Prepare your PC for the next Windows Update
What you need: Windows 10 Time required: 45 minutes
TheWindows 10 Fall Creators Update (FCU) will be rolled out by Microsoft from 17 October. In this Workshop, we’ll show you how to get your PC ready for the update by installing the latest PC security updates, backing up your
important files, and deleting redundant software and apps – all using the best free programs for the jobs. We’ll also show you fail-safe ways to ensure you can boot your PC if something goes wrong during or after installing the FCU.
The first thing you should do is update your PC before 17 October to ensure it has the latest security and driver updates. Open your Start menu, click Settings, ‘Update & security’, then click ‘Check for updates’ 1 . You should see a ‘Your device is up to date’ message 2 . If not, wait until the required updates install – you might be prompted to restart your PC during this process.
Major Windows updates have been known to delete or misplace users’ files, so it’s a good idea to back up your important files. You can copy your files to an external hard drive or USB stick. Alternatively, back them up to Onedrive, which is pre-installed on Windows 10 PCS and comes with 5GB of free storage space. Simply select, then drag and drop your files/folders 1 to the relevant Onedrive folder on your PC 2 . If you’ve run out of Onedrive storage or want more, Google’s new ‘Backup & Sync’ program ( www.snipca.com/25721) gives you 15GB of free storage space.
Install ‘Backup & Sync’, log in with your Google account, select ‘Back up all file types’, then click Next. You’ll notice that some of your folders are backed up by default 1 (untick these if you want). To back up other folders, click Choose Folder 2 , then select your folder. Repeat this to back up more folders. When you’ve finished selecting, click Start 3 . Once they are backed up, you can access these files by going to www.drive.google.com, then logging into your account.
Major Windows Updates can be as much as 3-4GB, so it’s a good idea to delete large files, programs and apps you no longer need to recover hard-drive space. Free program Wiztree ( www.snipca.com/25722, see our Workshop, Issue 511, page 35) will help you identify large files. Back up any files you need first. When you open Wiztree, you’ll see a breakdown of your storage space 1 . You should aim to have at least 30GB free. Click Scan 2 to see a breakdown of your PC’S folders.
Use the dropdown menus 1 to see which folders/subfolders are taking up space. A new feature introduced since Issue 511’s Workshop lets you see which file formats are taking up the most storage space 2 . So if you notice that, for example, AVI video files are taking up the most space, you can navigate to your folder containing videos, right-click it 3 , then click Explore Folder 4 to open it. Now press Ctrl, click to select the items you want to delete, then press Shift+delete to remove them permanently.
To remove unwanted programs and apps, we recommend Wise Program Uninstaller (free from www.snipca. com/25723). It lists all your programs and tells you how much space they take up 1 . Click the Size column header 2 to sort your programs, then select one you want to uninstall. You can either choose Safe Uninstall 3 (which removes most programs) or Forced Uninstall 4 (which removes stubborn programs). After uninstalling, Wise carries out a deep scan for any leftover junk from these programs and gives you the option to remove it.
If there are programs that refuse to uninstall using the Safe or Forced methods, click the Custom Uninstall button 1 , then navigate to the program’s setup file to forcefully remove it and any other leftover files. Wise also lets you remove unwanted Windows 10 apps (installed from the Microsoft Store). Click the Universal Apps button 2 , click the Size column header 3 , select an app you want to remove, click Safe Uninstall 4 , then repeat this for other unwanted apps.
It’s important to ensure all your programs and apps are up to date so that they’re all compatible with the FCU. For programs, we recommend using Kaspersky Software Updater 1 ( www.snipca.com/25724). Upon installation, it’ll scan your PC for outdated programs and prompt you to update them. To update Microsoft Store apps, search for and open the Store, click the ‘Downloads and updates’ button 2 , then click ‘Get updates’ 3 .
It’s a good idea to identify any potential flaws in your PC before a major update. Belarc Advisor ( www.snipca. com/25725) will analyse your PC and provide very detailed information about it online in your browser. This includes your PC’S antivirus status, missing security updates 1 devices connected to your PC, software licences for Windows and your paid-for programs 2 , and a list of all programs you’ve installed 3 . We recommend bookmarking this web page 4 for future reference.
Finally, you should create a system restore point and a recovery drive. These will help restore your PC to its previous working state should something go wrong during or after installing the FCU. Follow these instructions from Microsoft for creating a restore point ( www.snipca. com/25726) and for creating a recovery drive ( www.snipca. com/25727). If you do have problems with the FCU, go to www. snipca.com/25728 to match your problem 1 with a fix 2 . Each fix has its own dropdown menu 3 , which contains further instructions. ●
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