How to adjust the brightness manually on Windows 10?

As you know, if you have upgraded your laptop from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, you can see that will with previous versions of Windows, we can adjust the screen brightness manually quite easily and moreover, the users are more active in controlling while adjusting the brightness level manually. Luckily, in Windows 10, Microsoft did not reject the brightness manually adjusting part. Please make sure that the automatic white balance mode must are disabled on your computer! Now let's learn how to adjust the brightness manually in Windows 10! Adjust the brightness manually on Windows 10Method 1: Adjust the screen brightness
Firstly, click on the icon “PIN” on the system tray -> Click on the “Adjust screen brightness” to open the “Power Options”Click on the “Adjust screen brightness” On the window “Power Options” -> In the bottom of the window, you find the “screen brightness” and a slider next to it. To adjust the screen brightness, move the slider to the left to decrease the brightness and right to increase it.Move the slider to adjust the brightness.Method 2: Adjust the brightness since using the power
Like its predecessors, Windows 10 also allows you to set the brightness when using the source or in other words, the screen brightness will change automatically whether you use the source or not!
Firstly, you click on the icon “PIN”> Click the “Power Options” to open the “Power Options”Click the “Power Options”In the window “Power Options”> On the right side, let’s find and click to choose a property named “Power saver” -> then click “Change plan settings”.Click to choose a property named “Power saver” In the new window, scroll the brightness slider to the left or right to set the screen brightness to your device when you are using or not using “PIN”.Move the sliders to adjust the brightness Finally, click the Save button to save the settings, customize to suit your purpose! If you have any questions, please let us know by leaving your comments in the box below. We are glad to see your feedback! Thank you!

Deja vu all over again: Microsoft reissues KB 2952664, KB 2976978, KB 2977759

Yesterday, Microsoft re-re-released three patches — KB 2952664, KB 2976978 and KB 2977759 — all of which offer “compatibility” updates for those of you hell-bent on upgrading from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10 via Windows Update.

We also received two new patches — KB 3138612 and KB 3138615 — that update Windows Update by replacing their tired, old counterparts.

KB 2952664, our old “compatibility update” for upgrading Win7 to Win10, is back. The KB article says it's now up to revision 18. I wrote about this patch less than a month ago and have been writing about it since it first appeared in April 2014. Back in October 2014, Microsoft MVP dvk01, posting on the Microsoft Answers forum said:

This is the sort of update that should be offered ONLY when you intend to update as part of the pre check by Microsoft when you do a compatibility check on a new OS to see if it will be suitable.

I concurred at the time, and I concur now, 18 months later. If you're running Windows 7 and headed to Windows 10 sometime soon, then by all means, install the patch. If not, fuhgeddaboutit.

KB 2976978 performs the same service for Windows 8 and 8.1. I wrote about this patch, too, a month ago. It's just as useless now as it was then. The KB article pegs it at version 21, and it pains me to see so many bits needlessly slaughtered in such a futile cause.

KB 2977759 does the same, except it's for Windows 7 systems that don't have Service Pack 1 installed. Apparently there's going to be push (indeed, one may already be under way) to get original Win7 systems, without SP1, upgraded to Windows 10. The KB article says it's only at revision 17.

In the new-lipstick-same-pig category, we have two optional patches with completely new KB numbers.

KB 3138612, version 1.0, is a new version of Windows Update, destined for Win7 and Server 2008 R2. Microsoft doesn't exactly describe what's new, but it does say that this version of Windows Update supersedes last month's KB 3135445. I talked about KB 3135445 last month, and noted:

KB 3135445 is a new patch — at least, a new patch number — that's supposed to help exorcise the monsters in the Windows 7 update program. Unfortunately, being an update to Windows Update, it contains many of the same files that were in KB 2990214, and it may well be tarred by the same brush that I mentioned back in April 2015.

So this new 3138612 supersedes last month's KB 3135445, which in turn has many of the same files that were in KB 2990214. Back in April 2015, Windows product manager Joseph Conway posted a description of the re-release of KB 2990214 saying:

These WU [Windows Update] clients are used as part of the Windows 10 upgrade scenarios which will go live at release but are still used for down-level operating systems as the “regular” Windows Update client. This update is applicable to your systems even if you're not planning to migrate to Windows 10, so don't think you can skip it.

That post has been pulled from TechNet (at least, I can't find it), but you can read more of what he posted in my excerpt from April 2015.

Finally, the new KB 3138615, version 1.0 — a new version of Windows Update for Win 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 — supersedes last month's KB 3135449, which I also talked about last month. Just like the Win7 Windows Update update, there's no avowed connection to the previous patch, KB 3044374, but many of the same files were replaced.

A month ago, I summed up the Windows Update updates by saying:

I'm left with the impression that Microsoft wants to break with its sordid history with Windows Update patches and offer these two new patches to fix the long-standing Windows Update lethargy problems. If you feel Windows Update is running fast enough, I don't see any big reason to install either of them. But if Windows Update is running at a crawl, it would behoove you to get caught up.

And that observation stands again — although it looks like Microsoft's performed yet another KB number pirouette, no doubt distancing itself twice-removed from the old, much-maligned versions of Windows Update.

Bottom line: Unless Windows Update is horribly slow, I don't see any reason at all to install any of these optional updates.

Do You Need to Worry About Privacy in Windows 10? Answer is NO

Do You Need to Worry About Privacy in Windows 10? Answer is NO

If you search about Windows 10 on Internet or if you talk about Windows 10 with anyone, the search or conversation starts with Windows 10 telemetry, automatic data collection and user's privacy. It seems everyone is so much worried about the privacy and is afraid of using Windows 10. But this topic will clear all your doubts and you'll find a detailed explanation of what kind of data Windows 10 collects and sends to Microsoft.

After reading this topic, you'll get the answer whether you should use Windows 10 or not!

First let's talk about what is telemetry and data collection which everyone talks about:

People say that Windows 10 automatically collects users data and sends it to Microsoft. People also claim that Windows 10 connects to several Microsoft servers automatically but they don't know why? People even claim that Windows 10 comes with a built-in keylogger which automatically stores your typed data and sends everything to Microsoft which is absolutely wrong and funny actually.

So what's the truth? What kind of data Windows 10 collects and why?

In today's world of Internet, almost all software collect some diagnostics data to improve software functionality and to add required features in future versions. If you check any software settings, you'll find such kind of options to send data to the developer. Similar to those software, Windows 10 also collects some diagnostics data and sends it to Microsoft servers. But this data is anonymous and only includes statistics and usage data such as which kind of apps are used frequently, what phrases are searched frequently, how do users find regular settings and options, etc. It helps Microsoft in showing helpful app suggestions in Start Menu, better search results in Cortana, latest Spotlight content on Lock Screen, etc.

Windows 10 provides settings and options to turn off data collection. You can control your privacy in Windows 10 by following our exclusive tutorial to apply best privacy settings in Windows 10:

[Guide] Best Privacy Settings for Windows 10

And if you are worried about Cortana Search and modern (metro) apps data collection, you can uninstall/disable them using following guides:

[Guide] How to Remove All Built-in Apps in Windows 10

[Windows 10 Tip] Remove Cortana, Edge, Contact Support, Feedback Apps

Common guys, Microsoft will never collect any personal information. They are not going to collect your credit card details, your software license keys, your mobile numbers, etc. They just collect some anonymous diagnostics data which is used by Microsoft to add new features in upcoming Windows 10 Insider Preview builds and to improve Windows 10 functionality. The collected data helps Microsoft in making Windows 10 a perfect OS.

