Category Archives: Windows Tips
Around the time of Windows 10 one-year anniversary, Microsoft released a major update for the OS. Due to the timing of the update, it is being called ‘Windows 10 Anniversary Update’. This update includes some minor polishing to fix some hated annoyances, as well as adding some amazing new features.
Almost everyone knows Cortana on Windows 10 can be quite useful. Cortana allows users to set reminders, check your schedule, find and keep notes, receive answers to questions simply spoken, along with much more. Now, Cortana has become more intelligent. Cortana is now available on the lock screen. Also, the gap between your phone and PC is no longer an issue with the Anniversary Update. Notifications from your phone, such as missed calls or low battery can be mirrored to your PC. Other apps are also able to be mirrored to your PC thanks to Cortana new update feature.
Microsoft Edge Extensions
Microsoft’s Edge browser has extensions, finally! Some of these include Adblock Plus, OneNote Web Clipper, Translator for Microsoft Edge, Evernote Web Clipper, and LastPass: Free Password Manager.
In addition to extensions, Microsoft Edge also received the click-to-play Flash feature in which Chrome and Firefox users enjoy. Users can enjoy watching a piece of video now while junk plugins and ads are blocked.
There is now the ability to pin certain tabs with Edge, giving you more room in the tab bar. When restarting the browser, all pinned tabs come back. This includes when you choose to quit the browser by selecting “Close all tabs”.
Action Center Customization
The Windows 10 Action Center can now be customized for setting and notifications you need. Having your notifications organized in one location can be extremely helpful. There are Quick Action tiles already in place in the panel allowing users to quickly get to setting or activate many features such as Quiet Hours or Tablet Mode.
Users also have the option of customizing the Action Center by going to Settings > System > Notification > Actions. By clicking and dragging on the display of Quick Tiles located on the top of the window, users can rearrange tiles. Also, by selecting “Add or remove quick actions” they have the ability to disable tiles not needed.
Stop being angered by Microsoft’s updates interrupting you to apply them while you are actively working on your PC. Users can set up Active Hours, during which time automatic updates will never be applied, with Windows 10 Anniversary Update. The timeframe for Active Hours can be up to twelve hours. However, Windows still informs you of needed updates and you have the ability to update then instead of waiting for non-active hours.
With Windows 10 Anniversary Update and its many new features, Microsoft is beginning to finally make the OS bridge the gap across multiple devices. For additional questions answered about your Windows 10 software, check out other posts from IQ Computer Services.
Know How to Customize Your Windows Lock Screen
When turning on your Windows 10 PC, the first thing that comes into view is the Lock Screen. By either tapping or clicking on this screen, you’ll be taken to where you can sign into Windows. We know the Lock Screen may seem pointless, however, it has some information that can be helpful prior to launching Windows.
There are options to view information from certain apps on your PC while you are still on the Lock Screen. With customization options you can choose what background image to show or if you want, there is an option for a slideshow as well. Also, if you already downloaded and installed the Windows 10 Anniversary update, you have the ability to talk with Cortana while still on Lock Screen.
Guide to Customize Lock Screen on Windows 10
To begin customizing Windows 10 Lock Screen, select Start followed by the Settings icon located on the lower left side in the shape of a gear. You will then be directed to the Settings screen where you need to select Personalization followed by Lock screen.
First, you can choose what background image you want to see for Lock Screen. Underneath Background there is a drop-down menu giving three different choices, Windows spotlight, Picture, and Slideshow.
If you choose Windows spotlight, different images are displayed to you periodically. Windows tries to learn what your preference for images are by asking if you like or dislike ones they display for you.
When choosing Picture, you can either choose one of your own Pictures or select one of the images displayed. By choosing Slideshow, you are able to choose several images that will move along one after the other.
The following customization option available to your Lock Screen is “fun facts, tips, and more information from Windows and Cortana”. Be advised: this is only available when selecting Picture for the background image.
