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!

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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!

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How to Setup Gmail in Windows 10

If you’re running Windows 10, you might be happy to know that there is now a simple and elegant way to view your Google email, contacts and calendar using built-in store apps rather than using Outlook.

Outlook is a great email client for corporate employees, but I’m not a big fan of it for my personal email. However, before Windows 10, I had no other option other than using Outlook or keeping one tab open in Chrome all the time for my email.

The new Mail, Calendar and People apps can all be synced with Gmail, Google Calendar and Google contacts, respectively. The best part for me, however, is that the apps look really slick and I actually like using them. In this article, I’ll show you how to quickly and easily get your Google account synced with Windows 10.

Setup Gmail in Windows 10 Mail App

To get started, let’s setup the Mail app first. The great thing about the three apps in Windows 10 is that they are all integrated. Once you add your Google account to the one app, it will automatically be added to the other two apps too. In addition, each app has links to the other apps in the sidebar, so it’s super easy to switch between the apps.

To open the Mail app, just click on Start and type in Mail. The top result should be Mail – Trusted Microsoft Store app.

The Mail app is split into three sections: on the left is the sidebar where you will see your list of email accounts and folders, the middle is where a short description of the all the emails in that folder will appear and the right pane will show the full individual email.

Click on Accounts in the left sidebar and then click on Add account in the right panel that appears. A popup dialog will appear where you can choose your email service provider.

You can add an account, Exchange account, Yahoo email, iCloud email or any other POP or IMAP enabled email account. In our case, we will select Google. Go ahead and enter your Google credentials and click Allow to let Windows access your email, calendars and contacts.

If all went well, you should get a successful message indicating that the account has been added to Windows.

All of the email from your Gmail inbox should now show up inside the Mail app. You’ll notice that by default, the Mail app only shows you the Inbox folder and that’s it.

So what if you  have a whole bunch of Gmail labels? Well, go ahead and click on the More link and it’ll load up all the rest of your Gmail labels, which are basically folders in the Mail app. However, the panel disappears once you click off of it, so if you need access to several labels all the time, it’s a good idea to right-click and choose Add to Favorites. These labels will now show up under the Inbox folder and can be accessed all the time.

By default, the Mail app only downloads email from the last 3 months. If you want to change that, you need to go into settings. If the left sidebar is not already expanded, you can expand it by clicking on the three horizontal lines at the top left. Then, click on the gear icon at the bottom right of the sidebar.

At the far right, a slide-in panel will appear where you can adjust various settings for the Mail app. At the top, you want to click on Manage accounts.

Next, click on the email account you want to adjust settings for. In our case, it’s for the Gmail account.

Click on the account and a dialog will appear where you can change the name of the email account, delete it or change the mailbox sync settings.

Clicking that option will load the Gmail sync settings dialog. Here you can choose when new email should be downloaded and whether to download the full message and Internet images.

Below that, you can change how often to sync your contacts and calendars and how far back you want to download email from. The only other option past 3 months is Any time, which will download all email regardless of date.

Lastly, you can turn off email, calendar or contacts individually if you like. It’s worth noting that you can adjust these settings in exactly the same way in the Calendar and Contacts apps too.

Sync Google with Calendar and People Apps

Now that you have your Mail app setup in Windows 10, all you have to do is open the Calendar and People apps to see your Google calendars and Google contacts.

By default, all calendars should be checked, but you expand out Gmail and manually select or deselect the calendars you want to view. Now open the People app and you’ll see it looks very similar to the other two apps. Microsoft did a good job of making them all have the same look and feel.

That’s all there is to syncing our Google email, contacts and calendar with Windows 10. It’s so far been an enjoyable experience and hopefully Microsoft keeps updating the apps to make them better. Enjoy!

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Change from Public to Private Network in Windows 7, 8 and 10

In Windows, when you connect to a wireless network, it will either register it as a Public network or a Private network. Private networks are basically home and work whereas public networks are anywhere else, which you don’t trust.

Sometimes Windows detects a private network as a public one and vice versa. You can manually make some changes to ensure that you are not accidentally sharing either too much on a public network or blocking all sharing on a private network.

In this article, I walk you through the steps for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7.

Windows 10

In Windows 10, go ahead and click on the Ethernet or wireless icon in the system tray of your taskbar. The Ethernet icon is like a little computer and the wireless icon is, well, pretty well-known. Once you do that, click on the Network & Internet Settings link.