People say you can't completely disable telemetry and data collection in Windows 10. That's true, so what? In fact Microsoft also mentions that. Check out following article which will clear your doubts:

Truth Behind Disallowing Telemetry and Data Collection Trick in Windows 10

Microsoft clearly mentions that even if you set the option to allow telemetry to '0', it'll still send some security related data to the company and what does this data contain? Suppose you downloaded a file from Internet and it contained a virus or spyware in it. The built-in security program Windows Defender or SmartScreen filter detected the suspicious item and cleaned the file. Windows 10 will send this information to Microsoft so that the company can add this information to the known suspicious items list and can prevent other people from downloading such files in future. This security data is only collected to improve functionality of Windows Defender and other security features of Windows 10 so that Microsoft can provide a safer environment to all Windows 10 users.

You can also disable this security data collection if you want. Check out following article for details:

[Windows 10 Tip] Disable Data Collection and Telemetry in Windows Defender

Believe me, Windows 10 is the best operating system Microsoft ever developed and its safer and more secure than any previous Windows version, so stop worrying about telemetry and data collection issues. Also never use any 3rd party software or tweak to disable/block Microsoft server IP addresses. These software block several IPs and domains via Firewall rules and hosts file which can cause some serious issues as a side effect. Check out following article:

[Fix] Can’t Open Bing, MSN, Outlook or Other Microsoft Websites in Windows 10

So the bottomline is that Windows 10 is an absolutely safe OS and you can use it without any worries. Since its free to upgrade to Windows 10 from genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 OS, you can hurry up and switch to Windows 10 now.

Windows 10 Now Available for Download and Free Upgrade

There are reports that Microsoft may add new options to completely disable telemetry and data collection in future Windows 10 builds but there is no confirmation from Microsoft. We can only wait and watch the development of Windows 10 Insider Preview builds.

So go ahead and install Windows 10 if you haven't installed it yet. You'll enjoy the OS, believe me!

Share this article: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Reddit | Tell a friend

Posted in: Windows 10

Other similar articles that may interest you
How to Disable Windows 7 Taskbar Tab Preview Thumbnails in Mozilla Firefox?
Add Shut Down, Restart, Sleep, Switch User, Lock and Log Off Options to Windows 7 Taskbar Using JumpControl
Master Security Lock Code for LG CDMA Fixed Wireless Phones (FWP)
Download Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats
[FIX] Access Denied! Website Blocked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus due to Dangerous Content
[FIX] WinRAR Causes Wide Context Menu Problem in Windows

House of Cards Season 4 now available on Netflix: Watch on Windows 10 and Xbox One

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, clear your schedule because House of Cards Season 4 just hit Netflix. And since we're pretty well catered for with Netflix apps for Windows 10 and Xbox One you'll be able to watch on the go or feet up in front of the TV.

You can of course also catch up still on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, or even using the Netflix web site on your computer should you so wish. All 13 new episodes are available at once so grab a snack, tasty beverage and get ready to binge away.

And let's keep the comments a spoiler free zone, shall we.

Download Netflix for Windows 10 (mobile and desktop)

Tips for Speeding Up Windows 10 to Run Faster

Windows 10 runs much faster than previous versions of Windows by default, even on PCs with traditional hard drives. However, everyone likes to make the OS faster and more responsive. Here’s a look at a few simple things you can do to improve Windows 10 performance.

Disable Startup Programs
This option has been around for a long time, and it works. One of the first things I do to help speed startup time, no matter what version of Windows a PC is running, is disable startup programs. The computer will start up much faster without a ton of programs trying to start at the same time, too.

To do it, right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager, and then the Startup tab. From there you can disable the programs you don’t want to start up.

For additional details on the improved taskbar, read our article: How to Disable Startup Programs in Windows 10.

Enable Fast Startup
Fast Startup is a feature that was introduced in Windows 8. It’s a hybrid power mode that combines Hibernate mode with shutdown properties. There’s a lot of technical actions going on behind the scenes, but what it means for you is your PC will boot up much faster after you power it down.

You can enable it in Power Settings. For more, read our guide on how to do it: How to Improve Windows 10 Boot Up Time with Fast Startup.

Disable Animations
One of the ways you can make the OS more responsive is to disable animations. This is nothing new, in fact, it’s been a trick to make the Windows UI more responsive for quite a while. It was very popular during the Windows Vista days.

To do it, Click Start and type: advanced system settings and choose View Advanced system settings from the results at the top or just hit Enter. Then go to Performance options and turn off animations and visual effects.

If you don’t care for any eye candy, you can turn everything off. Personally, the two things I always turn off are:

Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
Show window content while dragging
For more read: Disable Visual Effects to Make Windows 10 More Responsive

Remove Unnecessary Crapware / Bloatware
If you buy a budget PC that’s around $600 or less, it’s going to come with a ton of unnecessary software. Call it what you want: bloatware or crapware, in the end, it’s worthless stuff. Things like backup tools from the PC’s manufacturer, disc burning software, and other third-party utilities. You don’t need it, and it slows your system down.

There are tools out there to help get rid of it like PC Decrapifier and CCleaner, but to make sure you get a fully clean and new Windows 10 experience, I recommend doing a clean install. For step-by-step instructions, read our article: How to Perform a Clean Install of Windows 10.

Another suggestion to completely avoid bloatware from the start when you purchase a new PC; choose a Microsoft Signature edition. You can find all types of Signature Line of Windows 10 devices at the on the Microsoft Store online (and the physical stores if you happen to live near one).

Cleanly Install Apps
Of course, you want to install your favorite programs that you need to use. To install your favorite free and open source software quickly, we recommend using Ninite or Patch My PC. These services will install the latest versions of the programs and automatically opt you out of the crapware they try to sneak in like toolbars or registry cleaners (which, by the way, are useless for modern versions of Windows).

These are just a few things you can do right now to speed up your Windows 10 system. You can also upgrade hardware in your PC make it run faster. Check out our guide on how to install more RAM, and how to install a Solid State Drive (SSD).

Internet Explorer security patch includes an ad-generator for upgrading to Windows 10

  After diving into the documentation for yesterday’s security patch for Internet Explorer, InfoWorld’s Woody Leonhard found something entirely not security related was included in the patch. Security update KB 3139929 for Internet Explorer also installs another update called KB 3146449. It is the second update that Leonhard takes issue with, because it doesn’t appear to

Best Windows apps this week

One-hundred and seventy in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps and games released for Windows 8.x and Windows 10 in the past seven days.

Several interesting games and apps were released this week including this week's “app of the week” Tap Tap Legion, and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition (a Windows 10 Store exclusive).

As always, if I missed an app or game that has been released this week that you believe is particularly good, let me know in the comments below or notify me via email instead.

Discounts This Week

The following discounts are provided by Red Stripe Deals, a weekly changing list of offers, and the Deals Hub application.

The following is this week's selection:

Leo's Fortune, a platform adventure game for $1.99
The Last Door: Collector's Edition,a point and click horror adventure game for $1.49
Sparkle Unleashed, an arcade game for $2.99
Gro Garden, organic gardening edutainment game for $1.49
The Great Unknown: Houdini's Castle (Full), an adventure game for $1.49
Color by Numbers: Animals, a painting app for children for $0.99
Weather Radar Pro for $1.49
KnowledgeBase Builder for $0.99
Sticky Notes Pro for $3.99
Token2Shell/MD, SSH client for $2.99
App of the week

Tap Tap Legions

Tap Tap Legions is a free to play game in which you summon troops that battle it out with onrushing enemy hordes.

The goal of the game is to beat the enemy troops and destroy their defenses to proceed to the next level.

You earn gold while playing the game, get access to new troops, and can purchase upgrades to make your army more powerful.

A random selection of cards, depicting the available unit types and special effects, are available in battles. Unit cards summon the depicted units to battle, while special effects have positive or negative effects such as bombing the enemy or yourself.

You can summon a limited number of cards per battle stage, and need to do so before time runs out as you won't be able to throw more troops or use special effects afterwards.

The upgrade system allows you to improve specific types of units, for instance by improving their attacks, health or defense, changing the odds that negative effect cards appear in battles, or improve the health of your king.

