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How to Fix a Thread Stuck in Device Driver BSOD in Windows 10

The “Thread stuck in device driver” BSOD ( Blue Screen of Death ) error in Windows 10 is caused whenever a specific driver gets stuck in an endless loop waiting for its hardware to go into an idle state.

This is usually related to the driver hardware itself. Why would driver software start doing this? There can be multiple reasons. A few common ones include a driver bug that was fixed in a recent update that you don’t have yet. It could be a Windows bug that, again, was fixed in an update you don’t have. 

Blue BSOD Error At Computer. Malware Attack

In a few cases, it could also be caused by a corrupt system file that’s causing issues with the device driver. 

The following troubleshooting tips will walk you through the most common fixes for the “thread stuck in device driver” BSOD error, and will end with the least common ones. 

How to “Fix Thread Stuck in Device Driver” BSOD Error

The best way to work through this guide is from top to bottom. The more common fixes that come first should resolve the issue earlier. Hopefully, you never have to make it to the end of this article!

Update Your Device Driver

The easiest way to update your specific device driver is by using Device Manager. If the error provided the device that’s having the issue, make a note of this before opening Device Manager. If not, you should be able to find the error inside the Device Manager itself.

  1. To open Device Manager, select the Start menu, type “device” and select Device Manager.
  1. If you know the device that’s having the issue, scroll down to that device. Otherwise scroll down the list and look for any devices with an exclamation mark icon, which indicates a device error. Once you find the device, right-click and select Update Driver Software.
  1. To get the latest driver, select Search automatically for updated driver software. This will make Device Manager look for the latest device driver via the internet. It will identify the latest version and compare it to the version you currently have installed.
  1. If the driver you have is already updated, you’ll see a status displaying this.
  1. If it doesn’t, it’ll automatically update your driver to the latest version. You’ll see a status that the driver has been updated when it’s finished.
  1. Restart your computer and confirm that the “Thread stuck in device driver” error is resolved.

Keep in mind that even if the Device Driver doesn’t find the latest version for your driver, there may still be a newer version out there. If you know which device is having the issue, visit the manufacturer website and check the latest version. Compare this to your current driver version.

To see the version of your device driver, open Device Manager, right click on the device and select Properties. Select the Driver tab to see what your current Driver Version is.

If the manufacturer has a later version than what you have installed, download and install the new device driver.

Note: If you recently updated your driver right before the error started, you may want to consider rolling back the driver to see if it resolves your issue.

Upgrade Standard System Drivers

If you didn’t see any drivers with an error, or updating the device you’re having an issue with didn’t resolve the problem, make sure your graphics or audio drivers are updated.

This is because most applications need to interface with both the graphics and audio cards in your PC. If those drivers are out of date, it could lead to device driver errors.

To update your graphics driver, open Device Driver again and expand Display adapters

Select Update driver and go through the same process as above to update the graphics driver.

Do the same thing for your audio drivers. Expand the Audio inputs and outputs section in Device Manager.

Right click the audio devices you use and select Update driver for each of them. 

Once you’ve updated your graphics and audio drivers, restart your computer and confirm that this has resolved the “Thread stuck in Device Driver” error.

Run a System File Checker (SFC) Scan

If you’ve gotten to this point and nothing fixed the error, start with some deeper troubleshooting.

The first thing to check is whether there are any corrupt system files that could be causing conflicts with the device driver. 

To do this:

  1. Select the Start menu, type “command prompt”, right click the Command Prompt app, and select Run as administrator.
  1. Type the command sfc /scannow and press Enter.

The scanning process can take some time. It’ll update the process as a percentage on the screen. 

If the SFC process finds any corrupt or missing system files, it’ll automatically repair the file by replacing it with the correct system file (from backup). 

Once the scan is finished, restart your computer to check if the error is gone.

Restore a Previous Version of Windows

If nothing has fixed the error at this point, the last resort may be to restore Windows 10 to a previous restore point.

You can restore individual files, or restore your entire system to a previous restore point .

If you haven’t made any previous restore points for Windows, then unfortunately you’ll have no choice to restore Windows 10 to its original factory settings .

While this isn’t the idea solution, hopefully you haven’t had to get this far in this article. If you did, then remember that you can always back up your important folders and files before restoring Windows. This way you don’t have to put any of your important information and data at risk.


How to Fix a “Page Unresponsive” Error in Google Chrome

Google Chrome usually displays a “Page Unresponsive” error when a web page takes too long or fails to load correctly. In most cases, selecting Exit pages and refreshing the problematic page should help you get rid of the error for good. 

If not, try accessing the page on another browser such as Edge, Safari, or Firefox. If it shows up without running into any problems, you’re likely dealing with a Chrome-related issue that you must fix on your end. 

Below, you’ll find a list of troubleshooting tips and methods that you can work your way through to resolve persistent “Page Unresponsive” errors in Chrome.

Update Google Chrome

Google releases constant updates that introduce bug fixes and performance enhancements in Chrome. Although the browser updates itself automatically, it’s always a good idea to double-check. 

Start by opening the Chrome menu—select the 3-dots icon to the screen’s top-right. Then, point to Help and select About Google Chrome. That should force the browser to scan and install any pending updates. 

Restart PC or Mac

Restarting your PC or Mac typically helps resolve minor technical issues or other system-related anomalies that prevent Chrome—as well as other applications—from working properly. Do that now before moving on with the rest of the fixes.

Clear Cookies and Browser Cache

Outdated browsing data can end up causing all sorts of trouble while visiting websites. To rule that out as the reason behind the “Page Unresponsive” error, you must clear the Chrome cache. 

Note: It’s best to get rid of the cache and cookies for a problematic site first and follow by deleting the entire Chrome browser cache if that doesn’t help.

Clear Cache for a Specific Site

1. Go to Chrome’s Settings screen.

2. Select Privacy and security on the sidebar.

3. Select Site Settings.

4. Select View permissions and data stored across sites.

5. Pick the site from the list and select Clear data.

Clear Entire Chrome Browser Cache

1. Open a new Chrome tab.

2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Delete or Cmd+Shift+Delete to bring up Chrome’s Clear browsing data box.

3. Under the Basic tab, check the boxes next to Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files. Then, set the time range to All time and select Clear data.

Disable Third-party Cookies

Sometimes, web pages can take too long to load in Chrome due to third-party browser cookies . Disable them and check if that helps. 

To do that, open the Chrome menu and select Settings. Then, select Privacy and Security on the sidebar and pick the option labeled Cookies and other site data. On the screen that follows, select Block third-party cookies.

Note: Blocking third-party cookies in Chrome can break specific site functions. Re-enable them once you’ve finished visiting sites that end up with a “Page Unresponsive” error.

