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[Tip] How to Change Fonts of Menus, Dialog Box and Other Text in Windows 8 and Later

[Tip] How to Change Fonts of Menus, Dialog Box and Other Text in Windows 8 and Later

SUMMARY: This tutorial will help you in changing the default “Segoe UI” font of various menus, context (right-click) menus, dialog boxes and other visible text in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. You'll be able to change the font to any other desired font such as Tahoma, Verdana, Times New Roman, Arial, etc.

In Windows 7 and earlier Windows versions, users were able to change the font style, font size and font color of different menus and dialog boxes using Advanced appearance settings which was a part of Desktop Personalization (or Desktop Properties) window as shown in following image:

But in Windows 8 and later Windows versions, Microsoft removed the advanced appearance settings feature and now users can't change the font style or color. The only option which is still available to users is customizing the font size. You can change the font size of menus, message boxes, icons, title bars, etc using Display settings as mentioned in following tutorials:

[Tip] Increase Titlebar Text Font Size in Windows 10

How to Change Font Size and Color in Windows 8 and Later?

The above tutorial also tells you about Registry tweaks which can be used to customize various colors, icon size, buttons size and other UI elements which were a part of the good ol' advanced appearance settings feature.

Although Microsoft has removed the option to change default fonts of menus and dialog boxes in Windows 8/8.1/10, you can still change the font using a simple Registry tweak. Today in this tutorial, we are going to share a Registry trick which can be used to change the font of menus, dialog boxes and other visible text in Windows 8 and later.

Actually Windows keeps an entry of all installed fonts in Registry Editor under “Fonts” key. This Registry key contains several Strings containing the installed font's .ttf file name as its value and if a font's entry is not found under “Fonts” key, Windows looks for its substitute font in “FontSubstitutes” key.

Since Windows 8 and later use “Segoe UI” font as default font everywhere, we are going to remove its entry from “Fonts” key in Registry which will make this font unavailable for Windows use. After that we'll set our desired font such as Tahoma, Verdana, etc as the substitute font for “Segoe UI” using “FontSubstitutes” key. When Windows will not find entry of “Segoe UI” font in “Fonts” key, it'll look for its substitute in “FontSubstitutes” key and then it'll start using our desired font to display text in all areas instead of the “Segoe UI” font.

Following image shows the default “Segoe UI” font being used everywhere in Windows 8 and later:

Following image shows custom “Tahoma” font being used everywhere in Windows 8 and later:

So if you also want to change the default “Segoe UI” font to other desired font in Windows 8 and later, check out following simple steps:

STEP 1:

Press WIN+R keys together to launch RUN dialog box. Now type regedit in RUN and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

STEP 2:

Now we'll remove “Segoe UI” font entry from “Fonts” key in Registry. To remove all entries of “Segoe UI” font, go to following key in Registry Editor:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionFonts

In right-side pane, scroll down and look for Segoe UI font entries. You'll find several entries for Segoe UI font variants such as Segoe UI, Segoe UI Black, Segoe UI Bold, etc.

Double-click on each Segoe UI string and empty its value data field i.e. delete the .ttf font name from its value data field and make the value data field blank.

Don't change value data field of Segoe UI Emoji, Segoe UI Historic and Segoe UI Symbol fonts as these fonts are used to show some icons and smileys in some UI areas.

You can safely empty value data field of following Segoe UI font variants:

Segoe UI
Segoe UI Black
Segoe UI Black Italic
Segoe UI Bold
Segoe UI Bold Italic
Segoe UI Italic
Segoe UI Light
Segoe UI Light Italic
Segoe UI Semibold
Segoe UI Semibold Italic
Segoe UI Semilight
Segoe UI Semilight Italic

Just double-click on each Segoe UI font entry and delete the value present in value data field which will make the value data field empty.

PS: Before deleting the value you can note it down somewhere in case you want to restore the default font in future.

STEP 3:

Now we'll set the font substitute for “Segoe UI”. Go to following key in Registry Editor:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionFontSubstitutes

In right-side pane, right-click and select “New -> String Value” option. Set its name as Segoe UI and set its value to your desired font name. For example, if you want to change the default “Segoe UI” font to Tahoma font, then set the value of Segoe UI string to Tahoma. You just need to find out name of desired font and then set the same name as the value of Segoe UI string in Registry.

STEP 4:

That's it. Restart your computer and get ready to enjoy your desired font in all menus, context menus, dialog boxes and other text in Windows.

NOTE 1:

If you decide to restore default “Segoe UI” font in future, simply restore default values of all Segoe UI font variants in “Fonts” key and delete the “Segoe UI” string created inside “FontSubstitutes” key in Registry. We have also provided a ready-made Registry script to automatically restore default settings and values in Registry below for your convenience.

