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Windows Narrator is one of several accessibility functions in Windows 10. It serves as a simple screen reader for users with visual impairments.
But even if you don’t need it for that reason, you may still find Windows Narrator useful. To that end, you might wish to download and install Windows Narrator voices other than the default. We’ll show you how to easily get new Windows 10 Narrator voices for text-to-speech (TTS).
How to Change the Windows Narrator Voice
You actually don’t have to go outside Windows to get new Narrator voices, as it does include a few extras besides the default. To change them, go to Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator. Under Personalize Narrator’s voice, choose a new voice from the dropdown box.
In addition to changing the voice sound, you can adjust other aspects of it too. Use the sliders to Change voice speed, voice pitch, and voice volume. There are many more options about how the Narrator works below, but they’re not directly related to the voice.
By the way, aside from the Narrator, there are other ways to make your computer read documents to you.
Downloading New Windows 10 Narrator Voices
In recent versions of Windows 10, Microsoft added the ability to download more Narrator voices from inside Settings. However, this is really just a shortcut to download more voice packs for other languages.
You should see an Add more voices link underneath the Choose a voice box on the settings page mentioned above. If you don’t see this, download the latest version of Windows 10 from Microsoft and check again.
When you click Add more voices, you’ll jump to the Speech tab of the Time & Language section of Settings. Scroll down to find the Manage voices section, where you can click Add voices again. This will bring up a list of languages that you can download voice packs for.
Obviously, languages that you don’t know are of little use to you as Narrator voices. But you can get some use out of these by downloading variations of your language in other regions. For example, if you live in the US, you can download the English (Australia) pack to use voices that have an Australian accent.
Once you download a pack, it will appear in the Installed voice packages section. Close the Settings app, then go back to the Narrator options and you can choose voices from the new pack you downloaded.
More Third-Party Windows Narrator Voice Options
If none of the above options work for you, you’ll have to turn to third-party tools for more text-to-speech voices. Microsoft’s page on customizing the Narrator recommends several third-party speech synthesizer software tools that you can use to add more voices. These all support SAPI 5, and include:
While most of these tools aren’t free, if you need a high-quality screen reader or voice, they’re worth paying for. Once you add the tools to your system, you can select their voices using the same menu above. Give Zero2000’s free text-to-speech voices a try if you don’t want to pay.
And for the reverse of this, check out the best free speech-to-text tools for Windows.
Read the full article: How to Download More Voices for Windows Narrator
As annoying as they may be, it’s always important to allow Windows Updates to install security patches when they’re released.
If you want to keep your Windows 10 PC secure, be sure to download and install the August 2020 patch, as it fixes 120 security exploits in Microsoft’s operating system and associated software.
What Does the August 2020 Patch Fix?
This news comes in from the Zero Day Initiative, an organization dedicated to reporting zero-day exploits. In the report, the organization discusses the Windows 10 August 2020 update, which contains 120 patches:
“Of these 120 patches, 17 are listed as Critical and 103 are listed as Important in severity. Eleven of these bugs came through the ZDI program. One of these bugs is listed as being publicly known and two are listed as being under active attack at the time of release.”
The Zero Day Initiative goes on to list each bug. Of particular interest are the two exploits that are “under active attack.” This means that hackers have located and exploited these bugs before the researchers could report them.
The first of these two bugs is the CVE-2020-1380 exploit. This is an Internet Explorer vulnerability that allows hackers to run arbitrary code. A hacker sets up a website that exploits the bug, then tricks users into visiting it. If the user visits the website using Internet Explorer, the hacker gains user-level privileges on the victim’s PC.
The second critical issue is the CVE-2020-1464 exploit. This exploit is particularly dangerous, as it allows malicious files to bypass signature validation. Windows uses signatures to ensure that programs are from a reliable source, but hackers can now bypass this system.
Of course, these two bugs are only scratching the surface of this update. There are 118 other bugs that the update fixes, 17 of which are on a critical level. As a result, we recommend you manually check for a Windows Update now to secure your system.
Keeping Yourself Safe From Exploits
If you use Windows 10, the August 2020 update will bring some important fixes for your device. It’s a good idea to download it, as two of the patches fix exploits that are currently under attack.
If you’re unsure as to why this patch is important, read our article explaining what a zero-day vulnerability is and how it affects you.
Image Credit: Christiaan Colen/Flickr
Read the full article: Microsoft’s August 2020 Patch Fixes 120 Security Exploits
A fresh installation of Windows 10 produces different user folders that are meant to house things like downloads and documents, as well as organize content like music and photographs. However, you might want to customize things to your own liking.
Whether you’re looking to move these folders to an external drive, or just place them in a different location on your PC, it’s not difficult to change things up. That said, it’s worth taking stock of how to move user folders to another drive in Windows 10, as certain methods can have some seriously undesirable effects.
Why You Shouldn’t Move Your Entire User Folder
Before we get started, here’s a warning: don’t move your entire user folder.
While there is a way to move your whole user folder in Windows 10, it requires users to implement a deployment tool known as Sysprep. Microsoft states with no room for misunderstanding that this process should only be carried out in a test environment. Do it on your primary PC, and you’re liable to lose data, if not access to your system.
Fortunately, there are a few alternatives. It’s relatively easy to move individual user folders, like Downloads and Documents, without running the risks associated with transferring the entire user folder itself. This way, you can move user folders to another drive, all while avoiding the potential for disaster.
Before you start moving things around, it’s a good idea to look over our Windows 10 data backup guide. This way, you don’t accidentally lose an important file.
Method 1: Relocating User Folders
Relocating your Documents, Pictures, or Downloads folders is a good way to get around moving your entire user folder. It’s a simple process that should only take a couple of minutes. Better yet, you can be sure that you won’t lose any of your important files!
To get started, open up File Explorer and navigate to the user folder that you want to move. Right-click it and select Properties.
Head to the Location tab. Click Move and choose the new location for your folder. From here, click OK to make the change take effect. You can repeat this same process for all of the individual folders that you want to move.
It’s important to realize that if you choose an existing folder, you’ll simply reassign that as the folder you’re making changes to. It’s better to create a new folder entirely if you want to start afresh. This method makes the transition quick and easy. You’ll even see the updated location of your user folders automatically in the Quick Access bar.
Method 2: Replacing User Folders
Moving user folders using the above Microsoft-approved method shouldn’t cause any problems. However, if you’re really feeling cautious, you might want to consider replacing your user folders instead.
This technique doesn’t actually change the location of your existing user folders. Instead, you’ll simply use new ones. Since you’re not tinkering with the folders that Windows 10 expects to find in a certain place, there’s no way it can interfere with the operating system.
By default, your photos, documents, apps, pictures, maps, videos, and music all save to the corresponding folders in your user folder. When you want your files saved to a location outside of your user folder and into a separate drive, you’ll have to adjust a few settings.
Ready to learn how to change the default location of user folders in Windows 10?
First, hit the Start menu and navigate to Settings in the left menu bar. Click System > Storage, and then select Change where new content is saved under the “More storage settings” heading.
In the next window, you can change where your apps, documents, music, photos, videos, movies, and offline maps will save. Select the dropdown menu under each file to choose an alternative drive.
Unfortunately, you can’t save new files to a specific folder of your choice. When you select a new drive to save your files on, Windows will automatically create a corresponding folder in the new drive. For example, if you want your document files to save on a different drive, Windows will automatically create a new Documents folder on that drive.
Method 3: Changing Your Downloads’ Save Location
The process of replacing your Downloads folder is a bit different when compared to your other user folders. To begin, go to File Explorer, select a new location for your downloads, and then create a new folder at that location.
After that, you’ll have to move the default save location of all the content you download from the internet. This means you’ll need to open your web browser and select a new Downloads destination. Here, we’ll go over how to change your Downloads save location for Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Firefox.
In Microsoft Edge, click the three dots in the right corner of the browser, and select Settings from the dropdown menu.
Navigate to Downloads in the left menu, click the Change box under the “Location” heading, and select the folder of your choice.
Google Chrome has a very similar process to Edge. Simply click the three vertical dots at the top right corner of the browser, and then click Settings.
Click the Advanced dropdown menu in the left menu bar, and hit Downloads. From here, click Change next to the default folder location, and then select your new Downloads home.
For Firefox, click the three horizontal lines in the top right corner of the browser, and select Options. Scroll down the page until you see the “Downloads” heading.
Next to the selection that reads Save files to, hit Browse. You can then locate and redirect downloads to your newly-created folder.
Don’t Forget to Optimize Your New User Folders
If you really want a sense of organization on your computer, you’ll want to specify the type of content that’s going to be in your new folders. Right-click the folder of your choice in File Explorer, select Properties, and open the Customize tab.
Depending on whether you’re storing documents, images, music files, or videos, making this tweak will ensure that the folder is properly optimized.
Lastly, you’ll want to customize your Quick Access menu and add your new user folders to it. This is as simple as right-clicking the folder and hitting Pin to Quick access. Just don’t forget to right-click any out-of-commission user folders, and select Unpin from Quick access as well.
Move User Folders in Windows 10 and Save Storage Space
Moving your Windows user folder to optimize space may seem like a relatively innocuous change, but it can easily cause some major problems. Whenever you tinker with settings related to the foundations of your operating system, there’s a possibility that you might cause some real damage.
