Windows 7

Search Slow

  • Windows Index:
    By default, Windows only indexes files stored in your user folders (Documents, Desktop, Pictures and so on), so searching elsewhere will take longer. Moving the documents you want to search into your user folders (from C:\MyFiles to C:\Users\[Name]\Documents\MyFiles) should speed things up, but you can tell Windows to index other folders as well.

    Click 'Start', type index and click 'Indexing options'. Click 'Modify', expand the tree and check the folders you'd like to be indexed (remember, the more files there are, the longer indexing will take). Click 'OK' when you're done.

  • Defragment your Hard Disk: Fragmentation makes your hard disk do extra work that can slow down your computer. Disk Defragmenter rearranges fragmented data so your hard disk can work more efficiently. Disk Defragmenter runs on a schedule, but you can also defragment your hard disk manually.

  • Clean up your Hard Disk: Unnecessary files on your hard disk take up disk space and can slow down your computer. Disk Cleanup removes temporary files, empties the Recycle Bin, and removes a variety of system files and other items that you no longer need.

Need a List of the Files Inside a Folder

  • Hold down [Shift], then right-click the folder you are interested in and select 'Open command window here'. Type dir /b | clip, then press [Enter] and the names of the files in your folder will be copied to the clipboard so you can paste them wherever you like (a Word document, for example).

Recover Deleted File

  • If you make a mistake in Explorer (delete an important folder, for example, or move the wrong files), just press [Ctrl]+[Z] to undo your last action.

  • Check Your Backups:
    If you can't find a file on your computer or you accidently modified or deleted a file, you can restore it from a backup (if you're using Windows backup) or you can try to restore it from a previous version. Previous versions are copies of files and folders that Windows automatically saves as part of a restore point. Previous versions are sometimes referred to as shadow copies.

  • Avoiding Deleted File:
    The best way to ensure you'll never have to recover a deleted file is to perform regular backups. Even just enabling the File History or Windows Backup functionality in your version of Windows will give you some peace of mind. If you store your documents in Dropbox or a similar service or have them backed up to an online location, you'll also have a backup. All these backup options also allow you to restore previous versions of files.
    It's still possible for a file to be deleted, but if you're performing regular backups, you won't lose much data. You'll have much more luck restoring backups than recovering deleted files. Backup services are cheaper than professional data recovery services, too.

Desktop is too cluttered

  • Just select the main program you want to use, then press [Windows]+[Home] and everything else on the desktop will be minimised immediately.

  • Create holding and App Shortcut Folders:
    People often use their desktop to hold files like downloads, photos, screenshots, and even email attachments. This can lead to an incredibly cluttered desktop in a short amount of time. You probably don't need all these shortcuts on your desktop. What you can do is create a folder on your desktop where all non-essential files and folders go. A folder like this is great to hold downloads or files that will only be used for a short amount of time.
    It could help to also create a shortcut folder. When you install new programs on Windows, a shortcut icon is often automatically added to your desktop. However, these desktop shortcut should be for frequently used programs only. For programs that aren't really used that often, it is best to create a separate folder the shortcuts. This not only reduces desktop clutter, but puts shortcuts in one central location, making them easier to find.
    The key here, is this folder is used for non-important, or temporary items. If you don't plan on keeping it, put the file, icon, etc. into this folder. Once you are done with the file, simply go into the holding folder and delete it.

  • Managing The Taskbar:
    In previous versions of Windows the area to pin a program was called Quick Launch. Now it's just referred to as the Taskbar. The nice thing about the changes to this area in Windows 7 are that you can easily pin programs and actually have added functionality besides just quickly accessing them. A deciding factor for what programs should go into the Taskbar is what additional features it has when you right click the icon in the Taskbar. Obviously, you want to keep the programs to a minimum in the Taskbar so it doesn't get too confusing, but even with a lot of icons, it still is much cleaner than previous versions of Windows.
    There are other things you can do in the Taskbar to "clean up" or simplify it. To access these, right click on the Taskbar and choose Properties once more. You'll see that you're already at the Taskbar options. Something to make note of is, first off, making sure the Taskbar is locked - it's just nice to have that. Another option is auto-hiding the Taskbar. It gives laptops with smaller screens (or even large ones for that matter) a little more viewing real estate when a window is in full screen mode.

  • It is generally recommended to keep the desktop as clean as possible and not use up all the space in Windows partition. Do two things:
    Use Use Disk Defragmenter and Use Disk Cleanup discuss earlier.

Text Appears too Small

  • If you can't see some tiny detail, hold down the [Windows] key and press [+] to zoom in with the Magnifier. Hold [Windows] and press [-] to zoom out.