Next, you have the option of viewing specific details from one app while on the Lock Screen. Select the icon located under “Choose an app to show detailed status.” You will be given several apps to choose from such as Messaging, Weather, Calendar, and Mail. When choosing one of these apps, you will see details pertaining to it.
You also have the option to show a quick status of several apps at once. You are given the same app choice as above but with fewer details.
The next option allows you to keep the same image used for Lock Screen for your sign-in screen. Simply select “on” under the phrase.
Finally, you have the ability to talk with Cortana while still on Lock Screen. Start by selecting “Cortana lock screen settings.” Next, select “on” under “Use Cortana even when my device is locked.”
By taking a few minutes, you are able to make Lock Screen in Windows 10 very useful for when you turn on your PC.
Battery saver is a great feature that was introduced with Windows 10. This feature adjusts hardware settings and limits background activity allowing you to conserve your computer’s battery. With the different settings, you can turn on Battery saver manually or you can set it to automatically turn on. Also, there are additional options that allow you to change settings of apps to “Always allowed in background”, “Managed by Windows”, or “Never allowed in background”. All these options work whether or not Battery saver is turned on.
Windows 10 Battery mode is, by default, turned off. However, you can set it to turn on automatically when battery life goes below a specific percentage, which is set by you. Battery saver can be turned on manually as well. Settings set for Battery saver is per user account not for all users.
Manual Setting for Battery Saver
Go to Settings and select System.
To turn Battery saver on select Battery. Next, there is a slider below Battery saver until next charge, turn this on.
To turn Battery saver off select Battery. Move the slider to the off position.
Select on or off for Lower screen brightness while in battery saver according to what you like. By default, this setting is turned on.
Keep in mind, during the time your computer is using AC power, settings for Battery saver will be grayed out.
Automatic Setting for Battery Saver
Go to Settings and select System.
To turn on automatic settings, select Battery and check the box Turn battery saver on automatically if my battery falls below. Next, the percentage level in which Battery saver will turn on needs to set. Set this according to your wants, but the default setting is at twenty percent.
To turn off automatic settings, select Battery and uncheck the box Turn battery saver on automatically if my battery falls below.
App Battery Usage Management
Go to Settings and select System.
Select Battery and hit the link Battery usage by app located below Overview. Here you are able to set different options per app for battery usage management.
Under Time the options of six hours, twenty-four hours, and one week are available for you to sort your apps. After selecting a Time, select an app to choose one of the available option listed below its name.
Settings and their function:
Always allowed in the background: With this selected, the app runs continuously in background. Also when you have Battery saver turned on.
Managed by Windows: During time Battery saver is turned on, this app will not run in background. This option also turns apps off temporarily (until the apps are launched again) that are not pinned or you have not used for some time that has high battery drainage.
Never allowed in background: While battery saver is turned on, this app will not run in background.
Simply close setting when finished with any option.
Try Windows 10 Virtual Desktop for Yourself
Task View & Virtual Desktop are features introduced in Windows 10, with many people not knowing about them or believing they are useless. Your overall productivity will be enhanced from Task View and when used with Virtual Desktop your thoughts will improve on Windows 10.
Take a look at why and how Task View & Virtual Desktop can be useful for you:
Abilities of Task View & Virtual Desktop
Task View has a job of taking all windows currently open and spreading them out for you to view at one time. Some believe this is a useless feature added due to one available since Windows 3.0, Task Switcher, which does the same. If they are able to alt + tab why use Task View?
Task View is more beneficial than Task Switcher depending on how many applications are running at one time. If running only 3-4 windows at one time, these are equal. However, when running five or more, Task Viewer is more beneficial.
Another benefit is Task View is integrated with Virtual Desktop, unlike Task Switcher. With Virtual Desktop, users are able to create several desktops with each of them having their own set window application. Switching in real-time between desktops is simple and quick.
