Tag: windows 10

How to Find Hidden & Saved Passwords in Windows 10

For years users have wanted to save time and effort when accessing servers on the network, Web sites requiring credentials, etc. So, there have been options in the operating system to save usernames and passwords for faster and easier access. I am sure you have seen this, either in a prompt or a checkbox, asking you to save the password. In Windows, you have the ability to store the credentials for resources that you access often, or just don’t want to have to remember the password.  Although this is a time-saving option, you might want to reconsider using this feature due to security issues.

Key Holder

Windows stores the passwords that you use to log in, access network shares, or shared devices. All of these passwords are stored in an encrypted format, but some passwords easily are decrypted using your Windows login password.

Windows stores the login credential details in a hidden desktop app named Credential Manager. Here is how to find this app, how to see which credentials are stored by Windows and how to manage them:

What is the Credential Manager?

Credential Manager is the “digital locker” where Windows stores log-in credentials like usernames, passwords, and addresses. This information can be saved by Windows for use on your local computer, on other computers in the same network, servers or internet locations such as websites. This data can be used by Windows itself or by programs like File Explorer, Microsoft Office, Skype, virtualization software and so on. Credentials are split into several categories:

  • Windows Credentials – are used only by Windows and its services. For example, Windows can use these credentials to automatically log you into the shared folders of another computer on your network. It can also store the password of the Homegroup you have joined and uses it automatically each time you access what is being shared in that Homegroup. If you type a wrong log-in credential, Windows remembers it and fails to access what you need. If this happens, you can edit or remove the incorrect credential, as shown in later sections of this article.
  • Certificate-Based Credentials – they are used together with smart-cards, mostly in complex business network environments. Most people will never need to use such credentials and this section is empty on their computers. However, if you want to know more about them, read this article from Microsoft: Guidelines for enabling smart card logon with third-party certification authorities.
  • Generic Credentials – are defined and used by some of the apps you install in Windows so that they get the authorization to use certain resources. Examples of such apps include OneDrive, Slack, Xbox Live, etc.
  • Web Credentials – they represent login information for websites that are stored by Windows, Skype, Internet Explorer or other Microsoft apps. They exist only in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, but not in Windows 7.

How to open the Credential Manager in Windows:

The method that works the same in all versions of Windows. First, open the Control Panel and then go to “User Accounts  –> Credential Manager.”

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You’ll notice there are two categories: Web Credentials and Windows Credentials. The web credentials will have any passwords from sites that you saved while browsing in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge. Click on the down arrow and then click on the Show link.

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You’ll have to type in your Windows password in order to decrypt the password.

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f you click on Windows Credentials, you ’ll see fewer credentials stored here unless you work in a corporate environment. These are credentials when connecting to network shares, different computers on the network, or network devices such as a NAS.

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In the same way, I’ll also mention how you can view Google Chrome saved passwords. Basically, each browser has the same feature, so you can do the same thing for Firefox, Safari, etc. In Chrome, click on the three dots at the top right and then click on Settings. Scroll down and then click on Passwords.

Under Passwords, enable Offer to save your web passwords. You can view the saved passwords.

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History of the Credential Manager:

According to a 1996 Network Applications Consortium (NAC) study, users in large enterprises spend an average of 44 hours per year performing login tasks to access a set of four applications. The same study revealed that 70 percent of calls to companies’ Help desks were password-reset requests from users who had forgotten a password.

Single sign-on (SSO) is an approach that attempts to reduce the time users spend performing login tasks and the number of passwords users must remember. The Open Group, an international vendor and technology-neutral consortium dedicated to improving business efficiency, defines SSO as the “mechanism whereby a single action of user authentication and authorization can permit a user to access all computers and systems where that user has access permission, without the need to enter multiple passwords”

SSO solutions come in two flavors: solutions that deal with one set of user credentials and solutions that deal with multiple sets of user credentials.

A good example of the first type of solution is a Kerberos authentication protocol-based SSO setup.

A good example of the second type of solution is the Credential Manager. Credential Manager is a new SSO solution that Microsoft offers in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. It’s based on a secure client-side credential-caching mechanism.

The Windows 2000 (and earlier) requirement that users must re-enter the same credentials whenever they access resources on the same Internet or intranet server can be frustrating for users, especially when they have more than one set of credentials. Administrators often must cope with the same frustration when they have to switch to alternative credentials to perform administrative tasks. Credential Manager solves these problems.

Conclusion:

Browser-stored passwords make it easy for hackers to get inside your network

allowing a browser to “remember” passwords can pose a major security risk because:

  • Password recovery tools can easily find these passwords.
  • Browsers typically do not use strong encryption for these passwords.
  • Users do not monitor and rarely change these passwords once they store them in their browser.

