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PC Tips from Past QBS Newsletters

PC Tips newsletter

My free PC Tips newsletter has been published for more than six years.

It has always provided valuable computer tips and up to date news on the latest happenings in the tech world.

Here's just a few of the many PC Tips published over the last 18 months or so. Why Not Sign up right now?

1. Should you clear caches and temp files from Windows 10?

Windows 10, stores large amounts of cache to make your system faster and more responsive compared to previous versions. This is very efficient if you have tons of free storage and free ram to work with, or a high performance CPU.

Unless you have a considerable amount of free memory, you will eventually run into problems that will slow down your PC, cause it to lag and maybe even hang if you load it with lot of tasks.

2. Problems with your PC's DVD Drive not reading your disc

The simplest explanation for a problem like this is that your DVD disc just needs cleaning. Also make sure that the disc is not scratched or damaged in any way.

3. Should you Defrag your PC's Hard Drive

As long as your running Windows 7 or later the built-in Disk Defragmenter utility runs automatically at scheduled times, usually once per week. This happens by default, so chances are pretty good your PC's hard drive is already defragged. And by most accounts, the utility compares favourably with third-party alternatives, so don't spend money on another defragmenter utility unless you have very specific reasons for doing so.

4. Should you update your Windows 10 PC Drivers?

A graphics card driver or sound card driver update might improve your PC's overall performance, especially if there was some sort of problem with the driver you're currently using. Keeping your drivers updated does have benefits. You might find your sound card can be updated to support the latest audio standards or the manufacturer has found a bug to improve performance

5. Five ways to make your Windows PC run faster

Install a Solid State Drive (SSD) - The very best way to improve your computers performance is to upgrade your hard drives to SSD's. And now that SSDs have fallen so much in price it's definitely the best upgrade you can do to improve your PC's responsiveness. Even if you cannot afford to have all your storage upgraded to SSD, moving your Operating System and Applications to an SSD can result in huge performance boosts.

6. How to use System Restore in Safe Mode

As explained in our last email System Restore can take Windows 10 back to a point before any problems start to cause your PC to misbehave and will still leave all your precious documents intact. However, sometimes, things like a faulty driver or a buggy program can prevent System Restore from working properly. In cases like these, it's best to try Windows Safe Mode, which runs just a barebones version of the Windows operating system to strip out anything that might cause a problem.

7. The Windows 10 Restore Point – Creation and Use

For many people, System Restore protection is already turned on by default, for just the main system drive (C:). For others, System Restore may not enabled by default for any of your drives.

8. The Windws 10 Command Prompt

The Windows 10 command prompt can carry out more advanced actions that aren't necessarily available using the graphical user interface (GUI) of Windows 10

9. Create a list of all the programs that are currently installed on your Windows PC

Have you ever taken a look at all the programs that are actually installed on your PC? If you have, you were probably a bit surprised that there are so many of them.

10. The Windows 10 Snipping Tool

The Windows' built-in Snipping Tool lets you capture a custom section of the screen, then mark up, save, and share that image.

Even More Great Tips

11. Changing the size of Notepad if it now fills the monitors screen

Notepad is a simple text editor included in all versions of Windows. It is great for making notes and even preparing long documents.

12. The Windows 10 Restore Point - Creation and Use

Whether it's a failed Windows Update or a problem with the Windows Registry, or a bad software installation, System Restore can take Windows 10 back to a point before the problems started and will leave all your precious documents intact.

13. How to know when your Solid State Drive could fail

The main difference between Hard Drives and Solid State Drives (SSD's) is this: The area of a hard drive that can hold data can be rewritten as many times as is needed, and will always be usable as long as the drive is functioning (until bad sectors begin to cause problems). This is not the case with SSD's: Each cell that holds data can only be written to, or programmed, a finite number of times before it is effectively dead.

14. If Windows 10 Update stops Working

A lot of people have reported issues with Windows Update in Windows 10 Home and Widows 10 Professional. Check first that you have upgraded to the 'Windows 10 Fall update'. If you are still getting problems, download and run the 'Windows Update Trouble Shooter', then reboot and try Windows Update again.

15. If Windows 10 Lock Screen Gets in the Way

If you return to a locked Windows 10 device you will normally see a pretty picture. That's all very nice, but it's a needless obstacle in the way of logging into Windows 10.

16. What Can You Disable in Windows 10's Task Manager Startup List?

One reason your Windows 10 PC may feel a bit sluggish is that you've got too many programs running in the background – programs that you may never use, or only rarely use. If you stop some of these programmes from running, your PC will run a bit more smoothly.

17. How to view the power usage for apps with Task Manager

Alongside the vast aray of improvements and new features, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) also ships with a much improved version of Task Manager, which adds two additional columns to the "Processes" tab that you can use to analyze the power usage for all the apps and services running on your PC.

18. Windows 10 Mixed Reality Viewer

The Windows Fall Creators Update installed the Mixed Reality Viewer app on your Windows 10 machine, even if you didn't know it was there.

19. Vista User Profile Service Fails to Logon

Recently we had a Dell Laptop in for repair, running Windows Vista, that had a damaged user account that could not be accessed.

This is a typical 'Vista User Profile Service' problem and there are certainly still plenty of posts across the Internet about this difficulty.

The next issue of the QBS Free PC Tips Newsletter will be sent on 23rd April 2021. There was no March issue.

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