25 Common Windows 10 Problems and How to Fix Them

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windows 10 problems and solutions

Windows 10 is now available since few days now to all and many users are already reporting many problem with installation, sound, security etc. This post will talk about Windows 10 problems and how to fix them.

#1 Windows 10 System requirements

Windows 10 settings and control

This is more of a prelude, but it’s important to know if you want to prevent unnecessary issues upon installation. Your computer needs to be up to par with certain standards. Here’s the specs Microsoft requires:

  • A processor of 1 gigahertz (gHZ) or faster
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit) RAM
  • 16 GB of free hard disk space
  • Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • A Microsoft account and Internet access

#2 Windows 10 won’t download

Windows 10 won’t download

Windows 10 won’t download

Users who have Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 are supposed to be able to download Windows 10 automatically by clicking an upgrade icon in the system tray on the taskbar. However, some users have had difficulty with the download, or haven’t been authorized to download it yet (Microsoft is rolling out upgrades gradually so the Internet doesn’t break).

Solution

In most cases, the problem is encountered because your current edition of Windows is not fully updated, and running Windows Update solves the problem.

Should that fail, you can work around the problem by using Microsoft’s Windows 10 media download tool. It will download a .ISO file of the operating system, which can be loaded on a USB drive or a DVD to then install the operating system from scratch.

#3 Windows 10 Activation issues

Windows 10 Activation issues

Windows 10 Activation issues

Probably the most fundamental problem that users are reporting in the early days of Windows 10 is a difficulty in activating the software once it has been installed. It is hard to imagine a more fundamental issue than this, and naturally this has led to some rather testy responses on Internet forums over the last day or so.

However, frustrating though activation issues unquestionably are, in the case of Windows 10 it is possible to resolve them relatively painlessly. Indeed, Microsoft has publicly stated that any issues related to activation should in fact resolve themselves within a few minutes. This has generally been reported to be the case among the Windows 10 community, but some users have nonetheless experienced lasting difficulties. There will always be anomalies with a software release of this complexity, though, and unquestionably an advisable route for those experiencing this problem is simply to install and try again.

#4 Windows 10 Automatic updates

Windows 10 Automatic updates

Windows 10 Automatic updates

A lot of people have expressed concerns about Microsoft’s new update policy. Updates to Windows 10 are mandatory, so you can’t opt out of downloading and installing them. That should mean you have stable software with the latest security patches and fixes, but at times it’s going to cause problems. We’ve already seen glitches and crashes caused by a conflict between Windows Update and Nvidia’s latest driver, though the issue was swiftly fixed. The odd bug sneaking through Microsoft’s testing is inevitable.

Workarounds

If you head to this Microsoft support page you’ll find instructions for uninstalling an unwanted driver or update. You’ll also find the “Show or hide updates” troubleshooter package. Download it, open it up, tap Hide updates, and then check the updates you don’t want to install automatically. You can always return to it later and tap Show hidden updates and then uncheck anything you’ve decided you do want to install after all.

You could use a firewall to block the update service and prevent it from updating automatically. The problem with this is that Microsoft has a policy of cutting off access to future updates unless you accept the updates that come through within one month. Access will be restored if you later accept the updates you were blocking, so it could still be a way of buying some time to find out how stable the update is.

 #5 Windows 10 Sound problems

Windows 10 Sound problems

Windows 10 Sound problems

 If you have problems with the installation of a Realtek driver, don’t get the full audio experience with VIA HD Audio, or have issues with Conexant audio, there’s a workaround for you to try.

Let’s take a look at these three issues in reverse order. A problem with Conexant audio means that you may hear no sound in Windows 10 even though everything appears to be working correctly. While this is being investigated, Microsoft suggests running msconfig.exe and heading to the Boot tab. Click the Advanced options button, check the Maximum memory box and set the value to 3072.

Workaround

If you have VIA HD Audio and find that you can only hear sound from certain apps, there’s a different workaround for you. Open Playback Devices, right click the audio output device and set it as the default device. With this done, select the device, hit Properties, move to the Enhancements tab and check the Disable all enhancements option.

Finally, if you are plagued with a problematic Realtek audio driver installation — specifically a 0x000005b4 error — you can try a workaround published in the Stone Support Library. There’s a guide to using Group Policy Editor to give the driver longer to install, or you can download a registry file to put the new settings in place with a couple of clicks. Once this has been done, you can then re-attempt the driver installation.

