Category Archives: Tech Tips

Fix ‘Photos’ App Problem

Problems with Windows 10 Photos App?

Customers first started reporting problems with the Windows 10 Photos app after installing the Windows 10, S0H2, update: KB5001330. Following the update they could no longer see any of their albums on OneDrive and couldn’t view or add photos in the app. Other customers reported similar glitches, including; being unable to view full albums and also accessing photos on external drives. In these cases Restoring the Libraries to Default cured the glitch. But there have been other issues that we have up to now been unable to resolve.

We are still seeing problems cropping up and more often than not these problems are remedied with Windows updates, so before you attempt any of our fixes, check if there are any new updates available.

Press Win + I to enter Windows Settings, go to Updates and Security, then click on Check for Updates.


Usually by the time the problem reaches us the customer, a friend, family member or some wise old google tech guru has had a play around with it, so any fix that Microsoft may have come up with might not work.

If you suspect that the configurations have been modified and the app still isn’t working you can always take a look at these suggestions.


Restore the libraries to default

The Windows 10 Photo app is connected with libraries in your File Explorer, so if there’s a problem in libraries, the app won’t show any photos or videos. To solve this problem you will have to restore the libraries to default. Hopefully, this will fix things and you will see your pics and vids again.

  1. Open the File Explorer
  2. Click on View tab
  3. Click on the Navigation pane and select Show Libraries
  4. In the left pane right-click on Libraries then click on Restore default libraries

Restoring the Microsoft Photo App

Press Win + I click on Apps and scroll down to Microsoft Photo and select Advanced Options then hit the Reset button and wait for the process to finish.


If that doesn’t work you will have to re-install the app

Unfortunately this isn’t as easy as it sounds because it can’t be done in the normal way as it is a universal app. However, it is possible to do it via the command console.
Open the Power Shell as administrator and type in the following command:

get-appxpackage *Microsoft.Windows.Photos* | remove-appxpackage

Once the app has been uninstalled, reboot your PC then re-install the app from the Microsoft store.


There’s not a lot that we can do about some of the current Photo app problems because we believe that they may be system-related, and if that’s the case Microsoft will eventually come up with a solution.

Optimising Network Speeds

Adjusting the Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) size to optimise your PC’s internet or network speed…

The MTU (Maximum Transfer Unit), which basically determines how much data your device can send with each “package” is set to a strange value in some routers. We have noticed that in some cases the routers MTU has a default setting of 1400, while most other devices and networks have a standard value of 1500. This can lead to bad connections and slow download speeds.

If your not very tech savvy or you don’t want to go through the rigmarole of optimising your MTU, then you can simply change the value in your router settings:

Open your router settings > Select “Internet” or “Internet Settings” then scroll down to MTU. Select this and change the number to 1500 (this is the default for most networks in the world). If that setting isn’t available then you will need to manually set the MTU in your computer.


As a rule of thumb, a larger MTU size will increase bulk protocol throughput. Fewer packets with the same amount of data are processed when the MTU size is increased. However, a smaller MTU size will result in more overhead and acknowledgements that must be sent and received.

In order to optimise your system we first need to know what the MTU size on your machine and what the optimum value should be set at….

To see the MTU size on your computer open a command line or DOS/PowerShell window and input the following command without the quotes:
“netsh interface ipv4 show subinterfaces” using this command line my MTU was 1500

To calculate the actual MTU size that your system can handle you need to input the following command line without the quotes:
“ping msadatasolutions.co.uk -f -l 1492” you will then need to keep adjusting the value (in this case “1492”) until you see a 0% Loss (as an example ours showed 0% loss in at 1463)

Now you take that figure (in our case 1463) and add 28, this will give you the correct MTU size, (in our case the correct size would be 1491)

Next we need to tell our system to use that value

Ideally the MTU value should be set at the router level so that everything connected to your network can use this setting, however, some routers don’t have that facility.

So let’s access our router to see if the setting is available, if you don’t know your routers gateway or login details you can use the “ipconfig” command in a dos window or via the PowerShell with admin privileges: Use WIN+R then run: “ipconfig” this will give you your default gateway which you should then type into the address bar of your browser, the most common are 192.168.1.1 – 192.168.1.0 – 192.168.0.1

Now that you have accessed your router you need to look for “Internet Settings”

if your router allows you to make changes to the MTU then all you need to do is move the MTU from “Auto” to “Manual” (the default MTU size should be 1500) then you simply type in the MTU value that you worked out earlier (in our case this would be 1491) and click on “Apply” now everything that is going through that router is going to get that setting…..

If you cannot access the MTU on your router you can manually set it on your devices using the following command line without the quotes:
“netsh int ipv4 set subinterface “Ethernet” mtu=1491 store=persistent”

After resetting the value, when I run “netsh interface ipv4 show subinterfaces” it shows our MTU as 1491

It is worth noting that the majority of modern networks are fast enough and reliable enough that for most applications an MTU of between 1450 and 1500 works okay, and remember that tweaking the MTU doesn’t always increase your internet speed but can in some cases increase reliability by reducing the amount of lost or fragmented packets.