NOTE 2:

If you are not comfortable with Registry editing tasks and found the tutorial complicated, we are also sharing a ready-made Registry script which will do the whole task automatically. You just need to download following ZIP file, extract the ZIP file using 7-Zip or any other file archive utility and then run the “Change Default Font in Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10.REG” file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it. Restart your computer to take effects:

Download Registry Script to Change Default Font in Windows 8 and Later

This Registry script will change the default font to Tahoma. If you want to change the font to any other desired font, right-click on the “Change Default Font in Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10.REG” file and select Edit option. It'll open the Registry script file in Notepad. Now go to the end of the file and replace Tahoma word with your desired font name such as Verdana, Arial, etc. Save the file and run the .REG file. Reboot your system to take effects.

In future if you decide to restore default “Segoe UI” font in Windows, you can run “Restore Default Font in Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10.REG” file included in the ZIP file. After running the REG file restart your computer and it'll restore the default look in Windows menus, dialog boxes, etc.

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Posted in: Windows 10, Windows 8 / 8.1

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How Do I Backup Windows 10 Activation?

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Microsoft Extends Skylake Support On Windows 7 And Windows 8.1

Back in January, Microsoft made a rather surprising announcement that it was changing the support model for older operating systems running on the latest Skylake hardware. As part of the announcement, going forward, the latest processors and chipsets would only be supported on the current version of Windows. As of now, and for the foreseeable future, that means new chips will only be supported on Windows 10.

This was a surprise because both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are still in their “extended support” phase, and generally that means the operating system is left as is, but security updates are done until the end of extended support. For businesses especially, many had just finished their Windows 7 upgrade and there was not necessarily a big push to start over again. But at the same time, workstations need to be replaced. As a slight reprieve, Microsoft said in January that they would provide a list of computers that would have support for Skylake until July 2017. Since then, the list has been made available here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/skylake-support

There was some ambiguity about the initial notification though. After July 2017, patches that are found to cause an issue with Skylake systems would be excluded from certain security patches. But what that meant exactly wasn’t stated. Today Microsoft has both extended the diary date for the end of support, as well as provided a bit more clarity on what will happen after.

First, the new end of support for the listed computers is now July 17, 2018. That is a one-year extension over the initial date. The initial 2017 date was so short that I’m sure Microsoft got some not so friendly responses from their largest enterprise customers who are most certainly going to have Skylake systems running Windows 7. July 2018 should be enough time for actual planning and testing to be done.

Second, all critical patches will be addressed for Skylake systems until the end of mainstream support for the operating system, which is January 2020 for Windows 7, and January 2023 for Windows 8.1. This clears up the odd wording previously announced, and means that if you have to continue running Windows 7 on the approved machines after July 2018, you won’t be left vulnerable to a security issue that is already patched.

What is not changing is the stance on future hardware. When the latest AMD and Intel processors are released, they will only be supported on Windows 10. But at least this policy is laid out ahead of time, instead of them changing the policy half way through support. Pray they don’t alter it any further.

There’s a big difference between something capable of running Windows 7 and something that is supported running Windows 7, especially when you have critical infrastructure. Future hardware may run just fine on Windows 7 if you can put up with issues like Ian had installing Windows 7 on a new Skylake system when he was forced to use an optical disk. For business, they likely want to stick to the supported methods unless they have ambitious IT departments.

Source: TechNet Blog

Get Windows 10 Patch Updated Again

In June of 2015, Microsoft launched a special update that was supposed to make upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 much easier. What has ensued is a piece of code that gets updated regularly and when updated leaves a wake of angry customer complaints about being forced to upgrade.

The update, KB3035583, has been updated again. Not much is known about this latest revision, but so far there haven’t been any additional reports of forced upgrades. However, it’s important to note that each time its updated, it re-enables the upgrade functionality. Windows users, along with a lot of administrators tasked with managing business computers, have taken to modifying the Windows registry or using 3rd party applications to block the upgrade. So, when KB3035583 is updated and resets itself, they have to go back and reapply the blocking mechanisms.

I think it’s safe to say that someday everyone will run some iteration of Windows 10, but customers like to do it on their own terms, through their own choices. It’s less empowering thinking that a vendor thinks they own what a customer paid good money for – except that Windows 10 is a free offering for now.

I think it’s important to remember that Microsoft’s “free Windows” upgrade promotion for Windows 10 ends in July of this year (a year from the moment it was originally made public). So, we should expect KB3035583 to reappear in Windows Update a few more times before then.

But, wait…there's probably more…

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Microsoft relents, extending support for Skylake PCs with older Windows versions

Microsoft said today that it has tweaked its support options for customers who want to run the latest Intel Skylake processors on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Microsoft will extend its specialized support options for a year and offer more updates to those customers when its specialized support period expires.

A convoluted history
These are likely welcome changes to what Microsoft set up in January, when the company outlined a plan to provide specialized support for business customers who wanted to buy a PC powered by Intel's latest Skylake processor, but who also wanted to stick with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Microsoft agreed to support dozens of specific PCs, including gaming PCs from companies like Dell.

After July 2017, though, that support would end — save for only the most critical updates — and customers were expected to move to Windows 10. That was much too soon for enterprises, most of whom have only recently migrated to Windows 7.

The idea, from Microsoft's perspective, was that the growing gap between the aging Windows 7 OS and the latest Skylake hardware offered many opportunities for bugs and other failures, and they would only increase over time. Pushing customers to Windows 10 at the end of that transitional period would help mitigate this.

But after customer backlash, the support period for Windows 7/8.1 on Skylake will now end a year later, on July 17, 2018. After that, Microsoft said all critical security updates will be targeted for Skylake systems until extended support ends, a softening of the “most critical” language Microsoft used previously.

Keeping the customer happy
Jeremy Korst, the general manager of Windows marketing, said the company has “received feedback” on how it had handled the previous rollout — negative feedback, presumably. “A key part of this update was our commitment to continuing to lead with a customer-first approach,” he wrote in a blog post.

Customers, though, quickly picked up on the differences: Why did support for Skylake systems end in 2017, especially when extended support for Windows 7 on the previous Broadwell systems ended in 2020? And what did this “most critical” language actually mean for the updates those Skylake systems received? Older versions of Windows Server also runs on Skylake, but without the tangle of support options.

All these questions undoubtedly influenced Microsoft's revised stance. “This guidance is designed to help our customers purchase modern hardware with confidence, while continuing to manage their migrations to Windows 10,” Korst wrote.

This story, “Microsoft relents, extending support for Skylake PCs with older Windows versions” was originally published by PCWorld.

Mystery continues with Microsoft's unidentified patch KB 3103709

Last Tuesday, Microsoft dropped an enormous number of seemingly innocuous patches — seven for .Net running on Windows Embedded, plus 40 separate nonsecurity patches. There's a full list on AskWoody.com.

The next day poster Opskito complained that he was seeing an update on his PC that wasn't included in the list. Identified as KB 3103709, there was no KB article for the patch (which, alas, isn't uncommon). More perplexing, the patch wasn't mentioned on Microsoft's main Windows Update list.

A week later, there's still no KB article and no entry on the Windows Update list. The patch apparently only appears on Windows 8.1 systems and it's Optional, unchecked.

Here's where things get weird.

On the Microsoft Answers forum, in a post enigmatically titled “Is Update KB 3103709 fake?” poster skepticaluser_2016 reported a transcript of a conversation with “Judy D” at Microsoft Tech Support that includes this enlightening exchange:

Skepticaluser_2016: I'm reluctant to install the update since there is no information regarding it on the Microsoft website

Judy D: Okay… Actually this is a free upgrade to everyone. If you are using win 8.1 now, you are one of the qualified to upgrade your PC to windows 10… To check if the update is already installed, go to the Start screen. If you see a Search button near your account name at the top of the Start screen, you already have the update.

Skepticaluser_2016: So this update is the beginning of the install for Windows 10?

Judy D: Yes… The update is gradually rolling out to everyone with a PC running Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 over a period of several weeks. If you get automatic updates but you don't see the update yet, wait a few days and check again.

Skepticaluser_2016: Ok, thank you. I'm glad I asked. I already went down that road and had to format my computer because Windows 10 made it effectively unusable.

Judy D:That's awesome:)

There's some speculation in the thread that skepticaluser_2016 was, in fact, conversing with a bot (maybe AlphaGo moonlighting?), but the possibilities are frightening — especially for folks who have been rickrolled by the Get Windows 10 juggernaut.

There's a German-language post from Spike2 on Borncity that says (auto-translated by Google and edited for legibility):

KB 3103709 seems to be an update for Microsoft's Active Directory Services, more precisely “NTDSAI” and “DSPARSE” because it includes changes to Windows 8.1 ntdsai.dll and dsparse.dll… That's what I found out by downloading (without installing) followed by unzipping and viewing the accompanying XML and manifest files.

I had one report about a pop-up appearing on some PCs with KB 3103709 (the description was unclear). If there is a pop-up that refers to KB 3103709 floating around, it most certainly is not a Windows patch.

That's where the trail ends. Have you seen anything reliable about this patch?

Analyze and clean the WinSXS folder

We have talked in length about the WinSXS folder back in 2010 and how it comes up regularly as one of the largest folder on the computer when storage is analyzed using tools like WizTree.

