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8/27/2016

Windows 10 Anniversary Update 1607 Direct Download Links

Anniversary Update for Windows 10 is being rolled out in phases. The Anniversary Update (version 1607) or also known as Feature update to Windows 10, adds plenty of new features to Windows 10 and also improves the overall performance and reliability of Windows 10.
Anniversary Update for Windows 10 will be automatically downloaded on your Windows 10. But if you can’t wait to explore the new features in Anniversary Update, you can manually check for updates by navigating to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update to download and install Anniversary Update.
In addition to Windows Update, users can also use Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to download and install Anniversary Update. The Media Creation Tool can also be used download Windows 10 with Anniversary Update ISO.

Download Windows 10 with Anniversary Update ISO from Microsoft using direct download links

But if you’re not interested in using the Media Creation Tool to download Windows 10 with Anniversary Update ISO, there is an easy way to download Anniversary Update ISO.

Step 1: Visit this page of Microsoft in your Edge browser.
Step 2: Under Select edition section, select your edition of Windows 10. Note that the Windows 10 includes both Home and Pro editions. When you install Windows 10 using the ISO, the right edition will be installed.
Windows 10 Anniversary Update dierct download links
Click Confirm button after selecting the edition you want to download.
Step 3: When you are asked to select the product language, select the language and then click Confirm button.
Windows 10 Anniversary Update dierct download links 1
Step 4: Finally, click on either 32-bit Download or 64-bit Download button to begin downloading Windows 10 with Anniversary Update ISO from Microsoft servers.
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Note that the created links are valid for 24 hours from the time of creation.

Source:  http://www.intowindows.com/windows-10-anniversary-update-1607-direct-download-links/

8/26/2016

Download Windows 10 With Anniversary Update ISO File

Microsoft has just rolled out the first Anniversary Update for Windows 10. The Anniversary Update is the second significant update to Windows 10 after the November Update.

Anniversary Update for Windows 10

Windows 10 Anniversary Update is absolutely free for Windows 10 PCs and brings tens of new features as well as improvements to the operating system. Windows Ink, Microsoft Edge Extensions, linking Windows 10 digital license to Microsoft account, easy-to-use mobile hotspot, and improved Start menu, action center and taskbar are some of the immediately noticeable features of the Anniversary Update.


Windows 10 Anniversary Update


The Windows 10 Anniversary Update can be installed via Windows Update. Your Windows 10 PC will automatically download the Anniversary Update when its available for your PC. Since there are over 350 million computers running Windows 10, all PCs might not get the update in a day. Your PC might get the update in a few days.


That said, if you can’t wait to install the update or if you plan to perform clean install of Windows 10 with Anniversary Update by downloading Windows 10 with Anniversary Update ISO, you can do so. To download Windows 10 with Anniversary Update ISO, you can use the official Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

Download Windows 10 Anniversary Update ISO

Follow the given below directions to download Windows 10 with Anniversary Update ISO from Microsoft using Media Creation Tool.
Step 1: The first step is to download Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. This is the direct download link.
Step 2: Run the Media Creation Tool to see the License terms screen. Click the Accept button to continue to the next screen.


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Step 3: At “What do you want to do?” screen, select the second option labeled Create installation media for another PC before clicking the Next button.


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Step 4: Next, select your language, architecture, and edition of Windows 10 that you want to download. Here, the Media Creation Tool will automatically check the edition, language and architecture of your current Windows 10 installation and select the same for you by default. But if you want to select a different one, uncheck Use the recommended options for this PC option and then select your Windows 10 edition, architecture, and language.


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Note that both Windows 10 Home and Pro are included in Windows 10. The right edition of Windows 10 will be installed during the install process.
Once selected, click Next button to proceed to the next step.
Step 5: At Choose which media to use screen, select ISO file and then click Next button.


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Step 6: Choose a location to save your about to download Windows 10 with Anniversary Update ISO image file and then click Save button to begin downloading the ISO image.


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Depending on your internet connection speed and load on Microsoft servers, the ISO image might take few minutes to hours to download.
You can now create a bootable USB of Windows 10 or perform clean install of Windows 10 from ISO file.

