Should You Ever Disable a Windows Service?

If you have ever searched for ways to make your Windows computer faster, you’ve probably run across several that suggest turning off or disabling certain Windows services. Other websites say it’s dangerous and you should never mess with Windows services. So, who is correct?

 

Well, the argument can be broken down into whether or not you know what you are doing. If you don’t know what a Windows service even is, then you really should not disable any service before researching it's function. If you have some basic understanding of services and programs, then it’s OK to disable only non-Microsoft services.

As a general rule, we never disable any service that comes installed with Windows by default or that is from Microsoft. If you think a service is unnecessary and might be slowing down your computer, you should Google it and then try to uninstall the program or Windows feature that is creating the service in the first place.

 

However, when you disable non-Microsoft services, your chances of messing something up on your computer are greatly reduced. Most of these third-party services don’t necessarily need to be enabled. They are usually there to check for updates in the background or something similar.

 

Windows Services Location

 

First off, there are two ways to view all the services on your Windows PC. You can go to Start and type in services to open the desktop app or you can type in MSCONFIG to open the system configuration utility.

 

 

Go ahead and click on the Services tab and you’ll see a list of all services with checkmarks next to each one. If you uncheck the service, it will be disabled the next time you restart the computer.

 

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Use Deep Freeze to Restore Your PC on Boot

Ever wish you could undo all the changes your staff or kids have made to a PC? Or maybe you would like to install some software on your system to test it before purchasing, but you don’t know exactly what it will do?

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just restart the computer and all the changes made were simply wiped out? Luckily, there is a way to do this using a program called Deep Freeze by Faronics.

 

Now you would be right if you looked at that page and thought that this is a program that is used by big companies or institutions. However, those are not their only customers. They sell a standard edition of the program which is cost-effective considering the benefits.

 

We’ve spent a lot more on software and have normally been disappointed. That’s why nowadays we only use freeware or purchase subscription software like Adobe Creative Cloud. However, this is one program we can recommend purchasing because there simply isn’t a freeware that can do the same thing in such a convenient way.

 

deep-freeze

 

It’s worth noting that we have not been asked to write this review by Faronics. We decided to try it out on our test PC that we use for installing test software and it’s made life a lot easier.

 

Features and Benefits

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How to Enable Flash in Chrome for Specific Websites

If you’re a Chrome user, which you should be, you probably have noticed that Flash is blocked by default in the browser. Google does not like Flash because of the major security flaws inherent in Flash and therefore does everything in its power to force you not to use Flash.

 

The problem is there are still a lot of sites that use Flash. None of the major sites you visit every day like Facebook, Instagram, etc. use it, but a lot of smaller and older sites just haven’t bothered to switch to HTML 5. 

If you do a quick Google search for enabling Flash in Chrome, you’ll see a lot of articles telling you to download Flash from Adobe’s website and install it (which won’t work) or to open a Chrome tab and go to chrome://plugins (which also won’t work anymore). In the most recent version of Chrome (57), you can no longer manage plugins by going to that URL. Instead, you’ll just get a “This site can’t be reached” message.

 

 

Now it seems they only want you to enable it for the specific sites where it is needed. In this article, I’ll explain how to get Flash to work when you need it and how to keep it disabled otherwise.

 

Check Chrome Flash Settings

 

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Forcefully Clear the Print Queue in Windows

Most of us have run into the situation where you try to print something and nothing happens.

 

There are many reasons why a print job may not actually print, but one of the common causes is that the printer queue has a stuck print job.

 

This can happen for a number of reasons.

 

 

Let’s say you tried to print something a few hours back, but the printer was off. You ended up not needing the document and you forgot about it. Then you come back and try to print. The print job is added to the queue and if the previous job didn't get removed automatically, it will be waiting behind that print job that never got printed.

 

The most common fix is to double click on your printer and delete the print job, but sometimes it will refuse to delete. In this scenario, you have to clear the print queue manually.

 

Clear Print Queue in Windows

 

In order to get the printing services back up and running, follow these steps:

 

1. Go to Start, Control Panel and Administrative Tools. Double click on Services icon.

 

 

2. Scroll down to the Print Spooler service and right click on it and select Stop. In order to do this, you need to have Administrative privileges, or be logged in as Administrator.  It will notify you if you lack the necessary credentials.

