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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

43
votes
12answers
6k views

What damage will powering down instead of shutting down do?

What is it that Windows is doing when it shuts down? Assuming I've saved everything, what negative impact does powering down instead of shutting down properly have? We've all done it at some point ...
43
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
43
votes
3answers
7k views

Available memory differs by several GiB from what is installed

I have recently upgraded a Windows 7 Home Premium PC with 12 GB of RAM. For some reason once I looked in the System tab it said only 7.96 GB of 12 GB of RAM is usable. I have already tried to go into ...
43
votes
7answers
111k views

How to restore Windows default Zip file functionality?

I recently lost the default file association for Zip files in Windows Vista (I think it happened when I uninstalled WinAce, but I can't be completely sure). How can I restore this association back to ...
43
votes
4answers
147k views

How do I find what's eating up all of my system's memory? (not SuperFetch)

How does one diagnose/discover memory-related problems, if Task Manager appears to not be reporting correctly? I must have a memory leak or something -- I'm at 75% usage of my 12 GB of memory, but ...
43
votes
2answers
15k views

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

Given a hotkey, how to find which program owns it? Perhaps any win32 utility, like Spy++?
42
votes
5answers
102k views

How do I determine if my Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit using a command? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: How to tell if a computer has a 64-bit CPU or OS Detect Windows Server version 32/64-bit in CLI OS version: 32-bit or 64-bit? How do I determine if my Windows ...
42
votes
3answers
7k views

What are the various link types in Windows? How do I create them?

Is it possible to link two files or folders without having a different extension under Windows? I'm looking for functionality equivalent to the soft and hard links in Unix.
42
votes
5answers
79k views

How do I change the language of all Powerpoint slides at once?

I want to change the proofing language of all my slides in a Powerpoint. I've tried setting the language via the Language Preferences menu, however this only changes it for new powerpoints.
42
votes
3answers
101k views

Clear windows command prompt screen using keyboard shortcuts

Is there any way of clearing the command prompt screen in windows using keyboard shortcuts?
42
votes
2answers
85k views

What does “delayed start” do in startup type for a Windows service?

What is the difference between Automatic and Automatic (Delayed Start) for a property setting for a Windows service? i.e. what do I gain or lose by setting my service as one or the other? Running the ...
42
votes
3answers
50k views

Safe to delete “C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download” [duplicate]

One of our Windows 2003 servers has a fairly small C-partition, which is approaching full. I've had a quick look round using Disktective as to where the space has gone, and a fair bit of it seems to ...
41
votes
13answers
4k views

Microsoft Office alternative for Windows? [closed]

Is there something similar to office for Windows but free? I am student living on a budget, office is not an option at the moment.
41
votes
14answers
7k views

Would Microsoft Security Essentials be adequate protection? [closed]

Is Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) adequate protection for my computer? What is the experience with this product? I found out about a comparison of AV Suites. MSE did VERY well. One that I ...
41
votes
2answers
29k views

Why is my “localhost” not 127.0.0.1? [duplicate]

When I use the Ping command to ping my localhost, it doesn't show up as 127.0.0.1. C:\Windows\system32>ping localhost Pinging GIGA [::1] from ::1 with 32 bytes of data: Instead, it shows up ...
41
votes
13answers
139k views

How to split a multipage TIFF file on Windows?

I thought Adobe Photoshop could do everything, but apparently it cannot read multipage TIFF files. I have a TIFF file with four pages, and I need to edit one of the pages. Windows Picture Viewer can ...
41
votes
9answers
11k views

What scripting languages are useful in Windows? [closed]

What scripting languages are useful for Windows automation?
41
votes
6answers
3k views

Security Concern with my Windows 7 Box at Work

This question may be weird and misworded but I'm not a Windows expert by any means so feel free to correct me. The group I'm in recently got new computers at work. They gave me a new computer and ...
41
votes
3answers
5k views

How secure is the Windows clipboard?

I've been using the Windows clipboard as a method of getting passwords from Lastpass into desktop applications. I've been wondering exactly how secure is this? Can't any program access the clipboard ...
41
votes
9answers
111k views

How to make a shortcut from CMD?

How can I create a shortcut file (.lnk) to another file or executable, using command line utilities?
41
votes
3answers
77k views

How to echo contents of file in a DOS/Windows command prompt [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I print a textfile on the command prompt in Windows? Like in Unix' cat filename ... Can this be done?
41
votes
5answers
111k views

How do I escape spaces in command line in Windows without using quotation marks?

For example what is the alternative to this command without quotation marks: CD "c:\Documents and Settings" The full reason I don't want to use quotation marks is that this command DOES work: ...
41
votes
7answers
33k views

Horizontal scrolling shortcut in Windows

In Os X, I can hold Shift while using the scroll wheel on the mouse to scroll horizontally instead of vertically. Is there a way to do something similar in Windows?
40
votes
17answers
59k 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 ...
40
votes
5answers
96k views

How to open the Recycle Bin from the Windows command line?

How do I open the Recycle Bin from the command line? I'd be very glad if there is a built-in Windows command.
40
votes
6answers
71k views

Mapping drive letters to local folders

Is there a windows equivalent to the old dos SUBST command? I want to be able to assign a local drive letter to a folder on a local drive. I realize that a mapped drive will work (and so far that's ...
40
votes
4answers
99k views

Can't copy and paste in Remote Desktop Connection session

Is it possible to copy and paste inside a Remote Desktop Connection session?
40
votes
9answers
53k views

Is there a shortcut command in Windows command prompt to get to the current users home directory like there is in Linux?

