Category: Microsoft

Windows 10 Creators Update: Coming April 11

The Creators Update (formerly known as  “Redstone 2”) is just another update for Windows 10. The Creators Update is more significant and includes new features and changes to improve the user experience.

Why is called the Creators Update ?

Microsoft has chosen the “Creators Update” name because according to the company the new update helps everyone to be a creator. However, the name has a more marketing purpose, as using a friendly name it’s easier to sell than using numbers. However, for more technical users “Windows 10 version 1703” will make more sense.

Microsoft has confirmed in a blog post that the Windows 10 Creators Update (known as 1703) will arrive on 11th April 2017. Microsoft will likely roll out the Creators Update gradually over a few months. The timeline in which your PC will receive the update depends on the device type. The same day (11th April 2017) it will retire Windows Vista.

Capture

The Creators Update will be a free upgrade for devices that are running on Windows 10 already.

The new update is part of the new Windows as a Service (WaaS) model, which means that instead of getting a brand-new version of the OS (e.g., Windows Vista and Windows 7) around every three years, you will get roughly two incremental updates with new features and improvements every year. In this new servicing model, the work to improve Windows 10 is an ongoing process, and it’s never consider a final product.

What Is New in The Creators Update?

  1. Privacy: If you’re upgrading from a previous version of Windows, or from one of the older versions of Windows 10, you’ll get a prompt when the upgrade completes, asking you to adjust all your new Windows 10 privacy settings. If you’re setting up a new Windows 10 PC with the Creators Update, there’s a new dedicated privacy settings screen that Microsoft rebuilt that gives detailed explanations for what each setting does, and how it benefits the user or Microsoft.privacy-2-1024x812

2. Windows Defender:  

Windows 10 now includes a new Windows Defender dashboard that uses the same design language we’re now seeing on the Store, and it’s  known as Windows Defender Security Center.

Windows Defender

Alongside the new name, the dashboard is the new place to control malware protection, device performance and health, firewall and network protection, and family options.

3. Application Installation Control: You now have the option to control what type of apps are allowed to install on your PC. This setting is available by going to Settings > Apps > Apps & features. You can choose to only allow installation of Store apps, choose to be warned when installing a non-Store app but allow their installation, or choose to allow installation of apps from anywhere.

 4. Dynamic Lock: Windows 10 can now automatically lock your PC when you step away. Pair a Bluetooth-enabled phone and enable Dynamic Lock under Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options. If you step away from your PC for 30 seconds and take the phone with you, Windows will automatically lock your PC. Microsoft’s blog post says this is for “Bluetooth phones”, but it appears it may work with other devices, like Bluetooth-enabled wristbands.

5. Night Light: Staring at a screen all day can be tiring on the eyes, and at night it can actually trick the brain into thinking it’s still taking in daylight. This happens due to screens emitting something called a blue light. Because of this, users who use their PCs late at night can sometimes find it much harder to go to sleep. To get around this, Microsoft has built into Windows 10 a new function that gives the screen a warm tint during the evenings, which as a result is easier on the eyes and doesn’t confuse the brain into thinking it’s still day, meaning you can get to sleep easier when you’re done.

Night Light

6. Start Menu: Easily pin or unpin apps to the Start menu by dragging and dropping an app from list, or by right-clicking and selecting a “Pin to Start”. After that, you can click and drag to move apps around or right-click the app to resize.

Start

7. Change the tile colors. Head to Settings > Personalization > Colors to choose a new color for all your tiles.

Colours.gif

 8. Microsoft Edge: Microsoft Edge is faster and safer with better browsing and entertainment.

Tab preview bar: It’s easy to lose track of what’s in your tabs, especially when you have many tabs from the same site, with similar titles and icons. Tab preview bar allows you to easily glance at a visual preview of every tab you have open without leaving your page.

Set these tabs aside: It’s a headache to keep all your tabs organized, and to pick up where you left off. Sometimes you just need to set everything aside and start from a clean slate. Microsoft added two new buttons next to your tabs in Microsoft Edge to help you quickly manage all your tabs without losing your flow.

