• 5 Windows 10 secrets you need to know now

    5 Windows 10 secrets you need to know now

    © Omihay | Dreamstime.com

    Windows 10 has been very popular since it was originally released almost two years ago. It’s fast, safe and offers browser extensions that diehard Windows users wanted for years.

    If you remember, Microsoft made a huge push to get people to upgrade from older operating systems during summer 2016.

    Still, if you’re a Windows 10 newbie, it’s not too late to start learning the ins and outs of Microsoft’s latest operating system.

    On the whole, you’ll be happy to know Windows 10 isn’t that different from Windows 7. You have a desktop with a taskbar, there’s a Start button that opens a Start menu, you can pin program icons to the taskbar for easy opening, etc.

    However, there are some key differences, like the new customizable Start menu, a new Settings area, Task View with virtual desktops and more. Using these can improve your Windows experience, or make it worse if you accidentally trigger something you didn’t mean to.

    Let’s take a look at some of the features you’ll encounter right away and how best to use them. If you’re a new Windows 10 user and are curious about how to do something, let us know. Otherwise, keep reading.

    1. Customize the Start menu

    One of the biggest problems with Windows 10’s predecessor, Windows 8, was the lack of a Start menu. Instead, Microsoft replaced it with a touch-friendly Start screen that left desktop and laptop users working with a mouse and keyboard out in the cold.

    Microsoft wisely elected to bring back the Start menu for Windows 10, but it updated it with some of the good parts of the Start screen.

    When you first install Windows 10, your Start menu will look something like this (this is an older version, but the basic idea is the same):

    Windows 10

    It has programs on the left with app icons on the right. Some of the app icons are “live tiles” that update with new information, such as the current weather, new messages and more, automatically.

    Of course, some of these you might not want to use, or you want your own app or program icons there. Fortunately, customizing is simple.

    Simply right-click on any App icon to resize it or unpin it from the Start Menu. Selecting “Unpin from Start” takes it away. You can also uninstall programs with a right-click as well.

    Start 1

    If you want to add an app to the list, you can click and drag its icon from the left column or right-click on an app icon and choose “Pin to Start.”

    Start 2

    Once the icon is in the right-hand area, you can drag it around to exactly where you want. Putting icons close together lets you group them. You can name groups whatever you want, and you can move groups around by clicking the icon with the horizontal lines next to the name.

    Start 3

    Don’t forget you can click and drag the edges of the Start menu to make it larger or smaller. You can have it take up most of the screen or very little space at all. It’s your choice.

    2. Manage updates

    Windows 10 is taking a controversial approach to updates. In previous versions of Windows, you can control which updates to install. That’s good for choice, but it means a lot of people don’t install updates when they should and their computers are open to viruses and hackers.

    With Windows 10, at least the Home version, updates are installed automatically, whether you like it or not. If you have the Pro or Enterprise versions, you have a bit more control.

    Even then, the only thing you can do with Windows 10 Pro is defer updates that aren’t essential for security, or choose to install the updates and restart your computer manually instead of having Windows restart for you.

    To adjust these options, you need to head to the Settings screen. Windows 10 has adopted and cleaned up the Windows 8 Settings screen, which replaced Windows 7’s Control Panel.

    Simply click the Start button and choose “Settings.” You’ll get this nice-looking screen with the most common options you’ll need.

    Settings 1

    Click the “Update & security icon” and go to the “Windows Update” tab. You’ll see what updates are available.

    Settings 2

    If you want to adjust the settings, click the “Advanced options” link.

    Settings 3

    You can choose how updates are installed (Automatic or Manual). If you want to get updates for Office and other Microsoft products, you can check the “Give me updates for other Microsoft products” option.

    Then there’s the “Defer upgrades” option, which probably won’t be available if you have Windows 10 Home (this screenshot was taken on Windows 10 Pro). This won’t stop security updates from installing, but it will stop Windows from installing new drivers and other non-critical updates. Considering when Microsoft pushed out a bad driver for Nvidia graphics cards and caused some users a lot of problems, this might be a good thing to check.

    Bonus: Visit the old Control panel

    The new Settings screen is nice, but it doesn’t quite have all the options you might want. Fortunately, you can bring up the old Windows Control Panel with no problem.

    Simply right-click on the Start button and select “Control Panel.”

    Right-click

    This is also a fast way to access other hidden areas you might want to use.

    3. Search Windows and more

    Older versions of Windows included a search system, but Windows 10 is a step above. It comes with a search bar on the taskbar. Just start typing in the bar to search for programs and files on the computer, or information online.

