Newsletter Archives

  • Think security

    WINDOWS 11

    Mary Branscombe

    By Mary Branscombe

    My advice is to stick with Windows 10 — and turn on the same security features that are the best part of Windows 11.

    If your PC will run it, Microsoft would like you to switch to Windows 11. By now you’ve probably clicked through a full-screen prompt asking you at least once to upgrade. Now that Windows 10 isn’t getting any new features, you can expect to see that prompt more often.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.27.0, 2023-07-03).

  • You have 11 options

    WINDOWS 11

    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    The introduction of Windows 11 has been the most confusing rollout of Redmond’s operating system ever.

    First of all, it’s unclear to users whether they really need Windows 11. Additionally, Microsoft required a security chip called the Trusted Platform Module 2.0 — but then confirmed that TPM 2.0 isn’t really necessary. Finally, upgrading Win10 to Win11 may be hard or impossible to undo if you change your mind.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.27.0, 2023-07-03).

  • It depends

    WINDOWS 11

    Randy McElveen

    By Randy McElveen

    Windows 10 or 11? My answer is different for individuals and businesses.

    If you are running a business, switch now.

    Individuals? Hang on to Windows 10 as long as you can.

    And if you go to Windows 11 and decide it’s a mistake, you can go back.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.27.0, 2023-07-03).

  • Why not?

    WINDOWS 11

    Simon Bisson

    By Simon Bisson

    Every Windows update has been contentious, and I’ve seen a lot of them over the years.

    The question of whether to update always gets asked, and my answer has been much the same: “Yes, if your PC meets the requirements, go ahead and update.”

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.27.0, 2023-07-03).

  • The devil you know

    WINDOWS 11

    Peter Deegan

    By Peter Deegan

    So, you have a Windows 10 computer that’s working fine and is enough for your needs. Why bother switching to Windows 11 on the same PC?

    Leaving aside Microsoft’s hype, it’s hard to see anything truly compelling in Windows 11 that’s not already in Windows 10.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.27.0, 2023-07-03).

  • Setting up Windows 11 — for businesses

    WINDOWS 11

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    In April, I published setup guides for Windows 10 and 11 for consumers. Now it’s time to do the same for businesses.

    As with the consumer checklists, a significant aspect of setting up a new PC is migrating important materials from the old PC. This is even more important in the business environment, where loss of data may equate to loss of business. It’s worth taking the time to get it right.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.27.0, 2023-07-03).

  • Can you STILL do a Windows 11?

    Can you still do a Windows 11 without a Microsoft account with Windows 11 22H2?

    Yes. Absolutely.  When you get to the spot where it wants you to have a Microsoft account just put in no@thankyou.com and any password.  It then says “oops” and will let you set up an account even without a password if you like.

    The trick STILL works.

  • Making Windows 11 on Arm less obnoxious

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    ISSUE 20.12 • 2023-03-20

    WINDOWS 11

    Mary Branscombe

    By Mary Branscombe

    If you’re running Windows on Arm, you really want to be running Windows 11 rather than Windows 10.

    Not only is it the only way to get Windows 11–specific features such as running Android apps or tabs in Notepad, but — crucially for Arm devices — it’s the only way to get 64-bit emulation or the native ARM64 .NET Framework. 64-bit emulation was previewed in an Insider build of Win10, but it shipped only in Win11.

    If you want to run apps such as the most recent version of Photoshop or Signal on your Arm PC, you need Windows 11 to do it. That’s annoying if you find the new Windows 11 user interface as frustrating as I do.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.12.0, 2023-03-20).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Don’t want search?

    Now I will be the first to admit that I search.  I search on Google.  I search even on Bing. But when I search – I WANT TO SEARCH. So I’ve never quite understood why Microsoft has this thing about having the Operating system search from the taskbar.  I open a browser.

    Now I do use the search box to quickly jump to a setting. If you hop back and forth between Windows 10 and 11 sometimes the brain goes… where did they move that again?

    So now we have Bing being added to search in the March updates.. but not just ANY search … it’s the chatgpt search.

