For all the fancy new ways of being able to get in touch with people via voice chat these days, Skype continues to mix it up with the best of them. The software has had a particularly interesting journey on Windows. Since being bought by Microsoft, it was effectively split into two apps – the Modern app you get from the Windows Store and the desktop app. In 2018 these apps effectively converged into one, with Skype 8 and the “Modern” app now sharing the exact same interface. As of September 2018, you can record Skype voice and video calls directly through the app, and… Read more
Windows Defender hasn’t been one of the more popular antiviruses with users. What Microsoft does offer with Defender, other free antiviruses can do better with their own suites. It’s a well-versed piece of advice from expert users to download a free antivirus and disable Defender before you surf online. Microsoft isn’t one to simply duck away from criticism, however. They’ve proven in the past that they’re willing to step up their game to convert users to their software. Last time they revamped Internet Explorer into Edge which they hoped would go toe-to-toe with Chrome and Firefox. Now, Microsoft is aiming to add a new feature… Read more
Modern computers come loaded with hundreds of processes and services designed to make the operating system run smoothly. Sometimes when you install a program or service, they may interfere with crucial services, resulting in unexpected program crashes, error messages popping up, or slowing down your computer.
You could start your computer into Safe Mode, which is a more barebones approach that disables even more drivers or services, but it may disable some things you may be trying to test. Instead, you can perform a Clean Boot on Windows 10 by temporarily disabling non-critical services and startup programs. You can then enable them again one at a time to see if any are causing trouble.
RELATED: How to Boot Into Safe Mode on Windows 10 or 8 (The Easy Way)
Note: Before you get started, you may want to set up a System Restore Point or back up your computer just in case anything goes wrong during the process. Also, you should not try to perform these steps if your PC is connected to a managed network, such as the one at your company. In fact, it’s likely the tools you’d use to perform these steps are disabled by your administrator.
To start, hit Win+R to open the Run window. Type “msconfig” in the box and then hit Enter.
Once MSConfig opens, switch over to the Services tab to display a list of all services for your computer. At the bottom of the window, select the “Hide All Microsoft Services” option and then click the “Disable All” button. This disables all non-Microsoft services. Click “OK” when you’re done.
In PowerPoint, when you type, you may notice that if you enter more text than can fit inside a text placeholder, the text is automatically resized to a smaller size. This is called AutoFit. In some cases, that might be helpful; in other cases, it might not. Here’s how to turn that off.
The best case for turning off AutoFit is when you know how big you want a box (or any shape) to be on your slide and you know the size you want the text to be. In that case, it makes more sense to let the text overflow the box so that you can edit the text down to a point where it fits.
First, let’s take a look at what happens when you type inside a text placeholder. If you type more than will fit in the placeholder, the AutoFit Options button displays. Click on the “AutoFit Options” button to view the available options.
In this example, the “AutoFit Text to Placeholder” option is selected.
To turn AutoFit off for the active text box and allow text to move beyond the placeholder border, click “Stop Fitting Text to This Placeholder.”
Windows has many “advanced power settings” you can adjust. These options let you choose between performance and battery life, control what Windows does when you have a critical battery level, and tweak what pressing the power button and closing the lid does.
This works on all modern versions of Windows, including Windows 10 and Windows 7.
How to Find Advanced Power Settings
To find these options, head to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options. Click the “Change Plan Settings” link to the right of the power plan you want to configure. This is separate from Windows 10’s power mode options, for some reason.
Each power plan has its own advanced options configuration, so you can quickly switch between combinations of settings.
Click “Change Advanced Power Settings” to find these options.
RELATED: Should You Use the Balanced, Power Saver, or High Performance Power Plan on Windows?
What All the Advanced Power Settings Do
Daylight Savings Time ended at 2 a.m., but at least one of our Windows 10 PCs didn’t notice. Windows 10 is set to automatically update the time, but didn’t. We’ve seen a few similar reports online, too.
Yes, It’s Yet Another Windows 10 Bug
We noticed this problem on a PC that was powered off when the time changed. When we turned it on later in the morning, it never bothered updating the time. In other words, that PC is reporting a time one hour ahead of the real time. The PC had several hours to update the clock after we turned it on, but it never bothered doing so.