  • Text Size for Specific Items:
    You can also change the text size for specific items in Windows, like window title bars or tooltips, without changing the size of anything else on the desktop.
    1. Open Screen Resolution by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Make text larger in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Make text and other items larger or smaller.
    2. Under Change only the text size, choose the item you'd like to change and pick a text size. If you want the text to be bold, select the Bold check box.
    3. Tap or click Apply.
    You'll see the change the next time you sign in to Windows.
You can't change the default font or font color used for items in Windows (like window title bars, menus, or tooltips). But you can change the color of your window borders and taskbar, or use a High Contrast Theme to make the items on your screen easier to see.

Windows Update Reboots PC

    Launch REGEDIT and browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\ Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU (create the last two keys yourself if necessary). Create a DWORD (32-bit) value called NoAutoRebootWithLogged OnUsers. Double-click this, give it the value 1, and your PC won't be rebooted again.

  • gpedit.msc:
    To change this setting you can use the Windows Group Policy Editor by following these instructions:
    1. Click Start, Run, type gpedit.msc, then click Ok.
    2. Navigate to the Computer Configuration\Administrative Template\Windows Components\Windows Update folder.
    3. Double click No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installations. In the dialog box that appears, select Enabled, and then click Ok.
    4. Close the Group Policy Editor window. That's it!

Now you won't have to worry about Windows rebooting your computer for you and losing your data.

Even though if you disable automatic restart for Windows Update, you will still be required to restart the computer to finish installing the Windows Update. However, you will be able to do this when you are able to instead of it doing it automatically while you were working on something and losing it.
After you install an important update in Windows 8 and 8.1, you receive a notice that you have to restart the PC in three days. If the restart does not occur in three days, the PC displays a 15-minute countdown and then automatically restarts. By default, this automatic restart is delayed if the PC is locked, and the countdown will begin the next time that you sign in to the PC.
A new feature is now available that lets you force automatic restarts to finish installing important updates, regardless of whether you are at the PC. You can change to this new restart behavior through the following new registry key value that was introduced in the April 2013 Windows 8 cumulative update (2822241).

Internet Explorer Doesn't Start

  • add-ons:
    Click 'Start → All programs → Accessories → System tools → Internet Explorer (no add-ons)'. If IE now launches properly then you probably have a broken add-on. Restore extensions as you need them by clicking 'Tools → Manage add-ons', then right-clicking and selecting 'Enable'. When you find the one responsible for your problems, uninstall or reinstall it separately.

Can't close a particular program

  • Open Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar, and then clicking Start Task Manager.
  • Click the Applications tab, click the program that isn't responding, and then click End Task.

Can't Defragment Hard Drive

One of the best ways you can improve your PC's performance is by optimizing the drive. Windows includes features to help optimize the different types of drives that PCs use today. No matter which type of drive your PC uses, Windows automatically chooses the optimization that's right for your drive. Be default, Optimize Drives, previously called Disk Defragmenter, runs automatically on a weekly schedule. But you can also optimize drives on your PC manually.

  • Right-click a drive in Explorer and select 'Properties → Tools → Defragment now'. If Explorer says no defragmentation tool is installed, launch REGEDIT, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\DefragPath, double-click 'Default' and set it to %windir%\system32\dfrgui.exe to repair it.

PC suddenly says Windows is not Genuine

You bought Windows, activated it and everything was fine. Then, suddenly, a message appeared saying that your OS is not genuine, demanding you activate it - but activation doesn't work.

  • Launch REGEDIT:
    Launch REGEDIT, expand 'HKEY_USERS', right-click 'S-1-5-20' and select 'Permissions'. Click 'Network Service' in the list. If you don't see it, click 'Add', type Network Service and click 'Check names → OK' to add it. Make sure the 'Allow' boxes for Full Control and Read are checked, then click 'OK'. Close REGEDIT, restart your PC and all should be well.

  • Error 0x80070005:
    If you receive an Error 0x80070005 along with the Windows is not genuine, Your computer might be running a counterfeit copy of Windows, do the following.
    If you have applied the Plug and Play Group Policy object (GPO), disable it or select Not Configured or Not Defined.
    Computer Configuration / Policies / Windows Settings /Security Settings / System Services / Plug and Play (Startup Mode: Automatic) Force a Group Policy setting update by using gpupdate/force and restart your system.
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In this tutorial:

  1. Windows Quick and Easy Solutions
  2. Takes Long to Find Files
  3. Search Slow
  4. Some Applications won't Play Sounds