Fix common Windows 10 problems

Windows sometimes gives problems. Don't worry: with the right help you can master most of Windows' cures. We'll show you which parts and tricks will help you get Windows up and running again in a short time. Like nothing happened.

Tip 01: Reliability

Do you doubt the stability of the computer, for example because the computer regularly freezes or restarts unexpectedly? The Reliability History shows you how the computer is performing. A scale of 1 to 10 is used. In the Start menu, type Reliability History. Then click on View reliability history. A graph shows the stability index. If the line goes down, the computer is less stable than the point before it. Click on a date to show the details. A distinction is made between different 'milestones': there are critical events (events that cause the computer or a program to crash), warnings (incidents that could potentially lead to a problem) and informational events (such as successful updates). For more information about an event, double-click it. The Reliability History comes in handy if you know when the computer went wrong: look up the date in the overview and find out the possible cause.

Tip 02: Task Manager

Is a program no longer responding, and there is no way you can close it? Use Task Manager. Allows you to close programs and processes. After this, you can restart the problem program or – if you don't need this – at least have the system resources that were previously occupied by the program. In addition, Task Manager gives a good overview of the open programs and shows which (background) processes are currently active. You open Task Manager with the key combination Ctrl+Shift+Esc (or via the intermediate step Ctrl+Alt+Del). The Processes tab shows you which programs and processes are running, and to what extent they are claiming components such as the processor and memory. Click on a column to sort the programs and processes in a specific order, for example by the amount of memory usage. To force close a problem program, right-click it. Choose To end. Another interesting part of Task Manager is the tab Startup. In the Influence on startup column you can see at a glance how much a program takes up the startup phase of Windows. Based on this, determine per program whether it is worth it.

Clean slate

Done with your dirty computer? Time for a clean slate! You can restore Windows 10 to factory settings relatively easily. You can even choose to reinstall the computer without the extras that were originally installed by the computer manufacturer (such as "bloatware"). Open the settings window (Windows key+I) and choose Update and Security. Choose System recovery and click Start over with a clean install of Windows. You can find this option at More recovery options. click on To work (in the window New start).

Tip 03: Just log in!

Windows keeps a log of almost every error and every action. This is convenient if Windows is on the treatment couch. Open the Start menu and type Logs to open the item. In the left part of the window you can see the available logs: Windows Logs and Logs Applications and services. In Windows Logs you see the subcategories. For example, logs are kept for programs, security incidents, installation of programs and for the system itself. Click on a log to open it. The details are shown in the right window. The category is determined per log entry: it can be an informative message, an error or a warning. If the computer crashed at a specific time, search the log for the error entry and review the details. Double click on an entry to request any additional information. If you are a more advanced user, you can also adjust the columns and determine which information is shown by default. Choose View/Add/Remove Columns.

Logs provide a picture of Windows health

Tip 04: Memory Check

Problems with temporary memory (RAM) are never pleasant. They cause unpredictable behavior, such as a blue screen or data not being stored correctly. The built-in Memory Checker allows you to check the integrity of the memory. First, make sure all open programs are closed and any work saved. Then open the Start menu and type Memory Check. A new window will open. Choose the first option: Now reboot and troubleshoot. The computer is restarted and held up to the light. The results of the check are displayed afterwards. If you want to perform the check at a later time, you can also choose the second option: Search for problems when I restart my computer. Although Memory Check can provide a good first indication, the test is intended as a first global test. Hardware problems can sometimes only be revealed by a specialized test.

Get rid of that update

Have you performed an update via Windows Update, but is it causing problems afterwards? You can uninstall updates. Open the settings window (Windows key+I) and go to Update and Security, Windows Update. Choose View update history and then click Uninstall updates. A new window will open. Select the update that throws a spanner in the works (tip: use the column Installed on to search by date) and click remove.

Tip 05: Error Check

In Windows 10, the drives are automatically checked for good health. This is important, because it minimizes the risk of data loss. If you don't trust a particular drive, you don't have to depend on Windows. You can also run Error Checking manually. Open File Explorer (Windows key+E) and right-click on the drive you want to check. Choose Characteristics. On the tab Additional are you looking for the section Error Checking. Press the button Check. Finally click Scan drive. After checking, click on Show details for a detailed report of the scan.

Tip 06: Disk Optimization

We'll stay with the health of the drives for a while. In addition to monitoring health, Windows also performs an optimization for drives built into or connected to the computer. This normally happens on a weekly basis. Also newly added disks are optimized. You can adjust the settings of automatic optimization and also manually start an optimization session. In the Start menu, type Optimize. Choose Defragment and optimize drives. An overview of drives appears. In the column Current status check if the disks are OK. Select a drive and click Optimize to start the optimization manually. Via the button Change settings adjust the optimization schedule. For example, you can adjust the standard frequency from a week to, for example, monthly. Press the button Selecting to determine which drives qualify for optimization. In this window you also indicate whether or not newly added disks may be included (via the option Optimize new stations automatically).

Tip 07: Hardware

To check whether everything is running properly on a hardware level, use Device Manager. In the Start menu, type computer management. Choose System Tools, Device Manager. Check the list to see if the various parts are working properly. If there is a problem, it is indicated with a yellow exclamation mark. For more information about a possible error, double click on the item. Look for the section Device status (on the tab General). Here Windows shows additional information. On the tab Driver you will find information about the driver used. Does the component cause problems after the driver is updated? Go to the tab Driver and click the button Previous Driver. Windows will now use the original driver, so there's a good chance the component will work properly again. If the part does not work properly, check if a new version of the driver is available. on the tab Driver click the button Update driver.

recovery station

Always have a recovery drive available. This will help you troubleshoot if Windows can no longer start and restore a previously created backup. Windows needs a USB stick with 16 GB capacity to create a recovery drive. Open the Start menu and type recovery station. The wizard opens. Now also put a check on the option Back up the system files to the recovery drive and click Next one. Point to the USB stick and click Next one to create the recovery stick. In an emergency you can start the computer with the stick and restore a backup, among other things. A peace of mind.

Many of the automatic checks can also be performed manually

Tip 08: Measure performance

Are you a slightly more advanced user? Then the Performance Monitor component should not be missing from the toolbox. Open the Start menu and type Performance Monitor. This section allows you to closely monitor the performance of various components. In the left part of the window, choose Monitoring Tools, Performance Monitor. The chart is initially still quite empty, but we are changing that. Right click on the chart. Choose Add items. In the section Available items you can see in which areas you can view the system. For example, in terms of processor performance, or in terms of memory speed. Select the parts in the list on the left and add them with a click on Add. Are you satisfied with the selection? click on OK. The chart will now be filled with the data you selected. If you show multiple parts in the graph, you can determine their properties per part. Double click on the part you want to adjust, in the list shown below the graph. Adjust the settings in the properties window and confirm with a click on OK.

Tip 09: Seize

The Resource Checker section gives you a good idea of ​​how the various Windows components consume system resources. It shows, among other things, how heavily the processor is loaded, how the disks are performing and how the memory is doing. Open the Start menu and type Resource Check. on the tab Overview you see an overall picture of the system. To see more details, click on one of the four tabs shown next to it: Processor, Memory, Disk and Network. At the far right of the window are graphs showing performance. If you want to see or omit additional information, right-click on the list and choose Select columns. If you want to know more about a certain part, right click on it and choose Search online.

Installation issues

Having trouble installing Windows 10 and the installer throws a strange error? The error codes are usually meaningless. Fortunately, Microsoft has posted an overview online of the most common error codes and the corresponding solution or cause.

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