#6 Windows 10 forced updates cause system crash

Windows 10 Crash

Another problem caused by the forced updates is that they can crash your computer.

Solution

Rebooting your computer should fix that on a case by case basis. You can also uninstall the driver that’s causing problems.

#7 Windows 10 Chrome issues

Windows 10 Chrome issues

Windows 10 Chrome issues

Many users are also reporting early problems with the Chrome browser. Although Microsoft has attempted to repackage its own Internet browsing efforts with the release of the Edge browser, this is still unquestionably bad news for the corporation. Chrome has gained a lot of popularity with hardcore Internet users, and these are precisely the sort of people who are naturally likely to have been early adopters of the Windows operating system.

Unfortunately, many Chrome browser users are experiencing a whole raft of problems, with bogging and slowdowns of the software considered particularly prevalent. It seems that for some downloaders of the Chrome browser, processor-intensive tasks such as streaming video are simply not operating, as they should.

This will certainly be an issue that Microsoft works on over time, but an early workaround for any Chrome issues experienced is to kill all extensions related to the browser. As with all problems related to Windows 10, the suggestion of uninstalling and reinstalling Chrome has also been a prominent one, and a simple technique that can help alleviate any difficulties.

#8 Windows 10 forced updates cause software clashes

Windows 10 forced updates cause software clashes

Windows 10 forced updates cause software clashes

The forced updates are by far the trickiest aspect of Windows 10. Yet another problem that can occur is when a Windows update coincides with a third party driver management software update. This can cause a crash. The third party software can be halted, but the Windows update cannot.

Workaround

Your best bet is uninstall third party driver management and letting Windows take care of all the system updates, which gives Microsoft power over another company’s products.

#9 Windows 10 Disappearing favorites

Windows 10 Disappearing favorites

Windows 10 Disappearing favorites

Internet Explorer has been one of the most reviled pieces of software in the world, and Microsoft was pretty much duty-bound to update it sooner rather than later. It is no surprise then that it has released a new Edge browser, and the early response to this program is that it is significantly improved over its Internet Explorer predecessor.

However, some users have experienced problems locating their list of favorites, which are supposed to be migrated over directly from existing Internet Explorer bookmarks. However, in most cases this is simply an identification issue. In order to locate favourites on Edge, it is simply necessary to open the menu and then click ‘Settings’. Scroll down to ‘Import favorites’ from another browser, choose the browser that was utilized previously, and finally click ‘Import’. This should solve the problem instantly.

#10 Windows 10 Cortana not working

Windows 10 Cortana not working

Windows 10 Cortana not working

Some Windows 10 users have been having trouble getting Cortana to work. Some people are getting messages that Cortana is not available in their region or language, despite being in a supported region and using a supported language. Others have found Cortana is not on by default, or not working properly.

Workaround

First of all, hit Start > Cortana > Notebook and you can toggle Cortana on and off.

Take a look in Settings > Time & language. You need to make sure that you’re using one of these languages – Chinese (Simplified), English (U.K.), English (U.S.), French, Italian, German, and Spanish, and that your Speech language pack is installed. You also need your country or region to be China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, or the United States.

#11 Windows 10 OneDrive placeholders gone

Windows 10 OneDrive placeholders gone

Windows 10 OneDrive placeholders gone

Microsoft has changed the way that the cloud backup service, OneDrive, works in Windows 10. A lot of people are irritated to find that placeholders, which were basically previews of individual files stored in the cloud, have been removed. Ostensibly, this was done because some people were confused by placeholders and thought the files were stored locally. The system is now based on a selective sync, which has not pleased some people who liked to be able to sync individual files, particularly when working on devices with limited storage space.

Workarounds

Go through the web browser and find the individual files you want.

You could map it as a drive in file explorer. Log in to OneDrive on your browser and click on Files then copy the cid number (it will say cid= followed by a number in the address bar). For this example let’s say it says cid=435rty. Open File Explorer, go to This PC, and click Map network drive, choose a letter and then paste in “https://d.docs.live.net/435rty”. Where 435rty is your cid number. Reconnect at sign-in should be checked. You’ll need to sign in, but then you’ll be able to access your OneDrive through File Explorer, but be warned – it’s a bit slow.

Note : This is still a work in progress, so if it’s important to you, tell the OneDrive team about it. You can make suggestions at the OneDrive website. They might bring placeholders or some alternative back in a future update.

