At PC Madness we have a selection of standard Computer system packages available, adapted for home, office or high-end use. See the packages here forAMD and Intel.
With our Online System Builder you can customise and upgrade the base packages to further suit your individual needs. We have developed this system to give our customers the choice to create a system perfectly suited to them.
Try our Online System Builder today! For more information please visit our website. We have our brochures available online (AMD / INTEL) and if you would like a formal quote we can organise that too within the system builder. For any questions you may have please feel free to contact us instore or online.
In January, we announced that the new Microsoft Edge was available to download and since then, it has been downloaded millions of times. Thank you, Insiders, for being a part of the journey to build the new Microsoft Edge. With your engagement and support, we keep innovating to bring world class compatibility, more privacy, more productivity, and more value to make the web work for you.
To learn more about the new Microsoft Edge and the latest features visit microsoft.com/edge.
Check out the latest announcements and news from Microsoft Edge here.
We invite you to continue checking our preview channels to see what’s next. In the meantime, here is a look at our upcoming features.
It’s easy to end up with a ton of tabs open. The more you have open, the more difficult it becomes to find, switch between, and manage them. With vertical tabs, you can easily shift to view your tabs in a pane to the side. This allows you to easily see the titles and access controls like mute and close. It even makes it easy to reorder your tabs, with the ability to drag and drop to rearrange. When you want to focus on a specific page, you can collapse the pane. Anytime you need to switch between tabs, you can hover over the pane to see all the information you need. The new Microsoft Edge is the only browser to offer built-in vertical tab navigation allowing for a more streamlined experience.
Copying and pasting content from the web can be tricky – selecting the content can be challenging and pasting doesn’t always look like the original. Smart copy makes it easier to select, copy, and paste content that you find across the web, maintaining source site’s formatting, spacing and text. Use your mouse to select any area or content (including charts, images, etc.) and when you paste, you will get the option to paste as an image or to retain the original source formatting, saving you valuable time. This is one of the many ways the new Microsoft Edge is providing tools to help you be more productive while browsing the web.
Data breaches worldwide have been on the rise and the security of your data is one of our top priorities. Password Monitor on the new Microsoft Edge notifies you when your online credentials have been detected on the dark web. If Microsoft Edge uncovers a match with your saved passwords, you will receive a notification on the browser informing that your credentials have been compromised. Through a dashboard view, people can see a list of all affected accounts, visit the websites directly, and take action accordingly.
Now that working from home is the norm, video conferences are becoming the de facto way to meet. Here’s how to create Microsoft Teams meetings directly from within Outlook, without having to book them through the Teams app.
To create Teams meetings from within Outlook—either Outlook Online and the Outlook client—you need to install the Teams client on your computer. This will install an add-in to Outlook that provides a new option when you’re creating a meeting. Add-ins that you install in the Outlook client are automatically added to Outlook Online and vice versa. Once you’ve installed the Teams app, the add-in should be available in both clients.
These options should be available for all users of Outlook and Teams, regardless of whether you have a paid Office 365 (O365)/Microsoft 365 (M365) subscriptions. However, they’re only available for email accounts that use Exchange, whether that’s a free Outlook.com/live.com/hotmail account, or a paid Microsoft account for your own domain. If you’re using a non-Exchange account, such as a Gmail or Yahoo account, the Teams add-in won’t work for you.
We’ll take you through installing the Teams client first. If you have installed the client and you still can’t see these options, we’ve got some troubleshooting suggestions as well.
Install the Teams Client
The quickest way to get the Teams client is to open Teams online. On the first page, you’ll be offered the chance to download the Teams client.
If you already have Teams online open, click on the app download option at the bottom of the left sidebar.
Install the .exe file, and log in with your O365/M365 account details when requested. To make sure the add-in is installed in Outlook, restart Teams, then restart Outlook.
Follow the instructions below to use the add-in in the Outlook client and in Outlook Online. If it’s not available, follow these troubleshooting tips from Microsoft.
Create a Teams Meeting in the Outlook Client
When you install the Teams client on your computer, it will install an add-in to Outlook that provides a new option when you’re creating a meeting. The option is available in the Home > New Items menu.
It’s also available in the ribbon of a new Meeting request.
When you click one of these options, the meeting request will change to include a location of “Microsoft Teams Meeting” and a link in the body of the request that attendees can click on to join the meeting.
Create a Teams Meeting in Outlook Online
When you install the Teams client on your computer, it will install an add-in to Outlook that provides a new option when you’re creating a meeting. In Outlook Online, the option is available in the meeting request.
Toggle the setting on to make it a Teams meeting. Unlike Teams meetings you create in the Outlook client, nothing changes in the Outlook Online meeting request, but once you’ve sent the meeting request, the Teams link will appear in the event in your calendar.
For both Outlook Online and the Outlook client, fill in the attendees and the date and time of the meeting as usual. Send the meeting request the same way that you would with a normal meeting. The only difference is that you and your attendees will join the meeting in Teams, rather than a meeting room in an office.
Small business introduction to instant asset write-off changes
As the world struggles to come to terms with the ongoing reality of the coronavirus disease, there’s going to be an inevitable impact on small business in Australia. But the Federal Government recognises that businesses – and small to medium businesses in particular – are the lifeblood of the Australian economy. The government’s March 2020 Economic Stimulus Package, in response to challenges created by the spread of coronavirus, further extends the already very useful instant asset write-off taxation provisions for business.
The aim of this article is to give you an overview of the new instant asset write-off provisions. In the coming months, and before the end of the financial year, we’ll be providing further information about how to claim and what you can claim for, with explanatory case studies.
What exactly is an instant asset write-off?
Although instant asset write-off provisions have now existed for a number of years, the March 2020 amendments allow businesses with an annual turnover of less than $500 million to immediately write off, as an expense for tax purposes, individual new or second-hand asset purchases costing up to $150,000 each.
This means that instead of depreciating an asset over a number of years, you can effectively count the asset purchase as an expense in the current financial year, thus reducing your tax bill, provided you purchase the asset and have it installed and ready for use by 30th June 2020.
Extended provisions are only temporary
Businesses with a turnover of $500 million are clearly not small businesses, but small and medium businesses, however low their revenue, can benefit from the increase of the asset value threshold to $150,000, up from the previous $30,000.
The government’s media release makes it clear that these investment-boosting measures are only temporary. Unless either the new $150,000 threshold, or the previous $30,000 threshold, is later extended to continue beyond 30th June, the instant asset write-off threshold will revert to the long-term standard of $1,000 from 1st July 2020, along with a business turnover limit of $50 million. So now is the time to act, particularly if you have plans to purchase assets costing more than $30,000 each.
Boost your business activity and improve cash flow
There are many ways to take advantage of this concession, and you can even use it to purchase new assets your business might need. Now might be the time to consider your IT infrastructure: Is it geared up to allow your staff to work remotely in these uncertain times? Do you have the network bandwidth to support your business? Do you have the security software needed to combat ever-increasing cyber attacks? Consider any and all areas where you might be able to invest this extra funding in order to strengthen your IT ecosystem.
Having robust security is especially important during these times. Remote work can expose networks to breaches in a variety of ways, including unsecured wifi networks, vulnerable personal devices and scams that target remote workers. It might be prudent to invest in VPNs, security software upgrades and other safety features, in order to keep your remote workers – and your business – safe.