This particular PC is running Windows 10’s buggy October 2018 Update, so maybe this is yet another problem with that update. On the other hand, another PC running the October 2018 Update updated the time just fine.
We don’t know how many people experienced this problem, but we can already see we’re not alone. Make sure to check the clocks on your Windows 10 PCs, just in case.
How to Fix Your PC’s Time
Obviously Microsoft should fix the larger problem. But, if Windows didn’t bother updating your PC’s clock after DST ended, you can quickly fix the time yourself.
To correct your PC’s time, head to Settings > Time & Language > Date & Time.
You can also just right-click the clock area in Windows 10 and select “Adjust Date/Time” to quickly open this settings pane.
There’s nothing more frustrating than firing up a program you use all the time, only to be confronted with an error message. In these situations it’s very likely that the error message references the file extension “.dll.” Since most folks don’t have a clue as to what a DLL file is, much less what it does, this can put users into full-on panic mode. Luckily, the Windows operating system has a few built-in ways to handle this common problem. What is a .dll File? A DLL (dynamic link library) is a file that contains code and data that can be used by more than one… Read more
Microsoft made it possible to use Cortana on the lock screen so that you can do a variety of things like getting weather updates, reminders, calendar events, traffic data, playing songs, etc., without unlocking the PC first. For sensitive tasks like launching applications or accessing sensitive data, you are required to unlock the PC first. As good as it is, if you are not using or simply don’t like Cortana on the lock screen, you can easily disable it as needed. Here’s how. Related: How to Completely Disable Cortana in Windows 10 Disable Cortana on Lock Screen from Settings App Windows 10 has a dedicated… Read more
Microsoft only supports each version of Windows for so long. For example, Windows 7 is currently in “extended support” until January 14, 2020, after which Microsoft will no longer support it. Here’s what that means.
No More Security Updates
When Microsoft stops supporting a version of Windows, Microsoft stops issuing security updates for that operating system. For example, Windows Vista and Windows XP no longer receive security updates, even if substantial security holes are found in them.
On January 14, 2020, the same will be true for Windows 7. Even if people discover huge security holes that affect Windows 7, Microsoft won’t issue you security updates. You’re on your own.
Sure, you can run antivirus tools and other security software to try protecting yourself, but antivirus is never perfect. Running software with the latest security updates is important, too. Antivirus is just one layer of defense. And even security programs will gradually drop support for older versions of Windows.
Microsoft will keep making security updates for Windows 7, even though you can’t get them. Large organizations can sign “custom support” contracts to keep getting security updates for a period while they transition to a new operating system. Microsoft ratchets up the price going forward to encourage those organizations actually to move to a new version of Windows. The same thing happened with Windows XP.
RELATED: Microsoft is Still Making Security Updates for Windows XP, But You Can’t Have Them
Software Companies Stop Supporting It, Too
Windows 10’s Start menu comes filled with tiles for everything from Candy Crush to Paint 3D. Windows 10’s next update, codenamed 19H1 and expected in April 2019, will let you clear all those tiles in six clicks.
This is thanks to a new feature that lets you unpin entire groups of tiles. Rather than right-clicking each tile one by one and clicking “Unpin From Start,” you can right-click an entire group of tiles and select “Unpin Group From Start.” Microsoft’s Jen Gentleman demonstrated this new option on Twitter:
Group unpin in Start – makes it a lot faster to clear stuff away if you wanna start fresh 😊 #WindowsInsiders pic.twitter.com/4ITm32Ciyq
— Jen Gentleman 🌺 (@JenMsft) October 31, 2018
We just counted three groups of tiles—Create, Play, and Explore—on a new installation of Windows 10 19H1. This means it should take just six short clicks to get rid of every last pinned tile.
You’ll just need to right-click a group heading, select “Unpin Group From Start,” and repeat a few times. Then Candy Crush, FarmVille 2, and all the other included apps you don’t care about will be buried under All Apps where you don’t have to see them.
How to Get Rid of Windows 10’s Start Menu Tiles, Right Now
Of course, you can get rid of all those annoying tiles today, if you haven’t already. Just right-click a tile and select “Unpin From Start” to remove it. Or, if you’re using a touch screen, long-press each tile instead. You’ll just have to do it the slow way, one by one.