Monthly Archives: October 2015

How to Use Windows Defender on Windows 10

 

Know how to do a scan on your computer.

Know how to do a scan on your computer.

Online threats exist every day, whether you have Windows 10 from an upgrade, purchased a new Windows 10 personal computer, tablet, or laptop. You need to have protection against these online attackers and one place to begin is right on Windows 10, using Microsoft’s Windows Defender.

Getting Started

If you plan on using Windows Defender or a third party for protection, the security software onboard still needs to be correctly set up until you have your third party protection ready.

Select Start and enter “windows defender” in the box. Choose Windows Defender shown at the top of the results. You will see the apps main interface.

First, as with any security software, Windows Defender needs to be updated. Select the Update tab. Select Update if definitions are not up to date. This should be done on a daily basis.

Next, a scan needs to be ran, which is done in the Home tab. Choose which type of scan you want (initial scan should be Full), now select Scan now.

History and Quarantines

The History tab shows a list of all quarantined items, and a list of items Windows Defender has been instructed by you to ignore. To view these items, choose what kind you want to see, and View details. This shows the name of file, alert level, and released or guaranteed date.

Excluding Items

False positives, directories, files, and applications are able to be excluded from Windows Defender scans. This can be accessed by Settings > Update & security > Windows Defender.

Go down to Exclusions and select Add an exclusion. This is where you are able to add Folders, Files, Processes, and File Types to the exclusion list.

Cloud and Real-Time Protection Configuration

Cloud-based Protection and Real-time protection are found at Settings > Update & security > Windows Defender. Both of these protections are able to be enabled and disabled on this screen. It is recommended to keep both of these settings On.

Windows Defender actively identifies malware and blocks it on your computer with Real-time protection. Cloud-based Protection helps improve detected threat identification by crowd sourcing from all computer with Windows 10 with Windows Defender on. Is it wise to have these enabled, however if turned off for a while, Windows will turn them back on.

There is another option you can enabled called Sample submission. You do not need to have this enabled. When this option is enabled, malware samples are sent to Microsoft.

Disable Windows Defender

If you have third party anti-virus software installed, Windows 10 automatically disables Windows Defender. Until uninstalling or disabling the third party software, it is not possible to change settings in Windows Defender.

Windows Defender or Third Party Software

This depends on what requirements you want. You are protected from most threats with Windows Defender, but paid third party software may have additional benefits you are interested in. Remember, there are always ways to remove viruses, but if you can prevent them then you’re less likely to lose all of your information with a complete computer wipe.

Dual Monitors for More Productivity

2 might be better than 1

2 might be better than 1

Increase Your Productivity with More Than One Monitor

You purchase a bigger desk and supplies are filed away to make more workspace. Things get piled over one another and cluttered when your area to work in is limited. Valuable time is wasted getting to needed items.

This is same for monitor space. No need to squeeze your workspace when you can expand it by using duel monitors. Here is a couple ways duel monitors can enhance your productivity.

Split Screen Option

Split screen option is almost the same as using duel monitors. Two applications are able to be opened side by side. There is basically nothing wrong with this approach except items are not full-size that are open. Your workspace is not expanded even though you have lessened your clicks to minimize or maximize applications.

If unable to use monitors for any reason, this option works great.

Piling of Items

When you have limited space, imagine having to pile items with taking split screen option off the table. Think of having your browser open to do research and Microsoft Word open for note taking. So, the article on the website you just read and then you select your Microsoft Word document to enter some notes. Now you must either select the web browser to bring it up or minimize your document. Now, this cycle keeps repeating. Click, up, down, click.

De-piling is the cycle you are doing. It would be simpler to have your document open in one monitor while your web browser is open in the other. Using duel monitors allows you to get a clear view of both applications and you are able to keep your fingers on the keyboard and eyes on the article, not wasting any of your time.

Risks of Errors Reduced

While you were busy minimizing, de-piling, and clicking, you may have accidentally closed an application out at one time. When you are able to view both applications in full-size at one time means a reduction of time-wasting mistakes of this type.

