Q. Can I postpone receiving the next feature update for Windows 10? Microsoft has been developing the fifth feature update for Windows 10 since late last year, and that work is now in the final stages as they stabilize the update and prepare for its general availability next month. When Windows 10 first came out almost three years ago, there were no official options for consumers to delay the installation of a new feature update. Once it arrived on Windows Update for your device there was no turning back from that upgrade cycle. However, if you are running Windows 10 Professional, settings have been built into the OS that will give you a couple of options for delaying the upgrade to the latest feature update. Note: This option is not available as part of Windows 10 Home. If you go into Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and then click on Advanced Options under Update settings. This is where you have two options for postponing updates to Windows 10. Let’s take a closer look at what is at your disposal for delaying a feature update upgrade. First, let’s begin by looking at the last option on the page … Read More
Microsoft did a very controversial thing when they released Windows 10. In several spots in the operating system, by default, they are providing tips and suggestions to users as they navigate around Windows 10. When these items first appeared many labelled them as advertisements on Windows and felt that their OS should not be a vehicle for ads. Others viewed them as tools of discovery for apps and system capabilities in the flagship OS. Whether you agree with Microsoft’s use of the OS in this matter or not, like many other areas of the operating system, you can customize these settings and opt-out of this information being presented on your system. Caevat: Many of us who have been using Windows 10 since it was released are very familiar with the OS, its capabilities, and many of the apps that are available in the Microsoft Store. However, if you provide family tech support for someone who is likely not as familiar with the OS as you are, I recommend you consider leaving these discovery tools active. This will allow these users to possibly discover something they didn’t know previously and benefit from that method of discovery. This article is part of … Read More
Last week, I had one of those situations occur that sent me searching for a utility to back up the various data I copy to my Windows 10 clipboard as I work. As you know, Windows only holds the last item you copied to the clipboard in memory, so once a new item is copied to the clipboard then the previous data is flushed out and no longer available. This is standard behavior and works for most of us, and it isn’t an issue until the moment you find that you really need a bit of data that was in the clipboard prior to copying your latest image or text into the temporary storage memory on Windows. Like I said earlier, the way the clipboard normally works is by overwriting each successive excerpt as you copy it. At BUILD 2017, Microsoft shared details about a feature they were planning to ship as part of the Fall Creators Update, Cloud-powered Clipboard. The concept behind it was that the data you copied into your local devices clipboard temporary storage would be made available across all your Windows 10 devices. Unfortunately, that feature did not ship in Windows 10 Version 1709 and based … Read More
Q. What is Dynamic Lock used for on Windows 10? A. When Microsoft introduced Windows 10 almost three years ago, one of the unique features that would be part of the new operating system was Windows Hello, a feature that would use biometrics to allow end users to log into their Windows 10 devices (so long as the device could support the technology). In last year’s Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft added a counterpart to Windows Hello with Dynamic Lock – jokingly referred to as Windows Goodbye – a feature to help to secure your Windows 10 device when you walk away from it. Dynamic Update uses the proximity of a Bluetooth device such as a smartphone, headset, or any other paired device that you have around your computer to automatically lock your device once the paired item is out of range. For most people, their smartphone is the most likely device that will be used for this purpose, as we all usually pick up our phones as we leave our desks. The amount of time your paired device needs to be out of range is about one minute according to Microsoft. That will vary depending on the strength of Bluetooth on … Read More
Microsoft originally introduced HomeGroup as part of Windows 7. It enhanced peer to peer sharing across home networks , making it easy to share files and printer access between devices and users. Of course, this was before the days of OneDrive and its multi-device accessible cloud storage service, the introduction of network aware printers, and the integrated sharing functionality that is now a standard part of Windows 10. This past December, when Microsoft released Windows 10 Redstone 4 Build 17063, they announced the upcoming retirement and removal of the HomeGroup service as part of Windows 10 Version 1803. Just as a reminder – Windows 10 Version 1803 is the fifth feature update for Windows 10 that is expected to be released in the March/April 2018 time frame. If you are running Windows Insider builds including 17063 and beyond, then the HomeGroup Listener and Provider services have been removed from the OS, the HomeGroup icon no longer appears in File Explorer, and the Control Panel options for HomeGroup are also gone. If you are not using HomeGroup on the current release version of Windows 10, then you likely still have the HomeGroup icon listed when you use File Explorer. The HomeGroup … Read More