Flash Click-to-Run: Microsoft Edge will now block untrusted Flash content by default until the user explicitly chooses to play it. This means better security, stability, and performance for you, while preserving the option to run Flash when you choose.

Longer battery life: When streaming HD video, Microsoft Edge lasts up to 69% longer than Firefox and 45% longer than Chrome.

The Microsoft Edge browser will have advanced tab management and support for e-books in the Windows Store. Edge acts as both a web browser and book reader with the Creators Update.

The Microsoft Edge is the first browser can play Netflix movies and TV shows in 4K Ultra HD resolution.

9.Game Mode: When the Game Mode is enabled, it’ll optimize your computer’s processor and graphics card to prioritize a game you have open. So, whatever software is in the background will still be running, but your computer will divert fewer resources to them. The end result is a much smoother gaming experience. Depending on your hardware setup, Game Mode may actually boost the overall performance of the game, the goal is consistency, so no matter what’s running in the background, it’ll be a smooth experience.

The concepts behind Game Mode are already available on Xbox One, which gives games priority access to system resources.

The Creators Update has a “screen time limits” feature so parents can manage how much time kids are spending playing games. With screen time limits, parents can set a daily time allowance for each child and your Xbox One or Windows 10 PC will automatically sign them out when time is up.

The Creators Update also has built-in game broadcasting for Windows 10 and the Xbox One via Beam. Soon Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo will ship Windows Mixed Reality- enabled headsets.

10. Paint 3D: With the new Paint 3D app in the Creators Update, it’s simple to create 3D objects from scratch, easily changing colors, stamping textures, or turning a 2D picture into a 3D work of art. Remix3D.com offers pre-made 3D art in a growing online library for your use or you can share your own creation with this creative community. This app also supports 3D printing.

3d final

11. Action Center: The Action Center is a welcome addition to the Windows operating system. Finally, users can track events and won’t miss anything important.

Notofication

(Note that this icon will turn white if you have any unread notifications.)

Some of the quick actions have been refreshed, but the big change is sliders for both volume and screen brightness. You can adjust these in smaller increments than the 25 percent levels that are earlier offered as quick actions.

Action Center

Windows Store now shows download progress inside of the Action Center.

12. Cortana: Microsoft has updated the “out-of-box experience”, when booting a new PC for the first time or clean installing Windows 10, Microsoft give it a redesign, they added additional steps, and above all introduced Cortana integration along with voice commands.

You’ll now get a full-screen experience of Cortana when your computer idles for at least 10 seconds. Also, there is a new pick up where you left off in Cortana feature, which allows you resume working on a file, app, or web page on another device.

CortanaJPG

13. Windows Update: Microsoft calls this new Windows Update system the “Unified Update Platform,” and it is now the same system used across both PC and Mobile devices powered by Windows. Windows Update will no longer have to download a full version of Windows whenever a major update is available. Instead, it’ll only download the files needed to apply the update, meaning major updates can be up to 35 percent smaller when downloaded via Windows Update. This means less data use on your internet provider and faster downloads overall.

You can now pause updates for up to 35 days. You’ll find this option at Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options > Pause Updates. This setting is only available on the Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows 10—not Windows 10 Home.

Update

Users will be able to schedule when to install an update. And “active hours” can be set for when a reboot should not take place.

You can now set up to 18 hours of the day as your Active Hours, so Windows 10 won’t restart for updates during those hours. Previously, the maximum was 12 hours. Windows Update also attempts to detect whether the PC display is being used for something -projecting, for example -before automatically restarting the PC.

14. Mini View: Windows 10 Creators Update has a new feature called Mini View.It’s limited to the Movies & TV. and Skype Preview apps for now.This feature lets you pin the app to a corner of your screen on top of all other apps. Think picture-in-picture mode that lets you continue watching a movie while you work.

15. Location Bar in the Registry Editor: The Registry Editor finally includes a location bar, allowing you to easily copy-paste addresses rather than being forced to painstakingly navigate to them.

