How To Turn Off Birthday Alerts In Windows 10

Windows 10 tells you when it's your friend's birthday. It does so on the lock screen as well as in the Calendar app. You may or may not like Windows 10 giving you these friendly little reminders to wish your friend a happy birthday. Windows 10 gets quite zealous with its reminders. It doesn't limit itself to just friends but will even alert you when a business contact has a birthday. Here's how you can turn off birthday alerts in Windows 10, and a quick look at where they come from. Read More

Find Which DLL Files Are In Use In Windows

Windows apps and processes access a type of file called 'DLL' files. A DLL file, if corrupt or missing, will often prevent an app or process from running correctly. At times, an app or process may fail entirely if the DLL file it needs is absent. The point is, these files are important even though you never run or download them. LoadedDllsView is a free Windows app that shows you which DLL files are in use at any given point. You can select a DLL file and view which app or process is accessing it. Here's how it works. Read More

How To Make Cortana Use Your Default Browser In Windows 10

Microsoft has been very restrictive with Cortana. Cortana does not honor your default browser settings and sends all web searches to Microsoft Edge and it isn't just Cortana that does this. A lot of links still open in Edge with no way to stop them. EdgeDeflector is a tiny Windows app that fixes this. It forces Cortana to use your default browser and it also redirects all other links from Edge to your browser of choice. Here's how you can make Cortana use your default browser in Windows 10. Read More

How To Make Cortana Use Google Search In Chrome And Firefox

Cortana is one of the major features introduced in Windows 10 and as predicted, it is tied to Bing. Everyone knew Cortana would use Bing and Edge by default but we were optimistic that it would come with a customization tool that would let us use our browser and search engine of choice. Now that Windows 10 has been released, we realize the error of our ways. If you set a different browser as your default browser in Windows 10, Cortana will route all web searches to it but it will still use Bing. Here's you can make Cortana use Google in Chrome and Firefox. Read More

How To Get A New Windows Spotlight Image For Your Lock Screen In Windows 10

The Windows Spotlight images on your lock screen are pretty awesome. They change daily but there is no way to dictate how often Windows 10 will get a new Windows Spotlight image for your lock screen. You might actually be stuck with the same image for days on end if Windows 10 doesn't refresh the image. There's no way for you to request a new image; you have to wait until Windows Spotlight fetches a new one itself. If you've been stuck with the same image on your lock screen for too long though, there is a way to get a new Windows Spotlight image for your lock screen. Here's how. Read More

How To Set The Windows Spotlight Image As Your Wallpaper In Windows 10

You can customize the the Windows 10 lock screen image. You have the option to set an image of your choice as the lock screen background or set up a slideshow. A third option lets you enable 'Windows Spotlight' which finds photos from Bing and sets them as your wallpaper. They're stored locally on your system as temporary files. If you really like a photo, you can hunt it down and set it as your desktop wallpaper. If you'd like to automate this, give Lock Screen Reflection a try. It's a free Windows utility that will set the Windows Spotlight image as your wallpaper. It works only if you have Windows Spotlight turned on for the lock screen. Here's how you can set the Windows Spotlight image as your wallpaper, both manually and via an app. Read More

How To Get New Artwork For Your Desktop Wallpaper Daily

How often do you change your desktop wallpaper? Do you set a new wallpaper routinely or just change it when you find a really cool HD image? Finding new wallpapers isn't easy, especially if you need HD images. Windows 10 users have Windows Spotlight to turn to and macOS has some really great HD wallpapers by default. Both Windows Spotlight and the default macOS wallpapers are mostly photographs. If your tastes lean more towards the artistic side, Artpip is an app you should try out. It finds artwork and sets it as your wallpaper. You can choose how often the app will get new artwork for your desktop wallpaper. You can also exclude certain mediums e.g. sketches from being set as the wallpaper. Read More

How To Enable Dynamic Lock In Windows 10

Windows 10 supports multiple options for keeping your PC secure. You have three types of passwords that you can set; alphanumeric, PIN, and picture. If you have a supported device, you can set up Windows Hello and train it to recognize your face. The Creators Update for Windows 10 will introduce a new locking mechanism for your PC; Dynamic Lock. It's meant for users who forget to lock their device and it works with paired Bluetooth devices. When a paired Bluetooth device, specifically a phone, is no longer nearby, Windows locks itself after 30 seconds. Here's how to enable Dynamic Lock in Windows 10. Read More

How To Name Virtual Desktops In Windows 10

Virtual desktops in Windows 10 are one of the major highlights of the operating system. You can create as many virtual desktops as you like; they have keyboard shortcut support and moving app windows between them is easy. One shortcoming of vrtual desktops in Windows 10 is the lack visual indicators to identify them. Win 10 Virtual Desktop Enhancer is one of the best virtual desktop customization apps available. It's a free open source Windows app that lets you add a number indicator for the current desktop to your system tray. Additionally, it lets you set different wallpapers for each desktop. Most importantly though, it lets you name virtual desktops in Windows 10. Here's how it works. Read More