Other apps

Perfect Weather Universal

The new universal weather application for Windows 10 displays the current weather, and a 9-day weather forecast for the selected location.

Information that it provides includes a detailed forecast for the day, sunset, sunrise, moonrise and moonset time, information about wind, pressure and day length, and more.

It features landscape templates and live tile support to display weather information on the operating system's start page.

Four Seasons Journey

Cover as much distance as possible with your raccoon by carefully accelerating downhill, switching lanes, avoiding other animals that block the way, and collecting extras.

The game features an upgrade system that is linked to in-app purchases. You pay with berries that you collect throughout the game or purchase in the store to speed things up.

The Games Database

The Games Database offers information about upcoming, current and classic video games.

You can use the search to find games of interest, or browse the coming soon listing instead.

Each game is listed with a release data, a description, screenshots and video footage (if available).


The game requires an Xbox Live account and Xbox Controller. It is a crowdsourced, retro-style team-based sports game in which both teams try to score goals.

The game features online and local play, a single player campaign, and a hashbomb system that, when sent via Twitch or Twitter, will change the game dynamically.

Kodi.Remote ($2.49, free trial)

Browse, view, play and stream Kodi media from any Windows 10 device using Kodi.Remote.

It enables you to control your Kodi/XBMC systems, sync playlists and data, and stream media to Windows 10 devices, Microsoft Play-To devices, Miracast receivers, and connected Kodi devices.

Please note that some functionality, offline access for instance, are available as in-app purchases.

Patchwork ($2.99, no free trial)

Patchwork is an adaption of the boardgame by Uwe Rosenberg in which players try to create the best quilt to win the game.

It is a two-player game featuring local and online play, and games against computer opponents.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for Windows 10 ($29.99)

One of the first games released exclusively on Windows Store for PC. It is a remastered edition of the original Gears of War game that supports 4K resolutions and new content including new campaigns, bonus multiplayer characters and a “deluxe” weapon skin pack.

The game supports gamepads and keyboard controls, and requires a video card that is DirectX 12 compatible.

Notable updates

Music streaming app Deezer has been released as a universal application for Windows 10.

A King of Thieves update introduces a new character, unique gems and costumes to the game.

Sage Reader, a popular 4chan/8chan image boards browser, now supports thread monitoring, live tiles and Continuum support for Windows 10 Mobile.

Trakter, a TV show tracker, it is no longer available for Windows 8.x. It is only available as a universal application.

The People app for Windows 10 gains contact history in latest update

  While most of Windows 10’s apps are great services on their own, the People app is still being improved, and an update releasing today certainly looks to help that along. The update brings the app to version 10.0.10500.0, and introduces a per-contact history tab to help keep track of your interactions. The People app built

How to roll back your Windows 10 upgrade

Hundreds of millions of Windows 10 users can’t be wrong — or can they? I hear from people every day who tried the Win10 upgrade and for a variety of reasons — broken drivers, incompatible programs, unfamiliarity, fear of snooping, doubt about Win10’s future — want to get back to their good ol’ Windows 7 or 8.1.

If you performed an upgrade using Microsoft’s tools and anointed techniques, rolling back should be easy. Operative term: “should.” Unfortunately, many people find that Win10 is a one-way trip — sometimes for very good reason.

Here’s a thorough rundown of what you should expect, during the upgrade, then amid the rollback, along with a list of what frequently goes wrong and a bunch of tips on how to make the round trip less painful.

If you’ve upgraded from Win7 or Win8.1 to Win10 and you love your new system, more power to ya. But if you have a nagging doubt — or want to know what’s in store if you decide to move back — this report details what awaits.

Anatomy of a hassle-free rollback
Most people who want to roll back from Windows 10 to their previous version of Windows have no problem with the mechanics. Providing you still qualify for a rollback (see the next section), the method for moving back is easy.

Caveat: If your original Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 system had log-on IDs with passwords, you’ll need those passwords to log in to the original accounts. If you changed the password while in Windows 10 (local account), you need your old password, not your new one. If you created a new account while in Windows 10, you have to delete it before reverting to the earlier version of Windows.

Step 1. Before you change any operating system it’s a good idea to make a full system backup. Many people recommend Acronis for the job, but Windows 10 has a good system image program as well. It’s identical to the Windows 7 version, but it’s hard to find. To get to the system image program, in the Win10 Cortana search box, type Windows Backup, press Enter, on the left click Create a System Image, and follow the directions.

Click Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery, and you’ll see an entry to “Go back to Windows 7” or “Go back to Windows 8.1.”

Step 2. In Windows 10. Click Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery. On the right, you’ll see an entry to “Go back to Windows 7” (see screenshot) or “Go back to Windows 8.1,” depending on the version of Windows from whence you came.

If you don’t see the “Go back to” option and are using an administrator account, you’ve likely fallen victim to one of the many gotchas that surround the upgrade. See the next section — and don’t get your hopes up.

When going back to a previous Windows, you’re given the choice keep your files or remove everything.

Step 3. If you choose “Go back to a previous Windows,” you’re given a choice (screenshot), analogous to the choice you made when you upgraded to Windows 10, to either “Keep my files” or “Remove everything.” The former keeps your files (as long as they’re located in the usual places), so changes you made to them in Windows 10 will appear back in Windows 7 (or 8.1). The latter wipes out all of your files, apps, and settings, as you would expect.

Step 4. The Windows rollback software wants to know why you are rolling back, offers to check for updates in a last-ditch attempt to keep you in the Windows 10 fold, warns you “After going back you’ll have to reinstall some programs” (a problem I didn’t encounter with my rather pedestrian test programs), thanks you for trying Windows 10, then lets you go back.

Step 5. After a while (many minutes, sometimes hours) you arrive back at the Windows 7 (or 8.1) log-on screen. Click on a log-on ID and provide a password; you’re ready to go with your old version.

I found, in extensive testing, that “Keep my files” does, in spite of the warning, restore apps (programs) and settings to the original apps and settings — the ones that existed when you upgraded from Win7 to Win10. Any modifications made to those programs (for example, applying security updates to Office programs) while using Windows 10 will not be applied when you return to Win7 — you have to apply them again.

On the other hand, changes made to your regular files while working in Windows 10 — edits made to Office documents, for example, or new files created while working with Windows 10 — may or may not make it back to Windows 7. I had no problems with files stored in My Documents; edits made to those documents persisted when Windows 10 rolled back to Windows 7. But files stored in other locations (specifically in the PublicDocuments folder or on the desktop) didn’t make it back: Word docs created in Win10 simply disappeared when rolling back to Win7, even though they were on the desktop, or in the Public Documents folder.

One oddity may prove useful: If you upgrade to Windows 10, create or edit documents in a strange location, then roll back to Windows 7 (or 8.1), those documents may not make the transition. Amazingly, if you then upgrade again to Windows 10, the documents may re-appear. You can retrieve the “lost” documents, stick them in a convenient place (such as on a USB drive or in the cloud), then roll back to Windows 7, and pull the files back again.

Important lesson: Back up your data files before you revert to an earlier version of Windows. If you lose a file while going from Windows 7 to Windows 10, you can usually find it from inside Win10 in the hidden Windows.old folder. But when you go back from Win10 to Win7, there is no Windows.old folder.

Impediments to rollbacks
Microsoft promises that you can upgrade to Windows 10, then roll back, if you perform the rollback within 30 days. While that’s true to a first approximation, the details are a shade more complex.

When you perform an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 (or 8.1) to Windows 10, the installer creates three hidden folders:

Those folders can be very large. Upgrading from a clean Windows 7 machine with Office 2010 installed, C:Windows.old runs 21GB.

Deleting C:Windows.old, C:$Windows.~BT, or C:$Windows.~WS — or any of their contents — will prevent you from rolling your system back.

