Afraid of the growing threats online? As you should be. But we’re here to show you what kinds of malware are out there and what you can do to keep them at bay.
Malware comes from the term malicious software. It’s software designed to attack and exploit devices and networks to the advantage of the hacker who made it.
Malware can be transmitted in different ways. Most commonly this happens via infected USB drives, downloadable files or malicious websites. Depending on the type and ultimate goal, the consequences of a malware attack can range from negligible to catastrophic.
What kinds of malware are there?
A virus is typically spread via infected files, websites or links. It’s one of the oldest malware types and one of the most difficult to get rid of. That’s because, once activated, it replicates itself - hence the name.
It can perform different kinds of attacks, depending on what the creator wants to achieve. The main characteristic of a virus is that it really doesn’t show itself until you activate the host. So that’s a scary thought for sure.
Sometimes an ad blocker isn’t enough to fight off unwanted ads. And some of them can, unfortunately, be malicious. They may redirect you to infected sites or prompt downloads of risky files. Even just opening a malicious site can lead to data theft.
So, definitely be careful when clicking around. Even if an ad seems completely legitimate, you can never be too sure.
Through ransomware, cybercriminals gain access to a user’s data and use it to extort them for money. Basically, the user is threatened with data deletion or even exposure if a ransom isn’t paid by a specific deadline.
This is a particularly nerve-wracking type of malware. If it targets an individual, it preys upon their sense of anxiety, fear, guilt and even shame. If it targets a business (which is a lot more common), it preys upon not only that business’s profit but also every single one of their customers and their data.
This type of malware disguises itself very well as a legitimate-looking program. Once you download it, hackers can get full access and control of your device, data and network. They can even be hidden in games, apps and attachments. They cannot self-replicate, though, so we guess that’s… good news?
Worms can replicate, just like viruses, but you don’t need to actually activate the infected program for them to get going. They can be used for various purposes, ranging from data deletion to file encryption to support a ransomware attack.
Spyware refers to malicious software that stays hidden on your computer and monitors your activity. The best-known type is keyloggers. This can be used to steal sensitive data like passwords and banking information.
Rootkits are among the most dangerous types of malware. They allow administrative access and full control of a device, which lets hackers continue hijacking all your data and monitoring your activity without your knowledge.
Botnets are networks made up of bots - computers that cybercriminals have infected with malicious software. Bots and botnets give hackers remote access to users’ devices and allow them to spy on your camera, take screenshots, memorize passwords and launch Distributed Denial of Service attacks. This one truly makes your hair stand on end.
What can you do about it?
You know the old adage - better safe than sorry. And trust us, malware attacks are such a pain in the you-know-what that you really don’t want to be sorry.
Luckily, there are simple solutions that can shield you from most digital threats these days. What you want to be looking at is a solid antivirus program. Well, technically, you need an antimalware program, but since the latter evolved from the former, we still mostly refer to them as antivirus software. The majority of antimalware programs these days don’t just shield you from potential risks online, but include additional features as well. For example, some Bitdefender antivirus packages also include parental control and a VPN. And Bitdefender is not just for PCs either - it offers protection for your beloved iPhone or Android as well. You can throw in a password manager in there too, for an additional layer of security.
If you aren’t too concerned about all these various threats or feel like you don’t need extra security, you can at least take a step to protect your information from being exposed to lurking cybercriminals as you’re browsing. This can be done through a good VPN like Surfshark, which hides your identity in the digital space and prevents your data from being tracked.
Choosing the right protective software is especially important if you have children with access to the Internet, since they’re unfortunately even more vulnerable to malicious attacks. If you aren’t sure what the right kind of antimalware program is right for you, you can reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help keep your entire household or office digitally secure.
The bottom line
The truth is that there’s no way to be 100% protected in the online world. Hackers are constantly coming up with new ways to infiltrate our devices. But malware-battling software evolves along with them and there’s still plenty you can do to keep risks away. Stay safe!
