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5 Fixes for the Bad System Config Info Stop Code in Windows 10

The Bad System Config Info stop code is a common Windows error that can cause a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). While the system crash and blue screen can seem alarming, the Bad System Config Info error is relatively simple to fix and doesn’t require much technical expertise.

Better still, it doesn’t take long to fix, either. So, here’s how you fix the Bad System Config Info stop code.

What Is the Bad System Config Info Error on Windows 10?

The Bad System Config Info error (Windows stop code 0x00000074) can stem from several areas and relates to a faulty system configuration. Unfortunately, a faulty system configuration is a broad spectrum, covering the Windows Registry, faulty drivers, corrupt system files, and more.

Thankfully, these issues are all easy to fix.

1. Restart Your System

The first fix is always the easiest: restart your computer. Switching your computer off and on again fixes a variety of issues. Before you start running through the other fixes, restart your computer and see if that fixes your Bad System Config Info error.

2. Run SFC and CHKDSK

A persistent Bad System Config Info error can point to a corrupt file system. At times, important Windows system files can become corrupt, in turn causing an issue. The Windows System File Check (SFC) is an integrated Windows system tool you can use to check for errors.

However, before running the SFC command, it is important to check it is working properly. To do this, we use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool, or DISM.

Like SFC, DISM is an integrated Windows utility with a wide range of functions. In this case, the DISM Restorehealth command ensures that our next fix will work properly.

Running sfc to fix video scheduler internal error

Work through the following steps.

  1. Type Command Prompt (Admin) in the Start menu search bar, then right-click and select Run as administrator to open an elevated Command Prompt.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter: DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
  3. Wait for the command to complete. The process can take up to 20 minutes, depending on your system’s health. The process seems stuck at certain times, but wait for it to complete.
  4. When the process completes, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.

CHKDSK is another Windows system tool that checks your file structure. Unlike SFC, CHKDSK scans your entire drive for errors, whereas SFC scans your Windows system files specifically. Like SFC, run the CHKDSK scan from the Command Prompt to fix your machine.

  1. Type command prompt in your Start menu search bar, then right-click the best match and select Run as administrator. (Alternatively, press Windows key + X, then select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.)
  2. Next, type chkdsk /r and press Enter. The command will scan your system for errors and fix any issues along the way.

3. Restore the Windows Registry

The Bad System Config Info error can also relate to issues with the Windows Registry. The Windows Registry is essentially a massive internal database containing important, machine-specific information regarding almost everything in your machine:

  • System Hardware
  • Installed Software and Drivers
  • System Settings
  • Profile Information

Restoring the Windows Registry from a backup will eliminate any faults. There is, however, one issue with this fix. Since Windows 10 version 1803, there is no automatic Windows Registry backup. Prior to 1803, Windows would take a Registry backup every 10-days via the RegIdleBackup service.

Microsoft stopped the automatic backup to reduce the size of the Windows 10 footprint. As such, Microsoft recommends using a system restore point to repair a corrupt registry. Before commencing this fix, you can check if you have a Windows Registry backup to restore.

Head to C:WindowsSystem32configRegBack. This folder contains your Windows Registry backups. If the file sizes show zero, you cannot use this backup method, and you should proceed to the next section.

Otherwise, read on to find out how to restore the Windows Registry manually. If you want to switch automatic Windows Registry backups on, check out our guide on when you should fix Windows Registry issues—and when not to bother.

1. Enter Advanced Startup Options

If the files in the RegBack folder do show that they have data (e.g., there are numerical values in the Size column), you can attempt a manual Registry restoration.

First, you need to boot into the advanced start-up options.

  1. Head to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery
  2. Select Restart Now

Alternatively, open your Start Menu, then hold the Shift key and press Restart.

Once the menu options, press Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.

windows 10 advanced startup settings

2. Change the Directory, Restore

When the Command Prompt opens, it will default to X:WindowsSystem32. This isn’t the actual location of your Windows installation, so we need to move to the correct drive letter before proceeding.

Windows usually installs to the C: drive, unless you specify a different location. However, the Windows recovery mode will boot your Windows installation under a different drive letter, usually D:. Locate the correct drive using the following command:

dir D:Win*

The Command Prompt will list the directory contents, so you’ll know it is the correct drive.

Now, enter the following commands, in order:

cd d:windowssystem32config

xcopy *.* C:RegBack

cd RegBack

dir

Check the dates of the files in the RegBack directory. If they are from before your issue began, you can enter the following commands:

copy /y software ..

copy /y system ..

copy /y sam ..

And yes, the two periods are part of the command.

Following this, reboot your computer normally.

4. Use System Restore to Fix the Windows Registry

If you do not have a manual Windows Registry backup to restore, you can opt for a system restore point instead. Windows creates automatic system restore points for you to return to, so long as the feature is switched on.

Press Windows + S and search for restore. Select the create a restore point result. This will open System Properties > System Protection where you can check whether protection is on, configure settings, and create a restore point right now.

windows 10 system protection properties options

If you want to use a system restore point, select System Restore, and then the restore point you want to use. Then follow the instructions.

One nice Windows System Restore feature is the ability to Scan for affected programs. If you select your system restore point, then scan to see a list of the programs the system restore point will affect or delete.

windows 10 system restore points

5. Fix Boot Configuration Data (BCD)

If none of the fixes above work, you can attempt to fix your boot configuration data (BCD). Fixing your boot configuration data requires Windows 10 installation media. Follow our guide on creating Windows 10 installation media, then continue.

Switch off your computer. Now, insert the Windows 10 USB flash drive installation media into a USB port, and turn your computer on. You need to boot from the USB flash drive, which means pressing a special key to launch the boot menu during the boot process. The key for the boot menu varies but is typically F8, Del, Esc, or similar.

windows 10 repair your computer

From the boot menu, select the Windows 10 installation media. When the Welcome screen appears, select Repair your computer in the bottom left of the screen.

Now, head to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt. From the Command Prompt, enter the following commands, in order:

bootrec /repairbcd

bootrec /osscan

bootrec /repairmbr

Now, close the Command Prompt and turn the computer off. Remove your Windows 10 installation media and boot your computer.

Fixing the Bad System Config Info Error

The fixes for the Bad System Config Info error vary in difficulty. Restarting your computer is extremely easy, but might not solve the problem. Work through the fixes for the error, and you’ll have your system up and running in no time.

If you want to learn more about fixing your computer, check out how to solve bluescreen errors using WinDbg and BlueScreenView.

Read the full article: 5 Fixes for the Bad System Config Info Stop Code in Windows 10

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How to Fix the “This Build of Windows Will Expire Soon” Error in Windows 10

The Windows Insider Preview program lets you run early versions of the upcoming Windows 10 builds. You can test new features, provide development feedback, and help shape the development of Windows 10.

However, at times, your Windows 10 Insider Preview build might expire. That is, Microsoft no longer supports the preview version of Windows you are using and then the “This build of Windows 10 will expire soon” error starts to appear.

So, how do you fix the error?

What Is the “This Build of Windows Will Expire Soon” Error?

The Windows Insider Preview program allows you to use new Windows 10 versions before general release. The user feedback and bug reporting help to shape Windows 10. As the development of Windows 10 is a constant stream of updates and tweaks, no Insider Preview build remains in circulation for long.

windows build will expire

When an Insider Preview build is no longer supported, you’ll receive the “This build of Windows will expire soon” error message.

