How to Open the Control Panel in Windows 10

Many Windows 10 settings are configured through the Control Panel. The Device Manager for example, which is used for driver settings, is accessed through this panel. As such, it’s important to know how to open the Control Panel in Windows 10.

In Windows 7 and 8.1, opening the Control Panel was easy. All you had to do was click or right-click the Windows Start button. However, in Windows 10, this is no longer the case.

Open the Control Panel Using the Search Box

This is generally the preferred, and easiest way to open the Control Panel. Simply type “control panel” in the search box on the Taskbar.

In the Search results screen, you can click the Control Panel App under best match (1), or click the Control Panel icon in the right-hand window (2).

Open the Control Panel

Open the Control Panel from the Taskbar

If you want even easier access to the Control Panel in Windows 10, you should ‘pin’ it it to the Taskbar, thereby creating a shortcut.

  1. Follow the steps above to open then Control Panel.
  2. On the Taskbar, right-click the Control Panel icon.
  3. In the popup windows that opens, click Pin to taskbar.

Pin control panel to taskbar

After this, the Control Panel icon will permanently show on the Taskbar. So even when you close the Control Panel, you can quickly open it again by clicking the icon on the Taskbar!

Why Use the Control Panel?

Since it seems that Microsoft has made it a bit more difficult to open the Control Panel, you would expect that it is not needed that much. Not true!

For example, for device driver related actions (e.g., driver updates, troubleshooting, driver roll-backs, etc.) the Device Manager is needed.

To get to the Device Manager, you need to open the Control Panel. From there, select the Hardware and Sound option, and then click the Device Manager option.

Another common task performed via the Control Panel is program uninstalls.

Many applications create a Program Group in the Start menu, where they normally put a link to an uninstall option. But if that is not available, then the easiest method to uninstall a program is the Uninstall a program feature in the Control Panel.

 

How to Set Up a VPN Connection in Windows 10

Curious about how to set up a VPN connection? That’s not surprising. With privacy and security so important these days, it is a good idea to use a VPN connection in Windows 10.

VPN is short for Virtual Private Network. It helps protect your personal data and shields your location whenever you’re online. But how do you go about this in Windows 10? This article will help you set up a VPN and connect it to Windows 10.

Set Up a VPN Connection in Windows 10

Before you can use a VPN connection in Windows 10, you must first create the VPN connection itself.

To create a VPN connection:

  1. Click on the notification area in the Windows 10 Taskbar (1).
    create VPN connection
  2. Next, click on the VPN block in the popup window (2).
  3. This will bring up VPN Settings. In this window, click Add a VPN connection.
    add VPN connection
  4. Now you will need to enter the details for the VPN connection.Configure VPN
  5. For the VPN provider, select Windows (built-in). For the Connection name, you can enter any convenient name for the connection (e.g. Personal Connection, or Work Connection).
  6. For the server name or address, enter the name or address of the VPN server.
  7. Then select the type of sign-in info, or leave the default User name and password.
  8. Enter the details for the sign-in authorization (User name and password, or other means of authorization).
    Note: For work type of connections, simply request the necessary configuration details from the IT administrator. For Paid VPN services, the VPN provider will give you the configuration details.
  9. Click Save to finalize the creation of the VPN connection.

Connect to a VPN in Windows 10

Once you have created a VPN connection in Windows 10, you need to connect to it to make sure your privacy is shielded when you go online.

To connect to an existing VPN connection:

  1. Click on the notification area in the Windows 10 Taskbar.
  2. Click the VPN block in the popup window.
  3. In the VPN Settings window, click the VPN connection you want to use.
  4. Click Connect.
    connect to VPN
  5. Optionally, enter the authorization details for the VPN connection to complete the sign-in.

Once you are connected to the VPN, you should be able to see this from the Taskbar. Click the WiFi or Network icon. The VPN connection should show Connected below it.

VPN connected

Use a Browser-Based VPN Connection

Apart from the above described method of using a VPN connection in Windows 10, it is also possible to use a VPN connection through your browser.

Both Chrome and Firefox have extensions or add-ons that offer VPN connections.


I hope you enjoyed reading this article!
Having other problems with your network connection? Easily check if you have the latest drivers for your wireless or network card by downloading DriverFinder.