You can purchase and write off multiple assets under this program, not just one. So if you are considering business asset purchases which have an individual cost of between $1,000 and $150,000, you could save a lot of tax by bringing forward the date of your investment program to meet the 30th June 2020 deadline. At the same time you’ll be doing your bit to boost the economy and protect Australian jobs.
With the rise of the mobile workforce, the need to minimize security risks like device theft, data accessibility, and malware attacks is also increasing. Also, the sophistication of today’s security threats require a comprehensive approach that keeps your business devices, networks, and data protected.
USER ACCESS CONTROL
Lenovo’s user access control technology protects the organization’s devices and business ensuring only the right people have access to it.
Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) – For User Identity Protection
IR Camera with Windows Hello – For Simple and Secure Facial Login
Smart Card Access – For Two-factor Authentication in One Step
Near Field Communication (NFC) – For Rapid Contactless Authentication
PORT AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION
Whether in the office or on the go, end user computing devices need protection not only at the software level but also at a physical level. Built-in port security features help protect against physical theft of data via the USB and other access ports on company PCs.
ThinkShutter Camera Privacy – For Privacy When You Need It
Kensington® Cable Lock – For Preventing Device Theft
ThinkPad Ultra Dock – For Innovative Dock and Device Security
To keep the business running smoothly and without disruption, it is essential to have secure, automatic, and efficient data backup. Lenovo’s robust data protection tools enable easy and efficient data recovery and retrieval only by authorized personnel.
Fast Identity Online (FIDO) – For Robust Data Protection
Discrete Trusted Platform Module (dTPM) 2.0 – For Data Encryption
Online Data Backup (OLDB) – For Safeguarding Your Critical Data
Hard Drive Retention – For Retaining Sensitive Company Data
BUFFERZONE® – For Sophisticated and Supreme Malware Protection
Working from home is becoming more common as Australians self-isolate against COVID-19. Here are some ways to help make it feel more normal.
Stay Focused and outline your task for the day – It’s tempting to sleep-in and stay in your Pj’s, but you’ll be more productive if you get up and stick to normal working hours and task schedule that you would normally do during work hours.
Stay Healthy, Move and take breaks – Because you can work at all times, doesn’t mean you should. Eat well and take time to head outdoors for brief stroll or exercise.
Stay Connected Via Internet and have remote access to work files and colleagues – You may not realise it, but a big part of your day job is the social connection you get at the office. That’s why it’s important to make sure you stay in touch with colleagues virtually, or via chat like Microsoft teams to keep your work moving forward.
PC Madness provides a whole range of cloud services to our clients to help them access there work files / server from home. If your business or work has not implemented any cloud system such a remote server / team file-sharing and having cloud phone system give us a call to discuss how we can help you. Working in the cloud mean you can work from anywhere and due to this pandemic crisis the world is facing at the moment a system like this can keep your business moving forward.
A VPN (virtual private network) service is a great way to ensure you have a secure network connection while online. It also allows you to protect your browsing history, torrent, and access content that is blocked or regionally restricted.
What Does a VPN Do?
Each of your devices (your computer, smartphone, etc.) have their own unique IP address, which tells services who, what, and where you are. A VPN sits in between your device and however it connects to the internet, spoofing your device’s IP address. Anything you do online goes first through the VPN, then to the router, causing your router (and everything outside of your device) to think you have a different identity.
VPNs are great to have when you are planning on hopping online over an unsecured connection (a network that does not ask you for a password), like at a cafe, as it keeps your information (such as your browsing history and any data you transfer) safe from prying eyes. A VPN offers other benefits, like accessing content that may be restricted geographically, as they allow you to interact with the internet as though you were doing so from the VPN’s location, not your own. You can do a variety of other things with a VPN as well, including access your work or home network while traveling, bypass internet censorship, and download files.
What to Look for in a VPN Service
If you need to use a VPN, it’s easy enough to get started: simply choose a service, sign up on the company’s site, and download the client. Here are a few things to look for when picking a VPN.
Lots of Servers: The more servers a VPN has, the faster your connection speeds are and, typically, the more country connection options you’ll have. This means you likely won’t have to deal with buffering or throttling issues.
High Simultaneous Connections: If you need to connect more than one of your devices to your VPN at the same time, more power to you. The best VPN services allow you to connect five of your devices simultaneously, if not more.
Great Ease of Use: For those who are new to VPNs, having a clean and clearly abeled interface, as well as easy access to customer support, is what’s important. For veteran users, this may mean an app that’s configurable and loaded with extras like a kill switch, data compression (for mobile), and automatic HTTPS redirection.
Excellent Security, and No Logging: Good VPN services won’t monitor, log, or sell any of your personal info, like which websites you visit. They also ensure they are protecting you with strong encryption (AES 256-bit) and regular security audits. This is a surprisingly hard thing to find out about most VPNs, too, which is why we’ve made sure you can trust all the picks on our list.
More than 850,000 websites still use the old TLS 1.0 and 1.1 protocols, scheduled to be removed from most major browsers later this month.
This includes websites for major banks, governments, news organizations, telecoms, e-commerce stores, and internet communities, according to a report published today by UK technology firm Netcraft.
All the 850,000 websites use HTTPS, but on a version that weak. The websites support HTTPS connections via cryptographic certificates built on the TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 protocols.
These are ancient protocols, released in 1996 and 2006, respectively. The protocols use weak cryptographic algorithms and are vulnerable to a series of cryptographic attacks that have been disclosed over the past two decades, such as BEAST, LUCKY 13, SWEET 32, CRIME, and POODLE. These attacks allow attackers to decrypt HTTPS and access a user’s plaintext web traffic.
New versions of these protocols were released in 2008 (TLS 1.2) and 2017 (TLS 1.3), both of which are considered superior and safer to use than TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1.
REMOVAL OF TLS 1.0 AND TLS 1.1 WAS ANNOUNCED TWO YEARS AGO
After the release of TLS 1.3 in the spring of 2018 the four browser makers — Apple, Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft — got together and jointly announced in October 2018 plans to remove support for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 in early 2020.
The first stages of this deprecation began last year when browsers began labeling sites that were using TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 with a “Not Secure” indicator in the URL address bar and the lock icon, hinting to users that the HTTPS connection was not as secure as they might imagine.
Later this month, browsers will move from showing a hidden warning to showing full-page errors when users access sites that use TLS 1.0 or TLS 1.1.
Microsoft hasn’t officially announced it yet, but the writing is on the wall: Windows 10’s live tiles are going away. Windows 10X has a new Start menu without live tiles, and we expect it to arrive on all versions of Windows 10.
Windows 10X Has a Start Menu Without Live Tiles
Windows 10X is the canary in the coal mine. This new version of Windows 10 is designed for dual-screen devices, but that’s not all it is. Windows 10X is a modern version of Windows 10 that runs applications in containers. Beyond that, it includes a new, simplified interface.
That simplified interface includes a new Start menu. Rather than featuring live tiles, it provides a simplified list of your installed applications. It’s a grid-based view with icons rather than tiles.
Windows 10X is still in development and hasn’t been released yet. Microsoft is clearly using it as a test platform for a simplified desktop interface, and the new Start menu is a part of that.
Really, let’s be honest: Microsoft is creating a new Windows 10 interface for folding tablets. Live tiles are clearly more useful on a tablet than a desktop PC. If Microsoft doesn’t think live tiles are a good fit for a modern tablet, why would it keep using live tiles on the standard desktop version of Windows 10?
