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    God Mode in Windows 10

    If you are a long-time Windows user, you may remember a trick to enable 'God Mode'. It may sound epic depending on your expectations, but the easiest way to describe the feature is that it gives access to all of the operating system's control panels from within a single folder.

    In fact, its real name is the Windows Master Control Panel shortcut. God Mode was an inside joke, but one that stuck.

    As it turns out, you can enable God Mode in Windows 10 as well. Why would you need it? The feature is useful for those in IT, those who manage a computer, and obviously for those advanced enthusiasts. Most consumers have little need for the feature, and in fact, it could lend itself to doing some damage to the OS.

    Think of God Mode as a backdoor to the OS to access all the settings. Of course, just enabling it does nothing, but just don't tinker around too much without an OS backup. So let's get to it:

    God Mode in Windows 10

    Enable God Mode in Windows 10

    1. Make sure your system account has administrative privileges
    2. Right-click on the Windows 10 desktop and choose New> Folder
    3. Name the folder: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} and hit enter/return to make it stick

    God Mode in Windows 10

    You can actually name the folder anything you want like NinjaCat mode. Simply replace 'GodMode' before the {....} characters to your liking.

    That's it. Now when you open that folder, you can see around 40 different settings, including Devices and Printers, Credential Manager, Indexing, etc. Some variations exist depending if you have a Home or Pro version and different hardware.

    God Mode in Windows 10

    Truth be told, it is not that exciting. However, if you are a serious user having all of these shortcuts in one spot is super convenient.

    Let us know how you use God Mode and why you like it in comments!

    If you think this guide is helpful, we have many more posts like this in our Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks page. Or try our massive Windows 10 Forums at Windows Central for more help!

    Via: SuperSite for Windows

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    How to view and delete Xbox messages and feed items on Windows 10 Surface Pro photo

    The Windows 10 Xbox app provides a surprisingly useful level of integration with Xbox One and Xbox Live in general. It can do some pretty advanced things like start an Xbox Live party for cross-platform voice chat, stream games to from Xbox One, and record video and gameplay via Game DVR, and more. Other than recording gameplay, you could never accomplish those things on a PC before now.

    Beyond those advanced functions, the Xbox app performs a lot of simple tasks as well. For instance, you can view your Achievements and those of your friends, edit your Xbox profile, find new friends, and more. How do you check and delete messages and items on your Activity Feed through the app? We're here to tell you!

    Xbox app for Windows 10 main

    Managing Xbox messages on Windows 10

    On the left side of the Xbox app, you'll find the navigation icons. The Messages icon sits just below the controller icon (My games) and looks like a voice bubble – you can't miss it. Tap or left-click any conversation and you'll open up a view of that conversation. From there you can quickly reply to the most recent message or scroll through past messages from that person. But how do you delete messages?

    Xbox app for Windows 10 Delete Message

    You have two options through the Xbox app: either delete an individual message or delete the entire message thread. To remove just one message at a time, right-click anywhere on the message and the option to Copy, Delete, or Report should pop up. With touch, this process is less intuitive. You need to tap and hold for a moment and then release; the context menu only appears after your touch stops.

    Xbox app for Windows 10 Messages Delete Conversation

    To kill an entire conversation thread, return to the main Messages menu by selecting the navigation icon on the left or hitting the Back button on the top-left corner of the app. Now you can repeat the same process to bring up the context menu; either right-click on the thread or tap and hold briefly. Now you can delete the conversation or block the other party.

    Xbox app for Windows 10 Friends Activity Feed

    Managing Xbox Activity Feed items on Windows 10

    The Xbox One introduced a new feature called the Activity Feed. The feed shares your significant actions like Achievement unlocks, video and screenshot shares, etc. with all of your friends and followers. To view this feed on Xbox One, select the Friends app, My Profile, and then scroll right to the Activity Feed. You can see a feed made up of your friends' accomplishments by launching scrolling to the right from the Friends app. Friends can like, comment on, or share items on each other's feeds. It's fun!

    On the Xbox Windows 10 app, your personal feed items appear below your profile on the Home screen. You can share and comment on your stuff. To see your friends' feed items, select the Home icon on the left side of the app's navigation menu. Comment and share at your leisure.

    Xbox app for Windows 10 Activity Alerts

    Few of us scroll through our feeds to check for likes and responses from friends. Thankfully, the app catalogs these responses under Activity Alerts. Select the globe icon (just below Messages) from the navigation menu to view these Alerts.

    Xbox app for Windows 10  Activity Alerts Delete Item

    Some of the items on your Activity Alerts page (such as friend adds) can't be deleted, but the likes and comments can be. Just tap or click on a like or comment to view it. Then select the Trash icon to delete it.

    Have you used the Windows 10 Xbox app to manage your messages or Activity Feed yet? Let us know!

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    Xbox Live is arguably the best internet gaming service around and has been since it launched. But just like anything else that's connected to the internet, it will have some flaws. Perhaps one of it's biggest are that now and then you'll find yourself receiving spam messages or messages from 9-year-old who uses 'your mom' as the punchline to all of his jokes. Well whichever situation you fall victim to, we're here to teach you to report it and stop it all together using the new Xbox app on Windows 10.

    How to report spam messages

    Using the Xbox app one Windows 10 is probably the easiest way to report spam. It just takes a couple of straightforward steps and then you're done.

    1. Open up the Xbox app

    Type in Xbox in the search bar and it should be the top option. Click it to open the app.

    2. Go to your messages

    Once, the app is open, and you're on the dashboard of the app, navigate your way to where that spammy message hides.

    3. How to initiate a report

    Here you will see two sides. The left shows who you have messages from while the right will show the threaded messages with the selected person from the left. So choose who the spam message is from, and then once you see the spam message right click it. A drop-down menu will appear with three options. Click report.

    4. Submitting your report

    Once you've clicked report a pop-up menu will appear asking why are you reporting this person. Here is where you type in why you're reporting the person. Once finished, click Report to Xbox.

