If you get a notification that you have a “Microsoft account problem,” you don’t have a problem and you don’t have to fix anything. You haven’t been hacked and you don’t have a virus. Microsoft is testing your patience.
Click on Start / Settings (the gear in the left column). […] continuedRead more
Microsoft has gorgeous collections of photos that you can use for free as your Windows wallpaper. A typical theme rotates through ten or fifteen photos; when you get bored, it’s easy to switch to another theme with new pictures. I’ll tell you where to get the themes, and along the way, we’ll talk a little bit about the failure of the Microsoft Store. […] continuedRead more
The latest update to Windows 10 version 1903 includes Snip & Sketch, an update to the venerable Snipping Tool that has been part of Windows since Vista in 2007. The new app makes me smile because it’s the quintessential Microsoft experience: it has unnecessary extra features that you won’t use; it has a duplicative name that is both longer and more confusing than the old program; and it doesn’t work as well as the original. […] continuedRead more
This article is for anyone with spam ads or annoying notifications popping up from the lower right corner of your Windows desktop. If you don’t have this problem, file this away in case you need it later.
(Also see: How To Turn Off Unwanted Chrome Extensions)
Sleazy advertisers used to install “adware,” little programs to change your browser home page and pop up ads in the middle of the screen. […] continuedRead more
Windows 7 was released almost ten years ago. Those are human years; in technology years that is roughly the length of the Mesozoic era, when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
There’s no crisis. You’re not required to throw away your Windows 7 computers tomorrow. I understand that you’re comfortable and you don’t want to change anything and you want those kids to stay off your lawn. […] continuedRead more
Your Windows 10 computer is going to install a major update soon. Microsoft just began rolling out the “Windows 10 October 2018 Update,” bringing Windows 10 to version 1809.
The version number – 1809 – is a code for the year and month of the update. So the version number suggests September and the official name is the “October update” and it’s being released in November. […] continuedRead more
With the collapse of the Microsoft consumer ecosystem, there are fewer reasons all the time to sign into Windows 10 with a personal Microsoft account. I’m finding I frequently set up new computers with classic local accounts and bypass Microsoft’s push to connect the computer to an online account.
Let’s talk a little bit about the pros and cons of logging into Windows with a personal Microsoft account. […] continuedRead more
This is why Microsoft doesn’t have any friends.
If you start seeing a barrage of notifications about “low disk space” on your Windows 10 computer, it is likely to be the result of a bug in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. There’s an easy fix – all you have to do is run a short, dangerous command that could potentially kill your computer if you mistype it. […] continuedRead more
The first thing everyone does with a new computer is install Google Chrome. That’s the last time we want to see Microsoft Edge, the uninspiring Windows 10 web browser.
At some point, though, you will click on a PDF and Edge will open up. You will wince and possibly scream involuntarily. […] continuedRead more
The latest Windows 10 update includes filters that help color blind users see colors normally. That might sound matter of fact to you, but as a person who has moderately severe deuteranopia (red/green color blindness), I am grinning broadly and feeling proud of Microsoft for working hard every year to improve the assistive technologies in Windows. […] continuedRead more
One of the first things everyone does with a new Windows 10 computer is install basic programs and utilities and set defaults so files open in the right program. This is a quick note for people who want to use Acrobat DC or Acrobat Reader to open PDFs, using “Set your default programs” in Control Panel. […] continuedRead more
The picture above shows the menu that comes up when you right-click the Start button in Windows 10. Many of you haven’t seen it. It’s full of things that burrow deeply into the system controls. That’s why it’s usually called the “power user menu.” I use it constantly.
On the left is the power user menu as it has appeared pretty consistently since Windows 10 was released. […] continuedRead more
With only a few clicks, you can reset your Windows 10 computer back to its brand-new condition when it was pulled out of the box. It will start up with the Microsoft license agreement, ready to be used by someone new. All your personal information and files will be erased. […] continuedRead more
My much-loved Thinkpad X1 Yoga was shipped to Lenovo today. I’ll be a bit twitchy and irritable until it comes back. But I couldn’t ignore the signs of old age any longer.
There comes a time when a laptop needs a new battery.
Lithium ion batteries don’t have a “memory” like older batteries but they do have life spans. […] continuedRead more
Here’s a problem without a solution.
On some Windows 10 computers, some of the time, opening the Devices and Printers window in Control Panel takes anywhere from 90 seconds to five minutes. The green bar creeps across the empty window, as you see in the screen shot above. Eventually it finishes. […] continuedRead more