Your Windows Insider Preview version might expire for a few reasons:

  • You opted out of Insider Preview builds
  • You switched from the Dev Channel to the Beta Channel
  • Your device was switched off for a long time

How to Fix the “This Build of Windows Will Expire Soon” Error

There are three methods you can use to fix the Insider Build expiring issue:

  • Change your Insider Preview path settings
  • Reinstall Windows with an Insider Preview Beta Channel ISO
  • Switch to a clean installation of regular Windows 10

1. Change Your Insider Preview Path Settings

The easiest way to shift the expiring Insider Preview build is to switch your Insider Preview path. Windows 10 Insider Preview has three paths available for users:

  • Dev Channel: Access the very latest Windows 10 builds, from the early stages of the development process
  • Beta Channel: Recommended for early adopters, the Beta Channel provides more reliable builds than the Dev Channel
  • Release Preview Channel: Early access for the upcoming Windows 10 release, including certain key features and minimal bugs

This fix is primarily for those stuck on the Beta Channel.

Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings window, select Update & Security, then Windows Insider Program. Here you will see your current Insider Preview options.

Select the box underneath Pick your insider settings to change your Insider Preview path. Switch from the Beta Channel to the Dev Channel.

change windows insider development path

Now, head back to the Settings window and select Windows Update from the sidebar. Press Check for updates and wait for the latest Dev Channel Insider Preview build to download. After it downloads, install the new build, then restart your system.

windows insider preview update

You don’t have to stay on the Dev Channel. Once you install the latest Dev Channel Insider Preview build, you can switch your path back to the Beta Channel and wait for the latest build. It is time-consuming, but it does stop the “This build of Windows will expire soon” error messages.

2. Reinstall Windows with an Insider Preview Beta Channel ISO

If you don’t want to switch Insider Preview paths, you can download and install the latest Insider Preview Beta Channel build. This method ensures you remain on the Beta Channel.

Plus, you can use the in-place upgrade option, which means you don’t have to wipe your system in the process. The result is a much faster upgrade with minimal data loss.

However, it is always a good idea to take a backup before making any major changes to your system. Before commencing with the reinstallation, you must backup your data.

That means important files, photos, music, games—anything you do not want to lose during the reinstallation. Wondering how to do it? Check out our ultimate Windows 10 data backup guide.

After backing up your data, head to the Windows Insider Preview Downloads page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the latest Beta Channel or Release Preview Channel edition, followed by the language (make sure the language matches your existing installation, or the setup will run into trouble later).

You’ll then have to select between a 32- or 64-bit version of Windows. If you’re unsure, here’s how you find out if you have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows.

select windows insider iso version

After the download completes, double-click the installation file to begin the process. Windows 10 will mount the ISO file automatically. Then, select Setup and follow the instructions.

On the Choose what to keep page, select Keep personal files and apps. On the Ready to install page, make sure that Keep personal files and apps appears.

keep your settings windows in place install

When ready, select Install. The installation process will take a few minutes to complete, and your computer will restart several times during the process. Once complete, you can log into Windows as normal.

3. Switch to a Clean Installation of Windows 10

The final option is to leave the Windows 10 Insider Preview scheme and head back to regular Windows 10. Like the fresh installation of the Insider Preview, you can use the in-place upgrade option to move back to the standard Windows 10 installation or complete a full clean installation if you desire.

Remember, a clean installation will wipe all your files, apps, and data. If you want a clean installation, you must backup your data or face losing it permanently.

First up, you need to create installation media for the latest version of Windows 10.

Download: Windows 10 Media Creation Tool for Windows (Free)

Open the Windows 10 Media Creation tool, accept the license terms, and select Upgrade this PC now. You’ll have to wait for the Windows 10 Setup to download and prepare Windows 10, which can take a while.

After the download completes, select Change what to keep. If you want to keep your files, select Keep personal files and apps. If you want a completely clean installation, select Nothing. Wait for the Windows 10 installation to complete, after which you can set up your clean installation.

A clean installation of Windows 10 is a wonderful thing. Check out the most important things you must do after installing Windows 10, such as running Windows Update, updating your drivers, and more.

How to Leave Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds

These are the fixes for the “This build of Windows will expire soon” error. But the final option is one way you can leave the Windows 10 Insider Preview scheme for good, too. You can leave the Windows 10 Insider Preview program whenever you want, safe in the knowledge that you don’t have to wipe your data.

Once you have a clean installation ready to go, you can adjust your Windows 10 privacy settings from the get-go. Here’s our complete guide to Windows 10 privacy settings to help you get set up.

Read the full article: How to Fix the “This Build of Windows Will Expire Soon” Error in Windows 10

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7 Fixes for the “Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format” Error

Trying to format a removable drive and seeing a “Windows was unable to complete the format” error? You’ll probably feel stuck, as this leaves you with an unusable device.

Whether you see this format error with a USB flash drive, SD card, or similar, we’ll show you what to do when Windows can’t format a drive.

First: How to Format a Drive in Windows

To make sure we’re starting on the same page, let’s quickly review how to format a removable drive in Windows 10. Remember that this process will destroy everything currently on the drive!

Open a File Explorer window and browse to This PC to see all the drives connected to your computer. On that page, find your removable drive, right-click on it, and choose Format.

This will bring up the basic Windows format menu. If you’re not sure which options to pick, read the above guide for tips or hit the Restore device defaults button to use what the device came with. Click Start to format the drive.

Windows 10 Format USB Drive

If you try this multiple times and keep getting a “Windows was unable to complete the format” message, continue onto troubleshooting.

1. Try Formatting Through Disk Management

For advanced disk needs, Windows provides the Disk Management tool, which has more options than This PC. Thus, it should be your first stop when a standard format doesn’t work.

Press Win + X or right-click on the Start button to open a list of shortcuts, then click Disk Management to access it. You’ll see a list of volumes attached to your computer at the top, as well as a visual representation of them at the bottom.

replace hard drive - windows disk management

If you see RAW next to the size of the drive at the bottom (and under File System in the top panel), this means that Windows doesn’t recognize the drive’s file system. In some cases, this shows that the drive is formatted with a macOS or Linux file system that Windows can’t use.

Right-click on your USB drive (make sure you select the right one) and choose Format. You’ll see an interface similar to what you used earlier. Pick a Volume label, specify the File system (FAT32 is best for smaller devices or ones that you plan to use across platforms) and leave the Allocation unit size as Default.

Disk Management Format

If you leave Perform a quick format checked, Windows won’t check the disk for bad sectors. We’ll cover this in a later troubleshooting step, but you can feel free to uncheck it now and see if Windows finds any issues. Just keep in mind that this takes much longer to complete.

Delete and Recreate the Volume

Should this fail to work, you can instead try the Delete Volume option in the drive’s right-click menu. Deleting the volume will erase everything Windows has assigned to the disk, leaving only unallocated space.

You’ll thus then need to create a new volume by right-clicking, choosing New Simple Volume, and walking through the steps (which are similar to the other formatting methods).

Windows 10 New Volume

2. Remove Write Protection on the Drive

Write protection, as its name suggests, prevents any system from adding new data to a drive. The most common reason for this is a physical switch on the drive itself, especially with SD cards. Look at your drive and make sure any sliders or switches are not in the locked or read only position.

SD Card Lock Switch

After checking this, you should also remove software write protection on your drive. To do this, press Win + R to open the Run dialog and enter diskpart. Confirm the UAC prompt that appears, then you’ll see a Command Prompt interface.

