Category Archives: Windows 10

WINDOWS 10: 101 TIPS & TRICKS now available!

BNWindowsTen101Tips

My book WINDOWS 10: 101 TIPS & TRICKS is now available for $0.99 everywhere except Barnes & Noble, and it should show up on Barnes & Noble any minute now.

If you find yourself using Windows 10 and annoyed by all the changes, give WINDOWS 10: 101 TIPS & TRICKS a try. That’s why I wrote WINDOWS 8.1: 101 TIPS & TRICKS back in 2014, and the book succeeded pretty well at that mission. Hopefully WINDOWS 10: 101 TIPS & TRICKS will do the same.

It’s available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Barnes & Noble (coming soon), iTunes, Kobo, Google Play, and Smashwords.

-JM

 

Use Windows 10 As A Remote Desktop Host

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If you have Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise, you can configure your computer to act as a Remote Desktop Host. That means if you use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to your computer from a remote system, you can control your PC and access your Desktop, just as if you were sitting in front of it. Remote Desktop Host on Windows 10 has a few limitations compared to the Remote Desktop feature on Windows Server – only one user can remote connect to the Windows 10 computer at a time, and if someone is using the computer locally, a remote user can’t log into the system. Nevertheless, it is still a useful feature in a variety of situations.

By default, Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise comes with the Remote Desktop Host feature disabled. To enable and configure the feature, first summon the Administrative Menu by hitting the WINDOWS+X keys simultaneously. Once the Administrative Menu appears, click on the System item. This will open the System control panel. Once it opens, click on the Remote Settings link in the left-hand column.

This will open the System Properties dialog box with the Remote tab selected. Under the Remote Desktop category, select the radio button for “Allow remote connections to this computer”.

Next, you will need to select which users are allowed to connect to your PC. By default, any users with administrative rights (the ability to add and remove programs and alter system settings) can connect via Remote Desktop after it is enabled. To add additional users, click on the Select Users button on the Remote tab of the System Properties dialog box. From here you can add additional users. Note that any non-administrative users that do not have permission to access Remote Desktop cannot use Remote Desktop Connection to access the PC.

Once you have finished, click the OK button of the System Properties dialog box, and Remote Desktop will be enabled.

-JM

Encrypt A USB Flash Drive With Bitlocker In Windows 10 Professional Or Enterprise

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If you are using Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise, you can access a powerful encryption technology called BitLocker. “Encryption” means that the data on a drive is encoded so that it can only be read with a proper key, and “BitLocker” is a specific kind of encryption technology included with Windows. Using BitLocker, you can encrypt a USB flash drive so that it can only be accessed after entering the proper password. The security benefits of this are obvious – if you lose an encrypted flash drive, you do not need to worry about the data on the drive falling into the wrong hands.

To encrypt a USB flash drive with BitLocker, first connect the drive to your computer. (Note that the drive must be formatted with the NTFS file system to use BitLocker). After Windows 10 recognizes the drive, go to the Start Menu, type “bitlocker”, and click or tap on the tile for “Manage BitLocker” when it appears.

This will launch the BitLocker control panel. The control panel will list all the drives on your system eligible for BitLocker encryption. Locate the flash drive you wish to encrypt, and then click on the “Turn on BitLocker” link.

BitLocker will then initialize your flash drive. Do not remove the flash drive during this phase, as it may cause damage to the drive.

After the flash drive has been initialized, BitLocker will ask what kind of security you want to use with your drive. You can use a smart card, but it is easier to set up a password. Enter a password (making sure to select a strong password with uppercase, lowercase, numerals, and punctuation), and then hit the Next button.

BitLocker will also produce a recovery key for the drive, which you can use to recover data in the event that you forget your password. Save the recovery key to a secure location (NOT on the drive itself) and then click the Next button.

Finally, you will need to specify whether you wish BitLocker to encrypt the entire drive at once, or used space only. Encrypting the entire drive is generally more secure, so select that option, and then click the Next button. Finally, hit the Start Encrypting button, and BitLocker will begin to encrypt your drive.

BitLocker will then encrypt the drive. Note that depending upon the size of the drive and the number of files upon it, this can take some time. Do NOT remove the drive while it is still encrypting, as that may result in data loss. Once encryption is finished, you will need to enter the password you set in order to access the drive.

Note that the encrypted drive will NOT work on Mac OS X or Linux computers, only PCs with Windows Vista or higher.

