Wayne Williams

Master Windows 10 with these new 'How To' videos from Microsoft

Help Windows 10

We’ve covered a lot of what you can do with Windows 10 (and also explained how to overcome many of the operating system’s major problems), but if you want more guidance and handy tips and tricks, Microsoft has just released a collection of short How to videos for its new OS.

The guides cover everything from using Cortana and Windows Hello, to linking your Xbox to your Windows 10 PC. There are also videos explaining how to use Microsoft Edge, the Windows Store, OneDrive, and Surface Hub Touchback. And if you want tips to boost your productivity, and do more with the Start menu, there are videos covering those areas as well.

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Ha-ha! Windows 10 is already twice as popular as Windows 8

laughing laugh mock mocking finger point pointing

The last lot of desktop OS figures released by NetMarketShare showed that Windows 10 had doubled its usage shared in a matter of days, but it wasn’t exactly an exciting number. Upon release the new OS managed to go from 0.16 percent to 0.39 percent.

But now that Windows 10 has had a month to settle in, we can finally see exactly how well it’s doing. Microsoft has said that there have been over 75 million installs, but what does that equate to in terms of usage share? NetMarketShare’s figures for August always promised to be exciting, and they definitely don’t disappoint now that they’re here.

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How to do a clean install of Windows 10 the easy way -- no upgrade required

Happy PC user

If you want to upgrade Windows 7 or 8 to Microsoft’s new operating system you can do so through the Get Windows 10 App which appears in your system tray, or by using the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Upgrading to Windows 10 is very straightforward, but what if you want to do a clean install, which will clear out all the old clutter and give your PC a performance-boosting fresh start?

According to Microsoft, in order to do this you will need to upgrade your existing version of Windows first. This will upgrade your Windows key, and you’ll then be able to Reset your PC, or format the drive and run a clean install (you can do this because your upgrade entitlement is stored in the cloud). There is however, a clever trick that will allow you to perform a clean install without ever going through the upgrade stage.

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Smart Home HD Starter Kit: A simple way to a smart home [Review]

mydlink Smart Home HD

There are lots of ways to create a connected home. My colleague Alan Buckingham is using Amazon Echo as the base to control his home’s lighting and heating, with occasionally interesting results (Alexa sometimes leaves him sitting in the dark).

If you’re not sure where to start, and you don’t want to spend too much money getting up and running, then mydlink Home's Smart Home HD Starter Kit from Ebuyer is a simple and smart solution. For your money you get an HD night-vision camera, Smart Plug and Wi-Fi Motion Sensor.

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Windows 10 Insiders have a new desktop preview to play with -- Build 10532 available now

Happy Man Excited Laptop

If you’re part of the Windows 10 Insider Preview program you’ll already be rocking one build ahead of the version being used by 75 million plus upgraders. Today the software giant pushes out a second new build, which is starting to roll out now.

Build 10532 is available to those Insiders on the Fast ring and offers some big new features, including improved context menus and better feedback sharing. Naturally, there some potential issues to be aware of too -- but such is life on the bleeding edge.

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New mystery updates arrive on Windows 10 [Updated]

windows update

New updates are coming thick and fast(ish) to Windows 10, Microsoft's new operating system, fixing problems and making it a bit more usable.

Today the software giant pushes out three new updates. These will be installed automatically, and you can check for them now by going to Settings > Update & Security.

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Surprise! Apple will stream its iPhone event live to Windows 10 users

Surprise

Apple always live streams its launch events, but only users of its products can tune in as the company restricts the streams to Apple TV and Apple devices running Safari. It’s a little odd, preaching to the converted, but as much of the company’s new hardware sales go to existing users of Apple products it’s clearly an approach that works well.

Windows and Linux users can get around this restriction by using VLC Media Player to stream the event, but getting things set up is a bit of a pain. This year however, Apple is inviting a new audience to view the live stream -- Windows 10 users.

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Canonical: give Windows 10 the shove and embrace Ubuntu

Beg

I use two desktop operating systems regularly -- Windows 10 and Ubuntu. The former is on my main PC, while the latter came pre-installed on a laptop. I’ve always liked Ubuntu, but never enough to make it my primary OS. Because I spend my days writing about Windows it’s kind of a no brainer that I should immerse myself in Microsoft’s operating system.

However, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, would like people to question their choice of OS, now that Windows 10 is here.

