Set The Start Menu Color Based On Your Desktop Background In Windows 10

start menu colors
As far as build no 10130 goes, Windows 10 has seemingly removed the ability to set any color as your desktop background and is instead limiting you to choosing one of the presets. That said, there's a really neat feature for setting the best color possible for the Start Menu based on the image you have as your wallpaper. Unfortunately, it's positioned so you're more likely to find it by accident instead of on purpose but the feature itself sets it up so that the Start menu will be more visually appealing. Here's where you can turn it on. Read More

View Which Apps Have Access To Your Webcam In Windows 10

Microsoft has really revamped how it presents settings to users and if you've been using the various preview builds that have been released this past year you might have noticed that the company is making a concentrated effort to simplify things. You have the Settings app where you can find most feature settings that an average user might need but the control panel is still alive and well for anyone looking to dig deeper. In Windows 10, an app needs your explicit permission before it can access your camera (or microphone) and the new settings app provides a very simple way to manage which apps have access to the camera. You can easily edit the list and revoke permissions for an app with a few clicks. Here's how. Read More

How To Sideload Apps In Windows 10

Microsoft has finally seen the utility an app store; a certified place where users of its desktop and/or mobile operating system can find apps that are safe to download and do not come packaged with bloatware. An official app store helps developers as much as it helps ordinary users since it gives them a place that many users will turn to when searching for an app. They audience they get can help introduce their seemingly obscure apps. That said, Windows users are in a transition phase; we love the Windows Store but we're not quite used to being limited to one place for installing our apps. Anyone who wants to sideload a modern app will be met with a bit of a snag since Windows 10, by default, doesn't let you do so. Fortunately, it hasn't blocked that ability and for whatever reason you might have to sideload an app, here's how to do it. Read More

How To Turn On Developer Mode In Windows 10

Windows 10 is not yet available for general consumers. The current builds available from Microsoft are test builds aimed at seeing how users are responding to the features that are going to be part of the final version and also to gain feedback about what works and what doesn't. You might be surprised to learn that while the builds are notorious for not being user ready, plagued with bugs, and carrying the general advice tag that they shouldn't be used on your main system, they are not in fact geared towards developers. When you install one of the builds, you run it in normal mode. In order to turn on developer mode, you need to tweak a little setting. Here's where to look for it. Read More

Change The Default Drive For Installing Modern App In Windows 10

win10 save locations
A few days ago we discussed how you can move an already installed Modern app to a different drive. Apps installed from the Windows Store by default are installed in the C drive and you do have the option to move them to a different drive later without having to go uninstall and reinstall them. If you want to change the installation location for all apps that are downloaded from the Windows Store so that you don't have to move them later, here's the setting you need to tweak to do it. Update: You might not see this feature for a few months as Microsoft has delayed it for now. Read More

Hide Windows/Apps Open On Other Virtual Desktops From The Taskbar [Windows 10]

Better late than never, Windows is finally getting virtual desktops. It's a feature that both Linux and OS X have had for quite a few years now. With Windows 8/8.1 Microsoft was too busy destroying it's much loved Start menu to pay attention to the feature but come Windows 10 you will have virtual desktops that you can use to organize your windows and workflow. That said, by default, the taskbar will shows indicators for all windows that are open across all desktops. If you have Chrome open on Desktop 1 and are currently working in Desktop 2 the Chrome icon will appear in the taskbar. Here's how you can limit it to showing only those that are active on the current desktop. Read More

Add Shortcuts To Windows Libraries To The Start Menu In Windows 10

start menu win10
The Start Menu in Windows 7 has links to your libraries; Documents, Music, Videos, etc. While Windows 10 is bringing back the beloved Start Menu that was killed in the previous version of Windows, it's doing so with monumental differences (read improvements). In the process, it's removed links to your Windows libraries. Fortunately, they aren't gone and Users can customize which libraries appear on the Start Menu. Here's how. Read More

Pin Frequently Accessed Settings To The Start Menu In Windows 10

pin to start settings
The Start menu in Windows 10 is very different from what it was in Windows 7 but not in a bad way. It offers more space for pinning app tiles and serves as a great way to quickly access your frequently used apps without giving them precious space on the Taskbar. The live tiles themselves make it all the more useful. When you transition to Windows 10, especially if you're coming from Windows 7, the settings in Windows 10 are going to take a little time adjusting to. How you access them has changed from build-to-build, and definitely from one operating system to another. To make it easier to access Settings, you can pin them to the Start Menu. Here's how. Read More

Move An Installed App To A Different Drive In Windows 10

The Windows Store, by default installs apps to your C drive on Windows 10. If you have a small drive, or you would like to keep as much space free in your C drive as possible, you might not want apps installed there. If the app in question is a Metro app installed from the Windows Store, you can easily move it to a different drive without having to go through the whole uninstall and reinstall process with a built-in Windows feature. Here's how. Read More

Add A Timestamp In Notepad Whenever You Open A File In It [Windows]

notepad log
Notepad is the default TXT file editor in Windows and where the app is very basic it is used to open a huge variety of file types. You can open an HTML file, a script, a data file (.dat) and much more with it. Lots of apps that create logs are in fact opened in Notepad. The app itself is exceptionally basic but it still has one or two tricks up its sleeve. Notepad has a built-in feature that automatically adds a timestamp each time you open a file. Here's how to use it. Read More

