Windows Secrets

Your Security Checklist for the Fall Creators Update

As noted in Richard Hay’s recent article,  on October 17, 2017, Microsoft will be releasing the Fall Creators Update. Just like Richard, I’m going to urge you now to take steps to push off installing the 1709 release, but I’ll be honest, I’m looking forward to the security enhancements that are included in this release. If you have a home version of Windows 10 I’ll first urge you to do an easy upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. It’s an easy upgrade but unfortunately not free. The reason I’m recommending that you upgrade to Pro is that it gives you the ability to push off feature releases. Once you get up to the Pro release, you’ll need to take steps to defer within the next couple of weeks prior to October 17. Recently the Defense Department sent out a notification that the end of life for various releases of Windows 10 is as follows: Windows 10 version 1507 – May 9, 2017 Windows 10 version 1511 – October 10, 2017 Windows 10 version 1607 – Tentatively March 2018 Windows 10 version 1703 – Tentatively September 2018 So if you have stayed on 1511, it’s time to get ready to upgrade and move off of … Read More »

How to Recapture the Start Menu in Windows 8.1

You can choose to use a third-party utility that adds a Start menu to Windows 8.1. If you’re running Windows 8.1 and you miss the good ol’ classic Start menu, you’re not stuck. You can recapture the goodness of the traditional Windows 7 Start menu through a Start menu program. Such software as Classic Shell, Pokki’s Windows 8 Start Menu, Start 8, and Start Menu X bring back or approximate the look and feel of the classic Windows Start menu. And they offer other advantages. You can typically customize the Start menu in these programs to alter their layout and appearance. And you can usually create, move, and delete folders and shortcuts to organize and manage your Start menu. Let’s see how you can use and tweak these programs to evoke the traditional Start menu. Classic Shell Created by developer Ivaylo Beltchev, this free Start menu replacement is one of my personal favorites. After you install the software in Windows 8.1, click on the Start button. The program asks you what type of Start menu you want to see. Choose your option, such as the classic Windows 7 style with the familiar two column layout. In the left column, you can … Read More »