Still running Windows 7?

OK. So, the official advice is that you should not be running Windows 7. But, for whatever reason, you have not upgraded to Windows 10, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free.

Upgrade to Windows 10 checklist.

First can your computer support Windows 10?


How much RAM does your PC have?

Check the amount of RAM:

Open the Control Panel

Go to System and Security, then select System

If you have 4GB of RAM or more, you can run Windows 10 on your PC.


Printers and Scanners

Most printers will work with Windows 10, although with some older printers, the driver will be a more basic driver.

However, scanners may be a different issue, as some manufacturers do not support older scanners. If you have any doubt, check with the manufacturer’s website to see if they provide Windows 10 drivers for your scanner.

Generally, if your printer or scanner is less than 10 years old, it should work with Windows 10.

For more information

Back up your data

Nine times out of 10, nothing will go wrong. But the unexpected can happen. So back up your data. And also create a system image backup as well. This all takes time, so do this a day before you want to upgrade the operating system.

To do this, you will need a portable hard drive. This can be purchased from PC World (or Amazon). A 2 GB drive should be more than sufficient.

What should you back up?

  1. The whole hard disk by creating a system image. This will probably not be needed, but if something catastrophic happens (such as a major disc failure), your existing system can be restored with all your data and apps. Go to Backup and restore in the Control panel.
  2. Next, back up your data. The system image can only be used for a full system restore, individual files cannot be accessed. Again this is done from the Backup and Restore option in the control panel.

Useful link:

All your other programs and apps

Make a note of all the software that you have installed on your computer. This will include your office software (Microsoft Office or Libre Office or other free office software). If you have paid for this software, you will probable need the registration key if the software needs to be re-installed.


Make sure you know any important passwords – such as your email password(s). Just in case.

Microsoft account

If you have a Microsoft account, make sure you know the password.

Upgrade to Windows 7

Once you have backed up your data you are in the position to upgrade to Windows 10.

First download the Windows 10 Media Creation tool from Microsoft (Download Windows 10 ( )

Run the tool when it is downloaded.

When you come to this screen, think about what you want (this is why everything is backed up, just in case you select the wrong option by mistake). If you do not want to re-install ALL your software, select the first option. Keep your personal files and apps. Only the very brave, and those who want to restore their data and reinstall ALL their apps should select the third option.

Allow plenty of time to run this upgrade. If you are upgrading a laptop, make sure it is plugged in. The results can be unpredictable if the battery dies half way through an installation.

Press Next.

What else do you need to do?

The Microsoft account

If you already have a Microsoft account, make sure you know your password.

You can install Windows 10 without a Microsoft account. But we advise that you set up a Microsoft account if you do not already have one. If you are setting up a new Microsoft account, you can either use your email address or get a new email address from Microsoft.





Introduction to Windows 10


Useful Windows 10 Guides

This one is How to Use Windows 10. It is rather long, with lots of subheadings

Some useful videos on YouTube

This one is a very useful guide. It is 27 minutes long.

Windows 10 Books

There are times when only a book will do. These are some simple guides – don’t worry if they are aimed at “Seniors”, these guides are useful for people of all ages.

Black Dog Media (BDM)

The BDM guide books are often sold in supermarkets or in W H Smiths.

Alternatively, you can buy the guide books directly from BDM Publications

If you want a “soft” copy, so you can read it on your computer, tablet or phone, look at PC Mags.

PC Magazines Online Subscriptions | Pocketmags

How do I test my microphone in Windows 10?

If you are having problems with your microphone, you can test it via the Sound Settings Page

To do this, enter “Sound” into the search bar (next to Start)

As you type, you will see the search results.

Select Sound Settings

The Sound Settings page will be displayed.

The top part is Output to the speakers

The bottom part is Input (microphone)

Check that a microphone is listed. If a microphone is listed, then try speaking. You should see the microphone sound bar move. If it moves, then all is well, and you microphone should be working.

If it does not move, check that the microphone is not muted.

If no microphone is listed, it could be that you microphone has been disabled. Click on “Manage Sound Devices” and check that your microphone is not disabled.

More Links


iPad for newbies

So, you have a new iPad, perhaps it is a gift. And now, you are wondering just what you are supposed to do with it.

Here are some videos which may help you to get started.

First of all, not sure how to turn it on, or how to control the volume? Then this video is for you:

iPad Tutorial

Tutorial 1:

Tutorial 2:

Tutorial 3:

Tutorial 4:



Andoid Phone or iPhone for newbies

OK, so have an Android phone, or an iPhone but you are not sure how to use it. Or you need to set up WiFi, and no-one showed you how to do this in the shop. Maybe you have had a phone for years that only did text and phone calls, but now you have upgraded and it is all different. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Everyone has to start somewhere, and it will take time and practice to get to grips with the new technology.