-JM

Change Your Account Picture In Windows 10

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Windows 10, like many other modern operating systems, lets you set an individual image for your user account. If you use a Microsoft account, the image carries over to every Windows 10 computer you sign into with that user account. Typically, you set up an account image when you create the account, but you can always change it later.

To change your account image in Windows 10, first open the Settings app. There are three ways to launch the Settings app. The first is to open the Start Menu by either clicking the Start button on the left-hand side of the Taskbar or by tapping the WINDOWS key on your keyboard. Once the Start Menu appears, type the word “Settings.” The Settings app will be the top hit, and you can launch it by clicking on its icon.

The second way to launch the Settings app is through the Action Center, Windows 10’s notification area. You can open the Action Center by clicking on the Action Center icon in the Notification area in the right-hand side of the Taskbar, by swiping from the right edge of the screen on a Windows 10 tablet, or hitting the WINDOWS+A keys simultaneously. Once the Action Center opens on the right-hand side of the screen, you can launch the Settings app by clicking on the All Settings icon.

Finally, you can open the Settings app at any time by hitting the WINDOWS+I keys simultaneously on your keyboard.

-When the Settings screen app, click on the Accounts button.

-After the PC Settings app opens, click on the Accounts item.

-When Accounts opens up, click on the Your Account item in the left-hand pane.

-You will then see your current account image there. Click on the Browse button to locate a new account image. Alternately, if your PC has a user-facing camera, click on the Camera button to take a picture of yourself to use for your account.

-JM

Add A Local (Non-Microsoft) Account To A Windows 10 PC

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Windows 10 is a “multi-user” system – that means it can support multiple user accounts on the same computer. That means more than one user can have an account on the computer. Additionally, some of the user accounts can be “Standard Users” – that means they don’t have the right to install programs or modify major system settings. The benefits of this are obvious. If you have a guest, for instance, you can created a limited user account and let him use your computer without fear of him accessing your files or installing programs on your computer. Also, if you have children, this is an excellent way to let your children use your Windows 10 computer without the risk of them inflicting damage or installing viruses. As of this writing, the author has worked in IT for over fifteen years, and a common problem is when parents let their children use their computer with the parent’s own account – virus infections quickly accumulate in short order. Better by far to give the children their own limited account.

Here’s how to create a limited user account in Windows 10.

-First launch the Settings app. There are three ways to launch the Settings app. The first is to open the Start Menu by either clicking the Start button on the left-hand side of the Taskbar or by tapping the WINDOWS key on your keyboard. Once the Start Menu appears, type the word “Settings.” The Settings app will be the top hit, and you can launch it by clicking on its icon.

The second way to launch the Settings app is through the Action Center, Windows 10’s notification area. You can open the Action Center by clicking on the Action Center icon in the Notification area in the right-hand side of the Taskbar, by swiping from the right edge of the screen on a Windows 10 tablet, or hitting the WINDOWS+A keys simultaneously. Once the Action Center opens on the right-hand side of the screen, you can launch the Settings app by clicking on the All Settings icon.

Finally, you can open the Settings app at any time by hitting the WINDOWS+I keys simultaneously on your keyboard.

-When the Settings screen app, click on the Accounts button.

-After the PC Settings app opens, click on the Accounts item in the left-hand pane.

-When Accounts opens, click on the Other Users link in the left-hand pane.

-Click on the button with the plus sign marked Add Someone Else To This PC.

-When the “How Will This Person Sign In?” dialog box appears, click on the “The Persona I Want To Add Doesn’t Have An Email Address” link?

-Next, click on the “Add A User Without A Microsoft Account” link.

-When the “Create An Account For This PC” dialog box appears, enter the user name for your new account, along with the password. You’ll need to enter the password twice to confirm it. Then hit the Next button.

-Finally, hit the Finish button, and the user account will be created.

By default, the new account will be a Standard user account, and will not be able to install new programs.

-JM

Disable Cortana Web Searches In Windows 10

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By default, when you search from the Start Menu or from the Search box on the Taskbar, Windows 10 searches both your local computer and the Internet (using Microsoft’s Bing search engine) for search results. This can cause a bit of a delay over a slow connection. Additionally, if you have privacy concerns, you may not want your search terms transmitted to Microsoft. Fortunately, you can easily disable web searches on your Windows 10 computer.

