For questions not specific to a single version of Microsoft Windows. Otherwise, use a more specific tag such as [windows-7] or [windows-10].

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343
votes
18answers
265k views

How can I remove malicious spyware, malware, adware, viruses, trojans or rootkits from my PC?

What should I do if my Windows computer seems to be infected with a virus or malware? What are the symptoms of an infection? What should I do after noticing an infection? What can I do to get rid of ...
230
votes
19answers
115k views

How can I visualize the file system usage on Windows?

How can I visualize which folders and files are taking up all of the space on my hard drive? I'm getting some conflicting reports on the size of hard drive contents. Namely what is and isn't there ...
121
votes
13answers
257k views

What can I do if I forgot my Windows password?

I got a brand new Windows 7 machine, installed the operating system, created one account and forgot its password. What can I do? There is no external CD, the operating system is loaded from somewhere ...
76
votes
8answers
26k views

Why does Windows only show about 3.5 GB of my 4 GB of RAM?

I recently upgraded my computer's RAM to 4 GB. My 32-bit Windows installation shows only 3574 MB of the memory. How can I make Windows use the full amount of RAM?
208
votes
7answers
1.3m views

Windows 7 SP1 Windows Update stuck checking for updates

I installed Windows 7 fresh and installed SP1. Now, when I try to check manually for Windows Updates it just hangs on the Checking for updates screen. I tried running this tool but this did not fix ...
62
votes
7answers
28k views

How do I reset the Windows XP Administrator password?

I have forgotten the Administrator password of my Windows XP installation and locked out. Is there a way to reset it? I do have physical access to the PC.
208
votes
18answers
405k views

How can I download an entire website?

How can I download all pages from a website? Any platform is fine.
143
votes
18answers
317k views

What utility can move my Windows boot partition over to another hard drive? [closed]

Can anyone recommend a cheap/free utility that can do this without very much effort? My preference is that it would be really easy. Boot into Windows Pick drive to move Pick target drive It copies ...
152
votes
9answers
89k views

Why does the /winsxs folder grow so large, and can it be made smaller?

A Vista virtual machine I use only has a 10 GB virtual hard disk -- and I'm worried about it running out of space over time. I used TreeSize to check for the culprits.. And the primary culprit is ...
61
votes
16answers
166k views

How do I troubleshoot a Windows freeze or slowness?

A machine is described as being "really slow" or "freezing". How can I troubleshoot/resolve this issue? What should be the first steps to take?
99
votes
9answers
69k views

Can I use my laptop as a second monitor?

Is it possible to make my laptop's screen act as a second monitor for my desktop computer?
89
votes
10answers
7k views

Securely erasing all data from a hard drive

I am about to sell my old desktop PC and I am cautious about some of my sensitive information being available to the purchaser, even after reformatting the hard-drive, using data recovery software. ...
89
votes
22answers
202k views

How can I mass rename files?

I've got a bunch of files named with a the pattern 99 - DescriptiveName.txt and I'd like to remove the number from the front so I just have DescriptiveName.txt. How can I do this? Can I do it from ...
55
votes
3answers
349k views

Why don’t I have the Get Windows 10 icon?

I want to get Windows 10, but I do not see this icon in the notification area (tray): How do I get the icon to get Windows 10?
32
votes
8answers
118k views

How can I remap a keyboard key?

One of my laptop's keys has fallen off. Is there any way I can remap another key to serve as that key? I'll 'sacrifice' the other key because I never use it.
16
votes
0answers
6k views

How do I troubleshoot a Windows 7 freeze or slowness? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the first steps for diagnosing a slow machine? I have a new pc with windows 7 which freezes randomly. I hit every single key on the keyboard and it works again. Is ...
62
votes
3answers
94k views

Windows 10, 'System' process taking massive amounts of RAM

Since I upgraded to Windows 10, my system has been consuming RAM excessively I've been reading a bit and determined it's likely a driver leaking memory. So I got myself the Windows Driver Kit and ...
53
votes
2answers
20k views

How can I determine which process owns a hotkey in Windows?

Given a hotkey, how can I find which program owns it?
196
votes
17answers
171k views

How to delete directories with path/names too long for normal delete

Windows seems to have a length limit on file names when trying to delete, though it won't prevent those files from being created. Our build process creates a number of temporary files (many build off ...
374
votes
14answers
535k views

How to disable the “Get Windows 10” icon shown in the notification area (tray)?

This icon showed up in my taskbar notification area today and I cannot seem to get rid of it: Clicking on it displays the following screen: So how do I disable or remove the "Get Windows 10" ...
55
votes
17answers
235k views

Run a batch file in a completely hidden way

I'm looking for some way to run a batch file (.bat) without anything visible to the user (no window, no taskbar name, .etc..). I don't want to use some program to do that, I'm looking for something ...
56
votes
9answers
43k views

Moving users folder on Windows Vista/7 to another partition

When I format the computer and reinstall Windows, my first step is move the My Documents folder to another partition. In Windows XP it wasn't enough because the desktop folder and another user folders ...
91
votes
8answers
101k views

How can I add an item to the 'new' context menu?

When I right click anywhere I get an option to add a new file file a specified extension. I would like to add some custom files into this menu, so I can right click and create a new PHP file for ...
112
votes
8answers
300k views

Using cd Command in Windows Command Line, Can't Navigate to D:\

This may be a stupid question, and I think I have looked elsewhere to find the answer... Might be a path issue, but when I open the command line and type from the C:\>: cd D:\ I cannot get to ...
28
votes
5answers
23k views

Installing Windows XP from USB pen drive

I want to install Windows XP on my desktop computer (only XP), but my CD drive is not working. I've only found installation tutorials on how to install it on the pen drive rather than from the pen ...
8
votes
1answer
548 views

Windows Starter Edition, Home and Home Premium do not include gpedit, how do I install it?

