Tech Tip – Windows 10: Near Share

One helpful feature to look out for in the Windows 10 update this Spring will be ‘Near Share’ whereby nearby Windows 10 devices can share files and URLs with you via Bluetooth.

This feature is similar to Apple’s AirDrop, and it works in the following way:

  1. Apps e.g. Photos, Microsoft Edge and File Explorer display a Share icon.
  2. Click on the icon to see and chose local devices to share with by Bluetooth.
  3. The recipient gets a notification via the Action Centre.
  4. Acceptance of the notification by the recipient allows the transfer to take place.

Tech Tip – Windows 10: Keep Unwanted Software Off Computers You Support

If you help support your business and / or home computer, and you want to keep things secure and tidy by stopping other users from downloading unwanted software from sources you don’t trust onto the computer, here’s how…

To lock down Windows 10 so users can’t install new software unless it comes from a trusted source:

  • Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & Features.

Look for the Installing Apps setting at the top of the page. There should be three choices:

  1. Allow apps from anywhere (the default).
  2. Warn me before installing apps from outside the Windows Store. Selecting this option will mean that any standard user accounts will need your permission to continue.
  3. Allow apps from the Store only. Select this option if you don’t want users to be able to install apps from anywhere except the trusted Windows Store.

Desktop programs that you’ve already installed before enabling this restriction will continue to run.

Using these restrictions, you can set up a PC with a selection of trusted apps and then lock it down so nothing changes without your permission.

Tech Tip – Timeline For Windows 10

Currently being tested and likely to come out soon in an update is a browser history for your Windows desktop known as ‘Timeline’. This feature will allow you to search through files, apps and sites you’ve previously had open, and jump back and pick up what you were doing.

What’s more, it will extend to PCs, Android handsets and iPhones running Microsoft’s Cortana. This means that you will be able to resume what you were doing on another device. Cortana will also suggest tasks to continue.

How it will work:

  1. An icon will be added (bottom left, next to search) on the Windows 10 desktop.
  2. Clicking the icon will show the running applications.
  3. Timeline activities will be displayed below this, plus a vertical dated timeline will be shown on the right-hand side of the screen. You will be able to see activities you were working on in the past and quickly click back to them.

Keep an eye out for this helpful feature in the next update.

Tech Tip – Malware Protection With Windows 10

As the Malwarebytes annual State of Malware report shows, malware is a popular tool used by cyber criminals. With this in mind, “Windows Defender” on Windows 10 can help you to adopt a multi-layered approach to protect your systems. Windows Defender is a security tool that can be set up to block malware attacks in real time, or it can perform a scan when you need it.

To use it:
Type “Windows Defender” into your taskbar.
Select Windows Defender app.
Make sure Real-time protection is on.

Tech Tip: Windows 10 – Create Multiple Desktops

If your work involves having different jobs that need different sets of apps, or if you need to have lots of different things open and you only have one monitor, you may find that it helps to create multiple desktops.

To create multiple desktops:

  • Click on the task view button next to the search bar on the taskbar.
  • Go to the button at the bottom-right corner of your screen labelled ‘+ New desktop.’
  • Click on this to create a new desktop.
  • To switch between desktops, click on the task view button and then, click on either of the thumbnails at the foot of the screen.

Tech Tip – Windows 10: “Print” Documents Straight To PDF

Windows 10 finally lets you “print” documents to PDF, which means that you no longer need to install a third-party app to save a web page or document for use offline. You can now simply select PDF as a printing output option.

To Print to PDF in Windows 10:

  1. Open up your document e.g. in a text editor like Microsoft Word (this actually works from any program that lets you print, not just Word, and not just with a text document).
  2. Click File > Print.
  3. Under Printer or Destination, choose Print as a PDF.

Tech Tip – Currency Converter In The Calculator

If you haven’t already spotted it, the Windows 10 Fall Creators update from last year means that a helpful currency converter is built into the calculator on a Windows 10 PC.

The calculator also now includes converters for time, power, and temperature, so you can easily and quickly convert e.g. from Fahrenheit to Celsius and back again. To use it:

  • Open the Calculator.
  • Click on the menu button on the left.
  • Select what you’d like to convert.

Tech Tip – Battery Saver In Windows 10

If you need to squeeze the most out of the battery charge of your laptop or tablet, try the Battery Saver feature in Windows 10.

This feature disables unnecessary background functions such as live tile updates and email and calendar syncing. It can also auto-dim your screen brightness. Here’s how to access it:

  1. Go to the Action Centre
  2. Go to System > Settings > Battery
  3. Select ‘Battery Saver’
  4. Choose to automatically enable Battery saver mode or not.

Tech Tip – Storage Sense

If you want to make sure that you don’t start running out of space on your device, Windows 10 includes the Storage sense tool to monitor and free up space on your device automatically.

Storage Sense can empty the recycle bin every 30 days, and automatically cleaning up any temporary files from on your drives. Here’s how to activate it:

  • Open ‘Settings’.
  • Click on ‘System’.
  • Click on ‘Storage’.
  • Turn on the Storage sense toggle switch.

Tech Tip – Windows 10: Fix Search

If Windows Search can’t find files that you know are there somewhere, then you have the option to rebuild its index. Here’s how:

  1. Click on Start.
  2. Type index.
  3. Click on Indexing Options.
  4. On the Control Panel entry that opens, go to Advanced > Rebuild.
  5. Try searching again, once the index has been recreated.