Quick Guide to the Windows 7 Desktop

Windows 7 sports a different desktop look from Windows Vista and Windows XP. Understanding how to get around the Windows 7 desktop is vital for you to get the most out of your pc time; there are many time-saving shortcuts, for instance, for opening programs and rearranging open windows. This quick guide shows you the key options that come with the Windows 7 desktop. Undergo this content, as well as in no time, you will be an electrical user.

The ‘Aero’ Look

The new look of Windows 7 is known as the “Aero” interface. Here is a little background, along with a description of the items Aero means.
Aero is not just pretty, but functional as well. Aero Snap, for example, is a way to automatically move windows towards the edges from the screen to compare or enlarge them.
Aero Peek gives you a quick view of what’s on your desktop.
Aero Shake brings the window you need to use towards the fore, while minimizing others and uncluttering your desktop.

The Windows 7 Taskbar

The most significant change in the Windows 7 desktop may be the inclusion of the taskbar, which is a shortcut to using your programs. The taskbar is the bottom bar on your computer; it has the Start button on the left, and a group of icons on the right, typically ending with the starting time and date.
Moving programs into and out of the taskbar is really as simple as pinning and unpinning them to the taskbar.
The taskbar includes a quantity of new icons around the right too. The small white flag, for example, may be the Action Center, which alerts you to potential issues. The experience Center updates you on needed tasks like security issues — is your firewall on, blocking the bad guys? Additionally, it gives information on setting up backups, so your information is safe in case of a computer disaster that breaks it.
The battery meter, which is a part of power options, might help your battery keep going longer. This is obviously only relevant to those using a laptop or device (like the Surface tablet) that operates on electric batteries.

Where’s My XP Stuff?

Those of you coming from XP will notice many differences and may wonder what happened to certain desktop items you relied on. In some cases, desktop items were held over from XP but moved around.
Shutting down your pc, one of the most basic items you do, is becoming more difficult in Windows 7. Determine what the brand new shutdown options do.
What happened to XP’s “Quick Launch”? It’s gone but continues to be replaced by something much better: the Windows 7 taskbar (discussed earlier), that is significantly superior to Quick Launch.
Another commonly-used XP feature was “Show Desktop”. Its function hasn’t changed, nevertheless its look and placement has.

Customizing Windows 7

Windows 7 lets you be you. Among the best methods to do that would be to add themes, that are collections of desktop wallpapers, sounds and icon replacements.
Gadgets — mini-programs that sit on your desktop — were introduced in Vista, but they have been improved in Windows 7.
You can also make any image on your computer your desktop background, or wallpaper, with just a few clicks.

What is Windows 7 Starter Edition?

Many people who’ve been following news about Windows 7 know that there are three primary editions (Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate) to select from. But did you know there is a fourth edition, known as Windows 7 Starter? It isn’t well known, but because people explore Windows 7, they’re beginning to wonder if this edition is perfect for them. Read on to find out.

For Netbooks Only

The most important thing to understand is the fact that Windows 7 Starter edition is just for experience netbook computers. You cannot have it on the standard PC (nor can you need it, in most cases.) It is currently offered being an upgrade on a number of netbooks, such as the Dell Inspiron Mini 10v and also the HP Mini 110. On systems, it’s a $30 upgrade in the base operating system (OS), which is Or windows 7 Home edition for both.

What it Does not have

Windows 7 Starter is a significantly stripped-down form of Windows 7. Here’s a number of how it is missing, courtesy of a Microsoft blog posting:

Aero Glass, meaning you are able to just use the “Windows Basic” or any other opaque themes. It also means you do not get Taskbar Previews or Aero Peek.
Personalization features for changing desktop backgrounds, window colors, or sound schemes.
The ability to switch between users without having to leave.
Multi-monitor support.
DVD playback.
Windows Media Center for watching recorded TV or other media.
Remote Media Streaming for streaming your music, videos, and recorded TV out of your home computer.
Domain support for business customers.
XP Mode for the ones that want the ability to run older Windows XP programs on Windows 7.

One feature that’ll be most missed may be the capability to change your desktop look. Can’t stand the background you get? Sorry, Charlie; you have to live with. Note that additionally you can’t watch DVDs. But when you can live without those features and wish the soundness and strong performance of Windows 7, it’s an option worth taking into consideration.

Upgrade Options

Also, think about upgrading that netbook to a regular version of Windows 7. One thing the Microsoft blogger referenced earlier is the capability to operate a non-Starter form of Windows 7 on the netbook. This is a sensible choice if you possess the money to upgrade; first, however, make sure to browse the netbook’s system specs and compare it to Windows 7’s system requirements. If you can run it, we’d recommend upgrading, since Windows 7 is a huge improvement over Windows XP.

An important misconception some have about Windows 7 Starter is that you can’t open more than three programs at the same time. This was the case when Windows 7 Starter was still in development, but that limitation was dropped. You can have as numerous open programs as you would like (and your RAM are designed for).

Is Windows 7 Starter Edition a great choice?

Windows 7 is very limited, there is no doubt about this. But, for that main purposes of a netbook, which normally involves surfing the Internet, checking email and so on, it’ll do the job just fine. We’d recommend shelling out the extra money for it. If you need your OS to do more, upgrade to some regular version of Windows 7 or consider moving up to some non-netbook laptop. They’re coming down a lot in price, and provide small size and more bang for that buck than ever.

13 Windows 7 Gadgets for System Monitoring

Windows 7 gadgets can be a much more than the usual pretty interface for your clock or news feed. Several Windows 7 gadgets exist solely as monitoring tools that demonstrate constantly updated data about your system resources like CPU, memory, hard drive, and network usage.

Here are the very best free Windows 7 gadgets (they operate in Windows, too) you can use to keep track of resources:

Microsoft no longer supports Windows Gadget development so that they can concentrate on native apps for Windows 8 and Windows 10. However, all the gadgets here are still available, will work with both Windows 7 and Windows Vista, and therefore are completely free to download.

CPU Meter Gadget

The CPU Meter Windows gadget for Windows 7 displays two dials – one that tracks your system’s CPU usage (the main one around the left) and the other that tracks physical memory usage, both in percentage format.

