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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82
votes
5answers
13k views

What are all the Windows 7/8/8.1 updates (KBs) I must skip to avoid Windows 10 upgrading -and nags-?

It's been a time I didn't follow the list of which Windows 7/8/8.1 KBs I must skip since I don't want the unfinished Windows 10 at all. Moreover, I will still consider Windows 10 unfinished (-> ...
39
votes
14answers
69k views

Easiest way to move my Windows installation to an SSD?

I've taken the plunge and bought an SSD and want to move my existing Windows installation over. The current hard disk is 500Gb, but I've trimmed the contents down to about ~40Gb. I'm transferring it ...
70
votes
3answers
34k views

Any way to “ungroup” taskbar items in Windows?

I mostly like the improvements in Windows 7, but am pretty annoyed with the new Taskbar... particularly its habit of always keeping items grouped. Is there any way to ungroup the taskbar items in ...
17
votes
11answers
68k views

How can I automatically copy files to a USB drive when I connect it to my computer?

I am looking for a solution for copying all the files from a specific directory on the hard drive, to a specific directory on a USB memory device, once this device is connected. I have a program that ...
36
votes
6answers
33k views

Windows: How to remove items from the right click (context) menu?

The right click (context) menu is minimal and clean on a fresh installation of Windows. Install a bunch of applications and soon the context menu is loaded with all kinds of opening options from ...
9
votes
5answers
40k views

Rename profile folder on Windows 7/8

During Windows installation I accidentally typed an accented name for my user name and my profile name is named after it. I already renamed my user to not have an accented character, but the profile ...
29
votes
10answers
6k views

Reassigning the caps lock key on Windows or OS X

How can I remap the Caps Lock key in Windows or OS X? Is there, for example, some way to map caps lock to a key combination like Alt+Tab on Windows or ⌘+Tab on OS X?
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Automatic driver search & update on Windows? [closed]

I have a Dell laptop issued by my employer, and I always find it a real pain to search for, download and maintain their drivers. It baffles me that there does not seem to be a nice way (product, ...
8
votes
1answer
28k views

Change Windows sound volume via the command line

Is it possible to change the volume in Windows XP via the command line?
17
votes
4answers
35k views

Windows 8.1 missing font files after restart

Some days ago I rebooted my windows 8.1 system. After the reboot all my system texts were very cryptic - showing only some strange symbols. After some investigation I discovered that my ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

Download manager to replace GetRight? [closed]

I've been happily using GetRight for the last 10 years or so, and today I found out (the bad way) that it won't work in Windows 2008 64-bit. What is a good modern alternative that'll pretty much do ...
0
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I move or force a program installation to another location, even when unsupported?

I have an SSD as my main Windows drive, with a 640GB 2.5" HDD, partitioned to store programs and user settings, and also to act as backup (it's the only thing I had lying around at the time of ...
14
votes
1answer
74k views

Folder keeps changing back to read-only. What permissions setup causes this in Windows? [duplicate]

I think I'm going crazy. Every time I create a folder it automatically is set to readonly, but I can still then rename the folder or add folders to it. If I attempt to uncheck the readonly flag it ...
284
votes
27answers
88k views

How to mess up a PC running Windows 7? [closed]

Ok, so for my PC class I have to find 3 hacks that would mess up the lab's PC. Me and my partner are going to mess up the PC and then another team will try to fix it. The system on it is Windows 7. ...
208
votes
9answers
299k views

Find out which process is locking a file or folder in Windows

How can I find out which process is locking a file or folder in Windows? For instance, when trying to delete a folder, Windows reports this: The action can't be completed because the folder is ...
132
votes
16answers
284k views

How to move windows that open up offscreen?

I have a dual monitor setup, and I recently played around with the positioning settings, and some of my single window applications do the favour of preserving where they were last closed, and opening ...
78
votes
9answers
97k views

Windows 10 Search can't find ANY applications. Even calculator

I have problem with Windows 10 Enterprise N x64. When I press "Start" and start to type application name it never finds it. I can't even find applications like "Calculator", "Microsoft Word" or any ...
45
votes
7answers
156k views

How to rename the User folder in Windows 10?