At this, enter list disk and hit Enter. You’ll see a list of disks and should be able to identify your removable drive by its size. Enter select disk X to make changes to the right device.

Once you see confirmation that you’ve selected the right disk, enter attributes disk to see information about it. If you see Yes next to Current Read-only State, then the disk has write protection.

Windows Diskpart

To remove this, enter attributes disk clear readonly. Windows then display a message that the attributes were removed successfully; enter the exit command to leave the window.

Now that there’s no write protection, try formatting your disk again.

3. Use the SD Memory Card Formatter

If you’re unable to format an SD card in Windows, the fix might be to use a specific utility instead of the Windows tool. The SD Association recommends using its SD Memory Card Formatter instead of what your operating system provides. Give it a download if you’re specifically having trouble with an SD card.

The tool is simple and looks similar to the options you tried above. Make sure you have the right card selected in the dropdown menu at the top. Use Overwrite format to obliterate the current contents of the card for best results and give it a name in the Volume label field.

SD Card Formatter Windows

4. Scan the Drive for Errors

Sometimes, you’ll run into formatting errors because the drive has bad sectors or similar issues. At this point, it’s worth checking the drive to see if something is wrong with it.

To do this, open This PC again. Right-click on your removable drive and choose Properties. On the resulting menu, switch to the Tools tab and click the Check button under Error checking. Choose Repair drive to run a scan on the drive, then wait for it to complete and try again.

Windows Repair USB Drive

If you think your device is damaged, find out how to recover data from a corrupted drive.

5. Use a Third-Party Formatting Tool

If you’re still unable to format your disk, a third-party tool could solve your problem. Often, such tools use different formatting methods than Windows, and may bypass any problems Windows has with your disk.

Check out our favorite free Windows partition managers for several apps that can do this.

6. Scan for Malware

While it’s most likely not the cause of your problem, it’s worth running a scan for malware if you still can’t format a drive. Some malware can interfere with normal file system operation, including formatting drives.

We recommend running a scan with the free version of Malwarebytes and seeing if that finds any infections. Then try the format again.

7. Try Formatting on Another OS

How to erase a flash drive from Disk Utility on a Mac

Before you give up on the drive, there’s one more way you can try to isolate the problem. If you have access to a machine running macOS or Linux, try using those operating systems to format your external drive.

While you’ll need to reformat the drive again for use with Windows, it helps to figure out if the issue lies with your hardware or Windows. If your drive formats fine on a Mac, there’s some kind of problem with Windows.

See how to format USB drives on macOS for instructions on this.

Still Can’t Format? Time to Replace Your Drive

If you’ve walked through all the above steps and still get a format error, chances are that your drive is dead. Unfortunately, flash drives and SD cards have a finite number of uses; cheap or old drives are more susceptible to giving out. This is also the case if your drive has suffered physical damage.

Hopefully, you had any important data on the drive backed up. The good news is that you can buy a fast flash drive as a replacement for not much money.

Read the full article: 7 Fixes for the “Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format” Error

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Printer Offline? 10 Fixes to Get It Back Online in Windows 10

Printers are certainly not a new technology, so you’d think they’d be problem-free by now. Sadly, that’s not the case. One issue you might encounter is when your printer says it’s offline in Windows 10.

Any good modern printer has the ability to connect to your computer via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. However, what can you do when you get the dreaded “printer offline” status error? How do you turn your printer back online?

We’re going to provide troubleshooting steps to help solve the printer offline error.

1. Check the Computer and Printer Connection

First things first: check all the printer cables. Ensure they are securely plugged into both the printer and the computer.

Second, check that your network is working. If you are having trouble connecting to the internet, it’s not a problem localized to the printer. In which case, our guide on how to fix Windows 10 Wi-Fi problems will be handy.

Third, if possible, use a different method for connecting your computer to the printer. If you’re using Wi-Fi, switch to Ethernet, and vice versa.

2. Restart the Printer and Computer

Power cycling is the act of turning something off and on again. It’s the age-old tech advice, but you’d be surprised how often it works.

First, turn your computer and printer off. Then unplug the printer’s power cable, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in. Wait again for the printer to fully boot up—it won’t be returning from standby, so it might take longer than usual.

Once the printer is turned on, switch your computer back on and see if the printer is now online.

3. Run the Printer Troubleshooter

printer troubleshooter windows 10

Windows 10 includes a number of troubleshooters that aim to detect and automatically resolve any issues. There is a printer troubleshooter that you can run and hope it fixes the printer offline error.

Press Windows key + I to open Settings and click Devices > Printers & scanners. On the right-hand menu, beneath Related settings, click Run the troubleshooter.

The troubleshooter will then open and run through a series of checks. If it encounters any problems, it will tell you what they are and the steps taken to resolve them. Even if it doesn’t find any issue, you can click View detailed information to get a breakdown.

4. Disable “Use Printer Offline” Mode

use printer offline

You should check that the “Use Printer Offline” mode isn’t enabled. You may have done this accidentally or your printer or some software may have turned it on.

Press Windows key + I to open Settings. Go to Devices > Printers & scanners. Select your printer and click Open queue. Click Printer on the toolbar and ensure Use Printer Offline doesn’t have a tick next to it. If it does, click it to disable this.

5. Clear the Print Queue

printer cancel all documents

A clogged print queue can be the cause of many issues, not least the printer offline error.

To clear the print queue, press Windows key + I to open Settings, go to Devices > Printers & scanners, select your printer, and click Open queue.

On the top toolbar, go to Printer > Cancel All Documents.

6. Set the Printer as Default

set printer as default

Windows can automatically set the last printer you used as your default printer. This can be helpful, but it might be the reason why the printer you want to use is offline.

To resolve this, press Windows key + I to open Settings, click Devices > Printers & scanners, select your printer, and click Open queue.

Click Printer on the top toolbar and click Set As Default Printer. You might see a message that reads: “Setting this printer as default means that Windows will stop managing your default printer.” If you do, click OK.

If you ever want to enable this feature again, return to the Printers & scanners page and tick Allow Windows to manage my default printer.

7. Restart the Print Spooler Service

print spooler service

The print spooler is a service that handles interaction with the printer. Restarting this service can get your printer back online.

Open the Start menu, search for Services, and open the relevant app. Scroll down until you see Print Spooler in the Name column. When you find it, right click it and click Restart.

8. Update the Printer Drivers

device manager update driver

If you don’t have a problem with your computer, it isn’t necessary to update your drivers. However, sometimes you do need to find and replace outdated drivers, and the printer offline is one such situation where updating the drivers could help.

To do this, press Windows key + X and select Device Manager. In the new window, double click the Printers category. Right click your printer and click Update driver.

If no updates are found, double check the printer manufacturer’s website (be it HP, Canon, Brother, or whoever).

9. Use the Printer Software

Some printer manufacturers have their own software to help you manage and troubleshoot your printer. If this is the case, you should install the software (your printer may have come with a CD that has the software, otherwise find it on their website).

You can check if you already have it installed. Press Windows key + I to open Settings. Click Devices > Printers & scanners, select your printer, and click Manage. You will see a button that says Open printer app if the software is installed.

Open the software and check for any section that lets you restart, troubleshoot, or fix the printer.

10. Remove and Reinstall the Printer

remove printer device

If all else fails, you can remove the printer from your computer and then add it back.

To do this, press Windows key + I to open Settings. Go to Devices > Printers & scanners. Select your printer, click Remove device, then click Yes.