If you want to help keep track of just how much memory and CPU has been used at any time, provide the CPU Meter gadget a go.

This is a pretty basic Windows 7 gadget in that there aren’t any fancy options, however it does what it really does well.

DriveInfo Gadget

The DriveInfo Windows 7 gadget monitors the disposable space available on one or more of your PC’s hard disk drives. It displays the disposable space both in GB and percentage, and works together with local, removable, network, and/or media drives.

If you frequently check the free space available on your hard disk drives, the DriveInfo gadget will definitely save you a while.

The DriveInfo gadget is very easy to configure and is a particularly attractive accessory for your other Windows gadgets. Plus, you can customize the background and the icon theme set.

The DriveInfo gadget can be obtained as a free download from Softpedia for the Windows 7 desktop or Windows Vista Sidebar.

System Control A1 Gadget

The System Control A1 gadget is a fantastic resource monitor gadget for Windows 7. It tracks CPU load and memory usage over the last Thirty seconds, and even tell you just how long it has been since your computer was last turn off.

The best thing about the machine Control A1 gadget is that it supports up to eight CPU cores, making it fully suitable for the latest multi-core CPUs. The interface is superb too which will help balance the truth that you will find simply no user options.

The System Control A1 gadget is freely available from the gadget developer.

Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor Gadget

The best thing about the Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor gadget for Windows 7 is it looks cool. You can observe available wireless network connections, verify wireless coverage, and lots more in a unique interface.

Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor packs lots of useful information into a single gadget, maybe too much. For me personally, the Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor gadget seems a bit “heavy” using the radar display running all the time and the huge Xirrus logo. Still, it’s powerful gadget and you might find it really useful.

The Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor gadget is a free download from Xirrus.

margu-NotebookInfo2 Gadget

The margu-NotebookInfo2 Windows gadget includes a funny name but it is serious about packing lots of system monitoring into a single gadget.

Using the margu-NotebookInfo2 gadget, you can track system uptime, CPU and RAM use, wireless network strength, battery level, plus much more.

A lot could be customized within this gadget however the best part is that you don’t have to make those changes if you do not wish to. For instance, while it’s helpful to have the ability to change which wireless and wired interfaces will be to display, and whether to use GHz or MHZ, you can also enable/disable the built-in clock and calendar.

margu-NotebookInfo2 is put together perfectly and really should be an excellent addition to any Windows 7 or Windows PC.

iPhone Battery Gadget

The iPhone Battery Windows 7 gadget needs to be one of the coolest gadgets around. Battery indicator is an excellent knock-off from the glowing battery level indicator on the iPhone, and appears great on a Windows desktop.

With the iPhone Battery gadget, you can also mimic an antique meter, a Duracell? battery, along with a sphere battery, among other cool things.

If you’re on a laptop or other portable Windows 7 device, the iPhone Battery gadget should definitely assist you to keep a closer eye in your available power.

The iPhone Battery gadget is free from Softpedia and installs fitted 7 desktop or Windows Sidebar.

Network Meter Gadget

The Network Meter Windows 7 gadget provides all kinds of useful information about your wired or wireless network connection like current external and internal IP address, current upload and data transfer speed, total bandwidth usage, SSID, signal quality, and more.

There are many useful configurations available with Network Meter including background color, bandwidth scaling, network interface card selection, and much more.

If you’re troubleshooting a local network issue or will always be checking your external IP, the Network Meter gadget could be very useful.

The Network Meter gadget is a free download from AddGadget and installs on your Windows 7 desktop or Windows Sidebar.

All CPU Meter Gadget

The All CPU Meter gadget keeps track of CPU usage and your used and available memory. What makes ALL CPU Meter stand out from the crowd is its support for as many as eight CPU cores!

There are just several options but background color is one. That might appear to be a little advantage, but if you’re a regular user of Windows 7 gadgets, you will know making it fit with your desktop scheme is an important factor.

I also such as the quick one second update some time and smartly designed graph in most CPU Meter.

The All CPU Meter gadget can be obtained for free from AddGadget for the Windows 7 desktop or Windows Sidebar.

Memeter Gadget

The Memeter Windows 7 gadget monitors all kinds of things about your CPU, RAM, and life of the battery. It’s a great gadget to use to keep track of the main hardware resources becoming used by Windows.

If your memory, CPU, or battery usage is something you’ll need (or like) to look at, the Memeter gadget will really prove useful.

The one thing you are able to customize is the theme color to make it yellow, purple, cyan, black, etc.

The Memeter gadget is also freely available from Softpedia.

GPU Observer Gadget

The GPU Observer gadget for Windows 7 provides you with a continuing review your video card’s temperature, fan speed, and much more.

GPU Observer shows the GPU temperature and, if reported from your card, the PCB temperature, fan speed, GPU load, VPU load, memory load, and system clocks.

Most NVIDIA and ATI desktop cards are supported by GPU Observer, plus some NVIDIA mobile cards. No Intel, S3, or Matrox GPUs are supported.

Multiple cards are supported although not simultaneously. You will need to determine which video card you would like stats displayed for in the GPU Observer options.

If monitoring your GPU is important, as it is to many serious gamers, then you’ll love GPU Observer.

CPU Meter III Gadget

CPU Meter III is, you got it right, a CPU resource meter gadget for Windows 7. In addition to tracking CPU usage, CPU Meter III also tracks memory usage.

There is nothing the perfect about CPU Meter III – it just tracks one CPU and the meter display isn’t as polished as other similar gadgets.

However, there’s one redeeming feature – it’s responsive. Very responsive! It appears to be live and never a one or two second update like other gadgets. This, I really like.

Another thing I love is how big the gadget is. Some CPU meter gadgets are extremely small it’s difficult to see what’s happening.

Definitely try CPU Meter III out. I think you’ll like it.

Drive Activity Gadget

The Drive Activity gadget for Windows 7 graphs the workload of the hard disk drives. Seeing how hard your hard disks will work could be useful in determining in which you may have performance issues.

There are a few options within the Drive Activity gadget – you are able to pick the kind of graph to display (polygon or lines) as well as which of your hard drives to include in the display (you can choose more than one).

