PCS Blog

PCS has been serving the Knoxville area since 1996, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: Miss the Start Menu from Windows 8? Here’s How to Bring It Back

Tip of the Week: Miss the Start Menu from Windows 8? Here’s How to Bring It Back

Remember how when Windows 8 came out, it had that slick tiled Start screen? If you are one of the people who miss that interface, you are in luck. While Windows 10 returned the nostalgia of the traditional Start menu, you can emulate the experience of Windows 8’s tiled screen relatively easily in Windows 10.

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Tip of the Week: How to Prevent Windows 10 From Restarting While You’re Working

Tip of the Week: How to Prevent Windows 10 From Restarting While You’re Working

How many times has this happened to you: you’ve walked back to your home or work PC after taking a break, only to find that Windows 10 installed new updates and automatically restarted? Thanks to Windows 10’s notoriously aggressive update behavior, any work that wasn’t saved was lost forever. It can be very frustrating to lose a project that you’ve spent hours on, through no fault of your own. Luckily, there are steps you can take to easily create a restart schedule.


In the fall of 2016, Microsoft issued an Anniversary Update to the Windows 10 OS. With this update, Microsoft included a new feature called “Active Hours.” Active Hours was created to let users specify the times when they’re more likely to be using their computers. In order to set up an Active Hours restart schedule, ensure that your computer has the Anniversary update installed (check your PC settings to see if it has already present). If you need help installing Windows 10 Anniversary, you can download this Update Assistant on Microsoft’s website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/features.

After Windows 10 Anniversary is properly installed, follow these steps to setup Active Hours on your PC:

 

  1. Click on the Start menu and then the Settings. As a shortcut, you can also use Windows key + i on your keyboard.
  2. Next, select Update & Security.
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  3. Under the Windows Update tab, which will show up automatically, you’ll see a link to Change active hours. Click that.
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  4. From there, you can set your active hours (note: time lengths exceeding 12 hours will be marked as invalid).
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  5. Click Save to confirm your changes.

Now your PC will not install updates during those specified hours. But again, at most, you’re only covered for a 12-hour period. So, what about those times when you need to pull an all-nighter to complete a project? Not only can Windows 10 updates interrupt your productivity, they can also take a long time to install. To further prevent unwanted installations and restarts, you can also adjust your restart settings.

To change your restart settings, you’ll need to stay in the Update & Security section of your PC settings. Next:

 

  1. Click on Restart options, which is located under Change active hours.
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  2. Turn the feature On.
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  3. Next, set the day and time when you’d like Windows to finish installing updates. There is no need to save anything. As long as the switch is set to On, you’re all set.
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If you find that the On/Off switch is grayed out and you aren’t able to adjust it, this means that there are no new updates available at that time. In other words, you won’t have to worry about updates finishing up and forcing your PC to restart. Be sure to keep an eye on your restart options if you are planning to burn the candle at both ends.

There you have it. Windows 10 will no longer be able to bully you into halting your productivity! 

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Tip of the Week: Get Rid of Those Pesky Ads on Your Windows 10 Lock Screen

Tip of the Week: Get Rid of Those Pesky Ads on Your Windows 10 Lock Screen

Do you have Windows 10 on your workstation or PC? You’ve probably realized that it’s a pretty sweet operating system. Still, there’s a reason why so many people have been bothered by it, and it’s because of its practically omnipresent attempts to advertise to consumers.


One of the ways that Windows 10 will do this is by displaying ads on your lock screen. This is done through the Windows Spotlight feature found in your Personalization settings. Chances are that if you are using the default settings for your Windows 10 PC, these ads are enabled. Thankfully, it’s very easy to switch them off for good.

To start, open up the Settings app. You can do this through either the Start menu or by typing Settings into the search bar/Cortana at the bottom of your screen. Next, click on Personalization. This opens up several options for your background image, colors for the operating system, themes, and your Start menu. You want to click on Lock screen.

Once you’ve clicked on Lock screen, you’ll see a preview for what your lock screen will look like, as well as options for what Windows will display as your lock screen. You can select the Windows spotlight, which is showing the ads, or if you’d rather have something more personal and ad-free, you can pick Picture or Slideshow.

If you choose Pictures or Slideshow, Microsoft won’t be able to bother you with shameless ad-pushing to your lock screen, which nobody appreciates. When you’re choosing your new background, we recommend that you choose pictures of a sunny, tropic locale that you dream of visiting on your next vacation. Or, better yet, a slideshow of something that you’re particularly passionate about, your family, your children, your beloved pets... the possibilities are endless.

One other feature that you should consider switching off is the Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen slider. This helps you avoid frustrating and annoying ads that may still find their way to your lock screen. Or, if you don’t mind the ads, you can provide feedback to Microsoft so that they can better serve your interests. Click the top-right icon to inform Microsoft of what you want to see more of, as well as what you don’t want to see.

For more great tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your operating system, read our blog or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

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