Trending March 2024 # How To Safely Cleanup Driverstore Folder In Windows 11/10 # Suggested April 2024 # Top 12 Popular

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On a running Windows 11 or Windows 10 installation on a PC, by default, the DriverStore folder is the safe location of all the drivers installed on your system. Usually, even with prolonged computer use, this folder doesn’t hog drive storage space. Nevertheless, some Windows PC users are reporting noticing the folder consuming a very significant amount of disk space. This post will show you the ways to safely clean DriverStore File Repository folder in Windows 11/10.

What is DriverStore in System32?

The Driver Store is a trusted collection of third-party driver packages as well as native device drivers that ship with the system, which is maintained in a secure location on the local hard disk. Before a driver can be installed, it must first be injected into the driver store which is located under C:WindowsSystem32DriverStoreFileRepository. All files that are in the driver package are considered critical to the device installation.

When a driver package is copied to the driver store, all of its files are copied. This includes the INF file and all files that are referenced by the INF file. All files that are in the driver package are considered critical to the device installation. The process of copying a driver package to the driver store is called staging. A driver package must be staged to the driver store before the package can be used to install any devices.

Is it safe to delete DriverStore folder?

If you delete all of the DriverStore folder contents on your Windows PC, this action will lead to errors, crashes, etc. In most severe cases, it could potentially render your system or the associated hardware inoperable. So basically you need to know what you are deleting. As a precautionary measure, we strongly recommend creating a restore point first before deleting any of the driver files from this folder.

How to cleanup DriverStore folder in Windows 11/10

We can clean DriverStore folder in Windows 11/10 in the following easy ways. We’ll explore this topic under the methods outlined below in this section as follows:

Using Disk Clean-up – Safest way

Using Command Prompt

Using Batch file

Using DriverStore Explorer.

Let’s take a look at the description of the step-by-step process in relation to each of the methods.

1] Safely clean DriverStore folder using Disk Clean-up

This is the safest, easiest, and straightforward method to clean the DriverStore. The Disk Cleanup Tool can clean up and remove old, unnecessary drivers from your Windows 11/10 computer.

When you launch the utility, choose the drive you want to clean up.

Next press Clean up system files.

Now select Device Driver Packages and any other options you want.

Press on OK to run the tool.

You can also use Command-line version of Advanced Disk Cleanup Utility.

2] Clean DriverStore folder using Command Prompt

Another route to go to clean DriverStore folder on your Windows11/10 PC is by using Command Prompt.

To clean DriverStore folder on your Windows11/10 PC using Command Prompt, do the following:

Press Windows key + R to invoke the Run dialog.

In the Run dialog box, type cmd and then press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER to open Command Prompt in elevated mode.

Once the command prompt window opens, follow the instructions in this guide on how to uninstall drivers using the command prompt.

3] Clean DriverStore folder using Batch file

To clean DriverStore folder on your Windows11/10 PC by creating a batch file, then run the .bat file, do the following:

Press Windows key + R to invoke the Run dialog.

In the Run dialog box, type notepad and hit Enter to open Notepad.

Copy and paste the syntax below into the text editor.

@echo off for /L %%N in (1,1,600) do ( echo Deleting driver OEM%%N.INF pnputil /d OEM%%N.INF )

Save the file with a name and append the .bat file extension – eg; DScleanup.bat and on the Save as type box select All Files.

4] Using DriverStore Explorer

DriverStore Explorer is a freeware that helps you manage, list, add or remove the device drivers installed on your PC easily. It may not be able to delete system-critical drivers – and that is good!

That’s it on the methods to clean the DriverStore folder in Windows 11/10!

How do I uninstall drivers from DriverStore?

Windows users can safely uninstall or delete a driver package from the driver store on the Windows computer in two main ways which are; uninstall drivers using a command prompt or uninstall the driver via Device Manager. For some hardware like the display, you can use the dedicated uninstaller – Display Driver Uninstaller.

Related post: Manage Device Drivers in the Driver Store folder with DriverStore Explorer.

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5 Best Folder Lock Software For Windows 10 And 11

5 Best Folder Lock Software For Windows 10 And 11 [2023 List]

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Security and privacy are sensitive topics these days and it’s extremely important to know how to lock files and folders.