Next, click Add a printer or scanner. Follow the wizard through to connect the printer back to your computer.

Get a New Printer With Cheap Ink

Hopefully, you have solved the printer offline issue and your printer is now back up and running. If not, try contacting the manufacturer for further support.

If you decide you want a new printer entirely, check out our recommendations for great printers with cheap ink.

Read the full article: Printer Offline? 10 Fixes to Get It Back Online in Windows 10

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How to Solve Common Google Drive Issues: 10 Simple Solutions

Google Drive allows you to collaborate with others seamlessly. Also, it is integrated with lots of other services, and files are always accessible. Best of all, you get an ample amount of storage for free.

Despite Google Drive’s excellence, there can be problems in accessing the service. You may not be able to clear out storage space, share files, or are unable to access a document. Thankfully, many Google Drive problems are easy to fix.

We’re going to offer some typical Google Drive troubleshooting tips that solve some specific Google Drive problems.

General Google Drive Troubleshooting Steps

These are some simple steps that you should try first. They can help diagnose and fix a variety of problems with Google Drive.

1. Check Google Drive’s Online Status

Google app status

Visit Google’s app status dashboard. This lists all of Google’s services and tells you if there’s a known problem with them. If you see a “service disruption” or “service outage” indicator on the app you want to use, you can click on the colored dot to see details about when the service will be back online.

If the problem with Google Drive is on Google’s end, unfortunately, the only thing you can do is wait for the outage to be over.

2. Disable Your Antivirus and Firewall

Antivirus and firewalls cause problems with syncing files or a “You are offline, some functionality may be unavailable” error. As such, try temporarily disabling your antivirus and firewall—just remember to turn them back on later.

On Windows 10, disable Windows Defender with these steps.

  1. Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security > Windows Security > Open Windows Security.
  3. Once here, go to Firewall & Network Protection.
  4. Select your active network and slide Windows Defender Firewall to On.

3. Restart Google Drive

If you’re using Google Drive via a web browser, log out, close your web browser, ensure your internet connection is reliable, and then log back in.

Alternatively, if you’re using the Google Backup and Sync tool on the desktop, click the Backup and Sync icon in your system tray, click the Settings icon (three vertical dots) and click Quit Backup and Sync. Then reopen the app.

1. How to Get the Old Version of a File Back

Google Drive keeps a detailed edit history of any and all changes made on your document by any user who has editing permissions. To go back to an earlier save, go to File > Version history > See version history.

Your history of changes made to the file should appear along the right-hand side of the document, and you can navigate through all the revisions made.

2. How to Recover a File That Has Disappeared

If you’re the only one with access to the file:

Check your Google Drive trash folder, accessible via Trash on the left-hand navigation. If you see the file that you’re looking for, right click it and select Restore. Your file will now be available in its original location.

If your missing file isn’t in your trash, it’s possible that the name has been changed or it has been accidentally moved to another file. Thankfully, Google Drive’s search features are advanced. Try searching for your file using keywords or dates, and see if it’s in another location than the one you anticipated.

If there are multiple people working on the file: 

One of the most common mishaps with Google Drive is that if one person deletes a shared file, it deletes the file for everyone. There are a number of factors to consider when using Google Drive to collaborate, but this is one of the most important. Just like with any other file storage system, it’s imperative that you keep backups of your files in a separate, secure location.

The owner of the shared file may be able to retrieve it from their deleted files. Otherwise, if you have a Google Drive account under a school or workplace, there may be an administrator who has access to all deleted files within 30 days of their deletion, and who may be able to help you with your situation.

3. Google Drive Has Run Out of Storage Space

Google Drive’s storage capacity is not only shared across services like Google Docs and Google Sheets but also Gmail and Google Photos. To see how much space you’re using across all those Google services, visit the Google One storage page. If you run out of space, you have a couple of options.

Delete Data From Google Drive

The first is to clear out files you no longer need. On Google Drive, click Storage on the left-hand menu. This will show you all your files, which you can sort by Storage used.

To delete something, right click it and select Remove. Remember to also remove it from the trash.

google drive manage apps

You should also check for any third-party apps that are using storage invisibly. To do this, click the cog icon in the top-right and click Settings > Manage apps.

For each app, click Options and you can use Delete hidden app data if necessary. You can also click Disconnect from Drive to remove the app integration entirely.

Upgrade Your Google One Storage

Google Drive comes with 15 GB of storage space, which you can quickly exhaust if you’re not careful. If you can’t find anything to delete, consider paying to upgrade your storage capacity.

Check the Google One storage page for pricing, wherein you can pay a reasonable monthly or yearly cost for 100 GB, 200 GB, or 2 TB of data.

4. Unable to Print on Google Drive

Printers and Google Drive sometimes don’t play well together, but you have a couple of options to try and troubleshoot the root of your problem.

  1. Ensure that your printer software is up-to-date. Because Google Drive is constantly being updated, it can quickly outpace your printer software. This can cause communication problems between the two services, and result in printing errors.
  2. Similarly, you’ll want to make sure that the web browser you’re using is up-to-date too.
  3. Disable any browser extensions that may be interfering with your ability to print.
  4. If you’re still unable to print directly from Google Drive, it might be worth taking the time to download your file as a PDF and then print it from your PDF software instead of from your browser.

5. Can’t View or Edit a Shared File

This problem often crops up because of the number of choices users have for sharing Google Drive files with others. The person sending you the link to the file may have missed a step in the process or chosen the incorrect option, and therefore you may be unable to see the file at all or be able to see the file without the ability to make any changes.

If you don’t have access to a file, Google Drive will provide you with a button to “Request access” from the file’s owner, which will prompt them to change the sharing settings on the file.

If you’re the owner of a file and people are having trouble accessing it, double check that you’ve set the sharing parameters correctly using the video above.

6. How to Use Google Drive Offline

In order to use Google Drive offline, you will need to use either the Google Chrome browser or install the Google Drive app on your Mac or PC.

  • On Chrome:
    • Visit Google Drive settings, and tick Create, open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files on this device while offline
    • You will need to download the Google Doc Offline plugin, which it will prompt you to do.
    • Note: you are only able to do this with one account per computer, so enable it only on the account that you use most often.
    • As well, in order to enable offline syncing, you will need to have an internet connection initially, so it involves some forward planning the first time.
  • On your computer: 
    • Download Google Backup and Sync and follow the prompts to set up your account.
    • You will need to be connected to the internet initially so that your files can sync to your computer.

7. Can’t Upload or Sync Files

One of the main advantages of using Google Drive is that it syncs your files across all your devices. If that breaks, it’s a big problem.

We’ve compiled a separate guide to solve upload errors in Google Drive, so check that out.

Do More With Google Drive

If the advice here hasn’t solved your problem, visit the Google Drive help page for more information. There is also a Google Drive help community where you can ask others for help.

With Google Drive up and running, it’s time to learn what else you can do with it. Here are some awesome Google Drive tools to improve your documents, spreadsheets, and slides.

Image Credit: Ricardo Romero/Shutterstock

Read the full article: How to Solve Common Google Drive Issues: 10 Simple Solutions

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6 Fixes for the Faulty Hardware Corrupted Page Stop Code in Windows 10

A Blue Screen of Death, technically known as a stop error, is never a happy experience for Windows users. Your computer crashes without warning, losing your work, or other data in the process. The faulty hardware corrupted page error is one such critical error that can strike without warning.

