A little over seven years ago, Windows 7 was released to the general public. As of January 14, 2017, it’s been in extended support for two full years. That means there are just three years left for the popular operating system to be supported by its creator, Microsoft. It is never too early to plan for that next operating system upgrade. In fact, a Microsoft employee from Germany made that pitch this week as reported by ARS Technica, recommending that users plan their move early rather than later. If you’ll excuse a little inside baseball, here’s why you Windows 7 users should consider it. Microsoft breaks their lifecycle support down for Windows into two key periods – Mainstream and Extended support. Each period runs for five years each for a total of ten years of product support from Microsoft. The biggest difference between the two support periods? Only during the first five years can product design and feature changes be made. Security updates are provided throughout the entire ten year period. Of course, any company willing to pay can contract Microsoft to provide support beyond those ten years, but as the military learned last year, that is a very expensive … Read More
Optimizing your Windows set-up is one of the most useful and productive things you can do. These quick how-tos can help you tweak your daily computing experience so it’s more convenient. Tip #1: Push your Android phone notifications to Windows 10 with Cortana An update to the Cortana app on Android now allows you to only push those notifications to your Windows 10 desktop and tablet based devices, and fully customize them just like Windows 10 Mobile users can. To get started just install the Cortana app for Android on your device from the Google Play store. Once it is installed, you can open the app and it will ask you to sign in with your Microsoft Account. Make sure you use the same one as your other Windows 10 devices if you want to sync notifications from one system to the others. Once you are logged into Cortana she will of course have access to your Notebook on your Android device and be able to set reminders, provide tips and look up other information for you. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
A little time spent now on preventive maintenance can save hours of system troubleshooting later. It’ll also provide better computing all year long. This article is something of a Windows Secrets tradition: We update, refresh, and then publish a new version of this story in the first issue of each new year. In this iteration, you’ll find more references to top-notch, detailed PC-maintenance how-tos and related information than ever before! Undo a year’s worth of wear and tear This past year was tumultuous for Windows — and most likely for your PCs, too. To start, Windows Update released hundreds of new patches (see list), some in a new cumulative/ roll-up format. And along the way, you’ve probably installed some new third-party software, uninstalled other programs, and upgraded or patched apps and utilities. You may have also altered, tuned, and tweaked various aspects of your system’s user interface, and software and hardware settings. And you’ve undoubtedly created and deleted myriad emails, documents, photos, MP3s, videos, spreadsheets, and so forth. You might even have upgraded your Windows 8, 7, or Vista system to Windows 10. And if you were already using Win10 at the start of last year, you hopefully survived … Read More
Although Win10 is capable of excellent performance, it can run slowly on some systems — even on new “Made for Windows 10” PCs! If you want more speed from your current Win10 setup, or you’re thinking of getting a new Win10 PC this holiday season, here are the major performance-sapping pitfalls you can avoid.Read More
For many Windows 10 users, the relatively rapid changes to the OS have been a frustrating experience — especially with the major upgrades such as the Anniversary Update. Fortunately Win10 has extensive administrative tools that are virtually unchanged from Win7 and Win8.1.Read More
As most astute PC users know, when you delete a file, it typically remains in Windows’ recycle bin until you empty the bin — or until the bin fills up with newer deleted files. But there are other ways to manage your file deletions — including bypassing the Recycle Bin altogether. These tips and tricks work with all current versions of Windows, unless otherwise noted.Read More
A recent reader letter lamented the accidental deletion of a critical PC partition. The event rendered the machine unbootable. It’s easy to get confused about Windows partition types. Here’s a refresher.Read More
All current versions of Windows offer a built-in, independently bootable command-line environment that you can use for heavy-duty troubleshooting and maintenance tasks. This specialized system isn’t for everyone; there’s no graphical interface and scant built-in help. But if you’re an experienced user, you might find that this relatively obscure option offers faster and more extensive troubleshooting than more traditional methods — especially when standard Windows won’t boot.Read More