Windows 10 – Windows Blog by Brink

Windows 10

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Rebuild Font Cache in Windows 11

The font cache is a file or set of files used by Windows to manage and display the fonts installed on your PC so they load faster.

Sometimes the font cache may become corrupted and cause fonts to be garbled, not rendering properly, or displaying invalid characters. To fix the font cache corruption, you will need to delete the old font cache and restart the computer afterwards to rebuild a new font cache.

This tutorial will show you how to rebuild the font cache to repair it in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Clear and Reset Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Windows keeps a copy of all your picture, video, and document thumbnails in a cache so they can be reused to quickly display when you open a folder instead of having to manually scan and slowly load them each time.

The thumbnail cache can sometimes become corrupted causing thumbnails to display incorrectly or distorted. When this happens, the thumbnail cache needs to be deleted to reset it and automatically recreate as needed.

This tutorial will show you how to clear and reset the thumbnail cache for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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How to Change Icon Cache Size in #Windows11

The icons that display for files in Windows are saved in an icon cache so they can be displayed quickly instead of having to manually scan and slowly load them each time.

Sometimes you may notice File Explorer loads icons slowly when you open a folder with lots of files. Increasing the size of the icon cache may help.

By default, the icon cache is 500 KB. Increasing the icon cache size to 4 MB gives the best results, but you can change the size to what works best for you.

This tutorial will show you how to change the maximum size of the icon cache to fix slow loading icons in File Explorer for all users in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11.

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Rebuild Icon Cache in Windows 11

The icons that display for files in Windows are saved in an icon cache so they can be displayed quickly instead of having to manually scan and slowly load them each time.

The icon cache can sometimes become corrupted causing the icons of files to display incorrectly or distorted. When this happens, the icon cache needs to be deleted to reset and automatically recreate it.

Rebuilding the icon cache will not help with the following icon issues:

  • The icon of a shortcut not displaying properly due to the target source of the shortcut was moved or deleted. You may need to recreate a new shortcut directly from the source (ex: program’s exe) file to replace it instead.
  • All icons for a specific file extension display the wrong icon. This may be due to setting the wrong association for what app to open the file type instead. If so, restoring the¬†default association of the file extension¬†will fix this issue.
  • Thumbnails of pictures, videos, and documents.

This tutorial will show you how to rebuild the icon cache to clear and reset it for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Bypass Windows 11 TPM 2.0 and CPU System Requirements

Installing Windows 11 on a device that does not meet Windows 11 minimum system requirements is not recommended. If you choose to install Windows 11 on ineligible hardware, you should be comfortable assuming the risk of running into compatibility issues.

Your device might malfunction due to these compatibility or other issues. Devices that do not meet these system requirements will no longer be guaranteed to receive updates, including but not limited to security updates.

The following disclaimer applies if you install Windows 11 on a device that doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements:

This PC doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements for running Windows 11 – these requirements help ensure a more reliable and higher quality experience. Installing Windows 11 on this PC is not recommended and may result in compatibility issues. If you proceed with installing Windows 11, your PC will no longer be supported and won’t be entitled to receive updates. Damages to your PC due to lack of compatibility aren’t covered under the manufacturer warranty.

Before you install Windows 11
If you are unsure if your device meets the Windows 11 minimum system requirements and have Windows 10 already installed, you can download the¬†PC Health Check app, which will assess eligibility and identify components of your device that don’t meet the minimum requirements. The app will also link to info that details steps you can take to make your device meet the minimum system requirements.

After you install Windows 11
If you’re experiencing issues after upgrading to Windows 11 and your device does not meet the minimum system requirements, we recommend you¬†go back to Windows 10. This option is only available for¬†10 days¬†following your upgrade, after which time the files needed to perform this function will be removed to free up disk space on your device.

If you like, you can bypass the check for TPM 2.0 (at least TPM 1.2 is required) and the CPU family and model.

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) technology is designed to provide hardware-based, security-related functions. A TPM chip is a secure crypto-processor that helps you with actions such as generating, storing, and limiting the use of cryptographic keys.

