I’m sure you’ve seen Mr. Fix It, the ubiquitous and charming handyman from Microsoft. But if you aren’t familiar with him, then you’re like me. I had no idea what it was until I started running into trouble with my Windows 10 operating system. For a long time, Windows XP was my favorite system and I was using it on my almost-7-year-old PC (that’s eternity by PC standards!). When my PC finally crashed, I decided to go for the latest OS, as I was hoping for another long relationship with my new PC.
Little did I know that was the beginning of a lot of learning for me. After getting it installed at Best Buy, I came home and decided to complete my long pending work. Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect to my WiFi network. I struggled for almost an hour before heading out for dinner with a bunch of old friends from school. Over dinner, I was telling them my PC woes, and that’s when a friend suggested trying Mr. Fix It. He said he had used it quite often, and his endorsement was backed by almost the entire gang. What a geeky group of friends I have!
I was immediately both thrilled and curious. I came home and right away Googled it. I loved the charming logo of this latest troubleshooting tool from Microsoft, and couldn’t wait to install it.
Soon, my hopes crashed as I realized it was no longer available for Windows 10! And this brought me to where I started, or almost there.
If you try it now, you’ll not even see this message as you’ll be redirected to Microsoft’s search page.
So, Mr. Fix It is now history as it is no longer available for Windows 10 and, presumably, other future operating systems from Microsoft (at least that’s how it looks now).
This brings up the next question — why no Mr. Fix It for Windows 10?
Well, Microsoft engineers felt that a built-in troubleshooter would be better, and this is why Mr. Fix It was replaced with tools that come as a part of Windows 10. This change reflects the shift towards automated solutions rather than ones that require a separate fix-it mechanism.
So all-in-all this is good news, because the new troubleshooting mechanism is elaborate in Windows 10.
Let’s briefly look at some of the features and fixes.
Windows 10 troubleshooting tools
You can find all tools in the troubleshooting widget of the control panel. To get to it, type “troubleshoot” in the search box and then, choose the “View all” option. This is what you’ll see:
If you’re thinking that this list is similar to the one found in Windows 8.1, you’re absolutely right. However, there are five features in Windows 10 that can make a huge difference in terms of performance.
New troubleshooting features in Windows 10
Here are the five important troubleshooting tools you can find in Windows 10:
Background Intelligent Transfer Service
Background Intelligent Transfer Service, also known as BITS, is used to transfer files asynchronously between a client and a server. Though it is present in Windows 8, too, the latest version is available only in Windows 10, and it comes with the following new features:
- You can now use BITS COM APIs and BITS PowerShell cmdlets in a remote PowerShell session. This is particularly useful for long-running transfers.
- It allows owners to set helper tokens, even if the user is not an administrator. This reduces the problems and vulnerabilities that come with background download, as it allows even a lower-privileged account to have control over downloads. This way, administrative privileges can be protected for more critical operations.
As a PC user, you’ll never want to see a blue screen, as this simply means your PC has crashed. In Windows 10, a Blue Screen troubleshooting tool has the capability to go through the dumps generated when your PC crashes, and provide possible pointers and fixes, like the message below:
As frustrating as it may sound, keyboard issues are a staple for PC users. The good news is the keyboard troubleshooter can get misconfigured keyboards to work again within a short time. Ironically, this tool has a typo in its description as it reads “comupter’s keyboard settings!”
Cortana, the virtual helper, is an essential part of Windows 10. However, its functionality is lost when there are issues with speech recognition. If you encounter such problems, try the speech troubleshooter as it checks if the microphone is connected to the PC and if it is configured correctly for speech recognition.
Another unique feature of Windows 10 is Windows Store, an online area that allows you to download hundreds of free and paid apps. There are some troubleshooting apps available here.
Besides these five tools, some existing tools have also seen improvements in Windows 10, and they are:
- Hardware and devices — This tool has been spruced up to diagnose a wider range of hardware and device-related issues, so it’s more efficient than the ones in previous versions.
- Search — If you extensively use Windows Search, then you’ll love Windows 10, because search has been enhanced and improved.
- System Maintenance — Though this is not a diagnostic tool, it’s pretty helpful to clean unused files and for doing other maintenance tasks.
Also, the emergence of many Windows troubleshooting tools such as FixWin have made it easier than ever to fix problems and to have a better user experience while working on Windows OS. In fact, these automated tools from Microsoft as well as troubleshooting tools from other vendors lay the foundation for a future where automation will handle more and more problems.
In addition to these improved tools, you’ll find extensive troubleshooting help online in Microsoft’s Support portal. All these changes in Windows 10 have eliminated the need for Mr. Fix It, so it’s only natural that we have to bid goodbye to this tool that has fixed many problems for us in earlier versions of Windows.
As for my WiFi problem, I fixed it by updating the driver software of my network adapter. So all’s good, even without Mr. Fix It!