DO NOT USE THE “REMEMBER PASSWORD” FEATURE ON APPLICATIONS SUCH AS WEB BROWSERS (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer etc.)

For IT Admins:

Get your FREE Browser-Stored Password Discovery Tool from Thycotic to quickly and easily identify risky storage of passwords in web browsers among your Active Directory users. You get reports that identify:

  • Top 10 common machines with browser-stored passwords
  • Top 10 common users with browser-stored passwords
  • Top 10 most frequently used websites with browser-stored passwords

The Browser-Stored Password Discovery Tool is free. You can re-run the Browser-Stored Password Discovery Tool at any time to identify browser password risks and help enforce compliance with web browser security policies.

Source: online-tech-tips, digitalcitizen, techgenix,

 

WINDOWS 10 INSIDER PREVIEW BUILD 16232 will Protect Against Ransomware Attacks

In the wake of recent devastating global ransomware outbreaks, Microsoft has released Insider Preview Build 16232 for Windows 10 operating system to protect against ransomware and other emerging threats that specifically targets its platform.

Microsoft is planning to introduce the security features in Windows 10 Creator Update (also known as RedStone 3), which is expected to release sometime between September and October 2017.

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The anti-ransomware feature, dubbed Controlled Folder Access, is part of Windows Defender that blocks unauthorized applications from making any modifications to your important files located in certain “protected” folders.

Applications on a whitelist can only access Protected folders. So, you can add or remove the apps from the list. Certain applications will be whitelisted automatically, though the company doesn’t specify which applications.

Once turned on, “Controlled folder access” will watch over files stored inside Protected folders and any attempt to access or modify a protected file by non-whitelisted apps will be blocked by Windows Defender, preventing most ransomware to encrypt your important files.

So, whenever an application tries to make changes to Protected files but is blacklisted by the feature, you will get a notification about the attempt.

How to Enable Controlled Folder Access, Whitelist Apps and Add or Remove Protected Folders:

Here’s how to enable the Controlled folder access feature:

Go to Start menu and Open the Windows Defender Security Center

Go to the Virus & Threat Protection settings section

Set the switch to On

Here’s how to allow apps that you trust is being blocked by the Controlled folder access feature to access Protected folders:

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Go to Start menu and Open the Windows Defender Security Center

Go to the Virus & Threat Protection settings section

Click ‘Allow an app through Controlled folder access’ in the Controlled folder access area

Click ‘Add an allowed app‘ and select the app you want to allow

Windows library folders like Documents, Pictures, Movies, and Desktop are designated as being compulsorily “protected” by default, which cannot be removed.

However, users can add or remove their personal folders to the list of protected folders. Here’s how to add folders to Protected folders list:

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Go to Start menu and Open the Windows Defender Security Center

Go to the Virus & Threat Protection settings section

Click ‘Protected folders’ in the Controlled folder access area

Enter the full path of the folder you want to monitor

Users can also enter network shares and mapped drives, but environment variables and wildcards are not supported at this moment.

HOW TO INSTALL INSIDER PREVIEW BUILD 16232

The new build is available for download via Windows Update, so it’ll be automatically downloaded and installed on all computers running Windows 10 Insider Preview soon.

If you want to manually download and install the new build ASAP, you can do this using following simple steps:

  1. Open Settings app from Start Menu.
  2. Click on Update and security icon.
  3. Once you open Windows Update section, it’ll automatically start checking for new builds. Otherwise, you can click on “Check for updates” button.
  4. Click on “Download now” button to start downloading the new update build of Windows 10.

After downloading the build, your computer will automatically restart to install the new update.

The download size will be around 2 or 3 GB depending upon the computer architecture (32-bit or 64-bit) and system language.

 PS: If you can’t find the new build on Windows Update, following tutorial will help you:

[Fix] New Insider Preview Builds of Windows 10 Not Showing on Windows Update

Source: The Hackernewsaskvg, Microsoft

 

Stop using the insecure SMBv1/SMB1 protocol

The recent WannaCry ransomware outbreak spread because of a vulnerability in one of the internet’s most ancient networking protocols, Server Message Block version 1 (aka SMBv1 / SMB 1).

Barry Feigenbaum originally designed SMB at IBM. Microsoft has made considerable modifications to the most commonly used version. Microsoft merged the SMB protocol with the LAN Manager product.

The original SMB1 protocol is nearly 30 years old, and like much of the software made in the 80’s, it was designed for the world that no longer exists. The world without malicious actors, without vast sets of important data, without near-universal computer usage. Frankly, its naivete is staggering when viewed through modern eyes.