Disable Hardware Acceleration

Chrome uses hardware acceleration to speed things up. But rarely, that can also end up causing page rendering issues. Try disabling the functionality.

Go to Chrome’s Settings screen and select Advanced > System on the sidebar. Then, turn off the switch next to Use hardware acceleration when available and select Relaunch.

Update Graphics/Audio Drivers

If disabling hardware acceleration ended up fixing the “Page Unresponsive” error in Chrome on a PC, you should follow by updating the graphics and audio drivers. Use a driver updater tool to get the most recent driver updates automatically. Once you’ve done that, re-enable hardware acceleration in Chrome and check if the issue recurs.

Disable Extensions

Running lots of Chrome extensions at the same time can consume system resources, slow things down to a crawl, and result in “Page Unresponsive” errors. Some extensions can also create conflicts with site content and prevent pages from functioning correctly.

You can find out if that’s the reason behind the “Page Unresponsive” errors quite easily. Start by selecting the Extensions icon to the right side of the Chrome address bar. Then, select Manage Extensions and turn off all active extensions. 

If you don’t run into the “Page Unresponsive” error after that, re-enable the extensions one-by-one. That should help you identify any that uses too many system resources or cause other issues in Chrome. 

Remove Harmful Software

The “Page Unresponsive” error can also show up due to malicious extensions and browser hijackers. You can deal with that by taking Chrome’s built-in harmful software scanning tool out for a spin. It’s only included in the PC version of Chrome, however.

1. Open the Chrome menu and select Settings

2. Select Advanced > Reset and clean up on the sidebar. 

3. Select Clean up computer > Find to scan and remove harmful software.

Ideally, you should wrap up by scanning your computer with a dedicated malware removal tool. The free version of Malwarebytes is more than good enough for the job. It’s also available for both Windows and macOS.

Use a Content Blocker

Sometimes, sites with heavy page content can take a long time to load and break down in “Page Unresponsive” errors. Try adding a content blocking extension (which gets rid of ads and tracking scripts) to Chrome and check if that fixes the issue. uBlock Origin , AdGuard AdBlocker , and Adblock Plus are top picks.

Update Windows/macOS 

You must always keep the operating system on your PC or Mac up-to-date. That gives Chrome a stable platform to run on and minimizes possible conflicts with Windows or macOS.

Update Windows

Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security and select Download and install to apply the latest Windows updates.

Update macOS

Go to System Preferences > Software Update and select Update Now to install the latest macOS updates.

Create New Chrome Profile

If none of the fixes above helped, you’re likely dealing with a corrupt Chrome user profile. You can create a new one by renaming your current profile using File Explorer or Finder. But before you begin, make sure to sync your browsing data to a Google Account .

1. Exit Google Chrome.

2. Press Windows+R to open the Run box on the PC. If you use a Mac, open Finder and select Go > Go to Folder instead.

3. Copy and paste the relevant folder path below and press Enter:

PC — %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\

Mac — ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/

4. Rename the folder labeled Default to Default.old.

5. Reload Chrome. The browser should automatically generate a new profile. Sign in with your Google Account to start using it.

Reset Google Chrome

If you still keep running into frequent “Page Unresponsive” errors, it’s time to reset Google Chrome. That reverts all browser settings and allows you to start using Chrome in a new state. Again, make sure to sync your browsing data to a Google Account before you go ahead.

1. Open the Chrome menu and select Settings.

2. Select Advanced > Reset and clean up/Reset settings on the sidebar.

3. Select Restore settings to their defaults > Reset settings.

Fully Responsive Web Pages

Common fixes such as clearing the browser cache, turning off hardware acceleration, and disabling unnecessary extensions will almost always end up fixing the “Page Unresponsive” error in Chrome. Keep them in mind so that you know what to do the next time you run into it.


How to Repair an Outlook PST File That’s Damaged or Corrupt

Issues with Microsoft Outlook’s Personal Folders File format—commonly referred to as PST—have been a huge problem for years. Microsoft knows that, which is why Outlook comes with a built-in tool called Inbox Repair to help you fix corrupted PST files.

In most cases, simply running a damaged PST file through the Inbox Repair tool should be enough to patch it up. But sometimes, you must take extra action to recover lost items.

How Outlook PST File Repair Works

Outlook’s Inbox Repair tool is buried deep within the Microsoft Office installation folder on your computer, so you need to do a bit of digging to get to it. Once you’ve located and launched Inbox Repair, all you need to do is select the damaged PST file to repair it. 

Important: Inbox Repair provides an option to create a backup of the damaged PST file. Make sure to select it since you may need a copy to retrieve missing data later on.

1. Completely exit Microsoft Outlook.

2. Open File Explorer. Depending on the version of Windows that you use, navigate through the following folders:

  • Windows 64-bit: Local Disk (C:) > Program Files > Microsoft Office > root > Office16
  • Windows 32-bit: Local Disk (C:) > Program Files (x86)> Microsoft Office > root > Office16

Note: The folder paths above apply to Outlook 2016, Outlook 2019, and Outlook 365. If you use an older version of Outlook, you must select the Office15 (Outlook 2013), Office14 (Outlook 2010), or Office12 (Outlook 2007) folder instead.

3. Locate the file labeled SCANPST and run it as an administrator.

4. Use the Browse button to select the Outlook PST file that you want to repair.

If you don’t know the location of the PST file, press Windows+S to open Windows Search. Then, search for it by name and include the .PST file extension. You will see the file location within the search results.

Alternatively, open Outlook and go to File > Account Settings > Data Files to view the PST file’s location. Make sure to close the application after that.

5. Select Start. The Inbox Repair tool will check the PST file for issues. That should take some time.

6. Check the radio button next to Make backup of scanned file before repairing and select Repair.

7. Select OK to finish repairing the PST file.

Open Microsoft Outlook and it should automatically start using the PST file without issues. You will find a copy of the corrupted PST file (with the .BAK extension) in the same location as the repaired original.

Recover Lost and Found Files

Sometimes, Microsoft Outlook’s Inbox Repair tool may end up repairing a severely damaged PST file. Suppose the tool fails to place any repaired items in their original folders or locations. In that case, it will lump them into a Lost and Found folder or a set of folders under the Recovered Personal Folders label. 

You can recover these items by creating a new PST data file in Outlook and moving the contents from Lost and Found or Recovered Personal Folders into it.

1. Open the Home tab in Outlook. Then, open the menu next to New Email, point to More Items, and select Outlook Data File

2. Pick the Outlook Data File option and select OK.

3. Specify a location on your computer, enter a name for the new PST file, and select OK.

4. Select the More icon (three dots) to the Outlook window’s lower-left corner and select Folders to switch the Outlook sidebar to Folder List view.

