Monthly Archives: September 2015

How You Can Downgrade From Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1

Windows 10 is going around, do you want to keep it?

Windows 10 is going around, do you want to keep it?

Downgrading Made Easy

Did you upgrade to Windows 10 and don’t like it? If your upgrade was within the last month, you are able to downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1. If you decide later to go back to Windows 10, you can.

Downgrade Option Built-in

When upgrading to Windows 10 from a previous version of Windows, the old OS files are stores in a folder with the name Wondows.old.

There is a feature built-in allowing you to return to your old operating system. The stipulation is, this option is available for only one month after upgrading. There are other options available if this time has passed.

To start, press Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery. You will notice a header named Go back to Windows X (depending on what version you previously had). Press Get started.

There will be a window asking why you are returning to the old version. After filling this in, press Next, keep note of the information and prompts, such as do not unplug your system during process. Your system will now begin to rollback, during which time it is unable to be used.

Downgrade When There is No Option Given

If you do not have the option anymore, you will need to do a fresh install of Windows 7 or 8.1 on your system. Keep in mind, doing so wipes everything from your drive. If you have a physical copy of Windows 7 or 8.1, put it into your computer. If you do not have a physical version, Microsoft Product Recovery for Windows 7 and 8.1 allows you to create one.

Next, restart your system looking for a message similar to this “press Esc to choose boot device.” The key and message might vary – F12 and F10 are keys commonly used also. To be sure it is registered, you can tap the key several times.

A menu is displayed with a list of all your bootable devices in which you can choose from. To choose the device that matches the media use your arrow keys and hit Enter. Next, follow the wizard for installation. If prompted, choose custom install – which means this is a completely fresh install. You will be asked to enter a product key, this is on installation media (if purchased separately), or with documentation for the PC (if PC came with Windows), or a sticker which is on the device. Some Window 8 PC’s you do not need to enter the key due to it being embedded in the computers firmware. In this case, it is detected automatically and allows you to install Windows without you having to enter a key.

Going Back to Windows 10

If you decide to hang on to Windows 7 or 8.1 for little longer, you can downgrade. Upgrading to Windows 10 is free for the first year. Just give it a go, but know that you have the option to use whichever you feel the most comfortable with.

Top Problems with Internet Explorer, And Ways to Fix Them

Internet-Explorer-jpg

Know the Answers to All of Your Internet Explorer Problems

Although Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 10 has come with their new browser, Microsoft Edge, there are still time when Internet Explorer is needed. There are some people that have decided not to upgrade, at least not yet. Internet Explorer has been improved greatly which has brought many users back, however as with any technology there are glitches and problems. Here are some common problems and how to solve them:

First thing, always want to do is check for Windows update, there is a possibility you have missed one.

404 Error: Page Cannot Be Displayed

If having 404 Error try resetting your browser. Go to Tools, and select Internet Options>Advanced>Reset. A dialog box will appear “Reset Internet Explorer Settings” and select Reset>Close>OK. Restart your computer for default setting to take effect for Internet Explorer.

Issues with Display

If a website images are not displaying or it is blank, text is jumbled or broken, or menus are out of place, there might be an issue with compatibility between the website and IE. In the Compatibility View list you can add this website. Go to tools, Compatibility View setting, the text field will automatically have the website you are on displayed, click Add.

If there are still issues, clear your browser cache. Doing so also deletes your Compatibility View list. Go to Tools, then Internet Options>General, click Delete underneath Browsing history. Put a check in the box Temporary Internet files and website files the select Delete.

Videos Will Not Play

There may be an add-on required in your browser to play the video you are trying. Also be sure you are not trying to view the video while InPrivate Browsing is being used. This may block required add-ons or info needed to play the video.

Another way to try fixing the issue is using Compatibility View.

Freezes or Crashes

There are many ways of addressing this problem. One way is by turning hardware acceleration off. Your computers graphic card is used for accelerating tasks which are graphics-extensive, such as online games or streaming video. Go to Tools, Internet Options>Advanced, now put a check in the box Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering. Hit OK, and restart your browser so the changes will take effect.

Another way is by running Internet Explorer Performance troubleshooter. So a search and hit Troubleshooting. Select View All>Internet Explorer Performance. Using the Advanced link you want to Run as administrator. You receive result that are more accurate when ran in admin mode. Make sure there is a check in the box Apply repairs automatically, hit Next and follow all directions that follow.

These solutions should fix your issues, and if they do not, you can reset IE back to its default settings described in “404 Error”. Internet Explorer can be a pain, but with the right knowledge; you’re able to handle the problems without a worry.

Microsoft Office Online vs Google Docs

Microsoft-Office-Logo

What is the Difference Between the Two?

At one time Microsoft Word was the go to for all your word processing needs. Then LibreOffice and OpenOffice came along which knocked Microsoft slightly down from their perch. Now that we have the Cloud, solutions online have become normal, which brings us to Microsoft Office Online and Google Docs. These are both free productivity suites for the cloud.

Google Docs consist of Docs for word processing, Slides for slideshows, and Sheets for spreadsheet apps.

