Newsletter Archives

  • Setting up Windows 11 ā€” 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).

  • How do you install and patch your new computer?


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    I’m doing something vastly different this week.

    Right off the bat, you’ll notice that this article is a bit shorter than I usually write. That’s because it describes the actual writing task to which Iā€™ve set myself. I’ve prepared two checklist documents about setting up a Windows PC, one for Windows 10 and one for Windows 11.

    Both of these documents are targeted at the ordinary consumer, the home user.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.15.0, 2023-04-10).

  • Looks like installing a clean Win10 version 1903 Home forces you to use a Microsoft Account

    For many years, I’ve recommended that users set up a new Windows 10 machine with a Local account — one that isn’t a Microsoft account, and doesn’t phone home to Ma Microsoft every time you log on. (Microsoft now calls it an “offline account.”) I’ve included the detailed step-by-step method, which varies a bit by version, in all of my Windows All-In-One For Dummies books.

    Now it appears as if installing a clean copy of Win10 version 1903 — yes, the one that’s been out for five or six months — makes you jump through a bizarre hoop in order to set up the computer with a Local account.

    I’ve been expecting some shenanigans with Win10 version 1909. Martin Brinkmann posted a report yesterday that he’s still seeing an option to use an Offline account to set up the machines:

    We installed Home and Pro editions of Windows 10 version 1909 multiple times and the offline account option was presented to us each time. It is quite possible that Microsoft is A-B testing the chance or that the change affects only some regions and not others.

    But I’ve also seen many reports that folks clean installing 1909 didn’t have that option — when you set up a new machine with 1909, you have to use a Microsoft account. I figured I’d wait until I have the final, shipping, bits before kicking the tires and raising the roof.

    Now comes word from Chris Hoffman at How-To Geek that the setup routine forces you to use a Microsoft account on version 1903. It’s astounding how much power Microsoft has over privacy-busting “features,” even on versions of Win10 that have been out for a while.

    If you get stuck with installing a clean copy of 1903 or 1909, unplug your machine from the internet during the installation. The exact steps from that point vary a bit, depending on version, but Chris and Martin can take you through the details.

    Justin Pot at How-To Geek calls this kind of flim-flammery a “dark pattern” — a way that companies trick you into doing what they want, in this case to snoop. Er, harvest your telemetry.