This post will guide you in fixing high CPU, Memory, and Disk usage problems caused by NTOSKRNL.exe. NTOSKRNL stands for “NT Operating System Kernel. This file is a kernel image that is responsible for a lot of systems-based processes such as Hardware Virtualization, Process, and Memory. Aside from that, it is also the one that compresses the old pages of memory that reduces the overall amount of memory being used. If you notice that your computer is running slowly and you find that the NTOSKRNL.exe file is hogging your resources such as disk usage, CPU usage as well as memory usage, then read on as this post will guide you in fixing the problem caused by NTOSKRNL.exe.
Make use of the options given below to resolve the issues caused by NTOSKRNL.exe.
1] Scan your computer for potential malware
There might be a good chance that your computer might be infected with malware. And this malware might be associated with the NTOSKRNL.exe file and hence making it consume a lot of system resources. So, I would really recommend you to make sure that your Antivirus is up to date and then scan your computer with it specifically the C:/Windows/System32 folder because this is the location where the NTOSKRNL.exe file is located.
Option 1 – Put your computer in a Clean Boot State
The first thing you have to do is to put your computer in a Clean Boot State as this can help you in finding any incompatible programs that are causing the problem.
Log onto your PC as an administrator.
Type in MSConfig in the Start Search to open the System Configuration utility.
From there, go to the General tab and click “Selective startup”.
Clear the “Load Startup items” check box and make sure that the “Load System Services” and “Use Original boot configuration” options are checked.
Next, click the Services tab and select the “Hide All Microsoft Services” check box.
Click Disable all.
Click on Apply/OK and restart your PC. (This will put your PC into a Clean Boot State. And configure Windows to use the usual startup, just simply undo the changes.)
From there, start to isolate the problem by checking which one of the programs you installed recently is the root cause of the problem.
Once you’ve found any incompatible programs, you need to uninstall them. Refer to the steps below to do so.
In the search box, type in “control” and then click on Control Panel (desktop app) among the search results.
After that, select Programs and Features from the list which will give you a list of all the programs installed on your computer.
From there, look for the concerned program and select it and then uninstall it.
Note: If you have downloaded the app from the Windows Store, you can simply right-click on it from the application list and then uninstall it.
Option 2 – Update or rollback drivers
If the first option didn’t work for you, then it’s time to either update or roll back the device drivers. It is most likely that after you updated your Windows computer that your driver also needs a refresh. On the other hand, if you have just updated your device drivers then you need to roll back the drivers to their previous versions. Whichever applies to you, refer to the steps below.
Open the Devices Manager from the Win X Menu.
Then locate the device drivers and right-click on them to open the Properties.
After that, switch to the Driver tab and click on the Uninstall Device button.
Follow the screen option to completely uninstall it.
Finally, restart your computer. It will just reinstall the device drivers automatically.
Note: You can install a dedicated driver on your computer in case you have it or you could also look for it directly from the website of the manufacturer.
Option 3 – Try to run the DISM tool
If the first two options didn’t work, then running the Deployment Imaging and Servicing Management might. Using this built-in tool, you have various options such as the “/ScanHealth”, “/CheckHealth”, and “/RestoreHealth”.
Open the Command Prompt with admin privileges.
Then type in the following commands and make sure to hit Enter right after you type each one of them:
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
Do not close the window if the process takes a while as it will probably take a few minutes to finish.
Option 4 – Try to stop the Runtime Broker process
The RuntimeBroker.exe or the Runtime Broker process is the one that monitors access to Windows APIs to make sure that the apps do not violate the core security of Windows. This process usually leaves a very small footprint. However, there are times when it consumes more resources than it’s supposed to and does not release memory after the work is done that results in a memory leak. As a result, it affects NTOSKRNL.exe which is why you have to stop the Runtime Broker process. To do so, refer to these steps:
Tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
After opening Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for the Runtime Broker process.
Once you find it, check if it is using more than 15% of your memory. If it is, then you most likely have an issue with an app installed on your computer.