Windows Explorer and third-party programs report a size of several Gigabyte at the very least, but the count can go up to ten and more Gigabyte depending on the system it is analyzed on.

WinSXS, the full path is c:WindowsWinSXS, contains files that are required for servicing operations such as the installation of updates, service packs or hotfixes.

According to Microsoft, the component store contains ” all the files that are required for a Windows installation”, and since it also holds files added by updates, it grows over time on all systems.

The size of the folder is not reported correctly however if you use Windows Explorer or third-party tools like WizTree to analyze its size.

The reason for that is that it contains hardlinks which Explorer and third-party tools don't take into consideration when calculating the WinSXS folder's size (they count the hardlinked files even though they don't reside in the WinSXS folder).

These hardlinks point to files in other Windows directories, for instance c:Windowssystem32.

Analyzing the WinSXS Folder

A proper way to analyze the Windowsx component store directory is to use dism.exe. Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) was introduced by Microsoft in Windows Vista and has been part of new versions of Windows ever since.

Update: Please note that the commands will only work on Windows 8 or newer machines.

Here is what you need to do to analyze the WinSXS Folder:

Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd.exe, hold down Shift and Ctrl, and hit the enter key on the keyboard. This opens an elevated command prompt on the system.
Run the command dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore
The parameter /Online refers to the current installation, and /Cleanup-Image /AnaylzeComponentStore to analyzing the current component store of that installation (the WinSXS folder).

You can list all available commands using dism.exe /?, and subsequently dism.exe /Online /? and dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /?.

The command runs a scan that takes a moment to complete. It echoes the Windows Explorer size and actual size to the command prompt window, and gives recommendations whether it makes sense to run a cleanup operation.

Cleanup
Windows runs a cleanup regularly using the Task Scheduler. You can check if that is the case on your machine in the following way:

Tap on the Windows-key, type Task Scheduler and hit enter.
Navigate to Task Scheduler (local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Servicing > StartComponentCleanup
You can run the cleanup operation manually at any time using the following command using an elevated command prompt:

dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

It is usually not necessary to run a cleanup unless the AnalyzeComponentStore analysis recommends it.

You can however use Disk Cleanup to free up disk space, and run an analysis afterwards to remove files from the WinSXS folder that are no longer required.

Now You: How big is your system's WinSXS folder?

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If you don’t want Windows 10, do this!

Reports are coming in by users from around the world on sites like Reddit that machines running Windows 7 or Windows 8 have been updated — once again — to Windows 10 automatically.

They report that the update was automated, and that they did not receive any prompt or option to stop the process once it was in motion.

Some noticed that their machines were upgraded to the new operating system after coming back from lunch or checking their computer in the morning after leaving it turned on for the night.

This is not the first time that this happened to some users running Windows 7 or 8 on their machines. Users were experiencing the same thing in October 2015 and Microsoft apologized later on stating that the enforcement was not intended to be delivered automatically.

But the issue did not keep Microsoft from pushing Windows 10 related updates to machines running previous versions of Windows, and the company stated openly that it is “going to keep at it” even though it may be discomforting to some customers.

In February 2016 then it made Windows 10 a recommended update on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

If you don't want Windows 10, do this
The following steps are recommended to anyone who does not want to upgrade computer systems running Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10.

Step 1: Disable automatic updates

Automatic updates are convenient, as Windows will download and install critical system updates automatically.

The main issue with the setting is that you don't get any say in the matter and no option to research updates before they are installed.

Windows updates may have adverse effects on a system. We have seen in the past that they may cause all kinds of issues on a system including preventing it to boot or upgrading it to Windows 10.

So, instead of having the system set to install updates automatically, you configure it to inform you about new updates so that you can decide whether to install them or not.

Here is how that is done (the screenshots have been taken on a Windows 7 machine, but the methodology is the same on Windows 8).

Step 1: Tap on the Windows-key, type Windows Update, and hit enter.

Step 2: Click on “change settings” when the Windows Update Control Panel opens up.

Step 3: Locate the “important updates” menu on the page that opens and click on it. Switch from “install updates automatically” to “check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them”. Click on ok afterwards.

Windows will notify you about updates but won't download or install them automatically anymore.

This requires that you go through the list of updates manually whenever they are presented to you to select those you want installed.

You can use the built-in hide functionality to block the installation of updates you don't want installed on your machine.

Additionally, you may want to do the following to improve the blocking further.

Set the preferences DisableOSUpgrade and DisableGWX in the Registry to block the upgrade to Windows 10. Click on the link for instructions on how to do that.
Install the excellent GWX Control Panel application which has been designed to block Windows 10 on machines running Windows 7 or 8.
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