How to Make Windows 10 Run Faster

How to Make Windows 10 Run Faster Under the generic statement,” My computer is slow, can you make it run faster?”, there are several assessments a computer technician has to make. Usually, clients do not describe what is slow for them, but they just explain their frustrations as users. In a business environment, tech support does not spend a lot of time asking users what’s wrong with their computers because IT has already an inventory of all the programs that are installed, and they know the age of the machine they are dealing with. In a small business or home environment, however, things are different and IT consultants do not support the business network with the same frequency of a larger corporate network. The main distinctions that I would like to make in this introduction is the following: 1- REMOVE IRRELEVANT STARTUP PROGRAMS One of the issues that makes computers run slow is the length of time when it boots up. Therefore, one of the first things to do is to offload the booting process of the computer. Go to the taskbar and right click. Select Task Manager. When the task manager window opens, hit More Details at the bottom of that window. A larger task manager window will show a list of the running programs. Head over to the Startup tab. The Start up tab will display the programs that boot up as soon as the computer is turned on. To disable a program from the startup,, select the program and click disable at the bottom right of the window. Reboot eh computer for the changes to take effect. 2- REMOVE PROGRAMS THAT YOU DON’T NEED NOR USE There are programs such as Microsoft teams or Skype that runs at the startup but that some users do not use at all. In the age of Zoom, not many users are using Teams. If you don’t use teams and Skype, remove those programs because these resources begin working when the computer is turned on. Keep only the programs you need and use on a daily basis. There are two ways to uninstall unneeded programs on Windows 10: A) From the control panel by going to the search bar and typing “Control panel”. Once the windows shows up, you just select the program you don’t want and click Uninstall.B) Left click the start menu and the list of all the programs running on your computer comes up. Right click on the program you don’t need anymore and click Uninstall. 3- DISABLE SERVICES THAT YOUR COMPUTER DOES NOT NEED Manipulating the services on a Windows machine requires a little bit of knowledge and research because we don’t want to disable Microsoft services that the computer may need. To disable services at the startup, go to the search bar menu at the bottom left and type “msconfig” and hit enter. As soon as the System Configuration window opens, you need to go to the Services tab, and you will see a list of services running in your machine. Be careful before disabling because the list mixes up Windows services with other services and we don’t want to accidentally disable a service that the computer needs. Head down at the bottom left of the of the System Configuration window and tick “ Hide all Microsoft Services”. By checking that feature, you will be prevented from disabling Microsoft services and damaging your system. Getting back to the now filtered list, a service that for example, I would disable is the Google Chrome Update Service. Reboot the computer. A better way to disable a service is to go to the Services tab and change the service from Automatic to Manual. By changing the service from Automatic to Manual, you will tell the computer not to start the service at the startup but only to start when it’s needed. 4- SCAN YOUR COMPUTER FOR VIRUSES Another reason why the computer may run slow is because of a virus. Viruses are programs that take many resources from your computer besides the implicit danger that they can steal users’ data. You can use any type of antivirus you are comfortable with but please do not run an expired antivirus. An expired antivirus can slow down your computer like having a virus and can expose your computer to malware. I personally prefer to run scans with Windows Defender because since the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft has really boosted Windows defense by creating Windows Defender. In addition to Windows Defender I recommend a light antimalware program, Malware Bytes which can protect your computer from ransomware and your browser with the Malware Bytes Browser Guard plugin for Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge. To run a scan with Windows Defender, go down with your mouse to the bottom right corner and find the shield icon. After you have found the Virus and Threat Protection select Full Scan and let the utility scan for infections on your computer. If a virus is found, follow the instructions on how to remove it and after you have rebooted the computer, the computer may run faster (depending on the virus, though). 5- RUN WINDOWS UPDATES Gone are the times in which Windows 7 updates were making more harm than good. I still remember when in 2015, computers became slower rather than faster with updates installed on Windows 7. As Microsoft is emulating Apple systems with its interface similar to the IOS, Windows will gain extra speed if it is updated frequently. Similarly to Apple updates that are meant to remove system files and replace them with newer files that can make the computer slightly faster, Windows updates will overwrite the existing files with newer files that can give more speed to your machine. As a general rule, on Windows the updates will get downloaded and installed automatically, but if you want to run them manually, just type “Updates” in the search bar at the bottom left of the desktop and the Windows update window will

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Is it Necessary to Upgrade your Internal Hard Drive to an SSD?