It’s also very wise to choose a complicated password so that it doesn’t get cracked by wrongdoers.

Remember to lock your screen every time you leave your computer unattended.

Don’t try to remember all your passwords, you will need only one to manage them all! Keep all your passwords safe in one single place and access them easily with this dedicated password manager. This is what it does:

Generates strong random passwords for you

Synchronize the login data between your devices

Store your passwords and login data in a personal encrypted vault

Auto-pilot for all your passwords

You and every other user of your computer usually have full access to the majority of files and folders on your machine.

Most of the time, that’s not a problem, because you have nothing to hide from others, therefore you keep your files and folders unsecured.

But sometimes, you actually have a reason to block access to your data. Maybe you work in a public place and don’t want anyone to access your personal files.

Or you’re a parent who doesn’t want his/her child to access inappropriate content. Whatever the reason, we’re sure that you need to keep your files and folders safe.

It’s easy to do that in Windows 10 because there are so many dedicated tools to protect your files and folders. In fact, you might even have a hard time deciding which option is the best.

That’s where we come in, to show you our best picks of file and folder lockers for Windows 10. But first, let’s take a look at what makes a good password.

How to set a strong password and protect your files?

Well, you clearly need to password-protect and lock your files and folders from unauthorized access or even wrongdoers but if you set an easy to guess access key, it’s all in vain.

You have to set a strong password that no one will be able to guess or even decrypt and we’re going to give you a few ideas about how to do that.

➡ Choose the right length and complexity

We recommend using a password with a length between 8 and 16 characters that should include upper case and lower-case letters.

It’s also extremely important to have symbols and numbers within the characters to complete the sequence.

➡ Stay away from predictable words

Don’t use your or anybody else’s names or call names as they can be guessed easily and repeating the username as a password is out of the question.

Also, avoid using common words like pass, key, user, or just sequences of numbers like 123, 345, etc.

➡ The password has to make sense only for you

You can’t put just random letters, numbers, and symbols because otherwise you will be forced to write it down on a piece of paper or another device and that means it’s not secure anymore.

Instead, you can try to use abbreviations for sentences or phrases that will mean something to you. For example, the password Dyb&[email protected] would translate in Do your best and create a strong password too.

It has 9 characters, it includes upper and lower case letters, a special character, and a number. Perfect!

And now that you’ve learned how to create a strong password, let’s take a look at our selection of the best tools that can secure your data.

WinZip provides one of the best encryption systems allowing you to password-protect your zip files.

But the tool is actually a lot more sophisticated than that and it includes a plethora of additional options for you to choose from.

For instance, the file management features are a big plus, but you can also benefit from compression options for practically anything from images to folders and zip PDFs.

In addition, you can make use of integrated repair tools to keep your files and folders not only secure but also optimized.

WinZip makes it easy to password-protect, compress, save, repair, and share your files and zip folders with an easy-to-use interface.

This way, when you compress the files, you will also be prompted for a password for that archive.

Another plus feature for WinZip is that you will get a free 30-day trial before making the purchase so you can test it properly.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

A strong file encryption solution

Integrated compression and repair tools

Save space on your PC

Password-protection for all your zip files

Easy-to-use interface

WinZip

Manage your important large files with this versatile compression and protection tool for Windows.

Free trial Visit website

Folder Lock is arguably one of the best solutions for keeping your files and folders safe in Windows 10. It also covers email attachments, USB and CD drives, and even wallets with store credits, and other sensitive information.

If you want to encrypt more than one file or folder, you can even set up a master password, to access all your locked content with just one key.

By setting up a master password, you don’t have to memorize passwords for each locked file or folder, and we’re talking about AES 256-bit military-grade encryption.

You also don’t have to worry about losing your data, because Folder Lock backs up encrypted files in real-time, and stores them in the cloud.

There’s another nifty trick about Folder Lock. For instance, once you’ve locked a folder, it will become hidden, and you will only be able to see it by using the software interface.

There is, however, a downside that you should know about. Using the tool requires creating an account, which is something that you might not like.

