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Content is listed below in reverse chronological order. Clicking on any title will take you to summaries of the articles for each newsletter, with links to the full article pages.

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Windows 8Windows 10Woody’s Windows
  • Date Issue Summaries
  • 2017-03-28 How to Prepare Your Windows 10 PC for Disaster
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  • 2017-03-23 The Secret Life of Files: How To Master File & Folder Properties
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  • 2017-03-21 Eight Small Programs That Can Make Your Life Easier
    • How to Best Secure the Microsoft Edge Browser

      Microsoft Edge already has some security tricks up its sleeve, but you can beef up the browser still further. Windows 10 users, you’re probably using Microsoft Edge to surf the web. But how secure is the newest browser on the block? And how can you tweak it to make it more secure? Edge already includes or takes advantage of several features that enhance your security. But it also offers several options that you can enable or disable to better protect your privacy on the web and ensure that you’re practicing safe surfing. You can make sure the SmartScreen filter is turned on to protect you from malicious websites. You can use InPrivate browsing so no cookies or other data are collected. You can opt to block cookies, especially ones from third-party websites. You can choose to clear your browsing history, especially whenever you shut down Edge. And you can remove your Bing search history. First, let’s go over the security features already built into or used by Edge. One item is SmartScreen. Initially developed for Internet Explorer 8, SmartScreen checks each webpage you visit and each file you download to make sure they don’t contain malware. The feature works by … Read More »

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  • 2017-03-16 Manage Your Website Passwords Across All Your PCs and Mobile Devices
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  • 2017-03-14 2017-03-14 Password Managers: The Pros and Cons
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  • 2017-03-09 The Challenge of Windows Update in the Windows as a Service (WaaS) Era
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  • 2017-03-07 Refresh Your Security Habits: Here’s What You Should Learn from Recent Attacks
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  • 2017-03-02 Best Hardware: These Gadgets Will Give You a Charge Here and There
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  • 2017-02-28 Hey, What is Microsoft Sway, and Is It Worth Using?
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  • 2017-02-22 How to Back Up Your Microsoft Outlook PST File
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  • 2017-02-21 What I Learned About Security at RSA 2017
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  • 2017-02-16 How to Sync Your Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendars
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  • 2017-02-14 Here’s the Latest in Scams and Ransomware
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  • 2017-02-09 Windows 10: How to Use the “Reset This PC” Recovery Option
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  • 2017-02-07 How to De-Consumerize Your Windows 10 Machine
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  • 2017-02-02 The Problem With Passwords Is Us
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  • 2017-01-31 Windows 10: Install a Fresh Copy of Windows 10 to Remove OEM Clutter
    • Windows 10: Install a Fresh Copy of Windows 10 to Remove OEM Clutter

      Many of you may be building your own computers these days, but just as many computer users buy their next device right off the shelf of their favorite box store or from an online retailer. If you are purchasing a device built by one of the many OEMs, it is very likely that device is going to arrive with a lot of extras pre-installed that come from the company who initially built the device plus some additional overlay style software/controls from the OEM themselves. Of course, as long as you have drivers from the OEM for your device, and most are made available through the products support page, then you could always do a clean install of the operating system and have a pristine image ready for your own software and customizations. Microsoft is also working closely with many manufacturers to include hardware drivers right out of the box to avoid needing to track them down elsewhere. In fact, any OEM devices sold in Microsoft Stores come in this configuration and they call it their Signature Edition PCs. This means they meet all the Windows hardware requirements and contain zero bloat from the manufacturer. If you already have your device or purchased … Read More »

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  • 2017-01-26 Get the Most Out of Windows 10’s File Explorer
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  • 2017-01-24 What Makes Hardware the ‘Best’: A Crash Course in Criteria
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  • 2017-01-19 What’s Causing These Very Slow Shutdowns?
    • The Challenges of Change

      First, the big news: Due to unanticipated circumstances, this is the last LangaList Plus running in this newsletter for a while. Fred Langa will return to Windows Secrets when he’s able to — and here’s hoping that’s sooner rather than later. His writing combines two admirable and helpful traits in tech journalism: The ability to explain how something works and the ability to teach readers how to take charge of their own troubleshooting ventures. We’ll be looking for substitute writers who can field user questions about their own misbehaving systems and take a crack at answering them. When we have someone, I’ll let you all know to whom you should be directing your questions. Until I found out about Fred Langa’s unexpected leave of absence on Wednesday, my biggest news for you all was going to be the addition of Richard Hay to the Windows Secrets writers’ roster. Rich has been a Microsoft MVP since 2010, first as a Windows Operating System MVP, then for the Windows and Devices for IT category, and in July 2016, he was also named a Windows Insider MVP. He combines an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the operating system with a real love of hands-on demos … Read More »

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  • 2017-01-17 A Quiet Start for 2017
    • I, For One, Welcome Our Robot Servants

      If you pay attention to the tech news, it’s not hard to pick up a vague sense that the goal of every person, product and company we cover is to render human work obsolete. Some work, I’m glad to see go — scanning in receipts to email to Accounts Payable is a far sight quicker than painstakingly arranging a collage of paper scraps and putting it in the interoffice mail for a three-week turnaround. That’s why I was heartened to read Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s recent comments, where he made the distinction between artificial intelligence tools meant to replace human interaction and artificial intelligence meant to enhance human productivity. As he said during the DLD conference in Munich, “The fundamental need of every person is to be able to use their time more effectively, not to say, ‘let us replace you’.” There a few notable ideas worth unpacking in that quote. First, Nadella is advocating for people to get the most out of their time. Without falling into a debate about “productivity” and who benefits from it — though that is a topic well worth revisiting soon, especially in light of Microsoft’s multiyear focus on AI as a productivity booster … Read More »

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  • 2017-01-12 603 Seven Easy Pieces: Quick tweaks you can make to get the most out of Windows 10
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  • 2017-01-10 602 Start 2017 right with a clean Windows PC
    • Introduction: We’re all here because we have hope (in technology)

      One of the biggest tech events of the year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), takes place in the beginning of January. As an attendee, I’ve always thought there was a certain pleasing symbolism to the scheduling: It happens on the cusp of the western new year, right as casinos are gearing up to celebrate the lunar new year at the end of the month. And as with new year celebrations, CES is all about embracing the possibilities of the very near future. It’s easy to make fun of the more ridiculous tech offerings at CES — I’m still marveling at the hairbrush that makes product recommendations — but a deeper point remains: We tend to turn to technology to make our very near future — and our present — better. As I was looking at gadgets that turn your Windows 8.1 laptop into a touchscreen device and admiring small handheld scanners, I was also thinking about this newsletter and how it embodies the idea of helping readers improve their lives by improving the experience they have using the tools in their lives. As we move into 2017, Richard Hay and I will be sticking to Windows Secrets’ core mission: to … Read More »

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