GOOGLE PLAY SERVICES BATTERY DRAIN: HOW TO FIX IT

google play services battery 1

Google Play Services battery drain: how to spot it

The reason why Google Play Services could be the culprit is because for many apps it’s the key to the world of Google: it delivers your Gmail to mail apps, maps and location settings to mapping apps, ads to ad-based apps and so on.

If your trusty phone is suddenly suffering from terrible battery life, the culprit could be Google Play Services. Batteries do deteriorate over time, but it’s a gradual process: unless you’re spectacularly unlucky, a battery that was OK yesterday won’t suddenly discharge three times faster tomorrow.

The easy way to tell whether Google Play Services is draining the battery of your device is to pop into the Battery section of your Settings app. As you can see below on the left screenshot, just tap on Battery usage.

This shows you the biggest power hogs, and in most cases you should see the Screen listed at number one, which makes sense, given that it’s the most power-hungry part of your device. If Google Play Services is using more power than the display or more power than the Android System itself, something’s wrong. In the below screenshot on the right, you can see the list of power hogs.

Google Play Services battery drain: why it is happening and how to fix it

There are a number of reasons why Google Play Services might be using more power than you’d like. We’ve seen reports of Google Play Services eating battery life across versions 4.1.32 and 4.2, on devices running Cyanogenmod, on Lollipop and on KitKat. With so much variety there clearly isn’t a single solution to solve every problem on every device. But there are some things you can check.

As with any problem, we’re assuming you’ve already tried rebooting and that you have the most up-to-date software and firmware for your phone. If you haven’t, do those things first. They solve all kinds of issues.

  • Is Google Play Services eating battery because you have loads of accounts?

Play Services’ main job is to download things in the background. Those things could be your emails or the app’s ads, or notifications or checking your location to see if it needs to trigger a Google Now event. If your device is connected to multiple Google Accounts, for example because you have personal and work accounts or because you’re a spy or superhero with multiple identities, then Google Play Services is having to do all that for multiple accounts.

  • Is a third party app misusing Google Play Services?

If the battery drain is a recent development the problem might not be with Google Play Services but with one of the apps that uses it. Try booting into Safe Mode; if your battery problem goes away that’s a pretty big hint that the Google Play Services battery problem is down to a third party app.

  • Is Google encountering Sync errors?

Sync errors are when Google tries to synchronise data but can’t, for example because it can’t connect to a particular server. Problems with your data can also cause sync errors, so for example if something’s gone wrong with your contacts, calendar or Gmail that can cause Google to keep trying (and failing) to synchronise your local data with Google’s servers. Removing and re-adding accounts can solve persistent sync errors but before you do that, try disabling Mobile Data in Settings for a minute and then turning it back on again.

  • Is it your GPS?

When an app needs your location, it requests it through Google Play Services, which gets the information by using your GPS hardware. If you weren’t aware, using GPS takes up a lot of battery, and since Google Play Services facilitates this process, it can appear to be taking up the battery life when the GPS is really the culprit.

In the Battery usage screen we showed you how to get to before, tap on Google Play Services. On the detailed screen it shows you, scroll down until you see Location and tap it (like in the left screenshot below). You’ll then find three mode options, one of which is called Power saving. This mode doesn’t use GPS to retrieve your location, and is less accurate, but can save your battery life by only using your network and Wi-Fi information. If you find this setting to be too imprecise, simply switch it back to High accuracy later.

 

 

 

[Source:- AP]

New Mac Pro 2016 release date rumours: Issues surface regarding Late 2013 Mac Pro GPU, Apple offering free fix

The current Mac Pro was first unveiled just over two and a half years ago at WWDC in June 2013. It took another six months before Apple was able to start selling it (and a few more months for some customers to start to receive their units). Two years on, for a ‘top of the range Mac’ the Mac Pro is looking rather long in the tooth.

In this article we will be looking at rumours surrounding the new Mac Pro  release date, and features and specs we hope to see in the 2016 version of the Mac Pro.

The good news, for those hoping to upgrade to a new Mac Pro soon, is that code in El Capitan is hinting that a new Mac Pro with 10 USB 3 ports could arrive soon; new Intel Xeon Skylake chips have arrived.

