DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

October 20, 2015

Windows 10, Part 9–Taskbar

The Taskbar in Windows 10 has some new features some of which we will look at today.

Right click on the start buttonFirst off, right click on your start menu button and get a surprise.  There are more than 15 different windows functions available in a list.  There you will find "Programs and Features" used to uninstall programs and install Windows features.  You will also find "Task Manager" "Control Panel" and "File Explorer" which are some of the more common ones you may use.  To use one left click on that item.

It is easy to add a program to the start menu or the taskbar if you want to.  First click the start button and find the program you wish to "pin", right click it and choose either "Pin to Start" or "Pin to taskbar" according to the location you prefer.  Note that if you choose Start it will appear as a tile on the right side of the menu.  At this point in time you cannot list it on the left side as a text link. 

If you wish to remove a pinned item in either area all you do is right click on the icon or tile and choose, "Unpin…" 

The last taskbar element we will look at is how to hide or display which program icons you want to appear on the right side of the taskbar when they are running.  They are in the notification area next to the time.  Some items like Volume or Network (to see if you are online or not) you may always want to see.  Others like, Bluetooth devices, your security software or "Microsoft Office Document Cache" you may never care about seeing in the taskbar.

To adjust these icons you will need to get into the settings area.  Using, "Ron’s easy way" click the start button, type "notifications" then click on "Notifications & actions settings."  Once there look to the middle of the screen click the text link that states "Select which icons appear on the taskbar."  Then for the ones you want to see click the on/off switch for the application to either on or off to see them.  Once you change one it will immediately appear of vanish from the right side of the taskbar.  If you want to see all programs currently running you can click "Always show all icons in the notification area" to on.  Play with them and see what suits your needs. 

If you miss the "Quick Launch" toolbar from Windows XP, as I do, you can add it back into Windows 10.  It is easy to do.

  1. Right click on the taskbar and make sure it is unlocked. 
  2. Right click on the taskbar again, choose "Toolbars" then "New Toolbar…"
  3. Enter, "C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch" (without the quotes) and click "Select folder."
  1. Replace "Username" with your login username for windows. 

After completing this the Quick Launch Toolbar will immediately appear on the right side of your taskbar.  If the taskbar is still unlocked you can move it by clicking on the dotted lines and dragging the toolbar where you want it to remain.  If not unlocked you cannot move it. 

Right click on Quick Launch toolbar to remove text and titleTo remove the text on Quick Launch, right click on the dotted lines (at the left edge of the new toolbar) and uncheck "Show Text" as well as "Show Title" from the menu.  Drag programs and folders into QL as you wish. 

Below, screenshot before Text and Title are UNchecked.image

 

Below, screenshot after they have been unchecked.
image

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.

September 22, 2015

Windows 10, Part 5

Starting today we will look at some of the new features found in Windows 10.  The most anticipated addition to Windows 10 (over 8.1) is the Start Menu.  The start menu has had a big change between W8.1 and W10; however, not so great between W7 and W10.  

The start menu is accessed through the Windows button on the left end of the taskbar as it has been for past generations of Windows.  You can also press the actual Windows key on your keyboard to pop up the menu.

There are two major sections of the new menu, left and right…easy so far. 

Ron's current Windows 10 Start MenuThe left side which is a list area has several sections.  From the top down they are User info, "Most used" apps and "Recently added" apps along with several system settings and search.

User info shows your icon and username for your account if you set it up when you installed Windows 10.  If you click it you get, "Change account settings" "Lock" and "Sign out."   Of course, you can use the keyboard combination of Windows key + L to lock your system.  However, in my opinion it should be in the bottom section near Power.  This is where it always was in the past. 

"Most used" and "Recently added" links’ uses are obvious for your applications.  However, unlike previous versions of windows, you cannot add apps you want to have in that side anywhere or in any way.  There have been many complaints about this online so keep your fingers crossed for a "new" old feature.  

The system settings labeled at the lower left have the defaults of File Explorer, Settings, Power and All apps.  File explorer has not changed much from the previous versions.  Settings is basically the old "Control Panel" with a modern new look. You may click the start button and type, "control panel" and still get to the old one if you prefer.  

When you click the Power link/button, Sleep, Shut down or Restart are found.  These have the same uses as previous versions with a new location.