Microsoft makes tools like Sysprep for enterprise use in very specific situations. While expert users can employ them to great effect, there’s a thin line between getting the results that you want and breaking something important, especially if you’re trying to make space for storage in a hurry. Sometimes, it’s best to be a little cautious. This is especially true when it comes to the Windows install process or manipulating system files.
Want to save even more space on your computer? Make sure to delete these Windows files and folders to free up disk space.
Read the full article: How to Move Your User Folders in Windows 10
The May 2020 update for Windows 10 brought in a few documented additions, but not every change made the patch notes. The Device Manager had one such change, as Microsoft has quietly removed the ability to automatically find driver updates.
How Did the May 2020 Update Change the Device Manager?
Before the May 2020 update, you had the choice to let Windows 10 automatically search for device drivers online. You could find this option during the driver update process, labeled “search automatically for updated driver software.”
However, after the May 2020 update, this option is now labeled “search automatically for drivers.” The button’s explanatory text says that this option will search your PC for drivers, but won’t use the internet. As such, you can no longer automatically hunt for drivers using the Device Manager.
It’s worth noting that the option to manually browse your PC for a driver is still present. You can also still update your drivers via Windows Update. The update only prevents the Device Manager from using the internet to update your drivers.
Why Did Microsoft Change Windows 10’s Device Manager?
Because Microsoft made the change without an official announcement, we don’t know why the company removed this feature. However, there’s a good chance Microsoft changed it simply because it didn’t do a fantastic job. When using the automatic update option, the tool often stated there were no updates for the driver, even if one existed.
As such, it was generally better for a user to visit the manufacturer’s website and download the drivers themselves. This may have led Microsoft to ax the feature and replace it with a local-only search, which makes installing manually-downloaded drivers easier.
Changing to Manual Driver Updates
With the May 2020 Windows Update, the Device Manager has lost its ability to automatically find and download drivers; however, not many people will miss it as it didn’t do a great job in the first place.
If you did make use of the automatic tool, here’s how to find and replace outdated Windows drivers.
Read the full article: Microsoft Kills Windows 10’s Automatic Driver Search
Copying and pasting is a basic function of every operating system, so it’s important that you know how to use it. Even if you’re familiar with one method of copying and pasting, you might not know how to do it on another platform.
Let’s look at how to copy and paste everywhere—we’ll look at how to do this on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iPhone/iPad.
Jump to a section:
- Copy and Paste Basics
- How to Copy and Paste in Windows
- How to Copy and Paste on a Mac
- How to Copy and Paste in Linux
- How to Copy and Paste in Android
- How to Copy and Paste on iPhone and iPad
Copy and Paste Basics
Before we dive into how to copy and paste on each platform, we should discuss a few points about the function that apply everywhere.
First, copying and pasting uses an invisible part of the operating system known as the clipboard. This is a small storage space that can hold one item at a time—it works with text as well as images and even files.
When you copy an item, you take the text or other content and duplicate it onto the clipboard. The original item that you copied stays unchanged in its current position. Later, the paste operation takes whatever is on the clipboard and inserts it at your current location.
There’s another related operation: cut. Cutting acts like copying, except that it removes the current text, file, or other content from its position to put it on the clipboard. This only works in text blocks where you can edit text; you can’t cut text from an online article, for example.
Pasting doesn’t delete the contents of the clipboard. If you don’t overwrite its contents, you can paste the same item multiple times. Just keep in mind that the clipboard can only hold one item at a time. As soon as you copy or cut something else, the original clipboard contents are lost.
Now, let’s look at how to copy and paste on your computer and phone.
How to Copy and Paste in Windows
Like most desktop OSes, Windows has several ways to copy and paste. Some are faster than others, but we’ll cover each of them so you can try them all.
You’ll need to select the item you want to copy before doing so. To select the text, use your mouse to click and drag over something to highlight it. If you want to select everything (such as an entire webpage or document), use Ctrl + A to highlight everything easily.
To select multiple items in File Explorer or similar, click and drag your mouse around multiple items or hold Ctrl while clicking them to select more than one.
Copy and Paste in Windows With the Keyboard
The fastest way to copy and paste is by using keyboard shortcuts. Use Ctrl + C to copy something, then Ctrl + V to paste. If you want to cut instead of copying, use Ctrl + X.
To paste the copied text, use the arrow keys or mouse to put the cursor where you want to insert the copied item and press Ctrl + V.
This works to copy highlighted text (as described above) as well as files in File Explorer, bits of media in apps like photo and video editors, and most other apps.
The main exception is that you can’t copy images in most browsers using this shortcut, unless you have the image open at its direct URL.