 

 

3. Next you need to press the Windows button & R at the same time,

 

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How to Setup Dual Monitors in Windows

Setting up dual monitors used to be an expensive and complicated task, but thanks to cheap graphics cards and cheap Monitors, nowadays, pretty much any modern computer can support dual monitors.

 

In addition, the latest versions of Windows support a lot of features natively that you previously could only get using third-party dual monitor software.

 

For example, each monitor can have its own taskbar and Start button.

 

Also, each monitor can have a different background or you can use a single panoramic picture and have it span both desktops.

 

In this article, I’ll talk about the requirements for dual monitors in Windows and how you can configure all the settings in Windows once you have the monitors connected.

 

Dual Monitor Requirements

 

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Chrome Remote Desktop

How to access your computer from anywhere using Chrome Remote Desktop

How to access your computer from anywhere using Chrome Remote Desktop 

Chrome Remote DesktopLooking for a quick and easy way to access your Windows, Mac or Linux machine from an Apple device, an Android device or even from another Windows, Mac or Linux machine?

 

If so, then there is one solution that works really, really well: Chrome Remote Desktop.

 

In order to use it, all you need is Google Chrome installed on your device.

 

After setting everything up, which we will explain below, you can access any of your computers from your device. This means you can remotely control your Windows machine from my iPhone, Nexus 6 and Mac laptop without having to worry about port forwarding, dynamic DNS, different operating systems or anything else.

 

The great advantage about using Google Chrome is that it takes about 5 minutes to setup and even  less than that if you already have Chrome installed on your devices.

 

Install Chrome Remote Desktop

 

The first thing we need to do is install Google Chrome itself on your computers. Since Chrome can be installed on Windows, Mac or Linux, it means you can remotely access any of those systems too.

 

Chrome Remote Desktop

 

Once you have Chrome installed, you need to install the free Chrome Remote Desktop add-on. Click the Add To Chrome button at the very top right. A popup will appear with the permissions the app needs in order to work properly. Click Add App to continue if you’re OK with the permissions.

 

At this point, the app should be installed and a new tab should appear where you can see all the apps that have been installed in Chrome. If this tab doesn’t appear, just open a new tab and type in chrome://apps/ in the top address-bar.

 

 

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3 Ways To Make Your Downloads Faster

3 Ways To Make Your Downloads Faster

By Sumai de Beer / James Henry Johnson

Slow downloads are not only annoying but can also cost you a lot of time and effort.

 

Fortunately, there's a very simple way to fix this problem which even a beginner can do.

 

Here are the steps you should take to fix the slow downloads on your computer:

 

 

Step 1 – Check Internet Speed 

 

The speed of your Internet connection is essential if you want fast downloads. Nowadays, a typical broadband connection is considered fast if it's over 1mb/s in speed. This basically means that the connection has the ability to download files at 100kb/s (the download speed is 1/10th of your overall connection speed).

 

To test what speed you're getting to your computer, you should Google "Broadband Speed Test" and then click on the first link. Run the test on the website and if it's below your expectations, you should contact your Internet provider.

 

Step 2 – Check Download Server Speed
 

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Startup Programs

Disable Unneeded Startup Programs in Windows 7, 8 & 10

Startup Programs

Disable Unneeded Startup Programs in Windows 7, 8 & 10

By Stephan Stemmett / Aseem Kishore
Startup Programs

It is irritating when you start up your computer and have to wait 10 minutes while all kinds of software loads up: Dropbox, antivirus, Chrome, Java, Apple, Adobe, graphics & printer drivers drivers, etc. If you have a lot of programs loading up that you don’t use immediately, then they are just slowing your computer down and should be disabled.

 

Most software prefer to load into memory as soon as Windows starts up, so that when you use it, it loads quicker. We would prefer your computer working sooner, rather than have a program you use once a week slow you down every day.

 

Disabling startup programs can increase the speed of your computer and usually will not adversely affect your computer because the software is loaded manually when you open a program.