My biggest issue with this Windows gadget is the inability to change colors. Blue on black is not likely to fulfill many users… personally, I find it hard to determine.

The Drive Activity gadget is a download free from Sascha Katzner.

AlertCon Gadget

The AlertCon gadget is really a unique one. AlertCon supplies a visual representation of the present state of security across the internet. Massive issues like fast spreading malware and major security holes would prompt a rise in the threat level.

IBM’s Internet Security Systems group operates the AlertCon system.

If you’d like a DEFCON-style representation of internet-wide issues directly on your desktop, the AlertCon gadget fits the bill. Just don’t expect it to swing down and up regularly – the internet as a whole isn’t typically under serious threats.

The AlertCon gadget is a free download from Softpedia and installs on your Windows 7 desktop or Windows Sidebar.

This gadget installed fine the last time I tried but it didn’t display anything. It’s left here for you to definitely try since you may have better luck.

Where and How to Download Windows 7

There are many reasons you might want to download Windows 7. For example, if you want to install Windows 7 but you’ve lost your original setup disc, or it’s damaged, downloading Windows 7 would enable you to get from that bind.

Computer makers also often don’t incorporate a Windows 7 DVD with new computers, complicating the process of a Windows 7 clean install and even some advanced troubleshooting that typically needs a Windows 7 disc.

You might also want a Windows 7 download simply to check out the operating system in order to use it a second computer at home. Windows could be expensive, so locating a place to download Windows 7 free of charge is definitely an enticing thought. Just about everything can be obtained on the web for free, right?

Where Can I Download Windows 7?

There are several places to download Windows 7 online but many of them are approximately “maybe okay” and “completely illegal.” Windows 7 has been legitimately distributed online previously, however it never was free.

Windows 10 is easily the most recent form of Windows and could be upgraded to from Windows 7. See Where Can I Download Windows 10? for assistance on what to do next if you are interested.

You need to understand that in many ways, that which you actually pay for when you legally purchase a copy of Windows 7 may be the product key, sometimes referred to as a CD key or key code, or incorrectly because the serial number. This excellent number must be in a position to fully use Windows 7.

So, even if you did download Windows 7 without having to pay for it, you would still need a legitimate Windows 7 product key in to utilize it fully.

Download Windows 7 the 100% Legal Way

Undoubtedly, the best way to download Windows 7 is via Microsoft’s Download Windows 7 Disc Images (ISO Files) page. This is the official way to get your Windows 7 ISO image. Here’s how to do it:

This process will only work if you have a retail license of Windows 7. This will apt to be the case if you bought Windows 7 yourself, or perhaps a smaller computer company installed it for you personally in your custom PC purchase. If Windows 7 came preinstalled together with your major-brand PC, you most likely come with an OEM license and you will have to try a few of the ideas below that one.

Visit Microsoft’s Download Windows 7 Disc Images (ISO Files) page.

Enter your valid Windows 7 product key and verify it with Microsoft.

Don’t have your products key anymore? As long as Windows 7 is still installed somewhere, you might be able to extract it.

hoose your language.

Click on the 32-bit or 64-bit option.

Download the Windows 7 ISO image to your computer.

The download link is valid for 24 hours only, if you don’t download Windows 7 within that quantity of your time, you will need to repeat the above steps.

You should are in possession of a fully working legal Windows 7 ISO file.

What you use that Windows 7 ISO file next depends on how you plan on installing Windows 7:

Install From Disc: Take that Windows 7 ISO and burn it for an empty DVD disc.

Install From USB: “Burn” the ISO image to some flash drive.

Now, you can install Windows 7, make use of this flash drive or disc for diagnostics, or anything you were after the Windows 7 download for to begin with.

If the Microsoft resource fails out for you personally, you may want to request an alternative in different ways. Continue reading for that and several more ideas.

Don’t Have a Windows 7 Key? Here is your Other Option

There’s one way to download Windows 7 legally, without ever needing to have purchased a duplicate and have a legitimate product key, but it has a caveat that you’re most likely not going to like.

You can download Windows 7 for “free” in your paid Visual Studio Subscription (previously known as MSDN). This professional subscription by Microsoft grants you access to Windows 7 downloads and product keys, in addition to downloads and keys for most from the software Microsoft produces. Unless you’re a software programmer or IT professional, this very costly subscription program is almost definitely not worth the money.

Prior to late 2012, Windows 7 was readily available for individuals to purchase and download directly from the Microsoft Store. While this is still a choice for Windows 10, it’s, unfortunately, no longer feasible for Windows 7. A 90-day trial version of Windows 7 Enterprise was once an option until 2015 but that’s also no longer available, substituted for the Windows 10 equivalent.

Of course, if downloading Windows 7 isn’t necessary for your situation, other choice is to buy a duplicate of Window 7 on DVD. Microsoft no more sells Windows 7 directly, however, you might still find copies of Windows 7 offered at Amazon or from an electronic retailer like Newegg, so shopping around for the best price is advisable.

If you have a Windows 7 disc, and therefore are only trying to download Windows 7 because you have to do the installation on your pc which does not have an optical drive, there’s a method of getting the installation files from your DVD onto a flash drive.

The [Now Defunct] “Digital River” Method

When Windows 7 was available for purchase and download with the Microsoft Store, Microsoft used a company by the name of Digital River to provide the Windows 7 ISO images.

For a very long time, those Windows 7 ISO files were on the public, unsecured server and could be downloaded without showing any proof of purchase. This may have been a long-running mistake on the part of Digital River, or maybe Microsoft simply didn’t mind seeing that you need a valid product key to use Windows 7 in excess of 30 days anyway.

Regardless of how or why they existed such a long time, they’ve all been removed as of February 2015. If you have a valid Windows 7 product key, visit the link in Step 1 above. If you do not, you’ll need to purchase an MSDN subscription, or, probably, just purchase Windows 7 outright.

A well known Digital River alternative is by using the HeiDoc.net Windows ISO Downloader tool to get the Windows 7 ISO. It downloads the official ISO for Windows 7 directly from Microsoft’s website (software-download.microsoft.com). This process, obviously, doesn’t come with a free product key, so Windows 7 won’t run normally before you purchase one.