How To Turn Off The Startup Sound In Windows 10

Operating Systems like to announce when they have just been booted. They do so with a short chime that, if it's the middle of the night, can wake everyone in the house. One way to quite this sound is to plug headphones into your system or mute it when you shut it down. Of course, both require you to proactively do something to counter it. It would be much easier to just turn it Off. Windows has had a way to do this since Windows XP, possibly even before that. It's not different now; you can turn off the startup sound in Windows 10 via the default sound settings. Here's how. Read More

How To Pay Your iTunes Subscriptions From The Desktop

The great thing about services that have iOS and/or Android apps is that they integrate payment via iTunes or the Google Play Store. If you're trying to subscribe to a service that won't accept your mode of payment, iTunes and Google Play Store are an easy way to circumvent this. At times, iTunes simply refuses to accept your payment method despite it being valid. The safest bet in either case is to use the iTunes app on your desktop to make a payment. Here's how you can pay your iTunes subscriptions from the desktop. Read More

How To Reset The System Volume On Startup [Windows]

When using a PC, we don't keep the volume set to a specific level. As per need, we might increase or decrease it, or mute the system altogether. Windows doesn't do anything to the volume and leaves it up to you to manage. Start Volume is a portable Windows utility that will reset the system volume on startup. You define what level the volume should be set, and the utility takes care of the rest. It is important to mention that it works only when you reboot your system. If you're PC is coming out of sleep or hibernation, the app will do nothing. Read More

How To Read ePub Files In Microsoft Edge In Windows 10

The Windows 10 Creators Update will add an eBook reader to Microsoft Edge. You will be able to buy and read eBooks in Edge. In addition to supporting eBooks, Edge will also be able to read ePub files. The files must not be protected in order for you to open them in Edge. Microsoft Edge has a reasonably good eBook reading interface and ePub files make use of it. Here's how you can read ePub files in Microsoft Edge. Read More

How To Free Up Disk Space With Storage Sense In Windows 10

Internal hard disks are large enough that the average user won't ever run out of space. Movies and the like are usually stored on external drives so that you only have documents or apps taking up space. That said, junk files can still accumulate on your drive over time and end up consuming significant storage space. Windows 10 has a new feature coming in the Creators Update called Storage Sense that proactively deletes junk files. Storage Sense in Windows 10 deletes temporary files saved by apps and it removes all items from the Recycle Bin that have been there for more than 30 days. Here's how it works. Read More

Disable Fast Startup In Windows 10 For A Proper Shut Down

Windows 10 enables something called 'Fast start' by default. By the sound of it, Fast startup seems like a good thing. It's meant to make your PC boot faster after you shut it down. Given the hardware capabilities of PCs today, people do not shut down their PCs often. Of course, many users still believe you should turn your PC off. The benefits of this are a separate debate but if you prefer to shut your PC down and you're running Windows 10 with Fast startup enabled, you aren't really shutting your PC down. The Shut down button puts your system in a state that is a combination of hibernation and a full shut down. To get it to truly shut down, you have to disable Fast startup in Windows 10. Here's how. Read More

How To Select Fill Color For A Centered Wallpaper In Windows 10

Windows has quite a few customization options for the wallpaper. They've been a part of Windows since Windows 98 though they grew somewhat restricted in Windows 10. One feature to go missing from the wallpaper customization options was the ability to select the fill color for centered wallpaper images. This feature is making a comeback in the Creators Update for Windows 10. The Windows Insider Build 15014 already has the feature up and working. You can now use either Hex or RGB codes to select the fill color for a centered wallpaper in Windows 10. Here's how. Read More

How To Buy And Read eBooks In Windows 10

The Windows Store will soon house ebooks that you can buy and read on a Windows 10 PC. The feature has already surfaced on the Windows 10 Insider Build 15014. The Windows Store has a very modest collection of eBooks already available for purchase though it might only be visible to users on the Insider program. The eBooks are bought in the Windows Store but will be read in Microsoft Edge. There isn't, at present, a dedicated eBook app and Edge is filling in for it. Here's how you can buy and read eBooks in Windows 10. Read More

How To Create Notes From The Action Center In Windows 10

The Action Center has buttons for quick settings one of which is for 'Notes'. If you click this button, OneNote opens and you can jot down a quick note. Even though OneNote is a Microsoft product, it doesn't integrate that well in Windows 10. Action Note on the other hand integrates exceptionally well. It is a free note taking app available in the Windows Store that lets you create notes from the Action center and pin as many of them to the Start menu as you want. Read More

How To Add Apps For Websites In Windows 10

Smartphones rely on dedicated apps to deliver a superior user experience on a smaller device. You could never use Facebook on your Android phone or iPhone if you were forced to do so via your mobile browser. Dedicated apps for services like Netflix and social networks like Facebook are becoming a thing on desktops as well. An official desktop app for both Facebook and Twitter has been released for Windows 10. The Creators Update for Windows 10 comes with a new feature to make using these apps all the more convenient. It's called 'Apps for websites' and it lets you open specific websites in the apps you have installed. For example, you can have all Facebook links you open in your browser automatically open in the Facebook app. Here's how to add apps for websites in Windows 10. Read More