarring than the move from Windows 7 to 8 was, but there are still certain applications that can become broken and, in some cases, cease to work at all.

If a program isn’t working with Windows 10, try looking in the Windows Store for an update and, if that doesn’t work, delete and reinstall it.

Now that Windows 10 has been out for a few years, most programs should be compatible with the operating system. If they aren’t, then they likely never will be.

Consider moving to a newer version of the software, or if it’s stopped being developed, it may be time to look for alternatives.

6. Changing privacy and Wi-Fi Sense settings

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

Data security is incredibly important, especially as hackers become increasingly sophisticated and the number of cyber-attacks is on the up.

Windows 10 comes with a decent set of built-in protection measures, but you can never be too careful. One such feature that should be disabled by privacy-minded individuals is Wi-Fi Sense, which automatically shares the Wi-Fi password across Windows 10 devices on the same account.

Microsoft updated Wi-Fi Sense to share less data, but switching it off is the ideal way of preventing anything you don’t want happening. To turn it off, go to the Start Menu, select Settings and click on Network & Internet, then Wi-Fi, and head to Manage Wi-Fi Settings – turn off all the options in here.

Also in Settings, it’s possible to get an overview of everything else happening on Windows 10 in terms of privacy – unsurprisingly, under the Privacy section. In here, you’ll be presented with a bunch of toggles that adjust some privacy options to help keep everything under control.

7. Printer compatibility

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

If you have an older device, printer compatibility can turn into a real problem. If you’re upgrading from Windows 7 (or earlier) to Windows 10, you need to update all available printer drives, which will prevent them from not working post-upgrade.

Luckily, this couldn’t be easier. Just search for the name of your printer in the search engine of your choice, and download the latest Windows 10 compatible drivers – make sure you’re downloading them from the actual manufacturers website, though. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install them, and you’re good to go.

8. Grappling with the touchscreen

Image Credit: TechRadar

Microsoft ships Windows 10 with Edge, the successor to its Internet Explorer browser (although IE is still present in the OS). For many people, however, using Chrome or Firefox is the norm, no matter what Microsoft wants.

To install Chrome or Firefox – and get back to normality – open Edge, search for either, and find a Windows 10 version. Download it, install it, and make sure it’s set as the default browser option so that Edge doesn’t keep reappearing. To do this, head to Settings, System, and click on Default Apps – click under Web Browser and you can then select your preferred default browser.

But, now that Microsoft Edge is moving to Chromium, you may have less of a reason to switch over.

9. Grappling with the touchpad

Image Credit: TechRadar

Having a touchpad-enabled laptop is also good for Windows 10, but some users have reported that the upgrade from Windows 7 (and sometimes Windows 8) breaks it.

One of the ways to solve this is by first checking to see if your keyboard has a key that turns the touchpad off. If it doesn’t – or the right setting is toggled – then head to Devices > Mouse & Touchpad > Additional mouse options.

A new window will appear. From here, select the tab that says Device Settings, then Devices, and then make sure the touchpad is enabled.

If none of these options work, press Windows Key + X, select Device Manager, then the option for Mice and other pointing devices, and update the driver. This should fix things.

10. Finding Safe Mode

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

 Image Credit: Microsoft 

Safe Mode is just what you’d expect – a safe way of booting up a PC and running the system with no startup apps and only essential drivers, which should hopefully allow the computer to boot successfully when it won’t otherwise due to some issue or other.

With Windows 10, to access Safe Mode, hold down the Shift key during boot-up (or select Restart from the desktop while holding down Shift).

How to Fix a Black Screen in Windows 10

How to Fix a Black Screen in Windows 10

The only thing worse than a blue screen of death is a black screen of death. And the only thing worse than a black screen of death is a black screen that doesn’t even throw you a bone by telling you what’s wrong. With Windows 10, this can happen. Black screens during installations, updates, or at complete random have been reported by a number of users. Sometimes, nothing at all appears on the screen. Other times, you may have a mouse and keyboard but no desktop environment.