5. Drag the contents within Lost and Found or Recovered Personal Folders into the new data file.

Once you’ve done that, you can choose to remove the Lost and Found folder or the Recovered Personal Folders data file from Outlook.

Recover Additional Items from PST

Suppose you notice any missing items within the repaired data file. if you also can’t find them inside the Lost and Found folder or under Recovered Personal Folders, you can try retrieving them using the backup copy of the original. Basically, you try to import the contents within the file without duplicating any items that the Inbox Recovery tool has already recovered.

1. Copy the corrupted PST file backup to your desktop. 

2. Change the .BAK extension at the end of the file name to .PST.

Note: If you can’t see the file extension, open the File menu in a File Explorer window and select Change folder and search options. Then, switch to the View tab and uncheck the box next to Hide extensions for known file types.

3. Open the File menu in Outlook and select Open & Export > Import/Export.

4. Select Import from another program or file and select Next.

5. Select Outlook Data File (.pst) and select Next.

6. Select Browse and select the backup copy of the corrupted PST file (the one that you just renamed). 

7. Select Do not import duplicates and select Next.

8. Check the box next to Include subfolders. Then, select Import folders into the same folder and pick the account or data file that you want to import the items into.

9. Select Finish.

Once Outlook finishes importing any items, you must manually confirm if the previously missing items are now present. If not, try running the Inbox Repair tool another time.

Third-Party Outlook PST Repair and Recovery Tools

A cursory search online will reveal lots of paid third-party tools that claim to repair damaged or corrupted Outlook PST files. In almost all cases, though, the Inbox Repair tool should be more than good enough for the job. 

Only use a third-party recovery program if Inbox Repair fails to retrieve your data, and do your due diligence by checking online reviews thoroughly before spending any money on them.

Before we wrap up, here’s an interesting tidbit: the Inbox Repair tool also allows you to recover deleted items from Outlook .


How to Fix a WHEA Uncorrectable Error BSOD

There are as many BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) errors than we can count, yet some of them will show up with more frequency and vengeance than others.

The WHEA ( Windows Hardware Error Architecture ) uncorrectable error is one of those unwelcome visitors and can be incredibly frustrating to solve, but with some systematic sleuthing you can track down the source of the problem and troubleshoot your PC sooner rather than later.

What Is WHEA?

As mentioned above, WHEA is short for Windows Hardware Error Architecture. It’s a software system built into Windows that lets the operating system communicate with hardware and interpret errors from that hardware when things go wrong.

WHEA lets the computer log and organize errors from your hardware, with standardized report formatting and content and plenty of technical detail. Of course, none of this is helpful to the average user. 

The most important bit of information you need to take from all of this is that a WHEA error happens when the physical hardware of your computer reports an error, which is then detected by WHEA.

In the case of the uncorrectable BSOD, the error is so serious that the computer has to stop in order to protect your data and hardware. Now that we have a clear idea of what this BSOD is and why it happens, let’s look at some steps you can take to try and fix it.

Update or Roll Back Drivers Using Safe Mode

If you’re lucky, the “hardware” error is actually the result of faulty drivers. So you can try booting into Safe Mode, which loads basic safe drivers and then roll back the last drivers that were installed for your major hardware components. 

Check out How to Restart Windows in Safe Mode in case you don’t know how and also How To Roll Back A Driver In Windows 10 for the sequence of steps you need for this fix.

Turn Back the Clock on Windows Updates

One of the worst things about Windows 10 is that every major update feels like a roll of the dice. It’s not that uncommon to go to bed with a working computer, but wake up to a broken one thanks to an overnight update.

While there’s no guarantee that your latest update is related to your new hardware error, you can uninstall Windows updates to see if that makes the issue go away. If it does, then you should wait for a fix from Microsoft before updating again.

Test Your RAM

One common reason for this BSOD is the presence of one or more faulty RAM modules. This is particularly likely if the error is seemingly random and intermittent. That’s because the specific memory module that’s failed won’t be asked to store data every time you use your computer or repeatedly under the same workload.

The good news is that you can test your RAM in a systematic way that’s guaranteed to uncover any memory chips that have gone bad. 

Read How to Diagnose, Check, and Test for Bad Memory for the exact info you need to detect bad memory.

Undo Overclocking and Other Mods

If you have a computer that’s been modified or is running out of spec in terms of its settings, your first step should be to undo that. The exact method will vary from one computer to the next, but generally you’ll enter the BIOS by pressing a keyboard shortcut at boot. The specific keyboard shortcut will be detailed in your motherboard’s manual.

Once in the BIOS, simply select the option to reset the BIOS to default and then reboot. Sometimes an issue with your hardware may prevent you from booting into the BIOS to reset the settings. You may be forced to manually reset your BIOS. Some motherboards have a physical button or switch that you can use to reset BIOS settings. 

As a last resort, you might consider removing the CMOS battery (a circular battery cell on the board) with the computer unplugged. This will make the BIOS lose its settings and you can then replace the battery after a minute or two and attempt another boot.

Disable Performance Enhancing Features

While this is not a final fix, it seems that the built-in turbo modes in modern CPUs can cause this error, most likely because they push it past a point where other hardware should have still supported that performance level. 

If turning off your processor’s automatic turbo mode in the BIOS makes the error go away, that’s a clue that another component isn’t taking the strain of those higher performance levels.

Check Your Computer for Cooling Issues or Damaged Components

With a WHEA uncorrectable error it’s worth cracking open your computer and giving it a good inspection. Check that every connector is properly inserted. Make sure that there’s no obvious damage on cabling or components. Look out for swollen capacitors or anything else that looks out of place. 

While most physical hardware damage is invisible to the naked eye, sometimes it’s something you can see as plainly. If a component looks damaged, you’ll need to get it checked out by a professional.

Start your computer up with the cover off and check that every fan is spinning properly. Are any heatsinks loose? Fans that are not spinning need to be checked to see if their power connection is good. If a fan has failed, it needs to be replaced.

Make Sure Your CPU, GPU and RAM are Connected Properly

In some cases, a bad connection between major components is to blame for hardware errors. The simplest way to check for this, is to remove and reseat these components. That means taking your GPU, CPU and RAM out of their sockets and then putting them back properly. 

This is simple enough when it comes to your graphics card or RAM, but it’s trickier with your CPU. To remove the CPU and reseat it, you need to remove the heatsink. Whenever you remove your CPU heatsink, you need to clean off both the top of the CPU and the bottom of the heatsink. Then apply new thermal paste before putting it all back together. 

Look for an instructional video showing the process for your particular CPU or get an experienced technician to do it for you. Since you can damage the CPU during this process, we don’t recommend trying it without help.

