Category: Microsoft Windows News & Tips

Here’s how to block the Windows 10 upgrade

If you’ve ever been in the car with a child constantly asking, “are we there yet?” you know how annoying a repetitive question can be. Unfortunately for Windows users, Microsoft has decided to take this method of annoyance to their own customer base, constantly nagging them to upgrade. If you’re as sick of this as thousands of other Windows users are, then here’s how you can zip the lid on Microsoft’s prompts.

If you’re like many people who are happy with their current Microsoft operating system, you may have no desire to upgrade to Windows 10. And while Microsoft seems to be doing everything they can to force your hand, like no longer offering security updates for Windows 8, upgrading is still avoidable for now. So if you’d like to get rid of the annoying prompts that are likely pestering you on a regular basis, it is possible to do so. And believe it or not, Microsoft themselves have released instructions on how to do this and they can be found their website.

How to block Windows 10 prompts

To block Windows 10 popups, you will need to dig into your PC’s registry and disable the upgrade path. However, a word of warning before you start: editing your registry incorrectly can cause serious problems to your PC. Before you make any modifications, back up your computer and registry in case anything goes wrong. In other words, at this point you’re proceeding at your own risk.

If you are a Windows 7 Pro, Ultimate or Windows 8.1 Pro user and have admin permissions on the computer, follow these steps.

  1. Open up group policy editor (gpedit.msc)
  2. Browse to Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Update Policy
  3. Switch on the Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update setting

For users who are on a non-Enterprise version of Windows 7 or 8.1, you will need to input the below registry key in manually:

Subkey: HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx
DWORD value: DisableGwx = 1

And that’s all there is to it. Now you will no longer be bothered with popups bugging you to upgrade to Windows 10.

That being said, if you are currently running Windows 8 you need to make sure that you’ve upgraded to the latest “8.1 Update” version of the software so that you can enjoy continued ‘Mainstream Support’ (including new features) until 9 January 2018 and ‘Extended Support’ (security patches) until 10 January 2023. If you’re running the original Windows 8.0 you will no longer have support and your systems could be at risk.

If you would like additional assistance in blocking Windows notifications or help with other IT related needs, we are happy to be of service. Get in touch with us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Move/Recover Offscreen Window

“I have a problem fining/moving an application window that has gone out of the viewing area”

“I have two monitors at my desk but when i take my laptop home and I open ACT! / Outlook / Other application, it doesn’t show on the screen”

“When I start my (application), it looks like it is starting and I can see it in the task bar but it doesn’t come up on the screen anywhere”

We get calls like this at least once a week.  It’s typically due to having multiple monitors but one of the monitors – the monitor that hosted the application – is out of the picture, so to speak.

Basically what is happening is that the application doesn’t realize that there is only one monitor is is still trying to show the application on that second (or in my case third or forth) monitor.

Windows has a really cool feature that helps with these offscreen windows.  Click the icon of the application in the task-bar to ensure that the program has the focus.  Next, hold down the Windows key and press the right-arrow a few times.  That should move the application window across your screens and eventually bring it back onto the screen that is still active.

All is right with the world again!

How to sign into Windows 8 or 8.1 without a Microsoft account – make a local user

I was setting up Windows 8.1 on a machine and didn’t want to use a Microsoft ID (Live ID) to sign into it. I didn’t feel like linking this temporary machine to my existing Microsoft ID and just wanted a regular local login. Now, I realize that not using a Live ID would limit the things I could do and cause a lot more account popups when I visited apps like Music, Store, Video, and others, but still, I want the choice.

It wasn’t immediately obvious to me how to create a local login, so I wrote it up here to help you, Oh Internet Person.

Step 1

When you get to settings, it doesn’t matter if you click Use Express Settings or Customize. Pick what makes you happy.

image

Step 2

Setup will ask you to Sign into your Microsoft account. You can, but you don’t have to. You can also click “Create a new account” at the bottom. You can click there to create a new online Microsoft account, sure, but this is also how you create a local account.

image 2

Step 3

At this point, it looks like you’ll need to Create a Microsoft account, but you can also click “Sign in without a Microsoft account.”
You should really know what you’re doing here. Don’t just do this because you don’t like the idea of a Microsoft account. Be aware of the ramifications. That said, you can always add an account later. I found using a local local to be better for me when making a Virtual Machine.

image 3

Step 4

Here’s where you actually make your local account. Put in a user name and password like you always do. This is a local account that has no ties to the online world.

image 4

Hope this helps someone.

How to Re-Establish a local account in Windows 8.

Did you end up with a Microsoft live account after updating to 8.1? Here is how to re-establish a local account.
image 1

I personally installed the Microsoft Windows 8.1 update to five different personal computers since October 17, 2013. (Five days ago at this writing.) For the most part, the upgrade was smooth for all the computers, as long as you had the time to wait for the download. In general, I am happy with the upgrade and I continue to recommend it to anyone running the original Windows 8.

