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Windows 10 features

Windows is the most popular operating system in history, but despite its popularity, many users still do not know about all of its functionalities. Here are some Windows 10 features from the latest update that you might have missed.

Night light

This feature lets you reduce the amount of blue light emitted from your screen, which helps reduce eye strain and boost sleep efficiency. Night Light is disabled by default, so you need to enable it by following these steps:

  1. Click the Start Menu.
  2. Open the Settings app (or press the Windows key + I to quickly open Settings).
  3. Select the System icon followed by the Display option in the left-hand pane.
  4. Set Night light to “On” or “Off.”

Taskbar pin

Opening browsers and typing in web addresses are simple tasks as they were, but Windows 10’s taskbar pin feature makes it even easier than before. This is an essential shortcut for anyone who relies on specific web-based apps such as email or company intranets. Simply right click on the app or document you wish to gain easy access to and choose “Pin to Taskbar”.

Organize your open windows

Do you struggle to organize a screen cluttered with open windows? Holding the Windows key and pressing an arrow should solve most of your problems:

  1. Windows key + Left – Resize the current window’s width to half the size of the screen and align it to the left
  2. Windows key + Right – Resize the current window’s width to half the size of the screen and align it to the right
  3. Windows key + Up – Maximize the current window to fit the entire screen
  4. Windows key + Down – Downsize the current window

When none of those keys are enough to set you straight, holding the Windows key and pressing the Tab button will show you all the apps you currently have open.

Focus Assist

Notifications are frustratingly distracting. Windows 10’s Focus Assist feature helps you tackle this issue by customizing which contacts and applications can interrupt you during predetermined periods of time. Try it out by:

  1. Opening the Settings window
  2. Clicking the System icon
  3. Selecting Focus Assist from the left-hand pane
  4. Adjusting the notifications settings based on your preference

If you wish to disable Focus Assist and receive all notifications, simply click Off.

These are just a few of our favorites. For more software and productivity recommendations, give our experts a call today.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

If you’ve been waiting for updates on Windows 10, here’s some good news and more! Microsoft will very likely release big updates to the OS in 2021. Additionally, the tech giant is expected to introduce new services designed to maximize user experience across a wide range of devices.

What’s new on Windows 10?

Microsoft tends to release major updates followed by several smaller ones meant to implement minor feature changes and improvements. This likely won’t be the case in 2021.

Sources indicate that the first of two updates will be released sometime in the spring next year. It will be a servicing style update similar to those released in the latter halves of 2019 (19H2) and 2020 (20H2). To illustrate, the 19H2 update included improvements in battery usage efficiency, while the 20H2 update focused on enhancing general performance and quality. The spring update (21H1) will likely be in preparation for the bigger one (21H2) coming around the fall.

Next year’s major update will likely enable x86 64-bit Windows 10 to be emulated on computers that use ARM processors. This is good news if you use ARM-based computers, such as Microsoft’s very own Surface line of notebooks. With the update, you will be able to run legacy Windows programs on your device.

Windows 10X

Google’s Chrome OS might not be as feature-rich as Windows 10, but its lightweight nature and simple interface make it a hit among users who want a fast and straightforward operating system. That it is exclusively built into light, compact, and affordable notebooks — called Chromebooks — certainly adds to its appeal.

Microsoft’s Windows 10X is purportedly its answer to Chrome OS. It’s a lightweight version of Windows 10 designed to perform well even on low- to mid-range computers. Windows 10X also boasts an updated, modern-looking interface, formidable security, and excellent battery efficiency.

Like Chrome OS, Windows 10X will be exclusive to a specific line of computers which, according to reports, may include ARM-based and foldable devices. Windows 10X will likely become available in the earlier half of 2021.

Cloud PC

Windows 10 Cloud PC is a service that allows you to install applications to a version of Windows found on the cloud. Both the apps and the OS are streamed to your computer and use very little of the machine’s power. This makes it a great service for computers with low memory or ones that suffer from weak performance. Any apps installed via Cloud PC will appear on your Start menu as if it were installed locally on your machine.

Cloud PC will likely be an integrated service with both Windows 10 and Windows 10X. Windows 10X devices likely will not come with win32 local support, although the feature may be added in a future update. You can resolve this issue by installing your win32 programs on Cloud PC and streaming them via your Windows 10X device.