Is it Necessary to Upgrade your Internal Hard Drive to an SSD? In a previous post I have described what happens to the computer when the operating system is upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and the hardware stays the same. Windows 10 running on an older hardware that was perfectly fine with Windows 7 can make the computer almost unusable and lead to the 100 per cent disk usage issue.After having upgraded the system to Windows 10 or Windows 11, it is necessary to upgrade the hard drive from a mechanical hard drive to a Solid State Drive (SSD). This tutorial will explain how to upgrade your hard drive from a spinning internal hard drive to a SSD without losing your data. 1- GETTING READY FOR THE UPGRADE What you need is an SSD that’s at least at equal size of the spinning disk that you currently have so if you have a one terabyte drive make sure you get a one terabyte SSD. If by mistake you are getting an SSD that is smaller than the mechanical hard drive, you have two choices: a) Or you return it to the store and exchange it for a same size hard driveb) Or you must reduce the size of the partition on the HDD to the size of the smaller hard drive you have just purchased. 2- GETTING YOUR HANDS ON YOUR DESKTOP COMPUTER The first thing to do is to remove the side panel of your desktop computer. If there are some screws on the back of your system that you can remove them with a screwdriver to get the side panel off. All systems are different, but most systems have screws on the back, and they have a side panel that will just slide off. After having removed the side panel, you may want to get a sata cable so that you can plug the SSD to the motherboard. Now the computer will see the mechanical hard drive and the SSD like a USB devices attached to it. If you don’t have a sata cable, you may want to use the one that feeds the CD rom. Without completely removing the CD ROM, you can just unplug the sata cable from it and plug it to the SSD. This is just a temporary situation and at the end of the task, you should be able to put back the sata cable to the CD ROM. 3-USING THE RIGHT SOFTWARE FOR THE UPGRADE The software required will create an image of the system that would have to be transferred to the new SSD. In order to do that you need a blank usb thumb drive that will host the image. I recommend using a 16 GB flash drive. Go to your browser and search for Clonezilla. Once you are on Clonezilla website, go to downloads and click on stable. The download type you need is an ISO and not a zip file. To burn the Clonezilla image to the flash drive we need a second piece of software called Rufus. Download Rufus from here. When Rufus populates, you will see two fields: in the drive properties you will see the flash drive and its size and on the Boot selection you will select the Clonezilla ISO that you have just downloaded. Click on the start button and Rufus will make the USB bootable with Clonezilla in it. 4- IT IS TIME TO CREATE AN IMAGE OF YOUR PC The next step is to boot the computer off the flash drive. This task is accomplished by typing on the keyboard the keys F2, or F12 or F10 depending on the computer make and model you have. You may want to check online on your computer manufacturer’s website what is the right F number to tap before booting the computer to the newly created flash drive. Once you booted up to the flash drive you will see the minimalistic interface of Clonezilla. Select your language, keep the default keyboard layout. Pick the option “device to device”, choose the expert mode, disk to local disk clone. A new window will prompt you to pick the source disk: you may want to select the mechanical hard drive because that is the hard drive we want to clone. Click ok and then pick the destination hard drive which is the new SSD. After that a new window with advanced parameters will show up. Scroll all the way in the middle and select -q1 Force to use sector by sector copy as per the image above The next window will ask the user to check or skip the source file system. You can skip to check the source file system. Select to use the partition table from the source disk. After all the menus have been filled, Clonezilla, will warn user a couple of times that all the data on the target disk will be erased.Once you click ok, Clonezilla will begin its work sector by sector. As the sector by sector is better suited for Windows 10, be patient for several hours and let the software complete its task. 5- GETTING YOUR HANDS BACK TO YOUR PC Once the clone is completed, we need to shut down the pc and remove the power cord. Let’s now replace the HDD with the SSD. Let’s also remove the flash drive that still contains the bootable version of Clonezilla. Let’s reboot the computer and now you should have a faster pc that boots up from the newly cloned Solid State Drive. If the computer has hard time booting or if it displays a boot error, you can get to the bios and set up the correct boot sequence order which should start with the new SSD. Press F10 to save the new boot order you have established, and your computer will work fine. THE BOTTOM LINE You may be wondering why you would want to clone your computer. How does it help me? What problem

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What to do When Your Computer Reaches 100 % Disk Usage