Stay organized with Virtual Desktop. An example would be by keeping all window relating to work on Desktop 1, and on Desktop 2 keep windows such as music, email, calendar, and keep your leisure time windows on Desktop 3. Easily switch back and forth between Desktops when needed.
Using Task View & Virtual Desktop
Bottom left-hand corner of your screen, next to Start Menu, there is a button for Task View located in the Taskbar. To open it, either select that button or use keyboard shortcut Windows Key + tab
While Task View is open, switch to any window by clicking on it or using the up/down/left/right arrows on the keyboard.
Virtual Desktop Creation
Looking at bottom right-hand corner of the screen while Task View is open, you see + New Desktop. Clicking on this or hitting tab then enter will create a new desktop. When having more than one desktop, there will be a bar on the bottom of the screen allowing you to switch between them.
Another way of creating a Virtual Desktop is by dragging an application located in Task View to + New Desktop.
Windows Key + tab: Task View opens or closes.
Windows Key + ctrl + D: create and switches to the new virtual desktop.
With the use of Task View & Virtual Desktop on Windows 10 become more productive than ever before. Give them a try and find out for yourself!
Make sure you’re also up to date on your maintenance for Windows 10.
Easily Disable the Microsoft Upload Center
A feature introduced in Microsoft Office 2010 is Microsoft Office Upload Center. This feature still lives on in Office 2013 and 2016.
Older versions of Microsoft Office were made to save documents, along with other Office files to the local hard drive. With the incorporation of OneDrive and cloud storage having so much emphasis in modern versions, Microsoft has included Upload Center. The purpose of it is to help when uploading documents to cloud storage, basically OneDrive.
When on default setting, if Save is clicked on a document, a copy is saved on your system while Microsoft Office tries to upload it to your OneDrive account. You may not notice anything unless you have a slow connection.
If you are one that uploads tons of documents to OneDrive at one time or you are frequently having to deal with weak wireless connections, MS Upload Center is most likely useful for you and you should probably not disable it. However, if you work only occasionally on a file in Office or never use OneDrive, t is irrelevant and to save resources you can disable it.
Removal of Notification Icon
If you want the icon removed from your system tray but do not mind Upload Center running in the background, you do not have to stop the program to remove the icon. Right-click Upload Center icon and select Settings, under Display Options, uncheck Display icon in notification area. Keep in mind that it is still running, use the start menu to access this program now.
Disabling Upload Center
There are different processes for disabling the Upload Center depending on what version Windows and Office you are using.
If you are in use of Office 2010, type into the Search bar MSConfig on Startup tab check and disable the entry MSOSYNC. If any instance of Microsoft Office 2010 is noticed here, you can disable is since there is no reason for it to run at startup.
Another method reported to work for users on Windows 7, Office 2010 is editing the registry. This needs to be done with caution as to avoid damage to your computer.
Go to this location on the Registry:
Now you need to delete the value OfficeSyncProcess and restart.
For users of Office 2013, you can use Task Scheduler to attempt to remove Upload Center. In the Start menu enter Task Scheduler for it to open. In the left pane click Task Scheduler Library. Browse for Microsoft Office 15 Sync Maintenance for USERNAME and once found rick-click on it to disable.
Hopefully you have found a solution to disable Upload Center, however if you have not there are benefits of keeping your documents saved in the cloud.
How to Share Files and Folders on Windows
Many people today use email or thumb drives to share files with another computer close by, but there is a way which is better. It is worth the time it might take setting up network file transfers. No matter if you use third party services or Windows systems tools, time can be saved daily with using procedures for network file transfer.
Sharing Solutions Native with Windows
There is no need utilizing solutions from a third party when in need of sharing files or folders on a home network. These are provided with Windows.
Homegroups on Windows 7, 8, and 10
The process can be facilitated with a Homegroup, providing operating systems on all systems have Windows 7, 8, or 10. Physically network these devices, if not done yet. This means make sure you are on the same local network at home or work.