Select the Runtime Broker process and right-click on it and then click on the End Task option to end its process.
Option 5 – Try to run the Performance Troubleshooter
Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
Type “msdt.exe /id PerformanceDiagnostic” in the field and hit Enter to open the Performance troubleshooter.
Then click on Next to get started. Wait until the process is completed.
Option 6 – Try using the Windows Performance Toolkit
You can also use the Windows Performance Toolkit in finding the root cause of the problem. Just refer to the following steps to use this toolkit.
Search for “cmd” in the Cortana Search box and click on Command Prompt from the search results to open it.
Next, type in the command given below or copy and paste it and then hit Enter:
After executing the command, wait for at least 60 seconds and then check the logs of the Windows Performance toolkit which is stored in a file named cpuusage.etl in the folder located at C:/Windows/System32. From there, you should see a list of all the causes of the System Resources being hogged.
The Error Code 0x802400d most often occurs when users attempt to use the Windows Update tool on their computers to move from one version of the software to another. In some cases, this error is more likely to appear on your computer during the process if you have not performed regular updates to the software as they have been available.
Common symptoms include:
Inability to finish the download of the necessary update to Windows 10
Incomplete installation of the desired Windows 10 update
While it can take additional time to deal with the issues that cause Error Code 0x802400d to appear on your computer, there are several steps that you can take to address the problem. These are fairly simple to perform and do not require advanced knowledge of the system to employ.
The most basic cause for Error Code 0x802400d is that there is a file or a process that is causing the update process to hiccup. In many cases, this error appears when a user attempts to begin the process of updating their computer if they have several stacked updates to perform. Computers that are several updates behind where they should be will display this error more often than computers that are kept on a schedule of recommended updates.
Further Information and Manual Repair
While there are multiple reasons why the Error Code 0x802400d may appear on your computer during the Windows Update process, there are several methods that can be used to attempt to resolve the problem on your own. These are generally easy to do and do not require advanced techniques. However, if you do not feel comfortable addressing the issue on your own, contact a qualified Windows repair technician.
Here are some of the best methods that users can employ to resolve Error Code 0x802400d:
Method 1: Run the System Update Readiness Tool
There are a number of different processes, files, and settings that could cause Error Code 0x802400d to appear on your computer during the Windows 10 Update process. For this reason, the most efficient way to determine what the culprit is for your specific issue is to download and use the System Update Readiness function.
This tool is available directly from Windows. Although there are other tools available on the Internet that claim to be able to fix the problem, these can contain viruses and malware, so be cautious if you decide to employ these instead. There are also several versions of the tool on the Windows website, so be sure to download the version that matches the operating system and version of your computer.
Once you have downloaded the Readiness tool from the Windows website, allow it to run a scan on your system. At a minimum, this process will take about fifteen minutes to complete. Although you will see a progress bar at the bottom of the window, it does not always update effectively. Some users have reported that the update appears to stop when it is two-thirds complete. Continue to let the scan run if this happens, rather than canceling it out. Even if the progress bar doesn’t update, the scan is still running.
Method 2: Remove New Software and Re-Attempt the Update Process
If you have recently installed new software on your machine, it can sometimes cause problems with the update process. The best way to resolve this issue is to remove or uninstall the software, run the update process again, and then reinstall the software once the Windows system has been successfully updated.
If the above methods are not successful in resolving Error Code 0x802400d from your machine and you are still unable to complete the Windows 10 Update process or if you are not confident in your ability to complete these steps successfully on your own, get in touch with a qualified computer repair technician who is familiar with the issues surrounding Windows 10 in particular. Microsoft offers certifications for Windows repair technicians, so look for a professional who has the experience, skills, and knowledge necessary to adequately address Error Code 0x802400d on your machine.
If you wish to always have at your disposal a utility tool to fix these Windows 10 and other related issues when they do arise, download and install a powerful automated tool.