Windows 10’s New Icons Aren’t Designed for Live Tiles
Microsoft announced a set of new icons for Windows 10 on Feb. 20, 2020. The new icons ditch the flat, one-color aesthetic pioneered by Windows 8 and offer more color and complexity. Here’s how Microsoft’s Christina Koehn explains how Microsoft wants to make its icons more consistent across various platforms:
Flat, monochrome icons look great in context of colorful tiles, but as more icon styles enter the ecosystem, this approach needs to evolve.
The new icons in the latest development versions of Windows 10 don’t really fit. Rather than use your system accent color, as existing live tiles do, these new tiles always use a blue background color. After all, they wouldn’t look good on some background colors.
These icons just look much better on a Windows 10X-style icon grid than a Windows 8-style set of tiles.
Microsoft has started updating the system app icons for Windows Insiders. The new ones don’t use your system accent color, and look pretty out of place in the current start menu. Perhaps the 10X start menu could make its way over to desktop sooner rather than later.
Live Tiles Are Already Just Glorified Shortcuts (Mostly)
Live tiles were supposed to be a quick way of accessing information without opening an application. They originally appeared on Windows Phone, adding more information to the application shortcuts on your home screen.
In Windows 8, your Start screen took up your entire display. Live tiles were designed to transform that Start screen from a simple application launcher into a useful dashboard. You could see the weather, incoming emails, recent messages, news headlines, other status information right on each application’s tile without opening the app.
Today, Windows 10 displays all the applications you pin to your Start menu in a grid of tiles. Most applications don’t bother displaying status information in their tiles. For most people, those tiles are just shortcuts you click or tap to open an application.
Goodbye, Live Tiles
Windows 10’s next update, also known as Windows 10 version 2004 or 20H1, is expected for release sometime around May 2020. That update is nearly done, so we don’t expect to see any major Start menu changes there.
However, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft ditch live tiles for icons in late 2020 (with the 20H2 update) or in 2021. That will give Microsoft time to fine-tune the new icon-based interface in Windows 10X before rolling it out to all Windows 10 PCs.
Windows Latest reports that “people familiar with the development” said “Microsoft is planning to replace live tiles with icons in a future update after Windows 10’s 20H2 release.” Whether or not that particular rumor is true, the writing is on the wall. Most Windows 10 users don’t use live tiles and Microsoft is clearly planning for a future without them.
We already saw a leaked version of this Start menu appear in desktop builds of Windows 10 back in July 2019. The leaked version is clearly an early work-in-progress, but it already fits Windows 10’s desktop much better than the current Start menu does.
Written by Chris Hoffman. Taken from How-To Geek site.
Windows Update doesn’t just automatically update the Windows 10 operating system—it automatically updates hardware drivers, too. That’s resulted in many bugs, but Microsoft is making improvements—and making some of those driver updates optional.
How Windows 10 Has Been Updating Your Drivers
Much has been written about Windows 10’s automatic operating system updates, but hardware drivers often go overlooked. Device manufacturers can upload new versions of their drivers to Windows Update and Windows 10 automatically installs those when they’re available.
Hardware drivers may contain serious security problems or bugs that lead to serious operating system instability. Most people don’t update their hardware drivers manually and most PC manufacturers have terrible driver update utilities. That’s why Windows delivers hardware drivers and their updates through Windows Update.
This also makes it possible to install Windows 10 on a new PC without hunting down most hardware drivers—Windows will automatically find and install the relevant drivers.
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs
Unfortunately, time after time, this automatic update process has led to bugs creeping in. Here are just a few examples. The following drivers were all automatically installed by Windows Update, leading to hardware suddenly breaking for no apparent reason:
In March 2017, Microsoft released a device driver that broke the MTP protocol used by Android phones, media players, and other portable devices. They wouldn’t appear in File Explorer until you went through a 13-step process in the Device Manager to undo the damage.
In October 2018, Microsoft released an Intel audio driver update that broke audio playback on some systems. Microsoft said the audio driver update was “incorrectly pushed to devices.”
A month later, Microsoft released an Intel graphics driver update that broke audio playback on other systems. Microsoft said Intel had released the wrong versions of its display drivers to PC manufacturers.
In February 2016, chipmaker FTDI used Windows Update to push an update that identified and disabled counterfeit chips modeled on its design. Sure, they were counterfeits—but FTDI was using Windows Update’s automatic driver updates to break otherwise functional hardware that some people had been tricked into purchasing. This was the second time FTDI used Windows Update to attack counterfeits. In 2014, FTDI used Windows Update to push a driver that actually “bricked” the counterfeit hardware, rendering it non-functional.
Anecdotally, we’ve heard of many other cases of automatic driver updates causing havoc on well-functioning systems. These are just a few of the examples we remember.
It would be nice if these updates received better testing and if some of them were optional. Microsoft is doing just that with some recent changes.
Get Ready for Optional Driver Updates
Microsoft now lets driver manufacturers mark some driver updates as “Manual” rather than “Automatic” when uploading them to Windows Update. This new option was made available to manufacturers on Feb. 19, 2020.
Starting with Windows 10’s upcoming 2004 update, also known as 20H1 and expected in Spring 2020, these drivers will be available behind a new “View optional updates” link on the Windows Update Settings screen.
This screen will show you optional driver updates for your PC’s hardware. It reads “If you have a specific problem, one of these drivers might help. Otherwise, automatic updates will keep your drivers up to date.” In other words, Microsoft is encouraging most people not to bother with these updates.
Important driver updates with security fixes and patches for other serious bugs will still be marked “automatic” and will be automatically installed by Windows Update.
All Automatic Driver Updates Will Get a Slow Rollout
Microsoft’s announcement says that all its partners will now be able to mark hardware driver updates as “automatic.” At first, that sounds a little questionable—do we really need more automatic hardware driver updates?
However, it looks like Microsoft is about to do much more testing of these drivers. When a new driver version is marked as “automatic,” it will be slowly rolled out to Windows 10 PCs with “throttling,” just like major updates for Windows 10 are. Only a small number of PC users get the update at first. Microsoft can automatically detect problems and pause the rollout. Windows Update won’t just automatically offer the driver update to all PCs.
Microsoft’s Kevin Tremblay explains how this should make driver updates less buggy in a comment on the Microsoft Tech Community:
All drivers published as automatic are subject to driver flighting, and gradual rollout. During these periods we are reviewing telemetry around the performance of the driver, and it’s effects on overall system health. We catch a lot of driver issues this way before they hit the Windows user base writ large. From an end user perspective we believe this will result in higher quality drivers (stable, performant) being delivered, and a better ability to stay current.
It isn’t clear exactly how many hardware drivers were going through this gradual process prior to February 2020’s change. However, it definitely wasn’t all of them. An article published in 2019 on Microsoft’s Hardware Dev Center portal for hardware manufacturers says “Eventually, all drivers submitted to Windows Update will go through gradual rollout.” That suggests some driver updates were being pushed immediately to all applicable devices without the gradual rollout process.
PC Madness provides a Cloud base Protection to better protect our Clients. PC Madness offers a managed service to their clients, helping in detecting and removal of threats without putting the client in stress. See below video and information on how PC Madness and Webroot Endpoint can help you today.
Discover cloud-based protection that stops threats in real time and secures businesses and individuals wherever they connect.
What is endpoint protection?
