Monthly Archives: August 2015

Easily Reboot Your Windows

windows_10_startmenu_cropped

Reboot Windows like a Pro Using These Tips

Everybody know the way of rebooting their computer system by using the Start menu, but that is not the only way. There are several methods that can be used to reboot, with some of these offering more control and convenience.

For example, you can set a specific amount of time until your computer reboots and you may also set it so it will do this every day at a specific point. You might not have ever thought about these tips, but after trying them you might end up using them often.

Use a Shortcut

Eliminate some of the clicks needed to restart your system from the Start menu, by creating a shortcut for restarting. First, one your desktop, right click then select New>Shortcut. When asked for what location you want for your shortcut enter the following text: shutdown.exe –r –t oo –f

This command tells your system to (-r) restart, and do it instantly, with no (t 00) time delay, and also forces applications to close without having to ask the user.

Now click Next, name your shortcut and select Finish. Your icon for restart is now ready for use. You can change the icon look by right clicking on the icon and selecting Properties, on the shortcut tab select Change Icon. Now choose what icon you prefer. If you prefer not to have the icon on your desktop, drag and drop it to your Quick Launch Bar or Taskbar.

Task Scheduler

Set your computer for restarting at times that are specific. First, search for task scheduler and choose result that is relevant. Now click on Create Task… now a new window will open up.

Next, you need to give the task a Name and check the box Run with highest privileges. Change now to the tab called Triggers and select New… Now choose how often to restart your system, and if you want the task to expire use advanced settings. Select OK.

Under the tab Actions click New.. Enter shutdown.exe for Program/script and click OK.

Under Conditions tab specify if the task should begin dependent on power, idle, and network state of your computer.

Finally, click OK. Now your computer with reboot according to what you specified automatically.

Straight to BIOS

With Windows 8, you no longer had to reboot to get to BIOS. This is due to many systems using SSDs that have amazing boot speeds.

Open your Charms Bar and select Settings>Power. While clicking Restart and Shift at the same time to make your system reboot directing to BIOS. This simplifies getting to BIOS and having the frustration of pressing F2 quickly enough.

Now you can reboot like a pro and make sure to show it off to everyone that wants to learn a bit more about the computers that they use every day.

Windows 10 Will Compel You

Windows 10 might be the next move for you.

Windows 10 might be the next move for you.

Compelling Reasons Why You Will Want Windows 10

Windows 10 has just came out and has many reasons why you should upgrade if you have not done so yet. This operating system is being offered to many users that use Windows. But what does Windows 10 offer the user and is it worth upgrading?

There is free updates, gaming support increased, personal assistant, and much more, this operating system is looking like the best, and probably final version of this operating system.

Free For Many People 

Upgrading to Windows 10 is free to many people. If you have Windows 7 or higher, you most likely have received a notification on your taskbar allowing you to upgrade. Free upgrade is available for one year. If your Windows version is older than 7 or not legit, you will have to pay $119 to receive the home version. Microsoft is hoping to have everybody on Windows 10 and off older versions.

Cortana

A feature already existing on Windows Phone is now on Windows 10. Cortana is Windows 10 personal assistant. It can recommend the best restaurants nearby to eat at, give you traffic updates, give you the latest news, and so much more. Commands can be typed or spoken, such as asking for the weather forecast or a reminder set.

Microsoft Edge

It is well known Internet Explorer has a bad reputation. Microsoft’s solution to this problem is a new browser bundled with Windows 10. This browser lets you write notes on a webpage, search results are given directly with its address bar, and is lightweight.

Start Menu and User Interface Updated

One feature that is used most for almost every Windows user is the Start menu. It was completely changed by Microsoft in Windows 8, and users were not happy. Windows 10 brought back the Start menu we loved combining the best parts of Windows 7 and 8. And back where it belongs, the power button.

There is two halves in the start menu. The regular file explorer is on the left and apps recently installed and used most. On the right is live times with modern apps.

This just touches the surface of all the compelling reasons why to upgrade to Windows 10. Now you just have to figure out how to work it.

 

Toolbars are Useful for Your Taskbar

Taskbars can help you navigate and use favorites.

Taskbars can help you navigate and use favorites.

Useful Toolbars to Add on Your Taskbar

When set up just right, Windows desktops can be a work space that is quite productive. By placing information and shortcuts at your fingertips, native toolbars bring efficiency to you. With these toolbars being placed in Windows taskbar, you do not need to open folders or files or close windows to access them.