    How to stop spam messages from ever happening

    You have officially reported the behavior to the Xbox Authorities! That being said, this won't stop spam messages altogether, but we do have a handy trick that will.

    1. Navigate to settings

    While in the Xbox app, click on the gear on the left-hand side. This action will take you to your settings.

    2. Change your privacy

    Once you are on the settings page and under the 'General' tab, you should see the words Privacy. Underneath it, it tells you that if you want to change your privacy settings you must change them on the website. Click that link.

    3. Stop the messages from strangers

    Once the link is clicked, it will open up your browser and prompt you to log into your Microsoft account. Once you've done so, you will be presented with a dull looking screen that says Privacy and Online. While on this page, your are defaulted to the Privacy tab. Underneath this tab is three headers; [your gamertag] can, Others can, and Microsoft can. Scroll down to Others can.

    The second option underneath Others can should read: Communicate with voice and text (Xbox 360: Voice and Text). Next to this you will have three options; Everybody, Friends, and Block. If you want to get rid of spam messages from here on out, select Friends then scroll to the bottom of the page and click 'Save'.

    This action allows you to chat with friends via messaging but eliminates all messages from people that aren't your friends, that should eliminate all spam. However, if your friend falls into a spam trap and sends spam to you, you will receive it. This is when you use the steps from above to report that spam message.

    If you think this guide is helpful, we have many more posts like this in our Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks page.

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    The Xbox app on Windows 10 is a huge deal for gamers and hardcore PC users alike since it allows everyone to take screenshots as well as record video of any past actions on the OS. However, remembering the keyboard shortcuts for these actions can become a headache, not to speak of the way some make you play Twister with your fingers. Well, lo and behold, you can actually change the keyboard shortcuts to your own liking. Here's how.

    1. Open up that Xbox app

    Type in Xbox in the search bar and it should be the top option. Click it to open the app.

    2. Navigate your way to the settings

    Once the app is open, look on the left-hand side for a gear or cog and click it to open the settings.

    3. Game DVR

    When in settings, there are two tabs up top; General and Game DVR. Click on Game DVR. This is your one-stop shop for all things that allow you to record gameplay.

    4. Changing your keyboard shortcuts

    Once in the Game DVR tab, you will notice a header titled Keyboard Shortcuts which is exactly what we are looking for. Here, it shows you what the existing keyboard shortcuts are for Open Game bar, Record that, Start/stop recording, Take a screenshot, and show/hide recording timer. I suggest that you try these out so you know exactly what they do and if they're important to you.

    For the ones that are important to you and that you would like to change the keyboard shortcut for, click the gray area next to it and enter your keyboard shortcut. For example, I know I will only use the middle three options so I'm only going to change those. To make things super easy, I'd change them to something like ctrl + alt + 1 and work my way to 3.

    5. The most important step of them all

    Click SAVE. Otherwise all your precious keyboard shortcuts that you think will work, will not work whatsoever.

    Once you've saved your settings, hop on over to the dashboard and test out your new shortcuts. If they work, you should see a nifty little notification stating so.

    DISCLAIMER: Not all apps and games support these new features. So if you find yourself hitting the keyboard shortcuts and nothing happens, more than likely that app/game doesn't support it. One big omission is Microsoft Edge. You can still use prt sc to take a screenshot, but it will take a screenshot of your entire screen and not just the app like the Xbox screenshot action does.

    If you think this guide is helpful, we have many more posts like this in our Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks page.

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    MacBook Pro with Windows 10

    Although the majority of people using Windows 10 are current Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, we cannot forget the Apple brigade using OS X. Indeed, in the U.S. Apple laptops are consistently a best seller, which raises the question: Should they install Windows 10?

    The answer is yes, and not just because we think Windows 10 is a superior OS (granted we are biased, so grain of salt). Indeed, the real reason is any Mac user can simply download the Windows 10 ISO file and join the Microsoft world for free. I detailed this ability yesterday, and it was a build up to this article.

    Why Windows?

    Apple knows the allure of Windows and PCs, which is why they build Boot Camp right into the OS. For those who do not know, Boot Camp lets OS X users create a partition and install Windows directly on a dual-boot system. Seeing as that Apple hardware is just a refined (and pricey) PC, any modern MacBook can run Windows.

    One of the main reasons Mac users want to use Windows is for the superior gaming experience. Additionally, there are still many Windows-only desktop apps that some users may want or need to run. Finally, there is just the allure. Windows 10 is making many headlines these days and what better way to nab some Apple fans than with a (virtually) free new operating system?

    Apple makes the process of installing Windows 8 or even Windows 10 very comfortable. In this video, I'll show you how in about 45 minutes, you can load Microsoft's latest OS on any modern MacBook.

    In this case, we are using a 15-inch mid-2015 MacBook Pro with 256 GB of storage and Intel graphics.

    How to Install Windows 10 on a MacBook

    Installing Windows 10 on a new MacBook Pro is very easy. You need two things to get started: a USB drive with at least 4 GB of space and the Windows 10 ISO.

    Of course, you should also back up OS X just in case.

    1. Get the Windows 10 ISO

    In OS X, launch your preferred web browser and head to Microsoft's website to download Windows 10 ISO:

    You can now pick your version. Most users should pick Windows 10 or Windows 10 Single Language ISOs. ( Note: The KN and N versions just have reduced (non-baked in) media capabilities due to legal challenges in South Korea and the European Commission from a ruling in 2004. They are best to skip.)

    2. Open up Boot Camp

    Once you have downloaded the Windows 10 ISO, you want to open up Boot Camp. Boot Camp walks you through the process, including formatting the USB drive and installing the ISO files to it.

    Remember that USB drive is formatted during the process, so remove any personal files that you do not want to delete.

    You can also read iMore's great guide on using Boot Camp for more detailed instructions!

    3. Set the partition size

    During the process, you are asked to set the partition to where Windows 10 will be installed. You can leave the majority to OS X if that is your primary OS, or give 200 GB to Windows 10. You can also split it evenly.