By using duel monitors it is easy to drag items from one desktop display to another. Have you made a mistake and not realized it until later when copying and pasting from one document to another? Just highlight the text in which you want moved on one screen and drag it to where you want it placed on the other screen with no need of using copy/paste.

With using duel monitors it is easier to glance over your work and spot mistakes faster with just using your eyes, no need to move your head.

Is Duel Monitors for You?

If you do not already use duel monitors, you should consider doing so to increase your productivity significantly. Consider how dual monitors might be able to help you on your future endeavors and consider adding one to your computer routine.

Learn So Many Apps on One Program

Learn what One Note provides.

Learn what One Note provides.

Learn How to Use OneNote to Share Notebooks, To-Do-Lists, and More

Sharing digital notes is an excellent way of distributing notebooks, to-do-lists, shopping lists, home renovation notes, Christmas party lists, and so forth with your friends and family. The only problem you may have is persuading them to sign up for an account on your preferred service to receive all note-sharing capabilities.

There are several services offering digital note sharing, but most likely you and everyone that you will be sharing with has a Microsoft account. This makes using OneNote to share much easier.

To Begin

First, download from Windows store or use the web app version at Office.com. If you have Windows 10, the store version is already pre-installed for you.

After signing in, if using OneNote for the first time you will see a “Personal” notebook. We want to make another notebook to place our family stuff in because it is wise to maintain your own personal notebook.

OneNote works in the same way as a physical notebook with tabs does. A notebook itself is a gathering of notes gathered together, then there are section (tabs) to separate subjects such as gift idea, shopping lists, recipes, gardening plans, etc. Finally, each tabbed section has actual pages where the notes are kept.

Create Notebook

To create a notebook, select File in upper left corner then select New. A box now opens letting you name your new notebook. You can name it “My Notebook” or use your imagination to come up with something creative. After you enter this, select Create Notebook.

Within a couple of seconds, OneNote displays an invite for you to share this notebook you just created with others. Since we want to prep ours prior to sharing, we can say Not now. OneNote now opens up the notebook you have just created, which has one tab named “New Section 1” at top. Go to the tab and Right-click, then select Rename, enter “Shopping lists” and select Enter. Select the “plus” sign located next to the first section, to create addition sections.

The section for shopping list has a list of pages running down the notebooks right side. There is one untitled page which you can rename by default.

Adding a date to the name helps to tell you old from new notes from a glance. To select it, click on the main part of page. To make a list that has check boxes, choose Home > To Do Tag. Enter lists name and click Enter following each item for the creation new check boxes.

To begin sharing, have notebook, section, and your first page aligned. Select File > Share > Invite People, enter email addresses of whom you want this list shared with, making sure “Can edit” is stated next to these addresses in the drop down menu. Check the box stating, “Require user to sign in before accessing document,” just to be safe. Finally, click Share.

Now it is simple for everyone to create and share notebooks with OneNote.

Boot into Windows 10 Safe Mode

Boot safely and effectively.

Boot safely and effectively.

Boot Your Computer into Safe Mode Easily

If you are somebody that done your own troubleshooting, then most likely you have come across Safe Mode. Safe Mode is a feature built in which unnecessary programs and drivers are disabled during startup, allowing us to separate any system errors or setting and repair them without needed applications interfering.

Here are some different methods for booting into Safe Mode:

System Configuration

Use Cortana search to get to System Configuration. Enter either system configuration or msconfig and hitting Enter opens the panel for System Configuration. Go to Boot > Safe Boot and when you restart your computer it will boot into Safe Mode.

Under Safe Boot there are additional options you can choose. You want to choose Minimal, next hit Apply then OK. You now will be asked if you was to restart your computer. If you choose Restart, be sure any active projects or documents are saved.

Tapping

Tapping the F8 key is the method most commonly used to reach Safe Mode. During startup, Safe Mode selections are brought up allowing you to choose which operating mode to start in. However, Windows 10 disable Safe Mode by F8 for faster boot process. You can use Command Prompt to enable F8 menu, which will only cost a few seconds more of boot time.