However, there is one caveat that I discovered during installation that everyone should be aware of before they undertake the process:

After you install Windows 8.1, you will be asked to sign in to a Microsoft Live account. There will be no apparent way to move past that screen if your intention is to only have a local account. Here is the trick: Click the Create New Account link and then at the bottom of that next screen you will see a link that will let you cancel the process. You will then login using your local account.

Now what

Many users got caught by this poorly implemented log in process and ended up creating and / or using a Microsoft account to log in to their new Windows 8.1 operating system. Since that time, I have had several questions from readers asking if there was a way to reverse the process. There is and it is fairly straightforward.

First, go to the Start Screen and type “users” to get search results. Click the first item in the search results and you will get a screen similar to Figure A.

Figure A

Users

Click the Add an account box to reach the screen shown in Figure B.

Figure B

h5>How will you sign in?

Of course, Microsoft wants you to create a new account with them, but you can click the link at the bottom of the screen that says: Sign in without a Microsoft account. You can just ignore the “not recommended” advice.

Clicking that link will take you to the Add a user screen shown in Figure C. Click the Local account button.

Figure C
Add a user

After you click the Local account button you will see Figure D where you can enter your local account credentials.

Figure D

Local account

Click the next button and then the Finish button and you will have created a new Local account that you can log into instead of your Microsoft account.

Windows 8 is near. Can it handle the competition?

Windows 8 will be released at the end of this month (October 2012) and that is causing quite a commotion. Why? Because the hybrid OS will be a game changer or a massive flop!

Realistically, the shelf life of business computers ranges between three to five years; our laptops are three years old while our desktops are more than five. These old computers are slowing down and are starting to get in the way, but will Windows 8 be the right OS choice?

Is Windows 8 the next best thing?

Until recently, everything I had heard about Windows 8 indicated it might be a terrific OS for tablets and phones –  but a disaster for laptop and desktop users. Instead of relying on hearsay I installed the preview release of Windows 8 into a virtual machine and tested it for myself.

The verdict? Anyone who still accesses their applications with a keyboard and mouse (rather than a tablet) and expects to have multiple tiled windows open to multiple applications  will be challenged by this new OS. Even Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has some problems with how Windows 8 works on his desktop.

Although It was not tested on a tablet or touchscreen device, I could easily imagine how the Windows 8 design would make sense on those devices. But when it came to doing work on a desktop it was awkward, Counterintuitive and – in some cases – incapable of simple task.  I like learning new things. Yet the appeal of gaining knowledge is greatly diminished when at the end I have an absurd system that makes me less, rather than more, productive.

My Initial fears were that it would be difficult or impossible to purchase a new computer with Windows 7 after the end of the month. After some research i’ve  read that Microsoft will continue to support Windows 7 for some time. You can read the details on ZDnet but the summary is:

  • Microsoft will still support XP SP3 until April of 2014 and Windows 7 until January of 2020.
  • Microsoft will allow OEMs to sell computers pre-configured with Windows 7 until October 2013.
  • Microsoft will also sell Windows 7 software for installation on a computer until October 2013.
  • If you buy a new computer with Windows 8, you will have downgrade rights to Windows 7.

 Is Windows OS 8 another Vista?

When Vista was released it was possible to purchase a computer with a downgrade to XP. It should be noted that in general, this option wasn’t available on consumer computers and the options to do this for business use quickly narrowed (unless buying a large number of machines).

A similar option might be available where you have your choice of Windows versions for awhile. That sounds great in theory but who knows how long that will work in practice. If Windows 8 turns out to be a disaster of Vista proportions for business users, then fasten your seat belt, because we’re in for a bumpy ride.

I got to thinking that, if forced to get a new OS as part of our computer upgrade, maybe it is time to consider getting an Apple, with an OS that will be a pleasure to learn. My impression of Apple’s newest OS X release (Mountain Lion) is that Apple still recognizes that a laptop or desktop computer is different from a tablet or phone. Microsoft’s Windows 8 seems unclear on that concept. Are they so focused on dominating the tablet market that they’re blind to the impact Windows 8 will have on computer users?

Although Apple borrowed many features first released in the iOS operating systems for iPads and iPhones, they have not succumbed to the same problems. The interaction with software and files on a Mac is more intuitive than on Windows 8. In fact it seems less a transition to move from Windows 7 to OS X than it does to move to Windows 8.

 

The Verdict?

Microsoft seems to be pushing business users to reconsider whether they need Windows on the desktop if most of their work is in the cloud. If so, that’s a strategy that could backfire, as you may decide you just need an iPad. But if you are a power user at work(which most of you are), you’re not going to be happy with a new Windows 8 laptop or desktop until they figure out how to support multiple, simultaneous application access and a few other bugs.