#12 Windows 10 Folder fail

windows 10 folder fail

windows 10 folder fail

Some early Windows 10 users have suggested that Windows 8 is superior to the new operating system in one regard. The email application that has been included in Windows 10 doesn’t currently allow users to create subfolders when organizing existing email. While this may be considered something of a trivial issue by many users, there is currently no solution to this complaint.

#13 Windows 10 Mail issue

Windows 10 Mail issue

Many who’ve previewed Windows 10 say that Windows Mail available on version 8.1 was superior. This is because you could create folders and subfolders, which you can’t do with the Mail app in Windows 10 (at least as of now). People who want to do more email customizing are using Thunderbird instead, which works well with Windows 10.

#14 Windows 10 excess bandwidth consumption issue

Windows 10 excess bandwidth consumption issue

Windows 10 excess bandwidth consumption issue

In Windows 10 Update Delivery Optimisation feature that is enabled by default. The problem is that this functionality automatically uses host computers and the internet bandwidth within to transmit updates to other Windows 10 PC users

Solution

Windows 10 users can choose to manually turn-off the feature, thereby retaining significant bandwidth for vital activities. To deactivate Windows Update Delivery Optimisation, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open Settings

Step 2: Navigate to the Windows Update section

Step 3: Select Advanced

Step 4: Select the Choose how updates are delivered selection

Step 5: Set toggle to Off

After installing Windows 10, users should notice that the Get updates from Microsoft, and get updates from and send updates to is set by default to PCs on my local network, and PCs on the internet.

Microsoft has stated that the Windows Update Delivery Customisation feature will not necessarily slow-down a host PC’s internet connection, but will use only limited bandwidth.

#15 Windows 10 Connectivity issues

 

Windows 10 Connectivity issues

Windows 10 Connectivity issues

Some Windows 10 users are also complaining that Wi-Fi is cutting out on a regular basis. This is not uncommon with any operating system or machine, but in the case of the Windows 10 there have been problems with reconnection. This is actually not a particularly uncommon issue across multiple versions of Windows, and fixing it simply requires a simple reboot. This was previously an issue with Windows 7 and Windows 8, and is something that should be resolved in fairly straightforward fashion.

It has also been suggested by some early adopters of Windows 10 that disabling Wi-Fi sharing enables wireless connectivity to be significantly more stable. This workaround has not been officially verified by Microsoft, but if Wi-Fi appears to be an issue then disabling sharing in Windows 10 could be a short-term fix.

#16 Windows 10 Wi-Fi unstable, slow, or won’t connect

 Windows 10 Wi-Fi unstable, slow, or won’t connect

Windows 10 Wi-Fi unstable, slow, or won’t connect

A lot of Windows 10 users are reporting issues with Wi-Fi. For some people it’s slow or intermittently drops the connection, others are having trouble getting Wi-Fi to work at all.

Workaround

Start by turning your router and your computer off and on again.

If you can’t get Wi-Fi to work at all then you might have a driver problem. Check with your network adapter manufacturer and make sure that you have the latest driver. You might have to download it on another computer and install it via USB flash drive.

Make sure that your router also has the latest firmware. You’ll find it at the manufacturer’s website.

Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi. Make sure that the Connect automatically box is checked for the network you want to connect to.

Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage Wi-Fi settings > Manage known networks and choose your network, then click Forget. Reboot the machine and enter the network details to connect fresh.

#17 Windows 10 shares your Wi-Fi with contacts

Windows 10 shares your Wi-Fi with contacts

Windows 10 shares your Wi-Fi with contacts

There’s always a balance to be found between convenience and security, but some people feel Microsoft has overstepped the bounds with the new Wi-Fi Sense feature. The basic idea is that it offers an easy and automatic way to share your Wi-Fi password (fully encrypted) with contacts sucked in from Outlook, Skype, or Facebook. The problem is that you may not want to grant access to your Wi-Fi network to every one of your Facebook “friends”.

Solution

Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage Wi-Fi settings and you can toggle network sharing off, or choose to include Outlook, Skype, or Facebook.

You can also decide whether to connect to networks shared by your contacts in here, which is important, because, as Microsoft says, “Remember, not all Wi-Fi networks are secure.”

If your concern is about a company network, or someone else on your network not opting out, then you can also add the text “_optout” to your network name (SSID), but Microsoft says it can take several days for your network to be added to the opted-out list for Wi-Fi Sense.