Add a Toolbar to Your Taskbar

On the Windows taskbar, right-click and click on Toolbars and choose either New toolbar… or a toolbar that already exists. If you are adding a toolbar that is new, you will need to choose a folder that has the content you desire on your computer. While choosing the location, you can create the new folder and content can be added later. If a toolbars custom content is stored on OneDrive, it can be synced automatically across computers. You can share your custom toolbar with friends, family, or colleagues.

Default Toolbars for Windows and What They Do

Some default toolbars that may come of use to you include:

  • Address: Open folders that were recently used, type the names of folders, files, and applications to open them, and have websites launch in your browser. To get there using shortcuts Windows key + B then Shift + Tab.
  • Links: Have your favorite websites open in your browser by adding them here. This folders content can be found and edited in Windows users, and Favorites.
  • Desktop: View every item that is on your desktop on one list. When hiding icons on your desktop for a look that is cleaner, this helps maintain shortcut access.

Quick Launch Bar

The Quick Launch Bar, is several icons that are embedded on your taskbar. This works great for programs that are used most to launch them quickly. This bar is customizable by allowing you to add files you want. This is done by right-clicking the Taskbar and unlock it. Next, right-click Quick Launch, remove checkmarks on Show Text and Show Title. If you want the Quick Launch Bar in a different location, move it while the Taskbar is unlocked.

Lists and Short Notes in a Custom Toolbar

Are there bits of information you keep looking up time and time again? You might have Post-It notes all over your monitor, or text files on the desktop. You can organize this information in a toolbar. To do this, a new toolbar needs to be created, an empty folder needs to be picked, and this folder needs to be filled with files that has names representing the notes you have. Length and character choice is limited due to the shortcut file name being the note. To never show the file extension, use Notepad files saving them as (.LNK) files. Choose a custom icon by right-clicking the file and pick Properties > Change Icon… button.

This is just a few things you can do with customizing your toolbar. Once you have it the way you want it, there is no stopping you each and every time you want to move something around and change the way it looks on your screen.

Disabling Forced Restarts After Windows Updates

Windows Updates don't have to pop up on the screen.

Windows Updates don’t have to pop up on the screen.

If you are a user of Windows it has happened to you. While you are busy on your computer Windows decides it is time to reboot, bugging you continuously with pop-ups all day. If while away from your computer a pop-up occurs that you miss, your computer will automatically be rebooted by Windows. All the programs you had open are now closed, as Windows rebooted your computer without receiving permission from you.

After Windows updates, rebooting is necessary for ensuring security updates taking effect. Windows users should not be pestered or our computers rebooted without permission.

Install Windows Updates Manually

A simple way of stopping automatic reboots, is change setting for your Windows updates. Open the control panel window for Windows Update and select “Download updates but let me choose whether to install them.

With this method you will be informed of Windows updates by an icon in your system tray. When you are ready (not Windows) install them by clicking on the icon. After downloaded, you will receive a prompt to reboot.

Using this for your updates will stop forced restarts and stop the pestering for you to reboot.

Use a Registry Hack 

A registry hack is another way to stop forced restarts. Using this hack allows Widows to update like normal, however, your computer will not reboot automatically while you are logged on.

Press Windows Key + R > enter regedit > OK

Navigate down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU

If parts of this key do not exist yet, create them.

Click on the key AU on the pane on the left, on the right pane right click and select New, DWORD (32-bit) value and enter in NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers now press enter.

Double-click on the value just created and enter 1 into the box named Value data, now press OK.

If you do not want to reboot your computer but want these changes to take effect, you can do so by first opening Command Prompt. Now run this command to make these changes effective immediately gpupdate /force .

Group Policy to Disable Forced Restarts

This tweak can be done in an easier way if you have Enterprise, Ultimate, or Professional Windows. Majority of users will not have this option and will need to use the registry edit hack.

Press the Windows Key + R and the Run dialog will open. Enter in the box, gpedit.msc and select OK. In the pane to the left, navigate to: Computer Configuration\Administrator Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update. Next, in the pane to the right, click twice on the setting “No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic update installations”. Set this to Enabled and select OK. 

Either run the gpupdate /force or reboot the computer to have these setting take effect.