To start you need to open Command Prompt elevated. On the Start menu, Right-click and choose Command Prompt (Admin). In User Account Control dialogue, choose Yes if it pops up. You should now see Command Prompt. Enter this command:

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

Hit Enter.

To undo this command, open the Command prompt elevated once again and enter:

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard

This command returns startup to the state it was originally in.

Advanced Startup

This is a useful way to know. Go to Settings menu, then over to Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced Startup. Hitting Restart Now restarts your computer in recovery mode, where you will come upon three options: Troubleshoot, Continue, or Turn off your PC. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options. You will now get several more options. Hit Startup Settings then Restart. Your computer now will restart. You will see the Startup Settings screen when rebooting. This is where you choose your function required.

Shortcut

You can bypass the clicking process and hold how the Shift key and hit Restart listed under Power, located in Start menu of Windows 10. This reboot option brings you directly to Recovery options. This is where you can choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings.

***Please keep in mind that many newer computers, those with UEFI enabled, may not be able to use these options, but instead should configure their computers into safe mode through this method:

recovery-environment-windows-10-2

Use a USB flash drive, or a DVD installation disc with Windows 10 installation on it. When the screen pops up, choose the repair option > troubleshooting > advanced options. Then you will want to change the startup options.

Startup_Settings_Windows_8

Once the computer is restarted, there will be a numbered menu with one of the options being to start up in Safe Mode.

Now you should feel at ease booting into Safe Mode with Windows 10 using one of these methods explained above.

Answers Needed for Your New Router

Your wireless router matters.

Your wireless router matters.

What Questions You Need to Answered When Purchasing a New Wireless Router

When shopping for a new wireless router you may feel overwhelmed with the many options they come with. It can take a long time going through so much information. But when asking the correct questions, it can be easier and you will be pleased with your purchase.

The following are some questions to ask what purchasing a new wireless router:

What will it be used for?

This likely is the most important question. A basic wireless router is fine if you only check stock prices or send emails when using the internet. If you use a streaming service for movies or TV, you need something with more power. If you work at home online or play online games which are demanding, you may want a router with maximum speed.

How many bands?

Routers come in single, duel, and tri-band. This gives you 3 networks which are different in your home. Single-band give 2.4GHz network, duel gives 2.4GHz and 5GHz. It is harder however for higher signal to penetrate through obstacles such as walls. Tri-band give 2.4 GHz along with two 5GHz. The faster ones are not slowed down with a tri-band.

Duel-band is most versatile and offers highest speed. If you have several wireless devices (maybe 10) a tri-band would be better.

Which wireless standard do you need?

There are several wireless standards such as 802.11a, 802.11b/g/n, and 802.11ac. If you want to connect to an 802.11n network, you should have no issue if you purchased your computer in last couple of years. This has been the primary standard for last 6 years.

Fastest of the standards is the newer 802.11ac, which several computers are unable to handle due to it still evolving. If you have plans to upgrade to support wireless-AC, a router with 802.11ac standard is probably best for you.

What speed is needed?

Having a router which has a higher speed than what your internet has will not make it faster. To know what speed internet you have, run s speed test. This shows both upload and download speeds. You do not need to purchase a wireless router faster than your internet, unless you have plans on your connection being upgraded in the close future.

You may want a faster router if you stream files often between devices, or watch movies via a Raspberry Pi media center.

Which type of security?

You need security setting which are strong when sending sensitive information over the network. Be sure your new router supports the latest security standard, WPA2. Most likely is does, however if purchasing a used one you want to make sure.

Asking these questions will give you a good idea of what the best router for you is.

Consider These When Purchasing a Modem

New modems should be carefully chosen.

New modems should be carefully chosen.

When Purchasing a New Cable Modem, Seriously Consider These Things

Most internet service providers charge a rental fee for use of their modem. Knowing you need a modem for online usage, you agree. With some research, you can save lots of money with buying your own modem.

Many companies have you believe you have to rent their modem, but you do not. If you would like to purchase a cable modem, consider these things, and know there are many things to consider when you’re a computer owner.