Applications for Microsoft Office Online include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Functionality

Excel Online and Google Sheets have key functionality much the same that is expected from spreadsheet apps. Both have the ability to carry out equations. Excel Online is your choice if you want complicated functions inserted.

Clicking on “more Functions” in Excel Online opens a pop-up menu with an excessive amount of possible functions.

In Sheets “more functions” opens a new tab where possible functions will be listed, however you need to determine which function you want and manually type it.

Word processing functionality with both Word Online and Google Docs are similar. However, Google Doc is missing spell checking for any language other than US English.

To edit with Word Online you need to choose it, whereas with Google Docs you can go straight to it.

PowerPoint Online and Google Slides are also similar. Slides have a more graphical appearance, but PowerPoint Online much has much more themes for users to choose from.

google_docs_logo_and_icon

Navigation

When it comes to navigation, Office Online is easier than Google Docs. You have the familiarity of the user interface for Microsoft Office and it is easier navigating between apps.

You have the ability to open a menu of all the apps by clicking the corner on top left-hand side when using Microsoft Office. Your browser opens a new tab so can continue working on your document that you first were viewing.

You will be navigated to where all the documents of that type are stored. Clicking in same area brings a sidebar up where you can go to the other apps, or Google Drive.

Integration

When signing up for Gmail or Outlook.com, you also get their other cloud services that are free thrown in.

Both their cloud storages have easy access for you to retrieve documents you created as well as anything else you store in there.

Upper hand is given to Office with their note taking app OneNote including in their productivity suite. Google Keep, Google’s app for taking notes is buried. You would not even know it is there unless you go looking for it.

Which suite you choose to use may depend on what email service you use. However, if you have neither, both, or are still unsure, Office Online seems to give an overall better experience.

Setting Up Windows 10 Default Browser – Microsoft Edge

Microsoft has a new browser, are you ready for it?

Microsoft has a new browser, are you ready for it?

What is the Default Browser for Windows 10

Microsoft Edge, previously known as Project Spartan, is a new internet browser from Microsoft. This browser supports HTML5, along with parts of technologies that are outdated such as Silverlight and ActiveX.
Edge promises to be faster, modern, and reliable than Internet Explorer. With browser extensions being added at some point, Edge will be more completive with Firefox and Chrome.  So if you’re just getting used to that Start menu, make sure to have a browser to go with it.

Import Favorites

Click on your browsers top right corner three-point menu, next go to Settings > Import favorites from another browser, choose which browser you wish to import from, then click Import.

Set Custom Home Page

Microsoft Edge has the ability of opening more than one home page same as Internet Explorer.
Go to Settings > Open with and choose what you prefer from the four choices given. When choosing A specific page or pages > Custom you can enter multiple pages you want Edge to open each time it is launched.

Change Default Search Engine

Bing is the default search engine for Edge. To change this go to Settings > Advanced settings > Search in the address bar with. From the drop down menu, select < Add new > and choose one that is given. Search engines are added to this list by visiting their websites.

Add Home Button

There is no home button set by default on Edge. However, you are able to turn this feature on by going to Settings > View advanced settings > Show the home button. Beneath the on/off button is where you enter the site that is associated with the home button.

Your Top Sites Customized

Content can fill the New tab page like it does in Firefox and Chrome. To set this up, go to Settings > Open new tabs with you can choose either show Top sites, or A blank page, or Top sites and suggested content.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Efficiently browse using these keyboard shortcuts which Microsoft Edge supports:
CTRL + Enter when only entering a name for a website (e.g. computerrepairblob), this shortcut completes it with http:// and .com.
SHIFT + Enter to add …. and .net.
CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER to complete an address with .org.
CTRL + 1 brings you to the first tab, CTRL + 2 bring you to the second tab, and so forth.
CTRL + D allows you to add a favorite.
CTRL + G opens up your reading list.
CTRL + H opens up the history.
CTRL + I to open favorites.
CTRL + J opens up Downloads.
CTRL + K to clone the tab you are currently on.
CTRL + N to open a new window.
CTRL + T to open a new tab.
With time, Microsoft will introduce more features similar to your favorite browsers such as Firefox and Chrome to Edge.

Media Center Alternatives in Windows 10

Media Center is phasing out.

Media Center is phasing out.

Media Center Might Be a Thing of the Past

With the release of Windows 10, there will no longer be support for Windows Media Center. If you have WMC, it will stop working when upgrading to Windows 10. Time has come to find a media center alternative compatible with Windows 10.

Kodi/XBMC

Kodi (formally XBMC) is thought of as the best alternative for many users, open source and free. Users can watch videos, podcasts, play music, and any digital media files stored. There are several plug-ins available that allow users to access to content online from websites such as YouTube, Grooveshark, Pandora Radio, and Spotify. Live TV recording is excellent. There are several skins available to give you the look you want.

Plex

Very popular choice of media players even though live TV shows are not able to be recorded. Users are able to watch videos, podcasts, and view photos. With plug-ins available for Plex, users can watch online content on Hulu, CNN video, and Netflix.