Beating the BSODs

Being blindsided by a BSOD is never fun, especially when it suggests that one of your precious hardware components has gone bad. While the tips above are likely to help resolve a WHEA uncorrectable error, no one can ever provide an exhaustive list of fixes that will work for everyone.

If you’ve tried the most likely solutions in this article and still can’t get to the bottom of the issue, it’s time for more detective work. A good place to start is our Blue Screen of Death Troubleshooting Guide for Windows 10 , which will equip you with the sleuthing abilities you need to handle any type of BSOD.


The Best Windows Command Line Network Commands

Windows comes packed with several useful network utilities. These programs can get you critical information about your network connection and help diagnose problems. There are four TCP/IP network utilities that every Windows user should know about:

  1. Netstat
  2. Tracert
  3. IPconfig
  4. NSlookup

Let’s see what these utilities do and how they’re commonly used.

A Refresher on TCP/IP

All four utilities are TCP/IP network programs. What does that mean? 

TCP/IP is short for Transmission Control Protocol Internet Protocol. A protocol is a set of rules and specifications that determine how a process works. 

For example, at work it might be protocol to first make an appointment with your boss’ personal assistant instead of barging into their office at random times of day. Similarly, TCP/IP describes how the various devices connected to each other on the internet can communicate in an orderly fashion.

Learning to Love the Command Line

While 99% of computer interfaces these days are graphical, there will always be a need for text-based command line tools. For the most part, these TCP/IP utilities work through the command line. That means you need to type in the name of the utility and the action you want it to take.

In Windows this has always been achieved through the Command Prompt , but that’s being phased out. The preferred command line interface today is Windows PowerShell. 

To access the Powershell:

  1. Right-click on the Start Button
  2. Select Windows PowerShell (Admin)

Now you can type your commands into the command line in PowerShell to your heart’s content. If you want to walk the path of the PowerShell master, it begins with a single step. That is, Using PowerShell for Home Users – A Beginner’s Guide by our very own Guy McDowell.

Now let’s begin to know them better.

What is Netstat?

Netstat or Network Statistics is a powerful information utility that gives you important insights into what your network connection is doing at any given moment. It gives you basic statistics on key network activity. This includes which ports are open and in use and what connections are open and running.

Netstat isn’t just a Windows application, it’s on Linux, Unix and Mac as well. It started life on Unix and has become a fundamental weapon in the network administrator’s toolbox. 

There is a graphical alternative in the form of Microsoft TCPView , but knowing how to use netstat will always be useful. There are many use cases for the program, but one common purpose these days is the detection of malware. Malicious software such as trojans often open a port and wait to be contacted by their creators for further instructions. With netstat you can quickly see if there’s a suspicious connection from your computer to the network.

Important Netstat Commands

Netstat is one of the easiest TCP/IP utilities to use. All you have to do is type “netstat” (without the quotes) and you’ll get the standard list of active connections. Which should look something like this:

This is fine for a normal overview of your network connections, but you can modify the output by using modifiers. For example, “netstat -a” displays all active ports and “netstat -b” will show you the executable file responsible for each listening port. Here are more key commands:

  • Netstat -e – displays details of packets that have been sent
  • Netstat -n – lists currently connected hosts
  • Netstat -p – allow to specify what type of protocol you want to check
  • Netstat -r – provides a list of routing tables
  • Netstat -s – gives statistics on IPv4, IPv6, ICMP, TCP, etc

What is Tracert?

Tracert is short for traceroute. It’s a network utility that shows you information about every stop along the way from your computer’s network interface to the destination device.

When you use Tracert, the application sends special Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packets which compel the devices at each hop to send back information. Specifically, it asks them to relay the exact time the packet arrived and then uses that information to calculate the travel time between each hop.

There are three main uses for Tracert:

  • To see where a packet gets lost.
  • To determine where packets are delayed.
  • To see the IP addresses of each hop along the packet’s route.

Next, let’s see the Tracert command in action.

Important Tracert Commands

The most basic form of the Tracert command requires the name of the utility as well as the network destination. The destination can be expressed as either an IP address or a website URL. For example: Tracert www.google.com .

The output of the command looks like this:

Tracert also has a small number of options, here’s the list:

  • Tracert -d: Tells Tracert not to resolve addresses to host names
  • Tracert -h: Maximum_hops – lets you change the default number of hops, e.g. -h 30
  • Tracert -j host-list: Specifies the LSR ( loose source route ) along the host list
  • -w timeout: Lets you set how long Tracert waits at each hop before considering it a timeout. E.g. Tracert -w 1000

It’s a simple tool, but can be incredibly useful if you’re playing network detective!

What is IPconfig?

One of the most useful network TCP/IP utilities, IPconfig shows you the current configuration of network devices in your computer. It can also be used to manually force certain actions relating to your network connections.

IPconfig is particularly useful if your computer has an IP address assigned to it dynamically. Since it lets you quickly see what IP address your system currently has.

Important IPconfig Commands

IPconfig is generally used with a parameter, which either displays network information or performs a network-related task. Here are some of the most important commands to know:

  • IPconfig /all: Shows you all physical and virtual network adapter connection information.
  • IPconfig /flushdns: Resets the DNS resolver cache. Good for solving DNS-related problems.
  • /IPconfig /renew: Forces a new IP address to be assigned.

IPconfig is the go-to utility for general internet connection troubleshooting, so it’s worth memorizing its key commands.

What is NSLookup?

NSlookup is short for nameserver lookup. A “nameserver” is a key type of server in the DNS (domain name system). It is in effect a DNS server and that means it’s a network device that connects the URL you type into your browser with the IP address of the server that hosts the content.

Usually this process is hidden from you as the user, but NSlookup lets you do two things:

  • Find which IP address is behind a particular website address.
  • To find the URL connected to a specific IP address.

So if you only have either a web address or an IP address, you can use NSlookup to find the other part of the puzzle. You can combine this with the information from other tools, such as Tracert or Netstat to determine which web servers are attached to the IP addresses they report.

Important NSLookup Commands

There are three main NSLookup commands you should know. The first is just “nslookup”. This shows you the current name server and its IP address.

Note that NSlookup is still running and you are at its command line, not PowerShell. If you want to go back to PowerShell, type exit and press enter.

However, let’s stick around for a second and ask our nameserver to give us the address for Google.com. Just type google.com and press enter.

As you can see, this gives us the IP address 172.217.170.46. Type that into your web browser and you’ll be taken straight to the Google search engine. You can also do a reverse search and enter an IP address, which should then return the URL of the server associated with it.

Now you’re familiar with four of the fundamental TCP/IP utilities that will help you understand what’s going on in your network and pull back the curtain on the mystery that is the internet. Have fun!