Here’s how you fix the faulty hardware corrupted page stop code for good.

What Is the Faulty Hardware Corrupted Page Stop Code Error?

The faulty hardware corrupted page error (Windows stop code 0x0000012B) covers several different hardware issues, but refers to a single-bit error. A single-bit error occurs when a single bit (a minute piece of data) is incorrectly changed during the transmission of data. While it sounds like a tiny issue, the result can cause your system hardware to malfunction, resulting in the faulty hardware corrupted page stop code.

There is good news and bad news.

The good news is that there are several fixes available for the faulty hardware corrupted page stop code. The bad news is that Windows stop code 0x0000012B can indicate your system hardware is failing. Specifically, the stop code is often associated with faulty RAM.

You can check your RAM and other hardware issues with these fixes for the faulty hardware corrupted page stop code.

1. Restart Your Computer

If you haven’t already, restart your computer. Although infuriating to hear, “Have you tried switching it off and on again” really does fix a lot of problems. Before delving into the more advanced fixes, restart your computer and see if that resolves the issue.

2. Reseat Your Hardware

As the faulty hardware corrupted page error relates to your system hardware, a common fix is reseating your system hardware. If you knock or bump your system accidentally, you might jolt your RAM or graphics card out of position.

You’ll need to get inside the case of your PC or laptop to reseat the hardware. Please be aware that this will void your manufacturer’s warranty in certain cases, so proceed with caution.

3. Run SFC

The faulty hardware corrupted page stop code can indicate issues with your system files. The Windows System File Check (SFC) is an integrated Windows system tool you use to check your Windows installation files for errors.

Before running the SFC command, you need to check that it is completely functional. You don’t want SFC to miss an error because it wasn’t working properly, to begin with. To do this, we use DISM, the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool.

Like SFC, DISM is an integrated Windows utility with a wide range of functions. In this case, the DISM Restorehealth command ensures that our next fix will work properly.

Running sfc to fix video scheduler internal error

Work through the following steps.

  1. Type Command Prompt (Admin)in the Start menu search bar, then right-click and select Run as administrator to open an elevated Command Prompt.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter: DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
  3. Wait for the command to complete. The process can take up to 20 minutes, depending on your system’s health. The process seems stuck at certain times, but wait for it to complete.
  4. When the process completes, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.

4. Run CHKDSK

Like SFC, CHKDSK is a Windows tool you can use to verify your Windows 10 file system. Wondering what the difference between CHKDSK and SFC is? CHKDSK scans your entire drive for errors, while SFC scans Windows system files specifically.

Run it from the Command Prompt, and use the CHKDSK scan to find the problem and fix your machine.

  1. Type command prompt in your Start menu search bar, then right-click the best match and select Run as administrator. (Alternatively, press Windows key + X, then select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.)
  2. Next, type chkdsk /r and press Enter. The command will scan your system for errors and fix any issues along the way.

5. Check Your Drivers

At times, a new Windows drive will upset your hardware and cause a fault. Windows 10 now handles most driver updates, so faulty drivers are becoming less of an issue. But that doesn’t mean a dodgy driver cannot come and cause havoc.

You can see a list of recent Windows driver updates in the Update & Security settings page.

Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings panel, then select Update & Security > View update history. You can find any driver updates here.

Now, type device manager in the Start menu search bar and select the best match. Head down the list and check for an error symbol. If there is nothing, your driver status is likely not the source of the issue.

Several tools let you update all of your system drivers at the same time. The usefulness of these tools is debatable, especially as many try to force you to pay for freely available drivers. If you would like to know more, check out the best free tools you can use to fix any Windows 10 issue.

6. Check Your RAM Using MemTest86

The Windows Memory Diagnostic tool is a Windows system tool you can use to analyze your RAM for errors. However, it isn’t the best option for the job. That title goes to MemTest86, a free, standalone memory testing tool for x86 machines.

memtest

You boot MemTest86 from a USB flash drive (or bootable disc) and leave it to check your system RAM. A MemTest86 takes a while to complete. For a full evaluation of your RAM, you should run at least two passes (that’s two complete cycles). As a single pass can take hours, the analysis process can take a while. However, MemTest86 will uncover any serious RAM issues during the process, so it is worth the wait.

Head to the MemTest86 download page and download the Image for creating bootable CD (ISO format). Next, you need to write the MemTest86 ISO to a USB flash drive. Check out this list of free tools to make a bootable USB flash drive.

Download a tool from the list, burn MemTest86 to your USB flash drive, then shut down your system. Now, reboot your system while pressing the button for your Boot Selection menu (usually F10, F11, DEL, or ESC), then select the bootable MemTest86 USB flash drive. The memory test will start automatically.

Fixing the Faulty Hardware Corrupted Page

Like many things Windows 10, a Bluescreen of Death is never nice—but there is often a simple resolution. The best thing to do is attempt to reseat your RAM and graphics card before attempting any of the additional fixes. Sometimes the simplest fixes have the greatest effect!

If you want to learn more about your bluescreen errors and how to fix them, check out Nirsoft’s BlueScreenView. It is a free tool you can use to understand Windows stop codes so you can fix any issue without help!

Read the full article: 6 Fixes for the Faulty Hardware Corrupted Page Stop Code in Windows 10

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Fix the “Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart” Error

Has your Windows computer suddenly crashed, stopped working, or is refusing to boot? If so, you might encounter the “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error.

This is a common and generic PC error, often referred to as the “blue screen of death”. We’re going to talk you through every step of this error: what it means, how to know what your specific PC problem is, and how to fix that issue.

What Is the “Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart” Error?

Above is a picture of the “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error screen. It’s often called the “blue screen of death” (or BSOD) error—you can figure out why!

This example says, “We’ll restart for you”. The screen might also say “We’re just collecting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you”.

This error screen usually happens when your computer has shut down or restarted unexpectedly, or if something is stopping it booting.

At the top of the screen is a sad face, followed by the problem message. Next, a line reads:

For more information about this issue and possible fixes, visit https://www.windows.com/stopcode

Type this URL into your internet browser and it’ll take you to Microsoft’s support page. Since these errors can occur for a variety of issues, the support on this page is generic rather than specific to your problem. You can also scan the QR code (that’s the section on the bottom left) on your phone to be taken to the same page.

The most pertinent part of this screen is at the bottom where it lists a “Stop code”. In our example, the stop code is “BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO”. Yours might be something different. That’s because a stop code is an identifier that helps understand why you received this error in the first place.

You should write down this stop code so that you can refer to it later. If you’re in an organization, take this stop code to your local administrator so they can help diagnose the problem.

If you’re a home user, contact Microsoft support, follow their automated help, then when you get through to an agent you can give them the stop code.

There are hundreds of possible stop code errors. Some other examples are:

  • CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED
  • SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED
  • IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
  • VIDEO_TDR_TIMEOUT_DETECTED
  • PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
  • SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION
  • DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION

How to Fix Specific Stop Code Errors

We have written articles on how to fix specific stop code errors. If you see your error listed below, click it to visit that article. If yours isn’t listed, keep reading for some general troubleshooting advice.

How to Fix a “Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart” Error

As discussed, there are so many reasons why you might see a “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error, which means it’s not possible to provide the guaranteed solution. However, there are things that are more likely to cause these errors. As such, follow these troubleshooting steps and it might fix the problem.

1. Unplug External Hardware

Have you recently plugged in a new external drive, mouse, keyboard, or similar to your computer? If so, this could be causing the problem.