Regedit

16. PowerShell Is the Default: PowerShell is now the default shell. When you right-click the Start button, you’ll see options to open PowerShell instead of Command Prompt. When you hold Shift and right-click in a folder or click the File menu in File Explorer, you’ll see an option to open PowerShell instead of Command Prompt. Despite this, Microsoft insists that the Command Prompt is not dead and will not be removed from Windows until almost no one uses it.

17. Quick Virtual Machine Creation: If you’re using Hyper-V to create virtual machines, you’ll see a “Quick Create” button in Hyper-V manager. This is a simplified wizard that allows you to create a new virtual machine in just a few clicks.

18. New Screenshot Hotkey: Windows 10 gains yet another screenshot tool. Press Windows+Shift+S to capture a region of your screen and copy it to your clipboard. This feature was originally part of OneNote 2016, but has been added to Windows itself.

19. Storage Sense: Windows 10 can now automatically free up disk space, although this feature is off by default. Enable the Storage Sense feature under Settings > System > Storage and Windows will automatically erase your temporary files and empty your recycle bin to free up space.

20. Windows Ink:  In the pen support front, Windows Ink will be bringing a number of improvements, including a new protractor tool for Sketchpad and Screen sketch.

Windows Ink

On Screen Sketch and Sketchpad, you’ll get a preview of color and width of the ink as you make your choices in the pen, pencil, and highlighter flyouts. And Screen Sketch gets a new Resume previous option to recover previous sketches.

Sticky Notes gets updated as well with support for address, time, phone number, stock symbols, and flight information when using digital ink.

Windows 10 Creators Update – Official Release Demo

Source: PUREinfoTech, Forbes, How-To Geek, Windows Central, Business Insider, Microsoft, Windows Blog

There’s an important UPDATE that there’s no UPDATE

Microsoft blocking new security patches and updates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users running the latest processors from Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, and others.

Don’t panic, this new policy doesn’t mean that all Windows 7 and 8.1 users will not be able to receive latest updates in general because Microsoft has promised to support Windows 7 until 2020, and Windows 8.1 until 2023.

But those who have upgraded their machines running older versions of Windows to the latest processors, or manually downgraded their new laptops to run Windows 7/8.1 would be out of luck.

Last week, Microsoft published Knowledge Base article, with the title “‘Your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows’ error when you scan or download Windows updates”, suggesting that the restriction was now being enforced.

In the article, Microsoft describes the “symptoms” of the error as:

When you try to scan or download updates through Windows Update, you receive the following error message:

Unsupported Hardware
Your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows and you won’t receive updates.

Additionally, you may see an error message on the Windows Update window that resembles the following:

Windows could not search for new updates
An error occurred while checking for new updates for your computer.
Error(s) found:
Code 80240037 Windows Update encountered an unknown error.

The “cause” of the error being:

This error occurs because new processor generations require the latest Windows version for support. For example, Windows 10 is the only Windows version that is supported on the following processor generations:

  • Intel seventh (7th)-generation processors (“Kaby Lake”) or a later generation
  • AMD “Bristol Ridge”
  • Qualcomm “8996”

Because of how this support policy is implemented, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices that have a seventh generation or a later generation processor may no longer be able to scan or download updates through Windows Update or Microsoft Update.

Users would require upgrading their systems to the newest version of Windows, i.e. Windows 10, despite Windows 7 being supported to 2020 and Windows 8.1 to 2023.
Microsoft announced this limitation in January 2016, when the company said making Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 OSes run on the latest processors was “challenging.”

“For Windows 7 to run on any modern silicon, device drivers and firmware need to emulate Windows 7’s expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states- which is challenging for Wi-Fi, graphics, security, and more,” Terry Myerson, VP of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, said last year.

The initial announcement also included PCs that use 6th-generation Intel processors (“Skylake”), but Microsoft backed off on its plan and released a list of Skylake-based systems that will be fully supported to receive security updates through the official end of support phase for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, i.e. January 14, 2020, and January 10, 2023, respectively.

This end of updates for new devices doesn’t come as a surprise to some PC owners, as Microsoft is making every effort to run its latest Windows on all Windows computers since the launch of Windows 10.