Source: http://www.intowindows.com/download-windows-10-with-anniversary-update-iso-file/

7/20/2016

You Only Have a Week Left to Get Windows 10 Free. Here’s Why You Should Update

The free Windows 10 upgrade offer ends on July 29, 2016. After that, you’ll have to pay at least $119 if you ever want to upgrade to Windows 10 on your computer. You should seriously consider upgrading to Windows 10 before July 29, if you haven’t already done so.
Microsoft has done a great job of tarnishing Windows 10’s name by being unnecessarily pushy with the upgrade offer, and they shouldn’t have done so. But Microsoft’s tactics aside, Windows 10 is a worthy upgrade.

 

Upgrading Now Reserves Your Free Copy, Even if You Don’t Want to Use It Yet

 

Even if you don’t want to use Windows 10 yet, you may want to upgrade in the future.
So here’s a big reason to upgrade: Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 on your current PC, your PC will receive a “digital entitlement” that allows you to install Windows 10 for free in the future–even after July 29. If you don’t want to use Windows 10 now, you can upgrade, then downgrade back to Windows 7 or 8.1 and keep using that. If you ever decide you want to use Windows 10 in the future, you can upgrade to it for free since your computer has that digital entitlement.
If you don’t reserve your free copy before the upgrade offer ends, you’ll have to spend $119 for Windows 10 Home or $199 for Windows 10 Pro to upgrade.

 

Windows 10 Includes Many, Many Improvements Over Windows 7

 

RELATED ARTICLE
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Windows 10 made a lot of improvements over Windows 7. Upgrading to Windows 10 doesn’t just get you the improvements and new features in Windows 10. It also gets you the improvements and new features added to Windows 8 and 8.1; the ones that were overshadowed by Windows 8’s refusal to let users boot to the desktop.
Some of the flashiest features of 8 and 10 include:
  • The Windows Store and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications are Microsoft’s new application platform. In particular, Microsoft is now porting many Xbox games to Windows, but they’re only accessible on Windows 10 and only through the Windows Store.
  • The Cortana virtual assistant offers voice searches and automatically delivers you relevant information, and it’s getting even more powerful this summer.
  • Live tiles in the Start menu provide quick access to information. They can display the news, weather, your emails, and other information.
  • An Xbox application allows you to record PC games and stream Xbox One games from an Xbox One console. It’s useful even if you don’t own an Xbox.


Even if you just want old-fashioned desktop programs, there’s a lot to like:
  • A Task View interface allows you to quickly view all your open windows and sort them into multiple “desktops”, a feature that Mac and Linux users have been taking advantage of for years.
  • The “reset your PC” feature provides a way to quickly wipe your Windows system and start fresh without actually reinstalling Windows.
  • An improved Task Manager has a streamlined interface and a built-in startup manager for managing the programs that automatically launch when you boot your computer.
  • An improved File Explorer includes a new file operations dialog that allows you to pause file operations and more easily manage conflicts. File Explorer also gained other useful features, like the ability to mount ISO disc image files without third-party software.
  • A new Settings application includes useful features like the ability to see which programs–including desktop programs–have used the most battery life on your laptop.
  • Windows 10 includes improvements to using Windows with multiple monitors, and with modern high-DPI displays.
  • Power user features like Hyper-V virtual machines and Storage Spaces for pooling storage are available in the Professional edition of Windows 10.


Under the hood, there are a lot of improvements:
  • Windows 10 offers improved boot speed and battery life.
  • You’ll find various security improvements, from the built-in Windows Defender antivirus and Smart Screen for scanning downloads to low-level improvements to ASLR (address space layout randomization) memory management improvements and driver signing now being required.
  • DirectX 12 and the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.0 are included, and new games can take advantage of these for improved performance.
These are just a few examples of improvements, and there are more. Windows 10 will also keep getting better as Microsoft improves on it. Microsoft says this is “the last version of Windows,” so upgrading to Windows 10 should be the last big upgrade you’ll have to do.