#18 Windows 10 Bluetooth not working

Windows 10 Bluetooth not working

Windows 10 Bluetooth not working

Quite a few Windows 10 users are having trouble getting Bluetooth to work properly. This could impact your keyboard, mouse, headphones, and anything else that connects to your computer via Bluetooth.

Solutions

Go to Settings > Devices and make sure that Bluetooth is toggled on.

Make sure that your Bluetooth accessory is fully charged and that you are following the pairing process. Sometimes you have to hold down a button to make the device discoverable. Check with the manufacturer for details.

There’s a reasonable chance that this is a driver problem. You’ll want to check with the manufacturer that you have the latest driver, especially if you’re jumping straight from Windows 7 to 10.

A few people have reported that uninstalling the driver for the device you’re having an issue with, rebooting your machine, and then letting Microsoft automatically detect it and install the driver will do the trick.

#19 Windows 10 Printer not responding

 Windows 10 Printer not responding

Windows 10 Printer not responding

If, after upgrading, you find that your printer isn’t working, you may have to start the whole installation process over.

Solution

In order to ensure seamless connectivity, everything, even the drivers of accompanying hardware, should be updated in advance of upgrading. Make sure you’re using a printer that’s compatible with Windows 10.

#20 Windows 10 can’t open Windows Store or can’t download apps

Windows 10 can’t open Windows Store or can’t download apps

Windows 10 can’t open Windows Store or can’t download apps

It seems as though a lot of people are running into problems with Windows Store after updating to Windows 10. For some people it won’t open at all, for others it’s proving impossible to actually download apps or app updates. There’s a chance that the delayed app downloads and updates are a result of busy servers, but there are some things you can try:

Workaround

Press Windows + R and then type exe in the box and press Enter. If that doesn’t work then delete your download queue and try it again. Some people report that it worked for them after a few tries.

If you can’t access the Windows Store at all it might be because you have the wrong region set. Go to Settings > Time & language and make sure you set it to the country you’re actually in.

It’s also worth making sure that isn’t down to incorrect time settings. Take a look in Settings > Time & language and make sure it all looks right.

#21 Windows 10 Edge won’t stream music when minimized

Windows 10 Edge won't stream music when minimized

Windows 10 Edge won’t stream music when minimized

Because Edge is a universal app, its actions are suspended when it’s minimized. This is really annoying when you’re streaming music on it.

There is no fix for this, so you simply have to stream your music from another source if you plan to listen to it while using your device for other activities.

#22 Windows 10 Tricky touchscreen

Windows 10 Tricky touchscreen

Windows 10 Tricky touchscreen

Some users previewing Windows 10 on their mobile devices say that the touchscreen abilities are not as intuitively functional as they should be. For instance, it’s easy to miss the edge of a window when trying to drag it, and some of the icons are too small to grasp with your finger pad.

Unfortunately, this is just the nature of the beast. There’s really not much other than practice that will help you overcome this finicky problem.

#23 Windows 10 Annoying pop-ups

Windows 10 Annoying pop-ups

Windows 10 Annoying pop-ups

Finally, social media users have reported that when attempting to install Windows 10 that they are encountering a particularly irritating message. This pop-up window offers some of the least helpful advice that any software company has ever offered any of its users. The window in question simply states that “Something happened”, and then elaborates on this concept by stating that “Something Happened – Microsoft – Something happened.”

Naturally this has met with much mirth and meme-creation on social media, but despite the controversy and amusement that many people have derived from this error, in practice it isn’t really a massive problem. Circumnavigating this issue is simply a case of uninstalling and reinstalling the software, and in the overwhelming majority of cases there has been no repetition of this admittedly annoying message.

#24 Windows 10 forced updates create portal for junkware

Windows 10 forced updates create portal for junkware

Windows 10 forced updates create portal for junkware

Windows 10 doesn’t give users a choice when it comes to system updates. It automatically accepts them. On one hand this helps the computer go about its business of updating accordingly. It also ensures that the computer is up to date on security patches, but automatic updating enables Microsoft to force-feed virtually whatever it wants onto a user’s PC or mobile device.

Solution

There’s really no fix to this, unless you board Windows 10 Enterprise, Microsoft’s business solution that lets users allow or deny updates.

#25 Windows 10 not free any more

Windows 10 not free any more

Windows 10 not free any more

This isn’t so much a problem as it is a gentle warning. Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade but only for one year. After that it retails for $119.

Solution

A year feels like a long time, but in the world of technology it’s a blink of an eye, so don’t put this upgrade off for too long … just long enough to let the initial kinks get ironed out.

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