Expert tip:

Lock folders and encrypt files in seconds

Sync and backup

Password-protect USB/External Drive

Shred and permanently delete files

Clean device history and Stealth mode

Save Wallets / Cards / Passwords

Folder Lock

Lock, encrypt, sync, and backup your files in no time at all with this excellent application!

Free Download

IObit is constantly improving its product palette to the needs of the users and Protected Folder is a tool that proves it.

This folder locker allows you to easily protect your important data with a password to secure its contents.

The tool not only offers you protection from prying eyes that are trying to access your important data but also keeps it safe against malicious attacks.

It has a locking engine optimized to keep your files and folders locked even when your PC is the subject of a virus or spyware attack.

For example, the software is also immune to the widespread WannaCry ransomware virus that is known to encrypt files.

The app is user-friendly and allows you to set options like deny read, deny write or hide so you can’t miss any alternatives.

Although IObit Protected Folder is pretty complex with its diverse options, it comes with a very friendly interface that is very simple to use and understand.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

Password-protect important files and data

Enhanced privacy mode

Keep locking files even if your PC has been infected by malware

Hide from view, block access to files and modify protection settings

Friendly interface

Gilisoft File Lock Pro is a complete privacy suite that will securely shred all deleted files so that they cannot be recovered anymore.

It will also help you delete your browsing and Windows history, clear any traces of third-party programs, and more.

Additionally, the software effectively prevents most illegal operations performed by hackers or malicious software such as viruses, trojans, and spyware.

In fact, it is so good that it will protect your privacy even if you are actually sharing the same PC with someone else.

It does this by efficiently hiding documents, videos, pictures, and more. You can even share folders on your network, password protects them, and limit access in a convenient fashion.

But what if someone accesses your computer and uninstalls File Lock Pro? That is also impossible because they will need a password to do so.

And if they try to break in by entering the wrong password more than 5 times, the app will send alarm notifications on a designated e-mail.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

Clears Windows and browsing history

Removes third-party software traces

Shreds files and folders

Hides documents

Password-protects files, folders or disk

Stops viruses from tempering with your files

Gilisoft File Lock Pro

Complete privacy suite that keeps your data confidential and secure at all times.

Free trial Visit website

WinRAR is actually a compression tool; however, its 256-bit password encryption and authenticated signature technology make it a strong contender for our list that simply cannot be overlooked.

This software brings a myriad of file management features that will help you better organize your documents, free disk space, and protect your files and folders with the ultimate encryption.

Just like with its more famous rival, WinZip, WinRAR has a simple button conveniently named Set a password available when you create an archive.

You will also have the option to encrypt the file names so that no one can see them in the archive before actually unarchiving it with the correct password.

Of course, like most of the successful encryption methods, WinRAR comes with military-grade 256-bit password encryption.

You can test it for 40 days for free before buying it with all the features included so you don’t need to make a decision right away.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

256-bit password encryption and its authenticated signature technology

Supports all popular compression formats (RAR, ZIP, CAB, ARJ, LZH, TAR, GZip, UUE, ISO, BZIP2, Z, and 7-Zip)

Special compression algorithms for multimedia files, .exe and object libraries

Split archives into separate disks

40 days trial period

WinRAR

Protect, manage and compress all file formats easily with this simple and effective tool.

Free trial Visit website Read more about this topic

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3 Best XDR and SIEM Software for Network Cybersecurity

How to Password Protect Compressed Folders in Windows 10

How to lock your screen in Windows

You’ve learned how to set a good password and our software selection will do the rest in protecting your files, but up to that point, the best protection is to lock your computer.

If you work in a public environment or in a big office and you need to leave your computer unattended even for a few minutes, it’s a great idea (if not a company rule) to lock your screen before that.

You can do that in two easy ways:

Press Windows key + L

Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Lock from the available options

How can I create a Windows 10 user account with limited access?

That concludes our list of the best file and folder lockers for your Windows 10 running device. If you had any dilemma about choosing the safest option for your computer, we hope this article provided all the options and explained all the traits of password protecting your files.

Another way of safeguarding your files is to create backups by using a dedicated tool from our selection of the best backup software.