What to do When Your Computer Reaches 100 % Disk Usage What does it mean when your computer displays 100 % disk usage? How did we get to that point and what are the next steps to avoid data corruption?If you use your computer on a daily basis, chances are that sooner or later you will see the dreaded ‘low disk space’ alert on Windows. This alert is easily one of the most annoying and frustrating things you can see when using a computer.Unfortunately, due to the amount of multimedia content we store on our computers these days, it is almost inevitable that at some point your Windows system will become almost full with all those images, videos, and audio files. The good news is that with a little bit of tweaking and maintenance, you can prevent this from happening again in the future. In this article, I will take you through simple ways to reduce the disk usage on your Windows system. 1- DISABLE CONNECTED USER EXPERIENCE AND TELEMETRY SERVICE To disable some key services, click on your start menu and type in services and open the services app. From here the first service you are going to look for is the connected user experience and telemetry. Scroll down and here it is right here so you can click on that to change it from automatic to disabled. Push the stop button and then hit apply. By disabling this service, you are not only freeing disk usage but also avoiding Microsoft from tracking your activity. 2- DISABLE SYSTEM MAIN SERVICE Similarly to connected user experience, another service that is worth disabling is the Sys Main Properties. After having reached out to the services applet, you may want to configure the startup type to “Disabled”. What essentially System Main does to your computer is that it preloads applications into memory when the computer boots up. At the moment of booting up the machine, Windows tries to guess which programs you are going to use and it loads those programs in the background so that when you click on them it appears as if they’re loading faster: in few words Sys Main acts as a system cache that learns from user habits and prioritize the display of the programs user adopts more frequently. There is no downside in disabling this Windows service. 3- DISABLE WINDOWS SEARCH Without leaving the Services applet, another service that can be disabled is the Windows Search. Once you have disabled the service, click on “Stop” and then “Apply”, and “OK”, otherwise the computer will not remember your preferences. The search service typically uses most of your hard drive resources. However, I would not disable this service because not having the Windows Search functionality means not being able to search for files and folders in your computer. Better maybe to think about disabling this service or the computer usability can be drastically reduced. Another cons of disabling this service is that it will disable the Windows built-in backup utility, also known as File History. Therefore, I don’t think that there is a major utility in disabling the Windows Search service. 4- CHANGE THE POWER PLAN TO HIGH PERFORMANCE Changing the power plan on your Windows 10 machine will not have a huge impact on the disk usage but it will increase the performance of your machine at the expenses of its power. On a desktop computer this tweak is recommended but on a laptop you may want to think whether is more important for you to save battery power or have a slightly faster computer. To change the power plan you may want to reach an empty area of the desktop and right click anywhere on the desktop. Go down to display settings and then from display settings you want to click on power and sleep and then from there you want to scroll down until you see additional power settings. Once we open the utility, you will see that usually it is set by default to “Balanced”. From balanced you will change it to high performance. Click on it to create a new power plan that will be a high-performance plan under a new name that you are going to give. 5- RUN WINDOWS UPDATES Sometimes running Windows Updates will solve software glitches and may solve the 100 % disk usage issues. To run Windows Updates you can just type on the Windows search bar “Updates” and the “Check for Updates” utility will come up. Click on it and let all the updates go through. Reboot your computer and check if you still have the 100 % Disk Usage alerting your computer. If Windows recommends running also optional updates, please go ahead and let those updates be installed. Reboot the computer and run a check up again. 6- UPGRADE TO AN SSD INTERNAL HARD DRIVE If you have recently upgraded your operating system from Windows 7 to Windows 10 or from Windows 8 to Windows 10, it is time to check if your computer has still a spinning drive (HDD). If your machine still runs on a spinning drive, your computer will run slower because Windows 10 presumes you are running a machine with an SSD. The fact of not having an SSD when running Windows 10 can bring to the 100% Disk Usage issue. This is the most relevant of all the tasks listed in this article because in most of the cases it solves the problem of the disk usage. Windows 10 was conceived with the new reading and writing speeds issued by faster SSDs. Manufacturers should stop releasing computers with spinning disks also because users do not know when a computer comes with a spinning disk or a Solid State Drive. Consumers are lured by a cheap computer and they often make the mistake of buying a computer with a spinning disk or with a Pentium or Intel Core I3 processors. BOTTOM LINE One hundred per cent disk usage does not mean

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Do You Need to Block or Unblock Someone in Gmail?

Do You Need to Block or Unblock Someone in Gmail? Gmail is still the most popular and safest email for home users, and it is widely used across devices. During my routine visits to my clients in Westchester, I was able to see that Gmail runs on Outlook, on iPhone, iPad, and Samsung smart phones.However, when it comes to understanding how we really use Gmail, I realized that we do not exploit its full capabilities and we limit its deployment to composing messages, attaching documents, and deleting what we don’t want to store in our mailbox.As Apple has released IOS 16, users are now able to unsend emails within 10 seconds after having sent the message. On the other hand, Gmail has introduced the same feature and in the Gmail settings, users can unsend their messages with 10, 20 and 30 seconds as well.The landscape of emails suggests that companies are constantly introducing new features to attract more users on their platform. One of the main features I would like to discuss in this article is the possibility to block and unblock someone in Gmail from Chrome browser. The features I will describe are not applicable if your Gmail runs on the desktop version of Outlook, because it requires a user being logged in Gmail.It’s pretty easy to block messages coming from another Gmail user. After activating the block, blocked messages will be sent to the spam folder. But if later on you change your mind or by mistake you have blocked someone you did not want to block, it will be still possible to unblock the message. 1- HOW TO BLOCK A MESSAGE ON GMAIL Open Chrome, login into your Gmail, and find the message you want to block. Select the message by double clicking on it, go to the three dots located on the far right of the message and with the right click a drop-down menu will show up. Select “Block” followed by the name of the sender. A popup message will ask you to confirm that you want to block the contact: click the blue “Block” button. The contact is now blocked and from now on all the messages from that sender will be delivered to the spam folder. 2- HOW TO UNBLOCK A MESSAGE ON GMAIL Sometimes, however, you don’t have anymore the email that you want to unblock and you still want to white list it. To do that, you may want to go to the settings, where you will find the tab “Filters and Blocked Addresses”. Scroll down to the list of blocked contacts and you can unblock whoever has been blocked before. As it happens when you blocked a message, a popup message will prompt you to confirm if you want to unblock the contact. Click on the blue button “Unblock” to restore the message to the previous location. 3- REPORTING PHISHING TO GOOGLE If you continue to scroll down through your spam folder, Gmail gives you also the chance to report phishing messages to Google. After you right click on the three dots, just below the “Block” function there is even the possibility to report phishing to Google. This feature will help Google fight more against spam and remove emails that contain infected clickable links. Few points need to be made to better understand what those email controls can do and cannot do:

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Cybersecurity for Small Businesses Part 2

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses Part 2 Every year, many companies, large and small, invest a large amount of resources into their information technology (IT) systems including, but not limited to, costs for computers and related hardware equipment, software, Internet access, cybersecurity, and personnel training. Businesses rely on IT systems for storing and processing important financial and other sensitive information, accessing the Internet, communicating through email, and running programs they need to use on a daily basis. All the systems that run on a network and use the Internet to gather information and perform cloud services should be protected from unauthorized, inappropriate, and wrong use. Protecting IT assets is a duty that falls not only on IT teams but also on the executives who can allocate the right resources to protect the corporate network.In light of increasingly sophisticated threats and ransomware attacks against local governments and financial institutions, management is responsible for ensuring that the right IT internal controls are in place and performing as intended. But where a small business should start in evaluating the cyber security of its network? A security self-assessment should be the first step towards evaluating the effectiveness of the whole IT operation. 1- INTERNAL CONTROLS Internal controls are policies and procedures that involve authorization and oversight of the IT operations. In this role, the Chief Executive Officer of a company works with the Chief Information Officer to elaborate and enforce procedure to help staff achieve optimal cyber security results. It is also not uncommon to see that CEO and CIO use a third party vendor to assess and establish the rules governing internal controls. 2- THE MAIN CYBERSECURITY MODEL The main information security model is based on three key areas: 1) CONFIDENTIALITY: this section is linked to privacy and trust. Confidentiality is a set of policies that prevents or minimizes the unauthorized access to the company’s sensitive data and assets.2) INTEGRITY: Integrity deals with the quality of the data that is stored and handled on a daily basis. Accurate and complete data are essential for good decision-making.3) AVAILABILITY: if data cannot be accessed when needed, there will be little value. The most secure systems are those that are also the most available at all the times against power outages, natural disasters and attempts by individuals with malicious intent. 3- BUILDING LAYERS OF DEFENSE A network system should implement multiple layers of security to protect its assets and data. If there is only one layer of security, a single attack can have access to the network and compromise company’s assets. A combination of structured layers can reduce the risks of breach to a minimum and safeguard the corporate network from intruders who always try to gain control. 4- IT POLICIES IT policies define the correct use of the equipment and the appropriate use behavior. In this scenario, IT admins explain the consequences of policy violations but also provide the means of communicating the users the policies that are in place and how to be compliant with the general network security rules.For example, a policy that deals with Internet and email use, should describe what constitutesappropriate and inappropriate use of IT resources, along with the expectations employees have concerning personal use of IT equipment and user privacy (e.g., management reserves the right to examine email, personal file directories, web access history and other information stored oncorporate computers, at any time and without notice). It should also describe the consequences for policy violations (e.g., an employee found to have violated the policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment). 5- MOBILE DEVICES As explained in my post regarding part 1 of cyber security for small businesses, given the increase relevance and use of smart phones and tablets in a corporate network, I recommend to lay out a specific policy for mobile devices that stresses the importance of Mobile Device Management. MDM is an access control policy that prohibits certain apps in a corporate environment and monitors the use of those that are already installed in the smart phones. A policy related to mobile devices should also have provisions about reporting lost or stolen devices and contemplate rules about the approval of new devices that get connected to the corporate network. 6- IT PERSONNEL AND STAFF TRANING Cybersecurity is a process that leads to training two categories of users:1) IT Personnel: IT personnel needs to be constantly up to date about the evolution of threats and how to harden the IT systems used by the help desk as well as by the regular employees. In this context, it is paramount to learn from reputable resources how to stay abreast in the cyber space.2) Employees: if employees are not trained to observe the security policies in place, they will end up being the weakest line of defense. Management should set up training for IT admins as well for employees who most of the time are unaware of the attacks perpetrated to a company network. Internet safety and email security are the first line of defense employees should learn about. The failure to provide IT security training and raise awareness increases the risk that users willnot understand their responsibilities, putting the data and IT resources with which they have been entrusted at greater risk for unauthorized access, misuse, or abuse. For example, without training and awareness, employees may not understand how their Internet browsing could cause their computers to become infected with spyware that may compromise any personal, private, or sensitive information. The discussion about IT security and training should focus on the following matters: If training and real time alerts are made available to IT admins and users, the risk of compromising a network will become minimal because everyone will get involved in training and displaying a proactive behavior. 7- MORE IT WORK TO DO A network that is really secure is the one that properly identifies and locates all the devices in a network. If a single device is not tracked and

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8 Cool Outlook Features We Should All Use and Master