Microsoft has yet to confirm the exact nature and scope of their upcoming updates and services, but we can make educated guesses. In any case, it seems users can look forward to improved performance on Windows 10, as well as more opportunities to save money and get more out of their tech investments. If you need recommendations on how to take full advantage of these updates and new services, just give our experts a call.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org  SOURCE

Windows 10 PC

Is your computer taking a lot of time to perform tasks it used to finish within seconds? Just because your unit is slowing down doesn’t mean you’ll need to spend hundreds of dollars on a replacement. We’ve compiled four ways to speed up your Windows 10 computer for free:

Prevent programs from launching at startup

Windows makes certain programs readily available by loading them at startup. While Microsoft likely has good intentions for doing this, this auto-launch feature slows down your computer. To fix this issue, you’ll need to adjust your settings.

Open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc to see the programs that launch during startup. On the startup tab, you can easily disable any programs you don’t want launching at startup, such as media players and optional accessories that don’t have to be active all the time. But to be on the safe side, keep essential apps, such as antivirus software, enabled.

Get rid of useless applications

Having too many programs installed on your computer uses up valuable memory and hard disk space. This slows down your computer and makes the machine work harder than necessary. Quickly uninstall programs you don’t need by following these steps:

  • Tap the Windows key on your keyboard and type “Add or remove programs” (this will show you all the apps stored in your computer).
  • A link to the system settings will appear. Click on the link.
  • Select the program/s you no longer want, and click Uninstall.

Once you do this, you’ll then be guided through several steps to complete the uninstallation process.

Organize your disks

It’s important to regularly clean out your computer of data you don’t need. Thankfully, Microsoft’s Disk Cleanup tool makes it easy to do so.

To find the tool, tap on the Windows button on your keyboard and type “Disk Cleanup.” If you click on the link, the tool will automatically find files that take up too much memory space, such as temporary Internet and system memory dump files. Just click OK to send these files to your Recycle Bin.

Turn off apps running in the background

You may not know it, but there are a lot of programs running in the background as you use your computer. Microsoft enabled their native universal apps to do this so you can quickly access their features. However, this also slows down your CPU. Disabling them will reduce the burden on your computer and speed it up.

To find out what programs are running in the background, press the Windows button on your keyboard and type “Background apps.” Find the programs you don’t need running and toggle the On-Off button.

By following these four steps, you’ll see a noticeable difference in the speed of your PC. If you want to learn how to optimize your Windows system further or need assistance with your other Microsoft products, give us a call.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Windows 10 helps users by giving useful suggestions as they type and by displaying ads based on their online searches. But these can feel invasive after a while. To ensure your privacy and keep Microsoft’s watchful eye off your computer activity, follow these tips.

Turn off personalized advertising

Windows 10 assigns each user an advertising ID to personalize their ad experience based on their recent browser history. You can turn off the advertising ID feature by doing the following:

  1. Click Start Settings > Privacy > General.
  2. Toggle off the option “Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps.” This will reset your advertising ID.
  3. If you don’t want to receive locally relevant content from websites, toggle off the option “Let websites provide locally relevant content by accessing my language list.”

Disable Cortana

Microsoft has ventured into the market of voice-controlled virtual assistants with Cortana. This personal assistant allows users to set reminders, schedule events, and send emails, among other tasks. Every time you use Cortana, it collects information about your computer activity — “learning” it, so to speak — to improve user experience. But if you find this feature intrusive, you can disable Cortana completely with these steps:

  1. Search for the Windows Registry editor in the Windows search bar, or press Windows + R, type “regedit,” and click OK.
  2. Copy and paste HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows into the address bar at the top.
  3. Look for the Windows Search folder. If it doesn’t exist, create it by right-clicking the right-hand pane, then choose New > Key. Rename the folder “Windows Search”.
  4. Select the Windows Search folder, then right-click the right-hand pane and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  5. Name it “Allow Cortana,” and make sure the Value Data is set to zero.
  6. Restart your computer.

Stop peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing

Windows 10’s P2P file sharing feature enables your PC to share downloaded updates with other Windows 10 users by default. This helps other users update their systems faster and speeds up your upgrade downloads. To turn it off, do the following:

  1. Go to Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options > Choose how updates are delivered.
  2. Note that the default setting is “Updates from more than one place.” If you want to disable this feature entirely, toggle off this option. If you want to share your files with PCs on your home network, leave this feature on and select PCs on my local network.

