Articles in Category: Windows

What Program Is this Window From?

Use Process Explorer to identify windows or message boxes that appear without any obvious indicator of what program they’re from.

What Happens at Windows 10 End of Support?

The end of support for Windows 10 means Microsoft will no longer issue security updates. Here’s how to continue using it safely.

What’s the Difference Between Windows Home and Pro Editions?

I prefer Windows Professional editions. Here’s what I consider the important differences between Windows Home and Pro.

How Do I Fix a Blue Screen Error?

Blue screen errors are less common than they used to be, but they can still happen for a variety of reasons. I’ll review what to do and when.

How Should I Configure Virtual Memory Settings?

The default settings for virtual memory are good enough for most. Tweaking virtual memory settings depends on your computer and what you do with it.

The Software I Use

I get lots of questions about what the best software for various situations may be. I can’t answer them all, particularly as it often depends on your own situation, but I can tell you what I’m using.

How Do I Force the Latest Windows Feature Update?

Windows feature updates are supposed to be delivered in a somewhat timely fashion. If not, or if you’re just impatient, you can force the issue.

How Do I Get Rid of a Screensaver Password?

On returning from a screensaver, Windows can ask for a password. That’s a security measure that can be turned off… but be sure you should first.

How to “Reset this PC” to Reinstall Windows

It’s relatively easy to reinstall Windows and keep most of your data while doing so, though it can be a bit time consuming.

How Do I Downgrade Windows 11 to Windows 10?

Give Windows 11 a shot, but know that you can go back to Windows 10 if you need to.

Are Windows Limited User Accounts Effective?

Limited User Accounts restrict the ability of malware to cause problems on your system. Unfortunately, it may also restrict your ability to use the computer.

Why Do an Image Backup If I Can Factory Reset?

Factory reset is a great option to have, but it doesn’t cover all the scenarios a full image backup does.

Installing the Windows Open SSH Server

SSH is a popular tool to access command prompts and shells remotely. Windows makes an OpenSSH server is available for install.

How Do I Create a Local Account in Windows 10?

The ability to create a local user account on Windows hasn’t been removed; it’s just not obvious where to find it.

How Do I Open Windows File Explorer to a Specific Folder?

You can create a shortcut to open Windows File Explorer on the directory of your choice.

Windows File Explorer Settings: the Setting You Should Change Right Now

Windows File Explorer tries to help by hiding some information. Unfortunately, that opens a hole hackers can use to fool you.

Is it Safe to Use Hibernate All the Time?

Hibernating is a convenient way to turn off a machine without shutting down all applications for a quicker restart later.

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.

Should I Update to Windows 11?

Windows 11 is out to much fanfare, hype, and confusion. Unless you have specific reasons, you don’t need to upgrade yet.

Windows 11 is Not Supported on My Newer PC — What Can I Do?

If Windows 11 is not supported on your computer, there are several options. The best option is to wait.

Why Your Computer Might Be Slow

A friend’s slow computer provided me an opportunity to review the four primary characteristics of computer slowdowns to help you diagnose issues in the future.

The Event Viewer, Explained

Many Windows components log messages and use Event Viewer to display them. Sadly, the messages are often cryptic and inconsistent, and the result is a mess.

SFC: the System File Checker – How to Run It and Why

The System File Checker is a little-known, simple-to-run command-line program. It validates that Window’s operating files are undamaged.

Why Do Updates Sometimes Take Forever in Windows?

On occasion, Windows Updates can seem to take forever. Here’s what to look for and what to do when that happens.

What Is a TPM? And Why Do I Need One?

Windows 11 hardware requirements brought the TPM, or Trusted Platform Module, into the spotlight. I’ll touch on what it is, why your machine might not appear to have one, and what to do if it doesn’t.

My Registry Scan Reported Hundreds of Errors! Which Do I Fix?

Registry scanners often report hundreds, if not thousands, of issues. Should you fix them, and if so, which? Here’s my approach.

Windows 11 First Impressions

I installed Windows 11, and share some of my impressions.

Why Am I Still Getting Updates for Windows 7?

Windows Update can update more than just the Windows operating system. So keeping it up to date is still a good idea.

How Long Will Windows 10 Be Supported?

Exactly how long Windows 10 will be supported has changed since its original release. The original expectations were unrealistic at best.

When is Windows Support Ending?

Microsoft publishes its end-of-support schedules well in advance. To stay both current and safe, it would be wise to plan for that turnover.

Did Microsoft Lie?

The release of Windows 11 proved the statement that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows to be wrong. But was it a lie?

How Do I Move an Off-screen Window?

One of the ways to handle an off-screen window has changed slightly.

How Were Files Recovered that I Thought Were Deleted?

Files may be gone, but frequently are not forgotten. Depending on the scenario, files you thought were deleted might be easily recovered.

A Program Crashes and I Can’t Uninstall It. What Do I Do?

Problems with a program that won’t install can be tricky. It’s important to capture the exact wording of any error messages you are receiving.

Why Your System is Slow Even Though the CPU Is Idle

The purpose of the System Idle Process is to get out of the way to let other processes run. So what does it mean if the SIP is using 100% CPU on your slow system?

What Is Pagefile.sys? Can I Delete It?

Pagefile.sys is the “paging file” that contains Windows’ virtual memory. You can easily remove it — if you understand the ramifications.

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.

How Do I Change the Startup Order in Windows 10?

Changing the order of Startup items in Windows isn’t supported. Any techniques to attempt to do so are risky and error prone.

How to Tell What’s Running in the Background on Your PC

Windows runs a lot of software even when you’re doing nothing at all. We’ll dive into how to examine what’s really running, and what to do with the information you glean.

How Do I Make Sure Windows is Really, Completely Up to Date?

Keeping Windows up to date is normally handled cleanly by Windows itself. There are times you may want to force the issue to ensure your machine is as up to date as possible.

How to Reinstall Windows 10 Without Media

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

Beginner

What’s the Best Place to Learn About Windows 10?

There are as many sources of beginner’s information as there are beginners, it seems. The best approach is to try a few and see which works best for you.

Setting up Windows 10 for Privacy

Windows 10 privacy seems to be somewhat of an oxymoron, at least based on reputation. I’ll review the choices you can make at setup to retain some control.

Is it Safe to Delete This File?

When running out of disk space, considering what you can delete makes sense. I’ll look at the steps to determine whether a file, such as a .dat file, may be important.

The Start Button Is Missing and There’s No Taskbar. What Do I Do?

Taskbar and Start button disappeared? We’ll look at solutions for several reasons why this might happen.

Set Up Windows 10 Again with the Windows Out Of Box Experience (OOBE)

You can use the Windows 10 Out Of Box Experience, or “OOBE”, at any time to reset a variety of items most commonly associated with initial setup.

Why Does Word Tell Me a Document Changed When It Hasn’t?

It’s sometimes hard to tell why Word thinks a document changed even though you haven’t done anything to it. I’ll look at a few clues.

Should I Avoid Windows Update? It Burned Me

After a bad experience with Windows Update, it’s tempting to bail on the idea completely. Unfortunately, that can leave your machine vulnerable to malware.

How to Get File Explorer to Display Details by Default

Windows File Explorer defaults to a simple view of files on your machine that isn’t secure. Changes these settings as soon as you can.

Why You’re Being Warned About Windows 10 End of Service and What to Do About It

Windows 10 warns when it’s coming to “end of service”, but what does that mean if Windows 10 is always being updated?