For issues 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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876
votes
19answers
475k views

What are the Windows A: and B: drives used for?

In Windows you have a C-drive. Everything labeled beyond that is with the following letter. So your second drive is D, your DVD is E and if you put in a USB stick it becomes F and the following ...
345
votes
10answers
443k 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" ...
319
votes
18answers
250k 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 ...
295
votes
11answers
263k 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 ...
279
votes
27answers
83k 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. ...
251
votes
10answers
178k 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 ...
231
votes
10answers
22k views

Why is Google so much faster than a hard-drive search?

When I search a file on my HD in Windows 7 or Windows XP it takes some minutes to finish the process. If I fill in a search term in Google, the answer is on my screen in milliseconds How is it ...
225
votes
13answers
682k views

How to search inside files on Windows 7?

In Windows XP we can search for files that contain a defined keyword (inside all files types). Windows 7 can look inside files for a keyword, but only for text files. (*.doc, *.txt, *.inf, ...), not ...
216
votes
19answers
96k 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 ...
216
votes
10answers
100k views

Create/rename a file/folder that begins with a dot in Windows?

Many programs needs folder names that starts with a dot, like .emacs.d, .gimp-2.2, .jedit etc. How do I create such a folder? When using the Windows Explorer in Windows 2000 (and other versions), I ...
195
votes
14answers
120k views

How do you list all processes on the command line in Windows?

Is there a command equivalent to 'ps' on Unix that can list all processes on a Windows machine?
194
votes
18answers
356k views

How can I download an entire website?

How can I download all pages from a website? Any platform is fine.
190
votes
5answers
439k views

How can I display the contents of an environment variable from the command prompt in Windows 7?

In Windows 7, when I start the Command prompt, is there any command to display the contents of an environment variable (such as the JAVA_HOME or PATH variables)? I have tried with echo $PATH, echo ...
189
votes
7answers
209k views

Can I delete the the folder C:\ProgramData\Package Cache\?

There is a new folder full of installers located at C:\ProgramData\Package Cache\. I believe this is from visual studio 2012 RC. Does anyone know if I can delete these GB of data without ...
188
votes
2answers
92k 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 ...
175
votes
10answers
35k views

How to copy text from Console2?

I just started using Console2 as an alternative to cmd.exe I can't figure out how to copy text from the console to the clipboard -- dragging over it with the mouse won't mark anything, and there is ...
172
votes
9answers
242k 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 ...
165
votes
14answers
327k views

How to download files from command line in Windows, like Wget is doing?

How can I download something from the web directly without Internet Explorer or Firefox opening Acrobat Reader/Quicktime/MS Word/whatever? I'm using Windows, so a Windows version of Wget would ...
153
votes
5answers
96k views

Notepad++ is unable to load langs.xml, why?

Whenever I open NotePad++ the following error message appears: --------------------------- Configurator --------------------------- Load langs.xml failed! --------------------------- ...
152
votes
4answers
16k views

How does Windows know if a program is not responding?

How does Windows know if a program is not responding? Does it constantly keep polling all running applications?
152
votes
11answers
87k views

Why does 64-bit Windows need a separate “Program Files (x86)” folder?

I know that on a 64-bit version of Windows the "Program Files" folder is for 64-bit programs and the "Program Files (x86)" folder is for 32-bit programs, but why is this even necessary? By ...
149
votes
3answers
95k views

How do I make Windows 10's File Explorer open “This PC” by default?

I know how to do that on Windows Vista and Windows 7, and I know how to do that on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, but neither of the ways work with Windows 10; it always defaults ...
147
votes
1answer
17k views

Why are there no odd Windows process IDs?

There are many ways to examine process IDs in Windows. For example, using the PowerShell command: ps | select Id, ProcessName | Sort Id | ft -AutoSize We see the following output: Id ...
146
votes
9answers
85k 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 ...
141
votes
16answers
124k 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 ...
141
votes
18answers
294k 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 ...
140
votes
15answers
154k views

“This file came from another computer…” - how can I unblock all the files in a folder without having to unblock them individually?

Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista have this deal where zone information is preserved in downloaded files to NTFS partitions, such that it blocks certain files in certain applications until you ...
140
votes
15answers
244k views

How to compare the differences between two PDF files on Windows?