This will bring you to the PC settings dialog with the Status tab selected. If you are connected to a WiFi network, click on WiFi in the left-hand pane, otherwise click on Ethernet.

Go ahead and click on the name of the WiFi network or Ethernet network that has the Connected status. When you click on the network, you will now be able to select Public or Private.

For WiFi networks, you’ll also have the option to connect automatically when in range of the WiFi network.

Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1, to change the network profile, we have to go into the PC Settings screen. To do that, open the Charms bar and click on Change PC Settings at the bottom.

change pc settngs

Now click on Network and you’ll see the list of connections, i.e Ethernet, Wireless, etc.

network connections

Now all you have to do is turn on the Find devices and content option. It’s automatically turned off for public networks, so when you turn it on, it changes the network to a private network.

find devices and content

Windows 8

For Windows 8, follow the following procedure. First, right-click on the network icon in the Windows 8 system tray and click on Open Network and Sharing Center.

network sharing

Here you will see the network you are connected to and what type of network Windows 8 has identified it as.

private network

As you can see above, my network is considered a Private network, which is correct since I’m at home and connected via Ethernet. If this is incorrect, there are a couple of things you can do. First, you can click on Change advanced sharing settings in the left-hand pane.

change sharing settings

Click on Private and then make sure you have these options enabled:

– Turn on network discovery

– Turn on file and printer sharing

– Allow Windows to manage homegroup connections

network sharing

Then collapse Private and expand Guest or Public and make sure you have these options set:

– Turn off network discovery

– Turn off file and printer sharing

public network

Once you have done this, you then need to go to the Windows 8 desktop and open the Charms bar. Click on Settings and then click on the Network icon.

network settings

You’ll see Network and then Connected. Go ahead and right-click on that and choose Turn sharing on or off.

turn sharing on

Now choose Yes if you want your network to be treated like a private network and No if you want it to be treated like a public network. Note that the label Private or Public may remain the same in Network and Sharing Center, but once you choose the sharing settings manually, the network will have the appropriate settings applied.

turn sharing off

Windows 7

In Windows 7, the process is a bit different. You still have to click on the network icon in your taskbar, but this time click on the Open Network & Sharing Center link.

Here, you will see an overview of your network connection. Under View your active networks, you’ll see the name of the Ethernet or WiFi network and it should have a link underneath called Home network, Work network or Public network.

Click on that link and you’ll be able to change between the three different network types.

There is also an option in Windows 7 to treat all future networks as public networks automatically, though I don’t think most people would find that useful.

Manually Force a Network Location

As a last resort, if you can’t change the network location using the methods above, you can manually change the network location using a tool called secpol.msc. This will not work on the Home, Student or Starter editions of Windows. In Windows, press the Windows Key + R, which will bring up the Run dialog box. Type in secpol.msc into the run dialog box.

run dialog

Then click on Network List Manager Policies at the left and on the right-hand side you should see a couple of items with descriptions and then something called Network, which is the current network you are connected to. It may also be called something else, but it doesn’t have a description. If you are connected to a WiFi network, it will be the name of your WiFi network.

network list manager policies

Double-click on it and click on the Network Location tab. Here you can manually change the network location from Private to Public and vice versa.

network location

That’s about it! Not the easiest thing in the world, but it’s Microsoft! If you are having problems with changing network locations in Windows, post a comment here and we’ll help. Enjoy!

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Transfer Files from Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 to Windows 10 using Windows Easy Transfer

Whether you plan to upgrade your Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 machine to Windows 10 or buy a new PC with Windows 10 pre-installed, you can use Windows Easy Transfer to copy all your files and settings from your old machine or old version of Windows to your new machine running Windows 10. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps to configure Windows Easy Transfer.

Before we get started, let me clarify exactly what you can transfer using Windows Easy Transfer:

– User Accounts

– Documents

– Videos

– Music

– Pictures

– Email

– Browser Favorties

It will not transfer over the programs. You will have to reinstall any programs that you want on your new Windows 10 PC.

Windows Easy Transfer on Windows 10

Before we get started, there is one big issue we have to deal with. Microsoft has removed Windows Easy Transfer from Windows 10 and now suggests some third-party program PCmover Express, which costs money! There is no way I’m paying any money just to transfer some data from one PC to another.

Luckily, there is a way to get around this problem. Basically, the Windows Easy Transfer program is already installed on Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you are using Windows XP or Vista, you can download the appropriate version from here:

Windows XP Easy Transfer –

Windows Vista Easy Transfer –

Now, if you try to download the Vista version and run it on Windows 10, it gives you an error. However, if you have a Windows 7 64-bit machine, you can copy over the folder that contains the Windows Easy Transfer program to a USB stick and then run it on Windows 10 and it works just fine.