On-the-other-hand, perhaps the Mac Pro should just be discontinued. A Mac Observer story suggests that it’s been a flop. It might just be time for Apple to go back to the drawing board if it is to save what appears to be an unpopular Mac.

Last updated to include information regarding faulty graphics cards in the current Mac Pro

New Mac Pro 2016 rumours: When is the new Mac Pro coming out?

Apple hasn’t announced a launch date for the next generation of Mac Pro systems, so we have to do a little detective work.

First up, code in OS X El Capitan is hinting that a new Mac Pro may be on its way soon. There is a reference to a new Mac that is code named “AAPLJ951” within El Capitan, according to Pike’s Universum.

The current Mac Pro is codenamed AAPLJ90 so there is some logic to this new reference being a new version of the professional-level workstation.

Another clue that this is the Mac Pro is the fact that the code hints that there are 10 USB 3.0 ports. Currently there are 4 USB ports and 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports on the Mac Pro. We think that adopting Thunderbolt 3 on the Mac Pro may make more sense as it brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at 40Gbps, for the best of both worlds, more on that below…

There are rumours that Apple wil hold an event in March 2016 at which it will unveil the new Apple Watch 2, an iPhone 6c, and possibly an updated MacBook Air. Although it is possible that Apple would also show off a new Mac Pro at that event, it seems unlikely, given the fact that the Mac Pro is a professional Mac and that event sounds very consumer focused.

Will Apple discontinue the Mac Pro?

Maybe the Mac Pro will never be updated. As The Mac Observer writes: “The ‘New’ Mac Pro is a Failure”. That site compares it to the ill fated Cube which was available for less than a year in 2000/2001.

Many professional Mac users are still using old Mac Pros from pre 2012 mainly because they are easily upgradable, with options for larger capacity drives (2TB or 4TB or more). You can even get a 12-core 3.46GHz processor in the older model that could give the newer, 2.7GHz 12-core processor in the 2013 Mac Pro a run for its money. As for video card options, the old Mac Pro has many more.

Those who did upgrade to the ‘new’ trashcan-like Mac Pro are also finding that the need for multiple expansion cards and external drives are cluttering up their desks, where previously these extras could be neatly concealed inside the Mac Pro chassis.

For all Apple’s claims about it being a powerful machine, it appears that the Mac Pro is just not considered a professional workstation by the intended market.

Incidentally, Apple has been granted a patent for the Mac Pro, specifically for the structure and organization of internal components and external interfaces for a compact computing system, according to a report on Patently Apple.

Possible delays with the new Mac Pro

If the new Mac Pro is delayed, it wouldn’t be the first time. Apple first unveiled the Intel Xeon (Ivy Bridge-E)-based Mac Pro at it’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) in June 2013, although the unit didn’t actually start shipping until December that year – in fact for most shoppers the supply of Mac Pro was so constrained that they didn’t receive their new Mac until 2014 – in come cases not until February or March.

One reason for the delays back in 2013 was thought to be the fact that Apple was building the new-look Mac Pro in the USA. It may well be that updates to the current model are also being plagued by the same issues that slowed the production lines back in 2013.

We had hoped to hear news about a new Mac Pro in the summer of 2015, so we’re growing impatient and are hoping for an update soon.

That said, the reason for the delays in updating this Mac could be lack of interest in this workstation-style Mac. Apple may be focusing attention on other projects such as the Retina iMac, which was updated in October. It’s possible that Apple doesn’t intend to update the Mac Pro at all. It has launched several other new Macs since the launch of the Mac Pro, including impressively powerful iMacs that can sometimes perform better than the current entry-level Mac Pro can. Video editor Max Yuryevtested Final Cut and Premiere Pro rendering on both the 5K Retina iMac and 6 Core Mac Pro and found that the iMac performed better in some cases, although did suffer from heating issues that the Mac Pro avoids thanks to its design.