An alarm for those still running Windows Vista on their machines: The operating system will no longer receive security updates, non-security hotfixes, paid assisted supports, or online technical updates from Microsoft beginning April 11, 2017.

So, it’s high time for Windows Vista users to upgrade their PCs to the latest version of Windows operating system in order to protect your devices from malware or other security threats.

Source: Microsoft, The hacker news, Beta News

How to enable Administrator account in Windows 8.1 & Windows 10 Home Single Language

Use the following steps to active administrator account.

  1. Open the command prompt as Administrator

Normally, the command prompt can be opened as a regular user to run commands that don’t require administrative rights. However, if you need to run a command that requires administrative rights, you must open the command prompt window as administrator.

  • The first method of accessing the command prompt as administrator is to right-click on the Start button  1  in the lower-left corner of the screen and select the Command Prompt (Admin) option from the  User menu.

You can also press the Windows key + X to access this menu.

2

–  The second method involves the Start screen. If you are currently on the Desktop, click the Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen.

63

On the Start screen, start type “command prompt” (without the quotes). The Search panel displays on the right side of the screen and results of the search display as you type. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator from the popup menu.

23

So now you are opened the command prompt in administrator mode.

2. Type below given command to see the users list:

C:\WINDOWS\System32>net user

3. Unlock the administrator account.

C:\WINDOWS\System32>net user administrator /active: yes

  1. Give a password.

C:\WINDOWS\System32>net user administrator *

(* – type the password)

Source: howtogeek

 

How to: Determine Which .NET Framework Versions Are Installed

Users can install and run multiple versions of the .NET Framework on their computers. When you develop or deploy your app, you might need to know which .NET Framework versions are installed on the user’s computer.

Note that the .NET Framework consists of two main components, which are versioned separately:

  • A set of assemblies, which are collections of types and resources that provide the functionality for your apps. The .NET Framework and assemblies share the same version number.
  • The common language runtime (CLR), which manages and executes your app’s code. The CLR is identified by its own version number.

To get an accurate list of the .NET Framework versions installed on a computer, you can view the registry.

To find .NET Framework versions by viewing the registry (.NET Framework 1-4)

  1. On the Start menu, choose Run.
  2. In the Open box, enter regedit.exe.

You must have administrative credentials to run regedit.exe.

3. In the Registry Editor, open the following subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP

The installed versions are listed under the NDP subkey. The version number is stored in the Version entry. For the .NET Framework 4 the Version entry is under the Client or Full subkey (under NDP), or under both subkeys.

1 Frame work

To find .NET Framework versions by viewing the registry (.NET Framework 4.5 and later)

  1. On the Start menu, choose Run.
  2. In the Open box, enter regedit.exe.

You must have administrative credentials to run regedit.exe.

3. In the Registry Editor, open the following subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\V4\Full

Note that the path to the Full subkey includes the subkey Net Framework rather than .NET Framework.

2 Framework

Check for a DWORD value named Release. The existence of the Release DWORD indicates that the .NET Framework 4.5 or newer has been installed on that computer.

IC664979

The value of the Release DWORD indicates which version of the .NET Framework is installed.

Net Frame work

Source: Microsoft

How to enable the ‘God Mode’ in Windows 10

Windows 10 “GodMode” is the feature something that not many Windows users will be aware of. However,

GodMode is built into Windows 10, just as it was in previous Windows versions.

In fact, its real name is the Windows Master Control Panel shortcut.

Follow the steps given below to enable the God Mode in your Windows 10:

  1. Create a new folder on your Windows desktop (New –>Folder) and save it with the name: {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
  2. The folder’s icon will change to an icon as of a Control Panel. Double-click on the new icon to see your universal settings panel.
  3. You can name the folder other than “GodMode”; before the Period (.).
  4. Now, click the folder, open it and get God-like access to more than 260 functions and tools.

Some functions are unique to Windows 10 while others are similar to the previous versions of Windows.

God-Mode-folder-icon (2)

GodMode

when you open that folder, you can see around 40 different settings, including Devices and Printers, Credential Manager, Indexing, etc. Some variations exist depending if you have a Home or Pro version and different hardware.