    Recall, you cannot later resize the Windows 10 partition so think this through. Otherwise, you need to use a third party app to adjust the partition or through Boot Camp, delete the Window installation and start all over.

    4. Rebooting and Setup

    Once you have the partition set, the computer reboots automatically. Very suddenly, in fact. You should hear the famous Apple 'gong' sound and then you will see a black screen for what may seem like an uncomfortably long time.

    Do not panic as you soon will see Microsoft's progress indicator on your display.

    You'll notice that text is very tiny due to the Windows drivers not yet scaling. We'll fix this later. The OS installer walks you through the rest.

    5. Format the Partition

    Once the Windows installer loads, you need first to choose the right partition to install the new OS. This step is critical as you could accidently format your OS X partition if you are not careful.

    Make sure you choose the Bootcamp partition. In this case, it is easy as it is the last one, and it matches the 200 GB I allocated during the initial setup. There is a small error here as the installer needs to format the partition before it can install Windows. Make sure you are on the right partition, take a deep breath, and hit 'format'. Once completed, you can now hit Next to begin installation of Windows 10.

    6. No product key? No problem

    Remember, if you do not have a Windows product key, you can skip entering it and still install the OS. You can use Windows 10 without buying it, you just cannot customize the look and you have a watermark on the lower right-hand corner.

    You do not need to Activate Windows 10 to install it, but this is how you can activate later

    The Windows 10 installer asks for a product key twice. Once before installation, and once after. Both times you can hit 'skip this for now' and proceed with the install.

    You can always buy a Windows 10 license later, just see the above article for a how-to.

    6. Hands-off

    Installation can take upwards of 15-20 minutes, and the computer reboots a few times as it installs drivers and configures the apps. You have to agree to the usual terms and services before the OS installs.

    The computer also reboots and continues to install the apps in the background before it loads Windows 10 for the first time.

    7. Windows 10 is here!

    After a few reboots, Windows 10 loads on the MacBook. Windows Boot Camp should now load and will you have to agree to have it installed. This app unpacks and installs the necessary drivers for Wi-Fi, the trackpad, and keyboard, so let it do its thing.

    You can find Boot Camp in the taskbar area for later use. Using this app you can reboot back into OS X and do some minor configurations to the keyboard and trackpad.

    8. Fix the Display

    The screen scaling is off by default on this installation, so you want to fix that before going any further. Here is how:

    1. All Settings (tap the text bubble in the taskbar, or just type in Settings in the search bar)
    2. System
    3. Display
    4. Move the slider to 200% (recommended)
    5. Log out and back in again

    Now the Retina display should make Windows 10 viewable.

    9. Update the OS

    Although you are downloading the latest version of Windows 10, you want to do an immediate update for a few reasons. You get the most recent security updates, and you also get the necessary Intel Iris Pro graphics drivers for the computer. This update fixes any graphics stuttering you may have noticed.

    1. All Settings
    2. Update & Security
    3. Windows Update
    4. Check for updates

    Once installed, you need to reboot the OS for everything to take effect.

    10. Update Windows Apps

    In Windows 10 many of the core apps like Groove Music, MSN News, Weather, and more are Windows Store apps. Just like your smartphone, these get updated through the Windows Store. You can watch the video above to see how to initiate a manual update.

    1. Open the Store app
    2. Tap the user icon at the top
    3. Download
    4. Check for updates

    This step is important as the Store updates around 25 apps, including some behind the scenes ones. The Store app gets an update. This reason is why the Store app may suddenly close. Do not panic, it did not crash. Just reload it and it should continue updating any remaining apps.

    11. Reverse trackpad and mouse scrolling

    If you use OS X, you are likely accustomed to the way the trackpad scrolls. PCs though typically have reversed scrolling. You can fix that on the MacBook by using a registry modification. Directions originally found on

    1. Type Regedit and press Enter/Return in the search area on the Task Bar (lower left)
    2. Answer Yes to the security prompt
    3. In Regedit expand the folders on the left through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Enum \HID.
    4. Under HID , you'll see some folders that start with VID. Expand each VID folder to Device Parameters. (Note: only one VID folder has it, so you have to try them all.)
    5. Click each Device Parameters. If FlipFlopWheel is shown in the right pane, double-click FlipFlopWheel , change the value from 0 to 1 , and click OK.
    6. Do the same for FlipFlopHScroll.
    7. Restart Windows after having changed them all. Logging off and on does not enable this entry.

    Alternatively, you can download a free app called flipflop-windows-wheel here from GitHub that automates this task. Just download the file, run it and hit 'Flip'. Once again you need to reboot (not log off) to make the settings work.

    12. Disable Auto-brightness for the display?

    By default, Windows adjusts the display brightness automatically. It works very well, too. However, if you want to get the max brightness you need to put the display under _manual _control e.g. the keyboard function keys. Here is how to do that:

    1. All Settings
    2. System
    3. Display
    4. Toggle on or off auto screen brightness.

    I leave auto on all the time, however, even at 100% it does not max out the MacBook Pro's display unless you are under dazzling conditions. However, I prefer the aggressive display control to preserve battery life and quite frankly, it works very well.

    MacBook Pro with Windows 10

    So How Is It?

    Overall, Windows 10 runs fantastic on the MacBook Pro 2015. Battery life is great, performance is outstanding, and there is nothing that doesn't work. Even the trackpad experience is quite solid. Heck, even Cortana and the voice-activated Hey Cortana work as well.

    How to enable 'Hey Cortana' in Windows 10

    From my experience, if you wanted, you could make this a primary Windows 10 machine, albeit a very expensive one.

    However, if you are already a Mac user and are curious about Windows 10, I see no reason to not download the Windows 10 ISO and give this a shot. As a warning, older Apple hardware may have more complications, but newer devices should be A-Okay.

    More Info!

    If you are an Apple and Mac user make sure you check out our sister site iMore for all of their Windows 10 info. It is the best spot to ease your way into the Microsoft world if you mainly use OS X.