The Server Message Block, or SMB, protocol is a file sharing protocol that allows operating systems and applications to read and write data to a system. It also allows a system to request services from a server.

This is the protocol mainly used for providing shared access to files, printers, and serial ports and miscellaneous communications between nodes on a network.

In computer networkingServer Message Block (SMB), one version of which was also known as Common Internet File System (CIFS) operates as an application-layer network protocol.

There have been numerous vulnerabilities tied to the use of Windows SMB v1, including remote code execution and denial-of-service exploits. These two vulnerabilities can leave a system crippled, or allow attackers to compromise a system using this vulnerable protocol.

Protocol Version Windows OS
SMB 1 Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows XP
SMB 2 Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1
SMB 2.1 Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7
SMB 3.0 Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8
SMB 3.0.2 Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1
SMB 3.1.1 Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10

SMB 1 protocol permits man-in-the-middle exploits and it “isn’t safe” to use. An attacker can use SMB 2 to pull information from the insecure SMB 1 protocol if it exists in a network.

The nasty bit is that no matter how you secure all these things if 
your clients use SMB1, then a man-in-the-middle can tell your client
to ignore all the above. All they need to do is block SMB2+ on 
themselves and answer to your server's name or IP.Your client will 
happily derp away on SMB1 and share all its darkest secrets unless
you required encryption on that share to prevent SMB1 in the first 
place. This is not theoretical-- we've seen it.

                 ~ Ned Pyle, a Principal Program Manager, Microsoft

 

How to remove SMB V1 /SMB 1 in Windows OS?

Windows 8.1 and Windows 10:

Method-1: Open Control Panel (just start typing Control in the search box to find its shortcut quickly). Click Programs, and then click Turn Windows features on or off (under the Programs heading). Or

Start –> Run –> Type appwiz.cpl –> press enter –> Click Turn Windows features on or off

Clear the check box for SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support, as shown here. That’s it; you’re protected.

SMB1

Method-2:  open a Windows PowerShell prompt with administrative privileges. In the Windows 10 Creators Update, version 1703, right-click the Start button and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin) from the Quick Link menu.) If you’re running an earlier Windows 10 version, enter Windows PowerShell in the search box, then right-click the Windows PowerShell shortcut and click Run as administrator. From that elevated PowerShell prompt, type the following command:

Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName smb1protocol

Press Enter and you’re done.

Note You must restart the computer after you make these changes.

Windows 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016:

Method-1: Launch Server Manager from Command Line.

Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box, or open the Command Prompt. Type ServerManager and press Enter.

Run

Or Launch Server Manager from Taskbar

Task bar

On Server, the Server Manager approach:

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Method-2: On Server, the PowerShell approach (Remove-WindowsFeature FS-SMB1):

Remove-WindowsFeature Name FS-SMB1

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On legacy operating systems:

When using operating systems older than Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, you can’t remove SMB1 – but you can disable it.

Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012:

Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 introduce the new Set-SMBServerConfiguration Windows PowerShell cmdlet. The cmdlet enables you to enable or disable the SMBv1, SMBv2, and SMBv3 protocols on the server component. (A cmdlet is a lightweight command that is used in the Windows PowerShell environment.)

  • To disable SMBv1 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:

Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB1Protocol $false

  •  To enable SMBv1 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:

Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB1Protocol $true

 Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008:

To enable or disable SMB protocols on an SMB Server that is running Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008, use Windows PowerShell or Registry Editor.

Windows PowerShell 2.0 or a later version of PowerShell

  • To disable SMBv1 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:

Set-ItemProperty -Path “HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters” SMB1 -Type DWORD -Value 0 -Force

  • To enable SMBv1 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:

Set-ItemProperty -Path “HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters” SMB1 -Type DWORD -Value 1 -Force

 Note You must restart the computer after you make these changes.

Registry Editor:

Important

This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure that you back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to backup, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:  322756 How to backup and restore the registry in Windows

To enable or disable SMBv1 on the SMB server, configure the following registry key:

Registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\ParametersRegistry entry: SMB1
REG_DWORD: 0 = Disabled
REG_DWORD: 1 = Enabled
Default: 1 = Enabled

Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8:

  • To disable SMBv1 on the SMB client, run the following commands:

sc.exe config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb20/nsi
sc.exe config mrxsmb10 start= disabled

  • To enable SMBv1 on the SMB client, run the following commands:

sc.exe config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb10/mrxsmb20/nsi
sc.exe config mrxsmb10 start= auto

Source: Microsoftzdnettechnet.microsoftredmondmagtop-password, techtargetwindowsitpro

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Source: Microsoft