Windows RT Problems: Bugs users complain about most

windows rt tablets windows 8 store

Windows RT has not had the auspicious start Microsoft was hoping for. Various issues have cropped up for early adopters, not least the confusion over the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8. We actually found the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT an interesting addition to the competitive tablet landscape, but it seems other Windows RT devices are not capturing the public imagination, and price cuts have followed as a consequence.

Every platform has its fair share of teething troubles, but few attract this level of vitriol. So, what’s the big deal? Let’s take a look at the main Windows RT problems that seem to be generating complaints. Wherever possible we’ll suggest solutions or workarounds.

Problem: Lack of storage

Wait a minute, where did all my storage go? If you buy a 32GB Surface RT tablet then you may be legitimately surprised to find there’s only 16GB free. If you get the 64GB version you’ll have about 45GB free. Here’s a breakdown of how Windows RT gobbles up 13GB of storage and where the rest went.

Workarounds: You can always expand the storage with a microSD (or standard SD, depending on your device) card, just be careful to choose a reputable brand and stay within the manufacturer’s supported guidelines. The Surface with RT can handle a 64GB microSD card. You could also use the USB port to attach a Flash drive or an external hard drive to boost your storage space. Your final option is to use cloud storage like Microsoft’s SkyDrive or the Dropbox app.

Problem: Random muting

A lot of users with Surface RT devices report random muting and unmuting. This issue was thought to be related to the Touch or Type cover, but Microsoft released an update which is supposed to fix it.

Solution: Attach the cover and swipe from the right edge to get access to Settings > Change PC settings > Windows update and tap Check for updates now.

Problem: Flash sites not working

When Windows RT launched the default browser, Internet Explorer 10, had an embedded version of Flash, but a lot of people complained that specific websites wouldn’t work for them. This is because Microsoft went with a whitelist approach, so any website not deemed “compatible” by them and added to the whitelist would not be able to use Flash. In reality many websites that would work just fine were not included on the whitelist.

Workaround: You could prevent any updates to the whitelist and edit it yourself to include the websites you want to enable Flash on. You’ll find instructions on how to do this in this XDA Developers forum thread.

Solution: Microsoft decided to switch to a blacklist approach instead, which means that Flash will work on every site except for a small list that Microsoft is deliberately blocking due to problems with compatibility. A Windows update was released to affect this change, so make sure you have the latest update if you are still experiencing problems.

Problem: No Silverlight support for video

A number of websites use Microsoft’s Silverlight technology for video content, such as Time Warner Cable, the Sky TV player in the UK, and others. However, Silverlight is not supported by IE10 and you can’t add it.

This is part of the push towards HTML5, though it seems inconsistent that Microsoft has opened up Flash support and yet won’t support its own Silverlight technology. There is no known workaround or solution for this right now.

Problem: Windows RT keeps crashing or freezing

If you find that Windows RT keeps crashing and you can’t identify a common cause then there are a few things worth trying.

Possible solutions:

  1. You should get updates automatically, but you can check. Make sure you have the latest updates by swiping from the right edge to get access to Settings > Change PC settings > Windows update and tap Check for updates now.
  2. Refresh by swiping in from the right edge of the screen and then tap Settings > Change PC settings > General and then scroll down to Refresh your PC without affecting your files then tap Get started and follow the instructions.
  3. You could also reset, but this will delete all of your personal files, settings, and any apps that you installed. Reset by swiping in from the right edge of the screen and then tap Settings > Change PC settings > General and then scroll down to Remove everything and reinstall Windows then tap Get started and follow the instructions.

If you notice that the crashing is related to a specific app then you should try the following:

  1. Make sure you have the latest updates by swiping from the right edge to get access to Settings > Change PC settings > Windows update and tap Check for updates now.
  2. Make sure that the app is up to date by swiping from the right edge to get access to Settings > App updates and then tap Install if there are any.
  3. If the tablet still crashes when you use a specific app, just uninstall the app.

Problem: Audio stuttering

A number of users have been complaining that the audio on video or music playback sometimes stutters. The issue is apparently much worse when the screen times out, or when music is being played in the background.

Workaround: You could keep the screen on to reduce the problem if you find it is worse when the screen times out. Go to Start > Desktop and then click on the battery icon in the bottom right and choose More power options > Change plan settings and tweak the Sleep time and then Save changes.

Solution: Make sure your Windows RT tablet is up to date, as Microsoft has been releasing a steady stream of updates and fixes.

Problem: Can’t find Wi-Fi networks or connection drops

Many people have complained about their Windows RT devices being unable to find Wi-Fi networks. Some users have also found that the connection randomly drops while they are using it.

Workarounds: Some people have found a temporary reprieve from the problem by turning Wi-Fi off and on again (you could also do this by switching to Airplane mode and out again), or you could reboot the tablet.

Possible solutions: If you are prepared to try and tweak router settings or even edit your registry, then you’ll find some potential fixes in a post on the Microsoft support forum. Microsoft also released a firmware update for the Surface RT on April 9 which was intended to fix a number of Wi-Fi issues and improve the overall reliability. It should automatically install on your tablet if you have a Surface RT.

Other Windows RT problems

If you’ve encountered any other specific Windows RT problems then post a comment. If you’ve found a reliable fix for any of the problems mentioned, or another issue, then please do share it. Microsoft is continuing to push out fairly regular updates and so some problems will be dealt with over time. We can also expect the core apps and platform to improve, but can it come soon enough to prevent any more disgruntled users from jumping ship?

Mobile

Gorilla Glass 6 will cover the Xiaomi Mi 9's AMOLED screen

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Computing

Speed up your system by tweaking the startup application in Windows and MacOS

Bothered by programs that automatically start when you boot your computer, or want to add a new one to the list? Here's how to change your startup programs in Windows 7, 8, and 10, along with Apple's MacOS.
Computing

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for February 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Mobile

Flip from portrait to landscape as we reveal how to rotate a video on iPhone

If you've accidentally shot a video in portrait orientation and you want to flip to landscape, then this is the guide for you. We'll explain how to use iMovie to rotate a video on your iPhone or iPad for free and suggest alternative apps.
Mobile

5G is the swift kick VR and AR gaming needs to come to fruition

There's a lot of hype surrounding augmented reality and virtual reality, but is it really the next big thing? We take a look at where the new mediums stand, as well as how 5G is poised to help them break into the mainstream.
Mobile

The 2019 iPhone could put a charge into your other Apple gadgets

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Mobile

Own an unlocked Galaxy S9? The U.S. Android Pie update has landed

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Deals

This discounted smartwatch is a cheap Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa alternative

The Amazfit Bip isn't an Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, but at the discounted price of $67, it's a very affordable alternative packed with useful features. With built-in GPS and 30-day battery life, this cheap smartwatch is a great option to…
Gaming

Xbox's app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Mobile

It looks like Google may get rid of the back button in Android Q

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system -- here's everything we know so far.
Deals

Amazon cuts prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Presidents’ Day

The Apple Watch Series 3 is seeing the same price cut we saw during the Amazon sale just last week. So if you're hoping to pick up an Apple Watch for less than $250, this $50 discount from Amazon can make that happen for you.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.