Deleting the hidden C:Windows.old folder, either of the other two folders, or any of their contents, will trigger a “We’re sorry, but you can’t go back” message (screenshot). Those are the folders that hold all of your old system, including programs and data. Generally, it’s difficult to delete the folders manually, but if you run Disk Cleanup in Windows 10, opt to Clean up System files, and check the box marked Previous Windows installation(s), your Windows.old folder disappears and can’t be retrieved.

(Older posts suggest that running the Windows Media Creation tool will delete the $Windows.~BT folder. That may have been true six months ago, but it looks like Microsoft fixed the problem.)

Although it isn’t well documented, apparently the Win10 upgrade installer sets a Scheduled Task to delete those files — they take up a lot of room, and understandably, Microsoft wants to give that room back to you. I couldn’t find any associated setting in Task Scheduler, nor could I find any documentation about the task, so the removal of those files after 30 days may be more complicated than most assume. Others have found that moving (or renaming) those files, then moving them back after the 30 days has expired, does not reload the rollback mechanism. If you think you can be tricky and hide the files, returning them when you want them, I’ve found no indication that’s possible.

You can, however, roll back from Windows 10 to Windows 7, then roll forward again. By rerunning the downgrade/upgrade cycle within the 30-day window, you’re good for another 30 days. I’ve rolled back and forth four different times on the same machine, with no noticeable problems.

There are other situations where either Windows.old never gets generated, or it is stripped of all of your programs and data. That’s what happens with a clean install.

It shouldn’t be any surprise that if you run the Windows Media Creation tool, use it to “Upgrade now,” and in the dialog marked “Choose what to keep,” specify Nothing, you won’t be able to roll back to your original programs or files. This is a common technique for performing a clean install of Windows 10 — highly recommended to make sure Win10 is more stable. Unfortunately, it also removes your ability to go back to Win7 or 8.1.

In the same vein, if you upgrade to Windows 10, use either the Media Creation Tool or the Windows 10 “Reset this PC” function (Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery), then tell Windows that you want to “Remove everything / Removes all of your personal files, apps and settings,” the key folders will be removed, and you can’t revert to your old version of Windows.

I’ve seen a lot of advice for recovering the three key hidden folders, should they be deleted. Unfortunately, I haven’t witnessed any approach that works consistently.

That thing about the 30-day clock
After 30 days, you're up the ol' creek without a paddle. If you want to go back to Win7 or 8.1, you have to re-install it from scratch, and you're responsible for moving your apps and data.

If you made a system backup before you upgraded to Win10, you can, of course, go back to that backup. Usual system backup rules: What you get is an exact copy of what you had at the point you made the backup.

If you're coming close to your 30 days, and are the cautious type, you should consider rolling back (taking into account the disappearance of files in unusual places), then rolling forward again. That resets the clock, so you get an additional 30 days to see if you like the Win10 experience.

It's not clear how Microsoft sets the 30 day clock. You'd think it would be a Scheduled Task, but I looked high and low and couldn't find it. (I was anticipating a hack where you could re-schedule the task manually.) But what is clear is that once the files necessary to roll back are wiped out, you're SOL.

What to do if the wheels fall off
In my experience, the rollback to Windows 7 and 8.1 works remarkably well, given the caveats mentioned previously. I have heard of problems, though, ranging from icons that don’t display properly on the recovered desktop, to missing data, to programs/drivers that aren’t working correctly, even though they used to work fine.

If you can’t get Windows to roll back and absolutely detest Windows 10, you’re up against a very tough choice. The only option I’ve found that works reliably is to re-install your original version of Windows from scratch. On some machines, the old recovery partition still exists, and you can bring back your old version of Windows by going through the standard recovery partition technique (which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer), commonly called a “Factory restore.” More frequently, you get to start all over with a fresh install of Windows 7 or 8.1.

That is a completely different can of worms. There are raging debates about the availability and legality of copies of Windows 7 — suffice it to say that Microsoft doesn’t have any legal source of the bits for individuals. If you’re very lucky and you have the right kind of key, you can download an ISO of Windows 8.1 on an official Microsoft site.

I had a friend stuck in a similar situation, where Windows 10 was unstable. Rolling back from Win10 to Win7 left him with a system that constantly crashed. My suggestion: Back up his data as best he could, rerun the upgrade, then go to Windows 10. Inside Windows 10, run a Reset (Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery), then “Remove everything / Removes all of your personal files, apps and settings.” That triggers a clean install of Windows 10. He may not like Windows 10, but running that clean install made it substantially more stable. He learned to live with it.

Your mileage may vary, of course.

Related resources

Remove old Wireless networks in Windows 10

Whenever you connect to a wireless network using a device running Windows 10, a profile is saved to the computer.

That's useful if you need to connect to the network again in the future as it makes that operation easier, especially if the access password is saved as well.

While that is useful, wireless network profiles are not removed from the list of profiles after time has passed.

That may not be a big issue either, but if you like things tidy, or prefer to remove old information from the operating system, then you may want to remove these old network information.

It makes little sense to keep profiles around that you know you will never connect to again using the device. Examples are hotel wireless networks, wireless networks at airports, or a wireless network that is no longer available.

It may also help if you have connections problems and believe that it is profile related.

Removing old wireless networks in Windows 10
It is easy to forget wireless networks the device was connected to in the past using Windows 10. Here is what you need to do:

1. Use Windows-i to open the Settings application of Windows 10. It is the main location for network and Internet related settings in the Settings application including Wi-Fi.

2. Select “Network & Internet” when the app opens. If Wi-Fi is supported by the device, you find a list of all wireless networks that are picked up currently by it.

If you are connected to a wireless network, it is highlighted at the very top. Scroll down on the page until you find “manage Wi-Fi settings” listed on it.

3. Manage Wi-Fi Settings opens. You find several options listed there that you may want to configure if you have never done so. You may control the Wi-Fi Sense feature here and also whether the device will connect to open hotspots that are not secure to see if paid Wi-Fi is available.

You find a list of all known wireless profiles at the bottom of the page. Each profile is listed with the SSID identifier.

4. Forget any of the profiles

To remove any profile from the machine, click or tap on it and select the Forget button afterwards. This deletes the information from Windows.

Please note that there is no confirmation dialog, and that the data is removed immediately. If you connect to the network again at a later point in time, you will be asked to enter a password if that is required to connect to it.

The Windows 7 way

Windows 7 shipped with options to remove wireless network profiles as well. The removal is handled in the Control Panel since the Settings application was introduced in Windows 8 by Microsoft.

Click on the Start menu button and select Control Panel.
Or, use Windows-Pause to open the Control Panel, and select Control Panel Home when the window opens.
Select “Network and Sharing Center”.
On the page that opens, select “Manage wireless networks”.
All known wireless network profiles are listed on the page. You can use the controls at the top to add or remove profiles, to change the order of them, or open adapter properties.
Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader.

The post Remove old Wireless networks in Windows 10 appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

How to generate a battery report in Windows

Windows ships with built-in operations to generate a battery report, a detailed status report highlighting useful information about the battery and its usage history.

If you run the Windows operating system on a battery powered device, you are probably keeping an eye on the battery status regularly to make sure the system won't just shut down at one point in time due to a lack of power.

Windows informs you if power runs low, about the current battery status, and as we have shown recently, provides you with options to analyze and reduce power usage.

Battery Report in Windows

The Windows operating system ships with built-in options to generate battery reports. Unfortunately, these reports are generated from the command line which is probably the core reason why they are only used by admins and power users, and not regular users.

Note: Battery Report has been added to Windows 8 and is not available in older versions of the operating system.

Please note that you need to go through a couple of power cycles before you start generating the report as it won't reveal much if you don't. If you start it right after setup for instance, it won't show any history as the data is not there yet.

Two things come together here: first, the generation of the power report using the command line, and second, analyzing the data that it provides.

