Privacy has been one of the top issues for many users (and potential users) of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system. Admittedly, the software company was very reluctant to go outside the box in those early days to address privacy concerns that accompany Windows 10’s uses of telemetry and the mandatory updates. In September 2015, Terry Myerson, the guy in charge of the entire Windows and Devices business within Microsoft, talked about privacy and Windows 10 but it did not go into great detail about what user data was collected; he mainly focused on how the data was used to maintain Windows 10. Nearly two years later, a few months prior to the release of the Creators Update, Myerson once again took to the official Windows Blog and shared about privacy and Windows 10. This time he gave details about a new Privacy Dashboard as part of your Microsoft Account. The dashboard gives you more control over your data that Microsoft has access to, from the operating system to assorted Microsoft products and services. Myerson also detailed changes that were made to put privacy choices front and center when you upgrade to the Creators Update, minimizing the amount of data Microsoft collects at its most basic option. … Read More
Though Edge is the default browser in Windows 10, you can still use Internet Explorer 11. Here are some ways to customize IE in Windows 10 to make it work your way. Yes, Internet Explorer is still alive and well in Windows 10 despite Microsoft’s efforts to push everyone toward Microsoft Edge as the default browser. Edge has its advantages, but IE isn’t down for the count just yet. As always, the key to using Internet Explorer is to tweak the browser so it works just the way you like it. Toward that end, you can opt to display or hide toolbars, turn on various privacy and security settings, control your add-ons, and pin websites to the desktop or taskbar. Let’s go through the different steps for customizing and using IE 11 in Windows 10. First off, where the heck is Internet Explorer in Windows 10? Nope, you won’t find it on the Taskbar any longer since Edge has muscled its way into that spot. And you won’t see IE in the Start menu or Start screen, at least not unless and until you put it there. Here’s how to snag it. Click on the Start button and then scroll … Read More
Windows Defender will feature a full suite of products in the October update, but it still might not be a one-stop shop for security. For the Fall Creators Update, the security focus is squarely on Enterprise and Windows Server users. But while the “creators” in the update name are the primary focus for this update, thanks to an expanded suite of protective features, security hasn’t been completely left out of the picture. Microsoft’s threat-busting service, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, is the site of most of the security changes you’ll find when the Fall Creators Update begins to roll out on October 17. Those changes came about in part because of a European antitrust complaint launched against Microsoft by Kaspersky in June; Kaspersky withdrew the complaint in August, satisfied that the changes in the next Windows 10 update would address its concerns. An expanded Enhanced Alert view provides a wider range of information on threats. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
You can give Microsoft’s newest browser an edge by using extensions. The standard lineup of browsers – Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox – all support loads of extensions that enhance their features and functionality. Great, but what Microsoft Edge, the newest browser on the block? Well, Edge has been slow to support extensions, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find several that do work. What extensions are available in Edge, and how can they help you use the browser? You can take advantage of extensions for password managers RoboForm and LastPass, Microsoft Translator, AdGuard’s AdBlocker, Office Online, and Microsoft Personal Shopping Assistant. And more are slowly being released as time goes on. Microsoft added Edge to Windows 10 to take over as the default browser for the aging Internet Explorer. IE is still around in Windows 10 (you can access it from the Start menu in the Windows Accessories folder). Edge offers a more streamlined and cleaner look than its older brother but doesn’t provide quite as many built-in features. If you are an Edge aficionado, you can get a helping hand from a range of freely available and supported extensions. To install an extension, first fire up Edge. Click … Read More
Windows remains the most popular end-user operating system in the United States; according to the Federal Digital Analytics Program, 46.2 percent of users who visited federal government websites in the last 90 days did so on a Windows OS. But Windows is well behind the pack when it comes to mobile browsing, with data from Statistica showing the OS with only a fraction of the users Android and iOS devices enjoy. Microsoft-watchers have watched Windows Mobile flicker feebly, then die, in real time. For the majority of users, their mobile devices–on which they’re increasingly reliant (one in ten adults is a smartphone-only user) –aren’t on the same operating system as their desktop devices. The soon-to-be-released Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 tries to make that reality more workable, or even desirable, with updates that aim to make movement between a Windows desktop OS and any number of mobile OS options more seamless than ever before. As someone who carries both a Windows phone and an iOS phone in order to do everything he needs to for his business in a mobile environment, improved integration between Microsoft and other devices and operating systems is welcome, says Todd Pekats, VP of Microsoft Services for … Read More