8 Cool Outlook Features We Should All Use and Master Microsoft Word and Outlook are the most popular and widely used programs, but how well do we know them? Do we know Outlook’s advanced features, and how far our knowledge can go to get the most out of the most popular email program?This article will list the main features that can be used in our daily use of Outlook’s desktop version, with the warning that these features are present in the Windows version of Outlook and may be curtailed if you use Outlook on a MAC. 1- INSERT A POLL This new feature was introduced by Microsoft in 2018. To insert a poll, you would need to open a new email message. Then go up to the ribbon and click on new email; once a new email message appears, you can insert a poll by going to the top ribbon and click on insert poll. This opens up a pane on the right hand side where I can enter a question and then I could type a few different options. You can even add more options if you need to. After you have completed your questions, you can toggle a button that allows the poll to be more comprehensive by giving multiple answers. Once you are done typing your question(s) and providing the answer(s), you can click on insert poll in your email. The email will contain a link to the poll that the recipient will receive. Once the recipient clicks on the link, a browser window will open displaying the main question and the different available answers. Recipient can also insert his/her email to see the results page and how the other users responded. 2- DISTRIBUTION LIST You don’t need to be a Microsoft 365 admin to setup a distribution list. If you email only a certain number of emails addresses, you may want to gather those individual addresses into distribution groups. To set up a distribution list you can head down to the bottom left-hand corner and click on the people icon. In the top left-hand corner, you have the option to create a new contact group. After clicking on this option, a window opens where you can create your own distribution group. Type the name of the group you want to create. To add members to the group, you may want to skip adding each individual email. What you can do instead is to go back to the top, in the ribbon, and add members from the address book. Click on save and close to save the newly created group. To send an email to the group, open outlook again, click on new email and type the name of your new group. 3- TURN ON DARK MODE You can turn on dark mode in Microsoft outlook to create less strain on your eyes. To turn on dark mode go to the top left hand corner and click on the file menu; within file, go down to office account and within office account about midway down you can select your office theme. By default, the theme is set to colorful. Click on the theme selection and set it to dark gray which makes the experience a little bit darker. If you prefer, you can also go to black if you want to make it as dark as possible. One thing to note when you turn on dark mode is that the feature will turn on dark mode in all the other Microsoft applications such as Word, Power Point and Excel. Once you are on dark mode, you can use a mixed approach when writing an email; on the ribbon, on the top right, you can switch the background of the email. Basically, that button allows to replace the dark background of your email body from black to white. 4- CREATE AND INSERT SIGNATURE If you run or work in a business environment, you may consider using a signature at the bottom of your emails so that recipients will easily find your contact name next time they have to communicate with you. To insert a signature, click on a new email, go to the ribbon on the top and find insert and insert the signature. The signatures and stationary dialog come up. You can now create a new signature by clicking on new and give your new signature a name once you have filled out the required fields. On the right side, you can choose to which email account the signature will be applied to. You can also tweak the frequency of the signature by applying it to a new message and or to the replies and forwarded messages. You can create cool signatures by styling the fonts and the logo images that go with your signature so that all can look nice. My personal way to create a signature is by using a Word file where I can create a table first, remove the table edges and then insert the image on the left and text with links on the right of the table. 5- INSERT QUICK PARTS This Outlook feature helps saving time when you need to send the same text or parts of a text to different recipients. To use a quick part, first open a new email and copy and past the text you will send in the future to others. Let’s say you want to send instruction to someone and then the same instructions can be used by another person. You can automate the task by copying and paste the text only once and highlight it. Go then to insert and on the right, you can find quick part where you can save the selected text for future reference and giving it a name. More specifically, you have the option to save the selection to the quick part gallery and give it the name you wish. If you need to insert the saved text again, you can simply repeat the same process you

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Should I Remove the Crapware from my PC or Laptop?

Should I Remove the Crapware from my PC or Laptop? Every time we get a new computer, besides being excited for having purchased a new device, we begin using it immediately without being aware of the software that already comes with it. Users usually do not go beyond transferring files from the old machine or from a previous backup and do not care of the programs that have been preinstalled by the computer manufacturer. But, do you know what will happen to the new computer after few weeks? Annoying messages begin popping up prompting to subscribe to Mac Afee, Microsoft Office, and other software.This article will try to answer the question whether the preinstalled software should be removed or not and if yes, what type of products should be used to do the job. 1- BULK CRAP UNINSTALLER Bulk Crap Uninstaller is a free program that is very easy to use. After you have finished the installation, the software interface lists all the programs that should be removed in alphabetical order. More advanced users can also tick a box that will display system components. Bulk Crap Uninstaller will also show a tag with “No Remove” to let users know that it is recommended not to remove the programs that display the “No Remove” tag. After having uninstalled the program from the computer, the software will continue to deep clean your machine from leftovers, which are located in the registry. The software will select which registry entries will be deleted as leftovers and with the click of a button the leftovers are gone. 2- BLOATBOX Bloatbox is another free program that you can download from GitHub. After downloading the zip file, you can run the program as administrator by right clicking with your mouse. The program has a nice little interface where you can clearly see all the apps that are listed on the left-hand side. The apps listed on the left are all Microsoft apps that Bloatbox will uninstall. If you don’t know which ones you want to remove or add you may not be aware of everything that’s listed for removal. On the right-hand side, when you select the apps under the tab “Remove Apps” that feature will automatically remove pre-installed Microsoft applications that are commonly not used so you can go ahead and click on yes to remove them. After the programs have been removed, Bloatbox will prompt user about the programs that have been successfully removed. An advanced feature of the software is for PowerShell users. Below the menu Apps and Features, there is a link called “Optional Features” that will allow users to remove the leftovers from the registry using PowerShell. After having removed the unnecessary programs, the software will prompt user to reboot the system. The new desktop that shows up after cleaning will display three icons that can be manually dragged into the recycle bin. 3- WINDOWS 10 DEBLOATER Similarly to Bloatbox, the Windows 10 Debloat tool can be downloaded from Github. Once the zip file has been downloaded, open the zipped file drag the folder onto your desktop with the folder on your desktop double click on the folder and navigate down to the Windows 10 Debloater GUI. We first need to think about which options we’re going to use. Starting off with Cortana, if you don’t want this in the Windows search at the bottom left, you have two options, enable or disable. Other Windows features that can be enabled or disabled are Edge PDF and Dark Theme. On the lower part of the interface, Windows 10 Debloater has another section called “Other Changes Fixes” which includes the uninstallation of One Drive and the disabling of Telemetry and Tasks. The software allows users also to unpin tiles from the start menu, but I would not recommend disabling the telemetry feature as it can create issues to your computer. Removing bloatware reg keys is also a more advanced option which you may wish to experiment around with again, although I would back up the registry first. If you decide to go the route of removing the bloatware registry keys, you can revert the changes by using the restore point that you can setup at the beginning of the session. The customize block list is a feature that is strictly related to the Windows programs users would like to remove. If you wish to keep any of these items, scroll down go through this list and start unchecking the items in which you wish to keep. For the most part most people don’t like having any of these installed. If you’re not entirely confident what a certain app is leave it alone entirely as you could run into instability in your operating system. All in all, you may also consider removing manually the programs that come with the new computer after having considered the following: The Bottom Line Removing unneeded programs from your computer is part of good house keeping but if you are not a computer savvy person you may run into issues for having uninstalled programs that are really needed to make your Windows computer work. I would just get rid of Xbox, antivirus and some other programs after having conducted a research on what actually these programs can do for you. Therefore, proceed with caution!