Generating the report

The following steps are required to generate the report. Please note that you can generate the report on Windows 10 and previous versions of Windows, it is not a Windows 10-only feature.

Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd.exe.
Right-click on the Command Prompt result that appears, and select “run as administrator” from the context menu that opens.
Confirm the UAC prompt that appears afterwards.
Now that the command prompt window with elevated rights is open, run the following command:

powercfg /batteryreport /output “c:battery_report.html”

Alternative: run powercfg /batteryreport instead. This saves the report to the user folder under the name battery-report.html.

You can change the output path to another location on your system but need to make sure that the directory you want it created in exists before you run the command.

You may also want to run the following command to create an Energy Report as well.

powercfg /energy /output “c:energy_report.html”

Powercfg Notes

Powercfg is a mighty tool that supports lots of command line options that you can play around with. Some commands that you may find useful are:

powercfg /a lists all sleep and standby states that the device supports.
powercfg /list lists all power schemes in the current environment.
powercfg /hibernate on|off turns hibernation on or off.
powercfg /lastwake reveals which event woke up the computer most recently.
powercfg /energy creates a Power Efficiency Diagnostics Report.
powercfg /batteryreport creates the Battery Report.
powercfg /sleepstudy shows which device drivers and applications are waking up the computer in Connected Standby mode.
The Battery Report
Now that the report has been generated by Windows, it is time to open it. Since it is saved as a HTML file, it can be opened in any web browser available on the system.

Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder that the generated report was saved in. Double-click on it to open it in the default web browser, or pick one of the available programs from a list.

The report itself can be divided into several parts.

The Overview

Displays information about the computer system, BIOS, build, as well as installed batteries, capacity and even the serial number of the battery.

Recent Usage

Highlights the power states of the last three days. This includes the state (connected standby, active, suspended), the source (battery or AC), and the capacity remaining in percent and mWh.

Battery Usage

Battery Usage highlights the battery drain of the last three days. It is very similar to recent usage, but shows you the energy drain at a specific time of day instead.

Usage history

The Usage History displays when the system has been used, and divides the time between battery and AC.

Stats for the last seven days are shown individually, while previous periods are shown as weekly reports instead.

Battery Capacity History

The battery capacity history highlights the charge capacity of the battery over time. If the full charge capacity and the design capacity diverge too much, it may be time for a new battery.

Battery life estimates

Last but not least, the battery usage reports displays battery life estimates based on the monitored power drain. This is again useful in determining the effectiveness of the battery but can be affected by how the computer is used and how it is configured when it is powered by battery.

If you play games, or use the device for other power-intensive activities, then you will notice a lower battery estimate than running less intensive tasks on the system.

Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader.

The post How to generate a battery report in Windows appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

Download Windows 7 and 8.1 ISO Images from Microsoft

It is rather difficult to download ISO images for previous versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system from official sources.

Microsoft wants users to use the company's Media Creation Tool instead which downloads and creates installation media on a system running a supported operating system version.

While that works at times, it does not take into account situations where users may not be able to run the program. This can be the case if the existing installation of Windows is corrupt and cannot be repaired anymore, if you run Linux or another operating system, or if you bought a computer without an operating system.

Windows ISO images

Microsoft's Tech Bench website for Windows 10 provides direct downloads for Windows 10 ISO images.

Downloads for Windows 10, which are valid for Home and Pro versions of the operating system are offered, and it takes a couple of clicks to start the download of the ISO image on the site.

Note: Windows 10 Enterprise is not offered on the page.

Select the edition that you are interested in, e.g. Windows 10 should be the one for most users, and click on confirm afterwards. The server validates the request, and displays a product language menu afterwards.

Select the language you want supported and hit confirm once again. The request is validated again by the server.

Download links for the ISO images are displayed, and you may select 32-bit or 64-bit versions of the selected version of Windows for download (or both).

Links are valid for a 24-hour period only after which they expire and need to be requested again.

Download Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 ISO images

The page offers no indication that ISO image downloads for previous versions of Windows, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, can be requested there as well.

If you analyze the page source code however, you will notice that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are mentioned there several times.

That got some people thinking, and the result is code that you can run on the site to add download options for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 ISO images to the page.

The code has been posted on Pastebin. Here is what you need to do:

Open the Microsoft Tech Bench website in a browser of choice that supports Developer Tools, and here the console (e.g. Firefox or Chrome).
If you are using Google Chrome, use Ctrl-Shift-J, if you are using Firefox, use Ctrl-Shift-K to open the console.
Visit the Pastebin website and copy the code posted there.
Paste all of it to the console and hit enter. To do that, click inside the console area and use Ctrl-V to paste it. Alternatively, right-click with the mouse in the area and select paste from the menu.

Once you have done that, click on the (now blue) “select edition menu. There you find listed dozens of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 ISO images that you can download in the same way that you can download Windows 10

The process is identical: select the desired version and hit confirm. Wait for server validation, select the desired language and hit confirm. The server validates the request again, and you get ISO download links for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the selected Windows version.

You find all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 versions on the page with the exception of Enterprise. This includes the following versions:

Windows 7 Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows 8.1
Windows 8.1 Professional
In addition, you find lots of K, N, KN and Education versions listed on the page after the operation. These versions are designed for specific markets and have components removed:

Windows N for the European market. Multimedia support is removed from the edition.
Windows K for the Korean market. It ships with links to third-party media player software and instant messaging applications.
Windows KN, a combination of K and N editions.
See KB3010081 for additional information.

The improved menu disappears when the page is reloaded, but you can repeat the operation again to display the additional download options again. (via Tech Journey).

Note: Microsoft may plug this at any time but has not done so in the past two months since the code has been first posted.

Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader.

The post Download Windows 7 and 8.1 ISO Images from Microsoft appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

Win10 Wizard is a Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant

Win10 Wizard is a free upgrade assistant to upgrade old versions of Windows to Windows 10, and to configure these upgraded systems once Windows 10 is installed.

There is certainly no shortage of programs (GWX Control Panel, GWX Stoppper) to keep Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system away from a PC running older versions of Windows, but there are barely any tools that help users upgrade to the new operating system.

Win10 Wizard has been designed to fill the gap. You can run it on a PC with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 installed, and it will make sure that it meets the requirements for the upgrade, and you can run it on Windows 10 after the upgrade, to make modifications to privacy and security settings among other things.

Win10 Wizard
You can run the program on a system that is running Windows 10 already to use the features it provides after installation of the operating system.

If you run it on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 before the upgrade, it will make sure that your system is compatible with Microsoft's new operating system.

In addition, it will highlight any program that will be removed as part of the upgrade either because it is incompatible with Windows 10, or because Microsoft removed the feature from the operating system.

What Win10 Wizard does not do is download and install the upgrade for you. It links to a Microsoft page where you find instructions on how to upgrade the PC to Windows 10.

When you run the program again after the upgrade, its main functionality becomes available. It highlights compatibility issues right away on the start screen, and links to six settings or options that you can go through.

Windows 10 Privacy

The privacy icon leads to a new page listing privacy settings like disabling biometrical features or disabling the transmission of typing information. There is a reset to defaults button which you can use to start over.

The layout on the page could be better though. First, there is no option to change the size of the window, and many users may find the font size too small for their taste. The visual distinction between preference titles and descriptions lacks as well, and the space between preferences could be better. The layout is used by all preference pages.

Location Service

The rather tiny section enables you to modify location-specific features. These could very well have been placed in the privacy section as they are all about privacy.

You may notice that titles are cut at the end which is something that the developer needs to address in an update.


Most preferences listed under security may also impact privacy at the same time or are only privacy-related. This is the case for “disable telemetry” for instance.


Themes is interesting as it highlights features that you don't see that often in tweaking or privacy programs for Windows 10.

You can enable the dark theme here, or disable various indicators or notification systems like the action center sidebar or volume control.

The two remaining options let you run a system clean up, and go through app or device incompatibilities if they have been found by the application.

