Category: Windows 10

MS Edge Takeover

MS Edge Takeover

In our last article we told you about a new version of MS Edge that had been released by Microsoft. Quick recap, Edge is a web browser that is replacing Internet Explorer. Microsoft released a new major release of Edge which was an optional update. Microsoft has now started installing the update along with other Windows updates. That in itself is no big deal. What is a big deal is what happens after Edge has been updated. Once updated, you get this screen:

The problem here is that you can’t do anything. You can’t click on anything outside of that white window. Inside the white window, your only option is to click the Get Started button. When you do, you get this screen:

If you were to click the Confirm button here, Microsoft would change your default browser to Edge and import data from the browser you had set as your default. If you don’t want to do that, and most won’t, then click the X in the upper right-hand corner of the window to close it.

Microsoft is trying to force or trick people into switching to Edge. Personally, I think they have, once again, gone too far. They have a history of these types of strong-arm tactics. They do this because, unfortunately, it works. As a result of doing this, a lot of people will end up with Edge as their default browser. Many people will just use it because they don’t know how to change it.

If you accidentally did click the confirm button and Edge is now your default browser and you want to change your default browser back to what it was before, all you have to do is go into Settings, click on Apps, in the left column click on Default Apps, and then on the right scroll down to the setting for web browser and click on it to change it to whatever you want it to be.

New Version of MS Edge

New Version of MS Edge

Microsoft Edge is a web browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. A web browser lets you view web sites. Microsoft Edge is replacing Internet Explorer. If you have Windows 10, you already have Edge because Edge comes with Windows 10. However, Microsoft recently released a new version of Edge and you may get a pop-up message about it.

The icon for Edge is a lowercase, dark blue ‘e’. Here’s what the Edge icon looks like:

The icon is similar to the Internet Explorer icon which is a light blue lowercase ‘e’ with a gold halo. Here’s what it looks like:

Many people think Edge is Internet Explorer because of the similar icon. Because of this, with this new update, Microsoft is changing the icon for Edge to a blue-green swirl.

If you use Edge, then you should update it if the pop up appears on your computer. But it’s not urgent. If you don’t update it, it will be automatically updated along with the next Windows Update.

If you don’t use Edge, don’t worry about it.

If you do, you may be wondering what’s new with Edge. In a nutshell, it’s core has been totally replaced. The original Edge wasn’t very popular and had a lot of issues and limitations. Microsoft has totally replaced what’s called the engine in Edge and replaced it with the same engine used by Chrome. The engine is called Chromium. Although Chrome and Edge will share the same engine, they will still be very different.

One cool thing with this update is that Edge will now be available, not only on Windows, but on Mac’s, IOS (iPhones & iPads), and Android phones and tablets. They are even going to release a version for Linux.

It will be interesting to see how well it’s received. We haven’t started testing it yet, but will soon.

Windows 10 Creator’s Update Breaks Windows 7 Games

Windows 10 Creator’s Update Breaks Windows 7 Games

Windows 10 doesn’t come with games like Windows 7 did. It is possible to install the games from Windows 7 on Windows 10. The problem is that every time there is a major update of Windows, Microsoft breaks those games. Intentionally. So after each major update, you have to reinstall the games.

A major update to Windows 10 called the Creator’s Update has been released and it breaks the Windows 7 games. If we had installed the Windows 7 games on your Windows 10 computer and they stopped working, let us know. We can install them again. If you have Windows 10 and want to have the Windows 7 games intalled on your computer, please let us know.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

A new major update of Windows 10 has just been released and it’s referred to as the Windows 10 Anniversary Update since it was released 1 year from Windows 10’s original release. It’s also known as version 1607, however.

By the way, do you know which version of Windows 10 you have? Do you care? Well, if you do care, here’s how to find out.
All you have to do is click on the start button, type: winver   and then hit enter.

Now you probably would like to know what changes are part of this new version of Windows 10. And you are also wondering if you should install it. Here is some information on some of the more major changes.

Microsoft Edge
This is Microsoft new browser that was introduced with Windows 10. However, Edge has caused a lot of problems because it didn’t work right with a lot of websites. Internet Explorer was still available  with Windows 10, although hidden. If we set up your Windows 10 for you, we probably hid Edge and brought Internet Explorer back. With this new update, Microsoft has improved Edge and expanded it’s functionality some more. But it’s still not a full featured web browser. So, for now, we don’t recommend using it as your primary web browser. We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Action Center
It seems like every time Microsoft comes out with a new version of Windows, the action center is always one of the things massively changed. And Windows 10 was no exception to that. With this new update to Windows 10, Microsoft has once again changed the action center, but not massively. The action center icon has been moved to the far left of the taskbar where the date and time used to be. The date and time have moved one position over to the left. The action center is more configurable now too. You can specify which apps will put notifications on the action center and which one’s won’t.

Dark Theme for Metro/Modern/Universal apps
As you probably know, there are two types of Apps that can run in Windows 10. The traditional desktop apps and then the newer apps that also work on touchscreen devices like tablets and phones. Microsoft has changed the name of these apps several times. First it was Metro apps. Then Modern apps. Now they call them Universal apps. Whatever you call them, they work much better in Windows 10 than they did in Windows 8. These newer apps usually have a white background but with this new update, you now have the ability to select a “dark” theme for these apps making the background black.