But we don’t think Apple is trying to phase out the Mac Pro in favour of a more powerful iMac line-up. It’s more likely that it’s just spending a long time getting the new Mac Pro just right before it launches after the issues it experiences with the previous launch. There is still a market for the more powerful Mac Pro, which is upgradable and if you’ve got the budget for a high-end model can be incredibly powerful, fast and reliable.

 

New Mac Pro 2016: ports

The current Mac Pro sports six Thunderbolt 2 ports, which means this Mac can be connected to up to three 4K displays.

There’s also 4 USB 3 ports; Dual Gigabit Ethernet; and an HDMI 1.4 UltraHD, as well as a combined optical digital audio output/analog line out mini-jack; headphone mini-jack with headset support; HDMI port supports multi-channel audio output and a built-in speaker.

Code in the El Capitan beta actually suggests that the next generation Mac Pro will offer 10 USB 3.0 ports. Currently there are 4 USB 3 ports and 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports on the Mac Pro.

We think that it would make more sense if Apple adopts Thunderbolt 3 on the Mac Pro – this standard of Thunderbolt supports USB Type-C and offers 40Gbps transfer speeds, so Mac PRo users would get the best of both worlds. Thunderbolt 3 offers double the speed of USB 3.1, which is only 10Gbps.

Another thing Apple could add is a Lightning port as seen on the iPhone. Yes really. There are rumours that the lightning port will be used on Macs for plugging in headphones which could allow for high-res audio.

However, many traditional Mac PRo users are still calling out for PCI slots whcih would allow users to add faster SSDs and better video cards. Some even ask for internal drive bays, with Mac Observer noting that a 3.5in hard drive bay would allow for archival space to be added.

New Mac Pro 2016: new Xeon E5 v3 ‘Grantley’ processor

The 2013 Mac Pro features Intel’s Xeon E5 V2 processors (code-named Romley) offering up to 12 cores (as a build-to-order option). Back in September 2014 new Xeon E5 V3 chips (code-named Grantley) started shipping – bringing the Haswell architecture to pro workstations. At the time we thought the processor would soon make their way to the Mac Pro, but no upgrade emerged.

Those Intel Xeon E5 V3 chips were being used in Dell’s new Xeon Precision Tower (5810, 7810 and 7910) – find out more on Dell’s website. These Dell workstations use the Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processor series featuring either 14 or 18 cores per processor.

The processors in the current Mac Pros are configurable up to 3.5GHz for a six-core option, 3.0GHz for an 8-core option, and 2.7GHz for a 12-core option. We may see a slight boost in these numbers, but we could equally see the same clock speeds, with the processors themselves being faster.

It is possible that the new Mac Pro will, like the Dell above, offer an option of 14 or 18 cores.

New Mac Pro 2016: new Xeon E5 v4 processor

It is likely that Apple has been waiting for the next generation of E5 chips. Intel’s Xeon E3-1200 V4 (Broadwell) launched this summer and these may be destined for the Mac Pro. Alternatively the equivalent E3-1200 V5 (Skylake) Xeon processors launched at the end of October and may be Apple’s processors of choice for the new model.

According to WCCFTECH, these future Xeons will offer a greatly improved micro architecture, better graphics, better DDR4 support and capactity for more RAM.

The Xeon E3-1200v4 launched at Computex 2015 at the beginning of June 2015, but Anandtech stated that: “It looks like the current Xeon E3-1200 v4 is somewhat a niche product”, emphasising that along with being a chip for workstations with moderate graphics power, it should be ideal for video transcoding.”

New Mac Pro 2016 specs

Currently there are two standard Mac Pro models available along with various build to order options:

Quad-Core and Dual GPU: 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor; 12GB1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory; Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM each; and 256GB PCIe-based flash storage.

6-Core and Dual GPU: 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor; 16GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory; Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each; 256GB PCIe-based flash storage.

It seems likely that Apple will update the Mac Pro with the next generation Intel Xeon E5 processor described above, we may also see more RAM in the entry-level version, now that the 15-inch MacBook Pro range ship with 16GB as standard. We’ll go into more detail below.

New Mac Pro 2016: graphics

The 2013 Mac Pro features dual workstation-class GPUs. The Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM each in the Quad-Core version, and Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each in the 6-Core model. There’s also a build-to-order option of the Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each (an extra £480).