MediaPortal

MediaPortal is free and open source with ability to record, play, and pause live TV, play music and videos, and show pictures stored on local storage or media card. Plug-in allow users to listen to music or watch videos online. This media center has skins available to change the way it looks. There is not much difference between Kodi and MediaPortal, which have been rivals for many years.

Freevo Media Center

Another open source alternative to Windows Media Center with functions including personal and digital recording, gaming, playing videos, listening to music, and much more. TV streams can be recorded and online videos can be streamed from websites such as Hulu, YouTube, and Flickr. Users are able to rewind or pause TV shows which are live. Freevo allows users to schedule recordings as well.

MythTV

An open source alternative having almost every requirement a standard media center requires. PC’s can be converted into complete multimedia entertainment set-up. Uses have the ability to rewind, skip, and pause live TV, and schedule recordings.

Emby

Easily connect from any device to stream Live TV and manage your DVR. Users have the ability to share media and features for parental controls, and cloud sync. There is Chromecast support with an attractive user interface.

JRiver MediaCenter

Single license available for $49.98, and is a premium option. This alternative is a strong choice that offers supports for video, audio, photos, and DLNA devices also have network support. A huge selling point for this media center is playing music from any device.
With Windows 10 upgrade there are some superior alternatives to Windows Media Center. If using a PC for only media, there is no need to up upgrade to Windows 10.

What Cortana Can Do For You on Windows 10

Cortana is the assistant that provides everything.

Cortana is the assistant that provides everything.

Cortana is the Personal Assistant You’ve Always Wanted

Cortana is a personal assistant that was only available for Windows Phone but is now on computers with Windows 10. There are several things that you can do with Cortana by speaking or typing questions or commands. This is a way to easily get useful information, deal with your schedule, and even track packages.

Set Reminders for Places, Times, and People

You can receive more than just specific time reminders with Cortana. Have Cortana remind you about something when you speak to a certain person, arrive at a certain location, or at a certain time. Also if you want, you can say something similar to this “Remind me to purchase bread when I arrive at [store name]” and a reminder will be created instantly.
To set a reminder, simply say “Remind me” or use an icon for reminders.

Have Cortana Launch Programs

Easily launch a program by saying “Launch [program name].”

Send an Email

With a mail app that is built-in and accounts you configure, all you need to say is “send email” or you can be specific and say a name that you have in your contacts to get started.

See Your Notes

Cortana can show you your notes if you use OneNote by using the command “show me my notes.” Filter your search with a range of dates also if you want.

Get Directions

Windows 10 includes a map app that Cortana opens when asked for directions. For example “directions to [location].”

Track Packages and Flights

Packages are tracked with their tracking numbers. Flight numbers are used to track flights. To view their current status, copy and paste these numbers into Cortana’s search box.

Get Answers

Cortana uses the search engine Bing to give you answers to your questions. Google Knowledge Graph is similar to this. To receive a quick answers, just ask questions that are like “How tall is the tallest building in New York City?” or perhaps “What year was the Constitution signed?”
Cortana learns about you and tailors to your needs. Check out Cortana for all the other great features available. If she doesn’t persuade you to want Windows 10, maybe one of these other reasons will.

 

Windows 10 Start Menu Guide

Improved start menu is ready to go.

Improved start menu is ready to go.

Windows 10 Start Menu Has Changed

Windows 10 has brought back the Start Menu. However, there are some changes that were made from the last Start Menu we saw. There is more options for customization and functionality than there has ever been, and these ways may not be obvious to the user immediately. This guide will show you a few of the basics.

Look at the Start Menu

On the bottom left side of your screen there is a Windows icon that you can click on to open the Start Menu, or you can simply use the Windows key. The column on the left contains quick access for utilities and apps, similar to Windows other Start Menus. The rest of the area has Live Tiles that you can toggle whether the tile updates on its own when you have an active internet connection by right-clicking it. You are also able to resize or remove the tile.

Access to Start Menu Settings

To get an in-depth customization, you need access for options of personalization that are located in Settings. To open Settings, right-click on your Desktop and select Personalize, and finally choose Start. This is where you choose what content is shown and what is not on the Start Menu. To see the many options available, be sure you select “Choose which folders appear on Start.”

Change Colors

Right-click on your Desktop and select Personalize, then select Colors. Once there, pick the color you want from the palette.

Pin Settings Commonly Used to the Start Menu

Windows 10 allows you to pin settings to your Start Menu for quick access. When you find items that you would like placed in your Start Menu, right-click and select Pin to Start.

Switch to Tablet Mode

To have Tablet Mode activated, go to Settings > System > Tablet Mode where you will find the modes toggle. Using the dropdown menu beneath, When I sign in, you can choose what happens according to your own personal taste. You can go by default to desktop or tablet mode, or use what you last used.
The Start Menu will have a personal feeling when you are done customizing it to your taste. Who said that Windows 10 couldn’t be yours? Now you can customize and make it your own with the click of a mouse.