Resolving DNS and Cache Issues

Resolving DNS and Cache Issues in Win10

So you have a website that no matter how many times you refresh the page or delete your browser cache files it still wont refresh, don’t despair, there are a couple of things that you can try.

The first thing to try is flushing your computers DNS:

Press the windows logo and the “R” key to bring up a dialogue box, type in “cmd” without the quotes to open the user interface.

type: “ipconfig /flushdns” without the quotes and press enter and it will give you confirmation that the DNS has been flushed


This next method is for techies who need to resolve issues with the host

Open “c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts” then add IP and web address and save (you will need to save as “all files” and not as a txt file).

SPEED UP YOUR PC

Slower performance over time is completely normal and can be caused by anything from a hardware failure to something as simple as a full hard-drive.

Here are some handy tips to help you speed up your computer

DESKTOP FILESRemoving all those files, folders and shortcuts from your desktop will certainly help to speed up your PC. This is because the desktop is interactive and isn’t designed for file storage. Its job is to make it easier for you to navigate your computer and give you information. So instead of having individual folders for everything on your desktop, put your files and folders into one folder and sort them from there, also move your app shortcuts to the taskbar. These simple tips will help to maximise the speed of your PC.
RECYCLE BINEmptying your recycle bin can speed up the computer’s performance and add room to your hard drive.
CACHE FILESCaches helps make things faster and easier to get to, but too much in your cache could be slowing your computer down.
TEMPORARY INTERNET FILESIf you do a lot of web browsing, there is a good chance that this is why your computer is slow. To remedy this, close your Internet browser, open up “Internet Options” and click delete in the “Browsing History” section.
HARD DRIVE FULLBecause of the way “Virtual Memory” works, RAM files get swapped out onto the hard drive. If the hard drive doesn’t have very much space left, it will slow the process down. If your computer has less than 10 percent of the total hard drive space free, it will begin to slow down.
FREE UP SPACEYou can free up space on your hard drive by deleting temporary files, removing old or unwanted programs and emptying your recycle bin.
CLEAR OUT UNWANTED DOWNLOADED FILES Your Downloads folder is often full of forgotten about photos, videos, documents, update files, downloaded programs and email attachments that have accumulated over the years. Cleaning this out will help free up hard drive space.
DEFRAGMENT YOUR HARD DRIVEFragmented data can cause the read/write function of your hard drive to slow down. Set up a schedule to regularly defragment your hard drive. If you have a Mac OS X, it is also helpful to verify and repair the disk and disk permissions.
CLOSE DOWN UNWANTED TASKS AND PROGRAMS Open the Windows Task Manager and select “CPU” -> “Memory” -> “Disk” to see what is using your computer’s memoryand close anything you’re not using. You can close programs manually or use the “End Task” function within Task Manager. This will reduce the CPU usage and speed up performance.
RESTART YOUR COMPUTERRestarting your computer is probably the most effective way to close down lagging software, end unwanted tasks and processes and reset any other data that is draining your computer’s resources. When you reboot your computer it will free up resources such as RAM allowing your computer to perform faster.

Adjusting Virtual Memory

How to Adjust Your Virtual Memory

Virtual graphics memory allocates a certain amount of your computers memory (RAM) to your computer’s graphics system.

Your computer examines your RAM and finds areas that have not been recently accessed or used. It then uses those empty areas of RAM as virtual memory, allowing your computer to render graphics faster and more efficiently.

Many applications such as games or photo-editing software may require a higher amount of virtual memory. If this happens, you will receive a pop-up box stating that your virtual memory is low.

With Windows XP and newer operating systems you can increase the size of your virtual memory through the Control Panel.

1. Click the “Start” button and open your Control Panel. Click the “System and Maintenance” button and then select the “System” option.

2. Select “Advanced System Settings” in the left pane of the window. Enter the administrator password if you are prompted.

3. Click the “Settings” box at the top of the pop-up window under the “Performance” section.

4. Click the “Advanced” tab and in the virtual memory section click the “Change” button.

5. Unselect the option “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.”

6. Select the radio button beside “Custom Size.” Enter new values into the Initial Size and Maximum Size value boxes and click the “Set” button, then click “OK.”

7. Exit the system windows and close the Control Panel.

And that’s it done.

Keyboard Alt Codes

HOW to enter ASCII characters by code in your browser, notepad, or console?

You can enter an ascii character by holding the ‘ALT’ key and inputting the numeric code of the character you want. 

Try this as an example: Hold the ‘ALT’ key and press 1, 6. 9 then release the ‘ALT’ key and you will see that you have inputted the character ‘©’.


You can type most ASCII symbols by using Alt Codes


ASCII – American Standard Code for Information Interchange [æski]


American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is a character encoding based on the English alphabet.

Work on ASCII started in the 1960s with the most recent update in 1986.

The ASCII character encoding (or a compatible extension) is used on nearly all modern computers, especially personal computers and workstations.

The early encoding was 7-bit with 128 characters, but over time was extended to 8-bits with 256 characters.

ASCII’s second part (characters 127-255) is bound to language. That is why you will see a difference between ASCII characters in English and Russian.