Unplug everything that you don’t need and see if the problem goes away. If it does, plug one device in, restart, and see if everything remains stable. Repeat this process until you identify the faulty hardware, then contact the manufacturer.

2. Uninstall Recently Added Software

uninstall a program on windows 10

Software that you download and install can cause unexpected problems. If you receive the blue screen error after you have recently installed something, you should remove it. This can often happen with antivirus software.

To uninstall a program, press Windows key + I to open Settings. Click Apps. This brings up a list of all your installed programs. On the Sort by dropdown, click this and change it to Installation date.

Now the most recently installed programs will appear at the top. To remove one, select it from the list and click Uninstall.

3. Rollback Drivers

open the device manager properties

A driver is a piece of software that helps Windows 10 control hardware. For example, your graphics card, printer, and network adapter all use drivers.

Drivers update periodically to ensure compatibility with the latest version of Windows 10. However, sometimes a driver update can break your system. As such, you may need to roll back a driver update—that is, go back to a previous version.

To do this, press Windows key + X and click Device Manager. This tool shows categories like Display adaptors and Monitors, which you can double click to expand and see the devices within.

Right click a device and click Properties > Driver. Look at the Driver Date, as this will tell you when the driver was last updated. If the date coincides with when you started having trouble, click Roll Back Driver (if available) or Uninstall Device (the device will reinstall when you restart).

4. Update Windows 10

Windows 10 May 2019 Windows Update

Windows 10 should keep itself updated automatically, but there might be an update in the download queue that hasn’t processed.

Keeping Windows 10 updated is important because it means you will benefit from the latest features and bug fixes. Your blue screen error might be happening because of software or hardware incompatibility that has been solved in a recent update.

To check, press Windows key + I to open Settings and click Update & Security > Check for updates. If there are any updates, follow any prompts to download and install them immediately.

More Help and Troubleshooting Tips

If the advice above hasn’t helped you get rid of the “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error, don’t worry. We have a whole other guide packed with more support on how to solve the blue screen of death.

Analyze Your Blue Screen Error With Advanced Tools

Hopefully, this has helped you understand the meaning of the “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error and guided you towards relevant support.

If you still need help and are an advanced user, you can solve blue screen errors using third-party programs.

Read the full article: Fix the “Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart” Error

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How to Fix Common Microsoft Outlook Issues: 7 Tips to Try

Losing access to your email account on Outlook can be an absolute disaster. It can be hard to troubleshoot Outlook issues because the error messages can be vague or non-existent.

However, you can solve many common Outlook problems with a few clicks. Here are all the ways to fix common Microsoft Outlook issues.

1. Check If Outlook Is Up-to-Date

It’s good to keep both Windows 10 and Outlook updated. This ensures that you get the latest features and bug fixes. They should keep themselves updated automatically, but you can manually double check.

For Windows 10, press Windows key + I to open Settings and click Update & Security > Check for updates.

outlook update

For Outlook, open the program and go to File > Office Account > Update Options > Update Now.

2. Use the Support and Recovery Assistant

Microsoft is well aware of the difficulties that users can have with Outlook and the Office suite as a whole. To address these issues, Microsoft developed a tool that might be able to right any wrongs automatically.

Microsoft Office 365 Support and Recovery

The Support and Recovery Assistant is available from the Outlook Support Center, and can help out when Outlook stops responding when the client can’t receive emails when shared calendars and mailboxes stop working when the program keeps asking for your password, and when the program claims to be “trying to connect” or complains about being “disconnected”.

Download the Assistant and follow the wizard through. It will try to automatically detect and repair any problems.

3. Disable Compatibility Mode

If you’re using an older version of Windows and get a “cannot start Microsoft Outlook” error message, then compatibility mode is probably to blame. This feature is intended to facilitate the use of the program on an older operating system, but it can sometimes cause problems of its own.

To check whether compatibility mode is activated, you need to find the Outlook.exe file. To do this, open Start, enter Outlook.exe. Then, right click the result and select Open file location.

Alternatively, navigate there via File Explorer at the following path: Program Files > Microsoft Office > Root > Office16.

Right-click the file and choose Properties, then head to the Compatibility tab. If any of the fields on this screen are checked, uncheck them. Then click OK.

4. Run Outlook in Safe Mode

If Outlook stops responding while a “processing” message is on-screen, it’s worth starting the program in Safe Mode to possibly diagnose the issue.

outlook safe mode run

To do so, press Windows key + R to open Run, enter Outlook.exe /safe and click OK.

If Outlook opens successfully, close the program and then open it again as normal. Hopefully, it will no longer hang at the “processing” dialog. If not, you could try to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode.

5. Make Repairs

Outlook startup issues are often caused by a corrupted installation or damaged data files. Fortunately, it’s simple to run a repair operation on these files.

Repair the Office Suite

To repair Office as a whole, press Windows key + I to open Settings and click Apps. Find Microsoft Office on the list, select it, then click Modify.

Quick Repair Wizard for Microsoft Office

This will open a window that asks how you would like to repair Office. Assuming you’re connected to the internet, select Online Repair, then click Repair. Let the wizard run and see if it fixes your issues.

Repair Your Outlook Data Files

If Outlook isn’t working properly, but the rest of the Office suite is, there could be a problem with the program’s data files. To remedy this, we can use the Inbox Repair Tool.

Location of SCANPST Executable

The Inbox Repair Tool is installed by default alongside your Office installation. Go to your Outlook installation folder (Program Files > Microsoft Office > Root > Office16), and open SCANPST.exe. More information about this tool can be found on Microsoft’s Repair Outlook Data Files page.

Repair Your Outlook Profile

Searching for the Mail App in Windows 10

A corrupted profile might also be the cause of your difficulties with Outlook. To get started on a fix, open the Control Panel (search for it on the Start menu) and search for Mail.

Setting Up Email Accounts in Mail App

This will launch the Mail Setup window. Click the box labeled Email Accounts.

Repairing Email in Outlook Account Settings

On the next screen, find your account and click Repair.

Follow any further steps in the wizard as necessary—the actions may differ depending on the problem.

6. Use Command Line Switches

If you’re unable to open up a particular program, you can use command line switches to manipulate certain options and settings in order to get things up and running. To do so, enter the following strings into a Command Prompt window (Windows key + X > Command Prompt (Admin)), or directly into the Windows 10 Start menu search bar.

  • outlook /resetnavpane resets the program’s Navigation Pane, a common source of several prominent issues.
  • outlook /resetfolders restores any missing folders at the default delivery location.
  • outlook /cleanreminders removes any alarms and events attached to the Outlook calendar, which can solve certain start-up issues.

Here are more useful command line switches to use with Outlook.

7. Disable Active Add-Ins

If you can open Outlook while using Safe Mode, but problems persist when it’s deactivated, one of your add-ins might be at fault. This situation is often accompanied by an error message relating to a particular add-in, but the instructions given in that message aren’t likely to fix the problem.

Instead, start Outlook in Safe Mode (see instructions above) and disable all add-ins by navigating to File > Options > Add-ins. Open the program again without Safe Mode activated to check that it works, then activate each add-in individually to see which particular item is the culprit.

In the worst case scenario, disabling the add-in that’s causing problems will allow you to access Outlook normally once again, even if you have to go without the functionality that it offers. Once you’ve narrowed the issue down to a single add-in, you can search online or get in contact with its developer for more information on a fix.