How to Make Portable Apps That Run Off a USB Stick

A USB stick (or flash drive) is a useful tool. Not only is the file transfer speed far greater than that of CDs, but the portability of these drives make them useful when you can’t send a file over Bluetooth to your phone. 

In many cases, it’s easier to load a program off a USB stick than off a CD. Useful utility applications and sometimes even entire operating systems like Linux can be booted directly from a flash drive. If you need to create a portable version of an application, here’s how. 

Check for a Portable Version

The most useful applications usually have a portable option—you just have to know where to look. Sites like PortableApps act as a collection of different portable apps that already have portable options. The site allows you to download individual applications, or you can opt for a 37 gigabyte file that includes every portable application in a single location . 

That’s more than 400 different portable apps. You can also check sites like PortableFreeware , Portapps , or LiberKey . You can find dozens, if not hundreds, of different applications that can be downloaded and run directly from a USB stick. 

If you can’t find the program you’re looking for, then good news: creating a portable application to run off a USB stick is simple. Here’s how. 

How to Make a Portable App that Runs Off a USB Stick

The actual process may seem intimidating, but it’s deceptively simple. The first thing you’ll need to do is download the proper application for this task. There are several options available on the internet, but we used Enigma Virtual Box . 

Download the application and install it. Open the application. You’ll see a screen that looks like this.

At the top of the window, click Browse beside Enter Input File Name. This will be how you select the application you want to make portable. Note that the application needs to exist on your machine already; if you haven’t downloaded the application, go do that.

Once you have downloaded the program, click Browse and navigate to the .exe file. In the following example, we are creating a portable ver s ion of ImgBurn . 

Once you have chosen the right .exe file, click Open. Now that file alone isn’t enough to run the program. You will need any dependent files that go along with it. 

To do this, return to the main Enigma Virtual Box screen and click Add > Add Folder Recursive.

Browse through the files and select the main ImgBurn folder, and then click Okay. This will add any necessary support files to the folder. 

Now that you’ve done this, you can choose where you want the resultant file to end up. You can save the portable version to your drive and then move it to the USB stick, but we chose to save the file directly to the flash drive. Just click Browse beside Enter Output File Name. 

Now that you’ve arranged everything, click Process. This will create the portable version of the drive. 

Once this has completed, voila! The process finished. Now to test the application. Navigate to the flash drive and look for its contents. 

Select ImgBurn_boxed and double-click to run the application. If it boots up, congratulations–you’ve successfully created a portable application.

You can repeat this process for any compatible application. There are quite a few that are tremendously useful to have on a USB drive . If you aren’t sure which programs would be the best fit, we’ve compiled a list to help you out. 

Best Portable Apps for Flash Drives

There are some apps that lend themselves particularly well to running from a USB stick–especially those that are used for system maintenance. Here’s a list of portable apps you should consider keeping on a spare drive.

CCleaner

CCleaner is a free application that can clean out temporary files, cookies, and other files that are the equivalent of digital clutter. When you download the application, you can choose both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions so it can work for nearly any PC.

CCleaner is a great maintenance tool for adding a bit of life to a system that is running slowly. Think of it like a portable cleaning kit.

Kaspersky Portable TDSSKiller

Rootkits can lay claim to your system , hold it hostage, and steal valuable personal information for a long time before you’re even aware a problem exists. The Kaspersky Portable TDSSKiller eliminates rootkits and bootkits from your system.

It’s not a full-blown antivirus, but more of a specific tool with targeted applications. It isn’t something you will (hopefully) need often, but when you do you’ll be glad it’s there. 

rcvPortable

Everyone knows the pain of losing important files , whether a document or a photo. rcvPortable is freeware that can recover lost files. Think of it as the first step in data recovery before taking your machine to a professional.

Of course, if your hard drive has corrupted, your best option is to boot from a USB stick. rcvPortable is a great tool that you should keep on hand for emergencies. After all, if you only have one copy of those family photos, you don’t want to lose them.

A USB stick is for more than just transferring files from one place to another. If you keep a USB stick filled with portable apps on-hand, you’ll have the perfect tool for the job, no matter the situation.


How to Fix a Windows 10 Restart Loop

If you’re trying to use your Windows computer and find that it’s stuck in an infinite reboot loop, it can be frustrating to deal with especially if you don’t know the cause.

The Windows 10 restart loop happens when there’s a failure to boot up the operating system correctly.

Previous Windows versions would need a full reinstall to resolve the restart loop. However, with Windows 10, you can quickly troubleshoot and fix an endless reboot loop plus any other problems you may be experiencing.

This guide looks at the causes of the Windows 10 restart loop and how you can fix it.

What Causes a Windows 10 Restart Loop?

There are several reasons why your computer is stuck in a restart loop, which is characterized by failure of Windows to load up correctly once you power on your PC.

Instead of booting normally, the PC will fail to reach the logon screen before it resets to the boot screen and tries to load Windows. From here on, the operating system is caught in an endless loop of booting and crashing, rendering your PC impossible to use.

Some of the causes of the Windows 10 restart loop include:

  • New Windows driver or recent driver update
  • A Windows Update
  • Problems with the Windows system registry
  • New software installation

How to Fix Windows 10 Stuck in Restart Loop

1. Unplug Peripherals and Hard Reset Your PC

A piece of hardware that’s connected to your computer such as your printer , digital camera or video recorder , USB storage device or media card reader may interfere with the normal Windows booting process.

Unplugging all such peripherals from your PC and performing a hard reset may help resolve the infinite reboot loop. You can leave only your keyboard, mouse and monitor and then unplug your PC from the power outlet. 

If your computer comes with a removable battery, remove it and then hold the power button down for about 15 seconds until it goes off. Put the battery back in, plug the wall power back into your PC and try to restart it.

2. Bypass the Restart Screen

If Windows 10 is still stuck in a restart loop after unplugging peripherals and performing a hard reset , you can try to bypass the restart screen using the Function (FN) key.

Hold the FN key down as you power on your PC, and while still holding the key, tap the Windows key to bypass the restart. If this works, you should see the login screen and you can continue using your PC normally.

3. Use Windows 10 Automatic Repair

Automatic Repair is a recovery feature in Windows 10 that kicks in when the operating system is unable to boot or startup and tries to diagnose and fix the problem. The feature scans system files , configuration and registry settings among other things and then tries to fix the issues that prevent your PC from working normally.

Automatic Repair usually sets in without you prompting it, but typically, it happens after several restarts. If you find Windows 10 stuck in restart loops and within 15 minutes you don’t see the Automatic Repair option, it’s probably not going to happen.

Note: You won’t lose any data if you perform an Automatic Repair.

You can also perform an Automatic Repair with your Windows 10 installation USB or disc.