    Windows 10 on iMore – All you need to know

    Windows 10 on Mac: Help and discussion forum

    For more basic info on Windows 10, including some tips and our vast array of how-to articles, make sure you head to our main Windows 10 help page or jump into our forums!

    Windows 10 on Windows Central – All you need to know

    Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks

    Windows 10: Help and discussion forum at Windows Central

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    iTunes 12 on Windows 10

    Get the latest version of iTunes installed on your Windows machine with ease.

    So you've got a fresh install of Windows 10 and you can't give up your familiarity with iTunes? No worries, as Windows 10 is open to everyone, even those who prefer Apple's (quite dominate) music service.

    Here's the quick and easy way of getting the latest version of iTunes installed. We'll even help you make sure your music, photos, videos, and other media are identified by iTunes so you can start enjoying it right away. The process is very straightforward, and shouldn't take too long at all.

    How to download and install iTunes for Windows 10

    1. Crack open your favorite web browser (maybe even give Edge a spin).
    2. Visit
    3. Click the blue Download iTunes button in the top-right.
    4. Decide if you want to opt in to the newsletter and optionally provide location information.
    5. Double-check the system requirements to make sure your computer is up to snuff, but odds are very good that you can run iTunes just fine.

      Downloading iTunes on Windows 10
    6. Click the Download Now button.
    7. Click on the download, once it completes, to launch the installer.
    8. Choose your install directory, and let it complete the process.

    How to create an Apple ID account and log in on Windows 10

    You'll need an Apple ID to buy music, download apps, and make use of device syncing. If you haven't already made an Apple ID on your iPhone or iPad, it's possible to do so through iTunes on Windows quite easily.

    1. Click the profile silhouette near the top-right of the screen. It's just to the left of the search bar.
    2. A prompt to log in will show up. Click the Create Apple ID button below.
    3. Click Continue on the next screen, then Agree to the terms and conditions.

      Creating an Apple ID in iTunes for Windows
    4. Fill in required information, including e-mail address, security questions, and password. Optionally include a secondary e-mail address and opt in to newsletters. Click Continue when done.
    5. Fill in a billing address on the next screen, and optionally provide credit card payment information. Click Create Apple ID in the bottom-right.
    6. Check your e-mail for a verification message, and click the link provided to complete the process.

    You'll need to add your payment information later if you want to download apps or music. Here's how to do it after your Apple ID has been verified.

    Submitting payment information in iTunes

    1. Click the Apple ID silhouette in the top-right, log in, and click Account Info.
    2. Under the Apple ID Summary you'll find Payment Information. Click the Edit button to the right.
    3. On the following screen, select your payment method, input the required information, and click Done in the bottom-right.

    How to import your media library into iTunes on Windows 10

    iTunes should offer to Scan for Media the first time you launch it. Let it do its job and it'll collect together and organize all the music and compatible videos it can find on your system. If you prefer to do that some other time, or you add other media to your machine and want to bring it into iTunes later, you can do that too.

    1. Click File in the menu at the top of the iTunes window
    2. Click Add Folder to Library...
    3. Browse through your computer to where your music lives, and select it to make the addition.

      Adding media to your library

    Rinse and repeat for photos, videos, and any additional folders you want monitored.

    How to buy from iTunes in Windows 10

    Once you're logged in, you'll want to be able to buy music, TV shows, and movies in iTunes. Before getting started, you'll need to make sure your Apple ID has payment information included, as per above.

    How to buy videos from iTunes in Windows 10

    The easiest way to find something specific to download is by typing in the search bar in the top-right. If you're able to find your desired content through search, skip to step 5.

    1. Click the media icon in the top-left relating to the kind of media you're looking for, either music, movies, or TV shows. Additional options are available after clicking the three dots after these icons.
    2. Click the iTunes Store button in the center bar along the top. This will take you to the front page of the store for that type of content.
    3. Scroll down through the featured section to see popular content, or click All Genres on the right side pane to drill down into more specific types of content.

      iTunes music store in Windows 10
    4. Click the Buy button next to whatever you want to purchase. 6 Enter your Apple ID password to confirm.

    Your credit card will then be charged and your download will begin. When finished, your content will be available under My Music, My Movies, and My TV Shows. Check out how to sync your iPhone or iPad with iTunes in Windows 10 to make sure your iOS devices enjoy the new content too.

    How to subscribe to iTunes Match in Windows 10

    iTunes Match backs up your entire music collection in the cloud for access anywhere. It will scan your library and provide access to Apple's cloud-stored tunes, and if there's no match between your track and theirs, Apple will upload your music for remote access on iPhone, iPad, or other computers. Here's how to get started with it.

    iTunes Match in Windows 10

    1. In iTunes, click Account from the top menu, and click iTunes Match...
    2. Click the Subscribe button at the bottom of the following screen.
    3. Confirm your Apple ID account and password to activate your subscription.

    iTunes will then start pairing up your music with music that's available in the iTunes Store, and upload anything that isn't.

    You can disable automatic renewal, since you're billed on an annual basis, if you don't want to forget before the next payment kicks in.

    1. Click the Acccount silhouette icon in the top-right of iTunes, and click Account Info.
    2. Scroll down to iTunes in the Cloud, and next to iTunes Match, click Turn Off Auto-Renew.

    Read up more on what iTunes Match can do for you at the link below. Ultimately, this is a great way to have access to all of your music and movies all the time, without having to worry about local storage.

    More help on iTunes Match

    How to subscribe to Apple Music in Windows 10

    Apple Music more like a traditional subscription service rather than a cloud content locker. With it, you can enjoy all of the music from the expansive iTunes catalog on-demand, so long as you're willing to fork over a monthly subscription fee. Here's how you get started using it.

    Apple Music in iTunes for Windows 10

    1. Click the Music icon in the top-left of iTunes, and click For You in the middle of the same bar.
    2. Click Start 3 Month Free Trial.
    3. Click either Individual or Family, depending on how many people you want using the service.
    4. The following two screens will ask you to identify your music tastes by way of genre and artists. This will improve the quality of suggested music.