AMD showcased new its new FirePro W-series at Siggraph in August 2014. The FirePro W7100, W5100 may find their way into the new Mac Pro.

Alternatively there are significantly faster graphics based on AMD’s Fury platform that may be destined for the new Mac Pro.

Update (08/03/2016): After a thread on the Apple Support Communities website amassed a huge response when complaining about faulty graphics cards in the Late 2013 Mac Pro, Apple admitted that a number of Mac Pro’s have faulty cards and that affected customers could have the issue fixed free of charge. To be legible for a free repair, you must have encountered “distorted video, no video, system instability, freezing, restarts, shutdowns” or system startup failure.

It’s not all Mac Pro’s though, only those manufactured between February 8 and April 11 2015, and the issue can be fixed by taking your damaged Mac Pro to an Apple Store. Interestingly, MacRumours notes that the issues are known to exist with the AMD FirePro D500 and D700 GPUs, with the AMD FirePro D300 being completely unaffected.

Will these issues force Apple into choosing another graphic card manufacturer for the next Mac Pro? While there are no rumours online that suggest so, we think a change could be on the cards for the Mac Pro GPU.

Currently you will find 256GB PCIe-based flash storage as standard in both standard Mac Pro models, with an option to add 512GB SSD for £240 or 1TB SSD for £640.

We’d like to see more storage as standard on the Mac Pro as the target audience do tend to be working with very large files. We’d like to see an option for 2TB flash storage.

New Mac Pro 2016: RAM

The new Xeon E5 V3 Grantley chips are said to have DDR4 memory controllers, so you can expect even faster memory in this year’s new Mac Pro.

The current models offer 12GB RAM in the Quad-Core model, and 16GB in the 6-Code model as standard. You can add 32GB Ram at point of purchase for £320, or a massive 64GB RAM for £960. As we mention above, the 15-inch MacBook Pro now comes with 16GB RAM as standard, so we would hope that the updated entry-level Mac Pro would match that.

64GB RAM might sound like a lot to you, but some of these Dell workstations can accommodate up to 1TB of DDR4 RAM. We hope that the next generation of Mac Pros will be configurable to more than 64GB (four slots of 16GB). Yosemite is apparently able to make good use of the extra RAM.

Availability of the Mac Pro – delays

When Apple launches the new updated Mac Pro there may well be delays in availability as there were in 2013-2014, as the company attempted to ramp up production in its new, US based, facility.

When the new look Mac Pro launched it was plagued by delays, with availability slipping initially to January, then February, March and eventually April in some cases, before Apple was able to meet demand.

Having previewed the Mac Pro at WWDC in June 2013, the company promised availability before the end of 2013, but it wasn’t until 19 December that the Mac Pro became available. Then, following the launch, stocks were so limited that only a lucky few, US based, customers were able to purchase the new professional Mac workstation before the end of 2013.

Customers in the UK who ordered their new Mac on 19 December 2014 found that they would have to wait until January 2015 for the new Mac Pro. Some lucky UK customers finally received their Mac Pro around 12 January. This was almost a year after the old version of the Mac Pro was banned over in Europe because it didn’t comply with EU electrical safety laws.

Luckily the wait for the current Mac Pro isn’t quite so long now, with shipping for the standard versions “within 24 hours” according to Apple’s website. If you want a build-to-order version the wait will be about 5-7 business days.

The fact that Apple is no longer struggling to meet demand would suggest that when it launches there will not be the significant delays in getting units out to customers that there were with the Mac Pro at the beginning of 2013. Apple had a new design which was being produced at an entirely new factory in the US, so the delays were understandable, although maybe not excusable.

Where can I buy a Mac Pro?

Other than directly from Apple, you will be able to buy the new Mac Pro from Apple Premium Resellers such as Stormfront, Square Group, Solutions Inc, iStore, Western Computer, MR Systems, KRCS, HardSoft, and PC World. You can find an Apple Premium Reseller near you by searching on Apple’s site.

