Optimize Windows 10 & Windows 8 (8.1)

We show you how to Optimize Windows 8 (8.1) & Windows 10 for Best performance on your aging desktop or laptop PC.


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Common Windows Update Errors and How to Fix Them

In almost every troubleshoot that we’ve covered, Windows Update has always managed to squeeze through to establish a prominent position. And after all, why shouldn’t it; This is a handy OS utility used to keep the system updated with the latest security advancements, and repair troubling programs using the latest fixes/patches, automatically. In fact, a safe Windows user runs this tool regularly and ensures he doesn’t lag behind on the hottest happenings surrounding the app arena. However, what if the tool runs into perplexing errors itself and fails to continue any further? Let alone the original troubleshoot, you might find yourself fixing this program instead. Fortunately, we have discovered a list of common messages that you are most likely to run into, and have developed easy steps to fix the specific concern. But first, make sure you run the Windows Update Troubleshooter and Free Windows 8 Optimizer before indulging into further resolutions.

Code 1: 0x8024401C

This error means that your PC is unable to connect to the Windows Update servers. Here is how you you can erase this problem by ensuring good connection:

Check Internet Connection

Make sure your PC is connected to the internet. You can run Internet Connection troubleshooter to automatically fix network problems. This is demonstrated below:

  • Open Charms bar by pressing Windows + C keys
  • Choose Search
  • Type Identify and repair in the search box
  • Click Identify and repair network problems from the results

Code 2: 0x80070103

This situation may either result if you are trying to install a driver that is already found on your system, or when you are attempting to integrate a driver that is less compatible than the one you already have. To address this problem, you can proceed with hiding the update so it’s not offered again:

  • Drag the mouse down from the top edge of your screen to choose Search
  • Enter Hide or unhide updates and click the icon
  • Select any of the two links depending upon your choice
  1. Important updates are available
  2. Optional updates are available
  • Locate the update you want to hide and right-click it
  • Choose Hide update

Code 3: 0x80240016

If you see this error while running the update software, it typically means that you have some installation process running in the background that is hampering the update. This can be fixed by restarting the computer and starting anew.

Code 4: 0x80073712

This is a critical error that implies one, or multiple Windows Update files to be corrupt or damaged. To fix this, use Windows in-built troubleshooting tools.

Run DISM tool

  • Open Search bar formerly described
  • Enter cmd and notice Command Prompt appear at the results
  • Right-click the icon
  • Choose Run as administrator from the menu below
  • In the elevated window, run the following commands individually

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

  • Restart Windows Update and see if the error persists. If it does, perform a PC Refresh

PC Refresh

  • Press Windows + I keys to open the Settings menu
  • Click Change PC settings
  • Navigate to Update and recovery
  • Click Recovery
  • Under Refresh your PC without affecting your files, choose Get started
  • Follow on-screen instructions

Code 5: 0x80246002

Similar to the aforementioned error, this problem means that Windows Update files need to be repaired before advancing forward. However, this can often be corrected by renaming the Windows Update download folder. To do this, refer to these steps:

  • Open Start Screen by pressing Windows key
  • Type notepad and hit Enter
  • In the Notepad window, copy and paste the following command

net stop wuauserv

cd %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution

ren Download Donwload.old

net start wuauserv

  • Open File menu and click Save as
  • Dropdown Save as type to All Files
  • Set File name to Rename.bat
  • Save file to Desktop
  • Right-click Rename.bat file and choose Run as administrator to rename the Download folder
  • Try to install updates again

If your update was interrupted by an error not listed in this article, Google the code and see what Microsoft has to say. Update problems should not be left unresolved at any cost.


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How to Add “Reset”, “Shutdown”, “Lock”, and “Sign Out” Options in Windows 8 (8.1)

Apart from the removal of handy options from the desktop interface, Windows 8 has been widely accepted by the larger majority. However, what if there was a way to bring the famous oldies back and allow all users, discontented or satisfied, to work through their frequent tasks in a more comfortable way? You’d love that, won’t you!

Well, here is an article that mentions an easy way to modify the Registry and incorporate Reset, Shutdown, Lock and Signout options manually into the Desktop context menu. So now, let the revolutionary journey begin!