From our experience, keeping your most important data away from other users is an excellent way of protecting your privacy.

However, this can be a two-way street because all the tools require a password to unlock your data and if you somehow lose that password, it can be a daunting task to retrieve it.

Some of the apps in our list can reset your password if you provide proof that you own the software but that can be a daunting task, so make sure you keep your password safe and don’t rely only on your memory.

Still experiencing issues?

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How To Merge Folders In Windows 11/10

Merge Folders in Windows 11/10 and Remove Duplicate Folders

There are two scenarios that we need to take into consideration while merging folders. They are.

When both the folders are of different name

When both the folders have the same name

Let us look talk about them one by one.

1] When both the folders are of different name

If you want to Merge Folders and Remove Duplicate Folders and they have the same, all you have to copy and paste. Just follow the prescribed steps to do the same.

Open File Explorer.

Go to either of the two folders.

Select all of its content, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + A.

Hit Ctrl + C to copy all the content that you selected earlier.

Now, navigate to the other folder.

If it says that you have duplicate files, either Skip them or Replace them.

Once your computer is done pasting, two folders will be merged. It’s quite easy and will take no time.

Read: Folder Merge Conflict in Windows: Enable, Disable 

2] When both the folders have the same name

If both the folders you wanted to merge have the same name, you just need to copy the folders into the same location. You will be asked to select one of the following three options.

Replace the files in the destination

Skip these files

Let me decide for each file

You should choose “Let me decide for each file” and then manually select the files you want to merge. This should do the job for you.

However, you can also use the previous method here as that will do the job for you as well, this is just a bit quicker. Also a pro-tip, if you want to merge two folders, just rename one of them and make sure both of them have the same name. Windows will automatically give you an option to merge folders.

Also Read: No Duplicate Warning when Copying or Moving Files and Folders 

How do I combine folders into one?

To combine two folders into one, all you have to do is copy all of the content of one folder into another. You can check the aforementioned guide to know how to do the same as we go into the details there and talked about some other methods to merge folders.

Read: How to split & merge ZIP folders on Windows

How do I merge files in Windows?

Different types of files get merged differently. Hereinafter are some of the common file types along with the procedure to merge them.

Merge PDF Files

There are various online tools that can assist you in merging two files into one. For simplicity, we have mentioned some free websites to Merge PDF files below.

You can easily use any of the aforementioned sites to merge the files. Just go to the site, select the file you want to merge, and follow the on-screen instructions to do the same.

Merge Document Files

You can easily merge document files using MS Word. Follow the prescribed steps to do the same.

Open Microsoft Word and open a new Blank Document.

Go to the Insert tab.

Select the files you want to merge. Press and hold Ctrl to select multiple documents.

That’s how you can merge document files. You can also just copy and paste the files if they are short, this is just an easier and quicker option.

Related: Free Duplicate File Finder and Remover Software for Windows.

Merge Text files

copy *.txt newfile.txt

Make sure to replace newfile.txt with the name of the merged file. This will do the job for you.

Use free software to merge folders and files

WinMerge: It can compare both folders and files, presenting differences in a visual text format that is easy to understand and handle.

Folder Merger: It is a tool to merge the contents of different folders into a single folder while keeping its folder structure.

That should do the job for you.

Read: How to combine Outlook Inbox of multiple accounts.

How To Use Emojis In Windows 11 Or Windows 10

No chat conversation is complete without colorful and interesting Emojis or Emoticons. While almost every platform and device has its own set of funny and exciting emojis, Windows users are still using the keyboard keys Colon ‘:’ and simple bracket ‘)’ to make emoticons like :), :(, :P, 😀 and a few more.

Most of the Windows 11/10 users are unaware of the fact that they can actually use funny emoticons like the middle finger, a receptionist, a dancing girl, a fairy, a Santa Claus, an angel, and so on. Yes, now that almost every Windows PC is running the latest Windows 10 operating system, you can spruce up your chat conversations, your status updates on a social networking website, your emails, or any other documents with these tiny comical characters. In this post, we will learn about how to use Emojis in Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Microsoft has refurbished its Emoji panel for Windows 11 PCs. Emojis, we all know is the best way to express your emotions and feelings. A simple and boring conversation can be made interesting with the use of correct Emojis but yeah, if not used correctly or if you are not really aware of what each Emoji actually means, it could lead to an argument too. Well, we are not here to discuss the meanings of the Emojis but to learn how to use the new set of Emojis just released by Microsoft on your Windows 11 PC.