      Apple Music in iTunes for Windows 10
    5. You'll want to disable automatic renewal of Apple Music to ensure you won't be billed after the trial period ends. Click the Account silhouette icon in the top-right of iTunes, and click Account Info.
    6. Scroll down to Settings on the following screen, click Manage next to Subscriptions.
    7. Click Edit next to Apple Music Membership. On the next screen under Automatic Renewal, click Off. A pop-up window will require you to confirm turning off Automatic Renewal.

    Now you can dive into a bottomless pool of music curated by experts. Visit the For You tab again and you can start diving into available music. There's a lot more to Apple Music, but now you should be set to use it on your Windows 10 machine.

    More help on Apple Music

    That's it!

    Hopefully that covers all of the basics of using iTunes on Windows 10. If you're having trouble anywhere along the road, leave a comment here, and we'll be sure to do our best to help out. Check out the links below for additional resources.

    More Info!

    If you are an Apple and Mac user make sure you check out our sister site iMore for all of their Windows 10 info. It is the best spot to ease your way into the Microsoft world if you mainly use OS X.

    Windows 10 on iMore – All you need to know

    Windows 10 on Mac: Help and discussion forum

    For more basic info on Windows 10, including some tips and our vast array of how-to articles, make sure you head to our main Windows 10 help page or jump into our forums!

    Windows 10 on Windows Central – All you need to know

    Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks

    Windows 10: Help and discussion forum at Windows Central

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    Find Internet Explorer in Windows 10

    You might not have been aware that Internet Explorer can still be used in Windows 10. In this beginners guide we'll show you how to find it and how you can easily get to it any time you want.

    It doesn't show up under "All Apps," but that's OK, you can just use the Cortana/Search box.

    Activate Cortana either by saying "Hey Cortana, open Internet Explorer," or by typing in the box if you're not using voice or have Cortana disabled. Internet Explorer will show up immediately to be opened for use. To avoid doing this every time you want to use Internet Explorer, follow these simple steps.

    1. Type "Internet Explorer" in the Cortana/Search box. Saying "Hey Cortana, open Internet Explorer" isn't useful here.
    2. Right click on "Internet Explorer" in the Cortana/Search window.
    3. To add as a tile on your Start Menu click "Pin to Start."
    4. To keep it on your taskbar simply click "Pin to taskbar."

    Now, every time you need to use Internet Explorer it's just a click or two away.

    For more Windows 10 tips be sure to swing by our dedicated page here

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    Windows 10 password change

    The default method to sign in to your Windows 10 PC is with your Microsoft Account password. But did you know you can change the password to your account inside Windows 10 without ever going near a web browser?

    In this beginner's guide we'll show you what you need to know.

    Before proceeding, do note these steps are to change your Microsoft Account password only. Here's what you need to do:

    1. Click on the Start Menu.
    2. Open "Settings."
    3. Then click on "Accounts."
    4. In the left hand pane you now want the option labelled "Sign-in options."
    5. Under "Password" click on "Change your account password."
    6. You'll be asked to authenticate that it's you with a PIN, password or Windows Hello depending on what's set up.
    7. The box that appears will prompt you for your old password, a new password and a confirmation of a new password.

    Now, you've changed your Microsoft Account password. Just remember that you'll need to use this also on any other devices you login with this account on from now on.

    For more Windows 10 tips be sure to visit our dedicated page here

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    Windows 10

    The Start Menu coming back with Windows 10 is a big deal for a lot of people. There are a few things you can do to customize your experience, one of which is adding or removing which folders are displayed in there. By default you'll get "File Explorer" and "Settings," but there's more than that on offer.

    You just have to know where to find them. Here's what you need to know.

    1. Click on the Start Menu and open up "Settings."
    2. Then click on "Personalization."
    3. In the left hand pane you now want the option for "Start."
    4. At the bottom you'll see some text which says "Choose which folders appear on Start." Click on the text.
    5. You'll now see the list of folders that can be displayed. Set the relevant toggles to on or off depending on what you want to see.

    Alternatively you can type "Start settings" into the Cortana search box to get to step 4 directly from the desktop. But it's always good to know where things live.

    With these easy steps you can remove Settings or File Explorer if you don't want to see them or add things like Music and Pictures for quick access to your media.

    For more Windows 10 tips be sure to drop by our dedicated page here

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    Windows 10 File Explorer

    With Windows 10 being new on the market, we are covering the basics. Sure, you may be an expert already, but everyone has to start somewhere!

    When you install apps or download images to your PC, they take up space in your hard drive. You can check the amount of free space on your to make sure the computer will not run out of room. We'll show you how to do it in Windows 10. It just takes a few steps.

    1. Open File Explorer. You can use the keyboard shortcut, Windows key + E or tap the folder icon in the taskbar.
    2. Tap or click This PC from the left pane
    3. You can see the amount of free space on your hard disk under the Windows (C:) drive

    Windows 10 hard drive space

    That's it! The progress bar gives you a visual guide on how much you've used up already. Underneath that, you see the numbers. For example, my Surface Pro 3 currently has 167 GB free out of 232 GB.

    If you need extra storage, you can store your media on external USB drives, or even microSD cards if your device has a slot available like the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3. You can grab a 2TB portable external USB hard drive for less than $100 on Amazon.

    If you think this guide is helpful, we have many more posts like this in our Windows 10 help, tips and tricks page.

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    Curious to see how much you've been spending on apps or games? Checking your Windows Store purchase history on Windows 10 is fast and easy. We'll show you how in just a few steps.

    1. Open Store
    2. Tap or click the user icon on top
    3. Tap or click Purchased

    Windows Store purchase history

    That's it! The browser opens your Store purchase history. You'll need to log in to your Microsoft account. Alternatively, you can go directly to the Purchase history page without opening the Store. Your Purchase history displays the date, title, payment option, and the price. The list can be filtered by year, but it combines all purchases from your Microsoft account including purchases made from your Xbox and Windows Phone too.