As you probably know, Windows 10 does not offer lots of choices for its Regional settings depending on where you are and what locale you work with or belong to. The standard region settings for Windows 10 allow users to select one set of formats for the calendar and more. However, this has somewhat changed in the Windows 10 v1809. If you don’t want such a change, you can just override the default regional format settings in the Windows 10 Improved local experience. So in this post, you will be guided on how you can do such a thing.
Follow the given instructions below to override the default Regional Format settings in Windows 10.
Step 1: Go to Settings > Time and Language > Region.
Step 2: From there, the default region is what Windows and apps might use to provide you with local content. However, this won’t be much of use if you work for a different locale and need to have different format settings like Calendar, Dates, Times, Currency, and First day of the week, all of which you can modify under the Regional format.
Step 3: You need not reboot your Windows 10 computer after changing. On the other hand, some of the apps will have to close and launch again in order to apply the new format. Thus, if you need to use apps that are of different locales, you will only see the changes after you re-launch the app.
Note: You can also select a different language that makes more sense to you. In other words, if you prefer more common words to standard words for your Windows 10 computer, then this is definitely the way to do it. This local format will be used for messages, menus, navigation, settings, and other topics.
Step 4: Look for a link that says “Add a Windows display language with local experience packs” under Languages.
In case you don’t know, Local Experience Packs are Microsoft Store apps that deliver Windows display language quality improvements. So once you click the link, it will download the packs from the Microsoft Store. In addition, Windows has already begun using AI or Artificial Intelligence as well as neural network-based Machine Learning for Windows localization. And as the number increase, the Machine language improvements and feedback from users will help in making the translations a lot better and make them available to even more languages. All in all, it’s pretty much an interesting and a good move for Microsoft as the demands for topics and machines to be available in local languages have been increasing for the past couple of years.
In case you don’t know, Microsoft has included an Enhanced Search Mode in the new Windows 10 v1903. This new Enhanced Search mode, compared to the Classic Mode, indexes everything on your Windows 10 computer, and in this post you will be guided on how you can disable this new feature as well as discuss how it is different from the Classic Search mode.
Over the years, the Windows 10 Start Search has changed. When you tap the Start button and when you type, the results that appear are categorized into Apps, Documents, Email, Web, Folders, Music, People, Photos, Settings, Videos, and many more. This is the reason why the Enhanced Mode was brought into the picture. So unless everything is indexed, this new feature wouldn’t be of much use.
A Classic Search is the term used for the old search technique in Windows 10. The Classic Search mode is restricted to Libraries and Desktop and end-users can only select to customize the search location by adding them manually to the indexer. To simply put it, it would only index files and folders which you want to get indexed and if the search term is not in the index, it would initiate the regular search which would take quite a while and this is where the Enhanced Windows Search comes in. It indexes everything as it is its default nature which is the exact opposite of the Classic Search mode. This feature allows you to exclude folders where the Search will not look and index anything that could be personal to you. In addition, it can also impact the life of the battery of laptops, if you are using one. The initial crawl of your data will take place only when connected to power and during that time, both the CPU usage and battery will take a bit of a hit.
To enable the Enhanced Search Mode in your Windows 10 computer, here’s what you have to do:
Step 1: Go to Settings > Search > Searching Windows.
Step 2: Next, click on the radio button for Enhanced.
Step 3: After that, select the folders which the Windows Indexer should exclude from the Enhanced Search mode.
And that’s about it. The next time you search anything on your computer, Windows will be looking at all the locations except for the ones you excluded and the results will be a lot faster compared to the Classic Search.
Now that you’ve enabled the Enhanced Search mode, there are two settings you need to check out.
Advanced Search Indexer Settings – this setting allows you to configure how or where Windows will search or what file types it will search in your computer. It will also open the same setting that’s available in the Classic Search.
Run the Indexing Troubleshooter – when you click on the Indexing Troubleshooter, it will start to troubleshoot any Search and Indexing issues on your Windows 10 computer and fix them automatically.
