• Welcome!

    Welcome to AskWoody.com. Here’s a quick overview designed to get you going in no time.

    Windows Secrets Refugees

    You probably know that Informa/Penton – the company that owned Windows Secrets – has pulled the plug. Not to worry. You’ll likely find your old helpers and mentors have made the leap, and we add more every day. The format here is a bit different, posting rules are more rigorously enforced, but if you give it a shot, I bet you’ll fit right in.

    The move to AskWoody may be more than a bit jarring. I think of it this way. Windows Secrets was a big bulletin board with a newsletter tucked into a tiny corner. AskWoody, by contrast, is a blog, with a weekly newsletter (and sporadic alerts), and a bulletin board tacked on the side.

    If you’re looking for the familiar list of Windows Secrets forums, look at the bottom of this page. There’s a reference table that (I hope) will make navigating a little easier.

    General layout

    The blog is the part you see running down the left side of the site — it concentrates on tech news.

    The Lounge (bulletin board) takes over much of the right side. There are different Forums for major areas of concern — Windows 10, for example, or Browsers or Mac. Within each Forum is a bunch of Topics, each corresponding to a question or answer. Within each Topic lie Replies, which are the messages people post back and forth.

    To follow along with the latest news, read the left side of the page. To ask (or answer!) questions, start on the right.

    Up at the top you’ll see my warnings about the current state of Windows and Office patches — the MS-DEFCON number and recommendations for installing or holding on the latest patches. If you’re interested in more detail, and want to take on all the tech stuff, check out Susan Bradley’s Master Patch List. Follow those instructions and you’ll have far fewer Winthings go bump in the night.

    Make your questions count

    From @geekdom:

    If you are asking for assistance in this forum, here are a few suggestions that may help those who are providing assistance:

    • Make sure your topic is in the right place.
    • Provide your operating system and version.
    • Write a complete description of the problem.
    • Include complete error messages.
    • Present remedies attempted and the results.

    Your account

    If you don’t have an account, not to worry. Setting up a new one is easy and free. In the upper right corner, click the link marked Register. If you have trouble registering (most commonly a duplicated email address, or a confirmation email that’s gone AWOL), shoot me a message at CustomerSupport@AskWoody.com.

    If you’re logged in to your account, you can see your display name in the upper right corner of this page. To set or change your avatar (your picture), you need to run through gravatar.com. To change your password or email address, click on your display name (underneath your picture, which may look like a gray watermelon) and choose Edit. To see your username, click Edit and look about halfway down the page in the section marked Account. Your username is grayed out because you can’t change it.

    If your username looks like an email address, we need to get you moved over to a “proper” AskWoody account. Drop me a line and we’ll get you moved — and your old subscription will go along with you. Promise.

    One you’re logged in, post away, but be aware of the admittedly retro Lounge rules — no personal attacks, no swearing (my 9-year-old reads the posts!) and politics and religion go in the Rants forum. We’re keeping AskWoody at the upper end of the gene pool, quite deliberately.

    Yes, we do accept anonymous posts. Lots of good reasons why people want to remain anonymous. Just remember that each anonymous post is moderated – reviewed – before it’s allowed to appear. Moderation can take hours or even longer. To cut down on spam accounts (dozens a day), we moderate the first few posts from new users as well. You need to complete a CAPTCHA challenge before registering for a new account, or making an anonymous post.

    There’s a Getting Started FAQ-ish post worth reading. We also have a Topic set up for new Loungers — introduce yourself and join in the fray!

    Windows Secrets Forum cross-reference

    For those of you accustomed to the Windows Secrets forums, here’s a list of hotlinks that may help you get oriented here on AskWoody.

    Office Applications

    General Productivity Productivity software by function
    Word Processing Word Processing
    Spreadsheets Spreadsheets
    Databases Databases
    Presentation Apps Presentation apps
    Visual Basic for Applications Visual Basic for Applications
    Microsoft Outlook Email programs
    Non-Outlook Email Email programs
    Other MS apps Other MS apps


    General Windows forum Windows
    Windows 10 forum Questions – Win10 in general
    Windows 10 Insider Preview program Win10 beta builds
    Windows 8 forum Questions – Win 8.1
    Windows 7 forum Questions – Win7
    Windows Vista, XP and older Questions – Vista, XP
    Windows Mobile Forum Questions – Mobile
    Windows Server forum Admin IT Lounge – Servers, client controls, networks, AD, WSUS, SCCM, 3rd party


    Internet Explorer and Edge Internet Explorer and Edge
    Third-Party Browsers Other browsers
    Application Servers Application servers — Exchange, IIS, SharePoint
    Networking Networking – routers, firewalls, configuration
    Social Media Social Media – tools, configuring privacy options

    Software Development

    Windows programming DevOps – Scripts, Operations, Powershell, VMs
    Web design and development Web design and development

    Other Technologies

    Non-Microsoft Oses Other platforms for Windows wonks
    Security & Scams Code Red – Security advisories and Privacy
    Maintenance Questions – Maintenance, backups
    Hardware How to troubleshoot hardware problems
    Graphics/Multimedia Graphics/Multimedia
    Other Applications Tools

    The Lounge

    Windows Secrets Columns AskWoody blog
    Test area Testing Forum

    We have many more forums on the Forums page, which you can see by clicking the Forums tab up at the top.