How to enter Windows 10's Safe Mode

Aaron Kalmin asked how to boot into Safe Mode in Windows 10.

Windows’ Safe Mode provides a simple, stripped-down version of the operating system. The programs that usually load automatically when you boot Windows don’t do that here. And Safe Mode only uses the most generic drivers. Thus, Safe Mode can be a big help for diagnosing certain problems. For instance, it’s a great place to scan for malware.

But the old-fashioned way to get into Safe Mode—booting the PC and pressing F8 at the exact right moment—seldom works on PCs running Windows 10. These techniques will:

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How to port bookmarks and favorites to Edge

Roy A. Day wants to use Windows 10’s new browser, Edge. But he’s not clear how he can import his Internet Explorer Favorites. I’ll cover importing from Chrome and Firefox browsers as well.

Usually, when you start a new browser, a dialog box asks you if you want to import bookmarks (called favorites in Microsoft browsers) from elsewhere. Edge doesn’t do that. Nor can you import an HTML file containing your bookmarks. But the transfer is actually pretty easy—provided you’re not using Firefox. A transfer from Mozilla’s browser is a bit trickier.

[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to]

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When your Windows registry gets cluttered, here's what's worth doing about it

Sandra Wall asked if she can trust CCleaner “to delete the correct problems in the registry.”

First of all, I love CCleaner. It can wipe free space on your hard drive so that your deleted files can never be recovered. It can tell you what kind of files are taking up room on your drive. It can manage and delete restore points, and clean various bits of Windows not associated with the registry. If I did feel the need to clean my Registry, I would probably pick CCleaner for the job.

But I see no reason to clean my Registry.

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How to delete the windows.old folder clogging up your drive

After installing Windows 10, Roy A. Day discovered a very large Windows.old folder on his internal drive. Since deleting it the conventional way didn’t work, he asked for another solution.

The Windows 10 upgrade (which so many are enthusiastically embracing despite my warnings) leaves a huge Windows.old folder on your C: drive. On one computer I updated, it was over 25GB. And Windows won’t let you simply delete it.

There’s a very good reason why you shouldn’t. Without this folder, you will not be able to go back to Windows 7 or 8.1. Therefore, you should only remove Windows.old if one of these three situations applies to you:

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3 ways to keep sensitive files encrypted on a flash drive or external hard drive

NarsiReddy Cheruku wants a way to encrypt files that are stored on a flash drive or external hard drive.

Flash drives are easy to lose. And anything lost can fall into the wrong hands. So if you’re carrying around sensitive information in your pocket, you need to make sure those files are encrypted.

Here are three possible solutions:

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When your computer reboots itself over and over again

Joanne Corrigan Doyle’s six-month-old laptop reboots every few minutes. “Is there anything I can change…to fix this?”

Yes and maybe. There’s a setting you can change that will give you at least a hint of the problem. But the hard part starts after you get that hint.

So let’s get you to a point where your crashes contain some useful information.

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When your Windows image backup fails, try this

Hamza Hamid needs to restore his system, but his image backup hangs halfway through the restore. “What am I supposed to do now?”

This has to be one of the worst things that can happen in the digital world. You create a backup and then, when you need it, it doesn’t work. That’s why I recommend making two backups.

But let’s see if we can fix the problem at hand.

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