Warning: Tampering sensitive registry files can cause serious consequences to the system. It is advised you backup all items before proceeding forward. To backup your registry, right click the file on the menu, and click Export and save it in a desired place. You can also use Registry Recycler (its totally free) to scan registry, fix Windows errors, and backup the registry.

  • Start the procedures by opening Run box. This can be done by pressing the Windows + R keys. Next, type regedit in the text field and press Enter. Notice the Registry Editor box pop up on the screen. If you do not know it yet, this is where all the magic will happen.
  • Expand HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT from the hive displayed on the left section. Scroll down until you find DesktopBackground. This is the key that contains the context menu that is accessed by right-clicking on the desktop. Proceed by expanding this entity and right clicking on Shell that now appears. Hover over New and select Key
  • This will generate a new key under the menu DesktopBackground. Name this creation Lock Computer, Reset, Shutdown, or Sign Out, based on your preference. We will move forward by naming it Lock Computer.
  • Highlight Lock Computer and right-click the blank screen on the right pane. Click New, and then String Value. Repeat this step to generate two strings. Name one icon, and the other Position.
  • Now, right-click icon and choose Modify. Under Value data, enter the appropriate text according to your need:
  • For Lock Computer, type shell32.dll,-48
  • For Shutdown, type shell32.dll,-28
  • For Restart, type shell32.dll,-290
  • For Sign Out, type shell32.dll,-45
  • Once done, click OK.
  • Next, Modify the position value to Bottom. Click OK to confirm the changes.
  • Now, create a subkey under Lock Computer using the same method as formerly described. Name this key as command and highlight this entry.
  • Notice Default string in the right pane. Right-click on it and choose Modify. Under Value data, enter the following strings:
  • For Lock Computer, type rundll32.exe,LockWorkStation
  • For Shutdown, type shutdown.exe,-s –t 00 -f
  • For Restart, type shutdown.exe,-r –t 00 -f
  • For Sign Out, type shutdown.exe,-L

You’re all done! Close the registry and press Windows + D keys to access the Desktop. Right-click to verify your results. Notice any changes?

Also Read:

Install DirectX 11.2 in Windows 8.1

Tips on How to Make Windows 8.1 Faster


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How to Fix Windows Defender Error Code 0x80073b01

Windows Defender is an essential part of Windows which keeps your system protected against viruses and malware attacks. However, the problem seems to initiate when itself is being attacked due to misconfigured files, viruses, or corrupt files data.  Luckily, there are several ways you can try out to fix Error Code 0x80073b01  of Windows Defender. Given below are a few methods to resolve it:

Edit Registry

The error code 0x80073b01 generally appears  due to corrupted installation of security of essentials. To resolve this corruption, do the following method:

  • Open Windows Registry Editor: Press Windows Key + R to open Run, Type Regedit and hit Enter
  • Now navigate to following keys and delete msseces.exe:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Image File Execution Options\  ” and delete the entry msseces.exe and
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun” and delete the entry msseces.exe.
  • Restart the computer and now you will be able to open Windows Defender/Security Essential

Repair Registry

Since you have made changes to the registry, it is important to ensure everything is done accurately and it is free from any orphaned entries. For that purpose, it is useful to scan through entire registry and fix any errors present in it. Using a useful free tool such as Free Registry Recycler can help this cause. Use it to find and fix errors in the registry. This would not only repair the corrupted entries but also give boost to PC performance.

Run System File Checker

The System file checker scans through windows files and verifies the integrity of files important to system. Running it not only finds through the problem but automatically repairs. To run System File checker do as directed:

  • From a search window type cmd, right click cmd and select run as administrator
  • In the command window, type sfc/scannow and enter
  • The scan should hopefully complete and advise it has fixed some corrupt files
  • Try opening Windows Defender from the Control Panel again

Remove Malware or Other Infections

The error originally appears due to an undetected virues or malware that stops defender or security essential serivce to initiate any further. In such scenario, the ultimate solution is to remove the infection using any other reliable security program.  We suggest you either Kaspersky or McAfee to completely scan the system against malwares and viruses. But be sure you scan your system while in SAFE MODE.