First, open Homegroup by doing a simple search. Next, you are brought through a procedure for your network, creating a Homegroup, selecting which folders and devices you want shared with other computers within your network.
You will receive a password which is needed to join the Homegroup from other computers. After completed, each user has access to folders in which others set as shared. To begin the process of transfer, files are dragged and dropped into them shared folders.
Cloud services, such as OneDrive or Dropbox is the simplest way of sharing files and folders, there may be a monthly fee depending on your scope of usage.
Dropbox offers Lan Sync functionality which users benefit from if ran on same network. Users can upload and download faster by transferring over a LAN connection with their networked computers, instead of using the web.
This option can be enabled by selecting options cog located on Dropbox system tray icon, clicking on Preferences. Next, go to Bandwidth > LAN Sync and check required box. Large files should transfer easily and quickly, as long as the other user and you both have Dropbox accounts and a network connection.
Using Your Local Network for Sharing Files
BitTorrent Sync is similar to LAN Sync from Dropbox, letting users synchronize folders and files between computers. This is done directly, working completely on your local network, bypassing cloud storage limitations. It is possible for users to automatically sync data in an unlimited amount, when using BitTorrent Sync.
First, on the two systems in which you want to keep sync, install BitTorrent Sync, add folders, set permissions, generate key, link, or QR code, share with target device. After connecting target device, folder is kept in sync, over users LAN network using communication which is device to device. Specific folders are able to be shared with different people when using this method.
With several different ways of sharing files and folders, Windows users no longer need thumb drives, or to mess around with email limitation sizes. Not only that, but you can set the privacy on the files to keep them for only specific individuals eyes.
Improve Everything on Your System with Windows 10
Maintenance for Windows 10 has changed, with some improvements, and some not so popular changes. Security and Recovery have seen improvements, while Privacy settings and Windows Update have both seen changes that are unpopular.
Windows Update Changes
Microsoft implemented a system for Windows Update that is kind of aggressive, with an aim of having everyone at all times, updated. It is fully-automatic now, releasing one after another of the cumulative updates into your system. Unlike versions previously released of Windows, there are no options to defer or select individual updates. Windows Updates will automatically install drivers, features, fixes, security, definitions, patches, and more.
Users of Windows 10 Education, Pro, and Enterprise are able defer feature update installations, however, there are no options for security updates. The deferral option needs to be enabled for this to work. Go Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options. When there is an option available to defer updates, they can be for a maximum time of eight months before Windows 10 forces the install.
Fully automatic Windows Updates gives increased protection, however, there is less flexibility, potential to receive updates that are botched, system control loss, and metered connections being used.
You are able to set Windows 10 to not use metered connections to download or install updates. To do so, be sure you are connected to your metered connection, then go Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Advanced Options. Here you will see Metered connection for the connection which you are currently using. Setting this on metered mode stops system updates.
Reset & Recovery Changes
Options for Reset and Recovery have also changed with Windows 10. There was “Reset this PC” and “Refresh this PC” options introduced in Windows 8, which is now cut down to “Reset”. Windows 10 also implemented another change, there is no longer a Recovery Partition.
To get to Reset option, go Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Get Started. You are able to choose either Remove Everything or Keep my Files when pressing Get Started
There are not many changes with System Restore, you want to be sure there are backups being made by your system. To check if System Protection is enabled, go to Control Panel, do a search for the word Recovery. Next, go to Recovery > Configure System Restore > Configure > Turn on System Protection.
Advanced Startup needs to be accessed for use of System Restore Point. Go Settings >Update & Security >Recovery. Choose Restart Now.
Creating Recovery Drive
Enter in the search bar, Recovery Drive. Create a Recovery Drive should be the one that matches best, choose that, then follow instructions on screen.
With these changes Microsoft has made, they are trying to make Windows 10 safer for their users.
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.
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.
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.