    If you don’t search that much, you can save space by turning the search box into a magnifying glass icon. To do that, right-click on a blank spot on the taskbar and select Search>>Show search icon.

    Now to search, just click the magnifying glass and start typing.

    Search 2

    If you want, it can display news from Microsoft Bing. At first, it’s just the top stories of the day, but over time it learns what you want to see.

    Search 1

    Of course, if you saw any of Microsoft’s pre-release demos, you know that it’s very excited for Cortana. This is its answer to Siri, Google Now and other digital personal assistants.

    Cortana will pop up the first time you use search and offer to help you out. You can ask a question using your voice, or type it in. Over time, Cortana learns what you like and can suggest things to do, warn you about traffic or weather that might upset your plans and more.

    Search 3

    You can tell Cortana to go ahead or you can click the “Not interested” button. If you let her do her thing she’ll send you helpful notifications automatically, or you can trigger her with the circle icon on the lower-left side of the search area.

    You can always change Cortana’s settings later from the Search Settings. Just click the gear icon on the left side of the Search area.

    Search 4

    You can also adjust what search data is sent to Microsoft and tweak SafeSearch and privacy settings.

    Bonus: Action Center

    On the far left of your Windows 10 taskbar, you’ll see a new icon that looks like a square cartoon dialogue bubble. That’s the action center and it gives you notifications on messages, updates and things Cortana wants to tell you.

    Action Center

    It also provides a quick place to switch to Tablet mode, create notes, view your settings, connect to a network and more.

    4. Explorer window

    Windows 10 gave Windows Explorer an upgrade as well. This is the formal name for Windows’ file manager. As you can see, there’s now a ribbon across the top with lots of file options, similar to Microsoft Office’s ribbon.

    One thing to note is that Explorer includes Microsoft OneDrive in everything. OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud-based storage service. When you log into Windows 10, you use your Microsoft Live account, which gives you access to OneDrive and 5GB of free storage space.

    The good news is that you can drag files back and forth just like they were on your computer. The downside is that if you aren’t paying attention, you can put something in OneDrive you didn’t mean to.

    For example, when you first open an Explorer window it will start with the Quick Access area. Pay attention because this mixes folders from OneDrive and your computer. You have to look close to see which is which.

    Also, the first item below Quick Access is the OneDrive folder.

    Explorer 1

    You have to go down another one to see the local folders on your hard drive.

    Explorer 2

    5. Task View and virtual desktops

    Windows has always had a way to view open programs. ALT+TAB is the classic one, but in later versions of Windows, the Windows Key+TAB gave you a fancier Rolodex-type view.

    Windows 10 has a Task View button on the taskbar next to the Search icon. It looks like three boxes in a row. Click it, or press ALT+TAB, to see every open Window and select the one you want to open.

    Task View

    When you’re in Task View, look at the lower-right corner and you’ll see a “New Desktop” button. Click it to start a new desktop. You can have as many as you want.

    Each desktop acts like a separate computer. You can customize one with work programs and another one with media or other fun things. This minimizes distractions and helps improve organization.

    You can switch between desktops by opening the Task View and looking at the bottom of the screen. Then select the desktop you want.

    Virtual Desktop

    If you want to move programs between desktops, you can click and drag them from the Task View to the desktop you want.

    When you’re done with a desktop, you can close it by clicking the X just above it.

    Virtual Desktop 2

    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Windows 10 still keeps improving.

    Continue reading  Post ID 2220


  • 5 Windows 10 secrets you need to know now

     

    By Komando Staff, Komando.com

    85,581

    5 Windows 10 secrets you need to know now

    © Omihay | Dreamstime.com

    Windows 10 has been very popular since it was originally released almost two years ago. It’s fast, safe and offers browser extensions that diehard Windows users wanted for years.

    If you remember, Microsoft made a huge push to get people to upgrade from older operating systems during summer 2016.

    Still, if you’re a Windows 10 newbie, it’s not too late to start learning the ins and outs of Microsoft’s latest operating system.

    On the whole, you’ll be happy to know Windows 10 isn’t that different from Windows 7. You have a desktop with a taskbar, there’s a Start button that opens a Start menu, you can pin program icons to the taskbar for easy opening, etc.

    However, there are some key differences, like the new customizable Start menu, a new Settings area, Task View with virtual desktops and more. Using these can improve your Windows experience, or make it worse if you accidentally trigger something you didn’t mean to.

    Let’s take a look at some of the features you’ll encounter right away and how best to use them. If you’re a new Windows 10 user and are curious about how to do something, let us know. Otherwise, keep reading.