    I was curious, so I copied and pasted my 2014 purchase history into Excel to see how much I spent for the year. The total came up to $544.66. How much did you spend at the Windows Store last year?

    If you think this guide is helpful, we have many more posts like this in ourWindows 10 help, tips and trickspage.

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    Windows 10 Cortana Weather

    Cortana, your personal assistant on Windows 10, can help you find things on your PC, manage your calendar, track packages, find files, chat with you, tell jokes, and more. One of its awesome features lets you check the weather anywhere. It's really simple. We'll show you how to do it in several ways.

    • If 'Hey Cortana' is enabled, simply say "Hey Cortana, what's the weather in Boston?"
    • Use the keyboard shortcut, Windows key + C, to brings up Cortana's listening mode. You can then say, "What's the weather in Seattle?"
    • If you don't want Cortana to say the weather out loud, you can simply type "Weather San Francisco" in the search form. You can also use the keyboard shortcut, Windows key + S, to open Search.

    Cortana Windows 10

    Cortana displays the current weather even if you don't press Enter. If you press Enter, Cortana also displays the five-day forecast.

    • When you're using Microsoft Edge, you can type "Weather New York" in the address bar. Cortana displays the weather underneath the search form without loading a web page.

    Cortana Weather

    If you need more detailed weather information, you can open the built-in Weather app. We've also compiled a list of the top rated weather apps for Windows 10 if you need more choices.

    Note: Cortana is currently only available for the U.S., UK, China, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Cortana is also expanding to Japan and Australia, and in English in Canada and India for those on the Windows Insider program (early access). Later this year, Cortana will be available to Windows Insiders in Brazil and Mexico, and in French in Canada as well. Read more about Cortana's cultural training and programming from Microsoft right here.

    Was this guide helpful? We have many more posts like this in ourWindows 10 help, tips and trickspage.

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    Windows 10 device manager

    Windows 10 apps can only be installed on a maximum of 10 devices at any one time. That sounds like a lot, but it will include any Windows 10 devices. Old phones and tablets you no longer have, for example, same deal when you get a new PC. The old one may still be taking up some of your allowance.

    Fortunately it's incredibly easy to keep track of and remove old devices. Here's what you need to do.

    1. Open up the "Store" app on your Windows 10 device
    2. Click on the little circle that has your account avatar in it.
    3. Click on "Settings."
    4. Under "Account," you then need to click on the text that says "Manage your devices."
    5. You'll be taken to a sign-in page. Log in with your Microsoft Account.
    6. The resulting list will show you everything currently activated for Windows 10 apps against your account. Click "Remove" next to any that you don't want any more.

    This will ensure that your 10 slots are only being taken up by computers, tablets and phones that you're currently using. Any that are removed will need re-authorizing to use Windows 10 apps from your account on again.

    For more Windows 10 tips be sure to drop by our dedicated page here

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    Microsoft is rolling out Windows 10 with the goal of having one billion devices running the new operating system within the next 2-3 years. The new version of Windows packs a ton of new features and changes that makes it a special release. Among all the new changes, OneDrive is one of the features Microsoft hopes users will rely on, to store their files in the cloud.

    In Windows 8.x, OneDrive was integrated into the operating system through an app that you couldn't uninstall, and settings were easily accessible from PC settings. Through the modern app, users were able to upload easily their files and folders, and even share them with other people without having to use the web interface of OneDrive.

    In Windows 10, the software giant is removing the app and the ability to configure the cloud storage service from the Settings app. This is in favor of a deeper OneDrive integration inside the operating system with a user interface that is very similar to the desktop version of the app. However, in its current state, sharing a folder or file has become a task somewhat harder to accomplish, as such in this new Windows 10 tutorial, we'll go through the steps to successfully share a OneDrive folder and files with other people.

    Sharing a folder in OneDrive

    While inside Windows 10, sharing a folder using OneDrive can be done in a number of ways. If you simply need to share files, such pictures, videos, and documents, you can simply create a folder in the root directory, or on any location inside OneDrive. Then, right-click folder, and select Share a OneDrive link.

    This process will automatically share the folder in question with a default view permission and the unique link to access the folder will get copied to the clipboard.

    The link is a standard secure URL. This means that when you share it via email or by other means, the shared folder will open in the web interface of OneDrive using the web browser.

    You'll note which folder is shared because a blue icon will appear in the bottom-left corner. Now, it's worth pointing out that sharing a folder using this method will allow anyone with the link to access the folder and its content.

    If you want to control who can access a OneDrive folder, you can right-click the shared folder and click the More OneDrive sharing options (refer to previous image). Once you click this option, your default web browser will open OneDrive to the sharing options of the particular shared folder.

    From the Share options, you'll notice that you have the option to Invite people. On the right, you can invite one or more people to access the shared folder and its content.

    Then there is the Recipients can only view link. Clicking the link will unveil additional sharing options that you can set. The options are self-explanatory, for example, you can choose Recipients can only view or Recipients can edit. Also, you can restrict if you want to allow recipients to access files with or without a Microsoft account.

    Once you have you have selected the setting you want, click the Share button.

    It's worth pointing out that if you try to share a folder from inside Windows 10 with the Share a OneDrive link, even though you configured specific share permissions to a folder with one or multiple people, the folder will continue to be accessible as "view only" to anyone that obtains the share link. If you only want specific people to access the folder and its content, you have to make sure you navigate to the Shared with, in the Share options, click Anyone with this view link, and click the Remove link. As you can see in the image below.

    A few things you need to know about sharing folders with OneDrive

    Additionally, if you set the sharing permission to edit, the other person can also re-share the same folder with other people, which can be a security concern for some users. However, you can always go back to the Share settings to remove anyone you do not want to access the shared folder.

    It would be nice if folder owners could get a notification when someone else shares a folder they don't technically own, but it's not the case. However, recently Microsoft started rolling out a new feature that notifies owners that a shared file has been changed. On mobile devices, the OneDrive app shows real-time notification, plus those who shared a folder will also get a daily summary email with details on who and when files were edited.