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Amazon Underground offers a way to get over $10,000 worth of Android apps and games entirely free

Amazon Underground

Why pay for something when you can get it for free? Provided free, really is free of course (so many "free" things these days come with hidden costs). If you’re an Android user you’ll want to sit up and pay attention to a new app from Amazon which provides a way to get your hands on all of the apps and games that are actually available for free throughout the Amazon Appstore.

Better still, while the apps and games offered might include in-app purchases in other stores, in Amazon Underground, everything is entirely free. Find an app you like and you'll pay nothing for it, ever.

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This app lets you see the invisible Wi-Fi signals all around you

Architecture of Radio

People worry about everything these days, and new technology is often a big cause for concern. Wireless charging, which is starting to appear in appliances, cars, and furniture, has some people fretting that it will microwave their internal organs while they sleep, and it wasn’t that long ago that people were stressing over the possible side effects of Wi-Fi too.

A BBC investigation a few years back found that RF radiation levels in some Wi-Fi-enabled schools were up to three times higher than the levels emitted by a typical mobile phone mast, leading to suggestions that Wi-Fi should be banned in places of education in the UK until its possible dangers had been fully investigated. Of course Wi-Fi hasn’t been banned in schools, or anywhere else for that matter, and it’s become far more ubiquitous. A new iPad app by Dutch designer Richard Vijgen uses augmented reality to visualize the network of radio waves that surround us, and it provides a truly fascinating glimpse into the invisible world that we now rely so much on.

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How to completely remove OneDrive from Windows 10

No OneDrive Windows 10

OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service, is heavily integrated into Windows 10. We've already explained how you can remove the OneDrive entry from File Explorer, but what if you don’t want the service in your new OS at all?

You can disable or uninstall it completely by following these simple steps. This will remove it from File Explorer, and everywhere else.

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How to view and delete your browsing history in Microsoft Edge

microsoft_edge_icon

If you’re used to using Firefox or Chrome (or Internet Explorer for that matter), switching to Microsoft Edge in Windows 10 can be a little confusing at first, as it’s not always obvious how to do relatively straightforward tasks in the new browser.

We've already shown you how to change Microsoft Edge's default download folder, and also how to change the default search engine (one of our most frequently asked questions). But how do you access your browsing history in Edge?

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How to make Windows 10's UAC prompts less obtrusive

UAC Icon

User Account Control (UAC) has been part of Windows since Vista. When it was first introduced it was incredibly annoying, but over the years Microsoft has tamed it a little to the point where it only springs into action when it has to. Most of us don’t really pay too much attention when the prompts pop up now.

However, they can still be rather obtrusive at times. Try to launch regedit in Windows 10, for example, and you’ll be presented with a full screen UAC prompt that temporarily prevents you from doing anything else until you've clicked it away. This is the most annoying aspect of UAC, but the good news is you can stop the prompts from taking over your PC in this way.

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Windows 95 launched 20 years ago today and changed the world

The Launch Event was held on a 12 acre sports field in Redmond. Over 500 press representatives attended, along with 2,000 computer industry heavyweights. Over 70,000 others watched live worldwide via satellite television feeds.

I first started writing about computers for a living in 1993, when I joined a UK magazine called PC Home. Back then we used Windows 3.11 and MS-DOS, and much of our online life was spent on CompuServe, although the World Wide Web (and the "information superhighway") was slowly starting to make its presence felt.

After I’d been in the job for a couple of years, Microsoft announced a new version of its OS: Windows 95. The launch event was held on a 12-acre sports field in Redmond. Over 500 press representatives attended, along with 2,000 computer industry heavyweights. Over 70,000 others watched live worldwide via satellite television feeds. The new OS was hugely different to 3.11 -- being 32-bit for starters, integrating DOS and Windows and boasting a smart new look that included a desktop, taskbar and Start button. And I absolutely hated it.

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Fix Windows 10 audio problems with these new troubleshooting videos from Microsoft

sound audio windows 10

Windows 10 is, for the most part anyway, a decent operating system, but there are teething problems with it. We’ve explained how to fix many of the worst issues with the new OS, but for many people problems persist.

Audio woes are easily the most common complaint with the new operating system and so Microsoft has taken the unusual step of releasing a series of short troubleshooting videos that will help anyone experiencing sound problems to (hopefully) overcome them. And yes, it’s not just one video, it is a whole series -- with 7 videos posted so far.

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