 

Managing Startup Programs

 

You can manage your startup programs by opening the System Configuration Utility. Click on Start and then Run, type in msconfig and click OK. In Windows 7, you can just click on Start and type in msconfig. In Windows 8, the msconfig command brings up the System Configuration utility, but the Startup section now appears in Task Manager.

 

msconfig start

 

system configuration

 

Clicking on the Startup tab in Task Manager on Windows 8 or in the System Configuration dialog will bring up the list of startup items. In Windows 8, the list looks a bit different and it also gives you some extra info like the estimated impact the process has on the startup time.

 

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Troubleshoot Windows from Safe Mode

Safe Mode

Troubleshoot Windows from Safe Mode

By Stephan Stemmett / Aseem Kishore
safe modeNeed to get into Safe Mode on your Windows PC? If you’re not able to boot your computer normally, you can try to enter safe mode, a diagnostic mode for Windows that lets you troubleshoot problems that prevent normal booting.

 

In Safe Mode, Windows only loads the most essential services and drivers in order for it to run. All other normal Windows settings and start up programs are disabled in order to allow the user to fix the problem with their computer.

 

In this guide, we're going to go through the steps to get into Safe Mode in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.1 and Windows 10.

 

Safe ModeNote that if you installed a driver or just recently made a configuration change to your computer, you may want to try the “Last Known Good Configuration” before going into safe mode in Windows 7, Vista and XP.

 

Last Known Good Configuration loads the last working version of Windows. However, it is replaced each time you log into the computer, so if a problem has occurred, make sure to try this option BEFORE logging onto the computer again.

 

Note that in Windows 8/10 the Last Known option is no longer included. Instead, they have other options like Refresh, Reset (Reinstall), Restore, etc. I’ll go into more details below in the Windows 8/10 section.

 

Also note that there are three types of Safe Mode, so read the descriptions below to figure out which one is best for you.

 

Safe ModeSafe Mode – The basic option that loads Windows with a GUI interface and is usually what most people should choose when troubleshooting their computer. Safe Mode loads only the minimal required Drivers & Windows Services.

 

Safe ModeSafe Mode with Networking – If you need access to the Internet or the network while in Safe mode, then this is the option to choose. This mode is useful when you need to fix a problem that requires an Internet connection so that you can download updates, drivers, or other files to help fix your problem.

 

Safe ModeSafe Mode with Command Prompt – This mode will load with just the MS DOS command line prompt. This is useful if you need to run a DOS command like fixboot or chkdsk.

 

Safe Mode

Safe Mode in Windows XP/Vista/7

 

To get into the Safe Mode in Windows XP, Vista or 7, re-boot the computer and then press and hold the “F8 Key” which will then bring up the “Windows Advanced Options Menu“. Scroll down to “Safe Mode” using the arrow keys and press Enter.

 

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Reset your Lost or Forgotten Administrator Password in Windows

Reset Windows Password

Reset your Lost or Forgotten Administrator Password in Windows

By Stephan Stemmett / Aseem Kishore
ForgotPasswordIconWhat to do if you’ve forgotten your password? It’s never fun forgetting a password, especially if you have a lot of important data on your computer, but there are tools and methods that allow you to get access to your data without ever needing to know what the original password was.

 

Note, you will have to open command prompts & type DOS commands, but if you are an Existing IT Experts client, as long as you are on the Internet, we can also reset it for you at any time remotely.

 

 

Windows 7 & Windows 8.1 Reset Password

 

There are two ways you can go about resetting a password for a user account in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Both methods work on both operating systems, which is really convenient. The first method uses the Windows 7 or 8.1 installation DVD and the second method involves using a third-party tool. If you don’t have your install CD/DVD, then use the second method.

 

Get your supplied installation disc for Windows 7 or 8.1 and load it into your CD/DVD drive. Restart your computer and boot up from the disc. Note that you might have to change the boot order in your BIOS before the system will boot from the disc.

 

repair computer

 

For Windows 7, the first screen will make you pick your language, keyboard, etc. Just leave those as default and click Next. For Windows 8, it will be similar. On the next screen, you’ll see a Repair your computer link at the bottom. Click on that link.

 

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