Copy and Paste Using Menus
If you don’t like using the keyboard, you can usually copy and paste through the right-click menu. Right-click on the highlighted text, an image, a file, or similar and you should see a Copy option on the menu (as well as Cut, if applicable). If you don’t see these options on a website, keep in mind that some sites disable them.
To paste that content, put your cursor where you’d like to insert it, right click, and hit Paste. Some apps have a Paste without formatting option if you want to paste in plain text.
Finally, most Windows apps have Copy and Paste buttons on the Edit menu at the top toolbar as well. You can use these as a fallback if other methods aren’t convenient.
How to Copy and Paste on a Mac
Copying and pasting on macOS is very similar to how it works on Windows. We’ll go over the basics here; be sure to read our full guide to Mac copy and paste for more info.
Copy and Paste on macOS With the Keyboard
On a Mac, Cmd + C is the keyboard shortcut for copying, while Cmd + V is the shortcut to paste. Use them on the highlighted text, files in Finder, or elements on webpages as needed.
On modern versions of macOS, the Cmd + X shortcut works to cut text, objects in documents, and similar. However, it won’t work for cutting files or folders in Finder. For that, you must use Cmd + C to copy a file, then hit Cmd + Option + V to simulate a cut and paste action.
Copy and Paste on Mac Using Menus
If you don’t like keyboard shortcuts, you’ll find the familiar Copy and Paste menu actions on the right-click context menu in most apps. They’re also found on the Edit menu at the top of your Mac’s display.
Note that in Finder, you won’t see a Cut option in the context menu by default. Copy something, then hold the Option key when pasting and you’ll see Move Item Here.
How to Copy and Paste in Linux
Because Linux distros can vary, we’ll illustrate how to copy and paste in Linux using Ubuntu since it’s so popular.
Like other desktop operating systems, copying and pasting in Linux is easiest with keyboard shortcuts. Use Ctrl + C to copy items, Ctrl + V to paste, and Ctrl + X to cut.
The notable exception to these shortcuts is in the Terminal. Ctrl + C is the command to cancel in a Terminal window, so Linux uses the following copy and paste shortcuts for the Terminal instead:
- Ctrl + Shift + C to copy
- Ctrl + Shift + V to paste
If you don’t want to use the above, right-click on an element to find Copy and Paste commands instead, or check the Edit menu at the top.
How to Copy and Paste in Android
On mobile operating systems, copy and paste is a little more limited since you don’t have as many ways to interact with the system. However, it’s not difficult to learn.
To copy text on Android in most apps, simply press and hold on a bit of text for a moment. You should see handles appear that surround the highlighted word, along with a menu above them.
Use those handles to highlight the text you want to copy, or tap Select All to highlight the entire page or text box. When you’re satisfied, tap Copy from the menu to put the text on your clipboard. If you’ve selected text in a text entry box, such as inside a note-taking app, you’ll see a Cut option as well.
In some apps, long-pressing on text like this won’t show the handles or menu. For example, if you press and hold on an address in Google Maps, it will copy the address to your clipboard for you.
To paste text, navigate to the text entry box where you want to enter the content. Long-press on the space, then choose Paste to insert the contents of your clipboard.
We’ve looked more closely at copying and pasting on Android if you’d like more details and advice.
How to Copy and Paste on iPhone and iPad
Copying and pasting on iPhone is similar to the process on Android. To select text in a text box (such as in the Notes app), double tap a word to select it. Meanwhile, press and hold to select a word that’s not in an editable box, such as on a website.
When you do, handles and a menu will appear. Drag the handles to select the text you want, then tap Copy to put the text on your clipboard (or Cut if applicable).
To paste the text later, press and hold on an empty spot and choose Paste when that menu appears.
As of iOS 13, Apple added gesture-based shortcuts for copying, cutting, and pasting text. You can try these, but we find them awkward compared to using the menus:
- Cut: Use three fingers in a closing-pinch motion two times.
- Copy: Pinch closed with three fingers.
- Paste: Start with three fingers together and spread them open.
You can copy other elements, such as images and text messages, by long-pressing on them and looking for the Copy option.
Use Copy and Paste Everywhere
Copying and pasting saves you lots of time when you use it properly. Now you know how it works on the platforms you use every day!
To go further, you should look into using a clipboard manager. These are third-party apps that let you keep more than one item on the clipboard at a time, pin frequently used items for easy access, and much more. We’ve looked at the best iPhone clipboard managers to get you started.
Read the full article: How to Copy and Paste Anywhere
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.
Work through the following steps.
- Type Command Prompt (Admin) in the Start menu search bar, then right-click and select Run as administrator to open an elevated Command Prompt.
- Type the following command and press Enter: DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Head to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery
- 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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