Closing Words

Win10 Wizard does not reinvent the wheel, but it takes users who want to upgrade to Windows 10 by the hand making the process more tolerable and easier to understand.

Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader.

The post Win10 Wizard is a Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

Microsoft Security Bulletins For February 2016

The Microsoft Security Bulletins overview for February 2016 provides you with detailed information about security and non-security patches that Microsoft released for its Windows operating system and other company products since the January 2016 release.

The overview begins with an executive summary listing the most important facts. What follows afterwards is the patch distribution across different client and server versions of the Windows operating system, and other Microsoft products.

Lists of the security bulletins, advisories, and non-security updates released in February 2016 are listed next. Each offering a short description of the patch or bulletin released, and a link to the Microsoft website for further information.

Last but not least, download instructions are provided and options are listed.

Microsoft Security Bulletins For February 2016
Executive Summary

Microsoft released a total of 13 bulletins.
6 bulletins have received the highest severity rating of critical.
All Microsoft operating systems, as well as other Microsoft products such as Internet Explorer are affected by security issues.
Operating System Distribution

All client versions of Windows are affected by at least two bulletins that have been rated critical. Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 are affected by the most, with Windows 8.1 being affected by four critical and 3 important bulletins, and Windows 10 by 5 critical and 3 important vulnerabilities.

As has been the case in the past, the additional critical bulletin is for the Microsoft Edge browser which is a Windows 10 exclusive.

Windows Vista: 2 critical, 2 important
Windows 7: 2 critical, 3 important
Windows 8 and 8.1: 4 critical, 3 important
Windows RT and RT 8.1: 2 critical, 2 important
Windows 10: 5 critical, 3 important
Windows Server 2008: 1 critical, 3 important, 1 moderate
Windows Server 2008 R2: 1 critical, 3 important, 1 moderate
Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2: 3 critical, 5 important, 1 moderate
Server core: 1 critical, 5 important
Other Microsoft Products

Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, 2013, 2013 RT, 2016: 1 critical
Microsoft Office for Mac: 1 critical
Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack Service Pack 3: 1 important
Microsoft Excel Viewer and Microsoft Word Viewer: 1 important
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007, 2010 and 2013: 1 important
Microsoft Office Web Apps 2010 and 2013: 1 important
Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2013: 1 important
Security Bulletins

MS16-009 – Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (3134220) – Critical – Remote Code Execution

This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer.

MS16-011 – Cumulative Security Update for Microsoft Edge (3134225) – Critical – Remote Code Execution

This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Edge. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Microsoft Edge.

MS16-012 – Security Update for Microsoft Windows PDF Library to Address Remote Code Execution (3138938) – Critical – Remote Code Execution

This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The more severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if Microsoft Windows PDF Library improperly handles application programming interface (API) calls, which could allow an attacker to run arbitrary code on the user’s system.

MS16-013 – Security Update for Windows Journal to Address Remote Code Execution (3134811) – Critical – Remote Code Execution

This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Journal file.

MS16-014 – Security Update for Microsoft Windows to Address Remote Code Execution (3134228)- Important – Remote Code Execution

This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if an attacker is able to log on to a target system and run a specially crafted application.

MS16-015 – Security Update for Microsoft Office to Address Remote Code Execution (3134226) – Critical – Remote Code Execution

This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Microsoft Office file.

MS16-016 – Security Update for WebDAV to Address Elevation of Privilege (3136041) – Important –
Elevation of Privilege

This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker uses the Microsoft Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) client to send specifically crafted input to a server.

MS16-017 – Security Update for Remote Desktop Display Driver to Address Elevation of Privilege (3134700) – Important – Elevation of Privilege

This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if an authenticated attacker logs on to the target system using RDP and sends specially crafted data over the connection. By default, RDP is not enabled on any Windows operating system. Systems that do not have RDP enabled are not at risk.

MS16-018 – Security Update for Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers to Address Elevation of Privilege (3136082) – Important – Elevation of Privilege

This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to an affected system and runs a specially crafted application.

MS16-019 – Security Update for .NET Framework to Address Denial of Service (3137893) – Important –
Denial of Service

This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft .NET Framework. The more severe of the vulnerabilities could cause denial of service if an attacker inserts specially crafted XSLT into a client-side XML web part, causing the server to recursively compile XSLT transforms.

MS16-020 – Security Update for Active Directory Federation Services to Address Denial of Service (3134222) – Important – Denial of Service

This security update resolves a vulnerability in Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS). The vulnerability could allow denial of service if an attacker sends certain input data during forms-based authentication to an ADFS server, causing the server to become nonresponsive.

MS16-021 – Security Update for NPS RADIUS Server to Address Denial of Service (3133043) – Important – Denial of Service

This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could cause denial of service on a Network Policy Server (NPS) if an attacker sends specially crafted username strings to the NPS, which could prevent RADIUS authentication on the NPS.

MS16-022 – Security Update for Adobe Flash Player (3135782) – Critical – Remote Code Execution

This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player when installed on all supported editions of Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows 10.

Security Advisories and updates

Advisory 3127909 – Vulnerabilities in ASP.NET Templates Could Allow Tampering

Non-security related updates

Update for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 (KB3123862) – Updated capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7
Update for Windows 7 (KB2952664) – Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7
Update for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 (KB2976978) – Compatibility update for Windows 8.1 and Windows
Update for Windows 7 (KB2977759) – Compatibility update for Windows 7 RTM
Update for Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 (KB3135445) – Windows Update Client for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: February 2016
Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3135449) – Windows Update Client for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2: February 201
Dynamic Update for Windows 10 (KB3124261) – Compatibility update for upgrading to Windows 10 Version 1511: January 27, 2016
Update for Windows 10 (KB3124262) – Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1511: January 27, 2016
Dynamic Update for Windows 10 (KB3136561) – Compatibility update for upgrading to Windows 10 Version 1511: January 27, 2016
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 for Windows 7 (KB3102433) – The .NET Framework 4.6.1 and its corresponding language packs for Windows 7 SP1 are available on Windows Update
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 for Upgrade Language Packs (KB3102433)
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 for Language Packs (KB3102433)
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 for Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB3102467) – The .NET Framework 4.6.1 for Windows Server 2012 R2 on Windows Update
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 Language Packs for Windows Server 2012 R2 for x64 (KB3102521) – Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 language packs for Windows Server 2012 R2 on Windows Update
Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 (KB3102429) – Update that supports Azerbaijani Manat and Georgian Lari currency symbols in Windows
How to download and install the February 2016 security updates

Windows users can install all security patches for their operating system and also optional non-security patches using Windows Update.

Windows Update is an automated updating tool that is built-in to Windows to download and install patches that Microsoft releases.

Update checks are run frequently but not in real-time. Run a manual check for Windows updates if you want to grab the updates as soon as they are available.

You can do so in the following way:

Tap on the Windows-key, type Windows Update and hit enter.
The Windows Update program opens.
Locate and click on “check for updates”. This queries Microsoft's server for updates.
Depending on how Windows Update is configured, Windows may download these updates automatically, or present them to you only giving you options to select the updates that you want installed on your system.

Windows patches are made available on Microsoft's Download Center site as well from where they can be downloaded individually. You may also download a monthly security ISO image that Microsoft releases that contains all patches for all supported operating systems released in that month.

Consult our Windows Update guide linked below for additional options and troubleshooting information.

Additional resources

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for January 2016
List of software updates for Microsoft products
List of security advisories of 2016
Our in-depth update guide for Windows
Windows 10 Update History
Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader.

The post Microsoft Security Bulletins For February 2016 appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

Canonical fulfills its Linux convergence vision with BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet

Convergence is all the rage in the technology industry nowadays and for good reason — our handheld devices are insanely powerful. It makes sense to leverage a smartphone or tablet's processor for desktop computing. By connecting a monitor, mouse, and keyboard to the mobile device, it can serve as a full-fledged computer. Those with more hardcore computing needs, such as editing video, for example, may have to wait a while for more powerful handheld devices.