Using any of these methods can be of help to rid yourself of the sometimes maddening forced restarts. Windows updates can be a pain from time to time, but if you know the right tricks and hacks to make the most of them; you’re able to become the ultimate computer user in the end.

Caring for Your Hard Drive and Make it Last Longer

Hard drives can last a bit longer with these tricks.

Hard drives can last a bit longer with these tricks.

Who Wouldn’t Want Their Hard Drive to Last?

Every hard drive is bound to fail eventually, but not at rates that are identical. Six years is a hard drives average life span. There are times this is due to the manufacturer, other times the consumer because we do not care for them as we should. Here is some common reasons for failure and ways of preventing them.

This refers to traditional hard drives, not solid state drives.

1. Physical Damage

This is the most quickest and obvious way for a hard drive to fail. These have a lot of moving parts that even a slight bump while it is spinning can cause problems.

To help prevent this once a hard drive is installed do not remove it. If you need to remove it, do it fast and lightly.

While your computer is on, do shake the computer case. Keep your computer in a place where accidents will be minimized.

Hard drives in a laptop are stronger but you still need to exercise caution. Data corruption can happen from bumping it on the desk or wall while the drive is active active.

2. Excessive Amount of Heat

Hard drives are designed to work in a specific range of temperatures. If airflow is not maintained properly to the inside of the case, temperatures will rise above this range and problems will follow.

Having fans installed in a desktop computer can improve not only your hard drives lifespan but every components lifespan. Air that comes in needs to have a route for escaping that is easy. You do not want air lingering in the case.

To help keep laptops cool, purchase a laptop cooler.

You should get a program, such as SpeedFan to keep watch of what temperature your hard drive runs at.

3. Turning On-and Off Frequently

The action that is most demanding on a hard drive is booting it up and shutting it down. This can wear the hard drive down more than it already gets from normal use.

You do not want to turn your computer on and off several times a day, but you do not want it to stay on at all times either.

A general rule is if you are walking away for longer than one day, shut the computer down. If only walking away for a couple of hours, consider using hibernation or standby mode. If walking away for less than this, either leave it on or put in hibernation or sleep mode.

Even if you take excellent care of your hard drive, it can still end up failing. However, practicing these steps above can be helpful to keep your hard drives running longer. Make sure you know how to have the right amount of space, and how to use it to your advantage for even more hard drive tips and tricks.

 

Make Life Easier Using Hidden Features in Word

So many features you might not have known about.

So many features you might not have known about.

Hidden Features Do Exist in Word

Majority of people only use the very basic and obvious features Microsoft Word offers. There are times when a feature that could of saved you time and frustration is pointed out to you by somebody that you did not know existed. Here are a few features you may not know about that can make life easier when working with Word:

1. Hide the Ribbon

When using Word you do not want distractions, and the ribbon can be one that we can make disappear. To toggle the view press Ctrl and F1 together. You can tweak this by selecting Ribbon Display Option > Auto-hide Ribbon. If you would like it set it read mode simple select from the Ribbon menu, View > Read Mode.

2. Outline View

From the Ribbon menu click on View > Outline. You can reorganize a report fast with the use of outline view. There is a special toolbar that comes up for demoting or promoting selected text.

3. Write Equations

Being able to write equations has always been in Word and was called “Equation Editor”, now known as “Equation”. This tool is more advanced now in the latest version. To get to it select Insert > Equation. Older documents can be converted to the new format and the equation editor used without a problem.

4. Convert Tables to Graphs

Easiest way to accomplish this is select Insert > Object. Choose Microsoft Graph Chart from the list that popped up. Easy as that!

5. 24 Items in the Clipboard

The place copied text is saved temporarily is known as the Clipboard. As you know already, you can only copy text one piece at a time before being replaced by the next selection you copy. In Microsoft Word however, this is not the case. Select the tiny dropdown arrow that is next to Clipboard on the Home tab, or press Ctrl and C twice for the shortcut to open your Clipboard Panel. This panel shows you up to 24 items previously copied. You can move these anywhere within your document. This works across all documents for Office.

6. Inspect the Document

When sharing documents it is wise to have any personal information removed that may be hidden. Users that are malicious might use it against you. Select File > Info > Check for Issues. Now select Inspect Document. After you choose what to look for hit OK. You are then shown what items were found and can select Remove All to remove the information from the document. Now you can share your document freely.

Hopefully, using these features make using Word more productive and easier for use.