Archive for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ category

Easy Ways to Disable Touchpad on Windows 10 Laptop

November 13th, 2019 by Admin

A laptop touchpad works like a built-in mouse which lets you scroll, select and click without plugging anything in. We think it’s very useful, but if you feel more productive with an external mouse, you can disable touchpad completely on your Windows 10 laptop to avoid accidental taps with your thumbs or palm.

Method 1: Disable Touchpad in Windows 10 Using the Settings App

  1. Press the Windows + I key combination to open the Settings app, and then click on Devices.

  2. Select the Touchpad tab. On the right side, toggle the Touchpad option to Off to disable touchpad immediately.

Method 2: Disable Touchpad in Windows 10 Using Device Manager

  1. Press the Windows + X key combination to access the Power User menu, then select Device Manager.

  2. In the Device Manager window, expand Human Interface Devices category to find your touchpad device. Right-click on it and select Disable device from the popup list.

  3. Click Yes to confirm and your touchpad will stop functioning in no time.

Conclusion

Using the above methods you should be able to disable touchpad on all Windows 10 laptops. Some laptops might also let you disable the touchpad from the BIOS/UEFI firmware or using a keyboard shortcut like Fn + F3, but those methods vary for different laptops.

Enable or Disable Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) in Windows 10

November 11th, 2019 by Admin

How do I prevent Windows Recovery Environment from being used by unauthorized users? Get the error message “Could not find the recovery environment” when you try to perform a factory reset? Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) can be used to diagnose and repair an unbootable Windows system. In this tutorial we’ll show you an easy way to enable or disable Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) in Windows 10.

Part 1: View WinRE Status On Your PC

Before getting started, you can confirm that Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) is enabled or disabled on your Windows 10 system. Just open an elevated Command Prompt and run the following command:
reagentc /info

Part 2: Disable WinRE

To disable Windows Recovery Environment, just type the following command at an elevated Command Prompt and hit Enter.
reagentc /disable

Now you’ve successfully disabled WinRE in Windows 10. Reboot your computer into Advanced Options and you’ll find that most of system troubleshooting tools are missing. The only option left is Startup Settings.

When you try to perform a factory reset, you’ll get the error message “Could not find the recovery environment, Insert your Windows installation or recovery media, and restart your PC with the media“.

Part 3: Enable WinRE

Whenever you need to enable Windows Recovery Environment, just launch Command Prompt as administrator. Execute the below command and you’re all set.
reagentc /enable

That’s it!

How to Disable Taskbar Thumbnail & Live Preview in Windows 10

November 8th, 2019 by Admin

When you hover over an opened app in the taskbar, you will get a small thumbnail preview of the app’s window. Just like the below screenshot:

If you then hover over the thumbnail preview of that app, Windows 10 will show you a full-screen live preview (peek) of that app on your desktop.

But sometimes the taskbar preview feature just gets in the way. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to disable taskbar thumbnail preview and full-screen preview in Windows 10.

Part 1: Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview

Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run dialog box, type regedit and hit Enter.

In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following path. Right-click on the Advanced key, and then select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

Name the new DWORD ExtendedUIHoverTime. Next, double-click it and change its value data to 9000 in decimals. Windows 10 will show the thumbnail preview after 9000 milliseconds (or 9 seconds) of hovering over any opened-app in the taskbar. This should be more than enough to effectively disable the taskbar thumbnail preview feature.

Restart your computer to make the changes take effect.

Part 2: Disable Taskbar Full-Screen / Live Preview

You can use a similar method to disable taskbar full-screen or live preview in Windows 10. Just open Registry Editor and browse to the same location:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

Create a 32-bit DWORD value named ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime, and change the value to 9000 milliseconds or a higher delay time. You will no longer see the taskbar full-screen preview when hovering over the thumbnail preview for less than 9 seconds.

Reduce Hibernation (Hiberfil.sys) File Size in Windows 10

November 1st, 2019 by Admin

Hibernate mode uses the hiberfil.sys file to store the current state of all opened apps, files and drivers, and when the PC is turned back on, you’re back to where you left off. The default size of hiberfil.sys is approximately 40% of physical memory on the system. If you want to disable hibernate mode without turning off Fast Startup, you can reduce the size of the hibernation file (hiberfil.sys) to about 20% of your RAM in Windows 10.

Tip: hiberfil.sys is a hidden system file. You could see it in the File Explorer only if you checked “Show hidden files and folders” in Folder Options.

How to Reduce Hibernation File Size in Windows 10

Open Windows PowerShell (or Command Prompt) as administrator and run the following command:
powercfg /h /type reduced

This command will reduce the hibernation file size for storing only the OS kernel and drivers for Fast Startup. If you’ve received an error “The parameter is incorrect“, try to uncompress the hibernation file first with the command powercfg /h /size 0, then run the above command again.