 

If You’re Using Windows 8 or 8.1, Upgrading is a No-Brainer

 

RELATED ARTICLE
Here’s What’s Different About Windows 10 for Windows 8 Users
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If you’re still using Windows 8 or 8.1, you should definitely upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 is a huge improvement over Windows 8.1, restoring a desktop Start menu and allowing those new applications from the Windows Store to run in windows on your desktop instead of in full-screen mode. Awkward features like the charms bar you head to open by moving your mouse to a corner of the screen are gone.
Windows 10 still offers a special “tablet mode” designed for touch devices, but it’s optional.
Really, we shouldn’t even need to try to convince Windows 8.1 users to upgrade. You should definitely get away from Windows 8.1 while you can.

 

Windows 10’s “Spying” Is Way Overblown

 

Windows 10 does include many features that “phone home” to Microsoft’s servers, doing everything from downloading new antivirus definitions to uploading anonymized “telemetry” data about the features you use on your computer.
But it’s a big jump to say that Microsoft is actually “spying” on what you do on your computer. Most of these features are largely a consequence of having more internet-connected features in Windows, like live tiles that need to download information regularly, and the Cortana voice assistant that provides online searches and other information.
Yes, it’s true that you can’t fully disable all telemetry features on Windows 10. However, telemetry is just anonymized usage information. Microsoft can use it to see how many people use features like the Start menu or system tray on a daily basis, for example, so they can make Windows better.
Microsoft has done a poor job of explaining this to average users, and their privacy settings are horribly laid out. That’s certainly one of our criticisms of Windows 10. But Windows isn’t doing anything that every other tech company isn’t already doing.

And no, despite some misleading rumors going around, you won’t have to pay to continue using Windows 10 after July 29, 2016. If you have it installed, it will continue being free to use. You’ll only have to pay for Windows 10 if you want to buy a fresh license to upgrade an old computer, or to install on a new computer you build yourself. New computers you purchase come with Windows 10 licenses the manufacturer paid for.

Source:  http://www.howtogeek.com/263413/you-only-have-a-week-left-to-get-windows-10-free.-heres-why-you-should-update/


7/11/2016

How to block the Windows 10 upgrade

Maury was one of several readers who complained about the Windows 10 upgrade starting without user permission.
I have been hearing a lot about this recently. Another reader got to the point where he was scared to boot, assuming that the installation would happen right away.


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Even I was a victim. Windows told me I needed to shut down the PC for an update. When I shut down and rebooted, no update happened, but Windows continued to tell me that I needed to shut down. Some detective work clued me in that the Windows 10 upgrade had failed. I had never given permission for the upgrade on this particular computer.
[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to answer@pcworld.com.]
If the Get Windows 10 icon has become either an annoyance or a serious problem, you can easily remove it with Ultimate Outsider’s free and portable GWX Control Panel. You download this program as a single EXE file.
Once it’s up, you might want to look at some of the information on the top part of the program. For instance, I discovered that I had apparently “enabled” both the Get Windows 10 app and the upgrades. I had not.
Click two of the buttons near the bottom, Disable ‘Get Windows 10’ App (permanently remove icon) and Disable Operating System Upgrades in Windows Update.


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That’s it—unless the upgrade has already started and you’re stuck with the problem I had. If Windows Update is trying and failing to install Windows 10, run Microsoft’sWindows Update Troubleshooter after you haverun GWX.




Launch and run the wizard. The choices are pretty obvious. In my case, I got a disheartening error that one update problem could not be fixed.


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But, when I next booted, the update Shut Down button was no longer there. Since then, Windows 7 updates have happened as they should.

Source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2998967/windows/how-to-block-the-windows-10-upgrade.html