The new upgraded Surface Laptop Go 2 is the new iteration of the affordable original Surface Laptop Go aimed to offer good performance at a lower price of under $1000. The new version is not anything vastly different from the original but it comes with much-needed upgrades.
The biggest and main upgrade is the CPU, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is packing now Intel Core i5 1135G7, an Intels 11th generation CPU that should increase battery life. The laptop is also coming with an improved WEB camera and the cheapest one comes now with 128GB of storage instead of 64GB. Price went up from $550 to $599 which is not a big increase considering what was upgraded.
The bad news of new models is that sadly they are still packing only 4GB of RAM, that's really not enough for most applications released in 2022 and the screen is having a relatively low resolution of 1536 X 1024.
Microsoft is still offering all the color variations as in its first offering but added as well a new Sage color that is muted green in tint.
When we look at hardware it seems a little weak but for this price, there is not much competition in the field, and after all this line of models is aimed to provide good performance for an affordable price. If you really need something better you will go with a standard Surface or MAC book instead.
The new laptops are available to pre-order at Best Buy and Microsoft’s online store, and they’ll start shipping on June 7.
Many Windows 10 users use a Bluetooth headset as these kinds of Audio devices, as you know, lack wires since wires tend to get entangled and break which could get quite inconvenient. This is why using a wireless headphone is more preferable since it’s much simpler, however, using a wireless headphone also means it comes with a charging requirement and if it fails to charge, there is no music or audio or anything that you need a Bluetooth headphone for.
However, wireless headphones are also susceptible to problems as you might encounter some problems when connecting your wireless headphone to your Windows 10 computer. One of these problems include when you try to get sound from the wireless device but nothing happened. This indicates that the Bluetooth headphone is disconnected in some way for some unknown reason even if you’ve already plugged it in. Thus, if you encounter this scenario, then there are several options you need to check out to fix the problem. To start troubleshooting the problem, here are the options you need to use as a reference.
Option 1 – Try turning off the device and turning it back on
The first thing you can do to resolve the problem is to turn off your wireless audio device and wait for a couple of seconds before you turn it back on. In most cases, this should fix the problem. In fact, you can also try to unpair and pair the Bluetooth audio device and see if it fixes the problem or not.
Option 2 – Try to set the headphone as the default device manually
There are times when you plug a headphone, it does not toggle the default audio device. Thus, to fix this issue, you have to set the default audio device to the headphones manually. To do that, follow these steps:
First, right-click on the volume icon located on the system tray.
Next, select the Open sound settings option to open the Sound section in the Windows 10 Settings app.
After that, go to the Output section and select Headphones for the “Choose your output device” option. This should fix the problem for you.
Option 3 – Try running the Bluetooth Troubleshooter
As you know, Windows 10 has various troubleshooters with user-friendly interfaces where you can utilize them to fix issues in your PC. And since you’re dealing with some Bluetooth problem, you have to run the built-in Bluetooth Troubleshooter. To do this, follow these steps:
Open the Windows 10 Settings.
Then go to Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
You should find the option for Bluetooth on your right-hand side – click on it then click on the “Run the troubleshooter” option.
Now follow the next screen options.
Option 4 – Try to update or reinstall the Bluetooth driver
The issue might have something to do with the Bluetooth drivers. It could be that it is outdated and needs to be updated or that you recently updated it and since then you have trouble in removing the Bluetooth devices and so to fix the issue, you can update, roll back or uninstall the Bluetooth drivers. How? Follow the steps below.
Tap the Win + X keys to open the Device Manager.
Next, look for the Bluetooth device and right-click on it.
Select the option “Update driver”.
After that, a new popup window will appear. In there, select the option, “Search automatically for updated driver software”.
Note: Checking the update may take a few minutes so you’ll have to wait until it finishes. If it is able to find an update, you must install it. And if you want to reinstall the Bluetooth driver, just select the “Uninstall driver” option and follow the next on-screen instructions that follow.