Endpoint protection, or endpoint security, is a general term that describes cybersecurity services for network endpoints, like laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, servers, and virtual environments. These services may include antivirus and antimalware, web filtering, and more.
Endpoint protection helps businesses keep critical systems, intellectual property, customer data, employees, and guests safe from ransomware, phishing, malware, and other cyberattacks.
Why businesses need endpoint protection
Criminals are constantly developing new ways to attack networks, take advantage of employee trust, and steal data. Smaller businesses may think they’re not a target, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, small businesses with 100 employees or fewer now face the same risk of attack as a 20,000-employee enterprise.*
No matter their size, businesses need reliable endpoint security that can stop modern attacks. And since most companies are subject to some form of compliance and privacy regulations, protection for endpoints is 100% necessary to help businesses avoid hefty fines and damage to their reputation due to a security breach.
Why Webroot Business Endpoint Protection is Different
We designed our solutions to put time back in your day, so you can maximize profitability.
Bluetooth gives you the freedom to move without a tether, but it isn’t always the most reliable way to use wireless devices. If you’re having trouble with Bluetooth on your Windows machine, you can follow the steps below to troubleshoot it.
Basic Bluetooth Troubleshooting Steps
While many of these steps might seem obvious, they will fix many of the most common Bluetooth issues on Windows.
Check That Bluetooth Is Turned On
Start by making sure Bluetooth is actually enabled on your Windows PC. Just because the symbol is in the taskbar doesn’t mean your Bluetooth radio is actually turned on.
To check it, click the Windows notification icon on your taskbar in the bottom-right corner of your screen. If you don’t see a “Bluetooth” tile, click the “Expand” button. If the “Bluetooth” tile is grayed-out, your Bluetooth radio is turned off.
Click it to turn it back on—the tile will turn blue to show the change.
You can also head to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and Other Devices and toggle the “Bluetooth” switch until it turns blue.
Restart Your Bluetooth Radio
If Bluetooth is enabled, switching it off and on again might resolve some underlying issues of which you’re unaware.
To do this, click the notification icon in your Windows taskbar to access your quick settings. Click the “Bluetooth” tile to turn it off. Once it goes gray, click it again to turn it back on.
When the tile turns blue, your Bluetooth radio is back on, and ready to use.
Check the Battery
If you aren’t keeping track of the battery level on your Bluetooth device, you might not even be aware when it runs out of power.
Before you try a more serious solution, you might want to replace the batteries in your Bluetooth device or charge it, and then try it again.
Restart Your PC
The best fixes are sometimes the easiest, and if you haven’t tried it already, give your PC a quick restart.
When you reboot your PC, you wipe the slate clean, and clear out any idle processes or memory leaks. It’s not a miracle fix, but it can rectify some issues with the hardware, so give it a go.
Check Bluetooth Interference and Device Distance
Bluetooth devices communicate wirelessly via radio waves. Just like a Wi-Fi network, interference can affect Bluetooth connections. Other radio signals, physical obstacles (like thick walls), and devices like microwaves can all block or degrade a Bluetooth connection.
Take a moment to survey the area. How far away is your Bluetooth device from your PC? The bigger the distance, the weaker the signal.
Move your device closer to your PC and see if it impacts the Bluetooth connectivity. If not, try (if possible) to use your Bluetooth device in another location. You can also use third-party apps, like the Bennett Bluetooth Monitor, to check your Bluetooth’s signal strength.
If the problem persists, interference might not be the problem. But there are some other potential fixes.
Install or Update Bluetooth Device Drivers
Windows 10 automatically installs drivers for devices that connect to it, but only when those drivers are available on your PC or through Windows Update. In most cases, though, Bluetooth devices (especially keyboards and mice) should work fine right out of the box.
If Windows can’t find the correct drivers for your Bluetooth device, however, it won’t work. If this happens, check the device manufacturer’s website to see if it offers a driver for your device. If so, download and install it, and that should resolve the problem.
This also applies to the Bluetooth radio itself. If the drivers for your Bluetooth chipset aren’t installed automatically, Bluetooth won’t work on your PC. Visit the PC manufacturer’s website or, if you built the PC yourself, check the motherboard manufacturer’s website for supported drivers.
You might also find that a new Windows update has impacted your device, requiring updated drivers. In most cases, Windows will look for and install updated drivers automatically. If it doesn’t, though, visit the device manufacturer’s website and install the latest drivers.
To see whether your Bluetooth device is installed, you have to check the Windows Device Manager. To do this, right-click the Windows Start button and click “Device Manager.”
If your Bluetooth device is recognized, it appears under the category relevant to its purpose. For example, a Bluetooth radio would be under the “Bluetooth” category. If the device isn’t recognized, it will be listed under the “Other Devices” category.
When you find it, right-click the device, and then click “Update Driver” to search for a new driver.
Click “Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software” if you want to search for a driver automatically.
If you downloaded the driver from the manufacturer’s website (and it doesn’t include an automatic installer), click “Browse My Computer for Driver Software” and follow the onscreen instructions.
If you clicked “Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software,” Windows will tell you if it thinks you already have the best driver for your device. However, you can also search Windows Update for alternatives.
To do so, just click “Search for Updated Drivers on Windows Update” to proceed.
This opens Windows Update in Settings. Click “Check for Updates” to begin a search.
When (or if) Windows Update finds an updated driver for your device, it will download and install it. When that process is complete, restart your PC, and then try your Bluetooth device again.
Remove and Re-Pair Your Bluetooth Device
Sometimes, removing the Bluetooth device from your PC resolves connection issues. You can then “re-pair” the device with your PC.
To start this process, open the Bluetooth settings in Windows. If the Bluetooth icon is visible in the Windows taskbar, right-click it, and then select “Open Settings.”
If you don’t see the Bluetooth icon, right-click the Start menu and select “Settings.” From there, click Devices > Bluetooth and Other Devices to access your Bluetooth settings.
Your known Bluetooth devices will be listed here. Select your device, click “Remove Device,” and then click “Yes” to confirm. This removes the device from your PC.
When the process is completed, restart your PC.
After you log back in on your device, head back to the Bluetooth settings. Click “Add Bluetooth or Other Device” at the top. In the “Add a Device” window that appears, click “Bluetooth.”
Wait for your PC to detect the device, and then click it to connect. You might need to type a PIN on one or both devices to allow them to pair.
Use the Windows 10 Troubleshooter
If all else fails, you can also try the Windows Troubleshooter on Windows 10 and see if it can resolve your Bluetooth issues. It checks your Bluetooth radio and device settings step-by-step, and identifies any issues.
If it detects an issue, it will inform you, and either ask you whether you’d like to fix it or direct you on how you can fix the problem yourself.
To run Windows Troubleshooter, right-click the Start menu and select “Settings.”
From there, go to Update and Security > Troubleshoot > Bluetooth, and then click “Run the Troubleshooter.” Windows will automatically begin working through your Bluetooth status and configuration. If it finds a problem, it’ll direct you to fix it.
If the Troubleshooter can’t resolve the problem, you might want to contact the device manufacturer for further support and advice, as the problem might be with the hardware.
Microsoft is already working on Windows 10’s 20H1 update. Expected sometime around May 2020, this is Windows 10 version 2004. It’s much bigger than Windows 10’s November 2019 update but still feels like a collection of useful improvements.
This post is up-to-date with features included in Windows Insider builds up to build 19041.84, released on Feb. 11, 2020. We originally published it on Aug. 28, 2019, and have been updating it throughout Microsoft’s development process.