  1. To get started, wait for the PC to start and display the manufacturer logo, and then check the boot menu option (F12). If you don’t see it, refer to your device user manual.
  2. Next, reboot your PC and when you see the manufacturer’s logo, press the Boot menu option severally to enter the boot menu. Select CD/DVD ROM or USB.
  1. Once your PC starts up using the System Repair disc or Windows DVD, you’ll see a black screen with a message saying “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD”.
  1. Press any key and then select the keyboard type and correct time.
  2. Next, select Repair your computer at the bottom left side of your screen.
  1. Select Troubleshooting > Advanced Option.
  1. Finally select Startup Repair.

If using the Automatic Repair feature doesn’t help fix the Windows 10 restart loop or startup files, try using Safe Mode.

Using Safe Mode to Fix Windows 10 Stuck in Restart Loop

In Safe Mode, you can access Windows 10 and uninstall the Windows Update , drivers or software that may be causing the Windows 10 restart loop issue. Once in Safe Mode, you can perform a System Restore and then reinstall Windows 10 if all else fails and you don’t mind losing any data.

If your computer has multiple Windows versions, wait for the operating system selection screen and then choose Change defaults or choose other options instead of selecting Windows 10.

The next step will be to access Safe Mode, which will depend on how the boot loop is presenting and whether it’s triggered when specific hardware is connected or when you launch a specific app.

How to Manually Boot into Safe Mode

Before the restart, you can reboot in Safe Mode using three different options:

  • Hold down the Shift key and then select Start > Restart to boot into the Advanced startup options. This is probably the fastest option to access Safe Mode.
  • Press Win+I to open Settings and then select Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced Startup > Restart now.
  • Alternatively, open Command Prompt (Run as administrator) and then enter shutdown /r /o to restart in the Advanced Boot options.

How to Access Safe Mode Using Installation Media

You can also use installation media to access Safe Mode if you have a recovery partition on your PC’s hard drive. If not, you can download the Windows 10 installation media on a different computer and save it in a USB or DVD.

Once you have the installation media, insert it into your PC and follow the steps in Automatic Repair to fix the restart loop problem.

Alternatively, tap Del or F1 when the system boots to access the UEFI/BIOS and then find Boot Manager. Select the recovery partition as the primary device and reboot your PC.

How to Fix Windows 10 Restart Loop Caused by Windows Update in Safe Mode

If your PC is in Safe Mode, you can prevent further restart loops by uninstalling Windows Updates or drivers in the Command Prompt.

  1. To resolve a reboot loop caused by a Windows Update, open Command Prompt (admin) and enter this command: net stop wuauserv.
  1. Follow the command with net stop bits
  2. Once you get a response, browse C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution, erase all the directory contents and restart Windows 10. It should boot normally going forward.

When Restart Loop Is Caused by Safe Mode App Installations

If you had just installed an app before the Windows restart loop issue began, you can uninstall the software while in Safe Mode and Windows will start normally again.

To do this, right-click the application in the Start menu and select Uninstall.

When Restart Loop Is Caused by Hardware Drivers in Safe Mode

Hardware drivers may also cause the Windows restart loop especially if they’re outdated.

  1. To resolve this while in Safe Mode, right-click Start > Device Manager and look for the suspect device.
  1. Right-click the device, select Properties.
  1. Next, select Drivers and then select Roll Back Driver.
  1. If this fails, right-click the device, select Disable Device. Select Uninstall Driver and then reboot your PC.

How Resetting Windows 10 Helps

If you can’t access Safe Mode or the rest of the fixes aren’t working, try a reset to get your PC back to factory settings.

A Windows 10 reset reinstalls system files without damaging your data. If the restart fails after the third attempt, Windows 10 will boot automatically into the WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment).  

From here, you can follow the steps in our guide on how to reset Windows 10 . If you’re not the administrator of the PC you’re using, turn to our guide on how to reset Windows 10 without an admin password .

Get Your PC Running Normally Again

We hope you were able to fix the Windows reboot loop using any of the solutions listed here and your PC is running normally again. If so, check out our how to set up an automatic backup system for Windows guide and free system cloning apps you can use to backup your entire Windows system in case the restart loop occurs again.

You can also automatically backup important Windows folders with OneDrive and keep your information safely copied into the cloud.


How to Change Password in Linux

Without a secure password , your data is vulnerable. Easy to guess or previously leaked passwords make a hacker’s job easy—after all, it isn’t hard to breach a user account if “password123” is your password. That’s why it’s important to change your password regularly, even on a more secure operating system like Linux.

Thankfully, it’s an easy process to change your password in Linux. You can change your password (or other user’s passwords) from the terminal locally or remotely, or set expiration dates to force other users to change it themselves when they next sign in. Here’s what you’ll need to do to change a user password in any Linux distribution.

Why You Should Change Your Linux Password Regularly

While a Linux-based operating system offers greater security than a typical Windows installation, that doesn’t mean it’s infallible to hackers. One of the easiest ways for someone to breach your PC is through lax security, with easy-to-crack passwords at the top of the list.

Unfortunately, you should also expect that time is against you. Many of us use the same passwords for multiple accounts. If your email password is compromised , for instance, and you use the same password to sign into your Linux PC, then you’re putting your PC (and all of your saved data) at risk.

That’s why it’s important to consider changing all your passwords in Linux on a regular basis, including your account passwords on Linux. A good password consists of a number of letters (both upper and lower case), numbers, and special characters. It also requires the password to be of suitable length (at least 8 characters, if not more).

If you’re struggling to come up with a password you can remember, you can use a password manager to help you generate and remember it. You won’t be able to use this to fill out the login screen, but if you’re using a password manager like KeePass , you can quickly recall the password using the mobile app.

However, it’s probably best (and easiest) to create a password that you can remember. Dictionary words are off the menu for this one, but where possible, you should attempt to create a memorable password that no-one else could possibly know using the steps we’ve outlined above.

How to Change Your Password in Linux

While you should be able to change passwords using your distro’s desktop environment, those steps will vary significantly. If you’re using a headless version of Linux (without a GUI), you won’t be able to use a GUI to change your password at all. 

That’s why the best and fastest way to change your password in Linux is to use the terminal, regardless of the Linux distribution you’re using. 

  1. Open a new terminal window or make a remote SSH connection to your Linux PC or server. If you’re connecting remotely, you’ll need to type in your existing password to authenticate if you haven’t already.
  1. Once you’ve signed in (either remotely or locally), type passwd to begin the process of changing your password. The passwd command is common to almost all Unix-based operating systems, including Linux and macOS.
  1. To change your Linux password using passwd, type in your existing password first, then confirm your new password by entering it twice, selecting Enter to move to each new line. You won’t be able to see your input, so if you make a mistake during the typing process, select the Enter key on your keyboard at any point. This will cause passwd to fail, as it won’t be able to match the new passwords or authenticate using the previous one.
  1. If the process is successful, passwd will return a success message in the terminal. If it isn’t (for example, if you mistyped your password), you’ll need to repeat the process.