How to Fix Random Black Screens: Advanced Troubleshooting Options to Try

And then there are the black screens that happen out of the blue. Windows 10 new servicing model (i.e. endless patches and updates) means that Windows updates, patches, security fixes, and driver updates are often downloaded in the background and installed at night completely unbeknownst to you. If you want to manage which Windows updates get installed and when, you can, but if one has already snuck past you and given you a black screen, try booting in Safe Mode.

A corrupt user profile can sometimes trigger a black screen. Attempting to boot into Safe Mode, create a new user account, then attempting to sign into it might work.

The RunOnce Processes can also be a culprit. If you all see is a black screen after logging in, press Control + Shift + Esc on your keyboard; this will launch Task Manager. Go to the Processes and Services tab, then look for any instances of RunOnce32.exe or RunOnce.exe. If you find any that are running, stop the process, cancel the application, or end the service.

Click File > Run new task, type: cmd then hit Enter. At the command prompt, type:

shutdown -r -t 01

Then, hit Enter. This will restart your computer.

How to Use Safe Mode to Troubleshoot Black Screens

Booting into Safe Mode can be used to troubleshoot random black screens or black screens encountered during a Windows 10 install.

To get into Safe Mode, do the following: Turn your computer on and off three times. While booting, make sure you turn off the computer when you see the Windows logo.

After the third time, Windows 10 will boot into diagnostics mode. Click Advanced options when the recovery screen appears.

 safe mode windows 10

Click Troubleshoot.

 safe mode windows 10

Click Advanced options.

 automatic-repair-3 safe mode windows 10

Click Startup Settings.

 automatic-repair-4 safe mode windows 10

Click Restart.

 automatic-repair-5 safe mode windows 10

Press the number 4. This will start Windows 10 in Safe Mode.

 automatic-repair-6 safe mode windows 10

Sign in, press Windows key + X, click Device Manager, expand Display Adapter, right-click the display driver then click Disable. Restart your computer to see if setup completes successfully or you can boot to the desktop. If you can reach the desktop, check Windows Update or the manufacturer’s website for the latest driver.

 dev-manager safe mode windows 10

Are you Still Having Black Screen Issues?

Windows 10 black screen issues can be persistent and mysterious. If you’ve gone through all of the troubleshooting steps above and you are still having issues, your next step is to throw it out to the community. Let us know about your successes, failures, and frustrations in the comments or join us in the Windows 10 Forums.

Get to grips with Windows 10

Get to grips with Windows 10

Windows 10 is brimming with new and updated features for streamlining all your computing tasks. The new release combines the familiarity of Windows 7 with the functionality of Windows 8.

While you can use some features to increase your productivity intuitively, others aren’t so forthcoming and require a trip down the menus and settings before they make your life easier.

We’ve overhauled our Windows 10 tips and tricks guide by grouping the tips into categories, so it’s now even easier to find the best Windows 10 tips for your needs.

In this guide we’ll take you through Windows’ nooks and crannies and help you tweak your Windows installation in a variety of ways to suit your style of working.

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Using the tips, you’ll be able to shave some time off of tasks that need to be performed regularly and streamline your navigation around the system. We’ll also share tips to help tweak the new features based on your preferences, enabling you to use your new installation productively.

Also make sure you check out our huge collection of guides on how to use Windows 10 to make sure you get the most out of the new operating system.

  1. Use Custom Install

When you’re setting up Windows 10 on a new PC, make sure you select the Custom install option instead of the default Express install.

It’s more involved but lets you modify important aspects of your installation such as the privacy settings.

  1. Remove old files after installing Windows 10

If you have no intentions of reverting to the previous version of Windows, you can save disk space by getting rid of the old OS files. Head over to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Disk Clean-up and toggle the ‘Previous Windows installations’ box in the list.

  1. Sign out of Windows

The Power menu in the Start menu only includes options to Shut down and Restart the computer. To sign in as another user bring up the Start menu and click on your name displayed at the top.

