Remove the “Choose an operating system” message when starting your computer

Choose an operating systemMany of you have installed Windows 10 on your puters only to discover that every time you boot up, you get a screen that reads: Choose an operating system

Windows 10 will of course be at the top of the list, usually followed by either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. If you pick Windows 10, it fires up and everything works normally.

Obviously, there is still something wrong: Why is Windows 10 asking if you want to boot your old version of Windows? After all, you upgraded, right?

Fear not! There’s a very easy trick to remove this boot menu – and it works for all flavors and versions of Windows all the way back to Vista at least…

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Delete an old Windows folder the easy way

Delete old Windows FolderEvery now and then, you upgrade your puter.

Let’s say you add an SSD. You copy your old hard drive’s contents to your shiny new SSD, and use your old HDD as a data-only drive. You boot from the new SSD, and poof! You’re done.

Well, sort of…

Your new E: drive is now only a data drive, but alas, there is still an E:\Windows folder, and it’s taking up lots of space.

So, you try to delete E:\Windows… Access Denied, you need permissions, and so on…!

There are a million and one articles out there about how to delete an old, unneeded Windows folder, but they usually involve some piece of software or complicated shenanigans.

Well, forget that! This method is a piece of cake…

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Microsoft gives you Windows 10 whether you like it or not

Windows 10 Upgrade, either you like it or not!Ooooh, man…

Well, it’s finally happened: Microsoft is basically tricking users into installing Windows 10.

That’s right. You now have to be VERY careful if you don’t want Win 10 to automagically download and install.

By now, we’re all used to M$ making decisions for us, but this one is just a bit over the top.

For the time being, there are still ways around it – but I’m not holding my breath…

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Windows 10: Can’t uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials? No problem!

Microsoft Security Essentials vs Windows DefenderYou upgrade to Windows 10. All seems to be going well.

There’s only one problem: Every time you reboot, you get an error message about Microsoft Security Essentials.

“No problem!” you think. I’ll just uninstall it. Nope!

Worse yet, Windows 10 is very confused, since Windows Defender is basically the same program. Defender won’t run, and neither will Security Essentials.

What to do? Read on!

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Windows + Linux dual boot: How to shrink a Windows disk the easy way

Windows-Linux Dual BootLet’s say you want to dual-boot between Windows and some flavor of linux.

You might think that you need some kind of fancy partitioning software like Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Suite to free up disk space for the linux partitions.

You might also think that your linux installer will do everything for you automatically.

As it turns out, neither of the above are always true!

Sometimes, you need free space on your drive in order for the linux install (even Ubuntu) to be happy.

Fortunately, there is a very easy and built-in way to shrink a partition in all modern versions of Windows without any fancy software!

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Fix the grey X on shortcut icons in Windows

Evil Grey X'sThere you are, minding your own business, when suddenly you realize that all the shortcut icons on your desktop have changed somehow…

You look closely, and finally you realize that all the little “shortcut arrows” that indicate an icon is a shortcut have been replaced (magically, of course) by a grey “X”.

Sometimes, it’s not a grey X, but another weird symbol.

In any case, this problem is really annoying, and you’d like to fix it.

What to do?

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How to fix Windows Update errors, including in Windows 10

Windows 10 Update ErrorLet’s say you just ran Disk Cleanup to remove old Windows files that you don’t need any more.

Then you notice that Windows Update keeps giving you error messages. No matter how many times you try, the updates keep giving you some cryptic error code.

Well, first of all, you might try my suggestions in:

Windows Update Error: How to make Windows Redownload Corrupted Update Files

The above trick is a simpler version of the Manual Method I present here, but it might work.

If not, don’t worry. We have more tricks up our sleeve…

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Free up disk space after a Windows 10 upgrade

YWindows 10 Disk Cleanupou’ve upgraded to Windows 10. You’ve survived. Congratulations!

What you may not realize is that your old install of Windows 7 or 8 is still hanging around on your hard drive.

These old files usually take up tons of space – as much as 20-30GB!  This is especially bad if your main hard drive is an SSD, which usually have more limited storage space.

There is a reason these files are still around: Windows 10 gives you the option (in Settings) to revert back to your previous version of Windows within 30 days of upgrading to Win 10.

But, you bit the bullet, and you’ve decided to stick with Windows 10.

So, how to get rid of all these useless old files?

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Screenshots in Windows, the easy way

Fancy Print Screen TricksYou may have read my earlier post, Capture Part of your Screen in Windows: Behold the Snipping Tool!. The Snipping Tool in Windows is very handy.

But, sometimes you just want a quick and easy way to grab a screenshot.

As I mentioned in my previous post, you can just press the PrtScn (print screen) button on your keyboard, and that will copy your entire screen (or all of your screens in a multi-monitor arrangement) onto your clipboard. Paste into your graphics editing program, and you’re done.

That’s nice, but there are two other keyboard shortcuts in Windows that make things even easier…

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Another privacy fix, this time for Windows 7, 8, and 10

Enhance Your Privacy in WindowsSo, you’ve avoided installing Windows 10 because you heard how Microsoft is gobbling up lots of data from your puter.

Well, bad news: Even if you have Windows 7 or Windows 8, there was an update in May 2015 that installed the Diagnostics Tracking Service that first appeared in beta versions of – you guessed it – Windows 10!

Fortunately, you can easily turn this “feature” off no matter which version of Windows you’re using.

So, what is it, and how do you kill it?

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