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Pimp Out Your Account Name by Adding a Tagline in Windows 8.1

God made us all different, right? Then why should Microsoft use the same profile settings for every Windows 8.1 user!

Ever since the release of Windows 8.1, there have been fascinating discussions on how to optimize the Metro UI, Desktop Screen, File Explorer, and what not. However, little has been said on how to pimp out the rather, insipid account name field greeting you the moment you launch your Start Screen. What’s more? It’s the same for every person, giving you no extra tagline to distinguish your identity from the others!

Well, all this monotony is about to change. Read this article and decorate your account field to become glossier, fancier, and primarily, more expressive. While many may not consider it necessary, I suggest you do not either! Instead, do it as a fun act, and notice your Windows 8.x experience flourish through in the process.

Tricking Windows

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this article basically tricks Windows because technically, there is no tagline field, only “firstname” andlastname”. But, that is all technically speaking. There is always a flaw in the system, and that is what we evil geniuses are here to exploit.

Start by logging into your Windows using your Microsoft Account. Next, click your name in the top right corner and choose Change account type.

Once in your personal account settings screen, click More account settings online colored in blue, located upfront. This link will transport you to your browser, letting you log into your Microsoft account to change your display name. To do this, choose Edit display name from the right pane.

Here is where you let your creative mind flow. Enter your full name under the First name field, and the leave the Last name column for the tagline. Put up anything! Like fixin’ stuff in 2014, or Registry Recycler a day keeps Windows 8.1 smoother, or awesome tips for awesome people, or simply ANYTHING else you want to wake up your computer to. Also, keep experimenting with random apostrophe’s, dashes, symbols, etc. till you hit the jackpot. Once  done, click the Save button.

Making It Work

To make it all work, what you need to do is reboot your system and login with a local account. Then you need to logout from that account and sign back into your Microsoft account. Sounds stupid right? I know, but that is apparently the only way to make Microsoft realize of the recent name changing activity.

Now you are all set to view your change. Enter your Start Screen by pressing the Windows key and notice the set tagline underneath your name. Immediately, you have become  cooler, pimper, and loads more unique.


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How to Remove Ribbon Interface from Windows 8 (8.1) File Explorer

Unveiling itself in Microsoft Office 2007, the Ribbon Interface has marked its entry in Windows 8 File Explorer, but with mixed reviews. While some may like the quick-access functions provided by this menu, others criticize its “messy” nature. If you belong to the latter and want to manage this cluttered tool better, I’ve got good news! Mindful of your concerns, Microsoft has made the Explorer Ribbon optional in Windows 8, throwing the ball at your court. Want to learn more? Read this article and create a cleaner, neater File Explorer look. First, let’s familiarize ourselves better with this thing we’ve been talking about.

File Explorer Ribbon Interface Remove

Windows 8: Basic Ribbons

  • By default, Ribbon view consists of four tabs, namely File, Home, Share, and View.
  • The File menu gives the user additional options of opening up a new window, navigating to command prompt screen, deleting file navigation history, asking for Help, or closing the opened Window.
  • The Home ribbon gives the user instant access to various commonly used commands such as copy, paste, move, rename, and numerous other handy options.
  • Next in line is the Share ribbon. As the name suggests, this allows for sharing files and folders with multiple users.
  • Finally, the View tab lets you customize how you view data. For example, you could opt for thumbnail instead of details view, choose larger tile size in place of smaller, etc.

While it all seems too ‘quit’ at the moment, things get dirty when you start surfing through different files and adding up extra ribbons as you proceed forward. Some of these can hinder your view completely owing to their larger size, making your tasks increasingly unpleasant/slow requiring you to find some tweaks to run Windows 8 (8.1) faster . If you are caught up in a similar situation, customize your Ribbon Interface and enhance your viewing point.