Do you know a good Windows software to compare PDF files side-by-side and show the modifications between the two? It would be great if you can post both free and not-free products.
139
votes
13answers
14k views

How to prove the authenticity of a screenshot?

I have take some screenshots of chat from Whatsapp web using Windows 8 Snipping Tool. I saved those images in PNG format. Now I want to prove that those images are the original, not tampered or ...
137
votes
7answers
129k views

Native alternative to wget in Windows PowerShell?

I know I can download and install the aformentioned library (wget for Windows), but my question is this: In Windows PowerShell, is there a native alternative to wget? I need wget simply to retrieve ...
134
votes
8answers
209k views

How to read ext4 partitions on Windows?

Is there a way to read ext4 partitions from Windows? If so, what can I do?
130
votes
9answers
189k views

How to delete a file in Windows with a too long filename? [duplicate]

My wife has several files and folders that somehow ended up having filenames that have caused them to be undeleteable (can't be deleted) by normal means or via the command line. I believe the ...
125
votes
7answers
245k views

How to recursively delete directory from command line in windows?

What is the windows equivalent of rm -r [directory-name]?
118
votes
15answers
260k 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 ...
114
votes
2answers
124k views

How do I exit telnet?

I start telnet by telnet host port. How do I stop it in Windows? Shockingly, Ctrl+C doesn't work.
114
votes
8answers
1.2m views

How can I check the temperature of my CPU in Windows?

Does Windows provide a means to check my CPU temperature natively? If not, are there any software tools which can reveal this information?
114
votes
9answers
34k views

Is there a convenient way to edit PATH in Windows 7?

I do not understand why Windows 7 is still adopting this stuffy dialog box? I feel uncomfortable when editing and looking-up a path in this narrow text box. Is there a convenient way to edit PATH ...
114
votes
5answers
66k views

Preventing applications from stealing focus

Are there any solutions to prevent applications stealing focus from the active window? This is especially annoying when I'm starting an application, switch to do something else and the new ...
112
votes
13answers
254k 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 ...
109
votes
15answers
68k views

How to check if a binary is 32 or 64 bit on Windows?

So, I need to do just that before I move the program to 32bit machine and experience a spectacular failure. Is there an easy way to do this?
107
votes
3answers
62k views

What Tiling Window Manager for Windows do you recommend? [closed]

What is the best tiling window manager for Windows? I'm looking for something like awesome. It would be nice if it removes the title bar and has "comfortable" shortcut keys (for me that's vi keys, ...
106
votes
4answers
55k views

Is there a tool that can determine the file type from containing data? [closed]

I sometimes get files from my clients that have the wrong file extension. For example, the name is image.jpg but the file is actually a TIFF image. In many cases I can clarify it by opening the file ...
106
votes
4answers
8k views

Why do damaged hard drives freeze the entire system?

Why does a hard drive which is known to have bad blocks (verified in HDTune and HDDScan), freezes down my entire system? It is not the OS drive; it is attached to another SATA port, and I'm trying to ...
104
votes
10answers
238k 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 ...
104
votes
0answers
168k views

How can I identify what application is using a given file? [duplicate]

I'm trying to delete some folder but this error is preventing from doing it: Cannot delete [FileName]: It is being used by another person or program. Close any programs that might be using ...
103
votes
7answers
88k 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?
102
votes
12answers
74k views

Mass deleting files in Windows

I have a directory, that contains ~ 3 million files in certain subdirectories on a Windows 2008 server. Manually deleting the files via SHIFT+DEL on the root dir takes ages. Is there any other way to ...
101
votes
5answers
3k views

Why the heck does NTFS allow invisible executables?

You can hide any file inside of another file just by typing: type sol.exe > container.txt:sol.exe and to run the file hidden file just use: start c:\hide\container.txt:sol.exe But the crazy ...
98
votes
23answers
14k views

How can I make a Windows PC bullet-proof for home users? [closed]

I realize that virus-proof on a Windows PC is far fetched, but in the interest of keeping time spent as the "family-tech-support" to a minimum, I am looking for ideas to lock a computer down to the ...
98
votes
2answers
199k views

What are CLOSE_WAIT and TIME_WAIT states?

When I do netstat -a on my Windows machine, I get a listing of the ports with one of the four states: LISTENING CLOSE_WAIT TIME_WAIT ESTABLISHED What do CLOSE_WAIT and TIME_WAIT mean/indicate?