    1. Customize the Start menu

    One of the biggest problems with Windows 10’s predecessor, Windows 8, was the lack of a Start menu. Instead, Microsoft replaced it with a touch-friendly Start screen that left desktop and laptop users working with a mouse and keyboard out in the cold.

    Microsoft wisely elected to bring back the Start menu for Windows 10, but it updated it with some of the good parts of the Start screen.

    When you first install Windows 10, your Start menu will look something like this (this is an older version, but the basic idea is the same):

    Windows 10

    Continue reading  Post ID 2220


  • How to Run Android on Your Computer

    How to Run Android on Your Computer

    IMG_0738

    Android isn’t largely thought of as a desktop operating system, but if you’re curious about how Google’s mobile OS works, running it on a device you already have isn’t a bad idea. This will give you an idea of what to expect on a phone or tablet, all without making a single change to your laptop or desktop since you can easily do this from a flash drive or memory card.

    Step One: Prep Your Drive (or Card) and Install Android

    RELATED ARTICLE

    How to Create a Bootable Linux USB Flash Drive, the Easy Way

    For this guide, you’ll need a USB drive or SD card that’s at least 2GB in size. Be sure to copy anything you want off of it, because you’ll need to format it as part of this process. So everything that’s currently on the drive will be lost forever. No pressure.

    With all your data backed up, you’ll need a build of the Android x86 project from here. I’m testing the 64-bit version of Android 6.0, but feel free to pick which one works best for your current setup. Click the “view” button to start the download—depending on your internet connection speed, this could take a bit of time to finish.

    2017-02-03_09h21_32

    While that’s downloading, you’ll also want to download Rufus, a free Windows tool that will install Android onto the flash drive for us. It’s completely portable, so download and store it wherever you want—no installation necessary.

    Once everything is finished, launch Rufus. You may get a warning from Windows asking if you want to allow Rufus to make changes to your device—just click “Yes.”

    2017-02-03_09h24_30

    With Rufus up and running, go ahead and choose your USB drive in the top dropdown box. this is a crucial step to get correct, since Rufus will erase the drive in question. If you have more than one removable drive inserted into your computer, double-check the drive letter to make sure you’re installing to the correct one!

    2017-02-03_09h25_18

    Next, make sure “FAT32” is selected from the File System dropdown.

    2017-02-03_09h26_55

    Lastly, tick the “Create bootable disc using” box, then select ISO Image from the dropdown.

     

    Continue reading  Post ID 2220


  • 18 Useful Tricks To Speed Up WordPress & Boost Performance

    18 Useful Tricks To Speed Up WordPress & Boost Performance

    Last updated on August 18th, 2016 by Editorial Staff
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    Special WordPress Hosting offer for WPBeginner Readers
    18 Useful Tricks To Speed Up WordPress & Boost Performance
    Do you want to speed up your WordPress site? Fast loading pages enhance user experience, increase your pageviews, and help your SEO as well. In this article, we will show you some of the most useful tricks to speed up WordPress and boost performance.

    Speeding up WordPress to boost performance

    1. Choose a Good Web Host

    Choosing a web host will be the most important decision for the success of your site. If you are not on a good web hosting service, then everything else you do to speed up your site will simply fail.

    If you are just starting out, then we recommend Siteground. They are an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, and are known to provide top-notch service.

    If you can afford to spend a little more, then go with WPEngine. They are a managed WordPress hosting provider which means they will take care of all things WordPress for you.

    For more recommendations, check out our guide on how to choose the best WordPress hosting.

    2. Use a Caching Plugin

    WordPress is written in PHP, which is a server side programming language. This means every time someone visits your website, WordPress runs a process to fetch the information and then display it on the fly to your user.

    WordPress page cache explained

    This process can slow down your site when you have multiple people visiting your site.

    The solution is to use a caching plugin.

    Instead of generating every page on the fly, your caching plugin will serve a cached version of the page to user’s browser.

    We use W3 Total Cache on WPBeginner, but this plugin hasn’t been updated in a long time, and we will be switching soon.

    We recommend that you use the WP Super Cache plugin. See our guide on how to install and setup WP Super Cache on your WordPress site.

    3. Use CDN

    Many files on your website are static such as images, CSS, and JavaScript. These files normally don’t change. However when a web browser is downloading your page, these files can stop it from displaying the page to your users.

    CDN or content delivery networks solve this problem by serving your static files from their servers across the world. This frees up resources on your server, makes your website fast, and improves user experience.

    Continue reading  Post ID 2220