A processor or central processing unit (CPU), is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions.

This tutorial will show you how to bypass the Windows 11 TPM 2.0 and CPU system requirements allowing you to upgrade to Windows 11 from a Windows 10 PC that doesn’t meet these requirements.

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Specify Hibernation File Type as Full or Reduced in Windows 11

Hibernation files are used for hybrid sleep, fast startup, and standard hibernation (described earlier). There are two types, differentiated by size, a full and reduced size hibernation file. Only fast startup can use a reduced hibernation file.

Hibernation file type hiberfil.sys default size Supports
Full 40% of physical memory hibernate, hybrid sleep, fast startup
Reduced 20% of physical memory fast startup

Hibernate¬†is a power-saving S4 state designed primarily for laptops, and might not be available for all PCs (PCs with InstantGo don’t have the hibernate option). While sleep puts your work and settings in memory and draws a small amount of power, hibernation puts your full current state (ex: open documents and programs) on your hard disk to the hiberfile (C:\hiberfil.sys), and then turns off your computer. Hibernate uses less power than sleep and when you start up the PC again, you‚Äôre back to where you left off (though not as fast as sleep). Use hibernation when you know that you won’t use your laptop or tablet for an extended period and won’t have an opportunity to charge the battery during that time.

Hybrid sleep¬†is a special state that’s a combination of the S1-S3 sleep and S4 hibernation states, it’s when a system uses a hibernation file with S1-S3. It’s only available on some systems. When enabled, the system writes a hibernation file but enters a higher-powered sleep state. If power is lost while the system is sleeping, the system wakes from hibernation, which takes longer but restores the user’s system state.

Fast startup (aka: hiberboot, hybrid boot, or hybrid shutdown) is turned on by default in Windows and is a setting that helps your PC start up faster after shutdown. Even faster than hibernate. Windows does this by saving an image of the Windows kernel and loaded drivers to the hiberfile (C:\hiberfil.sys) upon shutdown so when you start your PC again, Windows simply loads the hiberfile (C:\hiberfil.sys) into memory to resume your PC instead of restarting it.

Fast startup requires that hibernate be enabled. If you only want to use fast startup and don’t plan on using hibernate, then you can¬†specify the hiberfile type as reduced¬†to significantly reduce the size of the hiberfile (C:\hiberfil.sys) to about half of its full size.

Hiberfile type:

Full = Supports being able to enable hibernate and turn on fast startup (hiberboot). The hiberfile (C:\hiberfil.sys) will be 40% of physical RAM installed on your computer. Hibernate is available to be added to the power menu.

Reduced = Only supports being able to turn on fast startup (hiberboot) without hibernate. The hiberfile (C:\hiberfil.sys) will be 20% of physical RAM installed on your computer. Removes hibernate from the power menu.

This tutorial will show you how to specify the hibernation file (hiberfile.sys) type to be reduced or full in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 with Windows 11 Installation Assistant

The Windows 11 Installation Assistant allows you to upgrade a Windows 10 PC directly to the latest Windows 11 build.

Before you begin, check to see if the following conditions apply to you:

  • You have a Windows 10 license.
  • Your PC must have Windows 10, version 2004 or higher installed to run Installation Assistant.
  • Your PC meets the¬†Windows 11 device specifications¬†for upgrade requirements and supported features. Certain features require additional hardware. It is also recommend that you visit your PC‚Äôs manufacturer‚Äôs website for information about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.
  • Your PC must have 9 GB of free disk space to download Windows 11.

This tutorial will show you how to upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 with the Windows 11 Installation Assistant.

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Increase Folder View Settings Cache Memory Size in Windows 11

You can change the folder view settings in Windows to what you want for each separate folder. Folder view settings include the File Explorer window size, template, column width, Group by, Sort by, and layout view of items in each folder.

By default, Windows will only remember the first 5000 folders you apply folder view settings to. After you reach the default 5000 folders limit (BagMRU Size), Windows will no longer remember anymore folder view settings you apply.

