Windows 10 tips

Windows 10 can be troublesome if it isn't used as it would like to be. Here are some tips to help keep things running smoothly.

Good practice

Windows 10 would like to be on all the time and connected to the Internet. Clearly, this is not always possible, but you can take some steps to help it out.

Avoid having the computer on just for a few minutes at a time. If you switch on, check emails, perhaps a few minutes on Facebook and then switch it off again, Windows never has the opportunity to do its own housekeeping tasks.

If you don't spend long periods at the computer (say, a couple of hours a day), then make sure that you leave it on for at least half a day, a couple of times a month. This will give Windows time to complete its maintenance work – downloading and installing updates, cleaning up old files, indexing new files, for example – and so it will be less likely to slow you down when you need to get things done.

First aid

Restarting Windows 10 can often resolve a wide range of problems, from minor glitches in appearance to black screens.

Restarting is not the same as shutting down and then switching on the computer. When you click on 'Shut down', Windows remembers a lot of settings and other information about how it was running, so that it can be quicker to start up next time you switch it on. Unfortunately, this means that if something was not quite right last time, it may not be quite right next time.

To correct this, restarting actually switches everything off and starts Windows afresh, checking the hardware and clearing out obsolete information. It will also make sure that any updates that have been downloaded but not yet installed are attended to, so it may take a little longer than usual.

Restart procedure

You can perform a restart either from within Windows (after logging in) or from the Login screen (where you enter your password or PIN).

Logged in to Windows

If you are already in Windows:

  • Click on the Menu button, the icon at the bottom left of the screen;
  • In the menu window, click on the Power icon, found at the bottom of the left column;
  • Click on the Restart option.

Login screen

After starting the computer, click the mouse or tap a key on the keyboard to go from the initial picture screen to the Login screen. On the Login screen:

  • Click on the Power icon at the bottom right of the screen;
  • Click on the Restart option.

In either case, allow a little longer than usual for the computer to start up.