Windows 10 began its s-l-o-w gradual release on July 29, 2015, with the version numbered 1507. Since then, there have been a handful of updated releases, each with a different version number, based on the date they were released with first two numbers representing the year and last two for the month. And each of those different versions come with a series of automatic, cumulative updates of their own. This leads to some obvious questions about each: So how do you tell which version you have? And are the ostensible improvements in higher number versions actually all that different from earlier versions? And if you want to upgrade to a different number version can you even do that? Read on for the answers. How To Tell Which Version of Windows 10 is Installed With the vagaries of Windows Update mechanisms, it can be difficult on the surface to figure out which version of Windows 10 is currently on your machine and, for that matter, which build of that version is installed? No doubt, Microsoft knew there might be confusion, what with all the different version and build numbers, so it offers two ways to find out quickly. This article is … Read More
Here’s how you can get Windows 10 to play nice with your convertible or 2-in-1 machine. You’ve got a Windows 10 laptop that can convert into a tablet or a tablet that can function as a laptop with help from an external keyboard. Cool — but how can you best tweak and use your device to take advantage of Windows 10? The OS does offer a few features and options that can help you work better in both laptop mode and tablet mode. You can set the device to automatically switch from the Start menu to the Start screen or vice versa. You can manually make those changes yourself. And there are other ways to benefit from Windows 10 based on which mode you’re running. Let’s check out how to best use Windows 10 on your hybrid machine. First, let’s go over the types of devices that qualify as hybrids, convertibles, or 2-in-1 machines. For our purposes, all those terms mean the same thing. The first entry is a laptop that can double as a tablet. These devices typically are outfitted with a lid that is foldable or a keyboard that is detachable. By folding the lid all the way … Read More
Running low on disk space? Here’s how you can conjure up some more. Your hard drive may be hundreds of gigabytes in size, but it’s easier than you may think to fill up that space. Photos, music, and especially videos can eat away at your hard disk space, leading to a dearth of real estate for your other files and any applications you want to install. Sure, you can always buy another drive. But before you go through the hassle of installing a second drive or replacing your existing one, you can take certain measures in Windows to free up space. There are several initial steps, such as emptying your Recycle Bin and uninstalling applications you no longer need. But in Windows 10, you can also tap into a feature called Storage Sense, which automatically removes content you don’t need or want. Let’s look at the various ways to free up disk space in Windows 10. Before we proceed, let’s cover a couple of options available to you. Beyond adding a second or new hard drive to gain space, you can connect a USB drive or other external storage to your PC and move files to that drive. The only … Read More
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.