More Control Over Optional Updates
Windows Update automatically installs many updates, but some updates are optional. Now, there’s a new screen that shows all these updates in one place.
Hardware driver updates, big feature updates like 20H1 itself, and monthly non-security quality updates like the C and D updates will appear here.
To find this screen after updating to 20H1, head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View optional updates. You can then choose which updates you might want to install.
Windows Update will still automatically install many hardware driver updates, but sometimes there are additional updates that may not automatically be installed. In the past, you had to dig through the Device Manager and select a specific device to update. Now, all optional hardware driver updates will appear on this screen. Microsoft says, “if you’re having a problem, one of those optional drivers might help.”
A New Cortana Experience (With Typing)
Microsoft is advertising a “new Cortana experience” with a “brand-new chat-based UI.” You can now type queries to Cortana rather than say them out loud. The history of your conversation with Cortana will appear as if it was a chat window, so you can see the results of recent queries just by opening Cortana from the taskbar.
The Cortana panel is now a more normal window, too. You can resize it and move it around on your desktop by dragging the title bar, just like other windows. It supports both Windows 10’s light and dark themes, too.
Beyond the new design, Microsoft says it has “updated Cortana with new speech and language models” as well as “significantly improved performance” of the voice assistant. And, soon, Microsoft says you’ll be able to use Cortana in any of its supported languages, even if your Windows operating system is set to use a display language Cortana doesn’t support.
Microsoft has temporarily removed Cortana features like jokes, timers, and Bing instant answers. It’s focusing on a productivity-based feature for now.
Cloud Download for Reinstalling Windows
Windows 10 has a new “Cloud Download” option you can use when resetting your PC to a default Windows system. When you head to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery and choose to reset your PC and remove everything, you can now tell Windows to use “Cloud Download.” Rather than reinstalling Windows 10 from the files on your local system, Windows will download the most up-to-date version of Windows 10 and install it on your system.
The Settings app now gives you more control over how much bandwidth is used for downloading Windows updates. In current versions of Windows, you can set a bandwidth limit as a percentage of your bandwidth. Windows 10 20H1 will let you set a precise “Absolute bandwidth” limit in Mbps for more accurate throttling of downloaded updates. This option was previously available in Group Policy but is now available to everyone in Settings.
To find the update bandwidth limiting options on any version of Windows 10, head to Settings > Update & Security > Delivery Optimization > Advanced options.
Microsoft will build its own Linux kernel and ship it with WSL 2, and that Linux kernel will be updated through Windows Update. You can also build your own Linux kernel and make Windows 10 use it. You don’t have to think about any of this, though—WSL 2 has the same user experience as WSL 1 and will “just work” without any extra configuration.
WSL 2 promises “dramatic file system performance increases” and “full system call compatibility.” That compatibility means support for technologies like Docker that wouldn’t run on the original WSL 1.
Beyond that, Microsoft has added support for ARM64 devices—in other words, WSL now works in Windows on ARM PCs. The WSL release notes say this will only work “if your CPU / firmware supports virtualization.”
More configuration options are available, too. For example, you can set a Linux distribution’s default user account in its /etc/wsl.conf file.
Microsoft asked why Insiders were turning off the search indexer and received three main areas to improve: “excessive disk and CPU usage, general performance issues, and low perceived value of the indexer.” Microsoft says it’s now detecting peak usage times so it can better optimize when the indexer runs. For example, it won’t run when gaming mode is on, if power saving mode is on, if low power mode is on, when CPU usage is about 80%, when disk usage is above 70%, or when the battery is below 50%.
Windows search will get faster on developer PCs by default, too. The Windows search indexer will now “exclude common developer folders, such as .git, .hg, .svn, .Nuget, and more by default.” Performance will improve while compiling and synchronizing code.
Disk Type in the Task Manager
Windows 10’s Task Manager now displays your disk type—SSD or HDD. This makes it easier to see what hardware is in your computer, and it can help you tell which disk is which if you have multiple disks in your system.
This information is displayed on the Performance tab. Open the Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and click “More Details” to find it.
GPU Temperature in the Task Manager
That’s not the only new feature the Task Manager is getting. The Task Manager’s performance tab will also display your GPU temperature, too. Assuming you have a graphics card with a new enough driver—it must support the WDDM 2.4 driver model— you’ll find this information on your GPU’s status page under the Performance tab, too. This also only works with dedicated graphics cards, not integrated or onboard GPUs.
This is just the latest GPU-monitoring feature in the Task Manager. Previous updates added features like per-process GPU usage, overall GPU usage display, graphics driver version information, graphics memory usage, and hardware details.
When you’re using a 2-in-1 PC with a touch screen, and you have no keyboard or mouse connected, it can make the traditional desktop interface a bit easier to use. For example, the taskbar icons will be further apart, File Explorer will be optimized for touch, and you can use windows on your desktop.
Microsoft says this isn’t a replacement for Tablet Mode, but convertible PCs will no longer automatically enter Tablet Mode when you remove the keyboard or flip them around. Instead, they’ll enter this new touch-optimized experience. Microsoft is backing off on Tablet Mode on 2-in-1 devices and making the classic Windows desktop easier to use on a touch screen.
FPS in the Xbox Game Bar
Windows 10’s new game bar is already more of a full-screen overlay packed with features, including quick volume controls, performance graphs, and even Spotify integration. Now, it’s getting better with an FPS counter and achievement overlay.
Press Windows+G to open the Game Bar while playing a game, and you’ll see a real-time FPS counter without installing third-party applications like FRAPS or activating a game-specific option.
Windows Lets You “Make Your Device Passwordless”
Microsoft new lets you “Make your device passwordless” with a new option on the Settings > Accounts > Sign-in page. It sounds awesome and futuristic, but really it’s just a new setting that requires everyone on your PC sign in with a PIN or another Windows Hello sign-in method like face or fingerprint unlock.
Safe Mode now works with PIN login, too. If you’ve set up Windows Hello to sign in with a PIN, you’ll be able to use that PIN to sign in to your PC after booting into Safe Mode. Previously, Safe Mode made you enter your account’s password.
Renaming Virtual Desktops
Windows 10’s virtual desktops, available in the Task View interface that appears when you press Windows+Tab on your keyboard or click the Task View icon on the taskbar, are getting more configurable.
Rather than being stuck with the default names of “Desktop 1,” “Desktop 2,” and so on, you can now rename them. Just click the name of each virtual desktop at the top of the Task View interface and type a new name.
As Microsoft points out, you can even use emojis in the names. Just press Windows+. (period) to open the emoji picker and enter an emoji. This emoji panel works in nearly any text field in Windows 10.
Improved Network Status Information
The network status page at Settings > Network & Internet > Status has been redesigned. It now shows all the network interfaces you have available at the top of the page. For example, both Wi-Fi and Ethernet will be shown here if you have a PC with both.
Microsoft says this new interface will “provide more information at a glance about your device’s connectivity, combining several pages to give you one clear view of how you are connected to the internet.”
Windows will also display your data usage for each interface right on this page, so you don’t have to go elsewhere in Settings to see how much data you’re using.
Built-in Support for Network Cameras
Windows 10 is getting built-in support for IP-based cameras that send their video feeds over your local network. Traditionally, you needed third-party software to view these camera feeds on Windows 10.