Changing Other User Account Passwords in Linux

If you have superuser or root access on your Linux PC or server (for instance, if you’re a system administrator), you can change the passwords of other local users. You may want to do this if someone has forgotten their password, for instance.

  1. To do this, open a terminal window locally or connect remotely using SSH. Once the terminal or connection is open, type su or sudo su to switch to the root user account. You’ll need to provide the correct root user password to be able to do this.
  1. Once you’ve switched to root using sudo su or su, you can begin to change another user’s password. To do this, type passwd user, replacing user with the username of the account you wish to change. If you’re unsure what the username is, type cat /etc/passwd instead. The first word in each line (for example, ubuntu) is a username on your PC.
  1. You’ll need to type in the new password twice, selecting the Enter key after each line.
  1. If you type the passwords correctly, passwd will return a success message. If you type the passwords incorrectly (eg. if the new passwords don’t match), you’ll need to repeat these steps to successfully change it.

How to Change the Root Password in Linux using Sudo

To help protect your system, many Linux distributions restrict normal user accounts by hiding certain access behind the root (superuser) account. When you elevate your terminal using commands like sudo su or su to grant root access, you’ll need to type the correct root password.

  1. To change the root password, you’ll need to open a terminal window or connect remotely using SSH. In the terminal, type sudo su or su to switch to the superuser account, then select the Enter key on your keyboard.
  1. With root access, type passwd and select the Enter key. You’ll need to provide a new password twice, selecting Enter after each line.
  1. If the command is successful, passwd will output a success message in the terminal. If it fails, you’ll need to repeat these steps to complete the process.

Setting a Password Expiry Date in Linux

By setting a built-in expiry date for passwords on your Linux PC, you don’t need to worry about manually running the passwd command on a regular basis. When the password expires, your PC will instruct you to change your password automatically.

  1. To set a password expiry date in Linux, open a terminal window or connect remotely using SSH. In the terminal, type chage -M 100 user and select the Enter key, replacing 100 with the number of days before the next expiration and user with your username. If you want to set expiration dates for other user accounts, type sudo chage -M 100 user instead, replacing the placeholder details with your own.
  1. With the details set, you can check the expiration date by typing chage -l user and selecting Enter, replacing user with the username you wish to check. 

Securing a Linux System

Linux is well known as one of the most secure operating systems available, but without a secure password in place, you’re leaving your PC vulnerable to attack. There are other ways you can secure your system further, such as maintaining a secure local network and scanning your files for viruses that could infect other PCs.

You could also think about using a secure web browser to stay safe online, especially if you consider using a VPN to mask your IP address. Making efforts to protect your online privacy and security won’t stop hacking attempts, but it will add another layer of defense against it.


What Is a Headphone Amp and Should You Buy One?

Like most people, you probably don’t think twice about plugging your headphones directly into the headphone jack of your computer, laptop or smartphone. For the typical pair of mobile headphones this is acceptable, but as you move up the ladder of headphone quality the output from these devices just doesn’t cut the mustard. 

If you want quality audio and expect to be blown away, then a headphone amp might be just what you need.

What Is a Headphone Amp?

In essence any audio amplifier is a device that takes a signal which has relatively low strength and reproduces it at a higher power level. We perceive that higher power level as more loudness.

However, not all amplifiers are equal. A good amplifier does more than simply make your music louder. It will also try to preserve the detail and intent of the original signal. Good amplifiers won’t add noise and will work to clean up issues with the original audio.

There are many different approaches to the design of amplifiers and headphone amps are no different. 

For example, some only accept an analog input, which means your device’s own internal amp and audio hardware will have the first go at the sound. 

If your audio source is analog (e.g. vinyl records) then this isn’t a problem for the headphone amplifier, because you avoid unnecessary analog to digital conversion.

Then, there are headphone amps that have their own DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) which connects to your computer via USB . These amplifiers have complete control over the audio, since they only receive digital audio data and handle every stage involved in getting it out of your headphone speakers and into your ears.

Many headphone amplifiers offer both types of input, which can be useful given that many mobile devices won’t work with an external USB DAC.

Why Do We Need Headphone Amps?

Whether in headphones or on a desk, speakers need electrical power to create the air vibrations we perceive as sound. If there isn’t enough energy on tap, then resulting audio is weak and quiet. As a result, it lacks detail and punch.

The internal amplifiers in smartphones and computer sound cards compromise. They have to fit into an incredibly tiny amount of space, shared with other components. In battery powered devices, amps have to be carefully designed and balanced so that they aren’t power hogs. Honestly, there’s a lot to admire about these devices, which manage to offer usable, pleasing audio despite seemingly impossible engineering obstacles.

It also helps that most headphones these days are explicitly designed to work with smartphones and other similar devices, so they are loud enough. This has to do with the sensitivity of a given headphone set. 

Headphones designed for mobile device use have a high level of sensitivity, which essentially means that they can achieve a given level of loudness using very little power. The downside of this is that high sensitivity levels tend to muddy audio, compromising the integrity of the sound. 

It’s not such a big deal if you’re listening to compressed streaming music while out for a morning jog, but for intentional listening the problems are there if you pay attention.

To fix this problem you have to reduce the sensitivity of the headphones, but the less sensitive the phones, the lower the volume you can achieve with the power output of a smartphone or computer.

Which Headphones are Suitable for Amps?

The short answer is that high-impedance headphones need a dedicated headphone amplifier to achieve their full potential. 

Impedance” is the resistance electrical energy encounters as it travels through the headphone wiring on the way to the speakers. Impedance is measured in Ohms and generally high-impedance, low sensitivity headphones have a rating of 25 Ohms and higher. Higher-end headphones tend to have more than 100 Ohms of impedance. 

So if your headphones have less than 25 Ohms of impedance, you don’t need an amp, the higher up you go from that number the more crucial an amp becomes.

Bluetooth headphones obviously don’t need an external amplifier because they have one built in, but some Bluetooth headphones also have a wired option. This option commonly bypasses the internal amplifier, so depending on their sensitivity levels an amp could be suitable there as well.

Headphone Amp Types

Internally, there are various ways in which amplifiers can be designed, which are discussed in excruciating detail on audiophile forums. However, for the rest of us there are two main types of headphone amplifier to consider: solid state amplifiers and tube amplifiers.

Solid state amplifiers use nothing but microchips in the chain of components leading to your actual eardrums. It’s all-digital, crisp, and, as some contend, cold. Solid state amplifiers are usually more affordable, durable and compact.

