10 of the most annoying Vista irritations solved

Like any operating system, Vista has its irritations.

Things have been helped a great deal by Microsoft's updates - updating issues such as slow file transfers - but, even so, there are still several things that niggle us. And we're sure you feel the same way.

So, in order to remedy this, we've gathered together the 10 most common Vista itches that need a scratch - and solved them for you.

1. UAC is always getting in my way

There's nothing worse than having your progress slowed right down when the User Account Control security prompt pops up, but it happens a lot of the time. You can easily disable it, however, provided that you're confident that you won't accidentally uninstall something (you might want to reconsider if younger, less savvy members of your family have access to your computer).

To do this, open the Control Panel, click User Accounts and Family Safety\Turn User Account Control on or off. Then, in the window that opens, clear the Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer box and click OK.

2. The Start menu power icon doesn't shut down Windows Vista

When you want to shut down your PC, you click on the Windows Vista Start button, then at the bottom of the menu you see three icons – a power symbol, a padlock and an arrow. Now, it looks as though the power button would shut down your PC, but it actually puts it to sleep instead. It's quite easy to change what this button does, however, so you can make it shut down your computer if that's what you would prefer.

To do this, click the Start button and type cmd to open up a command prompt. Now type powercfg.cpl,1 to open up the advanced power settings. You'll see an item called Power buttons and lid. Click the + symbol to expand it, then click the + symbol next to Start menu power button. It should say Sleep. Simply click on this and change it to Shut down instead.

3. My computer keeps waking when I've put it to sleep

Sleep mode in Windows Vista is a real boon when you want to save energy (and money) but don't want to waste time shutting down and starting up your computer every time you stop using it. The majority of the time it works just fine, but occasionally your USB devices will wake it unnecessarily or – conversely – they won't wake your computer when you want them to.

If it's the latter, type Device Manager in Start Search. Expand the tree for the device that won't wake up your computer (such as a mouse or a keyboard), right-click it and choose Properties. Under Power Management, ensure Allow this device to wake the computer is ticked. If your computer immediately wakes up after going into sleep, unplug all devices connected to your PC, then plug them back in one at a time until you find the one responsible.

Try plugging the offending device into a different port, and if this doesn't work, open the Device Manager again and clear the Allow this device to wake the computer box.

4. My PC makes annoying clicking sounds

When you click a link in Internet Explorer or make a selection in Windows Explorer, it makes a clicking sound. If you're listening to music and your speakers are turned up quite high, this can eventually become quite irritating.

To fix the problem, right-click the speaker icon in the right-hand corner of the Taskbar and select Sounds. In the window that appears next, scroll down the list until you get to Start Navigation and click it. In the drop-down Sounds menu just below, select None from the list to get rid of the clicking sounds.