Pre­pare your PC for the next Win­dows Up­date

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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 ( 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, 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 (, 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 ( 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. 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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