Articles in Category: Windows

How Can a PIN Be as Secure as a Password?

On the surface, signing into Windows using a PIN feels less secure than a traditional password. It’s possible it’s more secure.

Control Panel Network Adapters

Tip of the Day: Access Network Adapter Settings Quickly

How to Create a Windows 10 Recovery Drive

A Windows 10 Recovery Drive can be used to restore Windows backups to your machine and more. I’ll show you how to create one.

Using OneDrive for Nearly Continuous Backup

OneDrive can be used for many things, but one of the most valuable is ongoing online backup.

Revo Uninstaller

How Do I Completely Uninstall a Program?

Uninstalling a program is pretty easy. Uninstalling it completely, on the other hand, can be a challenge.

How Do I Fix Windows Update?

Windows Update can get confused or stuck. I’ll review ways to fix Windows Update, including what I refer to as the “nuclear option”.

Do All These Software Updates Take Up More and More Disk Space?

Staying up to date is an important part of staying safe. Sometimes that means disk space is slowly used for more and more updates — and sometimes not.

Two desktops

Focus Better with Multiple Desktops

Using multiple desktops can be a great way to organize your work, and keep you focused on the task at hand.

What Does “Not Responding” Mean?

Not Responding is Windows’ way of telling you that a program might have a problem. Sometimes it’s benign, but sometimes it’s a sign of a deeper issue.

How Windows 10 Changed Setting Default Programs

Windows 10 changed how to modify default programs, forcing you to make the choice explicitly.

Why Do So Many Tech Support Solutions Start with “Reboot” or “Turn It Off”?

Quite often, the first thing a diagnostic technician asks you to do is reboot your computer. Why? Because rebooting works surprisingly often.

Multiple Directory Listings Pointing to the Same File

Why Is the Same File in Two or More Places on My Machine?

What appears to be multiple copies of the same file may be something else: one file simply appearing in more than one place.

Are Updates Free?

It’s important to develop a sense of what to expect so you recognize legitimate update messages.

Can I Install Windows 7 on a Machine that Comes with Windows 10?

If you can find a license for Windows 7, and if you can find old drivers for new hardware, it’s possible that it may work okay.

Does Installing Many Programs Destabilize My Computer?

Install the software you need to fully use your computer. Just be sure to back up along the way.

How To Keep Using Windows 7 Safely After Support Ends

Yes, it’ll be possible to keep using Windows 7 after it’s no longer supported. However, doing so safely will depend on you.

How Do I Know What Updates to Install?

Unless you have a specific reason not to, the best approach to taking updates is to take them all. I’ll review why, and how to protect yourself in case something goes wrong.

Using Windows Disk Cleanup

Windows Disk Cleanup is a handy tool for freeing up space on your hard drive. I’ll show you how it’s done.

How To Find a File on Your Computer

It’s easy to search for files on your machine. Learn about the settings that dictate which parts of your machine get searched.

My Files Disappeared from Downloads. How Do I Get Them Back?

The Downloads folder isn’t meant for long-term storage. Here’s how to avoid losing files you downloaded and want to keep.

Is Windows 10 Still Free in 2020?

Officially Windows 10 is no longer free, but there remains at least one unofficial scenario that may allow you to upgrade for free.

What is “Print To File” Used For?

Print to file is an option on many older print dialogs that sends printer output to a file rather than the printer. It’s of extremely limited use these days, if it’s even available at all.

How Do I Fix the Master Boot Record (MBR)?

The MBR is one facet of a successful boot. Windows Startup Repair is a tool that addresses all of them.

Is There a Limit to What a Single Folder or Directory Can Hold?

Hard disks continue to increase in size, as does what we’re storing on them. There are size limits, but not limits most people need to worry about.

When Does Windows 10 Support End?

The end-of-support date for Windows 10 is now based on the release date of the feature update you last installed.

How to Determine What’s Installed on Your Machine

Programs can be installed in many ways and many places. There’s no single authoritative list of what’s installed, but we can get close.

How Do I Reformat and Reinstall Windows?

To reformat and reinstall is considered the “nuclear option” when it comes to dealing with Windows problems (or just cleaning up).

How To Reduce System Restore Disk Space Usage

System Restore is allocated a certain amount of space on your hard disk. If that’s excessive, you can use less space, but at the cost of fewer restore points.

What’s the Best Registry Cleaner?

The best registry cleaner is none at all. There may be cases where you want to use one, though, and I’ll review which I’d use and how to use them safely.

Why I Don’t Like System Restore

System Restore doesn’t restore your system and has proven itself too unreliable to count on.

Why is Windows Complaining About Unsupported Hardware?

Unsupported hardware because the CPU is too new? It’s a scenario some users of older Windows versions can experience. There are a couple of solutions.

Why is the Same File a Different Size in Different Places?

Because of the way file systems organize and track your data on disk, size may be displayed differently in one place than in another.

What Windows Startup Programs Do I Need?

Windows startup is a complex process further complicated by the number of programs that add themselves to the list. Paring it down takes work.

Is There a Real Alternative to Windows?

Only Windows is Windows. There are alternatives, but whether they’re right for you depends on you.

How To Reinstall Windows Without an Installation Disc

The best way to prepare for needing an installation disc is to create one before you need it. I’ll review some approaches.

What’s the Difference Between a Sandbox and a Virtual Machine?

Sandboxes and virtual machines share some characteristics, but they are fundamentally different technologies. I’ll look at both from a high level.

Why is Windows 10 Using More and More RAM?

Software programs, like people, tend to get larger over time. I’ll look at how that happens and a few things you can do to compensate.

Where Can I Download Windows?

You can download Windows versions 7, 8.1, and 10 from legitimate sources. If you have a legal retail product key, this could be your replacement media.

How Do I Find Out What Program Is Using All My CPU?

Occasionally, one program uses all of your computer’s processing resources. Using Task Manager, it’s easy to figure out which program that is.

How to Repair a Computer that Only Blue Screens

Blue screens on startup can be difficult to diagnose and recover from. If your machine only blue screens on start up, there are a number of things to try.

Why Is My Machine Slowing Down?

A PC running Windows can slow down for many reasons. Viruses, spyware, updated software, disk fragmentation, and more can lead to performance drops.

Open-Shell: Regain Your Start Menu in Windows and Much More

The single biggest complaint about Windows 8 and 10 is the tiled Start menu. Don’t like it? There’s an app for that.

What is the System Idle Process and Why Is It Using Most of the CPU?

Can a computer really do nothing? Yes and no. When it’s doing nothing it has to do something, and that something is the System Idle Process, waiting for something to do.

Disabling Remote Access Doesn’t Disable All Remote Access

You can disable Remote Access in Windows, but don’t be fooled: that doesn’t disable all types of remote access.

What’s the Difference Between Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance?

Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance are related yet different technologies included in Windows to allow remote access. I’ll review the differences.

Where’s My Disk Space Going?

It’s not uncommon to run out of disk space. A free utility can show where your disk space is going so you can determine what steps to take.

Do I Need OneDrive?

Using OneDrive is up to you — but here’s why I absolutely recommend it.

Should I Install the Latest Windows 10 Update?

My take on the latest Windows update and your options therein.

Should I Upgrade to Windows 8.1 Instead of Windows 10?

As Windows 8.1 is “between” Windows 7 and Windows 10, it’s tempting to think it’s a less jarring change. It’s not.

What Can I Disable in Task Manager’s Startup List?

Task Manager shows many of the items that run automatically when you start your machine. What you need and what you don’t depends on many factors.