Watch out for Other Windows 7 Downloads

Every other “free” Windows 7 download you discover on the internet is most definitely illegal, including Windows 7 ISO files obtained via torrents or directly from other websites or servers. Aside from legalities, these Windows 7 downloads, unlike the state replacement ISO image from Microsoft, run the risk of being something apart from advertised.

For instance, many Windows 7 images available on torrent sites and using their company unofficial sources are “cracked” versions of Windows 7, meaning they’ve been modified for various reasons…and may also include built-in malware. You would be wise to avoid a scenario like this.

Another Windows 7 download to prevent is software associated with cracking Windows 7. You may have a legitimate copy of Windows 7 although not a genuine product key, then you might consider using a key generator tool to get yourself one without having to pay for it.

While a Windows 7 product key generator might sound just like a wise decision, it is very much illegal and in all likelihood won’t work to activate Windows.

Don’t Want to Download Windows 7? Switch the Disc

A final choice for those of you with broken or lost Windows 7 discs that do not want to download an official ISO image is to try to get a replacement Windows 7 disc instead.

If Windows 7 came preinstalled on your pc (i.e., you have an OEM – not retail – license), and also you did have a disc but it’s now lost or damaged, contact your computer maker for any replacement. Based on your computer maker’s policy, the replacement Windows 7 media might be free or you might be charged a little fee.

If you’re in a similar situation with a Windows 7 disc however, you purchased a retail copy of Windows 7 on DVD, you are able to contact the Microsoft Supplemental Parts team and request an alternative.

Finally, whilst not a replacement for Windows 7, you need to know that it’s possible to produce a system repair disc for Windows 7 from any other Windows 7 computer, including a friend’s, for just the cost of a blank CD. That disc may be used to perform all of the diagnostic and repair functions that a full Windows 7 setup DVD can. Observe how to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc for instructions.

Disclosure: E-Commerce Content is separate from editorial content and we may receive compensation regarding the your purchase of products via links in this article.

My Windows 10 Update Fail

One of the advantages I’ve touted for Windows 10 is always that updates are installed automatically. Essentially, you do not have an option, or at least your choices are restricted. Microsoft pushes updates through to your pc and that’s more or less it. I’ve called this a positive thing, and that i uphold that statement. The biggest security trouble with Windows systems, after all, is unpatched computers — not malware, nor Trojans, or viruses. No, it’s people who don’t update their systems, allowing malicious software easy entry into the operating-system (OS).

However, it isn’t all sunshine when it comes to automatic updates in Windows 10. I experienced the down-side of these updates during the early times of the OS and thought I’d share my experiences here. It is a tale of fear, loss, and, ultimately, relief. An experience that nearly crashed my computer in a, really horrible way.

I do not Think ‘100%’ Means What you believe It Means

It started when I checked my Dell XPS 13 laptop and saw a gray screen that said “Installing updates 100%”, with “Do not turn off your computer” underneath, and a little swirling circle that typically indicates your computer is installing updates. In other words, Windows 10 automatically downloaded and installed an update, and today it was just completing. I waited in my PC to reboot, as is typical. I believed it would happen momentarily, because the message explained that the update was 100 percent installed.

I waited for that reboot, and waited, and waited, and…well, you get the idea. If it was indeed 100 percent installed, it should not took this long. Then, because nothing was happening, I did what Windows warns you never to do: I turned off my computer. (Should you ever end up in this situation take a look at our guide regarding how to deal with frozen updates).

While using Force (Turn off)

After i turned the pc back on, I acquired nothing. I attempted “waking it up” by hitting the Enter key, then slamming on some other keys, then (what about a little too energetically) clicking the mouse. Often, this can bring up the desktop. But this time, nothing — again.

I then tried the classic “force shutdown” key combination of pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys simultaneously (sometimes known as the “three finger salute”). The mixture usually triggers a tough reboot, in which the computer turns off then restarts. But this time, nothing happened yet again.

My next thing ended up being to press and hold the power button for about five seconds. I wasn’t sure this could work, but it’s helped previously with other computers. And… voila! The computer shut down. I waited a couple of seconds, then turned it back on. However i got another gray, blank screen, with no boot sequence.

I started to fret that something bad choose to go wrong with Windows due to the update. This laptop continues to be fairly new and dear. I couldn’t afford to get it drop. I attempted pressing and holding the power key again for five seconds. The computer shut down, again.

After i cranked up again, I acquired another message that Windows was updating. Wait — what? Updating again? Didn’t it update before? Doesn’t “100% Updated” mean 100 percent updated? This time around, I got progress messages like “18% updated … 35% updated … 72% updated…” Once again, it hit “100% Updated”, just like it did when I had the first problem.

Success Finally

I held my breath, waiting to ascertain if I had been going to start the evil cycle all over again. But this time, I received my startup screen, and could log in to my computer. Whew! There would be you don’t need to reinstall Windows this day.

I next went into my update settings at Start>Settings>Update & Security>Update history.

Here’s what I saw:

Update for Windows 10 for x64-based Systems (KB3081441)

Failed to install on 8/19/2015

Cumulative Update for Windows 10 for x64-based Systems (KB3081444)

Successfully placed on 8/19/2015

One update attempted to install and failed, while a different one succeeded. It wasn’t the same update, given that they have different “KB” numbers (KB is really a Microsoft designation that identifies update packages).
Oh, the pain sensation

On top of those updates, there is also a “Cumulative Update” for Windows 10 72 hours prior. At the time this explained that Microsoft was finding and fixing lots of bugs within the OS, that is par for the course with a new form of Windows. It is also why you may want to wait for a little longer before updating to a major new version of Windows 10. Update problems can plague a number of Windows 10 users whenever a new release rolls out. While your alternatives are limited there are actions to obstruct Windows 10 updates. We’ll take a look at that in an upcoming Windows 10 Updates survival guide.

Ultimately, these forced updates are still a good thing despite my experiences. It may, however, be a pain for early adopters.