With this update, you’ll be able to add network-based cameras by heading to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices > Add Bluetooth or other device. If there’s a supported camera on your local network, Windows 10 will find it, and you can add it to your system in one click.
Once it’s added, you can use the built-in Camera app (and other Camera apps) to access the network camera. For now, Windows 10 only supports standards-compliant cameras that use ONVIF Profile S.
To find this option, head to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options. Under Restart apps, toggle “Automatically save my restartable apps when I sign out and restart them after I sign in” if you’d like to turn this off.
Previously, this option was somewhat hidden and merged with the “Use my sign-in info to automatically finish my device” option, which read “Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device and reopen my apps after an update or restart.” These are now two separate options.
This feature now works a bit better, too. It now restarts “the majority of” UWP apps as well as traditional Windows desktop apps.
Disk Cleanup Won’t Delete Your Downloads Folder
Microsoft is removing the Downloads folder from the classic Disk Cleanup application. This option was added to Disk Cleanup with the October 2018 Update. Critics said that it was too easy to accidentally delete all the files in your Downloads folder, especially if you’re an experienced user who didn’t realize that option had been added to Disk Cleanup.
With this update, the Downloads folder vanishes from Disk Cleanup. You can still use Disk Cleanup to empty your Recycle Bin, delete temporary files, remove old Windows installations, and everything else—but the short-lived Downloads option vanishes.
The option to clean up your Downloads folder lives on in Storage Sense, available at Settings > System > Storage > Configure Storage Sense or run it now. It’s just gone from the classic Disk Cleanup interface.
Paint and WordPad Are Now Optional Features
Microsoft has turned MS Paint and WordPad into “optional features.” Paint and WordPad are still installed by default, but you can uninstall them to free up a bit of space.
Head to Settings > Apps > Apps & features > Optional features, and you’ll see Paint and WordPad alongside other optional features like Windows Media Player.
Microsoft Paint takes up 11.6MB, and WordPad uses 9.11MB, so you won’t free up much space by removing them. Microsoft was originally going to remove Paint from Windows and distribute it via the Store, but it abandoned those plans and even updated Paint with new features.
A Header in Windows 10’s Settings App
Microsoft has been experimenting with a banner in the Settings application for a while, and it’s back in 20H1 Insider builds. The new banner appears at the top of the home screen in the Settings window, showing your picture, name, and a link to manage your Microsoft account online. It offers quick links to your OneDrive and Windows Update settings and information about their status.
Thankfully, Microsoft hasn’t included advertising for Microsoft Rewards (formerly Bing Rewards) here this time.
Quick Searches in Search Home
When you open the “Search Home” panel by clicking the search box on the taskbar, you’ll see new “quick searches” at the bottom, giving you one-click access to things like the weather, top news, and new movies.
When you have a supported device in pairing mode nearby, you’ll see a notification that prompts you to go through pairing. This was added to Windows 10’s April 2018 Update. Now, it’s been further streamlined. The entire pairing process is performed through Windows 10’s notifications with no need to open the Settings app, and one fewer notification is shown. There’s a Dismiss button to close the notification if you don’t want to pair a device, and the notification shows more information about the device’s name and type, if possible.
This still only works with supported devices like Microsoft’s Surface keyboards and mice, but it should hopefully come to more devices in the future, making the Bluetooth pairing process quicker for more PC users.
Text Cursor Indicator
You can now adjust the size and color of Windows 10’s text cursor indicator—that little line that appears to show you where you’re typing in an application.
To find this option, head to Settings > Ease of Access > Text Cursor. Enable the new “Text Cursor Indicator,” choose a size, and pick a color that’s easy for you to see. You can select any custom color you want.
Windows 10’s Language settings page at Settings > Time & Language > Language has been reorganized to be easier to use and understand. For example, it now shows you the default selected languages for Windows, apps and websites, your keyboard, speech, and regional settings right at the top of the screen.
More Kaomoji: Microsoft has added more kaomoji to Windows 10’s emoji panel, which you can open by pressing Windows+. (period) or Windows+; (semicolon.) For example, you’ll now find ヾ(⌐■_■)ノ♪ in the list.
Mouse Cursor Speed in Settings: Windows 10 now lets you set your mouse cursor speed from within the Settings app at Settings > Devices > Mouse. Previously, this option was only available in the Control Panel.
Better Account Picture Settings: Windows 10 now makes it easier to set your account picture in Windows and across various Microsoft services. Head to Settings > Accounts > Your Info to set an account picture. When you set a picture here, Windows will now quickly update it both on your local Windows computer and across various Microsoft services—assuming you’re signed into Windows 10 with a Microsoft account.
Optional Features Gets Better: The Optional Features page under Settings > Apps & Features > Optional Features is getting a better interface. You can now select and install multiple features at once, search available features, and sort them in different ways. You can see the date each feature was installed and view the status of feature installation at the top of this page.
Wi-Fi Warning Redesign: Microsoft also says it’s changing how open Wi-Fi networks appear in the Wi-Fi list. Windows 10 will no longer display an “Other people might be able to see info you send over this network” warning message before connecting to an open Wi-FI network, which Microsoft says is confusing. Instead, there’s a new icon for secured Wi-Fi networks to more clearly emphasize you should connect to those.
Accessibility Improvements: Microsoft has also updated the accessibility features with more new options and improvements. For example, there’s a new command in Narrator to give a web page summary (Narrator+S).
Install MSIX Files Without Sideloading: System administrators will find that installing an MSIX file no longer requires enabling Sideloading in Settings or via Group Policy. Previously, installing these required enabling sideloading—just like on Android. Now, as long as the MSIX file is signed, a Windows 10 system can install it like any other application. Enterprises can still disable this type of sideloading via policy settings, but that’s no longer the default mode.
Windows PowerShell ISE: PowerShell’s Integrated Script Editor is now a “Feature on Demand.” It remains installed by default, and you can manage it from Settings > Apps > Apps & Features > Optional Features.
With so many months left to go, more features may appear in future Windows Insider previews. We’ll update this article as they do.
Canceled: Notepad Updated Through the Store
In a surprising change, Microsoft announced it would move Notepad to the Store back in August. It would now be automatically updated through the Store, allowing Microsoft to update Notepad more frequently than once every six months. You could uninstall Notepad, too.
Microsoft has been testing this feature in 20H1 Insider builds but says it will come to all PCs running Windows 10 19H1 (the May 2019 Update) or a newer version. You’ll get this feature even if you don’t upgrade to Windows 10 version 2004.
Already Here: Online File Search in File Explorer
This feature first appeared in Windows 10’s 20H1 update, but it’s already available as part of the November 2019 update.
In both versions of Windows 10, File Explorer has a new search experience. When you type in the search box, you’ll see a dropdown menu with a list of suggested files. It will also search for files in your OneDrive account online—not just files on your local PC.
You can still access the more powerful, classic search experience by pressing Enter. This will allow you to search non-indexed locations, for example.
Written by Chris Hoffman. Taken from How-To Geek site.
Office 365 is the best option for anyone who needs access to the full range of apps and perks on multiple devices. Plus, you can share an account with up to six people. It’s also the only option that offers continuity of updates and upgrades with a low cost of ownership. However, there are monthly or yearly fees, and over time, you may end up paying for features that you’ll never use.