7/02/2016

Windows 10 is spying on almost everything you do – here’s how to opt out


Windows 10 is amazing. Windows 10 is fantastic. Windows 10 is glorious. Windows 10 is faster, smoother and more user-friendly than any Windows operating system that has come before it. Windows 10 is everything Windows 8 should have been, addressing nearly all of the major problems users had with Microsoft’s previous-generation platform in one fell swoop.
But there’s something you should know: As you read this article from your newly upgraded PC, Windows 10 is also spying on nearly everything you do.
It’s your own fault if you don’t know that Windows 10 is spying on you. That’s what people always say when users fail to read through a company’s terms of service document, right?
Well, here is Microsoft’s 12,000-word service agreement. Some of it is probably in English. We’re pretty sure it says you can’t steal Windows or use Windows to send spam, and also that Microsoft retains the right to take possession of your first-born child if it so chooses. And that’s only one of several documents you’ll have to read through.
Actually, here’s one excerpt from Microsoft’s privacy statement that everyone can understand:
Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to: 1.comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies; 2.protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud users of the services, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone; 3.operate and maintain the security of our services, including to prevent or stop an attack on our computer systems or networks; or 4.protect the rights or property of Microsoft, including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services – however, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property of Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement.
If that sentence sent shivers down your spine, don’t worry. As invasive as it is, Microsoft does allow Windows 10 users to opt out of all of the features that might be considered invasions of privacy. Of course, users are opted in by default, which is more than a little disconcerting, but let’s focus on the solution.
Rock Paper Shotgun has broken things down into four main bullet points that will guide you through regaining control of your personal data.
First, you’ll want to open Settings and click on Privacy. There, you’ll find 13 different screens — yes, 13 — to go through, and you’ll want to disable anything that seems worrying. The blog notes that most of the important settings can be found on theGeneral tab, though other tabs are important as well. For example, you’ll definitely want to adjust what types of data each app on your system can access.
Next, users should consider dumping Cortana. Yes, the voice-driven assistant iseasily one of the best new features in Windows 10, but it also plays fast and loose with your data. As a result, many users will find that the benefits do not outweigh the risks.
For the third task, you’ll have to venture outside the confines of your PC and hit the web. Perhaps this is a good opportunity to check out Microsoft’s nifty new Edge browser. In it, click on this link and set both “Personalised ads in this browser” and “Personalised ads wherever I use my Microsoft account” to off. This will disable Microsoft’s Google-style ad tracking features.
The last tip is one that most users will likely forgo, as it is a bit excessive. Rock Paper Shotgun recommends removing your Microsoft account from Windows 10 completely and using a newly made local account instead. This way, Microsoft doesn’t grab hold of all your data to sync it across machines. To us that’s a great and useful feature, but if you want to kill it just follow the link below in our source section for complete instructions and plenty more details.
Article updated to quote a larger quote from Microsoft’s terms of service.

Source: https://bgr.com/2015/07/31/windows-10-upgrade-spying-how-to-opt-out/

6 free tools that stop Windows 10 from spying on everything you do



Microsoft’s new Windows 10 platform has received quite a reception from bloggers and tech journalists. More importantly, it has been received with open arms by consumers eager to wipe Windows 8 from their desktops and laptops, and start fresh.
A fresh start is exactly what Windows 10 has given Microsoft, but it’s not all good news. While the new software is certainly a huge step in the right direction, some serious privacy concerns have been raised following the revelation that Windows 10 may be spying on almost everything you do.
Microsoft has indeed played fast and loose with users’ privacy in Windows 10. By default, the new operating system is configured to track usage, and even to monitor your files and folders in some cases. Just look at how scary Microsoft’s privacy statement is.
Features like this aren’t always a bad thing, but opting people in by default is hardly a user-friendly policy.
In an earlier post, we told you about a few things you can do to opt out of many of Microsoft’s tracking features in Windows 10. Since this is such a widely publicized issue, however, there are already plenty of tools you can use to help simplify the process of taking your privacy back in Windows 10. And in a recent post, gHackssupplied a nice quick comparison of six different options.
Below you’ll find six different apps covered, along with brief descriptions. Click on the name of any app to download it.

Destroy Windows 10 Spying

This is a fairly basic program that allows users to enable a wide range of privacy settings in one simple interface, rather than having to dig around through Windows 10’s settings.

Disable Win Tracking

This app is similar in intent to Destroy Windows 10 Spying, but with only four options, its focus is far more narrow.

DoNotSpy 10

We have covered DoNotSpy10 before here on BGR, and it’s one of the most comprehensive options out there for taking control of your privacy in Windows 10. There’s a caveat, though: It’s freeware, but it installs Open Candy software on your PC, which will display ads automatically in other apps.

Windows 10 Privacy and S**t

This is just a simple batch file — check gHacks for details on how it works.

Windows 10 Privacy Fixer

This app offers one tidy screen that lets you import your current privacy settings and then disable whichever features you want.