To disable web searches, first summon the Start Menu by clicking the Start button in the lower left-hand corner of the screen or by tapping the START key on your keyboard. Once the Start Menu appears, enter any search term, and the Start Menu will search for it. The left-hand pane of the Start Menu will also change to display search icons. Click or tap on the gear icon to bring up settings for Search.

The right-hand pane of the Start Menu will then show search settings. To disable web searches, move the slider for “Search Online And Include Web Results” from ON to OFF. Windows 10 will then no longer display online results from searches.

-JM

Find The IP Address In Windows 10

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Every computer connected to the Internet needs an IP address, and from time to time you might need to find your IP address. There are two ways to find the IP address of a Windows 10 computer, one in the Settings app, the second through the Desktop Control Panel.

To find the IP address of your Windows 10 computer using the Settings app, first open the Settings app by going to the Start Menu and clicking on the Settings icon in the lower left-hand corner of the menu. You can also launch the Settings app by hitting the WINDOWS+I keys simultaneously.

Once the Settings app launches, click or tap on the Network & Internet icon. Your computer’s network connections will appear in the left-hand pane – Ethernet for wired ethernet, Wi-Fi for wireless, dial-up for a dial-up modem connection, and so on. Click or tap on the network connection for which you want to find the IP address, and Windows 10 will display a number of options for that network connection. Click on the connection’s blue icon, and Windows 10 will display both its IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

To find the IP address of your Windows 10 computer from the Desktop, first summon the Administrative Menu by hitting the WINDOWS+X keys simultaneously. When the Administrative Menu appears, click on the Control Panel option. After Control Panel opens, click on the Network And Internet link. Once Control Panel switches to the Network And Internet category, click on the Network And Sharing Center.

In the Network And Sharing Center, you will see your computer’s network connection. Click on the connection for which you want to find the IP address, and the Status properties box for the connection will open. Then click on the Details button, and you will see a large amount of information about the connection, including its IP address.

-JM

Set The Default PDF Reader In Windows 10

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Previous versions of Windows did not include an application for reading PDF files, and after installing Windows, one of the first tasks people often performed was downloading and installing an appropriate PDF reader. Windows 10 corrects this deficiency with the Edge web browser. The Edge web browser is the default PDF reader in Windows 10.

To view a PDF file in the Edge web browser, simply double-click on any PDF file. It will then open up as a new tab in the Edge browser. If you are already running Edge, the PDF file will create a new tab. Once you are finished reading the PDF, you can either close the individual tab or close Edge entirely.

If you install another PDF reader, like Adobe Acrobat Reader or FoxIt Reader, that program will likely set itself as the default PDF reader. Should you wish to set Edge back as the default PDF reader, right-click on any PDF file and select the Open With option, and then Choose Another App. From the dialog box that appears, select Edge, put a checkmark in the “Always Open With” checkbox, and then click OK. Edge will then be set as your system’s default PDF reader.

-JM

Clear The Browsing History In Windows 10’s Edge Browser

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When using the Edge web browser you may need to clear out your browser history from time to time, perhaps for reasons of privacy, perhaps because you inadvertently visited the wrong site and don’t want it cluttering up your History tab. Fortunately, Edge offers a number of convenient ways to clear out your browser’s history. You can purge the entire history at once, or delete specific sections of your browsing history.

To delete your Edge browser’s history, you first have to visit the History view in the Hub.There are two different ways to view your browser’s History tab. The first way is to go to the Hub menu by clicking on the Hub button in the upper right-hand corner of the Edge window. From the Hub pane, click on the History button, which will resemble a small clock. The Edge browser will immediately display your browsing history. The second way is to hit the CTRL+H keys simultaneously, which will also summon the Hub pane with the browsing history already loaded.

Once you are in the History view, you can delete large chunks of your web history at once by clicking on the Clear Browsing Data link towards the top of the Hub. This will take you to a dialog box offering you options for clearing your browsing data. There are a number of checkboxes that let you specify which specific items will be deleted: browsing history, cookies and saved website data, download history,, autofilled forms, passwords, and content licenses. Once you have made your selections, click the Clearbutton at the bottom of the dialog box, and the Edge browser will clear the specified data.

You can also wipe out individual pages from your History tab, if you inadvertently visit a website you don’t wish to have preserved in your browsing history. On the History view, each visited website has a gray X next to it. Click that X, and the Edge browser will remove that specific website from your history.

-JM