Windows 10 Updates: A Survival Guide

With Windows 10 Microsoft took automatic updates one stage further. Just before this latest operating system, the organization encouraged users to allow automatic updates in Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8. It wasn’t mandatory, however. That changed in Windows 10. Now, if you are using Windows 10 Home you need to receive and install updates on Microsoft’s schedule–whether you like it or not. Ultimately, this is a good thing.

Windows 10 and Forced Updates

As we’ve discussed earlier, the largest problem with Windows security isn’t just the malware, but a lot of systems that don’t install timely updates. Without those security updates (what’s called an unpatched system) malware comes with an easier time spreading across thousands or even millions of machines.

Forced updates solve that problem; however, it isn’t always a great situation. Updates can occasionally cause problems. Maybe they will not install properly, or a bug may cause laptop computer to malfunction. Problematic updates are not the norm, but they do happen. It’s became of me, also it could affect you.

When disaster (or just plain annoyance) strikes here’s what that you can do.

Problem 1: The Update Repeatedly Fails

It’s the worst. Through no-fault of your own, an update refuses to install on your machine. Making matters worse, the update will repeatedly download following the failure and check out again. Which means any time you shut down your machine Windows 10 will to try to install an update. Every. Time. That’s horrible if this occurs. The very last thing you need to be tied to is a machine that repeatedly updates any time you hit the power button. Particularly when you realize the update will fail anyway.

At this time, your only recourse is to download ?Microsoft’s troubleshooter to cover the update. This way your PC won’t attempt to upload it. Then, hopefully, Microsoft will fix the problem within the next regular update that prevented cellular phone in the first place.

Look at your Update History

The troubleshooter is pretty simple to use. What you would like to do first, however, is click the Start button after which choose the Settings app icon (the cog) in the left margin of the Start menu.

Once the Settings app opens visit Update & security > Windows Update. Then under the “Update status” section click Update history. Here Windows 10 lists every update it installed or tried to install.

What you want is something such as this:

Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 for x64-based Systems (KB3200970) Didn’t install on 11/10/2016

Make a note of the “KB” number for the next step. If it’s a driver update that’s failed, take note of it such as:

Synaptics – Point Drawing – Synaptics Pointing Device

While using Troubleshooter

Next, open the troubleshooter by double-clicking its .diagcab file. Once it’s all set to go click Next and also the troubleshooter will look for problems.

On the next screen click Hide updates and so the troubleshooter will list all available updates for the machine. Find the one that is causing problems and click on the checkbox beside it. Now click Next and when the troubleshooter works properly you will see a green checkmark confirming the update is hidden. There you have it. Close the troubleshooter and the update will be gone. This really is temporary, however. If enough time passes without a solution, that problematic update will attempt to install itself again.

Problem 2: An update freezes (hangs) your machine

Sometimes you will be updating your computer and also the Windows Update process will just stop. For hours your PC will sit there saying something similar to, “Getting Windows ready, Don’t switch off your computer.”

We have an in-depth guide on how to cope with frozen updates. If you need detailed information on which to do check out that post for more information.

Briefly, however, you need to follow this basic troubleshooting pattern:

Try the Ctrl+Alt+Del keyboard shortcut to restart your machine.
If the keyboard shortcut doesn’t work, hit the hard reset power button until your computer shuts, and then restart.
If that doesn’t work, perform a hard reset again, however this time boot into in Safe Mode. If things are fine in Safe Mode, restart your PC, and boot in to the “normal Windows” mode.

Those are the primary stuff you want to try. If none of these work (most of the time you shouldn’t will need to go past second step) then make reference to these tutorial on frozen PCs to get involved with more advanced subjects.

Problem 3: How to Uninstall Minor Updates or Drivers

Sometimes following a recent update your system can begin behaving strangely. When that occurs you may need to uninstall a current update. Once again we’ll need to open the Settings app at Start > Settings > Windows Update > Update history just like we did with the failed updates process. Make a note of your recent updates to see what could be causing the problem. In general, you should not uninstall security updates. It’s much more likely that problems are being the result of a generic update to Windows or perhaps Adobe Flash Player.

Once you’ve found the potentially problematic update, select Uninstall updates at the top of the update history screen. This can open a User interface window listing your updates.

Uninstall From the User interface

Once inside the User interface discover the update you need to uninstall and highlight it by clicking it once with your mouse. Once that’s done towards the top of your window you should see an ?Uninstall button near the Organize drop-down menu. (If you do not observe that button then the update can’t be uninstalled.)

Click Uninstall and stick to the prompts before the update is uninstalled. Remember that Windows 10 will just try to download and reinstall the problematic update again, Browse the earlier section on what to complete when an update repeatedly does not learn to hide an update therefore it won’t be downloaded again.

Now only use your machine as you would. When the instability issues persist then you’ve either uninstalled the wrong update or even the problems go deeper than this quick fix.

If a specific component on your computer is misbehaving such as your webcam, mouse, or Wi-Fi then you might possess a bad driver update. Take a look at our earlier tutorial on how to roll back a person in Windows 10 regarding how to do this.

Problem 4: When You’d Rather Defer

If you’re running Windows 10 Pro then you have the opportunity to slow down the pace of feature updates from Microsoft. These are typically major updates that Microsoft delivers about twice yearly such as the Anniversary Update that arrived on the scene in August 2016.

Deferring an update won’t prevent security updates from installing in your machine, which is generally the best thing. If you would rather wait a few months to obtain the latest as well as from Microsoft this is what you need to do. Open the Settings app again by hitting the beginning button after which choosing the app’s cog icon in the left-hand margin.

Next, go to Update & security > Windows Update after which under “Update settings” select Advanced options. On the next screen, click the check box next to Defer feature updates and shut the app. Any new feature updates won’t upload to your PC for at least a couple of months after their release. Eventually, however, that update will come.

Problem 5: When You Can’t Defer

Unfortunately, should you run Windows 10 Home the defer feature is not open to you. Nevertheless, there is a trick you can employ to slow down updates. Open the Settings app once again, and visit Network & Internet > Wi-Fi, then under “Wi-Fi” click Manage known networks.