W10 Privacy

Last, and unfortunately also least, is W10 Privacy. This app is one of the best options out there in terms of covering as many privacy settings as possible… but it’s only available in German for the time being.
Source: https://bgr.com/2015/08/14/windows-10-spying-prevention-privacy-tools/


6/03/2016

Make Windows 10 Look Like Windows 7

Rolling back or downgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 7 is probably the best way out there if you are not happy with Windows 10. That said, there are users who like most of the features offered in the newest version of Windows but want to make Windows 10 look and feel like Windows 7.

15 ways to make Windows 10 look and feel like Windows 7

make Windows 10 look like Windows 7


Following are the ways to make your Windows 10 look and feel like Windows 7.
NOTE: We recommend you create a manual system restore point before making changes to default settings and installing recommended third-party tools so that you can restore your Windows 10 back to today’s date if and when you need.

Install the free Classic Shell to get Windows 7 like Start menu
While Microsoft has added back the Start menu with Windows 10, the Start menu is not the same as the one in Windows 7. If one or more features of original Start menu is not working or if you are missing the Windows 7’s Start menu in Windows 10, install Classic Shell for Windows 10 program right away.


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In addition to Windows 7-like Start menu, the Classic Shell brings a couple of other classic features to Windows 10. If you’re installing Classic Shell just for the sake of Start menu, be sure to uncheck other features like Classic Explorer during the installation.


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Enable Aero glass transparency
Microsoft dropped the Aero glass transparency with Windows 8. In spite of requests from millions of PC users, Microsoft didn’t enable the Aero glass transparency for window borders in Windows 10. While it’s possible to make the Start menu transparent out of the box, there is no option to turn on Aero glass transparency for window borders without the help of third-party tools.


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Those of you serious about getting back Aero glass transparency should check out Aero Glass program. The program brings Windows 7-like Aero glass transparency back to Windows 10 with ease. On top that, it automatically installs and applies Windows 7-like Aero glass compatible theme.
Disable the lock screen
The lock screen was introduced first with Windows 8. The lock screen shows some useful information like network status, battery charge level, date and time, number of new emails and notifications and can be configured to display detailed information from an app.


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The only problem with the lock screen is that it adds another level to the boot to desktop process. In short, you need to perform an addition click to see the login screen where you enter your account password. Go through our how to remove the lock screen in Windows 10/8 guide for detailed instructions.
Remove the search/Cortana box from the taskbar
With default settings, Windows 10 displays a large search box on the left-side of the taskbar. While the search box makes it easy for beginners to quickly initiate a search, you can place the search icon instead of the box to save the space on the taskbar and make the taskbar more like Windows 7. Did you know that you can initiate a search without using the search box or search icon?
Right-click on taskbar, select Cortana, and then click either Hidden or Show Cortana icon.


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Disable Windows Explorer ribbon
If you want to make the Windows Explorer or known as File Explorer in Windows 10 look like the one in Windows 7, you need to disable the ribbon. There are couple of ways out there to enable the Windows 7-style toolbar in Windows 10’s File Explorer but we recommend you use a free tool called Old New Explorer.


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Disable Quick Access
With default settings, File Explorer opens to Quick Access in Windows 10. While Quick Access can be useful at times, you might want to turn off the Quick Access and open File Explorer to This PC to make the Windows Explorer behave more like Windows 7’s Explorer.
Disable Action Center
Action Center is one of the new features introduced with Windows 10. The feature allows you quickly view recent notifications and messages and also allows you quickly access various system settings.


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Here is how to turn off the Action Center in Windows 10:
Step 1: Open Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft \Windows\Explorer
Step 2: On the right side, create a new DWORD (32-bit) value and name it as DisableNotificationCenter.
Step 3: Double-click on the DisableNotificationCenter value and set its value data to 1 to disable the Action Center.
Install desktop gadgets
Desktop gadgets are very popular among Windows 7 users. If you want to get the original desktop gadgets offered in Windows 7 in Windows 10 as well, please refer to our download desktop gadgets for Windows 10 guide for instructions to download and install original Windows 7 desktop gadgets in Windows 10.


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Install Windows 7 games
The classic games have been dropped from Windows 10. While modern version of Microsoft Solitaire is offered, the classic games were more fun to play. Luckily, it’s possible get all these classic games in Windows 10 in a jiffy. Please refer to the instructions in our how to get classic Windows 7 games in Windows 10 for the detailed directions.