Next you will find "All apps." This is where all your applications are found.  This was named "All Programs" in W7.

If you click All apps you will get an alphabetized list of all the applications installed on your computer.  Use your mouse, touch screen or up/down arrows to scroll the list.  Click on the application you want to run and it runs.  Another quick way to use the new applications list is to click on any the labeled letters in the list. When you do this a table of all letters will appear. To open Excel, for example, click on E and you will jump to all of the applications on your computer which start with E.  Then click the application name for it to open. 

If you cannot see all of the letters move your mouse to the top edge of the start menu.  When you see a double ended arrow click and drag up/down to resize the menu as needed.

Next week we look at the right side and tiles.

 Click a letter to find apps that start with that letter.        Click a letter to jump to alphabet

September 15, 2015

Windows 10, Part 4

Wi-Fi Sense

I will continue giving Windows 10 information for the next few weeks. I have received many questions, concerns and requests. So if you have W10 questions (or any tech questions) keep them coming.

Today I have one new warning which depending on your point-of-view could be bad.

Several weeks ago I wrote about linked accounts with Windows 10, check that column for details. If you set up W10 with a linked account you have a new feature added which is not explained in much detail after your setup.

It is, “Wi-Fi Sense” which is all about sharing. There is “good” and/or “bad” written all over this new feature. For an example, say your best friend from college comes over to your house. You have kept up with each other through a few calls and emails over the years.

Since they are in your Outlook.com address book and you used that account to link W10 they can immediately access your Wi-Fi network.  The good is that you do not have to type in or tell them your 47 digit password for your Wi-Fi.  That is very convenient; however, what if it is someone you do not want to give access to your Wi-Fi?  Pretend you have a friend who, unknown to you, was wanted by the NSA for being a major hacker.  You would then have shared your connection with them.  Farfetched on that last one but you know what I mean.  How about your curious grandkid that you do not want surfing the net unless you are with them?

(more…)

June 21, 2011

Open to the World, Part 2

Last week we started looking at securing your home network.  Today we will finish our walk-through.  There are other settings for your router I have not mentioned but with instructions in hand you can experiment.  Just be very careful and (maybe) check with a geek friend first.

In review:

  1. Open your browser and go to either http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.1.1.
  2. Enter your router’s username and password.
  3. Change your password to something difficult.
  4. Rename your network/SSID.
  5. Encrypt your network to WPA-PSK or WPA2.

Let’s pick up where we left off.  Do not use the old settings of WEP or WPA since they can be cracked in minutes by hackers.  If your router doesn’t have the WPA-PSK or WPA2 try to upgrade your router’s firmware (there should be a menu item for that) or buy a new one.  I would recommend a purchase because you can get good and more modern ones for less than $50.

Finally, set a difficult password from eight to 63 characters. Make it tough by using upper-case characters, lower-case characters, numbers and/or symbols.  Do not forget it since you will need it sometime in the future, like when you get a new computer.  Check my past columns on creating good passwords for help with this.

All you have left to do is to save the settings and close your browser.  This will most likely kick you off of your network so you will need to reconfigure your computer with the new router info.

Reconfiguring your router is easy to do in Windows 7.  Look for the wireless icon in the lower right area of your taskbar.  This is the notification area.  Right-click the icon and select Connect to a Network.  You will see your network name (SSID) which you previously set up.  It should appear in a list of available networks. You may even see your neighbors’ networks, but come on, be nice.  Select your network from the list.  Choose the connect link, enter your password and in a few seconds you should be online.

With a Vista machine, use START then Connect To. Now choose your network name (SSID) and click Connect.  Proceed as above.

XP is the last one we will look at since it is a little more difficult.  Go to Start again, then to  Control Panel and double-click Network Connections. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection icon and select Properties.  Now go to the Wireless Networks tab.  Look for your SSID in the Preferred networks.  Click it and choose Properties.  Now, find the Network Authentication setting and select WPA-PSK or WPA2.  Under Data Encryption, select AES. The Network Key is the password you set for your network, so enter it here. Make sure the option This Key Is Provided For Me Automatically is not checked. Then click OK.

Your computer should reconnect to the network. This process will have to be repeated for every wireless computer—the good news is that you should only have to do it once.

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