Now, open the Start Menu and click on the Power icon, you’ll find that the Hibernate option is removed.

Only Fast Startup can use a reduced hibernation file. If you open the Power Options and click on the “Choose what the power button does” link, the “Turn on fast startup” option is still there.

Whenever you need to enable hibernate mode again, just execute the following command to configure Windows to use a full-sized hibernation file.
powercfg /h /type full

That’s all!

3 Ways to Limit Windows Defender CPU Usage in Windows 10

October 28th, 2019 by Admin

Windows Defender service is using high CPU all the time? If you have real-time protection enabled, Windows Defender will do the scan in the background and this can cause high CPU usage. To prevent Windows Defender from using the CPU too much, you can use the following methods to limit Windows Defender CPU usage in Windows 10.

Method 1: Limit Windows Defender CPU Usage via PowerShell

  1. Open Windows PowerShell as admin and execute the following command. It will display the current maximum CPU usage limit for Windows Defender.
    Get-MpPreference | select ScanAvgCPULoadFactor

  2. When you need to reduce CPU usage, type the following command and hit Enter. Windows Defender will not use up more than 30% of your CPU.
    Set-MpPreference -ScanAvgCPULoadFactor 30

Method 2: Limit Windows Defender CPU Usage via Group Policy

  1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor and browse to: Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Microsoft Defender Antivirus -> Scan. On the right pane, double-click on the “Specify the maximum percentage of CPU utilization during a scan” policy.

  2. Select the Enabled option and you limit the CPU usage of Windows Defender to 30% or any percentage you like, Click Apply and then OK.

  3. Restart your computer to apply the changes.

Method 3: Limit Windows Defender CPU Usage via Registry Editor

  1. Open Registry Editor and navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender. Right-click on the “Windows Defender” key and select New -> Key. Name it Scan.

  2. Next, right-click on the newly-created Scan subkey and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.

  3. Name the DWORD AvgCPULoadFactor, and then double-click it to specify the maximum CPU percentage for Windows Defender.

  4. Close Registry Editor. Reboot your computer and check if Windows Defender still has high CPU usage.

Configure Chrome / Firefox / Edge to Automatically Clear Cookies on Exit

October 24th, 2019 by Admin

After surfing the Web, your cookies and browsing history can remain on your computer even after the browser is closed. This can pose a potential security and privacy risk. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to set Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge to automatically clear cookies, browsing history and cache when you close it.

Chrome:

  1. Open up your Chrome browser and type the following URL in the address bar and hit Enter.

    chrome://settings/content/cookies

  2. This will bring up the Cookies section. Just turn on the option named “Clear cookies and site data when you quit Chrome” or “Keep local data only until I quit my browser” depending on your Chrome version.

  3. Every time you close Chrome, it will now automatically clear your cookies and browsing data.

Firefox:

  1. After opening Firefox, click on the three-line icon in the top-right corner. In the drop-down menu, select Options.

  2. Select the Privacy & Security tab. Under History, click the drop-down menu next to “Firefox will:” and select “Use custom settings for history“.

  3. Check the option “Clear history when Firefox closes“, and then click on the Settings button.

  4. Choose what you want Firefox to automatically clear on exit, and click OK.

  5. When you exit your FireFox browser, your cookies and browsing history will automatically be deleted.

Microsoft Edge:

  1. Click on the three-dot icon in the top right-hand corner of your Microsoft Edge browser, and then select Settings from the drop-down menu.

  2. Choose the Privacy & security tab and click on the button “Choose what to clear“.

  3. Check the boxes for the types of browsing data you want to clear when you exit Edge. Then, turn on the option “Always clear this when I close the browser“.

  4. From now on, Microsoft Edge will automatically delete your browsing data like cookies, browsing / download history, autofill data, and other things when you close it.

How to Remove Quick Access from Navigation Pane in Windows 10 File Explorer

October 21st, 2019 by Admin

The Quick Access section is available at the left side of the navigation pane in File Explorer, which gives you an easy way to access your frequently used folders or files. But if you don’t like Quick Access or you’d prefer to see a traditional navigation pane, you can hide or remove it entirely. In this tutorial we’ll show you 2 simple ways to remove Quick Access from File Explorer’s navigation pane in Windows 10.

Method 1: Remove Quick Access from File Explorer in Windows 10 v1607 or Higher

  1. Open Registry Editor. Just copy the below registry location and paste it in the address bar and then press the Enter key to get there.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

  2. In the left-side pane, right-click on the Explorer key and then select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.

  3. Name the new DWORD as HubMode, and then double-click on it and change its value data to 1. Click OK.

  4. Now, close all File Explorer windows and re-launch File Explorer. The Quick Access section should be gone from the left navigation pane.