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Get Windows 7 like folders
While Microsoft has retained most of the Windows 7 icons in Windows 10, some icons have been updated. The new folder icon in Windows 10 is pretty good but if you like the folder icons of Windows 7, go through our get Windows 7 folder icons in Windows 10 guide.


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Uninstall and remove Edge browser
Microsoft Edge, the new web browser from Microsoft is shaping up well. The Edge browser will get extensions support with the anniversary update which is expected in the month of July or August. That said, if you’re not happy with it, you can get rid of the same by following our how to uninstall and remove Edge browser in Windows 10 guide.
Get rid of default modern apps
As you might have noticed by now, there are dozens of built-in apps in Windows 10. While apps such as Mail, Weather and Groove Music are useful, you might want to uninstall other apps that are not so useful. Please refer to our how to uninstall default apps in Windows 10 or how to use CCleaner to uninstall built-in apps for detailed instructions.


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Use a local account to sign in
If you’re using a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows 10, you can consider using a local user account to sign in, just like in Windows 7. While signing in with a Microsoft account has its own benefits, most users prefer local user account for privacy reasons.
Enable the classic Personalization window
In Windows 10, when you right-click on desktop and click Personalize you get the personalization section of Settings app instead of the classic Personalization window. If you want to restore the old feature, please read the instructions in our how to enable the classic Personalization window in Windows 10 guide.


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Set Windows 7 wallpaper as your desktop background
Last but not least, don’t forget to download and set the original Windows 7 wallpaper as your Windows 10 desktop background. Perform a quick search on the web to download the Windows 7 wallpaper in required resolution.


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Enjoy your new Windows 10!

5/13/2016

12 Neglected Windows 10 Apps & Why You Must Try Them

These brilliant (but neglected) Windows 10 apps can transform the way you work.
Windows 10 comes with many useful default apps that are easy to overlook – either because you’re unaware of their existence, or because you use a third-party program for the same tasks.
Here a list of 12 default apps that will make your PC even more useful. All of them can be accessed by opening the Start Menu and (pre-Anniversary Update) clicking All apps in the bottom left. Alternatively, search for them from the search bar/using Cortana.

1. Get Started

Window 10 is simple enough for most people to figure out on their own. However, it’s good to know this (self-explanatory) app is just a few clicks away, if you hit a dead end, or come across a problem you need an immediate solution to.


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Like most of the Windows 10 apps in this article, it contains neat sections on the left and useful tabs at the top. These cover all of Windows 10’s new features, including the Start Menu, Microsoft Edge, Entertainment, Office, and “Saving and syncing content”.
If you’ve recently upgraded to Windows 10, then don’t worry. There are many ways you can easily get to grips with it. Also check these default Windows 10 settings immediately after upgrading.

2. Alarms & Clock

This simple app has four features – Alarm, World Clock, Timer, and Stopwatch – three of which you’ll barely use because your smartphone or wristwatch is a better alternative.


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That said, I find myself using World Clock very often. It lets you add pins to a world map to see what’s the time there. It’s great if (like me) you have family, friends, and colleagues spread across the globe.

3. News

The News app can seem overwhelming at first because it throws all sorts of random content at you. This is divided into many different sections, including US, Top Stories, World, Technology, Entertainment, and Sport.


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To tailor the app to your interests, click the Interests icon (star with three lines) at the top left and untick the topics you’re not interested in. Next, click each category on the left and select the topics you want to read about.
Going forward, you’ll find the app tailoring the news to your needs. After using it for a few days, I noticed that I wasn’t even using the news apps on my phone anymore.

4. Calendar & Mail

If you’ve logged into the Mail app using your Microsoft account, the Calendar app automatically imports all your important info, including events and birthdays.


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By default, the calendar adds all the US holidays to it. To change this to your region, scroll down, click More calendars at the bottom left, then tick the calendar for your country. To add an event to your calendar, click a date you want, then type your event details. Click the More details link to add info for recurring events and to invite other people.

5. Money

This useful app will save you precious time, if you often check the stock market, overseas currency rates, and calculate your mortgage. It has a handy currency calculator from where you can compare your local currency with 18 countries from a single screen.