Tips to Master Your Email Inbox

The worst part of Outlook is how difficult it can be to diagnose the problem. Try all the steps above and hopefully it should resolve your problem. If not, you may need to contact Microsoft support.

If you have got Outlook back up and running, it’s time to become an email master. Here are loads of tips for email productivity and security.

Image Credits: ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Read the full article: How to Fix Common Microsoft Outlook Issues: 7 Tips to Try

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How to Manage the Huge WinSxS Folder in Windows 10

When your system disk space gets low, third-party utilities help you spot large files and collections of smaller files at a glance. That’s where you might stumble upon the WinSxS folder. It has a size of almost 5–10GB, and for many users, it’s like a black box in the Windows world.

Naturally, it raises the question of what exactly are those files installed in WinSxS and why it’s so huge. Web searches and forums are full of questions about this folder. Let’s demystify the secrets of WinSxS and the correct way to manage it.

WinSxS Explained

WinSxS (Side-by-Side) was created in response to solve the “DLL Hell” problem in Windows OS. In simple terms, it involves instances when any program alters the dynamic link library (DLL) file to affect the critical function of other applications that need to use the same DLL.

For example, assume that an app requires a DLL with version number 1.0.2. If another app replaces the resource with a different version, say 1.0.3, then the previous app which relies on version 1.0.2 will either crash, cause compatibility issues or worse result in the Blue Screen of Death.

Launch of WinSxS

Windows XP saw the proper launch of the component store. In this, each component (DLL, OCX, EXE) lives in a directory called WinSxS. It would store all the different versions of DLLs installed by software and hardware packages and load the correct version on demand.

So how does an app knows what version of a DLL it needs to load? This is where the “manifest file” plays an important role. It contains settings that inform the operating system how to handle a program when it starts and the correct version of DLL.

Each component has an identity with a unique name that may include processor architecture, language, version, and ID. Specific versions of these components are then collected together into packages. They’re used by Windows Update and DISM to keep your system up-to-date.

winsxs component packages in windows 10

This timeline shows a progressive improvement of WinSxS with each major OS upgrade.

timeline of winsxs improvement in Windows OS

The WinSxS Folder and the Role of Hard Links

Hard links are used throughout the Windows OS. In terms of WinSxS, it’s the only location where components live on the system. All the other instances of the files outside the component store are hard-linked to the WinSxS folder. So, what is a hard link?

According to Microsoft Docs, a hard link is a file system object which allows two files to refer to the same location on disk. It means that Windows can keep multiple copies of the same file without taking any extra space.

Whenever you update Windows, a whole new version of the component gets released and projects into the system through hard links. The older ones remain in the component store for reliability but with no hard links.

With the help of fsutil command, you can check the hard links of any system file. Press Win+X and choose Command Prompt (Admin), then type in

fsutil hardlink list [system file path]

For example, if I want to check the hard links of a system file called “audiosrv.dll,” then type in

fsutil hardlink list "C:WindowsSystem32audiosrv.dll"

fsutil hardlink list in command prompt

Importance of WinSxS

The component store plays a vital role in supporting the functions needed to customize and update Windows. These are as follows:

  • Recover your system from boot failure or corruption
  • Enable or disable Windows features on demand
  • Move systems between different Windows editions
  • Uninstall problematic updates
  • To install the new component versions using Windows Update

WinSxS Folder Size

WinSxS contains all the files necessary to maintain compatibility with hardware and software on your PC. One of the biggest strengths of Windows is its capacity to run older hardware and apps. But this legacy compatibility comes at the cost of disk space and bugs.

Navigate to the C:WindowsWinSxS, right-click it and choose Properties. This folder consumes almost 7.3GB of disk space. But the thing is, that’s not the real size. The reason for that is “hard links” that File Explorer and other third-party tools don’t consider.

It counts each reference to a hard link as a single instance of the file for each location. So, if a system file resides in both WinSxS and System32 directory, File Explorer would inaccurately double the folder size.

winsxs folder size in Windows10

Check the Actual Size of WinSxS

To check the Windows component store’s actual size, open an elevated command prompt window and type in

Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore

Note: The /AnalyzeComponentStore option isn’t recognized on Windows 8 and earlier.

After the analysis, the actual size of the component store comes down to 5.37GB. This value factors in hard links within the WinSxS folder. Shared with Windows gives you the size of hard-linked files. Date of Last Cleanup is the date of the recently completed component store cleanup.

analyze the size of the component store in Windows10

Methods to Reduce the Size of the WinSxS Folder

Many users often ask if it’s possible to manually delete the files from the WinSxS folder. The answer is a Big No.

It will most likely damage Windows and critical Windows Update may fail to install properly. Even if you’re successful in removing files from the WinSxS folder, you never know which app will stop working.

You can though reduce the size of the WinSxS folder with a few in-built tools. We’ll use tools like Disk Cleanup, DISM commands, and remove Features on Demand to trim the WinSxS folder.

Disk Cleanup Tool

In the search box, type in disk cleanup, and select Disk Cleanup. From this window, click the Clean up system file button. That restarts the utility and unlock access to the full range of cleanup options. You can remove installation files, previous Windows versions, and more. Disk Cleanup tool is the starting point for cleaning up Windows 10.

disk cleanup tool in admin mode

Read this step-by-step guide to find out the best ways for cleaning Windows 10.

Remove Features on Demand

Windows lets you enable or disable default Windows features on demand. You can add some useful features—Hyper V, Print to PDF, Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), and more.

Features that you uncheck remain in the WinSxS folder and take up disk space. Users with a low amount of storage might want to slim their Windows installation as much as possible. Open an elevated command prompt window, and type in

DISM.exe /Online /English /Get-Features /Format:Table

You’ll see a list of feature names and their status

windows feature on demand list

To remove a feature from your system, type in

DISM.exe /Online /Disable-Feature /featurename:NAME /Remove

(Replace “NAME” with the name of the feature mentioned in the list)

remove a windows feature with DISM

If you run the /Get-Features command again, you’ll see the status as “Disabled with Payload Removed” instead of just “Disabled.” Later on, if you choose to install the removed components, Windows will prompt you to download the component files again.

DISM Component Cleanup

Windows 8/8.1 includes a built-in feature to automatically clean up the component store when the system is not in use. Open Task Scheduler and navigate to Microsoft > Windows > Servicing. Right-click the item and click Run.

startcomponentcleanup parameter in task scheduler

The task will wait at least 30 days after an updated component gets installed before uninstalling the previous version of the component. The task also has a one hour timeout and may not clean up all the files.

With DISM /Cleanup-Image parameter, you can immediately remove the previous version of the component (without a 30 day grace period) and do not have a one hour timeout limitation. Open Command Prompt (Admin) and type in

DISM.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

If you add ResetBase switch, you can remove all the superseded version of every component. But remember, you’ll not be able to uninstall any current updates (even if they’re faulty).

DISM.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase

The following command will remove any backup components needed for the uninstallation of service packs. It’s a collection of cumulative updates for a particular release of Windows.

DISM.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /SPSuperseded

Delete Windows Files to Free Up Disk Space

WinSxS component store has an important role to play in the day-to-day functioning of Windows. So you shouldn’t delete the files, or move the WinSxS folder as a solution to your space problems. Windows upgrades have brought in-depth reporting and cleanup tools you can use to find the other space hogs instead.

If you follow the techniques as described above, you can reduce the size of the WinSxS folder slightly. Read this piece to find out Windows files and folders you can delete to further free up disk space.

