Tablet Mode, or What the heck happened to my Desktop?!

You’re using Windows 10, minding your own business…

Suddenly, after clicking something near the system tray in the lower right corner of your screen, you are met with the weirdest desktop you’ve ever seen.

Your Start Screen tiles are displayed on your desktop, desktop icons are missing, and generally things just “look weird”.

Fear not!

You just accidentally enabled Tablet Mode. It’s pretty easy to both a) turn it off, and b) make it easier to turn off in the future.

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How to disable telemetry and improve your privacy in Windows – again

You may recall a post I made a couple of years ago:

Another privacy fix, this time for Windows 7, 8, and 10

At some point after that a new update was released – and it’s not clear when since the dates on the Windows update web pages don’t seem to correspond to reality.

This new update is the same thing as the Diagnostics Tracking Service you disabled earlier, only that doesn’t matter because they changed the name and enabled it by default. SIGH

Now they call it the “Diagnostics and Telemetry service” on their web site, but it’s listed as Connected User Experiences and Telemetry in Services on your puter.

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How to customize your drive icons in Windows Explorer

People love to customize their puters. You want a certain color, a certain background wallpaper, and some people go so far as to use a theme that will even change icons.

You may know about changing your removable drive icons, especially if you read my ancient article Autorun Fun: Customize or Repair Autoplay for an External Drive.

What you may not know is that the same simple technique can be used on fixed drives.

You can customize the icons for all of your drives – even internal hard drives – in just a few easy steps!

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Where did the desktop icons like Computer and Network go in Windows 10?

So, you get a new puter running Windows 10.

It’s speedy, and Windows 10 doesn’t look much different than Windows 7, so life is good.

But then you notice a little problem: Many new computers come with only the standard Recycle Bin icon on the desktop.

Computer / This PC is missing, along with Network.

Getting these icons back was a piece of cake in Windows 7, but it gets slightly more complicated in Windows 10 (naturally)…

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Set up Windows File History and stop fighting with Backup and Restore

Okay, I admit: I was quite reluctant to try out the “new” File History backup system in Windows 10.

In fact, just a few months ago in my article Windows Backup and Restore failed: Four fixes that work, I wrote:

I suppose you could just be using File History, but that’s a different type of backup. Personally, I still use Backup and Restore because it works exactly the way I want.

Well, that’s not really true anymore.

In fact, Backup and Restore crapped out on me again, and this time I was unable to fix it!

So I decided to try File History, and whattaya know: it totally rocks!

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Windows Backup and Restore failed: Four fixes that work

If you’re still doing local backups instead of storing all your junk in “The Cloud”, then you may still be using the Windows 7-era Backup and Restore feature.

I suppose you could just be using File History, but that’s a different type of backup. Personally, I still use Backup and Restore because it works exactly the way I want.

The only problem is that it just loves to crash and burn…

So, the following is a list of all the fixes I’ve used over the last 4 years to make Backup and Restore play nicely again!

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How to copy everything from your old computer to your new computer

I have been asked this question so many times: I’ve got a new puter. I want to copy everything from my old puter to my new puter. What to do?

Well, copying things over manually is very tedious, and very time-consuming. I’ve done it so many times, I’ve lost count. It takes hours… And then you have to reinstall all the applications. :O

Mac users, of course, have nothing to worry about: Apple has provided such a tool built-in to MacOS for years.

But if you’re using Windows? Well, it’s complicated. Or at least, it was complicated.

Now, this is gonna cost you a few bucks, but it’s worth every single penny…

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Download Windows Essentials 2012 because it’s going bye-bye

Last month, I wrote a lovely article entitled How to remove date stamps from photos in Windows 7, 8 and 10. The trick was to use Windows Photo Gallery since it’s a pretty powerful and handy bit of photo-organizing and editing software.

Apparently, Microsoft will end support for Photo Gallery (and all of Windows Essentials 2012) on January 10, 2017. That’s in a few short weeks!

Fear not though, because it’s still available for download now from MS’s site. And even after January 10th, you can download the full version below!

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Protect your Privacy in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Privacy in Windows 10 Anniversary UpdateWindows 10 Anniversary Update, otherwise known as Windows 10 Version 1607, was released earlier this month.

Recent updates from Microsoft seem to indicate that only about 16% of machines running Windows 10 have actually been updated.

If you’ve got Windows 10, you’re going to get this latest update sooner or later. When you do, you’ll want to – once again – review your system’s settings to improve your privacy.

Fortunately, not much has changed…

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