So here are a carefully curated set of links for novices. These will open in YouTube, because it is better to see someone using the phone. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video is worth at least 10,000.

Android Phone (anything but an iPhone)

ConsumerCellular have a collection of videos which can be viewed online. The videos support a wide range of Android phones, so are a useful resource. These videos begin at the beginning, how to turn the phone on, set up the phone, connect to Wi-Fi etc.

If you do not see your phone, don’t worry. What changes are the buttons and the camera, the basic screen stays the same. Look for a phone which seems similar to your phone. The topics that are covered are:

  • Overview and Tour – The outside of the phone, how to charge it and turn it on
  • Getting Started
  • Making and receiving calls
  • Sending texts
  • Using email and the internet
  • Using the camera
  • Inserting and removing the Sim card, battery and SD card
  • Voicemail

There are some other videos which apply to all phones, such as managing Wi-Fi settings or Managing Apps. So is three is something not listed for your particular phone, try looking at the videos for another phone. The Samsung Galaxy J3 has a large number of videos and can be found here:


If you are struggling with an iPhone or an iPad (or you have a relative who is struggling) these videos may be useful

The outside of the iPhone (ports, switches etc)

This is useful for someone who has an iPad or an iPhone:

And this is an introduction to the iPad:

Problems with Windows Update

Windows Updates are always annoying, just as you want to turn your computer off, or you are in a hurry for your computer to start, your computer goes into update mode.

Very frustrating. But even more frustrating is this message, that these changes are being undone. Many users will find that they are stuck in a repeating cycle of failed updates

Why does this happen?

  1. Windows Update cache has become corrupted
  2. Conflict with AntiVirus program
  3. Not enough disk space or unreliable internet connection
  4. Faulty Windows update.

This article tackles one problem that occurs with regular monotony, that is the twice-yearly Windows 10 feature update. These updates are not optional, but they can be problematic and do not always install automatically.

Your options are

  1. Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter
  2. If you use a third party antivirus program, try turning this off and then attempt the update.
  3. Use the Microsoft Update Assistant to update to the latest version of Windows 10. Takes a long time, but it will work.

Windows Update using the Microsoft Update Assistant

  1. If you are using a laptop, make sure that it is plugged in, and not running on battery power.
  2. Create a system image and a recovery disk (Use Back up and Restore (Windows 7) from the Control Panel. This is somewhat buried in the system. Will it be needed? Probably not but it will help to restore your computer if something goes seriously wrong.
  3. Start the Windows 10 update. This will take time, maybe a few hours, so allow for plenty of time, perhaps let it run overnight. Go to
  4. Click on Update Now. Click on Save (saved to Downloads). When the download is finished (it doesn’t take long), run the program, following the instructions.
  5. When it is finished, your computer will restart, and you will be able to log on as normal

More information

10 things you can try:

7 things to try:

How do I find my Google Contacts

One of the great mysteries of the universe is why software developers keep changing things. Gmail for instance. In a previous existence, it was possible to find the contacts tab so you could edit your contacts, create mailing lists etc. But now it has changed, and the contacts seem to have disappeared, and what looks like a link to contacts, is actually a link to “Hangouts”. Quite useful if you wish to chat to someone face to face, but not if you wish to create an email to send to a list of friends.

The contacts tab has not disappeared, but it is more difficult to find.

There are two ways to find the Contacts app.

Go to Bookmark this page, so you can find it again.


Alternatively, click on the “Apps” button and navigate to the Contacts icon:


A list of available apps will be displayed

Look for the Contacts Icon

The problem is that the Contacts icon is not always displayed.

In this case click More and another list of functions will be displayed


Your Windows 7 PC is out of support

If you are still running Windows 7, you will get this screen.

So, what are your options?

  1. Ignore the warnings and continue using Windows 7. If you do so, make sure you have Anti-Virus installed, and you are not relying on Windows Security Essentials. This is not a recommended option.
  2. Upgrade to Windows 10. You will need at least 4GB of Ram, preferably 8, to run Windows 10. You can upgrade for free. But there may be some problems, especially for an older machine, and some printers and scanners may not be supported.
  3. Buy a new computer with Windows 10 already installed.
  4. Install a Linux based system to run alongside Windows 7.

Whatever you choose to do, Margot’s IT Support can help. Get in touch for help.