Read the full article: How to Manage the Huge WinSxS Folder in Windows 10

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Laptop Is Plugged In but Not Charging? 8 Steps to Solve Your Issue

Your work can go haywire if your laptop is plugged in but not charging. You obviously can’t use the computer once the battery is dead. But in many cases, you can figure out where the charging issue lies to correct it.

We’ll show you what to do when your laptop battery isn’t charging while plugged in. Whether you have a Dell, Lenovo, HP, or another machine, these tips will help.

1. Check the Physical Cable Connections

Before you move to deep troubleshooting, first check for the basics. Make sure you have inserted the laptop charging cable firmly into the laptop’s charging port. Then double-check its connection to the wall—consider trying another outlet in case the current one isn’t working.

Don’t forget to review the connection where the cable plugs into the AC adapter brick, also. That could have become loose if someone tripped over it.

Laptop AC Adapter Securely Plugged

Keep in mind that we’re trying to fix your laptop not charging even though it’s plugged in. If this isn’t your issue, we’ve also looked at how to fix an incorrect battery percentage in Windows 10.

2. Remove the Battery and Connect to Power

Next, you should determine if the battery is working or not. If your laptop has a removable battery, completely remove it from your machine. You should always shut down your computer before doing this (if it’s not already dead) and unplug the charger.

Once you remove the battery, hold the power button for several moments to clear any remaining charge in the system. After that’s done, connect the charger and try to turn your laptop on.

Laptop Removable Battery

If it works normally, then the problem lies with your battery. Re-seat the battery in its compartment and make sure all the contacts are lined up. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you most likely have a dead battery that you’ll need to replace.

In case your laptop doesn’t have a removable battery, you can try opening up your machine and removing it yourself. However, doing so will likely void your warranty, and you can cause more damage to your computer if you make a mistake. It’s safer to take your computer to a technician who can analyze the battery using professional tools.

3. Make Sure You’re Using the Right Charger and Port

Moving on, you can next check that power (and enough of it) is getting to your computer.

Make sure that you have your charger plugged into the right port on your laptop. Many laptops only have one spot for the charging plug, but if you have a newer computer, it might use USB-C to charge. Try all the USB-C ports on your laptop, as some might be for data transfer only.

Lenovo X1 Yoga USB-C

For the best results, you should use the original charger that came with your laptop. Fake chargers can harm your battery and cause lasting damage. Third-party models might not use the right wattage, which can result in your laptop charging extremely slowly or not at all. This is especially true with USB-C cables, as some aren’t meant to charge devices as big as a laptop.

4. Review Your Cable and Ports for Damage

Even though you did a cursory check for cable connection issues earlier, it’s a good idea to review the power cord more thoroughly now.

Look down the entire length of the power cord for fraying or other damage. Try grabbing it to see if any parts feel bulgy or otherwise misshapen. It’s also a good idea to smell the AC adapter part of the charger—if you smell burning, something has likely gone wrong inside the box, and you’ll need to replace it.

Finally, take a look at the port for the charger on your laptop. You should have a fairly snug fit when you connect the charger. If it feels loose, try jiggling it around a bit to see if you can get a good connection.

Also check for debris inside the port, which can prevent you from making a good connection. You can clean this out with a toothbrush, toothpick, or any other small object.

Laptop Charging Port

Speaking of this, to prevent damage in the future, you should keep some slack in the cable, so it doesn’t put unnecessary stress on the charging port. Avoid letting the AC adapter brick dangle off a table, which will pull down on the connector and can ruin the connection over time.

5. Reduce Resource Usage

There’s a chance that your battery not charging even when it’s plugged in isn’t related to hardware. If your computer is working extremely hard, your charger might not be replenishing the battery quickly enough.

For instance, if your computer is getting hot, the fan has to work harder to cool it, which will take more battery power. When you have many power-hungry programs and processes running at once, they will suck up more battery power at a high rate. Open the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) to check current resource usage.

Windows Task Manager Network Usage

If you suspect this is the root of your charging issue, try closing some programs and/or shutting down your PC to let it cool down. Once it’s back to normal, power on and see if your charger can keep up with the battery at a usual workload.

6. Check Windows and Lenovo Power Options

Other software issues can also cause your laptop battery not to charge. While Windows power plans don’t have any specific options that would prevent your battery from charging, you may have your system configured to shut down at a certain battery level or similar.

Visit the Windows power settings page by going to Settings > System > Power & sleep and clicking Additional power settings on the right side. There, click Change plan settings next to your current plan.

You can click Change advanced power settings if you want to look through those, but it’s easiest just to select Restore default settings for this plan. See if that makes any difference.

power plan settings

If you have a Lenovo laptop, there’s a manufacturer specific app that can cause a charging problem. Use the Start menu to search for Lenovo Vantage (called Lenovo Settings on older systems).

Once it’s open, click Power on the Hardware Settings panel, then scroll down to find Charge Threshold.

If the Custom battery charge threshold slider is enabled, you can select a minimum and maximum battery percentage for charging.

For example, if you chose 50 percent for Start charging when below and 80 percent for Start charging at, your computer would start charging when it dropped to 50 percent and stop when it got back up to 80 percent.

This could cause your computer to stop charging as you expect, so try disabling this if it’s enabled.

7. Update or Reinstall Battery Drivers

Since your battery is an external device, Windows uses certain drivers to interface with it properly. If your computer is still plugged in and not charging, updating or removing those drivers can kick-start the charging process.

Right-click on the Start button or press Win + X, then select Device Manager from the resulting menu. Expand the Batteries section and you should see two entries: Microsoft AC Adapter and Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery.

Windows 10 Device Manager battery drivers

Right-click on each of these and choose Update driver; chances are that this won’t find any updates, but it’s worth a try. You can try updating the drivers manually, but your computer manufacturer probably doesn’t provide a specific one for the battery.

If updating doesn’t do anything, right-click on each of the battery drivers and choose Uninstall device. This will cause your computer to stop interfacing with the battery, but the driver will reinstall when you reboot, so don’t worry.

After rebooting, let Windows reinstall the battery driver, and it will hopefully start charging again. If that doesn’t work, repeat the process, but once you’ve shut down after the uninstall, unplug your charger, remove the battery, then put everything back and turn your PC back on.

8. Try Another Charger

Laptop Charger

At this point, you’ve tried everything that doesn’t cost money. A last-ditch solution is to order a new computer charger (or use one from a friend if they happen to have the same laptop) and see if that works.

While you’ll find cheap third-party chargers on Amazon and other retailers, we recommend using an official charger if at all possible. Third-party parts often aren’t up to the quality standards of genuine components, and in the case of a charger, using a cheap one could damage your computer or even cause a fire.

If a genuine charger isn’t an option, consult reviews to make sure that any charger you choose is safe.

Plugged in and Now Charging

Hopefully, some of the above steps fixed your laptop charging issue. If it’s still a problem, a part inside your computer may be damaged, causing the battery not to work properly. You should bring it to a computer repair shop to have an expert take a look at it—they might recommend a replacement battery.

Keep in mind that batteries wear out with age. After a certain number of cycles, no battery will hold as much of a charge as it used to. But unless your battery is completely shot, it should charge at least somewhat.

For more tools, see the best utilities to analyze your laptop’s battery health.

Read the full article: Laptop Is Plugged In but Not Charging? 8 Steps to Solve Your Issue