Change Microsoft’s Edge settings

Microsoft’s relaunched browser is chock-full of features, such as web experience personalization and typing prediction. Such features may make you uncomfortable since they all send back data to Microsoft. Here’s how to turn them off:

  1. Open Edge and click on the menu icon (three dots) in the upper right corner.
  2. Next, click on Settings > Privacy and services. Scroll down and switch on the “Send ‘Do Not Track’ requests” option.

There’s also a bunch of privacy and services settings that you may want to disable, such as tracking services, navigation error resolution, block potentially unwanted apps, and more.

For more tips on keeping Microsoft from tracking your online activity and more information about how to safeguard your security and privacy, drop us a line today.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

In April 2020, Microsoft launched Microsoft 365, the successor to its popular Office 365. But it’s not a mere name change. The tech giant is also introducing improvements to its productivity software that will enhance how your business deals with cyberthreats every day.

Name change

Microsoft has time and again shown that they are willing to make drastic changes to their products and services in the name of development. Their Windows 10 operating system (OS), for instance, is a far cry from its predecessor Windows 8. Microsoft made the jump from what they thought would be a revolutionary tile-based design in Windows 8 to a classic, ergonomically designed Windows 10.

The tech giant has once again made drastic changes, this time to their award-winning line of productivity apps Microsoft Office 365. O365, as it was lovingly referred to for nearly a decade, is now the sleeker, more powerful, Microsoft 365 Business.

Microsoft 365 Business is available to small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) on three different subscription plans: Business Basic, Business Standard, and Business Premium.

Available plans

MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS BASIC

Microsoft 365 Business Basic comes with many standard features, including web and mobile app access, full email and calendaring tools, secure file storage, collaboration tools, and support. Rest easy knowing that you have a powerful enterprise-grade software for a fraction of the cost such as:

  • Web and mobile app versions of Office apps
  • Real-time coauthoring
  • Email hosting with 50 GB capacity
  • 1 TB of OneDrive storage
  • Automatic syncs regardless of work platform choice (between OneDrive and SharePoint).
  • Teleconferencing and unified communications via Microsoft Teams for up to 250 users
  • Automatic threat defense via Exchange Online Protection
  • A complete array of cybersecurity tools and protocols, such as automated password policy tools

MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS STANDARD

With the Microsoft 365 Business Standard plan, you’ll get everything Business Basic offers plus:

  • Desktop versions of Office apps for up to five PCs or Macs per user
  • Easy and smart appointments management with Microsoft Bookings
  • Real-time mileage tracking and reporting with MileIQ

MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS PREMIUM

Microsoft 365 Business Premium is the brand’s flagship plan, a great tool for businesses ready to take their operations to the next level. It comes with everything Business Standard offers plus:

  • Advanced security tools to protect from zero-day threats and ransomware, via Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection
  • Remote wiping tools for stolen or lost devices, via Selective Wipe from Intune
  • Restricted copying or saving options for unauthorized apps and locations
  • Complete control of company data, via Information Rights Management
  • Pre-breach threat resistance policy options, via Windows Defender Exploit Guard
  • Malware protection, via Windows Defender
  • Unlimited cloud archiving of emails, via Exchange Online Archiving
  • Setup wizards for Windows 10, iOS, and Android
  • Total security policy deployment — even for mobile apps — via Mobile Device Management from Intune

Microsoft 365 Business will change the way your staff powers your business. Contact us today to discuss how you can avail of a subscription.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Microsoft has warned Windows users to install an “emergency” out-of-band security patch.

The software giant said in an advisory that a security flaw in some versions of Internet Explorer could allow an attacker to remotely run malicious code on an affected device. A user could be stealthily infected by visiting a malicious web page or by being tricked into clicking on a link in an email.

“An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could take control of an affected system,” said Microsoft.

Microsoft said the vulnerability was under active exploitation, though details of the flaw had not been made public.

More than 7 percent of all browser users are running affected versions of Internet Explorer 9, 10 and 11, according to recent data. All supported versions of Windows are affected, including Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, as well as several Windows Server versions.

Most users can install the patches using Windows Update.

Microsoft also issued a fix for its in-built malware scanner Windows Defender, which if exploited could have triggered a denial-of-service condition resulting in the app failing to work.

The company said no action was required by users to remediate the bug in Windows Defender.

It’s rare but not unheard of for Microsoft to release emergency security patches outside of its typical monthly patching cycle. The company typically releases security fixes in the second week of each month on its so-called Patch Tuesday, but will also release fixes for significant vulnerabilities under active exploitation as soon as they are made available.

Homeland Security warned in its own advisory urging affected users to install the patches.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechCrunch.com  SOURCE