Q. What are the most useful apps you have found in the Microsoft Store on Windows 10? A. You all know I am an undeniable fan of Windows 10. Of course, you see that Windows 10 tends to be the subject of the two weekly articles I write for Windows Secrets. So, no secrets here about my focus on Windows 10 and experience with it along the way. Over the last three and a half years, a lot of operating system functionality has moved from the OS itself to what I call helper apps. Many users also call them inbox or built-in apps. However, for the purposes of answering this question, I am not going to include these apps in my list. This list is going to focus on the other apps I install as I setup or reset an existing system. Caveat: I will choose to use the Microsoft Store app version of a piece of software versus a separate downloadable desktop install of the program. OneNote for Windows 10 This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
The time is coming soon when Microsoft will no longer offer support for Windows 7 users. While Windows 7 users may have justifiable reasons to not upgrade to Windows 10, there are equally solid reasons to consider making the move to the current OS. According to NetMarketShare.com, of all the Windows active operation systems Windows 7 is still leading Windows 10 three years after the latter was released. As measured by Internet activity from September 2017 to 2018, over 42% of users still connect online compared to just under 35% for Windows 10 users. You can understand some reluctance of people or companies not wanting to upgrade, but now that Windows 10 has settled in and vastly improved after its many iterations, what is still holding 10-adverse users from making the leap to the latest and greatest? Here are the pros and cons or staying with 7 and pros and cons of going with 10. Do You Really Have Software and Hardware Compatibility Issues? The changes that Windows 10 requires have had many of the Windows 7 holdouts claiming, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”. Windows 7 has accumulated hundreds, if not thousands of third-party apps and proprietary in-house software. … Read More
Perhaps it’s because we’re in the last quarter of the year and we still haven’t gotten to Inbox Zero. Perhaps a pop-up reminded us that 2018 was going to be the year we mastered a lot of productivity tips and tricks and we only have nine weeks left to 2019. Whatever the reason, now seems like a fine time to dive into a series of how-tos that will leave you a stronger Outlook user than you started. You’ll learn: Which of the many tools in Outlook can help you get a handle on synching calendars to Google calendar, finding lost emails and fixing settings on the fly. How to spruce up your emails with different themes or stationary. How to categorize and flag certain emails so they remain on your radar. How to handle an incoming message based on certain criteria, such as the sender, recipient, or subject line. And finally, how to automate the organization of your inbox. We can still make 2018 the year we conquer email.
A luxurious amount of storage compared to other cloud-based stash-your-stuff services, easy tie-ins with the rest of Microsoft’s applications … what’s not to like about OneDrive, the file-synchronization and storage service that can act as your digital safety net? We obviously like it at Windows Secrets. And we want to make sure everyone can get the most out of it. This primer will refresh your OneDrive skills. Here’s what you’ll master: You can use OneDrive to not only save and sync your files online but also share them with other people. (You can fetch files from other computers. You can use a Files on-Demand feature to save space on your computer. And you can opt to back up important folders, such as your desktop, documents, and pictures.) Next, we’ll look at how to customize and manage your OneDrive configuration. We’ll review a short-term option to recover previous versions of your files, if you need to return to older editions to check revisions you made or reverse them. And finally, we’ll walk through how to set up OneDrive to back up your data. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
There’s more to Office 365 than just Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You may have a subscription to Office 365 mostly to gain access to Word, Excel, and possibly PowerPoint. But there’s a lot more to an Office 365 plan than just the core Microsoft programs: You can use Office 365 to store and sync files on a hefty 1TB of OneDrive space. You can use Skype to make and receive phone calls and text messages in more than 60 countries with 60 free minutes each month. You can access your calendar and contacts. You can store up to 50GB of messages and file attachments in the online version of Outlook. And you can use most of these features and apps on a mobile device. Let’s go over some best practices for getting the most out of your Office 365 subscription. Choose Your Office 365 Subscription This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
