As we continue our trek through various enhancements and new capabilities in the recently released Windows 10 April 2018 Update (see here and here), we next stop at Focus Assist. Focus Assist is not new for Windows 10 – in previous feature updates for Windows 10, it was known as Quiet Hours. When this name change was announced, the general reception was that it made no sense and the Quiet Hours name was more than adequate for the feature. I have long felt that the April 2018 Update was focused — no pun intended — on productivity and that is how Microsoft explained this name change: Focus Assist helps you get more done by easily blocking notifications, sounds, and alerts to create distraction-free work times. This is helpful if you’re giving a presentation or trying to focus on a paper, you can use Focus Assist to block interruptions or distractions. While Quiet Hours also helped users by providing no interruptions when the feature was turned on, it also lacked in-depth management options of who or what could break through the silence. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
This past April, Microsoft began the rollout of the fifth feature update for the Windows 10 operating system. As a follow-up to our hands-on and review of the April 2018 Update, we are going to dive a little deeper into many of the updates and enhancements in this feature update. This will help you and those you provide assistance take advantage of these capabilities to keep your system well maintained. Today we are going to take a closer look at Storage Sense so you can put disk maintenance on auto-pilot for your system. Storage Sense provides automatic maintenance of your disk space and based on your choices will clean up temporary files, past Windows Updates, and other system files on an as-needed basis. This feature is a replacement for the desktop program called Disk Cleanup that performs a similar functionality in past versions of Windows. Disk Cleanup is still in Windows 10 however, the expectation is that Storage Sense will completely take over for that software in the future as Microsoft continues to move many legacy features and functionality into the modern Windows Settings app. To get started you access the new options for Storage Settings at Windows Settings > … Read More
Q. I am trying to install an app from the Microsoft Store on my computer, but I get an error that says I have exceeded my device limit. How do I fix this? A. This is an error that will pop up if you try to use more than 10 devices to download apps from the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 using the same Microsoft Account. There is no specific rhyme or reason to this number: Under Windows 8.1 this device limit was 81 and under Windows 10 it has dropped to just 10. OK – so maybe there is a connection between the operating system but that makes no sense at all to just change these limits from OS to OS. Note: Developers can often get this limit expanded so they can test their apps on multiple devices without any issues. Anyway, with just 10 devices allowed to install apps from the Microsoft Store, you could hit this limit very quickly. Devices are not automatically removed from your master device list so if you go through a couple of upgrade cycles you could hit this limit as well. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid … Read More
So, you use more than one Windows 10 computer or device and need an easy way to share files between different devices. Yes, you can use a syncing service like OneDrive. But if you’ve installed the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, another option is a new feature called Nearby Sharing. Through Nearby Sharing, you can do all of the following: Share files wirelessly using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Share website links Share files only with devices using your Microsoft Account or with any nearby devices running the same Windows 10 update. Set the location where shared files are deposited. Share a single file or a group of files via File Explorer and other apps. Let’s go through the steps for sharing files via Nearby Sharing. First, confirm that you’ve got the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. Open Settings, System, and then About. Scroll to the bottom of the screen. If the Windows version says 1803, you’re set. If not, jump to the Update & security category in Settings. Install the update called “Feature Update to Windows 10, version 1803.” If you don’t see it listed, hop over to Microsoft’s Windows 10 Download page to manually install the April 2018 Update. Next, … Read More
When Microsoft launched Windows 10 back in July 2015, they included a fledgling web browser called Microsoft Edge. Work has continued on Edge over the last three years and it has improved tremendously. However, there are still a lot of sites that do not work correctly with it. For some, Chrome and Firefox provide alternative browsers that can be used in these situations but there are also some folks who need to use Internet Explorer in certain circumstances. Over my time using Windows 10, I have occasionally pulled up IE 11, that is the version included in Windows 10, in order to check out certain sites. In fact, Edge has a shortcut in its sidebar menu that lets you directly open a site in IE that is displayed in Edge. While that shortcut is handy, I also use the Favorites Bar on all my browsers to have the same sites pinned across the different devices I use each day. As I have been working with IE over these last three years or so in Windows 10, I have noticed that the Favorites Bar is either not synching at all or is very slow to sync across devices. I tinkered around … Read More
Microsoft first announced their plans to build an ecosystem of devices around your Windows 10 system at BUILD 2017. Since then they have been testing several features to bring this ecosystem to life. The ultimate goal is to make it easier to pick up activities and work you have started on other devices in this ecosystem. Cortana, if you use the digital assistant on your compatible devices, will help you pick up where you left off on other Windows 10 devices. If you are using a Windows 10 based device and move to another Windows 10 device using the same Microsoft Account in about a 10-minute period, you will receive a notification in the Windows 10 Action Center. This notification will have shortcuts to websites that you were actively using on the other device. This is very handy as you move between Windows 10 devices but what about when you are on your mobile device and want to easily get a website to browse on a larger screen. That is where the Continue on PC feature in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update comes in handy. Updated versions of Microsoft Edge on Android and iOS devices now have a button … Read More
In last weeks’ newsletters (Tuesday and Thursday), we took a closer look at some of the new features of what we called the Productivity Update, i.e. the Windows 10 April 2018 Update aka Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.1). Note: If you are interested in seeing more about some of the enterprise/business related features in this update you can check out the review we posted at ITPro Today last week. This week, we are going to review the various methods for upgrading or clean installing your current Windows 10 installation to this fifth feature update for the operating system. Windows Update (Automatic) When Microsoft begins an automatic roll out of an update like this, they usually begin with known hardware configurations. That means targeting hardware such as first-party Surface devices, some of their OEM partners’ machines, or newer machines that are more likely to be compatible with the update to Windows 10. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Welcome back to our examination of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (also be known under its official name of Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.1). In part one of the review, I suggested it be called the Productivity Update. I’ll keep calling it that in this examination of some other highly useful features: Cortana, Startup Apps Control, Accessibility, Microsoft Edge and Security. Cortana Cortana has received a slight makeover with new information cards for both her Notebook and Skills areas when you click on the Cortana icon on the Windows 10 Taskbar. This makes these settings faster to access because they are just one level away when you open Cortana. There is also an edit icon next to your name so that you can adjust the Places which Cortana knows about such as Home and Work. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Now that it’s been released to the public, it’s time to take a closer look at the fifth major feature update to Microsoft’s latest operating system. This feature update has been in development since July 2017 and there have been 27 public development builds released to testers over that nearly nine-month period. Microsoft never formally named this feature update like they have done in the past with monikers like Anniversary, Creators, and Fall Creators Update. Instead, they have chosen to simply call it the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. It will also be known under its official name of Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.1). If I were providing suggestions for naming this feature update, then I would recommend calling it the Productivity Update. The key additional features in this package of updates really can help you be more productive. This release makes significant changes in how you access the data across your ecosystem of Windows 10 based devices. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Columns can be challenging, but you can master them with the right techniques. You’re creating a Microsoft Word document that you think may work better if formatted into columns. Fine, but columns can be tricky. You have to decide how many columns to use and how and where to apply them. And columns can often run amuck by breaking at the wrong places, not continuing correctly to the next page, or not stopping where you want them to stop. You often have to play around with the columns to coax them to come out right. Believe it or not. columns can be easier. If you know how to create and customize your columns, you should be able to get them to work and look the way you want. Why even fuss with columns? You may be creating a newsletter or brochure in Word and need to format your document in columns for printing. You may be writing a report that has to adhere to a column format. But even a regular document formatted in columns can be more inviting and easier to read than one in which the text stretches across the entire width of the page. The steps I … Read More