    Now I’m not adverse to change but really…. do we really need all of this ChatGPT stuff given that it feels very much to me that it’s a bit too new, too much the shiny thing and hasn’t been tested for security issues, side effects and what not?

    Joe here posts about the registry key to disable or hide the search bar. You can find this by opening up the registry and

    find: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search

    Look for SearchboxTaskbarMode and right-click on it and select Modify.  Change it to 0

    I’d argue that you want it t0 search your computer, but not the web. For this you’ll add a new registry key for DisableSearchBoxSuggestions

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer]
    “DisableSearchBoxSuggestions”=dword:00000001

    And let’s not forget about chatgpt coming to Microsoft 365 Copilot. Stay tuned, we’ll have lots more guidance and advice on how to navigate all of these vendors “rush to the AI” trend. And how to turn some of these settings off….

  • How to take screenshots in Windows 11

    WINDOWS 11

    Lance Whitney

    By Lance Whitney

    The ability to take a screenshot in Windows can come in handy, both for personal and professional reasons.

    Maybe you’re documenting a certain process. Perhaps you need to share an image of an error message. Or maybe you’re making certain changes in Windows and want to capture the before and after. I take screenshots to supply images for the articles I write.

    Whatever the reason, Windows 11 (and 10) provides several methods to take a screenshot of an app or window.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.08.0, 2023-02-20).

  • Microsoft you have made this confusing

    Just bought a new workstation. HP small form factor (with the largest power brick ever) with a Windows 11 Pro downgraded to Windows 10 Pro so I KNOW it supports Windows 11. Joined it to the domain. Started to install Win11 as the first business rollout of 11.  I’ll use Fences program and corral icons so the user won’t be annoyed, and it will be like his Windows 10.

    So for grins I go and run the WhynotWin11 just to test.

    And it says the 12th generation i7-12700 is not supported.

    Huh?

    But it is clearly listed on this page as being supported.

    AND it states in the web sites it’s licensed for Windows 11. But as Microsoft still hasn’t fixed their “official” application to work in a domain I can’t use their official tool while the workstation is on a domain.

    Note that while Microsoft is now pushing 22H2 to “unmanaged” pcs (that means you, the huddled masses), I don’t consider it still quite ready for prime time.  The fix for the remote desktop not working (which impacts some but not all Windows 11) is in the PREVIEW release of KB5022360.  (This update addresses an issue that affects mstsc.exe. It stops responding while connecting to a RemoteApp and Desktop Connection.) So until that rolls into next month’s security update, 22H2 still isn’t ready for letting home users remote into their workstations.

    Microsoft when you start selling Windows 12 make this process easier of determining which ones are and are not supported?

    As a kind reminder – don’t forget to use either group policy, registry keys or incontrol to select the version you are on.

  • Group policy is cool but….

    Stumbled across this video tonight from Linus Tech Tips (not Linux but Linus). The video is about enabling Group policy editor. BUT on a Home PC even enabling Group policy editor  on Home doesn’t necessarily make Group policies work on Home skus. Some settings will work, some will not.

    The video is a bit hard to follow but the command(*) to enable group policy editor can enable group policy editor on Windows 10/11 Home skus but that doesn’t mean that if you enable a setting that it actually WORKS on a Home sku.

    Also be aware that you will need to have a computer that can support virtualization in order to run Linux on Windows (WSL).

    There is a Github group policy editor tool but I honestly haven’t tested to see if it works.

    Okay I’m a critic tonight because he’s glossing over a lot of the system requirements and details in this video. That said, it is showcasing that under the hood of Microsoft they aren’t just doing “Windows” but actively putting cross platform features into Windows 11.

    What key tip or trick would you recommend others should know and probably don’t?

    (*) Commands below:

    FOR %F IN (“%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientTools-Package~*.mum”) DO (DISM /Online /NoRestart /Add-Package:”%F”)

    FOR %F IN (“%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientExtensions-Package~*.mum”) DO (DISM /Online /NoRestart /Add-Package:”%F”)