Send Input From Your Mic To Your Speakers [Windows]

win7 recording devices
If you've ever wanted to send sound from your mic to your speakers, whether you were doing it to mix audio, or wanted to record voiceover with other audio in the background, you might have wondered what was the simplest way to go about doing it. There are plenty of apps available that let you do this but Windows has a built-in mechanism that lets you send audio from your mic to your speakers without needing any extra apps. Here's how. Read More

Create An HTML Index File For Photos To Find Them Easily [Windows]

Back when photos weren't files on our computers but printed card sheets that were put in albums. Often, the place where you had these photos developed would develop a small index card with small thumbnails of the photos, each numbered so you could use it to keep your album organized. ThumbIndex is a portable Windows utility that does something similar for our photos that are now digital files. It lets you pick a folder (of photos) and creates an HTML file with thumbnails of each photo. The thumbnails are linked to the respective file and when clicked (in your browser) will automatically open the photo. Read More

Get Caps Lock, Num Lock, And Scroll Lock Indicators In The System Tray

When buying a laptop, we're more concerned with how well it performs. The specifications of a new laptop center around the processor, the RAM, graphics card, etc and not on the far less trivial things like how many LED indicators it has. Sadly, as trivial as these things are, they are missed when absent and if you have a laptop that doesn't indicate whether the number pad is on or if Caps lock is on, you might have lingering regret towards your otherwise satisfactory purchase. Keyboard Indicator is a lightweight Windows utility that adds indicators for caps lock, num lock, and scroll lock, to your system tray so that you can tell at a glance whether they are On or Off. Read More

How To Remove ‘Get Windows 10’ App From Your System

i don't want windows 10
Windows 10 is set for release on July 29, 2015 and we all know that Microsoft is taking this new version and pushing it aggressively to Windows users with the Get Windows 10 app. While a lot of users have reserved a copy of the new OS, there are some who aren't on-board with the idea and the little Windows icon in their system tray is nothing more than annoying bloatware. If you're one of the many people looking to get rid of this app or put it out of sight, here's how you can do just that. Read More

Alternatives For The Features Being Removed In Windows 10

Windows 10 is set for release on July 29, 2015 and in preparation, Microsoft has bundled an app with its recent updates so that Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 users can reserve a copy of the new OS, and also scan their systems for device and app compatibility. Microsoft has also released a brief list of features that it will cut from Windows 10 and these range from minor changes to major ones. Here's a list of apps to help you fill the void left by the features Windows 10 will no longer support. Read More

Set Timer For System Restart, Hibernate, Sleep, Shutdown & Sign Out [Windows]

Some apps, those that handle long processes such as torrent downloaders, have a built-in feature that will shut down your system once a process completes. Unfortunately, where this feature is exceptionally useful, it is also rare to come by in most apps. PowerKit is a free Windows app, compatible with Windows 7 and 8/8.1, that lets you schedule system shutdown, restart, hibernate, and sign out. You can set the schedule for a specific time or after a fixed duration. The process, once initiated, can be aborted at any time. Read More

What To Do If You Don’t See The Upgrade To Windows 10 App

GWX process windows 10 update
If you're anxiously waiting for Windows 10 (release date set for July 29, 2015) then it's likely you try to keep up with the latest news about the new OS. Today, the internet is buzzing with news of a new app called Upgrade to Windows 10 that has 'magically' appeared to help them reserve a copy of the new OS when it becomes available. That said, some of you might not be seeing this new app. If that's the case, here are a few things you can try. This post has been updated with a new solution that lets you bypass the Get Windows 10 app and reservation system altogether. Read More

How To Check Device & App Compatibility Before Reserving A Windows 10 Copy

get windows 10
Windows 10 is coming July 29, 2015. Rejoice. Microsoft has taken just everything you hated about Windows 8/8.1 and made it all better. Microsoft is also being considerably more aggressive about getting people to upgrade to the next version and I for one am very impressed with the effort they've put in. A recent Windows update will have added a new app for reserving a copy of Windows 10, which is free for everyone on Windows 7 and 8/8.1. The app includes a very useful feature that will check if your PC is compatible with Windows 10. Most PCs will be compatible but the app is still really useful because it tells you if a certain device or app that you've currently installed on your system will work once you've upgraded. Here's how to run the check. Read More

Use Voice Commands To Launch Apps & Run Scripts [Windows]

Personal assistants are fast becoming part of desktop and mobile operating systems. We've seen Siri, Cortana, and Google Now and they all seem impressive in their own right. The desktop still has a bit of way to go before it gets a personal assistant to match anything on mobile but the future does look bright. If you aren't too keen on waiting for the future of voice commands and would like something now rather than later, give VoiceBot a try. It's a free Windows app that lets you associate voice commands with actions like launching an app or running a script (among other things) and then executes them on command. The app lets you create profiles that you can associate different commands to. It has both a free and a paid version. The paid version lets you sync your profile between computers, run multiple actions in a single macro, and create unlimited profiles. Read More

How To Add Album Art & Update ID3 Tags For Music In Windows

Managing a music library takes time and effort. Unless you start out with the mindset to keep things organized, you will eventually end up with some cleaning up to do later on. The clean-up might be time-consuming if you need to update the ID3 tags or it might be simple like finding album art and adding it to your music files. If you use Windows Media Player or the Music app (Windows 8 & 10), here's how you can add album art to a music file and update its ID3 information without needing any extra apps. Read More