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What Will Be the Top Technology Trends in 2023?

What Will Be the Top Technology Trends in 2023? What can we expect from the next 10 years? We will see a true change in how we relate with our peers and with machines. The past few years have been a breathless ride for the world of tech, from development and artificial intelligence to virtual and augmented reality. There’s never been a better time to be a technology enthusiast than right now. The next ten years will usher us into a new era of connected, intelligent technologies that will have an unprecedented impact across all industries. 1- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Artificial intelligence (AI) is generating a lot of buzz these days. While AI has existed for several decades, it’s recently been thrust into the mainstream with its growing use in self-driving cars, virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa, speech recognition technology like Google Voice, and many other applications. In 2023, AI will enter the mainstream. There are already apps that have AI embedded in them. In addition, the no code environment means that anyone can design new AI applications without any knowledge of programming. Artificial intelligence will be also sold as a service and companies that store your data can simply switch on new AI capabilities and this will change all our business processes.Although companies already use smart algorithms to search the internet, buy things online and find our way around when we travel, AI is becoming essential like water and electricity in terms of how it will change human society and hopefully make our lives easier or better. Some of the key trends within AI that are worth watching very carefully are natural language processing and machine learning, as well as the generation of synthetic content. 2- METAVERSE TECHNOLOGIES Virtual and augmented reality will make a giant leap forward in 2023. Currently VR and AR technology are mainly used in the gaming industry. However, by 2023 we might see a trend for people to use technology for social interaction and other purposes. An example of virtual reality is when we communicate with our friends and family. Through VR, robots will be making their presence felt in our daily lives in the form of AR devices bringing down the cost of these technologies in 2023. In 2023, technologies like virtual and augmented reality will reshape our organizations and will increasingly blur the lines between the physical and the digital world. Companies now need to start to think about more immersive content and create a more immersive world of work. Companies such as McDonald’s are thinking about opening a digital restaurant. With VR customer employee relationships will be significantly refashioned. Someone may be asking, “Is holding meetings in a virtual room better than Zoom? Can customer support use augmented reality to help customers fix problems and help them assemble things?”. 3- A PROGRAMMABLE WORLD The year 2023 will see an increasingly digitally editable world where we can change the real world by manipulating it with computers performing complex tasks in real time. In a digital world, companies can create a digital twin that is a digital copy of a real world’s object. Let’s take, for example, a race car Formula One race car. We can design this car in the digital world and run it through digital simulation and test it using digital wind tunnels and then we will be even able to 3D print this car. 4- WEB3 TECHNOLOGIES Another powerful 2023 trend will allow financial companies to re-architect trust using blockchain technology. Ledger technologies that allow us to store things and record things in the blockchain will be refashioned and will create a new approach to the entire supply chains and financial industries.Banking world and insurance companies use middlemen: with the Web3 technologies those trust functions will be redeployed by performing trust functions without these middlemen. Organizations will continue to use non-fungible tokens (nfts) that allow us to record digital ownership of things. Web 3 technology will allow us to manage our digital identity.When we send money to friends or family, banks and companies like PayPal make sure we are who we say we are and act as a safety net and anti-fraud gateway. New payment verification services help us feel safe about giving our financial information to businesses to store and process. All these systems are currently centralized which means that we could still have problems if the companies that run them don’t manage them well or don’t act in our best interests. When people talk about trust in 2023 they will ask about the idea of decentralization. This means taking control of an organization or process away from any central point of ownership by using decentralized networking built on consensus and encryption. Blockchain will achieve this and more by storing data and running programs that are spread across multiple computers and can’t be changed by anyone who isn’t supposed to. 5- LITHIUM METAL BATTERIES Lithium metal batteries have every chance to change the balance of power in the car market. Their energy density is equal to a one-kilowatt hour per liter of volume which is almost twice that of lithium-ion batteries according to MIT technology review. Thanks to these batteries, electric cars charge much faster and, more importantly, the charge lasts 80 percent longer than with lithium-ion batteries. The startup Quantum Scape which develops lithium metal batteries conducted its first test in December 2020 and after successful trials it has already struck a deal with Volkswagen which will begin producing electric vehicles with these batteries in 2025. Skeptics argue that the test results are still too early to be considered successful they were carried out on single-layer cells while in real batteries they should be multi-layered and in mass production this can lead to unforeseen risks. 6- WIFI 6 AND 5G WIFI 6 and 5G new are new standards of communication that can help communicate and work at high speeds. In addition, these new frequencies will contribute to the development of the Internet Of Things, artificial

