Q: I have a new Lenovo Yoga 730 laptop. It is very fast compared with my old Windows 7 laptop. It boots up in matter of seconds, but on shutdown it is interrupted by a message: “Task Host Window is stopping background tasks.” I have to tell it to shut down anyway.
Is there a way to get around this message and have my computer just shut down?
A: I haven’t experienced this one personally but my research indicates that your problem may be the result of Windows’ “Fast Startup” feature. If this feature is switched on — which it is by default — the operating system records and maintains some of its background processes in their current state. Then when you boot Windows again the OS doesn’t have to reinitiate everything from square one.
To turn off this feature, hold down the Windows key and press the “R” key. In the field that pops up, type “powercfg.cpl” and click on the OK button. In the dialogue box that opens, click on “Choose what the power button does.” In the next window that opens, click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable.” Finally, clear the checkbox next to “Turn on Fast Startup.”
If that clears up the issue, you can try turning Fast Startup back on. If the problem doesn’t recur, you’re good to go! (If it does recur, it’s time for some more tedious troubleshooting. Let me know …)
Q: You mentioned in a recent column that it is possible to disable a laptop’s touchpad when using a mouse. How? I’ve got a recent HP laptop running whatever the current version of Windows is and all I can find is the option to select the sensitivity of the touchpad (which I’ve already set to low).
I find when I’m typing that my cursor jumps all over and frequently special characters get input that delete whole sections of typing or switch keyboards or any one of a number of other odd things. This has happened on every laptop I’ve ever had but never when I’m using a separate keyboard.
— Karen Lund
A: In Windows 10, click on the Start icon in the lower-left corner, then click on the Settings button. Next, click on Devices and then on Touchpad. Finally, make sure the box next to “Leave touchpad on when a mouse is connected” is unchecked.
Q: I purchased a new laptop earlier this year. This laptop gets updates for Windows 10 every few weeks. Whenever this happens, I lose all the documents, spreadsheets and favorites sites that I have on the machine.
Is this a well-known problem and is there a solution to it?
— Andy Campbell
A: I wouldn’t say it’s a well-known problem, but it does occur from time to time. My guess is that the files aren’t actually gone. What’s likely happening is that after the update, Windows is loading using a temporary user profile.
Microsoft recommends shutting down and rebooting your computer 3-4 times. This often resolves the issue. If it does not resolve the issue, you likely have a corrupt user profile and you need to create a new one.
Once you create the new user profile, temporarily give it Administrator privileges. Open Windows File Explorer and go to C:\Users. Unless something has been really corrupted, you should be able to see your old profile and you should be able to copy over your data files to the new profile.
If you can’t find those files, check for a folder named Windows.old. This folder is eventually deleted by the operating system, but if it is there it may contain those files.