This brings up a menu which includes the Sign out option.

  1. New Action Centre

Windows 10 includes a new Action Centre that keeps track of notifications from all over the system.

Click on the text bubble icon in the system tray and the panel flows out from the right-hand side of the screen.

  1. New snap keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard warriors can save time and snap windows without using the mouse. Use the Win key + Arrow key to snap to one of the four corners of the screen and double-up commands to reach the quadrants.

For example, pressing Win + Right Arrow, then Win +Up Arrow places the current window in the top-right corner.

  1. Make Windows touch-friendly

If your computer has a touch screen you can manually enable Windows 10’s touch-friendly Continuum interface to operate Windows in a tablet mode.

Head to Start > Settings > System > Tablet Mode to manually alter its behaviour.

  1. Disable WiFi Sense in Windows 10

If you’re worried about Wi-Fi Sense’s security implications you can disable it by heading to Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage Wi-Fi settings.

Now disable all options and ask Windows 10 to forget any Wi-Fi networks you’ve signed into in the past.

  1. Customise Privacy settings

To take charge of general and app-specific privacy options head over to Start > Settings > Privacy. From here you can also individually define which apps can access the connected hardware like cameras and microphones.

  1. Customise Battery Saver

The Windows 10 Battery Saver clamps down on background activities in order to maximise your system’s battery.

You can enable it from under Start > Settings > System > Battery Saver. It comes online automatically when the charge drops below 20%.

  1. Unlock PC with a fingerprint

Windows 10 includes a suite of new biometric security features known as Windows Hello. If you have the required hardware then you can use fingerprint detection or face recognition to log in.

Head to Start > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options to explore the various available options.

For more information on using biometric security, check out our guide on how to use Windows Hello.

  1. Stream media across the network

Go to ‘Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center’ and click on ‘Change advance sharing settings’.

Then go to All Network section and click the ‘Choose media streaming options’ link and turn on media sharing.

  1. Monitor with Task Manager

Windows 10 also includes an improved Task Manager with a better layout and easily digestible information and useful graphs.

Familiarise yourself with the Task Manager to monitor the resources of your PC and to terminate unresponsive processes.

  1. Create a local account

If you don’t want the benefits of OneDrive synchronised account, you can create a standalone offline account. Head to Start > Settings > Accounts and click the ‘Sign in with a local account instead’ link.

Ditch the Lock Screen

Ditch the Lock Screen

Windows 10 includes a lock screen featuring beautiful images thanks to Windows Spotlight. It even has widgets so you can see information from “Universal” apps like Windows 10’s Mail and Calendar apps on your lock screen.

But let’s be honest, the lock screen was originally designed for Windows 8 tablets. If you’re using a desktop PC or laptop, the lock screen is just another screen you have to press Space to bypass before typing your PIN or password. It is beautiful if you enable Windows Spotlight, though—and we haven’t seen Microsoft abuse Spotlight by inserting advertisements in a while—so it’s not all bad

To get rid of the lock screen, you can edit your registry and add the “NoLockScreen” value. Windows will go straight to the sign-in prompt whenever you boot, wake, or lock your PC.

 

The first thing you need to do is to open the Local Group Policy Editor by pressing the Win + R key combination to bring up a run box, then type gpedit.msc and hit enter.

Now you will need to drill down into:

Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Control Panel -> Personalization

On the right-hand side, you will need to double click on the “Do not display the lock screen” setting.

Change the radio button from “Not Configured” to “Enabled”, click apply and you’re good to go.

That’s all there is to it.

 

How to Disable Notifications in Windows 10

How to Disable Notifications in Windows 10

Windows 10 notifications help you get key information, which ranges from the arrival of new emails to the completion of downloads. However, all of these alerts can be distracting.

