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.
Q. I heard about Messages for Android on the Web this week – what is that all about? A. You did indeed hear correctly. Google confirmed that they have enabled the ability to send and receive text messages over the web. This new capability supports text (SMS) and image (MMS) based messages. It also provides the mobile-averse with another way to send and receive messages, so let’s review how you’d use this on your computer. Before we get started, there are a couple of caveats in order to use this capability. You must install the Android Messages app from the Play Store. After you have the app installed, you must to make it your default messaging app on your device. (Just open it up and follow the steps to easily make that change.) On your computer open a supported web browser (Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) and browse to https://messages.android.com This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
As file storage options become both less expensive and more varied, individuals and corporations have more power to customize their own storage system — and more chances to become confused and overwhelmed by their choices. “Once upon a time space and storage was costly and limited and required you to be very selective on where to put things and how to maintain a library and catalog of where to put things and how to maintain them,” Todd Pekats, vice president of Cloud and Services at PCM, Inc. Remember these? File management options have come a long way. Pekats once had riles living in multiple different places, on multiple different kinds of formats and devices: tap, floppy disks, SyQuest drives, etc. “Just keeping track of what you have and where it is being stored was a fulltime job.” This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
I’ll try not to make you envious. I have what is probably the fastest home Internet connection in the country – a theoretical gigabit: 1,000Mbps. And it’s synchronous, as fast going up as down. To add icing to the cake, my ISP bill is dropping almost by half while my speed increases exponentially. To make you feel better, let me tell you that my actual speeds aren’t anywhere near that. And yet the speeds I do get are many times faster than before. I’m here to discuss the experience of having a fiber to the home (FTTH) Internet service. I’ll tell you how I got this service, the experience of having it, and why you probably can’t get it where you live. Better Living With Fiber This is not the kind of fiber you want in your breakfast cereal. It’s made of glass. Fiber optic cables are extremely thin – almost a hair width – but they can handle huge amounts of data. Just one of these thin strands can carry a gigabit going down on one frequency, and another gigabit going up on another frequency. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here … Read More
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
Microsoft released 50 updates during its monthly Patch Tuesday release. Eleven are rated critical remote code execution vulnerabilities and 39 are listed as important. The most critical patches impact Microsoft OS and Internet Explorer and deploying the fixes for these vulnerabilities is recommended immediately. Also of note: one of the vulnerabilities, a remote code execution flaw (CVE-2018-8267) in the scripting engine, is listed as being publicly known, but not under active attack, at this time. Here are highlights from this month’s release with the information you need to prioritize your patching efforts. Most Critical Patches Analysis from researchers on this month’s release advises Windows admins to prioritize CVE-2018-8225, a remote code execution vulnerability that occurs when the Windows Domain Name System (DNS) component DNSAPI.dll fails to handle DNS responses properly. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
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
Numbers make the world go round. Excel’s become indispensable for crunching numbers – so why not make the most of the application? This is part two of our collection on mastering Microsoft’s flagship spreadsheet program. (Part one is here.) Email subscribers will have the full text of all these articles: Avoid Copy and Paste Problems in Microsoft Excel Use Templates to Enhance Your Excel Spreadsheets”}”>Use Templates to Enhance Your Excel Spreadsheets How to Use Multiple Worksheets in a Microsoft Excel Workbook How to Work with Large Spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel We’re taking a quick summer break and will be back with new content on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.