I am used to using cd ~ to get right into my home directory. In windows command prompt I have to do cd Users\username to get there. Is there a shortcut like the Linux one? It would be nice if I ...
40
votes
5answers
8k views

What is the equivalent of Linux's “~” (tilde) in Windows?

In Linux, we can go to the user home by entering the tilde (~) character after cd: cd ~ How to do the same in Windows? Each time, I need to type: cd C:\Document and Settings\freewind That's too ...
40
votes
2answers
21k views

How do I sync the Solution Explorer with the current File in Visual Studio?

When I have an open code file in Visual Studio that I am editing I would like to keep that same file highlighted inside of the solution Explorer so that I know where I am at. What I'd really like ...
40
votes
9answers
27k views

Screenshot tools that include the mouse cursor? [closed]

For tutorial screenshots it would be really helpful to have the mouse cursor in the picture, but I found the usually known screenshot tools all hide the cursor from the screenshot. So, are there any ...
40
votes
5answers
58k views

Variables in batch file not being set when inside IF?

I have two examples of very simple batch files: Assigning a value to a variable: @echo off set FOO=1 echo FOO: %FOO% pause echo on Which, as expected, results in: FOO: 1 Press any key to ...
39
votes
5answers
154k views

See available drives from Windows CLI?

Is there a way to list the available drives from cmd.exe ? (Other than manually typying c: d: ... and seeing which ones return errors)
39
votes
14answers
2k views

PDF Viewer on Windows [closed]

I've tried Foxit and Adobe's reader, but I'm not satisfied with either. Foxit has update nagging for non-critical junk. Adobe PDF reader is bloatware. Are there other options you people like?
39
votes
8answers
58k views

How do I restore .bat files association with the system (make them run when double-clicked)?

What do I set the 'Opens with...' property to in order to get the system to run .bat files again (when they are double-clicked)? Somehow my boss convinced his workstation that the handler for .bat ...
39
votes
14answers
68k 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 ...
39
votes
4answers
21k views

Which of the Windows updates are really necessary?

I downloaded a lot of Windows updates in the automatic mode. Are they all necessary? Can I remove some of them? How do we know which ones are necessary?
39
votes
13answers
89k views

Keeping local windows folder in sync with remote ftp folder in real time [closed]

I know it has been asked before, but I would like it to happen in real time and transparently (without the need to open a separate FTP client such as FileZilla). For example, if I edit a text file in ...
39
votes
2answers
30k views

How to launch a command on network connection/disconnection?

I have a wifi connection that requires to authenticate using a web form once the wireless link is established. I know how to automate the authentication with a script that uses curl/curlIE. But how ...
39
votes
5answers
11k views

What's the difference between one-dash and two-dashes for command prompt parameters?

I was wondering why is it that some programs requires their command prompt parameters to have two dashes in front whereas some (most) only require one dash in front? For example most programs look ...
39
votes
1answer
3k views

Search for a JPG on my computer by using a smaller JPG?

I have a low resolution image that I know I have the full resolution image stored somewhere on my computer. Is there anyway to search for a JPG on my computer by using a small resolution of an image ...
39
votes
9answers
13k views

Switching keyboard layout in Windows globally

I'm searching for a solution to switch my keyboard layout in Windows globally for all windows quickly. When I switch the current layout by pressing the magic combination Alt+Shift or when I choose ...
38
votes
19answers
5k views

How to reduce the pain of the command prompt

I want to learn to use the command prompt better on Windows to have more control over what I do and just for the learning experience. The main annoyance I have right now is all of the typing. If I ...
38
votes
4answers
22k views

“net start service” and “sc start”. What is the difference?

Services can be stopped and started using two commands in Command Prompt Shell. net start service "some service" sc start "some service" what is the difference between these commands?
38
votes
12answers
313k views

How to execute .sh file on Windows?

When I am trying to execute a file(name.sh) in the command line by the command ./name.sh , I am getting the error that: "." is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable or ...
38
votes
10answers
47k views

Dead-simple FTP server for Windows? [closed]

I googled for it, tried a few of them, but I find that even the simplest I found (www.xlightftpd.com) is way too complicated. I just need this: single EXE or portable (ie. no installer, just unzip ...
38
votes
7answers
36k views

Windows equivalent to UNIX “time” command

So, Unix has a time command that lets users time their code/other things. I was wondering if the Windows command line has anything similar. Also, I asked a previous question regarding the Linux ...
38
votes
10answers
3k views

Should I install 64-bit versions of operating systems?

With the release of Windows 7 coming up, 64-bit operating systems have caught my attention. What are the main advantages and disadvantages of installing 64-bit Windows 7? What type of compatibility ...
38
votes
3answers
3k views

What if the hard disk is partitioned into more than 26 sections in Windows?

As we know that in Windows the partition location is prefixed with [a-z]:, what if there're more than 26 partitions?
38
votes
2answers
15k views

Why does my computer go “New USB device” every time I plug one into a different port?

Let's say I have a mouse. I plug this mouse into slot 1 out of 4 on a computer. It goes through the new device detected and all of that, which is fine. But if I come back later with the same mouse and ...