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.

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.

 

Beginners mistakes Top 10 computer mistakes beginners make

Beginners mistakes Top 10 computer mistakes beginners make

Not backing up important files

Computer backupOne of the biggest mistakes anyone can make is not backing up important information. Today, there are so many different methods of backing up your information that there is no longer any excuse for not backing up your information. Make sure to backup all important information before it is too late.

 

Clicking Next or Ok without reading

Everyone has become more impatient thanks to the instant gratification we all enjoy every day on the Internet. However, because of this impatience it is not uncommon for new users to click Ok or Next without reading what they are agreeing to and not making sure there are no check boxes still checked. Make sure you read every prompt before agreeing, or you may be agreeing to install new browser toolbars, a program you didn’t intend to install, or other crapware.

Not saving work

While working on a document either offline or online make sure that the program is automatically saving your work. If a program does not automatically save your work, you need to make sure you are saving your work every 10-15 minutes. If the computer loses power, Internet connection, or the program crashes everything is lost that hasn’t been saved.

Turning off the computer improperly

With more users learning on Smartphones and Tablets before learning the computer, not all new users are familiar with the proper method to shut down (turn off) a computer. When you are done with a computer and want to turn it off make sure to save any work, close open programs, and shut down the computer properly.

Opening e-mail attachments

E-mail attachmentA common method of getting infected with a computer virus or malware is from opening e-mail attachments. Be extremely cautious and doubtful on all e-mail attachments you receive including any e-mail attachments you receive from friends, family, and co-workers. One of the most common tactics malicious users use to send viruses is from people you know to gain a false sense of trust.

Falling for phishing, spam, or chain mail

Phishing

As computers become more secure, and users get more tech savvy, many malicious individuals have moved to attacking people using phishing tactics. Make sure you are aware of how phishing works and how you can make sure you do not become a victim of identity theft.

Spam

Almost all spam today is distributed by infected computers or malicious users. Replying to these spam messages will not unsubscribe you from any list and usually is never looked at or received. In some cases, a spammer may even use your reply as a verification that an e-mail works and send you more spam or share your e-mail address with other spammers. If you get spam, just delete it from your inbox.

Chain mail

You should also never forward your friends and family chain mail. If you find an e-mail hard to believe, make sure it is true before you forward the myth or rumor to anyone else.

Downloading and installing bad software

Today, the most common ways a computer gets infected with viruses, malware, and other crapware is from downloading and installing bad software on the computer. Always be cautious of free software and who is providing you with the free software. To subsidize costs many developers include other bundled programs or toolbars, and if you are not careful, you may install them during the install. As mentioned earlier, always be sure to read what the program is doing during the install.

Unfortunately, reading is also not always enough and sites offering free things like cursors, fonts, wallpaper, emotions, and other small downloads may be bundled with other bad software. When downloading anything, keep the below suggestions in mind.

Where are you getting the download?

There are malicious people who download valid copies of a popular download, modify the file with malicious software, and then upload the file with the same name. Make sure you are downloading from the developer’s web page or a reputable company.

Don’t install download manager

Many sites suggest or require you to install an installer or a download manager before allowing you to download a program you may be interested in downloading. These tools almost always cause your computer more problems and may even have malware or other spyware. Avoid any site claiming anything must be installed first before you can continue with your download.

Avoid advertisements on download pages

To help make money and pay for the bandwidth costs of supplying free the software, the final download page may have ads. Watch out for anything that looks like advertisements on the download page. Many advertisers try to trick viewers into clicking an ad with phrases like “Download Now”, “Start Download”, or “Continue” and that ad may open a separate download.

Cancel or deny any automatic download

Some sites may automatically try start a download or give the appearance that something needs to be installed or updated before the site or video can be seen. Never accept or install anything from any site unless you know what is downloading.

Not keeping operating system and software up-to-date

The evolution of computers and the software that computer’s use is always evolving. After a program is released bugs and security threats are almost always discovered by other users. Installing the latest updates for a program makes sure everything runs smooth and if security fixes are found fix those problems, so your data is kept secure.

Keep a computer on a surge protector or UPS

UPS SupplyIf you plug your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone into a wall outlet consider using a surge protector instead. A surge protector can help keep your computer protected during an electrical storm and make sure that nothing is damaged if a surge travels over your power lines.

Also, if you are using a desktop computer we highly recommend also using a UPS on your computer. Although these can be more expensive, a UPS protects your computer from a surge, brown out, and keeps the computer running if the power goes out for a minute or two.

Buying incompatible hardware or peripherals

Computers are becoming more diversified with Chrome books, hybrid computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Although all of these devices are considered computers, not all hardware is compatible with every type of computer. Also, this is true with Apple computers vs. PC computers, and PC computers running Windows or Linux, which are all running different operating systems.

Before purchasing hardware or upgrading older hardware make sure its compatible with your computer, operating system, and meets the system requirements.

Notepad Tricks: Cool Notepad tricks for Windows

Notepad Tricks: Cool Notepad tricks for Windows

Notepad, the text editor that comes bundled in Windows is an excellent tool for text editing. But that is not the only thing for which notepad is famous. It is also famous for its tricks and hacks. Here is a roundup of some of the best and coolest tricks that you can try using Notepad.