How to Add a Printer in Windows 10

Need to add a printer in Windows 10? In this article, I’ll show you the steps on how you can add or link printer to your computer, whether that printer is brand spanking new, or an old one that you’ve had for years.

Add a Printer Automatically in Windows 10

Firstly, make sure your printer is turned on and connected to your computer. Next, follow the steps below to install the printer in Windows 10.

  1. Simultaneously press the Win + R key to open the Run dialog box.
    Open Printers and devices
  2. In the Run dialog box, type the following command: control printers, and then click the OK button
  3. Next, click the Add a printer button.
    Add a printer
  4. Windows will scan for your plugged printers. Select your printer and then click Next.
  5. Windows will install a printer driver for the device. Once done, click the Finish button.
    Tip: Click the Print a test page button to test your printer before clicking Finish.
  6. Check if your new printer is added in the list of Devices and Printers.

Use an Older Printer with Windows 10

So, what if you end up getting a new computer, or you upgraded an existing computer to Windows 10, and you still want to use your old printer?

Manufacturers often don’t make new Windows 10 drivers for older printer models. To use an older printer in Windows 10, you start by following the Steps 1-3 above.

  1. When no printer is found, click the link The printer that I want isn’t listed link.
    The printer that I want isn't listed
  2. Next, select the option My printer is a little older. Help me find it. And then click Next.
    My printer is a little older
  3. Windows 10 will search for available printers and compatible drivers. Once found, select the compatible printer model, and click Next.
  4. Now type a name for the printer, and click Next.
  5. Skip the Printer Sharing option by clicking Next again.
  6. Use the Print a test page button to check if the printer is working, and then click Finish.

Add a Printer Manually in Windows 10

If both previous options did not enable you to install or connect your printer to Windows 10, you can try to install the printer manually.
Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Follow the previous instructions to click the link The printer that I want isn’t listed.
  2. Now select the option Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings, and click Next.
  3. The next step is to choose a printer port. Select the option Use an existing port (this is for a printer connected locally to your computer). In the drop-down list next to it, select the port. For a printer connected through a USB cable, select the USB option. For a printer connected with a parallel cable, select the LPT1 option. Then click Next.
  4. Next, click the Windows Update button. This will make sure Windows 10 checks the online repository for compatible drivers (Microsoft Update Catalog).
    Use Windows Update for Driver
  5. Wait for Windows to finish scanning the devices and driver catalog. In the next windows, select the printer manufacturer and then the printer model.
    Printer Brand and Model
    Note: If the exact model for your printer is not listed, try selecting a model similar to your printer model. Or, if you have a driver disk for the printer, click the Have Disk option and select the INF file location for the printer driver.
  6. Click Next.
  7. The final steps are the same as before. Type a name for the printer, skip the printer sharing option and print a test page.
  8. Click Finish.
Note: Is finding the right printer driver getting a bit too technical for you? No sweat. Click here to find the EXACT printer driver your PC needs with just one click with award-winning DriverFinder.

Install an Old Printer Driver in Windows 10, Using Compatibility Mode

If you have a driver installer for an older version of Windows for your printer, you can still try to use it with Windows 10. Just like some earlier Windows versions, Windows 10 has the ability to run programs in compatibility mode.

  1. Open a File Explorer window and browse to the driver installer file.
  2. Right-click the file and in the popup menu, select Troubleshoot compatibility.
    Troubleshoot Compatibility
  3. Wait for the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter to analyze the file. Once complete, click Test the program to see if the installer will run under Windows 10.
  4. If the printer driver was installed by the program, you can select Next, and then click Yes, save the settings for this program.
  5. If the program failed, and the printer driver was not installed, click Next.
  6. Now click No, report the problem to Microsoft and check online for a solution.
    Report Printer Problem
  7. If an online solution is available, you can try the option presented.

In many cases the online troubleshooter will not give you a viable solution for older printers. But  if you know which version of Windows the installer is compatible with, you can manually set the Compatibility mode instead of letting Windows 10 analyze it.