All apps access
Multiple people can use across multiple devices
Windows 10, 8.x, 7, and macOS support
Monthly or yearly subscription
Limited functionality if service issues
New changes can be overwhelming
Paying for unnecessary features
If you only need the basic features on a single PC, Office 2019 is probably all you need, as it allows you to access the must-have apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, with all the necessary functionalities. However, paying upfront can be pricey, you have to pay again for upgrades, and you don’t get extra perks.
Popular apps access
No monthly payments
Windows 10 and macOS support
One device per license
Limited set of features
Limited to Windows 10 and macOS
No customer support
If you’re planning to upgrade, or you’re new to Microsoft Office, you probably noticed that now you have two options: Office 2019 and Office 365. If you’re a little confused on which one to get, you’re not alone. Although both offerings give you access to the same apps with the latest core features, some significant differences come down to the cost of ownership and list of features (and to be clear, Office 2019 isn’t a replacement for Office 365).
Source: Windows Central
Office 2019 is the name that Microsoft is using for the standalone version of its popular suite of office apps. It doesn’t require a monthly subscription, meaning that once you go through the one-time purchase, you own the copy forever.
Using this option (also known as the “perpetual” or “on-premises” version of Office), you can install the apps on a single computer, and you’ll get security updates. Still, you won’t be able to upgrade to a follow-up version. This means that you can keep using the version that you purchased for its life-cycle (usually five years) and beyond (without updates), but if you want to access the new features and tools, you’ll need to pay full price again.
Also, even though Office 2019 comes with apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook with more improvements than its predecessor, it only ships with a subset of features and without many of the perks available with an Office 365 subscription. For instance, with the 2019 version, you won’t find cloud and AI features, along with benefits such as 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage and free monthly credits to make calls to landlines using Skype.
Who should buy Office 2019
Although anyone can purchase Office 2019, this version has been designed for commercial customers with volume licenses who aren’t ready to transition to a cloud-based version of Office and happen to have specific requirements to use the suite of apps on-premises.
If you’re a regular consumer, this is still (somewhat) a good option if you prefer a more traditional experience. If you plan to install the suite on a single device, don’t depend on new features, or you’re not ready to start using cloud-based applications, it’s also a solid choice.
Additionally, while you’re getting a license for one PC or Mac going down the one-time purchase route, you can install the Office apps on all your mobile devices, but you’ll only get some basic features.
Office 2019 comes in two flavors, including “Office Home & Student 2019” and “Office Home & Business 2019,” and they’re typically priced at $150 and $250 per device, respectively. Office Home & Student 2019 comes with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, while Office Home & Business 2019 includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.
Also, consider that unlike previous perpetual versions, Office 2019 is only supported on devices running Windows 10 or the three most recent versions of macOS. If you must use the most up-to-date version of Office, and you’re still on Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, you have to purchase an Office 365 subscription.
Office 365 features
Source: Windows Central
Office 365 is the name that Microsoft uses for its subscription plan service that offers the same apps available with Office 2019, but with even more apps, features, tools, and other benefits.
Using this option, you’ll be paying a monthly or yearly subscription fee giving you access to apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, and others across your devices as long as only six devices are accessing the account at a time. Also, depending on your subscription plan, you can share the account with up to six additional people for a total of six people with one subscription.
Perhaps one of the best parts about getting a subscription plan is that you never have to worry about new versions. When you’re using Office 365, you’ll always be running the most up-to-date version of the apps that Microsoft can offer. This unlocks regular security updates, improvements, and, more importantly, access to the latest features and tools as soon as they become available.
You also get cloud features, such as real-time collaboration and AI features, to help boost your productivity at home, school, work, and across devices. Also, as part of the bundle, everyone gets 1TB of OneDrive storage (up to 6TB in total when using the Home subscription), Skype minutes to make calls to landlines, and you can contact the support line with any questions you may have.
If you need even more storage, in addition to the already 1TB of cloud storage, subscribers can also purchase up to an additional 1TB of OneDrive storage on 200GB increments for an extra $1.99 per month, doubling the total storage up to 2TB (1TB already included with bundled and 1TB additional subscription) in their account for $9.99. This option is only available for Office 365 Home and Personal customers. Still, if you’re sharing the account using a Home subscription with other people, only the primary account holder can access the separate full terabyte.
Similar to Office 2019, you can install Office 365 on your mobile devices, but unlike the perpetual version, you’ll get access to the complete array of features.
Who should buy Office 365
If you need access to the suite of apps, Office 365 is perhaps your best choice, as it’s the only option that ensures continuity of updates and upgrades at a low cost. Also, you get access to all the apps, which you can install on all your devices, including on devices running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and macOS. (Office 2019 only allows you to use apps on a single computer running Windows 10.)
If you need access to the suite of apps, Office 365 is perhaps your best choice.
The subscription service comes with different plans. If you’re the only person using the apps and services, you can purchase the “Office 365 Personal” plan for $70 a year, which gives you access to the software suite, along with 1TB of OneDrive storage and Skype minutes.
However, if you’re planning to share the account with family members or roommates, you should select the “Office 365 Home” plan for $100 a year, which allows you to share the apps and the benefits with up to six additional people. Plus, everyone gets their Skype minutes and 1TB of OneDrive storage.
If you choose to buy into a subscription plan, you should purchase the yearly subscription as you’ll be spending more money paying the monthly fee.
Although Windows 7 has reached the end of support, Microsoft will continue to offer security updates until January 2023, but you won’t receive new features. Once you upgrade to Windows 10, support will resume as normal with security patches and new features and improvements.
So, which should you buy?
Ultimately, it’ll depend on your requirements. However, if you’ll be using the apps for a long time, purchasing an Office 365 subscription is perhaps your best option, because you get full access to all the apps and perks with low cost of ownership.
Microsoft’s new Edge browser is now finished and available for download. This new browser is based on Chromium, which forms the basis of Google Chrome. Windows 10 users will also get the new Edge browser automatically delivered via Windows Update in the next few months.
Edge is available for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, macOS, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Microsoft has even promised Edge for Linux in the future—no surprise, as Chrome already runs on Linux.
The new Edge browser offers many of the features found in Google Chrome, features found in the older Edge like support for inking PDF files with a stylus, and new features like Internet Explorer Mode for accessing older websites without actually opening Internet Explorer. And yes, the new Edge works with Chrome extensions.
Microsoft is also betting hard on privacy protection with “tracking prevention,” which is enabled by default on Edge and blocks many types of trackers on the web.
After you install the new Edge, the old Edge browser will be hidden on your system. The new Edge browser can automatically import the old Edge browser’s data, so you won’t lose anything.
Microsoft has more information about Edge available in its announcement post. We look forward to using it more.
Double-clicking is the standard method of opening a desktop icon in Windows. It’s meant to prevent “accidental opens.” However, some people might want to access files and apps with a single click instead. If you’re among them, here’s how you can change this setting.
Enabling the Single-Click Feature in Windows 10
To change the default to open files and folders from a double- to a single-click, head to the Start Menu. Search for “File Explorer,” and then either click it when it appears or press Enter.
In the window, head to View > Options > Change Folder and Search Options.
In the pop-up window, select the “Single-Click to Open an Item (Point to Select)” radio button.
After you select this option, icons will be underlined (like a hyperlink) when you hover over them. If you want the titles of icons to be underlined all the time, select the “Underline Icon Titles Consistent with My Browser” radio button.
Now that you’ve enabled this setting, if you ever want to select an icon without opening it, just hover your mouse over it for a moment.