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You can also track the stocks, funds, or indexes of any major publicly-listed company in the world over the last year. The News section within the app has global financial news stories. It also has a Personal Finance section that contains news stories local to you.

6. Maps

Google Maps is normally our default go-to navigation and mapping service, but the feature we love about Windows 10’s Maps app is that you can turn on traffic alerts and see cameras along your route – Google Maps doesn’t have the latter feature, yet.


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To enable this, click Map Views on the right, set the Traffic slider to On, then tick Incidents and Cameras. These features are only limited to the United States and major European cities, but new ones are added regularly.
The app is receiving new features when the free Windows 10 Anniversary Update hits your PC in July this year. If you want to try out these new features today, you’ll need to sign up to become a part of the Windows 10 Insider Program.

7. Sports

You’re probably wondering why there’s a separate Sports app when Sport is a prominent section within the News app. The latter provides general sports news, whereas this app lets you add the sports and teams that you want to follow.
By default, the app has sections on the left for 12 sports, including the English Premier League, FA Cup, Cricket, Formula 1, Tennis, and so on.


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To customize the app, click Interests on the left, the pen icon at the top, then close the tiles of the sports you don’t want to follow. To add other sports, click the + icon at the bottom and type the name of a league (such as NBA) or sport you want to follow. Similarly, you can also add your favorite sports teams to track their progress.

8. OneNote

Microsoft wants everyone to use OneNote and for good reason. It has a ton of useful features and any changes you make within this app are automatically synced to the OneNote account across all your devices.


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We’ve done a series of OneNote articles, including how to check which note-taking app is right for you, ways to take better notes in OneNote, and even how to migrate from Evernote to OneNote.

9. Groove Music

Yes, we know you miss Windows Media Player and probably installed VLC Media Player without even considering Groove Music, but the app has several brilliant (albeit hidden) features. It can catalog music from your PC, as well as music that you’ve downloaded from iTunes or Google Play Music. Click the musical note icon on the left, then click Show us where to look for music, and point it to the source on your PC.


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The app is even more useful if you own a Windows Phone because it lets you create your own personal cloud within OneDrive for all your music. You can then play this using the Groove app on your phone.
Its real horsepower is unleashed when you purchase a Groove Music Pass. This costs $10 per month, but comes with a free 30-day trial. Like Spotify, it lets you instantly stream and listen to the latest tracks. It’s also platform agnostic, so you can use it on your Android, iOS, and Windows Phones by installing the app and logging into your account.

10. Photos

It may be one of the first default apps that you replace for your preferred alternative, but before you do that, check out all the hidden things this nifty app can do.


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While it’s not as feature-packed as a paid-for program (such as Photoshop), you can do tons of things with it that are not very obvious from the first glance. For example, did you know that you could add selective focus effects, and even remove red eye with one click?

11. Weather

The Weather app is choc-a-block with interesting features, most of which you probably won’t need. These include the phases of the moon, exact times for sunrise and sunset, how many times it rained on that day in the past 30 years, levels of precipitation, humidity, UV, and wind. Click the Details button on the right to see a breakdown of the weather every hour.


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One of its most useful features is the option to find the weather for another city, then place this as a live tile on your Start Menu.
To do that, select Places (star with three lines) on the left, click the + button, then find the place whose weather you want. Now click to see the weather in this place, then click the small pin icon at the top right. Finally, click Yes to confirm you want to add it to your Start Menu.

12. Windows Feedback

The great thing about Windows 10 is that it’s constantly evolving and Microsoft is relying on user feedback to determine what will shape future versions. We already have a glimpse of what to expect when the Anniversary Update comes to all PCs this summer. But the innovation doesn’t stop there and that’s where this app comes into its own.


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If your feedback resonates with other users, you can be rest assured that Microsoft will do something about it. You can also send feedback for each app individually by clicking the small smiley icon on the left of the respective app.

What’s Your Favorite?

I didn’t know how useful these apps were until I started using them. Some of them (such as News, Photos, Money, and Sport) are ones I now use daily, while others (such as Alarms & Clock and Weather) I check often. You need to give them time (a few days, at least) to prove their worth. You’ll never know which one of them becomes indispensable.