Start Menu
Most of our customers who have Windows 10 had us configure Windows 10 to work more like Windows 7. If we did this for you, then the change to the standard Windows 10 start menu won’t mean anything to you since your start menu has been replaced. If you do use Windows 10 in it’s native form, hower, then you’ll want to read this. The Windows 10 Start Menu has been massively reorganized. The color blocks on the right side of the start menu haven’t changed. But the rest of it has. Before, you had to click on All Apps to see the list of apps. Now, the list of apps is always shown on the left column. Just to the left of that are symbols for the user (used to be at the top of the start menu), Settings, and power (shutdown, restart, etc.).

Calendar
Windows 10 has always had a calendar app, but now it’s more integrated into Windows. Before if you clicked on the date and time display in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, it would show you a calendar, but not your calendar. Now it will actually show your calendar (if you have one) with your appointments.

Windows Hello
You probably never heard of Windows Hello. It allows you to login to Windows using bio-metric methods. It’s not new to Windows 10, but it’s been improved. If your laptop has a fingerprint reader, that uses Windows Hello unless you have some other third party software. If you have a web cam on your computer, you can use Windows Hello to recognize your face when you sit down at  your computer and automatically unlock your computer for you.

Cortana Improvements
Very few of our customers use Cortana. Cortana is to Windows was Siri is to Apple. Except Siri doesn’t exist on apple computers. Only on their phones and tablets. You can type a question to Cortana or, if you have a microphone, you can ask Cortana questions. With this new update, Cortana is now a lot smarter. One of the things Cortana can do now is link to your phone. Once you set up the link, Cortana on your computer can give you the same notifications that your phone would give you. This is nice for people who don’t have their phone on them all of the time. But if you always have your phone on you, this doesn’t do anything but give you duplicate notifications.

Windows Update
Some of the nicest changes in this new version are in Windows Update. With Windows 10, Microsoft turned Windows Update into a dictator of sorts giving you little control over when updates were installed and how. With this new update, you can now specify “Active Hours”. These are hours when you are normally using your computer and you don’t want Windows 10 to install update. For example, you can set your active hours to 8am – 10pm so that it won’t update Windows during those hours and will only do it outside those hours. There is also now an option to tell Windows to automatically sign in to Windows after it reboots during an update so it can fully finish updating. Before if it rebooted during the night and you have a Windows password, when you logged in, it continued installing the update, delaying your computer use.

Should I install this new update?
Yes. But not right away. Your computer will eventually install it automatically. If you really want it now, go into settings, Update & Security, and click the “Check for updates” button. Even if you do this,  you may not get the update right away.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need help.

Windows 10 Recovery

Windows 10 Recovery

Computers used to come with Recovery Disks so that if you had a hard drive crash you could install Windows on your new hard drive. Then manufacturers decided that they could save some money by not including recovery disks. Instead, they provide a program you can run to create recovery media that you provide. Most people, however, neglect to create recovery media for their computer.

If you haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 and you haven’t created recovery media for your computer, stop reading this article and go create recovery media for your computer right now. To learn how to do that, read this article on our website.

If you have created recovery media for your computer, then good job! However, if you upgraded to Windows 10, that recovery media would reinstall your old version of Windows, not Windows 10. And if your computer were to crash after the free upgrade period, you would have to go back to your previous version of Windows or purchase Windows 10.

Never fear, though. All you have to do is create recovery media for Windows 10. Here’s how:

  1. Purchase a USB Flash drive. Get one that’s at least 16GB in size. 32GB recommended.
  2. Put the USB flash drive in your computer.
  3. Now click on Start and click on Settings
  4. Type the word: recovery
  5. You should now see “Create a recovery drive”. Click on that.
  6. Make sure “Backup system files to the recovery drive” has a check mark next to it.
  7. Click next to create your recovery media.
  8. Make sure to label the recovery media and store it in a safe place.

Now that you have recovery media in case for disaster recovery, let’s talk about the other recovery options in Windows 10.

  1. System Restore
    This option has been around since Windows ME came out. Many people do not understand what it means or what it does. It does not restore files. It only restores Windows settings back to a previous date. Doing a system restore, or any recovery option, should be a last resort. When you choose a restore point, don’t go too far back. When you do a system restore, any software you installed or updated since that restore point will be lost or affected.
  2. Reset this PC
    This option was introduced in Windows 8. There are two options. One tries to save your files, the other does a complete reinstall of Windows and erases all of your files. Be aware that even if you choose the option to save your files, although you won’t loose files,  you will lose all of your applications and settings. So you should avoid doing this except as a last resort. This option can only be used on a system that boots up. If your computer won’t boot, that’s when you need the recovery media. This option can also be used on a computer if you are going to sell it or give it to someone. Be aware that it does not do a DOD compliant erase of your data, so someone with the right tools could still recover and access some of the information that was stored on it.

In general, we recommend that you create recovery media, but we also recommend you contact us before using that recovery media or before attempting any of the recovery options explained above.

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