After installing Windows 10 on my Surface Pro 3 it took my user name 'Jeremy' and created a user folder named C:\Users\jerem. I want to rename the folder C:\Users\Jeremy. The procedure for Windows 8 ...
79
votes
9answers
98k views

Dual monitors on Windows - How do I set a different DPI or text size on each monitor?

My laptop is a 15" wide screen running at 1600x1050, and in addition to that I connect an external 19" LCD which runs at 1280x1024. The problem with this setup is that if I increase the text size to ...
27
votes
4answers
84k views

Remove USB device from command line

I'm constructing a backup script for Windows 7, and the last action I want it to perform is to safely "remove" the USB drive that it is backing up to. I am under the impression that plugging the drive ...
20
votes
6answers
77k views

How to monitor a folder and trigger a command-line action when a file is created or edited?

I need to set up some sort of a script on my Vista machine, so that whenever a file is added to a particular folder, it automatically triggers a background process that operates on the file. (The ...
32
votes
3answers
163k views

How do I recover a closed Sticky Note in Windows?

By accident, I closed my sticky notes in Windows. Is there any way to recover them?
10
votes
4answers
7k views

A good solution to switch between different network settings?

I use my laptop (Windows Vista Ultimate) to connect to a wireless network in college, which assigns a dynamic IP address, and at home, with a static IP address and DNS server. I'm looking for a good ...
11
votes
3answers
10k views

where in the registry does Windows store, with which program to open certain file types?

After installing Adobe PDF reader: *.PDF will be opened by the same. *.html with web browser. *.txt with notepad. If we want to make notepad++ a default editor of text files. I guess it simply changes ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I recover or “undelete” files that I accidentally deleted?

I've accidentally deleted some really important files on my machine, and I'm looking to find out how to recover them. Using the Trash bins "restore" isn't an option, as the files aren't there (mostly ...
108
votes
7answers
96k views

How to make SUBST mapping persistent across reboots?

Does Windows (XP or later) have a built-in way to create persitent drive mappings, like the ones SUBST creates? I found a 3rd party tool psubst. Is there a way to do it without 3rd party tools?
95
votes
28answers
132k views

Windows equivalent of the Linux command 'touch'?

What do you use when you want to update the date-modified field of a file on Windows? commands accessible via C++, .NET, C#, or something native to Windows (Vista preferably) tools/applications ...
47
votes
8answers
172k views

Force a program to run *without* administrator privileges or UAC?

Is there any way that I can force a program that normally requires administrator privileges (via UAC) to run without them? (ie: no UAC prompt and no system-wide access.) Added: Without modifying the ...
30
votes
4answers
39k views

Is my host machine completely isolated from a virus-infected virtual machine?

If I am running a Windows 7 virtual machine on a Windows 7 host using VMWare or VirtualBox (or anything else) and the virtual machine is completely overloaded with viruses and other malicious ...
24
votes
3answers
10k views

Confirming that Windows 7 is using SSD optimizations

Took the plunge and installed Windows 7 on my computer. Even better, I installed it on my new Intel x25m (got to love that SSD goodness.) Vista was known to thrash, throttle, and otherwise wear out ...
17
votes
6answers
37k views

Restoring open software after a restart event in windows

I find that at the end of a long day, I sometimes have a large number of programs running. All which I will need to use tomorrow. Normally, this isn't an issue, I can simply lock the machine and come ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Windows: What software do you recommend for editing MP3 ID3 tags? [closed]

What software do you recommend for editing MP3 ID3 tags? (The OS is Windows XP.)
31
votes
16answers
18k views

Copy filename to clipboard

Is there a way to copy the currently selected filename, including the path, to the clipboard? Ideally this would be through the right-click menu. Some degree of flexibility would be useful, like the ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Computer refresh - Efficiently cloning 60 identical computers

To preface my inquiry, I posed a question to the community 3 weeks ago regarding choosing replacement computers for my office of 60 users and had an amazing response. I ended up purchasing 60 HP ...
34
votes
12answers
22k views

Any reason not to disable the Windows pagefile given enough physical RAM? [closed]

The question of disabling the Windows pagefile has already been discussed quite a bit, for example here and here and here. People continue to upvote answers that say "you should not disable your ...
16
votes
5answers
47k views

How can I hide an application from the Windows taskbar?