This can show a summary of all of the Wi-Fi connections your computer remembers. Search for your home Wi-Fi network and select it. Once your selection expands click the Properties button.

Set As Metered

Now set the slider labeled Set as metered link with On, and close the Settings app.

By default, Windows doesn’t download updates on the metered Wi-Fi connection. As long as you don’t switch Wi-Fi networks or connect your computer to the Internet via ethernet, Windows will not download any updates.

While knowing about metered connections is helpful using this trick is generally a bad idea. Unlike deferring updates, the metered connection setting prevents even security updates from downloading. The metered connection setting also stops lots of other processes you may enjoy on your PC. For instance, Live Tiles will not be updated and mail apps could search for new messages less frequently.

You should really only use the metered connection trick as a short-term solution when you are aware feature updates are coming. It’s not something wish to accomplish for over a couple of months, at most, and even doing it that long is really a security risk.

Problems, Solved (Hopefully)

That covers the main problems users typically have with updates in Windows 10. Most of the time, however, your updates should be trouble-free. If they are not you can put this guide to get affordable use.

How to Disable Cortana in Windows 10

rtana is Microsoft’s va that is integrated directly into every installation of Windows 10. Like other virtual assistants, the purpose of Cortana would be to make your life easier. When that does not happen, and Cortana becomes a nuisance, if you notice that Microsoft makes it tough to disable it.

Before the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, users could disable Cortana using the flip of a toggle switch. The toggle was removed for the reason that update, but you may still find a number of ways to disable Cortana. Disabling voice and keyboard shortcut activation is simple, and Microsoft also allows users to disable Cortana’s ability to record and store personal information.

Completely disabling Cortana is much more difficult, but that’s possible too. Users of Windows 10: Home Edition can disable Cortana using the Registry Editor tool, and users of Windows 10: Pro and Enterprise may use either the Registry Editor or even the Group Policy Manager.

Cortana is heavily built-into the Windows 10 search functionality, and fully disabling it may impact your consumer experience. Before while using Registry Editor or Group Policy Editor methods, consider setting up a system restore point just in case you change your mind.

How to Disable Cortana Temporarily

If Cortana sometimes activates whenever you don’t want it to, but you still want to be able to activate it manually, then your best way to disable it’s to merely change some settings. This leaves Cortana in position, and enables you to use it if you would like, while preventing it from being a nuisance.

The first step is to ensure that Cortana won’t respond to your voice:

Click on the search box on your taskbar, or use the keyboard shortcut Windows + S.
Type Cortana within the search engine.
Click Cortana & Search Settings.
Click Speak with Cortana.
Turn the Hey Cortana toggle off.
Turn the Keyboard shortcut toggle off.

For most users, disabling Cortana’s ability to automatically react to a voice command or a keyboard shortcut is sufficient. This can prevent Cortana from ever activating accidentally, but it won’t affect your search experience, and everything continues to function the way that it should.

How to Prevent Cortana From Recording and Storing Your Search Habits and History

In addition to the annoyance of Cortana activating accidentally, some users have privacy concerns about Cortana and Microsoft monitoring their search histories and habits. Completely disabling Cortana is one way to cope with this concern, or you can simply turn off each setting that enables Cortana to record and store details about you.

If you are concerned about Microsoft using Cortana to collect and store personal information in regards to you and your search history, here’s the best way to cut off Cortana’s data gathering and storage abilities:

Click on the search box on your taskbar, or make use of the keyboard shortcut Windows + S.
Type Cortana within the search box.
Click Cortana & Search Settings.
Click Permissions & History.
Turn all the toggles off.
Click Cortana across all my devices.
Turn all of the toggles off.
Scroll back to the top page, and click on Manage the information Cortana can access out of this device.
Turn all of the toggles off.
Click Speech, inking, & typing privacy settings.
Click Switch off speech services and typing suggestions.
Click the rear arrow at the very top left of the window two times to return to the Cortana settings page.
Click Change what Cortana is aware of me within the cloud.
Your Personal Information page will load in the Start panel. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click on Clear.

This can leave Cortana on your computer, but it won’t be able to collect info on you, report information to Microsoft, or communicate with you in any way.

If you ever choose that you do desire to use Cortana, then this process could be reversed very easily by flipping each toggle to the on position and reenabling speech services and typing suggestions.

How to Disable Cortana Permanently in Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise

Switching off Cortana’s capability to respond to voice commands and keyboard shortcuts is pretty easy, but permanently disabling the feature is a touch more complicated. If you want to prevent Cortana from running at all, and turn the Cortana box into a basic search box, then you will need to use among the following methods depending on the version of Windows you have.

Windows 10 Home edition: Can only disable Cortana through the Registry.
Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise: Can disable Cortana via the Registry or Group Policy Editor.

The Windows Registry Editor is an extremely powerful tool that may result in undesired effects should you change the wrong setting. The body can become unstable, or even fail to boot, if one makes a mistake. If you’re unfamiliar with Registry Editor, produce a System Restore Point before you decide to proceed.

How to Disable Cortana in the Registry

After you have created a system restore point, and you’re certain you need to permanently disable Cortana, then you’ll have to open the Registry Editor:

Right click on the Start Menu icon and click on Run, or press Windows + R on your keyboard.
Type regedit striking enter.
If a person Account Control (UAC) window appears, click Yes.
Navigate to HKEY_Local_Machine > Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows.
Right click the Windows directory, and choose New > Key, and name it Windows Search.
Right click Windows Search, and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value, and name it AllowCortana.
Double click AllowCortana and hang the worth to 0.
Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer.

Disabling Cortana through the Registry Editor is irreversible, in some instances, without performing a clean install of Windows 10. Keep this in mind before fully disabling Cortana via this process.

How you can Disable Cortana Permanently in Group Policy Editor

Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise users can disable Cortana through with the Registry Editor, but when you have among those versions of Windows you also have another option this is a little easier and safer.

The alternate approach to permanently switching off Cortana in Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise take advantage of the Group Policy Editor. This is the way you do it:

Right click on the Start Menu icon and click on Run, or press Windows + R on your keyboard.
Type gpedit.msc striking enter.
If a person Account Control (UAC) window appears, click Yes.
Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search.
In the pane on the right side of the window, search for the Allow Cortana setting and double click it.
Select the Disabled radial, and click OK.
Close the Group Policy Editor and restart your computer.