Note – your system account must have administrative privileges for this folder to work.

Source: Microsoft, windows 10

How to find system up-time on Windows 7, 8 & 2008 Server

If you leave your computer on for extended periods of time, it’s usually a good idea to perform a reboot now and then. Furthermore, if you’re managing multiple computers, it’s difficult to remember when each received a reboot. That’s why Windows keeps track of your total up-time and the last time your computer booted for you. Here’s how to access those pieces of information:

To find total up-time:

Step 1: Launch the task manager. You can do this in one of three ways:

Choice 1: Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete. On the screen that appears, select Start Task Manager.

Choice 2: Right click on the taskbar and select Start Task Manager.

Choice 3: Press CtrlL+Shift+Esc to launch the task manager directly.

Step 2: In this window, click on the Performance tab.

Task Manager-1

Task Manager

Step 3:  Your system’s up-time is displayed next to Up Time (highlighted in the above picture) in the format of Days: Hours: Minutes: Seconds

To find last boot date:

Go to Start  –> Run –> cmd

cmd

In the command prompt, run the following commands: systeminfo | find /i “Boot Time”

-or-

systeminfo | find “Time:”

-or-

systeminfo | find “System Boot Time”

cmd-1

Cheers,

Happy Computing 🙂

source: cnet, superuser, serverfault

How to change IP address using a Batch File Script on Windows?

How to change IP address using a Batch File:

Starting with Windows 2000, Microsoft has provided a powerful utility, Netsh, which lets you display and modify the network configuration of Windows computers. You can use the Netsh on the command line or in a batch file. Here’s an example of how you can create a batch file that changes the IP address of the local machine.

Netsh is a command-line scripting utility that allows you to, either locally or remotely, display or modify the network configuration of a computer that is currently running. Netsh also provides a scripting feature that allows you to run a group of commands in batch mode against a specified computer. Netsh can also save a configuration script in a text file for archival purposes or to help you configure other servers.

In my environment, we don’t use DHCP. We use static IP addresses. Using static IP addresses usually doesn’t present any problems because we rarely move desktops between locations. However, the people who use laptops usually visit multiple locations. At each location, they’ve been assigned a separate IP address. Each time they change location, they look up the appropriate network settings in a .txt file, then manually change those settings. This occasionally creates problems because they have to remember the correct steps to change their network settings and sometimes they mistakenly enter wrong numbers.

I found a solution. For each location, I created a simple batch file that the laptop users can run. Whenever they want to change their IP settings, all they have to do is execute the appropriate batch file.

The batch file uses the Netsh utility and contains below given commands.

Copy the code given below in the Notepad and save it with the .bat extension.

– Run the .bat file with double click.

– In the some cases, the .bat file needs to run with administrator’s privileges. Right-click on the .bat file and choose “Run as administrator“.

@echo off
ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /release
netsh interface set interface "Local Area Connection" disable
netsh interface ip set dns "Local Area Connection" static
netsh interface ip set address "Local Area Connection" static
echo Wait 5 seconds...
ping -n 60 -w 1000 0.0.0.1 > nul
netsh interface set interface "Local Area Connection" enable
netsh interface ip set address "Local Area Connection" static 192.168.XXX.XX 255.255.255.0 192.168.XXX.X
netsh interface ip set dns "Local Area Connection" static 192.168.XXX.XXX

To change the IP Address to “obtain an IP address automatically” or to remove the IP Address, Copy the code given below in the Notepad and save it with the .bat extension.


@echo off

ipconfig /flushdns

ipconfig /release

netsh interface set interface "Local Area Connection" disable

netsh interface ip set dns "Local Area Connection" dhcp

netsh interface ip set address "Local Area Connection" dhcp

echo Wait 5 seconds...

ping -n 60 -w 1000 0.0.0.1 > nul

netsh interface set interface "Local Area Connection" enable

Now, whenever the users want to change their IP settings, all they have to do is run the batch file.

 Note: This entire process (IP Address change process) will take max 60 to 80 seconds.

Source: windowsitpro, sevenforums