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Can the IPad Replace my Laptop? Let’s Find Out

Can the IPad Replace my Laptop? Let’s Find Out The advent of the iPad in 2010 brought new computing ideas to the table: the iPad is very light, powerful and fast. The iPad has a lot of apps and can be integrated with a Snap-On keyboard: its battery life is pretty decent and can go up to 10 hours with a single charge (in the newer models, iPad 9th and 10th generations).Before analyzing who is the winner and who will be the loser, it is necessary to ask ourselves questions such as: THE CASE FOR THE LAPTOP VERSUS THE IPAD 1- THE IPAD SCREEN IS TOO SMALL The maximum screen size an iPad can have is 12.9 in the iPad Pro. Dell and Lenovo manufacturers have been already producing 13 inches laptops for a long time. In terms of price, $1,300, however, can get you a powerful 15.6 inches laptop where you can run almost anything. 2- THE IPAD HAS FILE MANAGEMENT ISSUES Some users have complained that One Drive does not synchronize properly the files on the iPad and that iCloud works just fine in accomplishing the same task instead. It seems that the IPad is rejecting the notion of hosting an Apple OSX as an ecosystem where multiple applications can coexist and thrive. The lack of interoperability is definitely a step back and could push Microsoft users to find other alternatives. 3- IPAD STILL LACKS MULTITASKING FEATURES The iPad is certainly good for a single task. For example, if you just use it to browse the internet or to check your emails, that is the way to go. However, if you are trying to bring multiple apps to the main screen, the machine will freeze and some apps won’t even work. The iPad is more tailored when you try to run an app or something else and not when you try to run an app and another app at the same time. 4- IPAD IS BETTER THAN A LAPTOP WHEN USING HANDWRITTEN NOTES Students love iPads because they can basically write on it like if they are writing on a paper notebook. Studies have shown that students learn more when they can hand write rather than typing. For this specific use, the iPad is a winner when using a digital pen. 5- IPAD CAN BE DOCKED BUT ONLY IF THE DOCK SUPPORTS THUNDERBOLT iPads support external monitors that carry USB-C output but docking stations can work on an iPad if they are plugged in via Thunderbolt port. 6- IPAD DOES NOT HAVE A COMMAND LINE INTERFACE LIKE A MACBOOK OR A WINDOWS LAPTOP When a user will try to do more complex things on an iPad, that’s where the problems begin. If you are trying to get into a command line, the iPad does not have any. Files is only an app to store files and not a system file management. As a result, the iPad at present does not support a command line interface like Mac and Windows laptops do. 7- IPAD HAS ISSUES WHEN RUNNING EXCEL Another more advanced use of the iPad is when a user tries to install Excel addons and run macro scripting. Many basic things can be accomplished in Excel for iPad but as soon as you need specific stuff you might run into limitations. 8- IPAD IS UNCOMFORTABLE WHEN CHANGING POSITION OF YOUR BODY A MacBook air is more comfortable in bed on the couch and in many positions where users just want to relax. The iPad is bit too small and heavy especially when you use it with the magic keyboard to enjoy it for extended periods of time at home. When typing on it, the keyboard makes your hands too close to each other and that is not comfortable if you are typing for many hours. 9- IPAD LOOKS CLUNKY WHEN PLUGGED IN TO AN EXTERNAL MONITOR On of the key areas where the iPad falls short versus a fully-fledged laptop is the lack of proper external display support. You can absolutely hook up the iPad to an external display using a usb type C or a thunderbolt 3 a usb type c to HDMI hub but the moment you do that you will start seeing that the screen resolution does not fit the external display. As a result, users are left with the same 4:3 aspect ratio the iPad screen has and two wide dark side bars will be displayed on each side of the screen. Furthermore, you won’t be even able to close the iPad leaving the extended screen on because the moment you close the iPad, the screen will turn off. 10- IPAD IS HARD TO MANEUVRE DURING AN IT REMOTE SUPPORT SESSION Apple tries to keep out of their systems apps that help users remote into other users’ devices. If the iPad or the iPhone are in need of being visited by a member of the help desk, tech support will only be able to see what the user does and instruct him/her to do things through the phone. A Mac laptop does not have this problem because IT experts can install a remote session software and operate with the mouse remotely. THE BOTTOM LINE The iPad is all about delivering basic and simple functionality to get you to a certain point. It is a device that can work for a lot of people but for the majority of us as of now it’s more of a perfect companion rather than a device that can replace your desktop computer. The iPad is more suitable for a use on the go; a MacBook is better suitable if you work from home. When discussing whether the iPad or laptop is better, the correct question to ask is, “What are you going to do with it?” If you’re looking for a media-consumption device that also doubles as a capable productivity tool, then get an iPad. But if you’re planning on doing heavy design work or simply moving

