10 New Features In Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

The Windows 10 Spring Creators Update will be available on the Release channel within the next few days. The rumored date is April 10, 2018 but as with all major feature updates, it won’t roll out to users all at once. If you’re on the Fall Creators Update, you can defer the update for a while. If you’re looking forward to the new update, make sure you’ve prepped your system for it. That said, here are ten awesome new features coming in Windows 10 Spring Creators Update that you will want to try out.

1. Timeline

Timeline is a feature Microsoft announced for Windows 10 long before it was anywhere near completion. The feature presents a timeline of tasks that you were working on, on a given day. It makes it easier to recall documents you had open, links you were browsing, and emails you answered.

The timeline feature will be accessible via the multi-tasking button next to Cortana, and the button itself has a new look. This feature has a lot of promise and users who have tested it on the Insider Builds are impressed with it.

2. Near Share

Near Share is Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s AirDrop. It is a service that allows you to share files with nearby computers running the same Windows 10 build. A reasonable number of security and verification tools are built in to make sure people around you can’t spam you. We expect it’s going to be amazing especially given how great the Photo Sharing over WiFi in the Photos app is working.

3. Windows Diagnostic Data View

One of the labels Windows 10 is still trying to shake is that it ‘steals your private data’. This is ridiculous hyperbole that stemmed from Microsoft not disclosing what kind of diagnostic data it collects and enabling it by default instead of lettings users opt-in to sharing the information. Microsoft has fault to bear here and it’s trying to mitigate it with the Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer. The data viewer basically lets you see what information is being collected. Nothing is hidden anymore.

4. Bandwidth Limit For Updates

Windows 10, like its predecessors, downloads updates in the background. Unfortunately, the updates often hog your bandwidth so that browsing or streaming are interrupted. In the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, you have the option to allocate a specific amount of bandwidth for updates so that the rest is available to you.

5. Font Settings Panel

Fonts have a new home; the Settings app. You can preview fonts from the Settings app and download more from the Microsoft Store. The Fonts folder in your Windows drive still works the way it does and it’s probably not going anywhere for a long time but the new Font settings are definitely better in terms of UI.

6. Focus Assist

Quite Hours has been rebranded as Focus Assist and you can finally schedule and set Focus Assist hours. Quite hours aka Focus Assist is basically Windows’ version of Do Not Disturb. When Focus Assist is active, your notifications are paused. You can activate it on the fly and off schedule from a toggle in the Action Center. It’s great for when you’re in a Skype call, playing a game, or just trying to answer an important email.

7. Edge – Mute Tabs

You can mute tabs in Edge now, much like you can in Chrome and Firefox. Edge is also turning into a reasonably good PDF viewer but you’ll have to wait until October this year to see the PDF features in action.

8. Multi-GPU Settings

We’ve written quite a bit about GPU settings and how you can force an app to use the dedicated GPU instead of the integrated graphics card. This option has, to date, been available only in the control panel of your GPU. With the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, there is now going to be a setting for this within the OS. This means that if your dedicated GPU doesn’t support this feature, you might be able to force it through Windows 10. There are exceptions and limitations here of course but this feature in itself is great.

9. Settings Migration

More settings are migrating from the Control Panel to the Settings app. Noteworthy ones are; audio and sound settings, and where you can set Startup apps.

10. Password Recovery For Local Accounts

Microsoft has pushed users to connect their Microsoft account to their Windows 0 desktop. Users have adamantly refused and insist on using a local account but it has had its advantages e.g., no password recovery options. The Windows 10 Spring Creators Update lets you set security questions that you can use to reset your local account password if you’ve forgotten it.

Read 10 New Features In Windows 10 Spring Creators Update by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

What Is A Windows 10 Redstone Build

You might have read the word ‘Redstone’ next to a Windows 10 build’s name. The build number may change but it’s always called Redstone for some reason. Redstone is a code word that Microsoft uses for Windows 10 builds that have not yet been released. A Windows 10 Redstone build is just that; an insider build that hasn’t been pushed to the release channel.

Windows 10 Redstone

Since all Windows 10 insider builds are called Redstone, you might wonder what the point of it all is. It’s clear that Microsoft is no longer working on Windows 7 or 8 so any builds, regardless of their name, will be for Windows 10.

Microsoft gives its builds a name; it did the same for Windows 7 and it does so for Windows 10 but the name ‘Redstone’ also denotes something else; feature roll out. A Redstone build is also accompanied by a number, a much smaller one that those given to builds. For example, builds belong to Redstone 3, or Redstone 4, or Redstone 5.

Lots of different builds will be grouped under Redstone 3. Redstone 3 represents the final build that was made available as the Fall Creators Update. Redstone 4 encompasses the builds, and features, that will roll out in the Spring Creators Update. And Redstone 5 will roll out in October 2018.

