Windows 10 went through considerable user testing via Microsoft’s Insider Preview programme before it launched last July, but that doesn’t mean everything is hunky dory with the operating system.

There are still glitches with the way Windows 10 works and even when it is working perfectly, not everyone is happy with all of its features. Hopefully some will be ironed out with the Anniversary Update due on August 2.

For now, here are 10 easy fixes for 10 common complaints so far.

Check out the video above to discover how to fix some of these problems.

1. Windows 10 has installed, but I can’t activate it

Windows 10 should activate automatically once it’s installed, but there have been cases of this process failing. Assuming you are using Windows 10 legitimately — i.e. you upgraded from an activated version of Window 7 or 8, or installed it with a non-pirated product key — then this is almost certainly just a temporary glitch.

You can still use Windows 10 without activating it, but you won’t be able to personalise it by changing the Desktop theme, colours and so on.

Windows 10 activation

If Windows 10 still won’t activate successfully after waiting for a day or two, you’ll need to contact Microsoft for help.

[Related story: 10 things to do after you upgrade your computer to Windows 10]


2. My <insert hardware here> doesn’t work

You should have been warned about any potentially incompatible hardware before you installed Windows 10, but if something doesn’t work after the fact, there are still solutions.

The most obvious is to search online for someone with the same problem and see if there’s a fix. An updated drivers from the manufacturer is the best option, but if they’re not available and you upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7, try downloading and installing the Windows 8 driver — this has been known to work.

If your problem is specifically printer-related, try some of these tips.


3. There are no inbox folders in the Mail app

The Windows 10 Mail app will show separate inbox folders for each mail account you set up, but it won’t show any subfolders within them — and nor can you create any. So even if you have subfolders set up in your webmail account, they won’t appear in Mail and you’ll need to view them using your web browser. Microsoft may fix this in a future update, but don’t count on it.

For more details on how to set up the Mail app, click here.

Windows 10 Mail app folders


4. I can’t play DVDs

Windows 10 launched without a DVD player app, which was a problem if you used your PC to watch films.

Microsoft has since released a suitable app and if you upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 with Windows Media Center or Windows 8.1 with Windows Media Center, you’ll find it in the Windows Store as a free download.

Everyone else has to pay £11.59, but judging by the reviews, it’s not worth it. So download VLC Media Player instead — it’s free and works a treat.

Find out more in our article: How to play DVDs in Windows 10.

VLW MEdia Player


5. How can I switch off Windows Update?

You can’t. Microsoft has changed the way updates are delivered in Windows 10 and the upshot is that they’re downloaded automatically, whether you want them or not. You can, at least, delay the Windows restart that might be needed to a time that suits by scrolling down the Windows Update window and choosing your own restart time.

Unfortunately, this won’t solve the problem of Windows Updates that contain bugs (and there have already been some), but there is a way around it. Just enable System Protection (search for it with the Search box) and Windows 10 will create a Restore Point before each update. That means you can undo any problematic ones, which might be the difference between a usable and unusable PC.

Windows 10 System Protection

[Related story: How many secrets of the Windows 10 Start menu do you know?]


6. Where did my Internet Explorer bookmarks go?

Nowhere — they’re still in Internet Explorer, but the new default browser in Windows 10 is Edge. It’s easy to import your Internet Explorer bookmarks into Edge, though — just select Import favourites from the Favourites tab from the Hub menu.

Still getting to grips with Microsoft Edge? Try our beginner’s guide here.


7. My files are opening in the wrong apps

If you changed the default file associations — the apps your files open in when you double-click them — in your previous version of Windows, the upgrade to Windows 10 may have undone those changes. Fortunately, the fix is simple.

Watch our Windows 10 Quick Tip video to see how it’s sorted or follow the instructions below.

Just right-click a file that isn’t opening properly, select Open with > Choose another app from the menu that appears and select the app you want to use. Tick the box for Always use this app before clicking OK to make this change permanent.


8. I’m getting too many notifications

Notifications from the Action Center are of course meant to be useful, but there are some you may wish to no longer see – such as a prompt to install Microsoft Office.

There is simple way to disable them, explained in our Windows 10 Quick Tip video below:



9. My Start Menu doesn’t work

There have been a number of issues with the Start Menu since Windows 10 launched. Some may be ironed out with the Anniversary Update, but if you’re still having troubles you can try our solutions here.


10. Where has Safe Mode gone?

Safe Mode is still around – just open the Start menu by selecting Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced start-up > Restart now.

Windows 10 safe mode

When Windows 10 restarts, you’ll see a series of blue screens, starting with Choose an option.

From here you need to select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Start-up Settings > Restart and then press either the [4] or [5] key on your keyboard to restart in Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking (if you want internet access).

Windows 10 safe mode

Are there any Windows 10 problems you want us to answer? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Watch - Find out about more common fixes for Windows 10 problems:

Updated by Jamie Harris on 29/07/2016