How to get new Emojis in Windows 11

Before we proceed on how to use the Emojis, let me first tell you how to get these Emojis on your PC. Many people I know are still unaware of the fact that we can actually use Emojis on our Windows PC.

To get the Emojis panel on your PC, press the Win+Period key on your keyboard. By period key, I mean the ‘full-stop’ key placed just before the question mark key on your keyboard. If you still can’t see the updated panel, you must have not downloaded and installed the latest update for Windows 11.

Press Win+I to open the Settings, go to Windows Update, and see if your PC is up to date or not. The new Emoji panel comes with an optional update.

What’s New in Emojis in Windows 11?

This is how the new Emoji Panel looks in Windows 11 PCs. There are four different sections, Emojis, GIFs, Kamojis, and Symbols. To use these emojis, open any text command, like the Notepad, Email, Blogpost, a Word Document, etc, and press Win+Period keys on your keyboard. The new Emoji Panel in Windows 11 looks modern and goes well with the modern design of the latest operating system. The emojis are fluent and 2D for Windows 11 and 3D for the apps like Skype and Microsoft Teams.  Microsoft has made it clear that Windows 10 PCs will not be getting these new emojis.

As you open the Emojis panel, you will first see the recently used Emojis. There is a small arrow in the right corner which takes you to a whole lot of Emojis available in the panel. It’s a long list including, emojis, faces, animals, etc.

                                                              🌺💕🎶🤷‍♀️🤑😭🥶🥸☠️🙉🐴🦍👅👩🏽‍❤️‍👨🏿👩‍👩‍👦👩🏻‍🤝‍👨🏻🧑🏿‍🤝‍🧑🏿

You will almost every emojis available on your Smartphones and various chatting applications.

GIFs in Emojis Panel

The second section contains the GIFs. You will find almost every popular GIF here in this section right from celebratory GIFs, smiling, laughing, applauding, or crying GIFs. There is also a search option in the top ribbon of this panel wherein you can search for the GIF for a particular reaction. Also, there are some trending categories like Happy Turkey Day, Happy Thanksgiving Day GIFs, etc.  You can now use these GIFs to make your conversations interesting. Needless to say that the GIFs add a humorous touch to your emotions and reactions.

Just like the Emojis, go to the place where you want to paste the GIF, press the Win+Period key on the keyboard, and select the GIF you want. These GIFs are powered by Tenor.

Kamojis

Kamojis are Japanese text-based emojis that include various characters. There are categories like Classic Ascii Emoticons, Happy, Sad, Greetings, and more. Same as the emojis and GIFs, simply select the emoticon you want and it gets pasted.

                                                               (●’◡’●) (❁´◡`❁) (⓿_⓿) ლ(╹◡╹ლ).

Symbols

The last section includes the symbols like currency symbols, general punctuations, math symbols, Latin symbols, geometric symbols, supplemental symbols, and language symbols.

Search for Emojis in Windows 11

There is also a Search option given in the top ribbon in the Emoji Panel. You can just type in what emoticon you are looking for and the particular section and category will be opened. So, yes this new Emoji Panel in Windows 11 is pretty quick and easy to use and also has quite a lot of options to make our conversations quirky and interesting.

How to use Emojis in Windows 10

UPDATE: You can now also use the Emoji Panel in Windows 10.

To use Emojis on your Windows 10 PC, you actually have to skip your keyboard and use the on-screen touch keyboard. When we say on-screen keyboard, we are not really talking about the regular keyboard desktop app, we are talking about the touch keyboard, there is a difference. 

These tiny comical characters are categorized into various categories like emoticons, facial emojis, party pops, eatables, symbols, love, automobiles and more.

Please note, that the emojis appear differently across programs. For example, they came up colorful in my FB status update but black-and-white in MS Word and Notepad. I don’t know if there is some way out to get these colorful emojis as it is.

