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Issue #702: January 3-9, 2021

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Q: Each morning I get up, get my cup of coffee and sit down to scan the newspaper before I start my day. Problem, about every 3rd day I sit and wait for about 10 – 15 minutes while the little wheel goes round and round and msg says “wait updating.”

I have a Samsung laptop and Windows 10.  I leave it on in hopes that it will do it’s updating at night , but that does not work.  It waits for me.  I am sure there is a simple solution and I will feel dumb when I hear it.

 And thank you so much for the Christmas lights.  I look forward to taking the grandkids (and now great grandkids) to see them every year. A family tradition.

 – Ruth B.
Freeport, Florida

A:  Thanks for the kind words about the Geek Lights on the Corner, Ruth.  By the time you’re likely to read this, our Season 13 show will likely have ended.  We have had a tremendous season, and are looking forward to presenting our consolidated donations to C.A.L.M.!  We are also looking forward to getting our front yard back.  Even we can only handle so much Geek Lights in one season.  But thanks for being a loyal fan.  We’ll be back in 2021 with many upgrades and an all-new show.

The problem you’re experiencing with your computer is a simple matter of taking control of when and how Windows does its updates.  Having hope is a good thing, but not likely to alter the way your computer does its business.

Let’s start by getting to the Windows Update page on your computer.  Go to the Windows Start menu, which no longer says “Start” on it like older versions of Windows used to, and instead is just a stylized Windows logo.  I’m talking about the button on the lower-left corner of your screen that brings up the big menu of tiles, and links for launch installed software.  Click the button, but instead of going to that menu, look immediately above it.  You’ll see a few icons, one of which looks like a gear.  This is the gateway to your Windows Settings.  Click “Settings” and in the dialog that comes up, find the box that says “Find a setting.”  In that box, type “Updates” and press [Enter] (on some computers it’s [Return]).  In the list of Search results find “Windows Update settings” and click it.

From here you can take control of nearly everything your computer does that’s related to updates.  This includes forcing a manual update, pausing updates for some period of time, and more.  In your case, look for the link that says “Change active hours” and click it.

The whole reason for this screen is so that you don’t have the exact problem that you’re having, Ruth.  You can set “Active hours” which are hours you are, or are likely to be, using your computer.  This tells Windows to not install updates during that period, especially updates that require the computer to reboot.  If you so choose, you can turn on “Automatically adjust active hours for this device based on activity” and Windows will monitor when you tend to use your computer, and adjust the Active Hours accordingly.  I personally have mine configured so my active hours cover the entire day, and into the wee hours past midnight.  That gives a small window in the middle of the night where Windows can have the machine, do it’s updating, and even reboot if required, all without bothering me.

As you can see, with just a little bit of tweaking, you should soon be enjoying your morning coffee without all the spinning you’ve been experiencing.  Good luck!  And Happy New Year!

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