One of the great things about Windows 10 is how it allows you to tweak the system so it best fits your usage habits. One of the biggest areas of customization is the primary interface to the OS – the Start Menu. It’s come a long way since its debut in Windows, and even over the last two and a half years, it has continued to mature. The customizations are all up to you. Let’s go over the key options for making the Windows 10 Start Menu all yours. Start Menu Settings The options for configuring your Start Menu are located at Windows Settings > Personalization > Start. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
This newsletter is called Windows Secrets, but if listening to Microsoft for the last couple of years has shown us anything, it’s that we are all moving into a multiplatform world. So I’ve started looking at the types of user experiences we’re all likely to have as our family members bring home non-Windows machines and expecte everything to work together seamlessly. One of the first non-Windows operating systems I have begun learning is ChromeOS. However, short of having a Chromebook, there is no downloads available of the ChromeOS itself so that it can be installed in a virtual machine on your Windows PC. However, I did find a way to install the ChromiumOS – the open source base for ChromeOS – on a bootable USB flash drive. If you’d like to start playing around with ChromiumOS, follow these steps. First, start at Neverware’s website. In 2015, they developed CloudReady, a lightweight OS that is built from ChromiumOS and provides users the ability to run it on nearly any hardware. According to Neverware, CloudReady is in use on hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide in education, enterprise, and individuals. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid … Read More
Ask @WinObs: I Upgraded to Windows 10 and Want to Give Microsoft Some Feedback. What Is the Best Way to Do That?
Q. I Upgraded to Windows 10 and Want to Give Microsoft Some Feedback. What Is the Best Way to Do That? A. Good news! Microsoft welcomes feedback and has even built the Feedback Hub, a Wimdows 10 app that allows you to explore feedback that has already been submitted by others and to submit your own feedback when you have a suggestion or run into a problem. The Feedback Hub can be used to provide feedback on different elements of the OS, and you can also submit feedback on Windows 10 apps, both from Microsoft and third party developers. Your feedback for apps is routed to the appropriate team or third party developer for evaluation and action. While many people also send feedback via social media sites like Twitter to the Microsoft employees they follow there, you will consistently be asked to add that information to the Feedback Hub because that is the central depository for all the feedback around Windows 10. In addition to creating your own feedback, you can also go into the app and upvote feedback submitted by other users. You can browse the submitted feedback and add your upvote to any item listed. This helps validate the issue/problem and … Read More
Q. I’ve read a lot about two-factor authentication. What is it, do I need it, and what apps will help me get it? Two-factor authentication (2FA) just means that we have a second element of proving who we are when accessing one of our online accounts that supports this feature. That second factor for many people is primarily their smartphone. The most widely used 2FA process involves sending a code via text message to your mobile phone, which you then enter into the website you are trying to access. Some systems also use email to deliver codes for the same purpose. The concept behind this process is that you have already confirmed that you own that smartphone when you provided the phone number to the site via your profile or other 2FA settings. (At that time, you were likely sent a code or link to validate that you have that phone in your possession.) So here’s what happens when you try to access that website after setting up 2FA: You provide your username and password You are sent a code, via text or email depending on the option you selected when setting up 2FA. You enter that into the website … Read More
Q. I don’t like the default settings on my Start Menu. How do I change them so my Start Menu better reflects my computing preferences? A. Windows 10 is one of the most customizable versions of Microsoft’s operating system, and it allows you to tweak things so the whole operating system best fits your usage habits. One of the biggest areas of customization is the primary interface to the OS – the Start Menu. Let’s go over the menu settings, which will show how you can make the Windows 10 Start Menu all yours. Start Menu Settings The options for configuring your Start Menu are located at Windows Settings > Personalization > Start. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.