Method 2: Remove Quick Access from File Explorer in Windows 10 v1511 or Higher

  1. Open Registry Editor and navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID. Right-click on the CLSID key in the left pane and then select New -> Key.

  2. Name the new key {679f85cb-0220-4080-b29b-5540cc05aab6}.

  3. Right-click the new key you just created and use the same method to create a new subkey named ShellFolder.

  4. Next, right-click on the ShellFolder key in the left pane, and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.

  5. Name the new DWORD Attributes and double-click it to modify. In the pop-up dialog box, select the Hexadecimal option and enter 88000 in the Value data box. Click OK.

  6. Close Registry Editor and reboot your computer. When you open File Explorer next time, Quick Access should be gone.

How to Clear or Flush DNS Cache in Windows 10, 8, 7

October 18th, 2019 by Admin

Have you ever encountered the error DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN or ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED when accessing a website? Your browser displays a 404 error or tell you “The site can’t be reached“? These problems usually happen when your DNS cache is corrupted or out of update, so Windows can’t resolve the domain name of the website you’re visiting into IP address correctly. Clearing the DNS cache is the most effective way to resolve DNS related problems. Here’s how you can view, clear / flush DNS cache in Windows 10, 8, 7.

Part 1: View DNS Cache

Open an elevated Command Prompt and run the following command:
ipconfig /displaydns >C:\dnscache.txt

The above command will export the local DNS cache to a text file: C:\dnscache.txt. Just open it with Notepad and you can see the IP addresses for the respective domains or hosts you’ve ever visited.

As you can see in the above screenshot, Windows will check the DNS cache and send my request to the IP address 172.217.11.68 when I try to visit google.com.

Part 2: Clear or Flush DNS Cache

When you need to clear or flush DNS cache, just open the Command Prompt as administrator and type this command:
ipconfig /flushdns

Once pressing Enter, the DNS Resolver cache will be cleared immediately. Windows will start creating new and up-to-date DNS records for any websites you visit thereafter.

3 Methods to Check Your Motherboard Model in Windows 10

October 17th, 2019 by Admin

Is there a way to identify the motherboard (mainboard) so I can update my BIOS or upgrade the RAM? How could I find my motherboard model without opening the case? In this tutorial we’ll show you 3 simple ways to check the motherboard model on your Windows 10 computer.

Method 1: Check Motherboard Model Using Command Prompt

Open the Command Prompt and type the following command:
wmic baseboard get product,manufacturer,version,serialnumber

Press Enter and you will get all the basic information about your motherboard, such as manufacturer name, model number, serial number (if available) and version.

Method 2: Check Motherboard Model Using Microsoft’s System Information Tool

Press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run box, then type msinfo32 and hit Enter to launch Microsoft’s System Information Tool.

In the System Summary section, look for the the “BaseBoard” entries and they will give you the manufacturer name, model number and version for the motherboard.

Method 3: Check Motherboard Model Using Third-Party Software

There are also many third-party softwares which can help you check the motherboard model on your Windows PC, one of the best and popular ones is CPU-Z. When launching the program, it will take a while to gather all the details about the hardware of your system. You can click on the “Mainboard” tab to view your motherboard’s model.

That’s it!

3 Ways to Log off Another User in Windows 10

October 14th, 2019 by Admin

How do I sign out other user accounts without restarting the computer? When someone forgets to log out of a public or shared PC, their account still consumes RAM in the background. To free up the resources being used by other logged-in accounts, you can log them off using Task Manager, Command Prompt and PowerShell.

Method 1: Log Off Another User Using Task Manager

Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut to launch Task Manager. Go to the Users tab, it will list all users that are currently signed in to your system. Right-click on the user you want to log off and select the Sign off option.

You will get a warning that says the user’s unsaved data might be lost. Click on Sign out user when you need to proceed.

Method 2: Log Off Another User Using Command Prompt

Open the Command Prompt with administrative rights, run the query session command to see all users currently logged into the computer. Take note of the session ID of the user you want to sign out.

Next, run the following command to log off your desired account by specifying the session ID.
logoff ID

This method doesn’t give you any alert or confirmation that the user you’re signing out will lose unsaved work.

Method 3: Log Off Another User Using PowerShell

Open Windows PowerShell with administrative rights, and type the following commands. Replace “Server01” with your computer’s name and substitute “pcunlocker” with the name of the account you want to log out.
$server = 'Server01'
$username = 'pcunlocker'
$sessionId = ((quser /server:$server | Where-Object { $_ -match $userName }) -split ' +')[2]
logoff $sessionId /server:$server

Once logged off, the user account is no longer listed in Task Manager. Signing a user out this way has the same risk of losing all unsaved data as the above method.