Microsoft has shown off its Continuum functionality, which turns a Windows 10 Mobile smartphone into a desktop, but because of shocking limitations, it really isn't ready for prime-time. Canonical has long been working on its own convergence plans with Ubuntu — it is not copying Microsoft's. Quite frankly, it can be argued that the open source Linux kernel is a more adaptable base for such Swiss Army-like devices as Windows could be too bloated. Today, Canonical unveils the BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet which fulfills its Linux convergence vision. Not only can a user be productive with the tablet itself, but it can be connected to peripherals to create a full desktop experience.

“The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition is the first device to offer an Ubuntu convergent experience. It is also the first tablet with the Ubuntu Operating System. Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition brings Ubuntu's rich full touch experience to life. It's simple to connect a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to convert the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition into a full Ubuntu PC, featuring everything you know and love about Ubuntu. Then, connect the tablet to an external display for a full-sized PC experience”, says Canonical.

The company further explains, “third party developers will be able to easily create new Ubuntu applications which only need to be developed once but which can be available and used across all Ubuntu interfaces. The Ubuntu SDK provides the fundamental tools developers need to make their apps easy to adapt and run on any display. When you see your application on the phone and then use that application on the desktop, it is the exact same code running each application. Ubuntu does not need to know if the app is coded for a mobile or desktop display rather it is the application that surfaces the appropriate interface depending on which display is required”.

READ MORE: 5 ways Ubuntu Linux is better than Microsoft Windows 10

Canonical shares the following specs.

10.1 inch multi-touch screen
MediaTek Quad Core MT8163A 64-bit ARM processor up to 1.5GHz
High capacity Li-Po battery (7280mAh)
Full HD (1080p) camera for super-sharp video recording
16GB internal storage
MicroSD slot for extra storage (up to 64GB)
8 megapixel camera with autofocus and dual flash
Frontal speakers
Micro HDMI port
Dimensions: 246 x 171 x 8.2mm
Lightweight at only 470g
Click to view slideshow.
For years, some people — including myself, early on — hated Ubuntu's default Unity desktop environment (I love it, now). Some detractors called the company insane for bringing a touch-friendly interface to a desktop operating system. Unlike Microsoft with its confusing Windows 8, however, Canonical got merging desktop and touch right. While Windows 10 is improved, it can still be confusing — some users can't even figure out how to change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge web browser! Ubuntu's settings are far more streamlined. The Unity DE is now a beautiful and useful desktop UI that should transition brilliantly to a tablet.

The MediaTek SoC that powers the BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet is an ARM processor, meaning that there will be fewer available packages than an x86-based computer. With that said, the number of packages for ARM have increased dramatically over the year. Users should have no problem finding tons of useful apps.

READ MORE: System76 Oryx Pro is the Ubuntu Linux gaming laptop of your dreams [Review]

Not only can the M10 serve as both a desktop and tablet, but I can see it being used as a makeshift laptop too. For instance, there are countless inexpensive Bluetooth keyboards on the market — some will even prop-up the tablet for better viewing. If you keep the BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition in a backpack with such a keyboard, you could be productive anywhere, like a coffee shop or in a park.

Of course, the device should also be a wonderful media device for road-warriors. Don't want to pay to rent a movie in a hotel? Don't. Load some movies from a micro SD card, and connect the tablet to the hotel's TV with HDMI. If you choose to watch a movie on the tablet itself, the front-facing speakers should supply great audio quality. Exciting stuff.

Rodrigo del Prado, Deputy CEO of BQ shares his excitement by saying, “the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition is our third mobile device to ship with Ubuntu. Our customers were delighted with the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition and Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition phones, and we're excited to be the first OEM to ship the converged Ubuntu experience. It's this kind of innovation that makes BQ and Ubuntu such a great fit”.

Unfortunately, pricing for this BQ-made tablet is a bit of a mystery, but Canonical promises it will be available in Q216 — April, May, or June. Yeah, it stinks having to wait, but as they say, good things happen to those that do. Hopefully Canonical and BQ can deliver a truly solid convergence solution.

Do you think Ubuntu is the smarter choice for convergence compared to Windows 10? Tell me in the comments.

Tomb Raider Rises on PC as the First-Ever AAA Title in Windows Store

It’s fair to say that the Windows Store has been a wasteland since it debuted in Windows 8. But today marks a major milestone: Rise of the Tomb Raider, the first major game title to ever ship via Windows Store, is now available for purchase.

Actually, it’s a major milestone for another reason. Rise of the Tomb Raider isn’t even a Store app, it’s a desktop (Win32) app. So it’s technically also the first-ever non-Store app to ship from the Store. (Microsoft promised we’d see this happen eventually, and with desktop applications as well.)

UPDATE: Nope. Microsoft tells me that Rise of the Tomb Raider is in fact a universal Windows app. At least when you get it from the Store. –Paul

(If you’re not a Windows Store fan, you can get Rise of the Tomb Raider on Steam or at other stores today too.)

If you’re not familiar, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a blockbuster game. It was released on Xbox One and Xbox 360 (and not PlayStation 4, sorry) back in late 2015, and garnered rave reviews. The Windows PC version is supposed to be even better, with vastly superior 4K graphics, assuming you have a very high-end video card. Here’s a quick rundown of the storyline:

In Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara journeys into the heart of Siberia in search of the lost city of Kitezh – but the nefarious Trinity organization is in a no-holds-barred race to uncover Kitezh’s legendary secret of immortality. Lara’s myriad survival skills and penchant for guerrilla combat will serve her well in this outing, as she turns the tables on Trinity and becomes the hunter instead of the hunted.

If you buy before February 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider is 10 percent off, but still expensive at $54. But you also get the Remnant Resistance Pack for free. It’s a BIG download at 26 GB.

You can find Rise of the Tomb Raider now in the Windows Store. I’ll be testing it on Surface Book and some other PCs.

How to Map a Network Drive in Windows

Mapping a drive in Windows is one of those essential skills everyone should know how to perform. Whether you are at home or at the office, there are many useful reasons to map a drive. It may sound complicated, but it’s actually really simple to do. Mapping a drive means that you want permanent access to a folder

Enterprises eye a fast switch to Windows 10

Enterprise interest in Windows 10, getting onto it and off Windows 7, is at an unprecedented level, research firm Gartner said today.

Although in virtually all cases tha interest has not yet translated into actual deployments, it signals a faster move to the new OS than for past editions, including Windows 7, Gartner analyst Steve Kleynhans contended in an interview.

“The level of interest expressed by our customer base, the type of questions they asking, indicates a much more rapid shift to Windows 10 than any previous operating system,” said Kleynhans.

In past migrations, Gartner's clients went through a consistent set of steps in the queries to the firm's analysts, added Kleynhans: From 'What is it?' to 'Why should we care?' to 'How do we do it?'

“Those stretched out over a year-to-year-and-a-half,” said Kleynhans, talking about past migrations, including the one starting in late 2009 for Windows 7. “Here we have seen that compressed, to about nine months. [Enterprises] are already asking 'How should we do it?' and 'How are others' pilots doing?'”

Many of those questions have come only recently, Kleynhans acknowledged, which he argued made the shift even more impressive. “From an enterprise standpoint, Windows 10 wasn't complete or stable until about eight weeks ago. So from their perspective, the OS is only a couple of months old.”

Kleynhans was referring to the Nov. 12 upgrade, tagged as 1511, that was Windows 10's first refresh since the July launch. Among the new features of interest to enterprises in 1511: Update, upgrade and security patch management under the “Windows Update for Business” (WUB) umbrella; and a Windows app store specifically for businesses.