Steps to Clean Up Ribbon Interface

  • Firstly, open your File Explorer by clicking the Folder icon from the taskbar menu.
  • Next, notice a set of icons displayed either above, or below the Ribbon menu depending upon your enabled settings. This small set of icons is known as the Quick Access Toolbar, or simply QAT. Click the downward arrow shown on this menu, and notice a list of available options. These include incorporating various functions into the toolbar, specifically Undo, Redo, Delete, Properties, New folder, and Rename.
  • In addition, see the option Minimize the Ribbon. Go ahead and click this choice. And there you go! You have banished the extra wordings, extra tools, extra functions, and shortened the menu to a more “viewable” state.

Enjoy the cleaner environment and customize your Explorer to the fullest. However, if at any point of time you want to revert to the older settings, don’t fret! You can still bring back the menu simply by deselecting Minimize the Ribbon. Yes, it’s that easy.

Related Article:

How to Fix Windows 8 (8.1) File Explorer Crashes


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Here’s How to Disable Suggested Sites in Internet Explorer (IE) 11

While it’s always helpful to have your browser suggesting you your “favorite” websites as you begin typing in, it can get extremely annoying if it starts completing your web addresses with unnecessary suggestions. After all, it’s highly unlikely that a man would want to complete “www.how” with “www.how-to-make-hair-bows.com”!

Stop Suggestions Internet Explorer 11

If you are caught up in a similar situation and wish to stop Internet Explorer 11 from playing the smarter role, follow these easy steps and turn-off Internet Explorer 11 suggestions.

  • Launch Internet Explorer 11
  • Click on the gear located at the top right corner of your screen and then open Internet options
  • Enter the Content tab and click Settings displayed in the AutoComplete category
  • Uncheck Suggesting URLs and click OK

Congratulations! You can now use your favorite browser free of any frustrating suggestions. Yes, it was that simple!

Related Articles:

Troubleshoot and Fix Flash Player in Internet Explorer 10


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How to Set Up Speech Recognition in Windows 8 (8.1)

Speech recognition may sound like an ultra-modern utility featured only in the latest release of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, but it was actually built-in since Windows Vista! Found in the Control Panel, this handy feature can not only type what you speak, but also control applications and navigate according to your verbal commands. Sounds too good to be true right? Set up your Speech recognition tool and see for yourself.

Set up Speech Recognition in Windows 8 and 8.1

Speech recognition: Setup

Firstly, start by setting up your speed recognition tool by following the steps mentioned below:

  1. Open Control Panel from the Start menu
  2. Navigate to Ease of access -> Speech Recognition
  3. Click Start Speech Recognition and allow the Wizard to guide you through the setting up of your Speech Recognition

Once the tool has been set, a Speech Recognition bar will be displayed at the top, notifying you of the current tasks being done by the tool.

Speech Recognition Training

The next step is to train your Speech Recognition tool so that it can better understand and respond to your commands. To do this open the Speech Recognition window and click Train your computer to better understand you. This training tutorial will give you some text to read aloud and “speak” to the computer. At the same time, the computer will listen and try to learn the words spoken.

You can perform this training session until you are satisfied with the results and feel comfortable using the tool.

Speech Recognition – Dictate Text

Open any blank text document, and say the words “start listening” loud and clear into the microphone. Upon hearing, the Windows Speech Recognition will activate and listen for any words you speak. Next, start speaking and notice the Windows Speech Recognition type the words onto the text file.

To be fair, Windows Speech Recognition will have to be trained and tested again and again till it completely learns your commands and acts perfectly to your commands. In order to correct a mistake of the tool, you have to speak out the word “correct” followed by the word you wish to correct. For example, if you wish to correct the word “computer”, say the words “correct computer”. You will be presented by a panel listing the suggestions from which you can choose according to your preferences.

Following is a list of a couple of handy commands that you can certainly master to enhance the tool’s operations:

  • Delete previous sentence” – this will delete the sentence situated at the left of the cursor.
  • Go after word” – this will place the cursor ahead of a specific word.

Experiment yourself

Windows Speech Recognition isn’t one of the tools that you can master and perfect just by reading an article. Instead, set up your tool right away and experiment with it yourself. No one can teach its “slave” better than the “master” itself.

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Top 5 Apps for Windows 8 (8.1) Users

Troubleshoot and Fix Flash Player in Internet Explorer 10