Windows 10 Upgrade for Windows 7

I have not worked with Windows 7 in quite a while, but lately I have learned that Microsoft has been very generous with a FREE Windows 10 upgrade. So long as you have a viable, licensed copy of Windows 7 on your computer, it should be doable. Many older PCs or laptops have the license key on the outside of the machine.

It is surprisingly easy to upgrade although it can take a few hours, depending on the age of your computer and your Internet speed.

The free upgrade to Windows 10 essentially all happens within the Media installation tool. It will assess your current computer and/or operating system and then download the full Windows 10 operating system. You can also download an image to a USB flash drive and boot straight off of that. But if you want to do an in-place upgrade while logged into your Windows 7 computer, the Media tool is easiest. Back up all your files to a USB drive etc. or to the Cloud [Microsoft One Drive, Google Cloud or similar]. Again, you can upgrade your computer to Windows 10 while logged into your Windows 7. You should not lose any files, but back up all the files beforehand to be safe.

This is the link to the Media installation tool. Go to the “Download tool now” or the “using the tool to upgrade this PC to Windows 10” link for more information.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Windows 10 Media Installation
Windows 10 Free Upgrade

Windows 10 Update History

One can never get enough of Windows 10 Update History. I found the latest Windows 10 news interesting in that version 1903 and 1909 are nearly identical. There does seem to be some change. The latest versions are interoperating, meaning version 1909 is a master switch for 1903.


Windows 10, versions 1903 and 1909 share a common core operating system and an identical set of system files. As a result, the new features in Windows 10, version 1909 were included in the recent monthly quality update for Windows 10, version 1903 (released October 8, 2019), but are currently in a dormant state. These new features will remain dormant until they are turned on using an enablement package, which is a small, quick-to-install “master switch” that simply activates the Windows 10, version 1909 features.”

Full details:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4529964/windows-10-update-history

Microsoft Paint Moving to the Store

You have been warned. Microsoft Paint is moving to the Microsoft Store. Egads! This may be part of Microsoft’s ongoing goal to slim down their operating system. But the hallowed “PAINT”, built right into the operating system will surely be missed by many. It has been a quick and easy way to resize images and well, digitally paint. It has been one of the originals for years!

But, yes, the Paint App can always be downloaded from the Store.

Chrome Not Working With Latest Windows 10 Update?

Chrome and the latest Windows 10 April Update have a very big issue together, considering the millions of PCs running Windows 10 AND Chrome worldwide. Chrome will not open up SSL based sites after the latest April Windows 10 update [1803]. Some are pointing to the CryptSvc [Windows certificates service] as the cause of the issue or creating a conflict with Chrome. Going over the various sites covering this issue, it is clear that a viable solution has not been found. Consumers and businesses end up reformatting drives or reinstalling Windows 10 fresh without the latest version update [1803], or worse, chasing false hopes such as “uninstall your anti virus” [that is not the issue and a poor decision] or “stop the CryptSvc” [very bad, and wrong, idea].

Windows 10 April Update – Chrome now just “Establishing secure connection..”

The secure connection problem points to TLS or HTTPS or even the new ‘QUIC’ technology perhaps? This is just intuition at this point, but I would guess that QUIC is involved – it is a Google creation that ties in with data transport, and the symptoms point to it as a possible culprit that does not play nice with the latest Windows 10 update.

QUIC is a new transport which reduces latency compared to that of TCP. On the surface, QUIC is very similar to TCP+TLS+HTTP/2 implemented on UDP. Because TCP is implemented in operating system kernels, and middlebox firmware, making significant changes to TCP is next to impossible. However, since QUIC is built on top of UDP, it suffers from no such limitations.

https://www.chromium.org/quic

 

Windows 10 April Update

Microsoft Windows 10 April 2018 Update

It appears this Update will allow users more control over the sometimes over-the-top Notifications. Per MS, “… people spend an average of 23 minutes per day regrouping and getting back on task after being distracted by a notification”.  They are giving us “Focus Assist” to help adjust notifications as needed.

Source: MSN

Windows Folders

Tech Support 101 – You ever try to resize a Windows 10 Explorer [folder/file viewer, not the browser] window only to have the window blow up to full screen? I admit that I have endlessly gone through this – grab the edge of the window and drag it to a desired position on the screen, but once you let go, it maximizes, whether you like it or not! Repeat. Rinse, etc.

Drag the edge of the screen and move it JUST RIGHT. There it is! Anyway, there is an easy fix and putting Tech Support 101 at the beginning of this post is really aimed at myself: all I had to do was pay a visit to the “Ease of Access Center” once and for all instead of procrastinating. Type ‘ease’ into Cortana to locate it or visit the Control Panel.

 

Get to the option that mentions “EASIER” [!]

Scroll to the bottom area. Finally, you need to check, “Prevent Windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen”. Now, my Windows behave as needed.

 

 

Microsoft Family Safety

Microsoft has a wonderful proactive family or child safety type of feature that is very nice and extremely useful. It monitors your kid’s web browsing, Apps use, and overall screen time. It sends a weekly report to the parent. It is all set up through the parent’s Microsoft account. This service is free and super easy to use. Your child does not even need to know about it. I know, I know, this makes some uncomfortable. But remember – you are not ‘Big Brother’. But you are Mommy or Daddy.

It is a very good idea to peruse the simple, emailed weekly report – you never know when your child will start to wander into potentially dangerous areas of the Internet. It takes under 30 seconds to review.

In sum:

“Add kids to your family to help them stay safer online. Adults in the family can view reports of kids’ online activity, limit how long and when they use their devices, and help make sure they don’t see inappropriate websites, apps, or games. Manage family settings online at account.microsoft.com/family, and changes will be applied to any Windows 10 device the child signs in to. You can also add adults to your family who will also be able to apply settings to children in the family. ”

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/set-up-family#set-up-family=windows-10

I get this weekly ….

FamSafety

 

Windows Security, UAC

Security settings for Windows 10 are very important! In the Control Panel or via an “Ask Me Anything” search [Cortana – just type ‘Security’], can be found System and Security. The Firewall and anti virus/spam, and Internet Security [Edge + IE Browser ] are certainly must-haves.

But also required should be User Account Control(UAC)  Settings. Although these may involve an extra click or 2 when certain functions are started or Windows Apps opened, it is WELL WORTH IT. A simple additional prompt asking you to verify whether you want to make a change can save you loss of your identity or money,  or a complete system crash. What happens if your PC, laptop or tablet is secretly taken over by a group of hackers? Well, they would have to force UAC off or try to install small software to handle their nefarious goals, but you can stop them if a prompt occurs out of nowhere [in which case, run your Antivirus or Malwarebytes quickly!].

Why take chances? It is best to have all of these services active. Think of all of these settings as insurance, but it’s free.

Win10-Security

Win10-Security2

Critical Windows Security Flaw and Fix Released

Microsoft has released a major Critical Windows Security Flaw and fix. By critical, I mean they went outside of their normally rigid ‘patch Tuesday’ [twice a month] schedule and released this fix on-the-fly, so to speak.

From Mashable:
“The flaw is in the way the Windows Adobe Type Manager Library handles OpenType fonts. In practical terms, if someone running Windows visits a website that contains embedded OpenType fonts or a specially crafted document, an attacker could execute code on his or her computer.

“An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of the affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights,” Microsoft wrote in a security bulletin.”

The Windows update tool in modern Windows OS can handle this.

Critical Windows Security Flaw + Fix Article