With malware running amok and hacking of personal files at insane levels, now is not the time to get scared and panic. Now is the time to take steps to protect your data on your PC, external drives, and even in an actual hardware safe. Fortunately, there are numerous data protection hardware and software solutions for wherever you store your data and backups. Some are free, some are inexpensive, and some are pricey, but all make it easy to keep your files safe from thieving eyes Here’s a mixed bag of hardware products and software tools which I can recommend after a few weeks of hands-on testing. Datalocker’s Unique USB Flash Drive Comes Armed with Keypad and Display Security experts always advise us to copy or move sensitive data to external drives or the cloud. But even when you are not making a backup, saving confidential files to an external drive, be it a portable hard drive or a USB flash drive, is essential. But flash drives without some level of encryption are still as vulnerable to intrusion as logging on to a public Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop. Enter Datalocker’s Sentry K300–an encrypted micro SSD drive with an onboard … Read More
Q: What is the status of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update? I heard it has been canceled – any idea what Microsoft is up to? First, I can confirm the October 2018 Update (Version 1809) for Windows 10 has not been canceled. However, it did get pulled temporarily late last week due to user reports of data deletion after the upgrade process. Earlier this week, in our October 9th edition of the newsletter, I wrote about this issue and the mess on Microsoft’s hands considering data deletions issues has been reported to the company well ahead of their release of the October 2018 Update (Version 1809). The same day that edition of the newsletter landed in your inboxes, Microsoft published a new blog post addressing the issues around the October 2018 Update (Version 1809). This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
We all know about good habits – exercise, brushing your teeth, putting your dirty dishes in the sink. Here are nine good habits I’ve picked up in 35 years of working with computers. Some of them I learned the hard way. Good Habit #1: Back Up Daily When I wrote PCWorld’s Answer Line column, I got several emails a week from desperate people who had lost their data. When I asked if they had a backup, the usual response was “I was going to get around to that.” Back up to an external drive, even if you’re backing up to the cloud. The first rule of computing: Never have only one copy of anything. Second rule: Each copy should be on a different storage device. Arguably, this may no longer need to be a habit. With online backup tools such as Carbonite, you can set up your backup and forget about it. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Earlier this week, I traveled up to New York City to attend Microsoft’s October event where, as expected, they revealed updated Surface hardware, the availability of the Windows 10 October Update, and even surprised everyone with a new Surface product line. This was not your typical product launch with a couple hundred media and analysts in attendance. Instead, it was a small group of 50 or so people, in what likely used to be a warehouse. The one-hour briefing was headlined by Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, the Corporate Vice President for Windows & Devices. However, the bulk of the session was presented by Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay. If you have watched a Surface hardware event or launch in the past, you know that he has a particular style of presentation, interleaving the development behind the Surface’s latest features with the end-user experience of those features. Windows 10 October 2018 Update The first piece of news from the event was that the latest feature update for Windows 10 has been released. The initial release will be for what Microsoft calls seekers. They are users who go looking for an update by manually checking Windows Update or using either the Update Assistant or … Read More
We update monthly on Patch Tuesday, install firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware, and always coach users to use complex, secure passwords. But apparently it is still not enough. A recent poll of 300 hackers conducted at Black Hat finds Windows OS is still a very hot target for attack. Those that answered the survey were a combination of white hat, gray hat and black hat hackers. Nearly 50 percent of those surveyed said they had compromised Windows-based systems more than any other within the past year. Most said they infiltrated Windows 10 most frequently, followed by Windows 8. Microsoft says Windows 10 has been deployed on 700 million devices since its launch in 2015. Microsoft has prioritized security in recent years, recently noting it will continue to invest over $1 billion a year on cybersecurity and research in order to further enhance the defenses of its products. But clearly, Windows is still seen as a sitting duck for hackers seeking a quick win. Why is that? “With more than 80 percent of the desktop OS market share, it is no surprise that Windows is a hot target for hackers,” said Michael Maltsev, a security researcher at Reason Software Company. “Microsoft is well aware of this, and … Read More