Tube amplifiers hark back to the days before transistors and integrated circuits overtook the audio industry. They are easy to spot thanks to the prominent glass tubes sticking out of the chassis. More expensive ones usually have more tubes, cheaper models tend to make use of solid state components in tandem with analog tubes.

Many audiophiles swear by the warm tone and coloration tubes give to music and sound, but it is very subjective. What’s not so subjective is that tube amps are generally more expensive, fragile and take up more space. The truth is that a good solid-state amp will be fine for most people, but you should sample tube amplifier audio to see if it tickles your fancy.

Headphone Amp Suggestions

So, if you’re set on investing in a quality set of cans and know that you’ll be needing an amp to make the best of it, what should you buy? 

We had a look at the best-selling headphone amplifiers on Amazon and found three options which look quite promising for someone looking to dabble in headphone amps. As a bonus, they also represent three distinct categories of headphone amp.

FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

The FiiO E10K headphone amp is a very affordable solid-state amp with a clean shell and minimal controls. All you have to do is plug everything in and crank up the volume to a comfortable level. 

The E10K only supports digital input via USB, but has a variety of outputs beyond just a headphone jack. If you hook this up to your computer and use it with high-impedance headphones, you should enjoy strong, detailed audio with low levels of noise and distortion. 

While it’s not going to make the mouths (ears?) of true audiophiles water, based on the many positive reviews of the amp it’s an affordable and effective upgrade for virtually anyone.

Neoteck Headphone Amplifier

The Neoteck amplifier doesn’t inspire much confidence at first with it’s poorly-translated marketing copy, but it’s a well-reviewed and undeniably interesting product. The big selling point of this amp is that it’s battery powered. 

Supporting headphones between 16 and 150 Ohm, there’s a large selection of mid-grade headphones that would benefit from a straightforward amplifier such as this one. 

If you’re looking for an amp to take on public transport or to use at work or school, it’s a very affordable option.

LOXJIE P20 Full Balance Tube Amplifier

Finally, we have the Loxjie P20 tube amplifier. It’s one of the cheapest entry-level tube amps we could find and represents a perfect way for you to dip your toes into the signature tube sound before buying something with a more serious price tag. 

You get to sample the warmth and smoothness of tubes and decide if it’s for you. Although most buyer’s seem blown away by the amp as a daily driver solution in its own right.

Do You Need a Headphone Amp?

Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think about headphones amps. Have you tried them? Are they worth it? Which ones would you recommend? Let us know in the comments!


How to Add Desktop Clocks to Windows 10

Time matters now more than ever. More people are working from home . But that can make syncing up with your co-workers a little challenging. “I’m on Atlantic time and they’re on Central time, so is their 8 o’clock my 10 o’clock? What happens with Daylight Savings Time?” 

No need to Google that anymore. We’re going to show you how to add more desktop clocks to Windows 10 and some tips and tricks with clocks and time.

Add Desktop Clocks for Windows Clock

Built into Windows is the ability to add 2 more clocks to the clock in your system tray . It’s easy to do!

  1. Right-click on the clock in the system tray.
  1. Select Adjust date/time.
  1. In the Date & time window, scroll down and select Add clocks for different time zones.
  1. When the Date and Time window opens, select the Additional Clocks tab.
  1. Put a check-mark in the Show this clock box.
  2. Use the drop-down box to Select time zone: for the city you want to track.
  1. Enter display name and choose something that will stand out, like Chicago Office. Continue on to add a third clock if you’d like. When done, select the OK button.

Now you can see all three time zones by hovering over the system clock or selecting it.

Add a World Clock to Windows 10

Two time zones aren’t enough? You’re a go-getter. You need the Microsoft Alarms & Clock app and here’s how to use it.

  1. Windows 10 ships with the Alarms & Clock app already installed. If you don’t have it, Download Windows Alarms & Clock from the Microsoft Store and install it. It’s free!
  1. Open Alarms & Clocks and select the Clock tab.

Notice the shaded area above the green line. This represents the night, which helps visualize the time of day for different locations.

  1. To add time zone details, select the plus sign icon in the bottom-right corner. A search bar opens. Start typing the name of the city for which we need the time zone. It will narrow the selection down. Select the one that matches. You can add as many as you like. 

To remove a clock, select the multiple-select icon in the bottom right corner.

Check the clocks to remove and select the garbage can icon. Those clocks are gone.

  1. To convert a local time to the other time zones, select the multi-clock icon in the bottom-right corner.

A time slider appears. The number in the middle of the slider is your local time. Slide the bar left or right to a different hour and watch the time on the other clocks change in sync.

Add a Clock Screensaver to Windows 10

Turn your monitor into a great big clock when you’re not using it. It’s easy and stylish to do. There are many cool screensavers available. Fliqlo is one we recommend. Why? Many clock screensavers are Flash-based and Flash is end-of-life software now. But the new Fliqlo screensaver clock doesn’t use Flash . Plus, it’s free. We’re sure you’ve seen it before.

Fliqlo is available for Windows and Mac, but dual-screen support is only available on the Mac version. 

Add an Android Widget Style Clock to Windows

If you like widgets for your phone , you’ll like widgets in your Windows . Microsoft had widgets built-in prior to Windows 10 called Desktop Gadgets . Microsoft removed them because of security concerns. So other developers swooped in. 

We like Sense Desktop , an app from the Microsoft Store . It can show the time, temperature, and weather forecast in one convenient widget. Plus, there are about a dozen themes, so you will find one you like. It’s not free, but is 99 cents too much?

Get the Most Accurate Time in Windows 10

You need to be on time every day, and so does your computer for it to work best. For example, if you’re getting certificate errors in your web browser , having the wrong time on your computer could be the cause. You can make the clock synchronize with a time server. 

Time servers are computers whose sole job is to keep perfect time and share it with the world. They keep perfect time by being synchronized to an atomic clock. Atomic clocks are expensive, so governments and large companies maintain most of them. 

Fortunately, Windows 10 defaults to Microsoft’s time server. But you can connect to other time servers. You’ll need Administrator rights to do this.

  1. Open Control Panel and select Clock and Region.
  1. In the new window, select Set the time and date.
  1. In the Date and Time window, go to the Internet Time tab, then select Change settings…. You’ll need Administrator rights to do this.
  1. The Microsoft and NIST time servers are in the drop-down box. Select the one you want and select OK to set it. NIST is the National Institute of Science and Technology in the US. 

You can also type in another time server address if you’d like. Once it’s entered, select OK to set it.

It’s About Time

If time is money, then with all your new clocks you should make it rain! Do you have a favorite desktop clock tip or trick? A cool time screensaver or widget? Let us know in the comments.