Windows stores the folder view settings of the current user in the registry key below for each folder until the limit has been reached.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU

If you find Windows not remembering your folder view settings, you can increase the cache memory size (BagMRU Size) up to a maximum of 20,000 folders to be remembered instead of the default 5,000 folders.

This tutorial will show you how to change or increase the folder view settings cache memory size for your account in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11 to have Windows remember more of your folder view settings.

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Enable or Disable Transparency Effects in Windows 11

Transparency effects in Windows 11 has some window backgrounds and surfaces appear slightly transparent with an acrylic blur effect.

Some of these windows include context menus, File Explorer, Quick Settings, Settings, sign-in screen, Start menu, taskbar, and more.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off transparency effects for your account in Windows 11.

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Add New Virtual Desktops in Windows 11

Task View (Win+Tab) is a virtual desktop manager that allows you to quickly switch between all of your open apps on multiple desktops. This makes multitasking and organizing your opened apps much easier.

You can add virtual desktops to group apps for productivity, entertainment, or whatever you choose. Multiple desktops are also great for keeping unrelated, ongoing projects organized, or for quickly switching desktops before a meeting.

This tutorial will show you how to add new virtual desktops for your account in Windows 11.

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Downgrade from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Home

You may find yourself needing or wanting to downgrade from the Windows 10 Pro, Education, or Enterprise edition to the Windows 10 Home edition.

However, a direct downgrade from Windows 10 Pro, Education, or Enterprise to Windows 10 Home is not supported, and would normally require a clean install of Windows 10 Home and the loss of all your data.

This tutorial will show you how to downgrade from the Windows 10 Pro, Education, or Enterprise edition to the Windows 10 Home edition without any data loss.

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Rename PC in Windows 11

Rename your device to make it easier to identify if you use multiple computers with your Microsoft account.

PCs on a network need unique names so they can identify and communicate with each other. If two PCs have the same name on the same network, it creates a conflict for network communications. Most PCs come with default names, but you can usually change them. It’s best to keep PC names short (fifteen characters or less) and easily recognizable.

It is recommend that you use only Internet-standard characters in the PC name. The standard characters are the numbers 0 through 9, uppercase and lowercase letters from A through Z, and the hyphen (-) character. PC names cannot consist entirely of numbers, nor can they contain spaces. The name also cannot contain special characters, such as the following:

` ~ @ # $ % ^ & ( ) = + [ ] { } | ; : , ‚Äė ‚Äú . < > / ?

This tutorial will show you how to change the computer name of your Windows 11 PC.

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Native Boot Windows 11 Virtual Hard Disk (VHDX)

Native Boot allows you to create a virtual hard disk (VHDX), install Windows to it, and then boot it up, either on your PC side-by-side with your existing installation, or on a new device.

A native-boot VHDX can be used as the running operating system on designated hardware without any other parent operating system. This differs from a scenario where a VHDX is connected to a virtual machine on a computer that has a parent operating system.

Native boot for Windows 11 requires the .vhdx format, not the .vhd format.

VHDXs can be applied to PCs or devices that have no other installations of Windows, without a virtual machine or hypervisor. (A hypervisor is a layer of software under the operating system that runs virtual computers.) This enables greater flexibility in workload distribution because a single set of tools can be used to manage images for virtual machines and designated hardware.

This tutorial will show you how to boot a Windows 11 VHDX file natively to dual boot with Windows 10 or Windows 11 Pro, Education, or Enterprise editions.

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Open Command Prompt at Boot in Windows 11

The Command shell is an entry point for typing commands in the Command Prompt window. By typing commands at the command prompt, you can perform tasks on your computer without using the Windows GUI.

If you are troubleshooting or unable to open a command prompt from within Windows 11, you can open a command prompt at boot to use instead.

This tutorial will show you how to open an elevated command prompt at boot in Windows 11.