The Windows firewall can be your friend. Here’s how to get along with it. The Windows firewall is around to protect you against malicious apps and other content from the Internet aimed at infecting your PC. Assuming you’re not running a third-party security program with its own firewall, then the Windows Firewall should be active on your machine, looking out for threats. A firewall doesn’t just block malicious applications from hitting your computer but prevents potentially malicious content from being sent from your computer. But the firewall sometimes gets in your way, blocking legitimate content that you want to run and use. You can tweak and fine-tune the firewall so it filters out real dangers while allowing safe content to pass through. Let’s check out the Windows Firewall to see how you can use it and control it. In this article, I use Windows 10 as my client, but the examples you’ll see with Windows firewall works the same in Windows 10, 8.1, and 7. The only differences you’ll see are in the wording of certain features and settings. The Windows firewall supports private networks, such as your home network, as well as public networks, such as ones in a library, … Read More
Q. I do family tech support – would Windows 10 S be a good OS option for my relatives? A. As advanced users, many of you are likely on speed dial for some members of your family whenever they’re confounded by computer issues. Previously I had discovered that Windows 10 itself can help control many of the routine issues everyday users experience plus the Quick Assist Tool in the operating system makes it easy to connect with a remote system. Although Windows 10 itself has good security — and you can force a user to use Microsoft Edge to prevent random toolbar installs since all Edge extensions must be installed from the Windows Store — you can still experience some issues such as drive-by downloads of malicious software. In addition, how about those fake pop-ups asking a user to update their Flash install? Your relatives may still click on those. Microsoft’s Windows 10s — launched as a variation of Windows 10 for educational institutions– can be used in situations where you want to prevent malicious software from entering and executing on the system from any avenue. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
The answer is, “Sort of.” Before I explain, here’s a brief reminder of what that feature is, why it was so well-loved in Windows 8.1, and what aspects of it have come back now. An extremely popular feature of Microsoft’s consumer cloud storage offering in Windows 8.1, OneDrive Placeholders allowed a user to view all of their files stored in OneDrive on any device that used their Microsoft Account to log in. When a user viewed their OneDrive files locally, every folder and file in the OneDrive account was displayed in File Explorer. It was a nice way to see what files you had stored. There were options to choose which files to download and store locally; a user had to make sure they did this for any files they would need offline access to. You could select individuals files or entire folders to make sure they were stored on the physical hard drive. As development of Windows 10 was nearing its initial release in June 2015, Microsoft announced that this feature would be deprecated and removed from OneDrive. Instead, Windows 10 users would be able to see their OneDrive contents via a process called selective sync. Windows 10 users were not pleased … Read More
The command prompt is still alive and well in Windows 10, and here’s how you can use and control it. Yes, Windows 10 is packed with lots of GUI features, but that doesn’t mean the command prompt is a has-been. Even in Windows 10, the command prompt remains an effective tool for running certain commands and accessing certain features. Though the command prompt has remained more or less the same over the years, you will find some new tricks up its sleeve in Windows 10. So, what can you do with the command prompt and how can you manage and control it to make it easier to use? Let’s look at how to tame the command prompt in Windows 10. First off, the command you use to open a command shell from the Windows Power Users menu (the menu that appears when you right-click on the Start button) differs based on your version of Windows 10. In the original version and the Anniversary Update, the command is known as Command Prompt. And launching that command places you at the familiar prompt that’s been around since the early days of Windows. In the Spring Creators Update released in April 2017, Microsoft … Read More
You can free up memory and boost performance by putting the kibosh on unnecessary startup programs. Every program that automatically loads when Windows starts up chews up more of your PC’s memory. The more programs that muscle their way into your startup routine, the less available memory you have to run your applications. And many programs that start up automatically don’t necessarily need to do so. How can you control your Windows startup programs? In Windows 7, you can use the System Configuration tool. In Windows 8.1 and 10, you can use the Task Manager. But if these built-in tools aren’t sufficient, you can turn to a third-party utility. Such tools as Sysinternals AutoRuns and Autorun Organizer can help you determine which programs you can kick out of your startup routine and how to give them the heave-ho. Let’s see how you can get a better handle on your Windows startup programs. Many Windows programs like to climb onboard your startup routine. Some programs do legitimately need to launch at startup, such as anti-virus software and backup software like Microsoft OneDrive. But a lot of programs insist on starting up automatically whether or not they need to. That may be … Read More