    Another thing I have noticed is that when you share a folder, you are also sharing the folder path, as such be careful you don't reveal unnecessary information in the path. So, for example, avoid creating a folder called "People I don't like" and inside of that folder creating another folder called "Work files", because once you share the folder it will look like Files > People I don't like > Work files.

    One nifty feature when you share a folder is the ability for the recipient to click Add to my OneDrive to make the folder available on any device. This means that the folder and its content can be accessed not only on the web but also using File Explorer in Windows and recipients can also make the folder available offline. (Keep in mind that this feature only works when you set the edit permission, not with view only permission.)

    It's important to remember that sharing a folder in OneDrive is not the same as creating a local share in Windows. Once you share a folder it won't be available in the network, it will only be available through OneDrive.

    Furthermore, if you ever want to stop sharing a folder, deleting the folder will not stop the share. To stop a share, go to OneDrive online, right-click the folder in question, select Share, under Shared with, select a person and from the settings, click Stop sharing. Then do the same for the other members of the folder. Once you have removed everyone and links shared, you can safely delete the folder.

    Sharing directly from the web

    Of course, you can always sign into your OneDrive account and share a new folder from the web interface. You'll simply need to right-click the folder and select Share, then you'll have access to all the share options.

    Wrapping things up

    As we look today sharing folders and files is not a very hard task. The main thing is that you need to know where to look to set the right permissions.

    OneDrive without a doubt is the best cloud storage service anyone can get on a computer running Windows 10 and any device that connects to a Windows machine, like smartphones and tablets. It's secure, easy to configure, and very flexible, but only on the web. The cloud storage service still needs work inside Windows 10. We should be able to configure shared folders and other options within Windows and not having to jump to the web interface, something that was possible to do in Windows 8.x.

    Do you use OneDrive to share files with other people or you use simple email attachments? Let us know your experience in the comments below.

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    Windows 10 notifications

    The Action Center in Windows 10 lets you keep track of all your notifications from various apps. As you install more applications, you'll want to customize your notifications so that you don't get overwhelmed. We'll show you how.

    1. Open Settings (Keyboard shortcut: Windows + I)
    2. Go to Settings> Notifications & actions

    From here you can:

    • Turn on/off tips about Windows
    • Turn on/off app notifications
    • Turn on/off notifications on the lock screen
    • Turn on/off alarms, reminders, and incoming VOIP calls on the lock screen
    • Turn on/off notifications while presenting

    Windows 10 notifications

    Remember, if you want to temporarily disable notifications, you can quickly do it with Quick Actions using the Quiet Hours button.

    If you need more specific controls, scroll down for the notification settings for each app. You can completely turn on/off the notifications for each app by using the toggle next to the app's name. You can further customize each notification by tapping or clicking an app name.

    Windows 10 notifications

    You can choose to:

    • Turn on/off notification banner
    • Turn on/off sound when a notification arrives.

    Windows 10 notifications

    Customizing your Windows 10 notifications with these options give you more control over what you see or hear. For example, you can have a notification appear in Action Center for Twitter, but not necessarily have it pop up as a live banner. Likewise, you can have the notification arrive as a banner, but it will remain silent with no audible alert. This works really well for something like email, where you might want to see what has arrived but not get a notification banner for each new email, possibly disrupting you from work.

    Are you customizing the way you receive notifications, or are you happy with the default options? We'd love to hear your setup.

    If you think this guide is helpful, we have many more posts like this in our Windows 10 help, tips and tricks page.

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    OneDrive Groove Music folder

    In much the same way you can with some competing music services, Microsoft's Groove will let you play your own music from the cloud. You can add your MP3s to OneDrive and play them on your PC, tablet, phone, and Xbox. It's really simple. Upload your music files to the "Music" folder in OneDrive and that music will magically appear in the Groove Music apps for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, the Xbox Music app on Windows Phone 8.1, as well as on your Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Watch our how-to video for more details.

    Here are the 3 simple steps:

    1. Open your OneDrive Music folder from the web or via the OneDrive folder on your Windows 10 PC.
    2. Upload your favorite MP3s from your hard drive to the OneDrive Music folder.
    3. Open your Groove Music application on your PC, Windows Phone (Xbox Music for Windows Phone 8.1), Xbox, or the web with the same Microsoft Account you used in OneDrive. Your OneDrive music files will now be listed as songs in your collection.

    If you are not seeing your files, make sure you have accepted the Xbox Terms of Use. You can add music files in MP3, M4A (AAC), and WMA formats. You can currently add up to 50,000 songs to your collection.

    It's also worth noting that only songs in the Music folder on OneDrive are added to the collection. All music on OneDrive saved in a different folder location will not be added to the Groove Music collection. If you want to remove songs from the collection, take out the files from the Music folder.

    For more Windows 10 tips be sure to drop by our dedicated page here

    Originally published March 2015, updated August 2015

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  • 08/12/15--08:44: Help & How-to
  • New Windows Phone, Surface Pro 3, or Xbox? We're here to help you get the most out of your Microsoft device. Here's where you'll find helpful guides and how-tos for your stuff. We'll show you simple things like how to take a screenshot on Windows Phone and offer more advanced guides for things like moving your contacts from Gmail to

    Don't see a help guide or how-to on our site? Just ask us, and we'll make it for you! Otherwise, you can always ask our resource community forums yourself!

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    Roll Back Windows Phone

    Microsoft recently made available a new preview of Windows 10 Mobile (build 10512) through the Fast ring of updates with a bunch of new changes.

    Although, now more users can get access to Windows 10 Mobile preview and get their hands on the new preview of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, Microsoft warns that there is a significant number of bugs in this particular build for Windows phones, including a bug blocks two-factor authentication.

    So, if you happen to run into any problems or you simply are done testing the operating system, Microsoft has an application called "Windows Phone Recovery Tool" for PCs that will allow you to rollback to Windows Phone 8.1 from Windows 10 Mobile.