  1. Simply right-click the driver installer program, and click Properties in the popup menu.
  2. In the properties dialog box, select the checkbox named Run this program in compatibility mode for:
  3. In the drop-down list below it, select the Windows version that you know the installer is compatible with.
    Windows 10 Compatibility Mode
  4. Click OK.
  5. Now double-click the installer in the Explorer window to run it. The program will now be executed with compatibility settings for the selected Windows version.
    Note: Some installers need to be executed with Administrator rights. So if running the installer fails, right-click the file, and in the the popup menu select Run as administrator.
  6. Follow the instructions in the printer driver installer program to finish the printer installation.

windows10-printer-drivers

[Easy Fixes] Zoom Mic Not Working in Windows 10 (With Pics!)

Everything is set. It’s time. You click the link to join a Zoom meeting. You hear everyone. But no one can hear you. That sucks!

Let’s get right to it then. Following are some easy, step-by-step fixes you can do to get that mic working for Zoom in Windows 10.

Note: Why focus on Zoom for this article? Zoom downloads increased from just less than five million to 26.9 million in March 2020, so chances are this is your video chat app of choice for your online meetings.

Fix #1 – Check That Your Mic is Correctly Plugged to Your PC

This fix assumes that you have an external device you’re using as your microphone for your Zoom meetings. If that’s not the case, feel free to move on to the next recommended fix.

  1. Unplug your microphone and plug it back in to ensure that it’s not just loosely connected.
  2. If you’re using a USB audio device, then try plugging it into a different usb port.
    usb-port
    Note: If you’re using a USB hub or USB extension cable, try plugging the device directly into your computer’s USB port.

Fix #2 – Check that your Microphone Device is Not Muted

  1. On the Windows Taskbar, right-click the speaker icon and then click Open Sound Settings.
  2. Under Input, click the Choose your input device down arrow and select the microphone device you want to use.
  3. If you’re using an audio headset, check that its Mute switch – if it has one – is not turned on.

headset-mute-button This is my Jabra headset and where the Mute button is on my device.

Fix #3 – Check that Zoom is Allowed to Use Your Microphone

  1. Use the Windows search box, type microphone privacy settings and select this option when it appears.
  2. Under Microphone, switch the Allow apps to access your microphone toggle to On.
  3. Scroll down further till you find Allow desktop apps to access your microphone, and then toggle that to On too.

Note: Ensure that Zoom Meetings is one of the desktop apps listed as allowed to use the microphone.

microphone-access-for-zoom

Tip: Is the Zoom app not listed under Microphone Privacy Settings?

  • Uninstall Zoom.
  • Restart your PC.
  • Re-install Zoom.

Fix #4 – Ensure that Zoom is Using the Default Microphone

  1. Log into your Zoom desktop app.
  2. On the right side of the Zoom pane, under your profile icon, click the Settings icon settings-icon.
  3. On the left pane, click Audio.
  4. Under Microphone, ensure that audio device selected is the same device you chose under Fix #2 above. If not, click the down arrow and then select Same as System.
    zoom-mic-same-as-system
  5. While you’re in there, perform a mic test.
    • Under Microphone, click Test Mic.
    • Say something to your microphone.
    • Whatever you say should be played back to you.
  6. While you’re in there, check that the microphone is not automatically set to mute when you join a meeting.
    Ensure that the setting Mute my microphone when joining meeting is off.

zoom-mute-setting

Note: By the way, the Meeting Host can mute meeting participants so be sure this is not the case.

Fix #5 – Update Your Audio Drivers

If you’re microphone is still not working with Zoom even after going through the Windows and Zoom solutions above, then you may need to update your device drivers.

Hardware manufactures release new device drivers all the time. This is their way of releasing new product features or new functionality for their devices, as well as fixing any bugs that may have been detected by consumers over use.

How to Update Drivers Manually

Normally, for sound problems you should go your PC manufacturer’s website and install the latest Windows 10 sound drivers available for your laptop or desktop PC. However, if you have a custom PC, or if you built your PC yourself (impressive!), you should probably head to your motherboard manufacturer’s website and download audio drivers from them.

If, like me, you’re using a USB microphone, try to download and install the recent release of USB controller drivers from the manufacturer’s website.