 

Fortunately, Windows 10 makes it easy to disable/enable notifications as well as customize how they’re implemented. Below, we explain how to make permanent changes to your notification settings. If you want to temporarily turn or limit which notifications you get, use the Windows Focus Assist feature instead.

 

  1. Open the Settings menu. You can get there by selecting it from the Start menu or typing “settings” into the search bar.

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2.Navigate to System. It should be the first option in the top left.

  1. Select Notifications & Actions from the left panel.

  1. Toggle Notifications to off under the line “Get notifications from apps . . .” if you want to stop all alerts.

 

  1. Adjust more notification settings on this screen. Choose what notifications appear on the lock screen—if anything at all. You can enable or disable Windows Welcome Experience (this often appears after Windows 10 updates) as well as Windows Tips and Tricks.

 

  1. Disable notifications for individual applications if you haven’t turned them off entirely. Look for the application you want to disable notifications for and set the notification button to Off.

How to Password Protect a Folder in Windows 10

How to Password Protect a Folder in Windows 10

 

guy Icon

Make sure nobody can get at your most important data.

Nowadays, all of our information is digital — from pictures to our banking information and everything in-between. Among these files, we all have sensitive information that, when seen by others, could cause irrevocable harm. Windows 10 doesn’t make it easy to password protect a folder, but we can guide you here on how to protect your most sensitive information.

1. Open the folder you want to protect with a password.

 

2. Right-click inside the folder, opening the context menu.

3. Select New from the context menu.

4. Click Text Document from the context menu pop-up.

5. Rename the new text document to “LockedFolder” and press Enter.

6. Open the “LockedFolder” text document.

7. Copy the highlighted code below.

 

cls

 

@ECHO OFF

 

title Folder Locker

 

if EXIST “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}” goto UNLOCK

 

if NOT EXIST Locker goto MDLOCKER

 

:CONFIRM

 

echo Are you sure u want to Lock the folder(Y/N)

 

set/p “cho=>”

 

if %cho%==Y goto LOCK

 

if %cho%==y goto LOCK

 

if %cho%==n goto END

 

if %cho%==N goto END

 

echo Invalid choice.

 

goto CONFIRM

 

:LOCK

 

ren Locker “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}”

 

attrib +h +s “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}”

 

echo Folder locked

 

goto End

 

:UNLOCK

 

echo Enter password to Unlock folder

 

set/p “pass=>”

 

if NOT %pass%==INPUT YOUR PASSWORD HERE goto FAIL

 

attrib -h -s “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}”

 

ren “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}” Locker

 

echo Folder Unlocked successfully

 

goto End

 

:FAIL

 

echo Invalid password

 

goto end

 

:MDLOCKER

 

md Locker

 

echo Locker created successfully

 

goto End

 

:End

8. Paste the code into the “LockedFolder” text document.

9. In the “LockedFolder” text document, find the phrase “INPUT YOUR PASSWORD HERE”.

10. Replace “INPUT YOUR PASSWORD HERE” with a password of your choosing. Do not use spaces within your password.

11. Click File in the header menu of the text document.

12. Select “Save as” from the drop-down menu.

13. Change the file name “LockedFolder” to “LockedFolder.bat”.

14. From the “Save as type” drop-down, select “All Files”.

15. Click the “Save” button.

16. Double-click the “LockedFolder.bat” windows batch file.

17. You will now see a new folder named “Locker”. Select, drag, and drop the files you want locked inside the Locker folder.

18. Right-click the Windows batch file named “LockedFolder”.

19. Select “Open” from the context menu.

20. Type “Y” in the CMD pop-up window and then press Enter on your keyboard. Your locked folder and its contents are now hidden.

21. To unlock and make the folder visible again, double-click on the “LockedFolder” Windows batch file.

 

22. Enter the password you created earlier and press Enter on your keyboard when asked to unlock the folder.

Repeat these steps again to hide and password protect the folder:
24. Double click the “LockedFolder.bat” Windows batch file.

 

25. Type “Y” in the CMD pop-up window and then press Enter on your keyboard.