Why This Matters

If you don’t care much for the new features that are being added to Windows 10, this information is of no use to you.

If you keep up with the new features that are going to be added to Windows 10, regardless if you’re part of the Insider Program or not, you will want to know when a particular feature will be available on the release channel. We should mention that the features are likely to ship with a certain build however, if Microsoft doesn’t iron the kinks out it in time, they can be pushed to the next major release. The Redstone build number gives us a mostly accurate estimate but nothing is set in stone.

Each new insider build that Microsoft announces on its blog is accompanied by which Redstone build it will be a part of. This tells you how long you have to wait for the feature but also when it’s likely that the next major feature update will drop. If Microsoft ships a build that is slated for the next Redstone build, it’s reasonable to assume that a major feature update is coming.

The Spring Creators Update aka Redstone 4 is just days from being released to the stable channel. Microsoft is already releasing Redstone 5 i.e., RS5 builds to users on Skip Ahead and the Fast ring.

Read What Is A Windows 10 Redstone Build by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Get Skip Ahead Windows 10 Insider Builds

The Skip Ahead ring that gets newer builds compared to the Fast Ring isn’t easy to join. Slots open up without any warning and are quick to close. It isn’t easy getting a Skip Ahead build even if you don’t download it directly via Windows Update. There is no way to shoe yourself into the Skip Ahead ring however, if you’re willing to tweak the Windows registry a bit, you get Skip Ahead Windows 10 insider builds via Windows updates.

You need a PC that is already running an insider build. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the fast ring or the slow ring but you must not be on the release channel. You must also be signed into your Microsoft account and this account must be registered with the Insider Program. Last, since you’re going to edit the registry, make sure you have administrative rights on the system.

Skip Ahead Windows 10

Open the Windows Registry by typing regedit in the run dialog box. Confirm that you want to allow the program to make changes to the system when the prompt appears on your screen.

There are about four values in the registry you need to change. For the first two changes, navigate to the following location in the Windows Registry.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\UI\Selection

Here, look for a String called “UIContentType”. Double click it, and set its value to “Skip”. Next, look for a String called “UIRing” and set its value to “WIF”.

Now, move to the following location in the Windows Registry;

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\Applicability

Here, look for a String named “ContentType” and set its value to “Skip”. Next, look for a string called “Ring” and set its value to Skip. That’s about it. For good measure, restart your system.

Download Build

After you restart your system, open the Settings app and go to the Update and Security group of settings. Here, check for a Windows update. If there is a new build available for users on Skip Ahead, it will begin to download.

We should mention that some major features in Skip Ahead builds are subject to A/B testing so simply getting the ISO won’t be enough to gain access to them. You may, or may not see them. It’s possible that after you install a Skip Ahead build, your registry settings revert back to those for the Slow or Fast ring in which case you will need to make the changes again.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean you’re in the Skip Ahead ring. This only gives you access to Skip Ahead Windows 10 Insider Builds.

Read How To Get Skip Ahead Windows 10 Insider Builds by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Use the Windows 10 Camera App

Windows 10 has an app called Camera that lets you use your webcam to record videos and take photos. It’s definitely better than having to download spyware/malware-ridden third-party webcam recording software. In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of using the app and adjusting the various settings.

One of the problems with the new slick interface in Windows 10 apps is that sometimes it’s too simplistic and clean. Literally, they have removed buttons and other visual elements that you otherwise expect. For example, there are literally three other buttons in addition to the picture and video buttons.

Note that if you want to add filters, edit, crop or draw on your picture, you should use the accompanying Photos app in Windows 10.

Using Windows 10 Camera App

Before we get to that, lets go through the basics. Firstly, open the app and if you don’t already have a webcam built-in or connected to the PC, you’ll see a simple black screen that says We can’t find your camera.

Once you do connect the camera, it will ask you for permission to use the webcam inside the Camera app.

permission camera

Once you do this, you should be able to see your webcam in a full screen window with a couple of buttons on the top and side:

Note that if your webcam is not working with the Windows 10 camera app, it probably means Windows 10 does not recognize the webcam. This is probably due to the driver not being compatible with Windows 10. You’ll have to go to the manufacturer’s website and see if they have a version of the driver for Windows 10. If not, you’ll just have to wait until one is released.

Now here’s the fun part! How do you take a picture or video using the Camera app in Widows 10? Just click or tap on the camera icon to take a picture and click or tap on the video camera icon to start a video. By default, it will take a picture or video and then store it in the Camera Roll folder in the Pictures folder. When you click, it will make a picture snapping sound and then the image will slide off the screen to the bottom right icon.

Note that on a tablet device, you’ll have a third icon, which will allow you to take a panoramic photo. Also, you might have to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the app bar, which will let you change the camera (if there is more than one), set the time, change the exposure, etc.