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Boot to Advanced Startup (WinRE) in Windows 11

Advanced startup enables you to perform these actions:

  • Start recovery (aka: Windows RE or WinRE), troubleshooting, and diagnostic tools.
  • Boot from a disk (ex: USB or DVD) or device (UEFI only)
  • Access the PC’s UEFI firmware
  • Restore Windows from a system image
  • Choose default operating system to boot to on PC if multiple operating systems are installed

When you boot to advanced startup, all user sessions are signed off. If you select a Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) feature from this menu, the PC restarts into WinRE and the selected feature is launched.

The Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) is a companion operating system installed alongside Windows 11, typically in a separate partition, that can help with troubleshooting, recovery, or booting from external media, such as a USB stick.

This tutorial will show you how to boot to the advanced startup (WinRE) in Windows 11.

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Create Windows 11 Virtual Machine with Hyper-V

Windows 11 has all the power and security of Windows 10 with a redesigned and refreshed look. It also comes with new tools, sounds, and apps. Every detail has been considered. All of it comes together to bring you a refreshing experience on your PC.

Hyper-V enables running virtualized computer systems on top of a physical host. These virtualized systems can be used and managed just as if they were physical computer systems, however they exist in virtualized and isolated environment. Special software called a hypervisor manages access between the virtual systems and the physical hardware resources. Virtualization enables quick deployment of computer systems, a way to quickly restore systems to a previously known good state, and the ability to migrate systems between physical hosts.

Hyper-V is available on 64-bit versions of Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education. It is not available on the Home edition.

This tutorial will show you how to set up and create a Windows 11 virtual machine with Hyper-V on a Windows 10 PC.

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Dual Boot Windows 11 with Windows 10

Windows 11 has all the power and security of Windows 10 with a redesigned and refreshed look. It also comes with new tools, sounds, and apps. Every detail has been considered. All of it comes together to bring you a refreshing experience on your PC.

If you already have Windows 10 installed and want to keep it, you can install Windows 11 on another partition or disk to dual boot Windows 11 with Windows 10.

This tutorial will show you how to dual boot Windows 11 with Windows 10 on the same PC.

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See if PC meets Requirements for Windows 11 with PC Health Check app

Windows 11 has all the power and security of Windows 10 with a redesigned and refreshed look. It also comes with new tools, sounds, and apps. Every detail has been considered. All of it comes together to bring you a refreshing experience on your PC.

If your existing Windows 10 PC is running the most current version of Windows 10 and meets the minimum hardware specifications it will be able to upgrade to Windows 11. The upgrade rollout plan is still being finalized, but for most devices already in use today, Microsoft expects it to be ready sometime in early 2022. Not all Windows 10 PCs that are eligible to upgrade to Windows 11 will be offered to upgrade at the same time. Windows Update will provide an indication if and when your PC is eligible. Once the upgrade rollout has started, you can check if it is ready for your device by going to Settings/Windows Update.

Windows 11 isn’t here yet, but will be coming later this year. You can check your PC for Windows 11 compatibility in the meantime to get ready.

Use the PC Health Check app to see if your current PC meets the requirements to run Windows 11. If so, you can get a free upgrade via Windows Update when it rolls out.

This tutorial will show you how to use the PC Health Check app to see if your current PC meets the requirements to run Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Performance button on Toolbar in Microsoft Edge

Performance mode has been renamed to Efficiency mode in Microsoft Edge.

What is efficiency mode?
Helps minimize power usage to extend battery life by reducing resource usage (CPU, memory). Benefits might vary depending on your device applications and individuals browser habits.

How it works

  • Puts background tabs to sleep after 5 minutes of inactivity, if sleeping tabs is on
  • May cause videos to be less smooth, animations to slow down when you’re not interacting with the browser

You can select to use the following for efficiency mode when turned on:

  • Always active¬†– Active when your device is charging to minimize resource usage.
  • Active when unplugged¬†– Active when your device is unplugged to extend your battery life.
  • Active when unplugged, low battery¬†– Active when your device is unplugged and saving battery to extend your battery life.

If you like, you can add the Performance button on the toolbar in Microsoft Edge Canary to make it easier to change efficiency mode settings.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Performance button on the toolbar in the Chromium based Microsoft Edge.

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