UK pricing for the Mac Pro

Currently the Mac Pro starts at £2,499 (£2,082.50 ex VAT) in the UK for a quad-core 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor with 10 MB L3 cache and Turbo Boost up to 3.9 GHz, 12GB RAM, Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB of VRAM and 256GB of flash storage.

There is also a 6-core model with 3.5GHz Xeon E5, 16GB RAM, two AMD FirePro D500 cards with 3GB of VRAM, and 256GB flash storage for £3,299.

We expect that prices won’t change significantly when Apple updates the range for 2014, although we could see a price drop as Apple has been dropping UK pricesacross its range of Macs in recent months.

Current pricing for the Mac Pro build to order options

The build-to-order options that will push the price higher. The following specifications are available for the 2013 Mac Pro:

Build-to-order options on the 3.7GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro 2013:

3.5GHz 6-core option (add £400), 3.0GHz 8-core processor (add £1,600), or 2.7GHz 12-core processor (add £2,800); 16GB (add £80), 32GB (add £400) or 64GB- (add £1,040) RAM memory; dual AMD FirePro D500 (add £320), or or dual AMD FirePro D700 (add £800); 512GB (add £240) or 1TB flash storage (add £640)

Build-to-order options on the 3.5GHz 6-Core Mac Pro 2013:

3.0GHz 8-core processor (add £1,200), 2.7GHz 12-core processor (add £2,400); 32GB (add £320) or 64GB (£add £960) RAM memory; dual AMD FirePro D700 (add £480); 512GB (add £240) or 1TB flash storage (add £640).

A Mac Pro with the maximum 12-core 2.7GHz processors, with 30MB L3 cache, 64GB RAM, 1TB PCIe-based flash storage, Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each currently costs £7,779 including VAT (£6,482.50 ex VAT).

[Source:- Macworld]

Eleven Windows 10 problems – and how to fix them

Stop tearing your hair out and follow our tips

Microsoft’s new operating system has – rightly – earned acclamation: Windows 10 takes a great step forward from the rock-solid and much-loved Windows 7, and it goes a long way to fixing the stumble that was Windows 8. Now we’ve all had a chance to live with it for a few months, though, its imperfections and foibles have had time to surface. Whether it’s the irritation of an extra screen at login, privacy concerns such as Wi-Fi Sense, or the frustration of not being able to upgrade in the first place, here are the ten biggest Windows 10 problems, and how to fix them.

1 – Can’t upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8

We could write a book about the problems people report with the upgrade to Windows 10. From the Get Windows 10 (or GWX) app reporting that perfectly viable computers aren’t compatible, through the app never appearing in the first place, to stalled and failed downloads. If you’ve got a PC still stubbornly clinging to Windows 7 or Windows 8, there are a few things to try:

  1. Open Control Panel, run Windows Update and ensure that the PC is fully up to date. If updates fail, run the Windows Update Troubleshooter (see below, number 3)
  2. Use the Media Creation Tool. Don’t rely on GWX: visithttps://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10, click Download tool now, save the tool and run it on the PC you want to upgrade. If this didn’t work for you back when Windows 10 launched, try it again now – the tool has been improved.
  3. Make sure that hardware Disable Execution Prevention (DEP) is switched on in the BIOS, referring to your motherboard manual for help if you need it. If you still have problems, use the Start Menu to search for ‘performance’, run Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows, click the Data Execution Prevention tab and turn DEP on for all programs and services, then reboot and try again.

2 – Can’t upgrade to the latest Windows 10 version

Windows 10 got a significant update (the Windows 10 Fall update) in November, but many computers have failed to install it automatically. From the Start Menu, type ‘winver’ and hit Enter. The latest build number is 10586.XX: if you’re still on 10240 you’ve missed out.

You can try troubleshooting Windows Update (see below), but in our experience, it’s best to use the Media Creation Tool. Download it and use it to upgrade the PC. Note that you’ll see a ‘Ready to install’ screen that, worryingly, doesn’t mention anything about an update: this is correct, just check that the installer is about to install the correct Windows 10 version (Home or Pro) and that it’s set to keep personal file and apps, then click Install – your data, apps and (almost) all of your settings will remain untouched.