To take a video, you have to click on the Video mode button so that it turns white and then click on the button again.

The timer will start at the bottom of the screen and all you have to do is click again on the button to stop the recording.

record video windows 8

If you click on the small gear icon at the top right, you can adjust the settings. The first option is what happens when you press and hold the camera button. By default, it just takes a single photo. You can change it to Photo Burst or Video.

Next, based on your camera, you can pick the resolution that should be captured. Next, you can add a framing grid as an overlay on the camera. The choices are Rule of thirds, Golden ratio, Crosshairs and Square. This is useful if you are using the camera app on the tablet device like the Surface Pro.

Next, if you set the timer in the camera app, which I explain below, you can have the camera app automatically take a time lapse. So if you set the timer to every 5 seconds, it will keep taking pictures until you press the camera button again.

For videos, you can choose the recording quality, which will again depend on the camera connected to your computer or built into your device. To reduce flicker while recording videos, choose the highest refresh rate listed. Also, if you have a tablet, make sure to turn on Digital video stabilization when taking videos.

Lastly, there are some links below where you can change the default location where photos and videos are saved and choose whether the camera can use location info or not.

Back on the main screen, click on the small clock to adjust the timer. This will only show up when you are in picture mode. The intervals that you can choose are timer off, 2 seconds, 5 seconds and 10 seconds.

Click on the arrow to expand the list and you’ll see one more icon that lets you adjust the brightness. A half-circle appears and you can simply click and drag along the circle to make the adjustments.

Once you take a photo or video, clicking on the small icon at the bottom right will bring up the Photos app for viewing. Also, both pictures and videos are stored in the Camera Roll folder under Pictures.

That’s pretty much all there is to the Camera app. Remember, to edit your photos or videos, you have to go to the Photos app. Enjoy!

The post How to Use the Windows 10 Camera App appeared first on Online Tech Tips.

How to Add Network Folders to the Windows Search Index

In Windows 10, the default search function indexes your Internet Explorer history, Start Menu, and the entire users folder on the system partition. What if you want to add a network folder to the search index in Windows 10? For example, let’s say you have a NAS (network attached storage) device and you have a bunch of videos, pictures and files on there that simply won’t fit on your PC?

In this article, I’ll show you how to go about adding a network folder to the search index so that when you search for a file from Explorer, you will also get results that include files stored in the network folder.

Note: Technically speaking, the Windows client will not add a network location to the local search index. Instead, it will pass that search on to the server and the server will perform a search using its index. If you are trying to search a NAS device, it will perform the search in real-time, so the results will take some time to appear. If searching a Windows File server, you need to ensure that the search index on the server includes all desired locations.

Step 1 – Share Folder

The first thing you want to do is actually share the folder you want to include in the index. You’ll need to share the folder on your NAS or on the host machine, if it’s files stored on a Windows PC, for example. As an example, I wanted to include some files stored on my Windows 7 PC in the Windows 10 search index. These are the three test files I want to include:

test folder

So I went to Windows 7 and shared the folder by right-clicking and choosing Properties.

share folder

Then I clicked on the Sharing tab, Advanced Sharing, checked Share this folder, clicked on Permissions and gave Everyone Full Control.¬†You obviously don’t have to give everyone full control, I’m just doing it here because it’s easier to setup.

Step 2 – Map Network Drive

Next you have to map the folder as a drive in Windows 10. You can do this by opening Explorer and then clicking on Network at the bottom. Find your NAS, file server or PC in the list and then double-click on it to see the shared folders.

Go ahead and click on the shared folder and then click on Easy access and Map as drive. Note that you can also just right-click on the folder and choose Map network drive. You’ll need to provide credentials to log into the file server or network PC.

Note that unless both machines have the same username and password, you’ll need to check the Connect using different credentials box and then type in the username and password for that computer or file server. Now when you go to computer, the mapped drive should be listed.

Now right-click on the network drive and click on Properties. At the bottom, make sure to check the Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties.

Once you do this, the new files will be scanned and included in the Windows 10 search. Depending on how many files have been added, it could take some time before you start seeing the results. Now when I perform a search, I see files from my mapped NAS folder:

Sweet! Also, note that for certain file types like Word documents, it also indexes the contents of the files, so you can search inside text files, etc. As I mentioned earlier, these files aren’t being indexed in the local search index, though. If you click on Start and type in indexing options, you’ll see that the mapped network drive location is not listed nor can it be added.

Basically, it’s performing the search in real-time, which is why it’s going to be slow if you have a huge number of files on your network share. That’s about it! Also, be sure to check out my post on how to rebuild the search index in case you are not getting all the desired results when doing a search. If you have any problems with searching a network location in Windows 10, post a comment here and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!

The post How to Add Network Folders to the Windows Search Index appeared first on Online Tech Tips.