1. Be Sure the Modem Works With Your Cable Provider

Majority of modems work for almost all providers, but with some exceptions. An example is, Motorola Surfboard SB6141, it does not work with AT&T U-verse or Verizon FIOS. Majority of provider have a page listing modems which work with their services. It is not always easy to find for every provider, which you can conduct a search online, look on customer forums, or contact their customer representatives.

2. Be Sure it is Fast Enough for Your Internet

Cable providers is a standard DOCSIS for sending information over wires, with 3 different repetitions: 1.x, 2.x, and 3.x. Best performance will be received if you purchase DOCSIS 3.0 compatible (or higher). Mid-range modem DOCSIS 3.0, gives up to 340 Mbps download speeds and 130 Mbps upload speeds. Higher download speeds are offered on higher-end modems.

Keep in mind, it does not matter how fast a modem is, it will not give you a faster internet connection. If you purchase a modem that is 300 Mbps and your plan you are subscribed to is 100 Mbps, the max internet connection you will receive is 100 Mbps.

For approximately half the cost of the 3.0, you can purchase a DOCSIS 2.0 that would work well if you subscribe to a plan of 30 or 50 Mbps.

3. Confirm Your Ethernet Port Speed

When running a router separately from your modem, if the Ethernet port is slow your connection will be slowed down even if you have a fast router. For your computer to receive the internet connection, the signal goes from lines from your cable company, through the modem, to the router from going across an Ethernet cord, finally thought air ending at your computer.

Internet speed can be limited from some choke points, which one of these can be the Ethernet cord. There would be no issues if your modem supports a Ethernet of a gigabit.

4. Think about if you want to purchase a modem/router combination.

Modem/router combination boxes may seem useful due to less clutter, and fewer wires, but you may want to choose against this choice. Your flexibly is limited with one box. If you want your wireless router upgraded, the whole device would need to be replaced. It is a cheaper way when only having to replace your router when wanting to upgrade.

You Have Control

Save money, and possibly have your internet connection improved at the same time when purchasing a new cable modem for yourself.

How Windows 10 System Restore and Factory Reset Work

Windows 10 can easily be rebooted.

Windows 10 can easily be rebooted.

Restore and Reset Everything

With Windows 8 is was possible to restore the operating system by using a recovery image on a hidden disk partition, with Windows 10 this can no longer be done. A recovery petition is no longer available. Microsoft wanted to allow uses to increase their disk space availability, which over 6 GB can be saved on 64-bits systems with Windows 10.

Windows 10 System Restore

If you experience issues with Windows 10, first you want to look at your restore point list. If you see one that coincides with the time your issues began, use System Restore tool to restore your settings as they were at that time.

Click Start > Settings in search box enter create a restore point. Select your matching result, choose which drive you wish your restore point to be stored on (generally, system drive) then click Configure > Turn on system protection. System restore functionality is now activated. Now click OK. Next click Create… for a restore point to be created, and name it.

This makes a restore point in which you can use on a later date with System Restore and follow the wizard to restore your computer setting to that state.

If you ae not able to boot into Windows 10 and need to do a system restore to a saved point, you can get there through Advanced Startup. This is accessible by using Windows installation media or recovery drive (when Windows Setup begins, select Repair your computer).

Next go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > System Restore, and follow the wizard.

Windows 10 Reset

Reset is the best way to get Windows back to the best way it was. By doing this, your operating system is restored to “factory settings.” Prior to reset, back up any personal data. Keep in mind, all bloatware will be reinstalled, even ones you removed.

Click Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Get Started > Remove everything. There are two options, first one is Remove files and clean the drive; this one is more secure but takes longer (this option is great if giving or selling you PC and need to wipe it), and the other option is  Just remove my files; which is for a quick reset.

When completed, your operating system will be as if it has been newly installed. You need to input your account information again (or if desired, create a new profile), and all your data needs to be restored.

System Restore or Reset?

System Restore is the least reliable solution, however it is the fastest. Reset is more reliable, but more time consuming. It is recommended to try System Restore before Reset to see if this resolves your issues. Always know how to reboot your Windows programs so you can have the best functionality of your computer.