Matrix Falling Code Effect – Notepad CMD (.BAT) Tricks

Inspired by the movie Matrix, this falling code trick is extremely popular on social networking websites. Copy and paste the code given below in Notepad and save the file as “Matrix.bat” or *.bat.

@echo off
color 02
:tricks
echo %random%%random%%random%%random%%random%%random%%random%%random%
goto tricks

 

Notepad tricks
Matrix Falling Code Effect – Notepad Trick
 

Upon running the bat file, you will see the “Matrix falling code” effect.

Make Your Keyboard Type (Any) Message Continuously-VBS Trick

This VBS trick can make any of your friend’s keyboard type any message continuously. Open Notepad, copy the code given below and save the file as Tricks.vbs or *.vbs. You will need to restart your computer to stop this. Try this after closing all important programs.

Set wshShell = wscript.CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
do
wscript.sleep 100
wshshell.sendkeys “This is a Virus. You have been infected.”
loop

Send this file to your friends as an email attachment to see the fun.

Notepad Virus
 

Create a Harmless Funny Virus with Notepad-Continuously eject CD/DVD drives

This VBS trick will create a code which will continuously eject all your connected Optical drives. If you put them back in, it will pop them out again. Copy this code and paste it in Notepad as Virus.vbs or *.vbs.

Set oWMP = CreateObject(“WMPlayer.OCX.7”)
Set colCDROMs = oWMP.cdromCollection
do
if colCDROMs.Count >= 1 then
For i = 0 to colCDROMs.Count – 1
colCDROMs.Item(i).Eject
Next
For i = 0 to colCDROMs.Count – 1
colCDROMs.Item(i).Eject
Next
End If
wscript.sleep 5000
loop

Double click to open this file and you will be impressed by this awesome trick.

Make a Personal Diary(Log) with Notepad (Easter Eggs)

Notepad Diary
Notepad Diary

You can use this trick to create a personal log with Notepad which will automatically include the current date and time before your note. To do so, open Notepad and type .LOG in capital letters and press Enter. Save the file. Now, every time you open this file, notepad will automatically insert the current time and date before the note. Just enter your note and save the file each time after making an entry.

All these Notepad tricks are totally harmless and would not harm your PC in any way.  To close any of the VBS trick given, open task manager and close the wscript.exe process. These tricks work on Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.

7 good computer habits to have

7 good computer habits to have

You’ve always been taught to cultivate good habits and avoid bad ones. The same applies to your computer use, where habits are good, bad or ugly. Good habits can maximise your IT investment and optimise your operational efficiency, while bad ones can cost you money and slow you down. The ugly ones can lead to disaster and an ugly mess. Here’s a list of computer habits you should kick start into your regular routine to keep you going – in the right direction!

post1

  1. Save frequently
    To avoid any data loss in case of software or system freezing, regularly save your changes to documents. Doing so only takes a second and won’t interrupt your productivity groove. Use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + S”, or click on the “Save” icon – the old floppy disk in the toolbar. Don’t rely on “AutoSave”, as it’s not a feature on every program.
  2. Backup
    Don’t risk losing your files by not having them backed up. With damage, loss and theft all possible, no hard drive is guaranteed to be functional forever. Recovering data is often impossible and more costly and time consuming than people think. Tireless efforts on work-related documents can be preserved by simply copying files to a few DVDs, USB drive or portable hard drive, at regular intervals.
  3. Think before you print
    A hard copy is required sometimes, but not every time. So before clicking “Print”, determine if you really need to hold a copy of the document in your hand. And if you do, do you really need the entire thing? Use “Print Preview” and the option of selecting a “Page range” to print only the pages you actually need. And use the double-sided printing feature where available – to print multiple pages onto only one sheet of paper. It would also be helpful to set your printer to print in black and white by default, manually choosing colour prints only when necessary. All of these printing habits will have a positive impact on your environmental initiatives and can save you money by using less ink and paper.
  4. Structure folders
    Where do you save your files? Is everything scattered all over the desktop or stuffed into the “My Documents” folder? Maintain some order by creating folders and subfolders while giving your files appropriate names. It will only take a few extra seconds to do so, but will save you much more time in the future by being able to easily find and sort through files.
  5. Store software keys
    Make a note of software licence keys and store them safely. In the event of your needing to re-install or activate a program, having its corresponding licence key handy can be the difference between completing a simple re-installation and having to go out and purchase a new one.
  6. Invest in security software
    Protect your IT investment, your hard work and yourself! Viruses, spyware, adware and other malicious software are topics in the news for a reason. These threats can infect your computer without your even realising it. But do you know what kind of damage they can cause? They can delete or damage files, track your online activity, steal personal information and just outright annoy you by having a poorly performing computer. Take action before they do by investing in sufficient security software. When you do, keep the software up to date and scan your computer regularly to maintain optimum performance and productivity.
  7. Blink. Yes, with your eyes
    Staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time can have a negative effect on your precious eyesight. Computer users tend to blink less frequently, so make it a habit to blink more often. Why? Blinking produces tears that coat the eyes, keeping them lubricated and moist. Other habits to preserve and protect your eyesight include focusing on distant objects every 15 minutes to relax your eye muscles, and to just take a break every hour or two to reduce eyestrain. Your eyes will thank you.

Where each of these habits ranks on a scale of importance is up for debate. However, it’s essential that you incorporate them into your daily routine, to prolong the life of your computer, save time, hassles and money, and free yourself to focus on the business that really matters.