Turning Cortana Back On if You Change Your Mind

Cortana can be handy, there is definitely an opportunity that you may change your mind once you have disabled it. If you convince you immediately, or if something goes wrong, then the easiest way to show Cortana back on is by using a method restore point.

If more time has transpired, then it’s usually still possible to turn Cortana back on whatever the method you accustomed to power it down. To accomplish this, you will have to essentially turn back procedure you used to turn it off to begin with.

To show Cortana Back on If You Disabled It via Settings

Click around the search engine on your taskbar, or use the keyboard shortcut Windows + S.
Type Cortana in the search engine.
Click Cortana & Search Settings.
Go through each settings page and switch every toggle back on.

You can leave off settings that pertain to information gathering and cloud storage of your settings and history, but doing this may prevent Cortana from working properly.

To Turn Cortana Back on Should you Disabled It via Regedit

Disabling Cortana via the Registry Editor may lead to an irreversible disabling of the feature. If the following instructions fail to work, you might not be able to get Cortana back without conducting a clean installation of Windows 10.

Right click the Start Menu icon and click Run, or press Windows + R in your keyboard.
Type regedit striking enter.
If a person Account Control (UAC) window appears, click Yes.
Navigate to HKEY_Local_Machine > Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows.
Delete the AllowCortana key that you created.
Restart your pc.

To Turn Cortana Back on Should you Disabled It via Group Policy Editor

Right click on the Start Menu icon and click Run, or press Windows + R on your keyboard.
Type gpedit.msc striking enter.
If a person Account Control (UAC) window appears, click Yes.
Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search.
In the pane on the right side from the window, look for the Allow Cortana setting and double click it.
Select the Enabled radial, and click OK.
Close the audience Policy Editor and restart your pc.

Good reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10

I get it. You do not like Microsoft’s aggressive push to get you to upgrade to Windows 10. The business’s tactics are questionable, but that doesn’t alter the fact that Windows 10 is a superb operating system.

Unless you are so disappointed in Microsoft’s upgrade push that you can’t bear to follow through, you should upgrade. Actually, you need to upgrade soon, because time is drained to move to Windows 10 free of charge.

Microsoft said the disposable upgrade would only be available for the first year. Windows 10 debuted on July 29, 2015, which means there are just 3 months left to upgrade. Microsoft may change its mind and choose to provide a free upgrade indefinitely, but only at that writing, the sale was still set to expire after June.

Here are some good reasons to upgrade.

No dual UIs

Windows 8 was a terrible kludge of an operating system that tried to marry two different user interfaces together. The desktop itself was excellent. But once you slap on the Start screen and full-screen Windows Store apps the OS loses its appeal.

Windows 10, on the other hand, lacks the Windows 8 Start screen. It returns the beginning menu, and modern UI apps can display in windowed mode–making them far more integrated with the entire operating-system.

Other bad interface decisions will also be out when switching from Windows 8 to Windows 10. The Charms bar that pops out of the right side from the screen in Windows 8, for instance, doesn’t rear its ugly head in Windows 10.


I’ve sung the praises of Cortana before, but it’s this type of useful feature. When you switch on Cortana’s voice-activated features it becomes a handy method to create reminders, send text messages (having a compatible smartphone), get news and weather updates, and send quick emails.

It will imply that some of your data will be stored on Microsoft’s servers, but you do be capable of control that information by going to Cortana > Notebook > Settings > Manage what Cortana is aware of me in the cloud.

Windows Store Apps

When i mentioned earlier, Windows Store apps is now able to displayed in windowed mode rather than full screen. Which means you can use them exactly the same way you would a regular desktop program. This is handy since Microsoft provides a quantity of useful Windows Store apps you might want to use like a free, bare-bones PDF reader, the email and calendar apps, and Groove Music.

Windows 7 users will not be amazed by Windows Store apps in windowed mode since they never experienced full-screen apps, to begin with. Live tiles, however, are another helpful new addition.

The brand new Start menu in Windows 10 features Live Tiles: the opportunity to display information contained inside an application. A Windows Store weather app, for example, can show local forecasts, or a stock app can show how certain companies are doing on Wall Street. The trick with Live Tiles would be to pick apps that will display information truly useful to you.

Multiple Desktops

Multiple desktops is a feature which has long been standard in other os’s including Linux and OS X. Now it’s finally in Microsoft’s OS with Windows 10. At this time there would be a method to activate multiple desktops in older versions of Windows, however it does not have nearly the polish the version of Windows 10 does.?

With multiple desktops, you are able to group programs together into different work areas for better organization. Check out our earlier look at multiple desktops in Windows 10 for more information.

You Can Go Back

Upgrading to Windows 10 is simple enough, but for the first Thirty days downgrading to your previous operating system is simply too. If you try out Windows 10 for a while and choose it’s not for you personally reversing course is very easy. All you have to do is go to Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery. There you should see an option that says “Go to Windows 7” or “Go to Windows 8.1”.

Keep in mind this feature only works should you experienced the upgrade process and not a clean install, also it only works best for the first 30 days. Next, anyone looking to downgrade will need to use system discs and go through a conventional reinstall procedure that wipes out your system and personal files.

These are just five good reasons to move to Windows 10, but there are others. The Action Center notifications system in Windows 10 is a brilliant way for programs to provide information. The built-in Edge browser is promising, and features like Wi-Fi Sense can be very handy.

But Windows 10 isn’t for everyone. Another time, we’ll discuss who shouldn’t proceed to Windows 10.

Creating Reports with Microsoft Access 2010

Microsoft Access 2010 allows you to easily create professionally formatted reports automatically from information kept in a database. In this tutorial, we’re going to design a nicely formatted report on employee home telephone numbers for the use of management while using Northwind sample database and Access 2010. If you’re utilizing an earlier form of Access, an older tutorial is available.