3 – Windows Update isn’t working

Many people have reported issues with Windows Update in Windows 10. Check first that you’ve upgraded to the Windows 10 Fall update (see above, number 2). If you’re still getting problems, download and run the Windows Update Troubleshooter, then reboot and try to update again.

If the problems remain, you might need to get a bit more stuck in. First, check that System Restore is configured (see below, number 7) and create a restore point. With this done, use Win+x and select Command Prompt (Admin), then type ‘net stop wuauserv’ (without the quotes) and hit Enter, followed by ‘net stop bits’ and Enter. You should see confirmations that each service was either stopped or wasn’t running. Next, open Explorer, navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution, and delete its contents including any sub-folders. Now reboot, open Windows Update and click Check for updates.

4 – Turn off forced updates

If you’re anything like us, you set up previous Windows releases so that they wouldn’t install updates automatically – one forced reboot is one too many. To be fair to Microsoft, Windows 10 handles post-update reboots much more elegantly, but we’d still rather be in control from the outset.

There is a workaround for users running Windows 10 Pro: from the Start Menu, search for ‘gpedit’ and run the Group Policy Editor. Expand Computer Configuration in the left-hand pane, and navigate to Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update. Double-click Configure Automatic Updates in the list, select the Enabled radio button, and in the left-hand box select 2 – Notify for download and notify for install. Now click OK, and you’ll be notified whenever there are updates – unfortunately, they’ll be a daily irritation if you’re using Windows Defender.

The Group Policy Editor isn’t available on Windows 10 Home, but we’d recommend you at least open Windows Update, click Advanced options and select Notify to schedule restart from the Choose how updates are installed list. While you’re here, all Windows 10 users might want to click Choose how updates are delivered, and ensure that Updates from more than one place is either off, or set to PCs on my local network.

5 – Fix privacy and data defaults

We’re not a fan of some of the data-sharing defaults in Windows 10, and we’d recommend all users review them periodically. Use the Start Menu to search for and run the Settings app, then click Privacy. In the left-hand pane you’ll see many areas where your computer might be sharing data. It’s worth spending time checking that you’re comfortable with allowing apps to use your computer’s camera, microphone, account information and so on, and where you are, checking that no surprise apps appear in the lists. Note, too, that the default Feedback & diagnostics setting is to send enhanced data to Microsoft.

If you use Windows Defender, click the back arrow and select Update & Security, then Windows Defender. Check that you’re happy with the default behaviour, which is to enable Cloud-based detection and Automatic sample submission.

Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of Wi-Fi Sense, which is designed to get you onto wireless networks more quickly. On a device with Wi-Fi, click the back arrow, select Network & Internet, click WiFi and select Manage WiFi Settings. We’d strongly recommend turning off Connect to suggested open hotspots, Connect to networks shared by my contacts, and disabling the button under Paid WiFi services if it’s present.

Additionally, Wi-Fi Sense might result in the sharing of your network’s wireless credentials among devices you don’t control: allow a guest to log in and their contacts – and potentially theirs in turn – may also be able to. Ridiculously, the only fix is to rename your network’s SSID so that it ends with “_optout”. We’d recommend confining guests to a guest wireless network, configuring your own devices not to use Wi-Fi Sense, and asking staff to do the same before allowing their Windows 10 devices onto the main wireless network.

6 – Where’s Safe Mode when you need it?

Nothing gets you out of Windows trouble like Safe Mode, which is why it’s inexplicable that you can no longer enter it by pressing F8 or Shift+F8 at boot. Although it’s still available in Windows 10, you have to boot into Windows first, then either restart holding the left Shift key or via an option within Update & Security in the Settings app. Neither method is helpful if your PC can’t boot into Windows in the first place.

You can’t get around this, which is why it’s helpful to create a boot time Safe Mode option before trouble arrives. Hit Win+x and select Command Prompt (Admin), then type bcdedit /copy {current} /d “Windows 10 Safe Mode” and hit Enter. From the Start Menu type msconfig, run System Configuration in the results, and navigate to the Boot tab. Highlight the Windows 10 Safe Mode option you just created, tick Safe boot and select Minimal under Boot options and – if necessary – reduce the Timeout value so you won’t be inconvenienced – the minimum is three seconds. Tick Make all boot settings permanent (in fact you can simply return here to delete the Safe Mode entry) and click OK.