    Windows Phone recovery tool

    Below you'll find all the steps to help you go back safely to your previous version of the mobile operating system:

    How to roll back from Windows 10

    1. Download and install the latest version of the Windows Phone Recovery Tool to your PC.
    2. Launch the recovery tool and connect your phone using a USB cable. If your handset isn't detected, click My phone was not detected to force the application to rescan for and detect the phone.
    3. In the next screen, click your phone, wait a few seconds, and you'll see your phone information and the software available for download to roll back to a previous operating system. To continue, click Reinstall software.
    4. Next, the recovery tool will warn you to backup all your data, settings, and apps before continuing, as the rolling back process will delete all the previous data in your phone. Click Continue to proceed.
    5. Now, the recovery tool will download the image from Microsoft's servers and replace Windows 10 Mobile that is currently on your phone. The process will take some time depending on your internet connection and the hardware in question.

    After the tool completes the process, you will receive a message saying "Operation successfully completed". At this point, the phone will reboot and you will have to go through the Out-of-Box-Experience, like on any version of Windows. Then, you'll need to sign-in with your Microsoft account, select to restore your phone from backup (if this is something you prefer), and after a few additional questions, you'll be back to Windows Phone 8.1.

    As you can see, Microsoft is making it very convenient to roll back to Windows Phone 8.1 from Windows 10 Mobile preview, and the company is starting to add support for non-Lumia devices, which is a big plus. So you don't have to spend time searching on the internet for different tools to go back to the previous operating system.

    However, you have to remember that the operating system is far from complete. Not only will you find issues, but you might also stumble upon problems trying to roll back, as I hear many users reporting issues restoring Windows Phone 8.1 on their Lumia 930. As such, you should avoid using Windows 10 Mobile preview as your primary mobile operating system, at least until it hits RTM.

    Did you have to roll back from Windows 10 Mobile to Windows Phone 8.1? If so, what was the reason? Let us know your experience in the comments below.

    Originally published April 2015, updated May 2015

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    Windows 10 touchpad shortcuts

    Windows 10 has touchpad gestures that everyone should know. You'll need a precision touchpad to use them all, but experiment to see which ones work on your PC. We'll show you how the gestures look on a Surface Pro 3.

    1. Scroll: Place two fingers on the touchpad and slide horizontally or vertically.
    2. Zoom in or out: Place two fingers on the touchpad and pinch in or stretch out.
    3. Show more commands (similar to right-clicking): Tap the touchpad with two fingers, or press in the lower-right corner.
    4. Drag windows: Double-tap and drag the menu bar (top of app window)
    5. See all open windows: Place three fingers on the touchpad and swipe them away from you.
    6. Show Task view: If you're viewing all open windows (from the step above), swipe up again with three fingers.
    7. Show the desktop: Place three fingers on the touchpad and swipe them towards yourself.
    8. Switch between open windows: Place three fingers on the touchpad and swipe right or left.
    9. Cortana/Action Center: Tap the touchpad with three fingers.

    How to check if your PC has a precision touchpad

    Precision touchpads are a new kind of touchpad designed for PCs that run Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows 10. They're great for using a variety of touch gestures to get around your PC quickly. To find out if your PC has a precision touchpad, go to Settings > Devices > Mouse & touchpad. Look for the message, "Your PC has a precision touchpad." You can also change or disable gestures here.

    If you think this guide is helpful, we have many more posts like this in our Windows 10 help, tips and tricks page.

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    For the last few weeks, Windows Central has been documenting and explaining various tips for Windows 10 meant for novices and those new to Windows. Today, we are taking a look at a more advanced tip that some enthusiasts may like. Once again, this is a carry-over from previous iterations of Windows so it is not new, but like 'God Mode' many people may not know about it or have simply forgotten the feature.

    In Windows 10 and under an administrative account you can specify which cores (of your presumably multi-core processor) gets used for explicit apps.

    Why would you want to do this setting? In this regard, it is only for the power user as most consumer-level users either won't reap the benefits or may even make things worse. The longer explanation is assigning specific cores to an app can, in some cases, improve overall system effectiveness. For instance, if you are doing some heavy rendering, compiling, or video work, this ensures that part of the processor is always dedicated to the task.

    Looking at Wikipedia, this is what they say on the matter for those more technically inclined:

    "Processor affinity takes advantage of the fact that some remnants of a process that was run on a given processor may remain in that processor's memory state (for example, data in the CPU cache) after another process is run on that CPU. Scheduling that process to execute on the same processor could result in an efficient use of process by reducing performance-degrading situations such as cache misses. A practical example of processor affinity is executing multiple instances of a non-threaded application, such as some graphics-rendering software."

    Mind you, Windows, and by extension Windows 10, is actually very good at managing your processor cores and allocating resources where it is needed. However, this is Windows, so you are the master and you can override things when you want.

    Your best bet:Proceed with caution and take notes on what you change so you can easily revert if things get wonky.

    How to designate cores to a particular app

    1. Make sure you are using the Administrator account or have Admin privileges

    2. Right click on the Task Bar and choose Task Manager (or type in Task Manager in the search bar)

    3. Once Task Manager is launched choose More Details near the bottom

    4. Choose the app (that is already running) that you would like to designate cores for

    5. Right-click on the app and select Go to details

    6. Under details again right-click on the app and now choose Set Affinity

    7. In the Processor Affinity windows uncheck the CPU cores but leave the ones you want to set core affinity for

    8. Once done, click OK to save the settings

    9. Close the Task Manager box and the effect is immediate

    10. Restarting the computer will revert the changes

    Wrap up

    Overall, this is a simple change that is very easy to implement. The real question is, Do you need to do it?

    If you are considering this modification, you likely know why you want to do it. However, for regular users you likely won't get much value.

    Do you have specific instances where setting core affinity for specific apps is beneficial? How do you use this setup and for which apps? Share with us your experience in comments!

    If you think this guide is helpful, we have many more posts like this in our Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks page. Or try our massive Windows 10 Forums at Windows Central for more help!

    Thanks, @Nabkawe5, for the tip!

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