Before we obtain started, open up Microsoft Access after which open the Northwind database. If you’re a new comer to Microsoft Access, you may wish to start with Microsoft Access 2010 Fundamentals. Once you’ve opened the database, adopt these measures:

Choose the Reports menu. Once you have opened Northwind, pick the Create tab around the Microsoft Office ribbon. In the “Reports” selection, you’ll visit a number of methods that Access supports for creating a report. If you’d like, feel free to click on some of these and obtain a feel for what reports look like and the various types of information that they contain.
Create a new report. After you have satisfied your curiosity, go ahead and click “Report Wizard” and we’ll begin the process of developing a report. The wizard will walk us through the creation process step-by-step. After you’ve mastered the wizard, you might want to return to this task and explore the flexibleness supplied by another creation methods.
Choose a table or query. The very first screen from the Report Wizard asks us to find the source of data for our report. If you wish to retrieve information from a single table, you are able to select it in the drop-down box below. Alternatively, for more complex reports, we can decide to base our set of the creation of a query that we previously designed. For our example, all of the data we need is contained within the Employees table, so choose “Table:Employees” from the drop-down menu.

Select the fields to include. Notice that after you select the table in the drop-down menu, the bottom section of the screen changes to show the fields obtainable in that table. Make use of the ‘>’ button to maneuver the fields you want to include in your are accountable to the “Selected Fields” section. Note that an order you set the fields within the right column determines the default order they will come in your report. Remember that we’re creating a worker telephone directory for our senior management. Let’s keep the information found in it simple — the first and last name of every employee, their title, and their home telephone number. Go on and select these fields. When you’re satisfied, click on the Next button.
Select the grouping levels. At this time, you can select one or even more grouping levels to refine an order by which our report data is presented. For instance, we may desire to break up our telephone directory by department to ensure that all of the people in each department are listed separately. However, due to the small number of employees within our database, this isn’t essential for our report. Go ahead and just click on the Next button to bypass this step. You may desire to return here later and experiment with grouping levels.

Choose your sorting options. To make reports useful, we often want to sort our results by a number of attributes. In the case of our telephone directory, the logical choice is to sort by the last name of each employee in ascending (A-Z) order. Select this attribute from the first drop-down box after which click on the Next button to continue.
Choose the formatting options. In the next screen, we’re presented with some formatting options. We’ll accept the default tabular layout but let’s alter the page orientation to landscape to ensure the data fits properly around the page. Once you’ve completed this, click on the Next button to continue.
Add the title. Finally, we need to give the report a title. Access will automatically give a nicely formatted title at the top of the screen, with the appearance shown within the report style you chose during the previous step. Let’s call our report “Employee Home Phone List.” Make sure that the “Preview the report” option is selected and click Finish to see our report!

Congratulations, you’ve successfully created a report in Microsoft Access! The ultimate report you see should appear similar to the one presented above. It’s also wise to observe that the Employee Home Phone List report appears within the “Unassigned Objects” portion of the Northwind database menu around the left side of the screen. If you wish, you might drag and drop this to the Reports section for simple reference. Later on, you can just double-click on this report title along with a new report will instantly be generated with up-to-date information from your database.

Produce a Pie Chart on the PowerPoint 2010 Slide

In order to insert a pie chart onto a PowerPoint slide, you’ll want installed Excel 2010 along with PowerPoint 2010, (unless the chart is pasted from another source).

Produce a Pie Chart with the ‘Title and Content’ Slide Layout

Add a new slide while using Title and Content slide layout.

Click the Insert Chart icon (shown because the middle icon on the top row from the number of six icons shown in your body from the slide layout).

Note: Alternatively, you might navigate to the appropriate blank slide inside your presentation and choose Insert > Chart from the ribbon.

Choosing a Pie Chart Style

From the number of pie chart styles shown in the Insert Chart dialog box, click on the selection of your decision. Options include flat pie shapes or 3D pie shapes – some with “exploded” pieces.

Click OK if you have made your selection.

Note: Any products that you use with regard to pie chart styles and colors could be changed at any later time.

The Generic Pie Chart and Data

When you create a pie chart on a PowerPoint slide, the screen will be split into two windows featuring both PowerPoint and Excel.

If for whatever reason the Excel window does not appear as indicated above, click on the Edit Data button, around the Chart Tools ribbon, directly above the PowerPoint window.

The PowerPoint 2010 window contains a generic pie chart.
The Excel 2010 window contains the generic data that is used to create the generic pie chart in the PowerPoint window. This data will be replaced by your personal data within the next step.

Edit the Pie Chart Data

Pie charts are helpful to show comparative types of data, for example percentage figures for how much each of your monthly household expenses takes from your income. However, you must note that pie charts are only able to display one type of data, unlike column charts or line charts.

Click around the Excel 2010 window to make it the active window. Spot the blue rectangle that surrounds the chart data. These are the cells which are accustomed to create the pie chart.
Edit the heading from the column in the generic data to reflect your own information. (Currently, this heading shows as Sales). In this example shown, a family is examining their monthly budget. Therefore, the column heading over the list of figures has been changed to Monthly Household Expenses.
Edit the row headings in the generic data to reflect your personal information. In the example shown, these row headings have been changed to Mortgage, Hydro, Heat, Cable, Internet, and Food.

In the generic chart data, you’ll observe that there are just four-row entries, while our data includes six entries. You’ll add some new rows in the next step.

Increase the Rows towards the Chart Data

Method 1

Drag the bottom right corner handle on the blue rectangle to enlarge the selection of data to incorporate as many rows as you need. Observe that nowhere rectangle will expand to include these new rows.
Enter the brand new row headings in to these rows.

Method 2

Type a new heading in the next available row.
Press the Enter answer to go into the data. Observe that the blue rectangle will expand to include this new row.
Repeat this method for each new row needed.

Delete Rows from the Generic Data

Drag the bottom right corner handle on the blue rectangle to lessen picking a data cells.

Notice that nowhere rectangle will end up smaller to incorporate these changes.

Delete any information within the cells away from blue rectangle that is not wanted with this pie chart.

Updated Pie Chart Reflects New Data

When you alter the generic data to your own specific data, the details are immediately reflected in the pie chart. Give a title for your slide in to the text placeholder at the top of the slide.