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5 Steps To Setting up Your Business Email With Microsoft 365

5 Steps To Setting up Your Business Email With Microsoft 365 There are several reasons why a business decides to use a business email, such as promoting its brand, building trust with its users, and enhancing the security of its assets. I have already discussed the differences between a business email and an email that is used by single users and the benefits of using a business email rather than an email from providers such as AOL, Hotmail and Gmail. Several years ago, I was visiting clients in Westchester to troubleshoot their Exchange email server. At that time, the mail server was a server box located in the office; that server, in order to display the emails in the computer clients in the office, needed to be configured to pull the user accounts from Active Directory which was hosted in another server box within the same office. The problem with this setup was that it was not cloud based and therefore having only one mail server in a small Westchester office did not really offer redundancy. If the server broke, the entire mail system would have been down. In addition, small companies did not found value in having more than one server in the office which, in that case, would have been justified and offered a better solution against crashes and downtime issues. Nowadays, fortunately, redundancy is offered as a service by the big cloud providers and companies like Microsoft and Google provide the right services to businesses who are looking for a reliable corporate email. This article will guide readers step by step in setting up and configuring a business email with Microsoft 365 and Exchange online. 1- START WITH GOOD FOUNDATIONS: GET THE RIGHT DOMAIN AND HOSTING PROVIDER Finding a reliable domain provider is crucial in setting up a business email. A business email is linked to a domain name. In my experience, I have used both GoDaddy and Ionos but I have found a better provider in IONOS. I don’t like to see advertising banners and buttons on GoDaddy while I am navigating through the interface looking for something. I wasted a lot of time getting through confusing tabs that redirected me to resources I did not need. Check out, in the image below, how easy is to navigate the Ionos interface once you have logged in with your account: The main tabs you are going to use for your setup will be “Domains” and “Hosting”. You would need to use the hosting tab when you need to create and build your website but for the purpose of this tutorial, we will be focusing on the domains tab, because the domain needs to be tweaked to redirect some of its dns records to Microsoft. LET ME BE CLEAR ABOUT ONE POINT: I DO NOT RECOMMEND TO BUY MICROSOFT PRODUCTS THROUGH YOUR DOMAIN PROVIDER FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS: • For the same monthly fee, you will get more by buying directly from Microsoft.• Microsoft customer support is easy to reach out and responds quickly if your company is on a business plan. In Ionos, once you have reached the DNS section of the domain control panel, you will see all the records that your custom domain has. In the following picture, I have circled the TXT and MX records that have to be replaced by Microsoft records: As I have highlighted in the picture above, the TXT and the MX records will need to be pointed to Microsoft servers during the setup of the Microsoft admin account. 2- WHICH MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS ACCOUNT DOES MY BUSINESS NEED? Even if your business does not have many users, I highly recommend to subscribe to the Microsoft 365 Business premium plan, for the following reasons: 3- LINK YOUR DOMAIN NAME TO YOUR NEW MICROSOFT ADMIN ACCOUNT You can buy the business subscription from this link. After you have opened an account with the Microsoft 365 business premium plan, you are now an administrator of that account. The next step an IT administrator would do is to connect that Microsoft account to the domain DNS interface so that the DNS records can be directly pointed to Microsoft. In order to connect the domain to Microsoft, Microsoft will give you three choices: In our case, we have a domain name already so we are going to select “Use a domain you already own” (B) and we will enter our domain name. Once we enter the domain name, we need to verify the ownership of the domain name. Microsoft is telling us that we need to add a txt record to our dns records by signing in to our domain registrar. Go to the dns settings and create a new txt record that we will add to our domain control panel as it is shown two pictures above. 4- CREATE USERS AND ASSIGN LICENSES Once the Microsoft 365 account setup is complete, we can create our first user and we can let the user access the Microsoft products and services the user is assigned to. The most popular and widely used Microsoft services are: New users will login to with the provided username and password but it will be extremely important if, before doing this step, the IT department will enforce the setup of the multifactor authentication so that the new user’s login will be based on three main elements:1) Username2) Password3) Token generated by the Microsoft authenticator app installed on the smartphone. 5- INSTALL THE OUTLOOK APP ON USERS’ SMARTPHONE Finally, a further step is required to enhance the use of a business email on a smartphone. Microsoft products work at their best if they run on Microsoft apps. If users have smartphones, I do not recommend to mix up personal emails with a Microsoft business email. A complete setup offered by and IT consultant should provide the download and installation of the Outlook app on users’ smartphone. As a matter of fact, the Outlook app is really meant for productivity

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