Is there a way to "hide" a normal windowed application in Windows? I'm looking for something that removes it from the taskbar and possibly puts an icon in the system tray instead.
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a way to set up a default folder for Windows Explorer?

I often use Win+E to pop up Windows Explorer, then I usually have to navigate down into a few network folders to find my primary directory. Is there a way to set this folder as the default so that ...
18
votes
6answers
144k views

Any way of changing Windows 7 screen resolution via command line?

I am using Microsoft's Live Mesh program to remotely access a PC running Windows 7, running on 2 screens: one with 1920x1080 and the other 1920x1200 resolution. I am accessing them via an old laptop ...
9
votes
6answers
6k views

Can I access Microsoft Outlook PST archives with any other tools?

I would like to access my Microsoft Outlook archives (pst files) from machines that do not have Microsoft Office installed. Is that possible? Think of several years worth of PST archive files. My ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

Is there a way to find out what app is using most of my bandwidth in windows

I have found several that measures total bandwidth but none that tells me bandwidth per application. Preferably with some history or logging. I'm using Windows Server 2008 R2
2
votes
1answer
10k views

How to use Windows 8.1 RTM with 8.0 key? [duplicate]

Is it possible to use the Windows 8.1 RTM Build from MSDN with an existing Windows 8.0 key? I updated my laptop using one of our MSDN keys, and thought it would be possible to change back to the 8.0 ...
28
votes
5answers
145k views

How do I enable/disable overscan on my TV in Catalyst Control Center?

I've connected my PC to my TV via HDMI (I've also tried using DVI). Whatever the resolution (anything from 800 x 600 to 1080p), the image displayed on the TV does not fill the entire screen surface; ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Is defragging relevant to improving disk performance anymore?

Does it stil make much difference, now that we have much faster and larger HDDs? Generally I find if disk performance is getting too slow, it's probably because of too little free space, and the ...
211
votes
2answers
104k views

“directory junction” vs “directory symbolic link”?

MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target /D Creates a directory symbolic link. Default is a file symbolic link. /H Creates a hard link instead of a symbolic link. /J ...
68
votes
8answers
58k views

Insert Unicode characters via the keyboard?

I am familiar with inserting an ASCII character into a text document by using 'Alt+ASCII code' on the NumPad keys (e.g. Alt+130 inserts an é character). Is there a similar way to insert a Unicode ...
44
votes
17answers
65k views

How do I delete a folder which is nested quite deep and avoid “File name too long”?

Eclipse created a temp folder in one of the directories which is nested quite deep, e.g. dir1\dir1\dir1\dir1\... I am unable to delete this folder in Windows via Explorer, the del or rmdir ...
105
votes
10answers
242k views

How to stop jucheck from running? Java won't remember “Check for Updates Automatically” setting

I've installed Java on Windows Vista, and every day I get a Vista security warning asking me if I want to run "jucheck". Apparently this is the Java automatic updater. Well, I don't want it to run ...
87
votes
2answers
203k views

Setting and getting windows environment variables from the command prompt?

This is a very basic question, but I can't find an answer. I want to set an environment variable from the command prompt and then be able to access it globally (for instance, I should see it by going ...
75
votes
2answers
239k views

What is the $WINDOWS.~BT folder?

There is a folder named $WINDOWS.~BT on the root of my C:\ drive. It is a hidden folder and is 75 MB in size. What is its purpose? Is it safe to delete it?
64
votes
7answers
97k views

Apostrophes and double quotes don't show up until I type the next letter

in Windows XP, when I type an apostrophe ', or dumb/typewriter quote ", no character is displayed. If I type another character, the apostrophe or dumb quote and the next character appear at the same ...