How to remove your login password from Windows 10

Barry asked how to remove the login from his new Windows 10 laptop.

Recently Answer Line discussed getting rid of the Windows 10 password by tinkering with Windows’ power settings. Those tips to remove the password prompts certainly work as long as you’re not on a laptop, but I’m going to show you how to remove the password entirely so you’ll never need to enter it.

Of course, this unsafe maneuver comes with all the typical disclaimers such as this isn’t secure and it will allow anyone to access your PC, so you’ve been warned. This is just for people whose PCs live at home, in an environment with little to zero strangers passing by, and no need for it to be under lock and key all the time. Also these instructions were carried out on my personal system, which runs Windows 10 Home.

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What Microsoft won't tell you about your Windows 10 recovery drive size

Attila Balaton bought an 8GB USB key to create a Windows 10 Recovery Drive only to find out 16GB was required.

Mea culpa: Answer Line was partly to blame, as my former colleague wrote that Microsoft suggests “at least a 4GB USB key.” It’s not his fault, though, as on this support page Microsoft says in order to create a Windows 10 Recovery Drive you will need a, “USB thumbdrive with 4 GB of space or more.” Confusing things further is this page from Microsoft, where the company doesn’t even mention how much space you’ll need. Finally, on its support page for Windows 8 Microsoft says the recovery image the software creates, “…is typically 3 to 6 GB in size.“

However, based on Atilla’s feedback I went in and updated our article. Also in the video that accompanied the above article, we mention that when we tried the process on a laptop in our office it said we needed a 16GB key! This got the staff at PCWorld curious, so we also looked into this further to see if we could nail down a specific size requirement, and also figure out what factors play a role in determining the size of the recovery data.

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When your computer beeps at you, that's a cry for help

When Mohit starts his computer, all he hears is “nonstop beeping,” and then his monitor enters power-saving mode.

All I can say is “we’ve all been there,” or at least I certainly have many, many times. It’s like turning on your car expecting to hear the engine fire up and purr like a kitten, only to hear sputtering and coughing and be left with a hairball. Not all is lost, though, because those annoying beeps are actually like a Morse code in computer BIOS language.

The POST screen

Every computer runs a quick test before booting to make sure everything is functioning properly.

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Microsoft Edge's bookmarks bar is called the Favorites bar, and here's how to enable it

Gerry wants to switch his browser to Microsoft Edge but doesn’t know whether it has a “bookmarks bar.”

Gerry's in luck, because Microsoft’s new Edge browser has something called the Favorites Bar, which is just Microsoft’s word for bookmarks, and it’s pretty easy to enable. Why it’s not enabled by default is beyond me, but there’s a lot of things about Edge that I don’t get. For example, why is the icon that represents Favorites three horizontal lines of different lengths? That makes no sense at all, but now I’m getting sidetracked.

Speaking of sidetracked, if you're curious about Edge, which ships with every copy of Windows 10, read Mark Hachman's comprehensive how-to on the new browser. And if you just want to know how to import your favorites from Chrome or Internet Explorer, be sure to read this article by my colleague and former Answer Line author Lincoln Spector, which covers some of the same stuff I’ll be discussing below.

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Why it matters whether your Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit

Ken wrote in saying he loves PCWorld, natch, and that he wants to know the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.

I have to admit this isn’t something I’ve thought about in a long time, but I peeked around and lo and behold Microsoft’s latest OS—Windows 10—is being offered in a 32-bit version. Microsoft says it has at least 71 million 32-bit users still (as of 2014), and didn’t want to leave them out in the cold, or thrust them into the open arms of Cupertino (headquarters of rival Apple). Given this situation, I figured I’d explain the main difference between the two.

First of all, if you’re wondering which version of the OS you have, you can easily check by right-clicking the Start button in Windows 10 and selecting System. It says right there in plain English which OS you are using. In Windows 7 and 8 (and 10) just click System in the Control Panel.

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When Windows 10 thumbnails seem to be missing or slow to load, try this

David upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 only to find his thumbnail cache was constantly being deleted.

If you’re always opening folders with new content in them, you generally expect Windows to take a bit of time to generate thumbnail previews for each folder because it’s looking at them for the first time.

Windows 10 thumbnail cache

The location of your thumbnail cache. 

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You can safely use Windows 7 until 2020, but I won't be answering your questions

Eva R. doesn’t like Windows 10. She asked how long she can keep using Windows 7.

Microsoft angered a lot of people by tricking them into upgrading to Windows 10. But those who successfully resisted can continue to use Windows 7 for the rest of the decade.

In one sense, Microsoft has already stopped supporting Windows 7, but not in a way that should worry you. Mainstream support ended in January of 2015. But that only means Microsoft won’t add new features or change the user interface. I suspect most current Windows 7 users are probably thankful that the look and feel won’t change.

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