Monday, August 03, 2015

Where’s my Windows 10 Upgrade?

Wondering when your free Windows 10 upgrade will arrive? Want to be sure that you’ve done everything right? Molly from the Windows team is here with the answers.

Beware of hackers sending Windows 10 upgrade mail!

With Windows 10 free upgrade everywhere in the news and Windows users eager to upgrade their systems for free to Windows 10, hackers too are exploiting Microsoft’s offer and are sending bogus spam mails with malicious attachments as if its the Free upgrade offer.

Cisco’s security team has discovered some such emails and warned the users. The spam mail make it appears to have come from Microsoft and asks users to download a file to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. But the file is actually a ransomware.

“This threat actor is impersonating Microsoft in an attempt to exploit their user base for monetary gain. The fact that users have to virtually wait in line to receive this update, makes them even more likely to fall victim to this campaign.”

Windows10virusMail

The email message above is a sample of the type of messages that users are being presented with. (pic courtesy : Cisco blog)

The From address, the adversaries are spoofing the email to look like it is coming directly from Microsoft (update <at> microsoft.com). But a quick look at the email header reveals that the message actually originated from IP address from Thailand.

They are also using the same color scheme.

Please note that Microsoft is providing the users with screen notification and they have to upgrade via Windows update like any other updates and not via any emails.So users are warned not to click such mails and be extra cautious if such mails pass security scan in emails.

For full details please check Cisco blog.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Tip : Capture pop-up menus with new Snipping tool in Windows 10

Snipping tool in Windows 10 gets some new little features.

Delay option

To capture pop up menus like Start or right click context menus, Snipping tool has added a feature to set a few seconds delay. You can set delay up to 5 seconds. So with the delay how to capture pop up menus?

SnipToolDelay

  • Suppose we want to capture Start Menu
  • Open Snipping tool, set a delay of 5 sec
  • Click on arrow besides New > Select Rectangular Snip, the Snipping tool may get minimized.
  • Now click on Start to open up Start menu. (Any pop up window or menu can be activated, our example is of Start menu) If you have done this fast enough within 5 sec, you might have to wait for a second or so and the Snipping tool appears again. Now drag the mouse cursor around Start and capture it .
  • And the Start screenshot is captured which can edited, saved and printed

 

Print option too added

Also in this new version, Print option too has been added so that snipped content can be printed directly from the tool.

SnipToolPrint

These are small but very useful features added to Snipping tool in Windows 10.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Tip: Get some more space on Windows 10 taskbar with Cortana option

If you are one of those who likes to pin various apps, programs on taskbar and in doing so taskbar fills up and you have to scroll to access some of the apps.

Here is a small tip to get back some of the space on taskbar in Windows 10 for pinning more apps. By default, Cortana is shown with a long Search box.

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You can right click on taskbar or on Cortana Search box and choose Cortana > Show Cortana icon

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and that will put the Circle icon instead of long Cortana Search box on the task bar thus adding some space to the taskbar. There is an option to even completely hide it but who wants to hide Cortana!

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Here is the expanded view of the Cortana Search box and icon on taskbar

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TaskbarCortana3z

 

 

That’s the small tip about Cortana on Taskbar.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Snap Assist, Corner Snap, Snap Fill in Windows 10

With Windows 7, we had Aero Snap to arrange and position windows side-by-side. Windows 8 further increased productivity by taking this to tablets. Now Windows 10 has taken this to totally new level of flexibility as Store apps are regular windows on desktop.

Snap Assist:

One of the common and popular feature with the Windows users is to drag windows to the edges of the screen to resize them to half, thus snapping two windows side-by-side, may be for comparison, drafting mail etc.

Windows 10 has made this feature of placing two windows side-by-side more convenient, easier, flexible and friendlier. Windows 10 uses your screen real estate more efficiently. Just drag a window to edge of screen, and it snaps correctly in half of screen. Once a window is snapped, Windows 10 is made intelligent enough to provide a list of recently used windows to choose from for the other half as shown below. So the user doesn’t have to hunt for the second window but has to just click on the offered window of his choice. And two windows gets snapped side-by-side.

SnapAssist01

Corner Snap:

To snap a window to a quarter size of screen, just drag the window to corner and leave it. This design allows very powerful configurations. So you can have 4 windows on screen at once or a window taking half the screen and two windows taking quarter each. Shown below are four quarter screens.

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The helpful UI with recently used windows pops up here also when you have quarter of the screen left as shown below.SnapAssist02

Using Keys to snap windows: The use of keys has been updated in Windows 10. Winkey+Arrow keys now also works with Corner Snap. Holding down the WinKey, hit left and Up arrow key to snap to top left quadrant.

Snap Fill:

Not every time we require snapping perfectly into half or quarters. Sometimes in the half window, we may want browser window bigger but video playing window smaller. In Windows 10, as you snap a window and resize, the system makes a note of the action and when you snap a second window, it automatically fills up the available space. So snapping is made more intelligent with any app and also applies to desktops.

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Settings related to Snap assist can be done from Settings > System > Multitasking

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You can now use Snap Assist when snapping apps across multiple monitors.Nice improvements have been made to this feature in Windows 10.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Windows 10 adds option to download Windows updates & apps from other PCs

Microsoft has added an option to the Windows Update in Windows 10 Build 10240. This option is significant as it now allows to get Windows Updates and apps from other PCs apart from Microsoft.

From Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced options > Choose how updates are delivered option is added.

At least I’m noticing it now..don’t know since how long it was added.

UpdatesdelHowWU0

UpdatesdelHowWU

Download Windows updates and apps from other PCs in addition to Microsoft. This can help speed up app and update downloads.

When this option is turned ON, your PC may also send parts of previously downloaded Windows Updates and apps to PCs on your local network or PCs on the internet, depending on what’s selected from the provided options.

The link ‘Learn More’ is not yet available. Hope to see more details from Microsoft.

Even the option ‘Defer Upgrades’ seems recent :

“Some Windows 10 editions let you defer upgrades to your PC. When you defer upgrades, new Windows features won’t be downloaded or installed for several months. Deferring upgrades doesn’t affect security updates. Note that deferring upgrades will prevent you from getting the latest Windows features as soon as they’re available”

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

[tip] How to add a link to the Favorites bar in Microsoft Edge

It is a small tip, but since it was asked by users as Microsoft Edge is recently released. This shows how to add a page URL/link to the favorites bar in Microsoft Edge. So frequently visited links can be easily accessed by putting them on Favorites bar.

1. First one has to enable/show the favorites bar. For this click on the 3 dots (more action) at top right of the Edge browser > Settings > Show the favorites bar to ON

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2. With favorites bar showing, now open the page whose link you want to add to favorites bar. Click on the Star > Create in >Select 'Favorites Bar' drop down

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And click on ‘Add’ . That’s all . And the Link will be added to the Favorites Bar. Here in the pic a link has been shown added.

FavBar2