So, finally, Windows users now have a way to use the emojis in their Windows 10 PC. The set of emojis includes almost every popular emoticon. Now you don’t need to go to the third party app or websites to copy the emoticons.

TIP: You can also make your own Emoji.

Does Windows 11 have different emojis?

A new optional update for Windows 11 has started rolling out earlier this week that brings the new set of Emojis to your Windows 11 PC. The emojis are available in 2D for Windows 11 but for the apps like Skype and MS Teams, you can use them in 3D too.

How do you type emojis on Windows 11?

Go to any of your text windows and press the Win+Period key (.) placed right before the question-mark key on your keyboard. Select the emoji you want to paste and you are done. Overall, the new Emoji Panel in Windows 11 is quite interesting and we love it. Would love to know your thoughts about the same.

Have fun! 🙂

How To Show File Extensions In Windows 11/10

File Extension is that which identifies the file type. If you are a regular Windows user, then it is not at all a problem to identify the file type. For it is very important to see file extension to identify the type of file you are trying to open from a security point of view. So in this post, we will see how to hide or show File Extensions in Windows 11/10/8/7 and why you should show them.

What are File Extensions & how are they useful

Different file types have different extensions. Audio files have .mp3, .wav, .wma, and more based on the program used to open that file. File extensions also help the operating system to identify the corresponding program to open that particular file. So, you should be able to see file extensions to be at the safer side, and we will let you know how to enable options to see file extensions in Windows.

As mentioned earlier, by default Windows does not show file extensions and they are hidden. But, you can toggle the option to see them.

Show File Extensions in Windows 11/10

There are five ways how you can go about accessing this setting:

Through the File Explorer Options

Through Windows Explorer Ribbon

Using the Registry

Using Command Prompt

Using Group Policy Editor.

To Show File Extensions in Windows 11/10 via File Explorer Options, follow these steps:

Select the View tab.

In this tab, under Advanced Settings, you will see the option Hide extensions for known file types.

Uncheck this option

Windows 11/10 users may also search for File Explorer Options in Start search box and open this box.

Now, you can see file extensions for all files anywhere on your Windows system.

In Windows 11/10/8.1 Explorer, you can access File Explorer Options via Explorer.

Once here, you can do the needful as explained above.

These are very simple steps to follow, and you do not need any third-party software to view file extensions. Windows provides us with everything which can be easily achieved, and the point lies in knowing and implementing them. This is the first way to see file extensions in Windows 7.

2] Via Windows File Explorer

To show File name extensions in Windows 11:

Open Explorer

Select File name extensions.

Simply select the File name extensions checkbox, and you are all set.

3] Using the Registry Editor

Hit the WINKEY + R button combination to launch the Run utility, type in regedit and hit Enter. Once Registry Editor opens, navigate to the following key-

ComputerHKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced

A value of 0 will hide the file extensions.

Exit the Registry Editor and then reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.

4] Use Windows Command Prompt

This fix can be used in both the scenarios mentioned above. Insert a bootable drive of Windows 11/10 installer.

Start by hitting the WINKEY + X combinations and select Command Prompt (Admin) to launch Command Prompt with Administrator Privileges.

Navigate to the root location of that bootable device inside the Command Prompt command line. Once you get there, type in the following to show the file extensions-

reg add HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced /v HideFileExt /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

And then hit Enter.

You can also enter the following command to hide the file extensions,

reg add HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced /v HideFileExt /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f 5] Using Group Policy Editor

You can also use the Group Policy Editor and change the setting here:

Set “Show hidden files and folders” and uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types”.

Thus, you can set your Windows to show file extensions in Windows 11/10/8.

Read: How to create a file without an Extension in Windows.

How do I show file type extensions in Windows 11/10?

Read: How to open a file with no extension in Windows.

How do I see all file extensions in Windows?

The process to see all file extensions in Windows 11/10 is the same as the above one. That said, you need to remove the tick from the Hide extensions for known file types checkbox in the Folder Options window.