If you do not have access to a Windows 7 64-bit machine, I copied the folder and zipped it up, which you can download from here. If you have 32-bit Windows 7, run the preinstalled 32-bit version on the Windows 7 machine, but download the 64-bit version on Windows 10. It can import a 32-bit version of an Easy Transfer file. Simply uncompress the folder and run migwiz.exe.

Run WET on Old Computer

To get started, you need to open Windows Easy Transfer on your old PC or the PC that is running Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8. Note that if you are doing an upgrade, think of the old machine as the old version of Windows, in this case Windows XP, Vista, or 7.

Also, note that if you are upgrading Windows XP or Vista, you will need to download and install Windows Easy Transfer as it does not come with the program built-in. If you are running Windows 7 or 8, it’s already there and you can just search for it. The download links are above.

Note that it says it’s for transferring from XP or Vista to Windows 7, but you can use it to transfer to Windows 8 also. In Windows 7, just search for Easy Transfer and you’ll see it show up:

windows easy transfer

To start, we will open Easy Transfer on the old machine, in my case Windows 7. Once you start it, the Welcome dialog will pop up and give you an overview of what items you can transfer:

windows 7 to 8

Click Next and then choose the method you want to use to transfer between the old PC and Windows 8. You can choose from Easy Transfer Cable, a Network, or an external hard disk or USB flash drive:

transfer methods

If you are upgrading a computer to Windows 10, then you can choose external hard disk or USB flash drive since the old and the new computer is actually the same computer. You’ll, of course, have to have a external drive or USB flash drive in order to do this.

If you’re transferring between two computers, then the best option is a network connection since you probably have the computers on the same wireless home network. If you don’t have any network setup at home, then you can use an Easy Transfer Cable, which is a special cable you have to buy. Here is a list from Amazon:

In this article, I’ll go through the network method since that is what most people will be using. If you are transferring to Windows 10, then choose the USB method instead. Click on A network and choose whether this is the old or the new computer. In our case, we are starting with the old computer, so click on This is my old computer.

old computer

On the next screen, you’ll see some instructions and you’ll see a Windows Easy Transfer key. You will need to use this key on the new computer.

transfer key

Now go to your new Windows machine and start the Windows Easy Transfer wizard.  You can open it in Windows 8 by going to the Start screen and then right-clicking anywhere until you see All apps at the bottom right. Then scroll to the right and you’ll see it under Windows System.

windows system

In Windows 10, you’ll need to either download the Windows 7 64-bit WET in the link I have above or you can do it yourself by going to the following folder on your Windows 7 PC:


Find the migwiz folder and copy it to a USB flash drive or to the cloud, etc. However you do it, just copy that entire folder to your Windows 10 PC and then double-click on migwiz.exe.

Now follow the same steps as above: click Next on the welcome screen, choose a network for how you want to transfer, and then choose This is my new PC. On the next screen, you have to tell Windows whether you installed Easy Transfer or if you’re running Windows 7, in which case it’s already installed.

windows 7 transfer

In my case, I am transferring from Windows 7, so I chose My old PC is running Windows 7 or Windows 8. Click Next. You’ll get the instructions to go to your old PC and get the key, which we already did. Click Next again.

new transfer key

Now go ahead and type in the key that you got from your old computer and click Next. The program will download any updates to the Easy Transfer program first:


Once it has done that, it will scan the user accounts on the old computer (which takes a few minutes) and tell you exactly how many MBs worth of data will be transferred:

account transfer

You can click on the Customize link to see exactly how big each folder will be and you can uncheck specific folders if you don’t want to transfer everything like Music or Videos, etc. If you click on the Advanced link here, you will get an Explorer dialog where you can check and uncheck specific folders under each of the main folders.

customize transfer

If you click on Advanced Options, you can change how the mapping of the user accounts will occur. If the names of the accounts on both computers are the same, it will automatically link them, but you can change it here:

advanced options

That’s pretty much it. Click on Transfer and your files and settings will be transferred over! The most important thing here is the App Settings, which is really useful if you installed some heavy-duty programs on your computer like MS Office, customized them, and now have to reinstall them on Windows 10. If you transfer the settings using the Easy Transfer wizard, you can install the app on Windows 10 and retain all those settings and customizations. If you have any questions about the transfer process, post a comment here and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!

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