You can also tell Windows to present a checkbox over each item to allow you to select it. To enable this option, click the “View” tab in the “Folder Options” pop-up window, and scroll down to “Advanced Settings.” Click the checkbox next to “Use Check Boxes to Select Items,” and then click “OK.”
These options should increase your efficiency and give you greater flexibility on your Windows 10 device.
Written by Joel Cornell. He is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek.
So you’ve made the switch to Windows 10 and are ready to put its new features to work. But which handy new functions should you take advantage of first? Here are six important things you can do to get the show on the road:
1. Create a recovery plan
Setting up a recovery drive will be your magic key to getting your operating system back online if you encounter any startup problems. You’ll need a USB flash drive and administrator access to get started. Then simply search for the Recovery Drive desktop app and follow the prompts.
2. Check for updates
Run Windows Update (you’ll find it in: Settings > Update & Security) after you finish the initial Windows 10 install. You can set future updates to install after work hours to ensure minimal disruption to your day. In Windows Update, go to “Change active hours” and specify the hour range you don’t want to be interrupted by automatic updates.
3. Secure your account
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is vital to securing your account. Register for a free Microsoft or Azure Active Directory account to set up 2FA on your system. This will require login confirmation from your specified mobile device along with your Windows 10 password. Also consider turning on BitLocker Drive Encryption to protect your personal and business data.
4. Review privacy settings
Check out the “Privacy” menu (go to: Start > Settings) to review the default privacy settings. You can set which apps have access to your personal data, and disable camera access to certain apps. You can also set up a PIN that will be used only to log into Windows 10 on your PC. Go to: Start > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options.
5. Set up your Action Center
You can use the Action Center in Windows 10 to block certain apps from sending notifications and also customise pop-up messages. It’s a good idea to prioritise the Quick Action buttons to keep the tasks you complete most often up front.
You can still use Windows 7 after its EOS expires, you just won’t get any protection against new viruses and malware. It’s a double hazard: Not only will your Windows 7 hardware be vulnerable, but attackers often target EOS operating systems because they’ve stopped getting security fixes.
In other words, the benefits of migrating to the new OS in conjunction with the risks and potential costs of not migrating should make your decision a no-brainer.
Plenty of benefits
Businesses that haven’t moved will find a raft of new features on Windows 10. These include new security and productivity tools, as well as features designed to enhance interoperability with other businesses.
Windows 10 also contains Device Manager, which has been designed to unify Android and Apple devices across a common platform to maximise business productivity by making it easier for the end user to find, for example, a specific hardware device for a particular project.
Windows 10 maximises the potential of Microsoft’s cloud services.
Other features include Intune, which specifies which user groups belong to which projects, and Windows Information Protection, which enhances corporate security by ensuring staff are working in the right programs.
Additionally, Windows 10 maximises the potential of Microsoft’s cloud services – the Azure directory syncs networks and intranets so staff can work together on projects anywhere at any time on a large range of devices.
Before upgrading, you may want to consider a few things:
What’s Windows 10’s compatibility with your overall IT infrastructure?
What, if any, hardware will you need to replace? Some old legacy systems may have issues.
Are all of your mission-critical software applications, antivirus tools and devices like printers and other peripherals compatible? Some earlier versions of QuickBooks, for example, do not work on Windows 10.
What advantages will Windows 10 have for your current IT infrastructure? Modern PCs – desktop, laptop or hybrid – are equipped with hardware and software features that allows you to take advantage of Windows 10’s productivity and security capabilities, like touchscreens and styluses for system navigation and note-taking, or cameras and fingerprint scanners for biometric security.
At any rate, once you’ve checked for compatibility, it may be a good idea to contact your IT partner or an IT expert to discuss your options. Whether you need a bare-minimum upgrade or are taking the opportunity to review your entire IT architecture, you’ll want to know how finance, system design, staff training and support can be rolled into a deal that’ll keep your business in tip-top condition.
The PCs you choose to power your small business can dramatically impact your company’s productivity and competitiveness. However, many small businesses fall for common myths about computers, leading to poor purchasing decisions.
Here are four myths about PCs – and realities to help you make smarter technology decisions for your business.
Myth 1: Consumer PCs are interchangeable with business PCs
Reality: Because they’re built for activities like watching videos, checking email and surfing the web, PCs for the consumer market will not always have the computing power or security features sophisticated business applications demand. If a family laptop reluctantly boots up or crashes, it’s annoying, but not serious.
PCs for the consumer market will not always have the computing power or security features sophisticated business applications demand.
For a business, however, computers are mission-critical. Employees are more likely to run multiple applications simultaneously, use resource-heavy applications or use software as a service (SaaS). PCs built for consumers often lack the computing power to handle these tasks – resulting in lost productivity.
Consumer-level PCs may also lack built-in security features of computers designed for businesses, which could make your business – and sensitive customer data – vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Myth 2: RAM is the top factor in computer performance
Reality: Adding more random access memory usually allows a computer to manage more data. But RAM alone won’t improve a computer’s performance – unless the PC has sufficient processing power. To make a PC faster and more efficient, you need a powerful central processing unit to optimise the RAM. While RAM is the memory, the CPU (or processor) is the computer’s “brain,” receiving instructions, performing calculations and processing information. To run today’s resource-intensive business software efficiently, look for computers with plenty of RAM, plus processing power.
Myth 3: You can wait until PCs fail before replacing them
Reality: Long before a PC fails, its performance may suffer, costing your business time and money. Waiting for an older PC to start up every day can waste up to 11 hours a year. Crashing, freezing or slow computers can keep your employees from working efficiently, and may appear unprofessional to customers or clients. Sluggish, malfunctioning PCs can reduce employee satisfaction, as workers become frustrated with outdated technology.
Waiting for an older PC to start up every day can waste up to 11 hours a year.
Don’t wait until your business PCs slow to a crawl before upgrading. Be proactive. Look for hardware that exceeds your software vendor’s recommended system requirements. This will help ensure your PCs can handle future software upgrades. Then set a regular schedule for upgrading your hardware.
Myth 4: You’re saving money by repairing old PCs
Reality: Repairing or adding RAM to squeeze more life out of older computers may seem economical. But the cost of keeping older PCs running quickly adds up. According to research from J.Gold Associates, repairing breakdowns of a five-year-old computer costs an average of $662 per year. The same research found 43 percent of the small businesses surveyed had PCs that were over five years old – and malfunctioned each year. At that rate, you’d soon be spending more on repairs than on a brand new, more powerful computer.
Besides losing productivity during breakdowns and repairs, older computers are also slower. Using five-year-old PCs can make your employees up to 29 percent less productive, potentially costing your business up to $17,000 per year, per worker.
Small businesses estimated that 34.47 percent of their computers over five years old had been hacked.
Older PCs can also put your business at risk of cyberattacks. Per the J.Gold Associates survey, small businesses estimated that 34.47 percent of their computers over five years old had been hacked. With the average cost of a single data breach worldwide estimated at $35,745 per employee, an older PC rapidly becomes an expensive liability.
In the same survey, small businesses reported that just 5.92 percent of their PCs newer than one year old had experienced cyberattacks. Newer computers frequently offer built-in security features to reduce risk of cyberattacks.
Blindly accepting myths about PCs can be expensive for your small business. Upgrading to more powerful computers can optimise the performance of your business software, enhance your cybersecurity and boost employee productivity. The next time you’re making decisions about computer purchases, be sure you base your actions on reality. Then choose the right PCs to make your business more competitive.
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