How To Activate Windows 11 Or Windows 10

In this post, we will see how to activate Windows 11/10. Activation is the initial process by which a Windows running on a PC is determined to be properly licensed and genuine, and it’s really quick and easy. It is different from Registration, in the sense that,  Activation is the process of ensuring that your copy of Windows is used according to the Microsoft Software License Terms, whereas registration is the process of entering information to sign up for product support, tools, and tips, and other product benefits.

It’s a great time to talk about Windows activation and how it will work. For customers who are already familiar with activating Windows 11/10, this will feel pretty familiar, and, as far as the user experience goes, it’s not too different from earlier Windows versions.

You can activate either online or by phone.

When you install Windows and log in with the user account, Windows will ask you to activate it. It’s a process through which Microsoft figures out if the copy of Windows is legit. Activation is easy, and it can be done through a Windows key or linked Microsoft account, and even transfer the key from an old machine to a new one if it’s a connected account. However, if you are facing an activation issue, this post will guide you on how to activate Windows 11 using multiple methods.

How to Activate Windows 11

You can use any of the following methods to activate your copy for Windows 11.

Run Activation Troubleshooter

SLMGR Command

Use your Microsoft Account

Before you go ahead with any of the steps, ensure that you have a proper internet connection and restart the system at least once. At times activation gets stuck, and this can help to resolve. Also, you will need an admin account before using these methods.

1] Run Activation Troubleshooter

Windows will then run the wizard and internal programs to resolve the problem.

If essential troubleshooting works, and the activation key entered earlier or linked to Microsoft account is valid, Windows should get activated.

2] SLMGR Method

SLMGR or Software Licensing Management Tool is a tool that can run commands to activate Windows. It is available for Windows users as well, and anyone can use it. You will need to use the Windows key using this method.

Keep a copy of the Windows key in the clipboard and notepad.

Open Run prompt using Win + R and then type WT followed by pressing the Enter key.

Type and execute the command slmgr.vbs /upk  to remove previously installed key.

It will then use the key to connect with the Microsoft licensing server, validate it, and activate it.

SLMGR command may not be available for Windows Home users.

3] Sign-in with Microsoft Account

When installing Windows 11, if you have used a local account, and your key is connected to your Microsoft account, you need to use it. Once the Windows key is digitally linked with Microsoft account, you can activate it or transfer it to any PC.

Expand the Activation State

If you have previously linked your Windows with a Microsoft account, then it will instantly activate your copy of Windows 11.

Activate Windows 10

To activate Windows 10 OS do the following:

Properties

Windows Activation

You can then select the method you want to use to activate. However, if you had chosen to automatically activate Windows online when you set up your computer, it will do so automatically in 3 days.

Activate Windows 10 using the SLUI.EXE

You can also activate Windows using the SLUI.EXE 3 command. You can get more information in this post on how to activate Windows Enterprise Edition.

Or you can run the following command from an elevated command prompt:

Once activated, you can view the Licensing Status and Activation ID of your Windows OS with chúng tôi .

Activate Windows 11/10 by Phone

This post will show you how to Activate Windows by Phone. This post also offers Microsoft Volume Licensing Activation Centers Worldwide Telephone numbers.

Activate Windows 11/10 after a hardware change

If you face issues after a hardware change, then this post shows how to activate Windows after a hardware change.

How long can you use unactivated Windows?

There is a 30 days evaluation period during which everything works. There will be a watermark available on the desktop until Windows is activated. Ensure that if you are evaluating Windows, keep a backup up of all documents and important files.

What happens if you don’t activate Windows?

A couple of things will happen. You will receive a notification that “Windows is not activated, please activate Windows now.” in Settings. In addition to the lock screen and wallpaper, you will not change accent colors, themes, etc. You won’t be able to modify anything related to Personalization. Some apps and features may cease to function. In a couple of months, I will start rebooting randomly.

How can I activate my Windows 11 for free?

Short Answer, you cannot. However, you can transfer your Windows 10 License to Windows 11 as the upgrade process is free if it’s the same version of Windows. If you don’t have the key and perform a fresh install, first ensure to connect the Microsoft account on Windows 10. Once done, upgrade, and then again use the same account in Windows 11.

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