I want to make some changes to Windows that require using the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc). Unfortunately the Group Policy Editor is not included with the Starter Edition, Home and Home Premium ...
64
votes
31answers
113k views

How to force Windows to rename a file with a special character?

I have a song that Windows can't play because there is a question mark in the name of the file. "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?.ogg" // as an example So I try to rename it and Windows complains ...
10
votes
4answers
12k views

I Cancelled Microsoft 10 Reservation and uninstalled KB3035583 but Window 10 is still trying to install

I cancelled the Microsoft Windows 10 Reservation and uninstalled KB3035583, but Windows 10 is still trying to install. After I uninstalled KB3035583 and restarted my laptop as instructed, I could ...
326
votes
11answers
305k views

Is there any 'sudo' command for Windows?

I always work on a non-administrator account on my Windows computer. Sometimes I need to install programs which requires administrator access. As I mostly use the Windows command prompt, is there a ...
47
votes
23answers
7k views

Software to backup data and files on a Windows computer [closed]

I have data and files on my system, running Windows, and want to make sure that I don't lose all the data or information when it gets toasted, either by a power surge or corrupted medium. I've heard ...
89
votes
12answers
128k views

How can I make the Windows VPN route selective traffic (by destination network)?

I want to use a Windows VPN but only for a particular network, so that it doesn't take over my entire network connection. e.g., Instead of the VPN becoming the default route, make it only the route ...
49
votes
3answers
82k views

Windows using too much RAM, how to diagnose resource hog

I have 16GB of system RAM. On startup with no applications open except the task-manager Windows is using about 3gb of RAM. I looked in the processes tab, but nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. ...
33
votes
3answers
69k views

How to diagnose slow booting or logon in Windows?

When I start my PC, it boots into Windows (Windows 7 32-bit) quite happily, I login and the main Windows screen appears. At that point, however, the system is extremely unresponsive for up to 5 ...
153
votes
8answers
249k views

How to read ext4 partitions on Windows?

Is there a way to read ext4 partitions from Windows? If so, what can I do?
33
votes
12answers
8k views

How can I keep folders synchronized between several machines over my home network?

Like many people I take quite a few photos, and also like quite a few people I don't back up as frequently as I should. What I'd like to be able to do is automatically synchronize my "to be backed up"...
21
votes
3answers
19k views

Windows Updates Folders (With Strange Names) in C drive

I have a Windows XP Professional SP 3. In my C drive, I have a lot of folders which I do not know why they exist. Sample these names - 1da9de11ed14f5da3b6ace4e25f5 a0332ef3abcaf03e49 What are ...
38
votes
10answers
15k views

Make window always on top?

Some applications do not have the functionality like task manager to stay always on top. Is there a way around this? I am on Windows XP SP2.
28
votes
8answers
88k views

Offline update of Windows?

What options, if any, exist for offline update of Microsoft Windows? If a solution exists please list your experience using it. Background: If for any reason a computer does not have a ...
90
votes
9answers
260k views

How can I put the computer to sleep from Command Prompt/Run menu?

I know that almost everything on Windows, like opening any sort of application, can be done from the command prompt or from the Run menu. How can I put my computer to sleep or shut it down? What is ...
53
votes
15answers
22k views

Which duplicate files and folders finders exist for Windows? [closed]

I need a free duplicate file finder/remover app, with ability to find duplicate files/folders by name and/or by size and to remove one of duplicates.
91
votes
8answers
83k views

Is it safe to delete from C:\Windows\Installer?

I've been looking on an XP machine what is using all that diskspace, and it turns out C:\Windows\Installer is high up there on the list of directories that use the most diskspace. It seems to contain ...
41
votes
3answers
130k views

Turn off display in Windows on command

Is there a way to turn off the display in Windows (7), preferably without using additional software? Powershell script works fine, but leaves command-line window after turning on the display.
26
votes
4answers
10k views

Is there a product key finder for a PC?

How can I find the product keys for my Windows operating system and software installed, like Office, Adobe Creative Suite, and other software which requires an activation key?
29
votes
10answers
16k views

Multiple versions of Internet Explorer on a machine

Is it possible to have multiple versions of Internet Explorer on the same computer?
26
votes
9answers
44k views

Windows Swap (Page File): Enable or Disable?

From my personal experience I've noticed that disabling the page file in Windows XP has given me, in general, the most speed gain out of any other software change I can make. Obviously this has to be ...
260
votes
10answers
194k views

Menu select item stuck on screen after context or command menu has closed

Periodically when I select a menu command, the label or selected option gets "stuck" on screen and won't go away. I can close all open applications, including whichever one I was using when it got ...
44
votes
5answers
17k views

What is the proper way of debugging a slow Windows installation?

You know the drill - you've been asked to check why your cousin's computer is running slow. I was right there yesterday. Being a Mac user since 2007 I haven't really dug deep in Windows internals in ...
18
votes
3answers
40k views

How to run Mac OS X within Windows Virtual PC? [closed]

The short answer is: You Can't. It seems to be a popular question as to whether you can install/run Mac OS X under virtualization within Windows. However, most of the questions really answer the ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Why is the effective hard drive size lower than the actual size?

I just got a new Lenovo Laptop which has been installed with Windows 7 and is supposed to have 250 GB hard disk. Windows 7 reports that the hard disk drive has two parts: 221 GB C: and 9.76 GB ...
3
votes
7answers
12k views

Recover data from full format on NTFS partition

I have a harddisk with two partitions: one for windows and one for data. I've reinstalled windows on the first partition and formatted the data partition with full format (without /Q option) making ...