Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows and Office
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  • Add Excel to Win10 Start menu most used list?

    Posted on July 27th, 2016 at 14:25 woody No comments

    Another right-on question from RM:

    What a great article your wrote for info world on the modifying the start menu.
    I just upgraded about a dozen window 7 machines to windows 10 in our medical offices and have a question that I cannot seem to find an answer to:
    Some of our machines do not list excel and its jump list under “most used”, even if we use it a ton.  I have tried to clear the automatic destinations files as other have recommended but that does not work.  I thought there must be some way to add it to the top of the left side since our staff does not run with any tiles open.  According to what I have read on multiple web site, originally one could left drag and drop from a tile to the left side, but apparently this feature has been discontinued by MS.
    Any ideas how to either put excel and the jump list back into the “most used” list or alternatively, add a shortcut to the top of the left side the start menu.  Our staff gets confused with the shortcut in the taskbar, but this seems the only workaround
    Thanks for the great article and appreciate any help you could give me.

    Short answer: You can’t. There’s no way to directly change anything at the top of the left side of the Start menu, in Win10 RTM, Win10 Fall Update, or in Win10 Anniversary Update.

    The only way I know to get something onto the Most Used is to delete what’s on the list – right-click and “Don’t show in this list” — enough times to bring up the program you want.

    I found a way to move items up the “MFU” (“most frequently used”) list in earlier versions of Windows – you could manually manipulate a registry entry to rig the system. I haven’t been able to replicate that kludge in Win10.

  • Is it time to install the July security patches?

    Posted on July 27th, 2016 at 08:30 woody 6 comments

    Good question from JM:

    I’ve been following the site on and off for a little while, and have had good results so far. With the recent releases though I was wondering if 5 of the security updates are ok to install or not. I get that the recommended updates (non-security) ones should be avoided, but I didn’t want to ignore it all for now and possibly leave my machine open. In years part, I would’ve downloaded it without question, but now with the things MS has tried to do, I wanted verify first.

    The KB’s in question are:

    KB3163245 – Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 for x64-based Systems

    KB3164025 – Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64

    KB3168965 – Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems

    KB3170455 – Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems

    KB890830 – Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool x64 – July 2016

    Is it a good rule of thumb that the security updates won’t create issues?

    Thanks for you time!

    I think it’s premature to install the security patches for July. We just had a bug in the Excel updates raise its ugly head a few days ago. There’s still a chance we’ll see problems with this month’s patches.

    As long as you don’t use Internet Explorer, none of the security patches are really pressing. See for a rundown.

    Best to sit it out and wait for MS-DEFCON 3 or better. (The MSRT can run anytime.)

    There’s an extra reason for waiting it out this month: Microsoft has to make some changes on or around July 29, just to yank the “free upgrade” nags, if nothing else. I have  no idea what will happen, but it may affect outstanding patches.

    I think it’s smart to wait and see what happens over the weekend. Not to worry, I’ll raise the MS-DEFCON level when it looks like things are OK.

  • File History duplicates in Windows 8.1 and 10

    Posted on July 26th, 2016 at 14:16 woody 4 comments

    First I’ve heard about it, but reader CH says it’s true:

    Wonder if you’ve noticed that File History in W10 has been bust for a long time (at least since Aug 2015 – see Microsoft Community posts). Microsoft tell us they know about it, yet apparently nothing gets done to fix it.
    The problem is that File History insists on always backing up everything in sight, regardless of whether files have been changed or not. With the net result that our external drives fill up exponentially with terabites of data – it’s hugely frustrating…..& to have to contemplate buying further back-up software, when W10’s file history should be doing the job for free.
    Anything you could do to get some traction with Microsoft would be IMMENSELY appreciated.

    I’ve encountered three different Answers forum posts on the topic, and none have any resolution posted. One of them dates back to 2013. (!)

    Anybody out there have any sage advice?

  • Is a Microsoft account necessary to lock in a Windows 10 digital license?

    Posted on July 26th, 2016 at 14:06 woody No comments

    Good question from PKC (similar to one I recently answered in the InfoWorld comments):

    Your article in Infoworld mentions tying the upgrade Win7 or 8.1 to Win10 with a Microsoft ID. Suppose someone did the upgrade using a LOCAL ID and doesn’t want any association with a Microsoft anything. Technically, the upgraded PC is forever eligible for Win10 (for the supported life of the device – whatever that means). How does THAT work? Does NOT associating the upgrade with a Microsoft ID negate the eligibility?

    In fact, you don’t need to use a Microsoft Account at all. It’s just additional insurance. It’s easy to do in the process of upgrading, so I recommend that folks take the extra minute or two to get it going.

    In most cases, the digital license transfers across to the Win10 installation on the machine BUT… I’ve seen a number of cases where the license doesn’t transfer, particularly on a clean install of Win10. In those cases, the MS Account should work to associate the license with the machine.

    It’s much easier to attach the license to an MS Account in advance, before you need it, rather than wishing you’d done it when it was easy.

  • Here’s some of the info Microsoft collects from Win7 and 8.1 machines

    Posted on July 26th, 2016 at 09:48 woody No comments

    I just bumped into this document, which gives a 33-page list of the “telemetry” data that admins can tap into, to see how their monitored systems are behaving. According to the description:

    The Windows Customer Data Opt-in (CDO) is an optional setting for enterprise-managed devices that instructs Windows to gather device-specific telemetry data. By configuring CDO, enterprises will be able to gather information from their Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 devices about apps, drivers, hardware configurations, and other engagement with the operating system to generate upgrade related insights. This document lists telemetry events, grouped by event area, and the fields within each event gathered by Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 through CDO for Upgrade Analytics.

    It isn’t clear what information is collected and sent to Microsoft’s servers if CDO is turned off, or if you have a machine that isn’t connected to a corporate network. There’s also no acknowledgement of the Customer Experience Improvement Program, which is mentioned in several of the (possibly) snooping patches we’ve seen for Win7 and 8.1. It’s highly likely that CEIP and CDO work independently of each other.

    It’d sure be nice if MS would give us a similar list for Win7 and 8.1 machines that are (a) fully patched and (b) have CEIP turned on or off.

  • Could Edge extensions start working better? Try build 14393.5

    Posted on July 26th, 2016 at 08:00 woody No comments

    I won’t hold my breath, but Edge may be getting better…

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • What happens to those Win7 “enabling” patches when July 29 rolls around?

    Posted on July 25th, 2016 at 10:31 woody 8 comments

    Good question from MFM:

    As you know, Windows 7 & 8.1 users have been fed multiple updates to Windows Update specifically designed  grease the skids for switching to Windows 10.

    And millions of us with no plans to make the switch have chosen not to install these updates.

    So I am wondering what happens to them after July 29th. Do they quietly disappear from our lists of pending updates as others have in the past? Or do they keep coming back in case someone decides to update to Windows 10 at a later date?

    And what happens if we do decide to install them after July 29th? Will they have any beneficial impact on the operation of Windows Update in general?

    Have you heard anything or do you have any educated guesses as to what happens next?

    It’s a very good question – one I’ve been pondering quite a bit. to put it in a different perspective, after July 29, is there any ongoing reason to avoid non-security patches for Win7 and 8.1?

    Short of “telemetry” snooping patches, I would tend to think not, but I don’t know, and I’ll be anxious to find out.

  • Still undecided about Win10? Here’s what to consider, how to reserve the free upgrade, if you want it

    Posted on July 25th, 2016 at 08:15 woody 27 comments

    Some no-bull advice about the upgrade, along with a few safe ways to reserve your “free” version.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows