Mark Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson

Microsoft releases KB4598479 update to fix 'Reset this PC' bug in Windows 10

Windows 10 logo on a beach

The option to "Reset this PC" has long given users a quick and easy way to restore their computer to its factory settings. But ever since the release of Windows 10 version 1607, users have been complaining that the feature is not working, with the message "There was a problem when resetting your PC. No changes were made" being displayed.

Now Microsoft has finally got round to fixing the problem. The company has released the KB4598479 update as part of the first Patch Tuesday of 2021.

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Microsoft gives users greater control over speech recognition privacy

Speech recognition

Microsoft has announced that it is rolling out an important update relating to voice data collected during speech recognition. The changes give users more control over how their data is used, and comes in response to privacy concerns about the use of private data.

The update means that users will now be able to give or deny consent for Microsoft to manually transcribe the contents of voice clips for the purposes of improving the accuracy of speech recognition.

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Serious Windows 10 flaw could corrupt your hard drive if you open a folder

Scratching a hard drive

A security researcher has revealed details of a strange bug that could result in an NTFS hard drive becoming corrupt in Windows 10, as well as the unsupported Windows XP. What makes the bug so serious and unusual is that it can be triggered without the user having to open a file.

The bug -- which has been shown to have been around for three years or so -- can cause a hard drive to be corrupted if a user simply views the contents of a folder that includes a specially crafted file. Although Microsoft is aware of the issue affecting the $i30 NTFS attribute, a fix has yet to be produced.

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As of today, Adobe is blocking all Flash content from running

It was a long time coming, but as 2020 came to an end, Adobe stopped supporting its much-maligned Flash Player. Now, nearly two weeks into 2021, the company is taking things a step further.

Users have already been advised to uninstall the software and, starting today, there is a new reason to do so besides helping to boost security. Today is the day that all Flash content is blocked, meaning there really is no point in having the obsolete tool installed.

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Facebook is banning all mentions of 'stop the steal'

Stop the Steal placard

In the run-up to Inauguration Day, and in the wake of violent events at the Capitol last week, tensions are running high in the US. With numerous social media platforms having banned outgoing president Trump from using their services, Facebook has now announced that it is banning a phrase that has become strongly associated with right-wing conspiracy theories about election fraud.

Having already removed a group called Stop the Steal a couple of months ago, Facebook is now going to be removing all content that uses these words. The phrase "stop the steal" is effectively banned on both Facebook and Instagram, and the company says that it will be working around the clock to enforce its policies until after president-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

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WSL distros can now run Linux commands on startup in Windows 10

Windows keys

Windows Insiders who install the latest build of Windows 10 are being treated to a powerful new option in WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) -- the ability to run Linux commands when a distro starts up.

The new feature can be used to run things such as environment configuration scripts and more. This is an extremely versatile option that will be welcomed by power users, as well as anyone interested in taking their usage of Windows Subsystem for Linux to the next level.

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Microsoft simplifies its Windows File Recovery app

Windows File Recovery

It is now around six months since Microsoft launched its own command line data recovery app. The Windows File Recovery Tool offers a way to get back deleted files, but it came in for some criticism for not being particularly easy to use.

This is something that Microsoft is now working to address, bringing a massively simplified approach to the app, greatly increasing ease of use and user friendliness.

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Windows 10 has a secret way to grab text from images

OCR text conversion

There are many reasons for wanting to grab text from an image files, and there are numerous tools that let you do just that. But if you're looking for a quick and easy way to convert an image into editable text, you might be surprised to find that Windows 10 offers a way to do it without the need for additional software.

More than just images, the operating system includes a great, secret way to grab any text you can see on your screen and convert it into an editable format. Here's what you need to know about optical character recognition (OCR) in Windows 10.

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Microsoft has a big Windows 10 redesign planned

Microsoft headquarters

Windows 10 has been with us for quite some time now, and while Microsoft has introduced various visual tweaks over the years, there has been nothing dramatic. But this could be about to change.

Rumors have been circulating about a planned visual refresh to the operating system which has the codename Sun Valley. Now Microsoft is planning to introduce a "sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows experiences" over the coming months.

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Microsoft releases the first PowerToys of 2021


Just days ago, Microsoft pushed out PowerToys v0.29 as the last release of 2020 -- now it's time for the first release of 2021.

Skipping over versions 0.29.1 and 0.29.2, the company has unleashed PowerToys v0.29.3. So, what is there to look forward to in this first release of the new year?

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Quick! Upgrade to Windows 10 for free in 2021

Windows keys

When Microsoft first released Windows 10, the company made a big deal about the fact that the operating system was available as a free upgrade for a limited time.

The free upgrade period -- supposedly -- came to an end some time ago, but actually it is still possible to jump from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 for free in 2021. Here's what you need to know about getting a free upgrade to Windows 10.

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Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.29 as the last build of 2020


We might be in the middle of the holiday season, but that doesn't mean that software developers stop working. As we approach the end of 2020, Microsoft has pushed out one final version of PowerToys for the year.

PowerToys v0.29 lays the groundwork for big changes and additions that are planned for 2021. There are quite a lot of fixes and improvements in this releases, but it is the promise of what's to come that is arguably of greater interest.

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Facebook explains why millions of users are losing access to key features

Messenger, Facebook and Instagram icons

If you've logged into Facebook, launched Instagram, or fired up Facebook Messenger recently, you may well have seen a message reading, "some features not available". So, what's going on?

Various restrictions have come into force because of new privacy laws that Facebook must comply with. It means that some "advanced options", such as creating polls, are no longer available to millions of users. Facebook has revealed just what is happening.

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Sony pulls bug-riddled Cyberpunk 2077 from the PlayStation store

Cyberpunk 2077

The launch of Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the most disastrous in recent history. In production for what seems like forever, the game comes from the same stable as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the Polish developer CD Projekt.

The game was eventually launched just over a week ago, and the reception was... well... less than good. A seemingly endless string of bugs -- as well as performance issues on some platforms -- has led to widespread disappointment. Now Sony has taken the extraordinary step of yanking the PlayStation 4 game from its store, and is offering refunds to buyers.

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Twitter is just about ready to start verifying users again

Twitter header

Twitter's verification program has been on hold for quite some time now, but the company recently revealed that users would be able to start applying for the coveted blue tick in 2021.

Now Twitter has shared more details about getting verified and there is some good news for anyone itching to get a blue tick -- more people now qualify to be verified. There's not long to wait, and the company has published information about how to apply for verification in 2021.

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