Hello and welcome to errortools another tutorial which aims to make your computer life easier and more relaxed. This time we will be talking about how to switch sound output devices in Windows 10 in a matter of seconds between Headphones and external speakers, Between 2 different speakers, or any other audio output device in general.
Windows 10 with its updates has really gone from OK to one of the greats, little hacks and shortcuts which every update has introduced have really made life easier.
Now, your typical switching from one audio output device to another can be accomplished with your standard go to settings, go to devices, choose audio, pick one which you prefer and click on OK. This way altho nothing wrong with it is a little slow and if you need to switch your output devices several times in a single day often it can be time-consuming as well. Lucky for you we have a quick solution for you.
All right, now in order to be able to actually switch between your audio output devices make sure that all of them are working and that they are plugged in. For example, make sure that both of your headphones and speakers are turned ON and plugged in. Once you have confirmed that everything is in working order:
Click with a left mouse button on a speaker icon located on the right part of your taskbar next to the clock
Click on the small up arrow on the right next to your current audio output device.
The list will open, choose, and left click with the mouse button on your choice.
And that's it, you have changed your default audio output device in a matter of seconds.
The good thing about this method is that Windows will remember output audio levels for each device.
If by any chance when switching your audio devices this way freezes volume control just go to the task manager and restart Windows Explorer.
To restart Windows explorer:
Windows and Devices chief Panos Panay has revealed new focus sessions feature that will be in Windows 11 on his Twitter account today. He himself is referring to it as a game-changer especially with Spotify integration.
So what is a focus session?
From the video clip provided on Twitter, we can see that focus session users will be able to choose a specific task from the previously made task list, choose songs that will play in the background while the task is active, and set a timer for the chosen task with breaks.
Maybe the best comparison and explanation would be a desktop google calendar task with music, basically, that’s it. A neat and good organizer inside your Windows 11 operating system. I think that this is generally a good idea and for sure it will find its audience.
Error 1713 is essentially a programming error. It has specifically been designed in Microsoft applications. This is intended to allow customers to continue using the appropriate setup tool.
The error can be quite annoying and is used by manufacturers to determine what caused the error so that counteractive methods can be employed. The number 1713 is simply the hexadecimal code that informs where the instruction was loaded when the error occurred.
As far as the causes of Error 1713 are in question, the primary cause is damaged, misconfigured, or corrupt windows system files. There are several other factors that lead to the occurrence of Error 1713.
For instance, if the applications or hardware on your system has been improperly deleted, installed, or uninstalled, Error 1713 will occur.
Similarly, Error 1713 is triggered when the computer has recovered from an attack by some virus, spyware, malware, or adware only recently. This attack corrupts the file and so the error appears. Incorrect system shutdown can also be blamed for this error.
All the scenarios listed above actually damages the registry entries in Windows system files.
The corrupt or damaged files will then lead to improperly linked or missing information. It goes without saying that such problems will keep the applications from performing in the desired manner and this makes it even more crucial to fix this error as soon as it appears.
Further Information and Manual Repair
Two of the most useful workarounds for Error 1713 are listed below.
This solution is for advanced users. Restart your computer. Log on to it as the admin in the safe mode. Now go to the Start button and follow this path All Programs-> Accessories-> System Tools->System Restore. Now an option will appear asking you to ‘Restore your computer to an earlier time’. Select it. This option will actually appear in a new window. Click Next. A list of restore points will be displayed to you. Select the most recent restore point before the occurrence of the error and press Next. Now click on the Next button that appears in the confirmation window. Restart your computer as soon as the restoration is finished.
If you wish to continue where you have left off when you signed out of Windows follow this guide and learn how to continue your work after signing in, restart apps in your Windows.
You can set Windows 10 to Automatically save your restartable apps when you sign out and restart them after you sign in. Here’s how:
Right-click on the Windows logo to open the secret menu
Click open Accounts
From the left side, select Sign-in options
Scroll down till you see Restart apps setting
Toggle the Automatically save your restartable apps when you sign out and restart them after you sign in setting to On position