DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

April 12, 2016

Windows 10 Tips, Part 2

After the column last week I received quite a few emails asking for a few more Windows 10 tips.  Keep in mind that you can email me your questions and I will always answer back. Give me time, and you may see yours appearing here one week.  Keep them coming!

As funny as it may sound to you many people have asked me how to change the colors in Windows 10.  They apparently do not like the default settings.  It is quite easy to do and you have many options you can play with.

Go to Settings by both clicking the start menu and typing “Settings” or click on the box icon with lines in the lower right of your task bar next to the time and click “All Settings.”  Once that window opens click on “Personalization.”

Choose Settings then Personalization

Now click “Colors” on the left and try it out.  You can choose your own accent color.  Scroll down and click on the other two settings for showing that color on the taskbar, start menu and others.  I like the automatically pick the color from your background option and it works well.  Of course, that gives us another setting to play with, your background.

Play with your color setting here - this view is set to pull colors from your wallpaper

In that same area on the left click “Background.”  You can choose a slideshow which works quite well.  You can choose a folder full of your favorite images (you will need to browse to where it is located) and they will display one after the other at the time interval you select.  One note here… if you choose a folder on Dropbox or another online storage area it will not work very well so make sure the graphics are in a local folder on your C Drive.  If you have one picture of your kids or a photograph you are proud of choose “Picture” from the dropdown.  You can also choose a Solid Color which I find pretty boring.

If you choose the color to be picked automatically it will change with each new background picture when it loads.  There are other settings you can play with in this area too.  The only warning here is under “Start.”  Be careful of the “Use Start full screen” which will make your start menu button open a start screen which fills your entire window with the start choices.  You can try them one at a time and cut them off if you do not care for the changes in this area of Windows 10.

Some people are confused on how to shut down the computer and just log off or lock it.  For locking the computer nothing has changed over the last few operating systems. Hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and press the letter “L” and you are locked.  Sign out and locked have changed in the menu area.  Click the start button, click your user name at the very top and then select either “Change account settings,” “Lock,” or “Sign out.”

  Change account settings, Lock, or Sign out                            Sleep, Shut down, or Restart

Shut down is under the start menu again but go to either “Sleep,” “Shut down” or “Restart” under the “Power” link at the bottom.  More next week upon your request.

October 13, 2015

Windows 10, Part 8 – Personalization

Windows 10, Part 8 – Personalization

Today we look at personalizing Windows 10 so that it looks and acts the way you want and not the way it arrives.

To start with, how about using another picture or one of your own pictures as your desktop wallpaper?  Things have changed a bit regarding this.  The pictures Microsoft has preloaded are very high quality so let me tell you how to use those first.

You can get there several ways.  From this point on I will give you Ron’s quick way to move around. Just keep in mind that there are several other ways to get to the same place.

To change the background graphic simply right-click on your current desktop picture and click "Personalize."  Now you are in the Personalization Settings menus and the "Background" tab will be selected on the left.  If not click "Background."  

Personalization options

 

Background settings windowYou will see the Preview at the top showing you approximately what your windows theme looks like now.  Below it you will see "Background" and the picture will be below it.  Click one of the MS included pictures below it to change the current wallpaper.  Once you have the one you like simply close the settings window.  Correct, there is no save button.  

To add your own photograph as the wallpaper/background – underneath the MS pictures you will see the word "Browse."  Once the browse button is clicked you will need to navigate to the correct folder which holds the picture you wish to use.  Once found click the graphic you choose and select "Choose picture." 

The last setting is to select the "Choose a fit" option which adjusts the way the graphics fill the screen.  I usually use the "Fit" or "Fill" route but I recommend you play with them until you are happy with the results.  

To try some other wallpaper options go back under the Preview and click the Picture dropdown.  There you will have "Solid Color" or "Slideshow."  Solid color is self-explanatory and many people prefer this.  The slideshow is similar to picking an individual picture; however, instead of selecting one graphic you need to select a folder that contains the pictures you want to use.  Do not open the photo containing folder but only select it, then choose "Choose a folder."  Your pictures will cycle through on your desktop.

While you are in the personalization settings look to the left.  Use "Colors" to change the colors of menus and taskbar, etc. 

"Lock screen" is used to change the picture of your login window. It works just like the background settings without the slideshow choice.   You can also choose to show your appointments and emails on the lock screen along with several other apps.  I do not use this as I do not want my personal information displayed if I walk away from my computer. There are several other minor settings here also.  Next, "Themes" work as they did in days gone by so I won’t explain anything.  Only difference is the look of the menus.

Lastly, under personalization is "Start" where it allows you to pick what you do and do not want to use on your Start Menu.  The only one I avoid is "Use Start full screen" but if you tried it and cannot get out try click the start button and the menu will fill your entire screen then start typing "settings", then press enter, click "Personalization" and finally "Start" then click it off.

November 5, 2013

Should I Remove It?

We are getting to that time of year again when people are thinking about buying a new PC for themselves or someone else.  Have no fear; this column is not about "How to find the best $5,000 computer for $14.95."  I stopped writing those articles several years ago since I stopped getting emails requesting them.  I think everyone is fairly familiar with getting a new computer.  But of course, if I get countless inquiries before Christmas I would be happy to write another one.

OK, onto today’s topic.  So you get a new computer and guess what?  Every single computer you purchase new from a computer company comes with bloatware, crapware, crudware or one of its many other names.  If you have no idea what they are read on.  Bloatware is basically all of the applications which come on your new computer and those installed over time that really do not do you much good.

For instance, if you are like me you have a favorite "free" antivirus program.  When you get a new computer it will almost certainly come preinstalled with one of the big name apps.  You go ahead and register for this program, since it is free.  The problem is that it will not be free after the free "test" period is complete.  Say in three to six months you have forgotten all about that application, but you get a warning telling you that it has expired and to be protected online you need to purchase it for the next year.  I am not saying that it is a bad app but you may not need it and may also be uneasy about deleting the program. 

There can be ten or even more of these types of applications installed on a new system.  The computer manufacturers receive a fee for putting these on their new systems, so that is why they are there. 

There are many ways to remove them.  My favorite if you are techie enough is to wipe the computer clean (yes, format the drive) and reinstall a clean copy of the operating system.  I DO NOT suggest that for everyone, just for geeks who already know this.  Next, if you know which applications are unnecessary, in Windows 7 go to "Control Panel" and then "Programs & Features" and individually delete them.  OK, for Windows XP, "Control Panel" then "Add or Remove Programs." Then in Windows 8, CP again and next "Uninstall or Change a Program."  OK, there are just too many Windows OS and since "7" is the most popular I will stick with it from now on.

imageYou may also get one of the many programs that will help you with this process.  The one I like most is a free application called, "Should I Remove It?" (shouldiremoveit.com) This is a neat little utility you can easily install and use.  Once you download the app it will install a shortcut on your desktop.  Double click the shortcut and the program will start and run for a minute or so looking for applications.

It has a database built from user input like yours.  Each program listed may or may not be crudware but you can scroll through the list and check.  Click on the program’s name see the percentage of people who uninstall it, check into it or choose, "What is it?" or "Uninstall."

"Uninstall" is self-explanatory but the other button will open your browser with information they have gathered about the application and other users’ thoughts regarding the app.  If after reviewing the information you decide you do not need it, click "Uninstall" and it will uninstall it using your windows uninstall program.

This is a very slick little application which actually uses user experiences to help you make a decision. 

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