 

You can repeat these steps, substituting suitable names in quotes at the Command Prompt, to create shortcuts for Safe Mode with Networking (tick Network rather than Minimal in System Configuration) and Safe Mode with Command Prompt (Alternate shell).

7 – Enable System Restore

Another inexplicable choice in Windows 10 is that System Restore isn’t enabled by default; we wouldn’t hesitate to turn it on. Search for ‘Create a restore point’ in the Start Menu and select it in the results, then highlight the system drive, click the Configure button and select Turn on system protection. Use the slider to set an appropriate amount of maximum disk space – about 5GB ought to be enough. Note that, annoyingly, the upgrade to Windows 10 version 10586 turns this off again – you’ll need to turn it back on.

8 – Bad localisation, Cortana ‘not available’

Windows 10’s localisation options seem needlessly convoluted, and we’ve had multiple reports of incorrect localisation even in computers that were upgraded from correctly localised Windows 7 or Windows 8 installations. The most common issue seems to be dates in the American format MM/DD/YY, but Windows can also report that Cortana isn’t available, even in regions where it is.

From the Start Menu, search for region and choose Region & language settings. Check that United Kingdom is selected under Country or region, and check that your chosen language(s) appear under Languages. Select your primary language, click Options and click Download under the language pack, and speech options if they’re present. Check on this page that the keyboard is also correct – if it isn’t, add the correct one then select the wrong one and remove it.

 

Click the back arrow and select Additional date, time & regional settings. Under Language, click Change input methods, select your chosen language, move it to the top of the list if it isn’t there already, and click Options. Under Windows display language you might see either Enabled or Available – if the latter, click Make this the primary language. If you don’t see either, download and install the language pack, then make it the primary language.

Click the back arrow to return to the language preferences, and in the left-hand pane click Change date, time, or number formats and check that the format is set to the correct language. Check the Home location on the Location tab, and finally use the Administrative tab to check the System locale, and use the Copy settings button to apply the settings to the Welcome screen and new user accounts.

9 – Fix slow boot times

Like Windows 8 before it, Windows 10 uses a hybrid boot to enable fast boot times. When you shut the system down, apps and app processes are terminated, but the Windows kernel itself is hibernated to allow for a faster restart. In theory it’s great, but it seems to still be very slow for some Windows 10 users.

Disable it by searching for Power Options in the Start Menu and running the matching Control Panel applet, then in the left-hand pane click Choose what the power buttons do. Click Change settings that are currently unavailable, scroll down and un-tick Turn on fast start-up, then click Save changes. This should prevent very slow starts on affected PCs. Some users report that if they subsequently reboot, re-trace their steps and re-enable fast start-up the problem remains cured.

If you’re dual-booting between Windows 10 and Windows 7, switching fast start-up off will also fix the problem where Windows 7 checks the disks each time you boot it: With fast start-up enabled, the earlier operating system doesn’t recognise that the disks have been properly shut down by Windows 10.

10 – The lock screen gets in the way

Return to a locked Windows 10 device and you’ll see a pretty picture. That’s nice, but it’s a needless obstacle in the way of logging in. If you’re as impatient as we are, disable the lock screen by searching the Start Menu for regedit, and running the Registry editor.

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows. If you don’t already see a key named ‘Personalization’, select the Windows key, right-click it, choose New>Key and rename this new key to Personalization (sic). Right-click the Personalization key, choose New again then select DWORD (32-bit) Value. Select New Value #1 in the right-hand pane and use F2 to rename it NoLockScreen, then double-click it, change the value data to 1 and click OK. After a reboot, the lock screen will be gone.

11 – I can’t play a DVD!

Windows 10 shipped without an app to play DVDs on. Which is not great if you like to watch movies on your PC.

Luckily, Microsoft has released an app as a download. Trouble is it costs £11.59. It also has garnered an overall rating of just two stars. Alternatively, you can download VLC, which is free and works just as well if not better.

[Source:- ITpro]