How to Update Drivers Automatically

If you don’t have time or the know-how to properly select, download and install the drivers you need, you can do this process automatically with DriverFinder. (Shameless plug!)

DriverFinder does exactly what its name suggests… instantly find the RIGHT device drivers you need. Once you install DriverFinder, it will automatically recognize your system info and details, as well as all the devices installed or connected to your PC.

It will then compare the drivers installed on your system against our DAILY UPDATED and ever-growing driver database. From here, just download and install the latest audio driver found for your device.

  1. Click here to download and install DriverFinder.
  2. Click Activate to register your copy of DriverFinder.
  3. Click Start Scan to check for new drivers.
    df-driver-scan
  4. Download and install the latest device drivers recommended for your audio/microphone device.
    download-audio-drivers

Fix # 6 – Quit Other Chat & Teleconferencing Software

You may not realize this but perhaps other apps are on/open and are ‘locking’ the use of your microphone. So if you have Skype, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc. installed on your PC, ensure that all of them are completely closed.

  1. Click the up arrow ^ on the Taskbar notification of Windows to see hidden icons.
  2. If you see any chat or teleconferencing app there, right-click it and then click Quit or Sign Out.

Tip: If you want, you can also uninstall all other chat and teleconferencing apps you have installed on your PC to be sure, apart from Zoom of course. Reboot your PC and then perform a mic test again in Zoom.

Fix # 7 – Disable ‘Audio Enhancement’ Settings

Disable ‘Audio Enhancement’ settings for your output.

  1. On the Windows Taskbar, right-click the speaker icon and then click Open Sound Settings.
  2. Under Output, click Device Properties.
  3. In the Device Properties window, click Additional device properties.
  4. Click the Advanced tab.
  5. Uncheck Allow hardware acceleration of audio with this device and Enable audio enhancements.
  6. Click OK.

Note: If you don’t see the above settings, look at the options under Exclusive Mode and uncheck those options.

enhanced-sound-settings

Disable ‘Audio Enhancement’ settings for your input.

  1. On the Windows Taskbar, right-click the speaker icon and then click Open Sound Settings.
  2. Under Input, click Device Properties.
  3. In the Device Properties window, click Additional device properties.
  4. Click the Advanced tab.
  5. Uncheck Enable audio enhancements.
  6. Click OK.

Note: If you don’t see the above settings, look at the options under Exclusive Mode and uncheck those options.

Fix # 8 – Use Your Phone as Your Microphone

If you’re already in a meeting, we understand you’re in a pinch and just want to use any mic ASAP.  In this case, you may want to use your phone as your microphone.

  1. Download the Zoom app on your Android or iPhone.
  2. On your phone, login into your Zoom account.
  3. Go back to the Zoom desktop app.
  4. Click on the arrow next to Mute, and then click Switch to Phone audio.
  5. You will be given a meeting ID and password. Use it to join the meeting on your phone.

I hope this article has helped you with your ‘Zoom mic not working in Windows 10‘ issue. Do let me know below which fix worked for you! If you have any questions, or more suggested fixes please feel free to comment below as well.

Fix ‘HP Printer Install Failed in Windows’

HP Printer Install FailedLike any computer device, printers need additional software to function in Windows. For hardware devices, this software is generally called a driver. By default, Windows supports a lot of devices since many drivers are already included in Windows, but many devices still need a separate driver or additional software to operate; for Hewlett-Packard printers, this is also true.

HP printer driver packages include a lot of additional software, and not only the actual driver. This enables printer troubleshooting and offers additional printing functionality that is beyond the default Windows functions. As a result, the installation of HP printer driver software is a little more extensive and complex than other average drivers. Some HP printer driver installation packages are in the hundreds of megabytes!

The problem we are addressing here is when the installation of an HP printer driver fails, resulting in error messages like “driver fatal install”, or “fatal error during installation”. Further error details can contain file names, error codes, or version mismatches.

You can also see the following errors:
The drivers for this device are not installed (Code 28). To reinstall drivers, click Reinstall Driver.”
Fatal Error 2753 — MSI.dot4wrp

How to Solve HP Printer Install Errors

In most cases, driver installation errors can be solved by simply reinstalling the software again, sometimes a reboot is required before attempting the installation again.