Microsoft has been boasting of Windows 10's adoption pace for months, asserting three weeks ago that 200 million “active devices” running the OS — the metric, typically touted by service-based firms, was new for Microsoft — and claimed that it “continues to be on the fastest growth trajectory of any version of Windows — ever.”

Twenty-two million of the 200 million, or 11 percent, were in enterprise and education customers, Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's lead marketing executive for the Windows and devices group, said in a Jan. 4 post to a company blog.

Mehdi also trumpeted other enterprise-specific statistics, saying that three-fourths of Microsoft's enterprise customers were in “active pilots” of Windows 10. He did not detail the size of those pilots, or the trajectory of mainstream enterprise migrations.

For his part, Kleynhans reiterated Gartner's previous forecasts of corporate adoption. “Most of 2016 for most [enterprises] will be about piloting and early deployment,” Kleynhans predicted. “The big fleet deployments will mostly start in 2017. Realistically, they won't do that in a year, so most will finish them off in 2018.”

Caveats abounded in Gartner's prognostication, however. “What we could see happen is that [enterprises] see the process as smoother than they now believe will be the case,” said Kleynhans. Or migrations could hit hitches, and lag behind his cadence conjecture.

One factor that plays to faster, not slower, upgrade schedules is that for many companies, this is déjà vu all over again.

“A big thing is there is some pent-up demand for devices like the Surface Pro 4, that class of 2-in-1 and convertible devices,” said Kleynhans, referring to the small-but-quickly-growing category of hardware with detachable or pivot-style screens. Corporations tried, but failed, to support those devices with Windows 8, and a year later, Windows 8.1, Kleynhans observed.

“IT made promises to users a year ago, but failed to deliver,” he said. “Now they're trying to reinstate those projects with Windows 10.”

Others besides Gartner have scrambled onto the fast Windows 10 adoption bandwagon. Adaptiva — a Bellevue, Wash. company that specializes in systems management, specifically for Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) — recently publicized a survey of IT professionals that showed 12 percent of the respondents' companies had installed Windows 10 on 5 percent or more of their PCs.

Forty percent of those companies — thus representing about 5 percent of the total — said that Windows 10 was on half or more of their systems. And 60 percent of the firms what now have 5 percent or more of their machines running Windows 10 — or just over 7 percent of the total — claimed that they would have half or more of their PCs on the new OS within the next year.

Adaptiva characterized enterprise interest in Windows 10 as “unprecedented adoption of the new operating system.” But the small fraction of those that have broken the 5 percent barrier with pilots actually illustrates that, while interest in Windows 10 may well be significant, the bulk of corporations will almost certainly conduct large-scale deployments on Gartner's timeline, meaning in 2017 and 2018.

It's no coincidence that businesses will shoot for that schedule: All Windows 7 support ends in January 2020, and under a new scheme Microsoft just revealed, support for the older OS on newer hardware will come to a halt in July 2017.

“Part of the interest in Windows 10 is that enterprises are very aware of the end-of-life of Windows 7,” said Kleynhans.

As they should be: Many companies learned the hard way when, as Windows XP's support wound down in the spring of 2014, they had to scramble to purge the ancient operating system. “They want to avoid those issues,” Kleynhans said.

This story, “Enterprises eye a fast switch to Windows 10” was originally published by Computerworld.

TripAdvisor app to be preloaded on Windows 10 devices

Microsoft is giving away Windows 10 for free until mid 2016 to customers running Windows 7 or Windows 8 machines. The move, designed to get as many users as possible on the platform, raised questions in regards to how Microsoft will make money with the operating system if it hands it out for free.

Some suggested that Windows 10 would be turned into a subscription service after the first year period or shortly thereafter, but there is no indication that this is going to happen.

Surely, Windows Store plays a central role in Microsoft's strategy. A high user count not only drives sales in Store, it is also enticing application developers to create products for the Windows platform and here specifically for Windows Mobile.

Microsoft's app ecosystem has been not received the same support by third-party developers that Google's and Apple's ecosystems received, and Microsoft hopes that the all or nothing push to Windows 10, and the increase in users that goes along with it, gets developers to commit to the platform in the same way they commit to the other two major platforms.

Travel site TripAdvisor revealed in a press release on January 27 that its new universal Windows 10 application will be preloaded on “millions of Windows 10 compatible devices”.

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announced the launch of a new Windows 10 app across desktop, tablet and mobile. The TripAdvisor app for Windows 10 will be available in 47 markets and will be pre-loaded on millions of Windows 10 compatible devices in 2016.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft's own take on the launch of the TripAdvisor universal application for Windows 10 does not make any mention of the application being preloaded in 2016 on machines running the operating system.

No further details about the preloading were offered by TripAdvisor either, which means that it is unclear right now on which devices the app will be preloaded on.

The TripAdvisor deal is not the first that Microsoft made with third-party publishers. Windows 10 shipped with Candy Crush pre-installed for instance, a popular match-3 type of game.

TripAdvisor and Microsoft have a long-standing partnership that dates back to 2013 when Microsoft integrated TripAdvisor's metasearch into Bing's hotel price comparison feature.

There are fundamental differences between preloaded apps and programs, and while some may see the move as adding bloat to systems running Windows 10, apps will only take up storage space but won't delay system start, throw popups on the desktop or run in the background.

For Microsoft, the deal may be less about money, if money was part of the equation at all, and more about getting Windows 10 users to use apps and the store.

Preloaded applications like Candy Crush Soda Saga or TripAdvisor put the focus on apps, and they might entice users to check out Windows Store after all to find other applications of interest.

Windows Store is highlighted prominently on the taskbar and Start Menu after installation.

Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader.

The post TripAdvisor app to be preloaded on Windows 10 devices appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta is out

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware is a new product by security firm Malwarebytes designed to protect Windows systems against so-called ransomware attacks that has been released as a beta version to the public two days ago.

Malwarebytes continues to expand its portfolio. After releasing Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit some time ago to complement the company's popular Anti-Malware product for Windows, it has now released the first beta version of Anti-Ransomware.

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware is available as a public download from the official forum of the company.

It needs to be noted that it is available as a beta version which means that it is not suitable for production environments right now.

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware
The program has a size of more than 50 Megabytes which is quite large especially if you compare it to the company's other products.

The program itself runs in the background for the most part monitoring activity on the system to identify actions typically associated with ransomware.

According to Malwarebytes, it is proactive and not dependent on signatures. It will detect and block many dangerous ransomware variants.

[..] this beta is extremely exciting as it introduces the most innovative approach in the market today for protecting against ransomware; a completely proactive and signature-less technology that is able to detect and block even the most dangerous of ransomware variants like CryptoWall4, CryptoLocker, Tesla, and CTB-Locker.

The software will prevent the encryption of data on the system by ransomware, by quarantining processes or threads that attempt to infect the computer with ransomware.

The company notes that Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware did block every single ransomware variant that it tested against it.

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware monitors all activity in the computer and identifies actions which are typical of ransomware activity. It keeps track of all activity and, once it has enough evidence to determine a certain process or thread to be ransomware, blocks the infection and quarantines the ransomware before it has a chance to encrypt users' files. During development Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware has blocked every single ransomware variant we have thrown at it.

No information about the tested ransomware strains were provided so that it is unclear how many different types of ransomware Malwarebytes tested its product with.

The software interface is simplistic. It offers an on-off switch, a quarantine tab that you can use to check all detected infection attempts, and a tab for exclusions which can be useful if you want to make sure that certain processes or files are not detected as ransomware by the application.

Beta users are encouraged to check the list of known issues. Probably the most serious of those are that Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware won't be installed when users upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10, and that some ransomware may still display background information or dropped html/txt files with ransom instructions even if no files were encrypted by the ransomware process.

Closing Words

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware could become another interesting product by the company. It is likely that Malwarebytes will release a limited free and paid premium version of the program after the beta test but no information have been provided about this yet.

Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader.

The post Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta is out appeared first on gHacks Technology News.