But in the case of more complex software like HP printer software, a failed installation can cause all subsequent installation attempts to fail. The reason is that a failed installation can leave behind locked files, or registry information, which causes the next installation to fail.

In these cases, the next step is to first uninstall the previous installation, so that a clean system can be used to reinstall the HP driver software. The simplest way to do that is to uninstall the HP printer software from the Control Panel -> Uninstall (or Add/Remove programs) option. The Uninstall a program is found in the Control Panel under Programs -> Programs and Features in Window 7 and later.
Uninstall HP printer
In addition you can remove the HP printer in the Devices and Printers section of the Control Panel.

If, however, the HP printer software installation failed in an early stage, the software might not show up in the Control Panel uninstall list. That means the removal of the failed software will not be possible that way. The next thing to try in that case is to use a cleanup utility to fix the corrupted registry. Microsoft used to have the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility for this purpose, but due to conflicts with Office 2007, it was replaced by the Microsoft Fix It solution.

The Fix It solution will clear bad registry keys that can prevent programs from being installed. Keep in mind that it does not actually remove any files from the failed HP driver installation. Those will simply be overwritten by the next installation. Instead of the Microsoft solution you can also try using a program to scan and fix the complete Windows registry, which does not limit itself to installer issues only. You can use such a program to clean all HP entries from your system before attempting the reinstall. We recommend using PC Cleaner for this purpose, you can download the program here.
Note: by Choosing to install PC Cleaner (5.72MB), you consent to it’s End User License Agreement and Privacy Policy of the site.

If you are running XP or Vista, it is also possible that that the Windows Installer itself is corrupted. In that case you can simply try to download the Windows installer and reinstall that.

If reinstalling the Windows Installer is not possible, try to re-register it:

– Open a command prompt with administrator rights.
– Type: msiexec /unregister and press Enter.
– After the command completes type: msiexec /register and press Enter again.

For HP Officejet printers, HP used to offer a driver removal utility that could help you remove the HP printer driver for specific models. Unfortunately this utility is no longer available from them.

Other steps that can help:

– Run a disk cleanup to clear out the temp folders, which are used for temporary installation files.
– Stop the HP services using the Manage Computer option to prevent DLL files being locked.

Reinstalling the HP Printer Software

After the install cleanup is finished and the Windows installer is fixed, you need to reinstall the HP Printer driver software. Unplug the HP Printer and reboot before you do this so that Windows does not install any default drivers for the HP device. During installation you can reconnect the printer when the installation process indicates that. Please consider that even for wireless printers you sometimes need to make a physical connection with the PC during the initial installation. Please check the printer manual for details.

If installation still fails, and you are using a USB connection, try using a different USB port, and make sure not to use an external USB hub between the PC and the HP printer.

Windows 10 HP Printer Compatibility

Although a lot HP Printers are supported even under Windows 10, not all HP printers will work. Especially older printer models have no direct support under Windows 10, especially in the 64-bit version.
There are few things you can try to get HP printer to install in Windows 10 anyway.
The first is to try and run the printer installer in Compatibility Mode. Simply right-click the driver installer file and in the popup, select Properties.
Windows 10 Compatibility Mode

You can now select Run compatibility troubleshooter, in which case Windows will try to determine which Windows version the file is compatible with, or you can manually choose the Windows version by using the Run this program in compatibility mode for option. After this, click OK, and execute the installer.

In some cases this method works, even though not all printer functions might be supported due to compatibility issues (often the case with printer/scanner combinations).

If the printer is not supported at all, even with the compatibility mode, you can choose to use a Virtual Machine (VM). In the Virtual Machine you then run a version of Windows that still has support for your HP printer. Advantage is that you can still use the printer, disadvantages are that you need to first still have a version of Windows that supports your printer, and you need to run the VM for all print functions, which means transferring all documents to be printed between the host (Windows 10), and the VM. Apart from being a complex solution, this is not a very convenient solution, so it is only interesting in a few occasions.

Lastly, always make sure to use the latest HP driver software, to guarantee that you are not suffering from old versions with possible bugs or limited functionality. To scan your PC for all drivers and find HP updates, use DriverFinder!