How To Enable Focus Assist For Gaming On Windows 10

Focus Assist is the Windows 10 take on Do Not Disturb. Like the feature of the same name that you can find on mobile operating systems, and some desktop operating systems, you can schedule Focus Assist to turn on automatically at a given time. For example, if you know you’re going to be in a meeting everyday from 10 to 11, you can enable Focus Assist for that period to block notifications. This works for planned events but for unplanned events such as randomly choosing to play a game, you can’t schedule Focus Assist. Instead, you use can use one of the built-in rules to enable Focus Assist for gaming.

This only works for games that use DirectX.

Focus Assist For Gaming

Open the Settings app and go to the System group of settings. Here, go to the Focus Assist tab, and scroll down to the Automatic Rules section. This section is rather limited for the name given to it but there’s a ‘When I’m playing a game’ switch that you can turn on. Once enabled, it will block all notifications when you play a game provided the game uses DirectX.

Focus Assist has two different modes; Priority Only, and Alarms. You can choose either one of the two to be enabled when you’re gaming.

It goes without saying that since this is going to disable notifications when you’re playing a game that uses DirectX, it isn’t a perfect solution. This is made more complicated by the fact that you cannot use an app, a scheduled task, a script, or a combination of keyboard shortcuts to enable Focus Assist, thus you cannot automate it through any other means.

The automatic rules for Focus Assist will not be getting smarter with the next Windows 10 feature update so users really only have the option to manually enable Focus Assist when they’re playing a non-DirectX based game. This is, perhaps, one of those times when a routine helps. The only faint silver lining to all this is that in most games, even those that you play in full screen, you can open the Action Center with the Win+A keyboard shortcut¬† and enable Focus Assist from its respective toggle. You won’t have to quit/pause/exit your game if you remember to enable Focus Assist in the middle of a gaming session.

Microsoft doesn’t pay much attention to this particular feature on Windows 10. Focus Assist was originally called Quiet Hours when Windows 10 was first released and for a very long time, there was no way to even schedule it.

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How To Fix Unresponsive Touchpad After Wake From Sleep On Windows 10

Windows 10 has had a long standing bug whereby various features and components become unresponsive after a system wakes from sleep. For the most part this bug effects the Start menu or the lock screen. That said, there seems to be a problem whereby a small numbers of users get an unresponsive touchpad after your system wakes from sleep. If you’re getting this same problem, here’s how you can fix it.

Unresponsive Touchpad

This problem can be reproduced by booting to your desktop and allowing the boot to  complete. Once your system is ready, close the lid to your laptop, or use the power button menu to put your desktop to sleep. Once the system is asleep, wake it up right away. Your touchpad will be unresponsive. You might be able to move the cursor around but no clicks will register and any time you tap on your touchpad, the current active window will lose focus.

I encountered this same error on my laptop and while this is anecdotal, it might benefit to know that the bug could also be reproduced on my system when I connected or disconnected hardware e.g., an iPhone, or an external monitor. The bug is ‘fixed’ temporarily by restarting your system but there is a permanent fix.

Touchpad Driver

The problem, as you can guess, has to do with your driver. At some point, perhaps as a result of a Windows update or something else, the touchpad driver on your system might have been uninstalled or rolled back to a much older version, or just replaced with generic touchpad drivers.

Personally, I’m not sure what happened. I haven’t received a Windows update but my touchpad driver was gone.

The fix is to find the right driver for your system and install it. There are two ways to go about this. The first is to use the Device Manager and have it scan for drivers to install. This will work however, you may not get the latest version of the driver which is what happened in my own case. I got a driver that was well over two years old. This is why I recommend using the second solution i.e., manually installing a touchpad driver.

The first thing you need to do is find out which touchpad drivers suit your system. Most systems use Synaptics drivers however, many others use Elan drivers. You can Google which driver your manufacturer recommends for your system. Find the latest version of the driver available. Check to see when it was last updated or which is the latest version number available and install it. Restart your system and the problem should go away.

If it persists, try different drivers e.g., if you went with Synaptics the first time, try Elan even if your manufacturer doesn’t recommend it. This isn’t a hardware issue and it doesn’t appear to be created directly by Windows 10. For whatever reason, the touchpad drivers have stopped working or have been uninstalled so the way to fix it is to find the right drivers and install them on your system.

A similar bug that causes a BSOD when you turn Bluetooth Off also cropped up recently, and the fix again lies with updating and installing the correct driver.

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How To Set The Default Window Size For Command Prompt On Windows 10

If you use the Command Prompt you know that it always opens in the same size at the same position on your screen when you open it. This is great if the window is a good size, and positioned in the center, or maybe towards the left. If the default window size for Command Prompt doesn’t suit you, you can change it. There’s a built-in setting to do just that.

Default Window Size For Command Prompt

Open Command Prompt and resize the window to whatever it is that suits you. You should also position it on your screen where you want it to open by default.

Right-click the title bar of the Command Prompt and select Properties from the context menu. This will open the Properties window to the Layout tab. You need to note down the values in three fields; Height under Screen Buffer Size, and Width and Height under Window Size.

Close the Properties window. Right-click the title bar of the Command Prompt window and select Defaults from the context menu. It will open the Properties window again, with the Layout tab pre-selected. Here, you need to edit the same three fields you noted down the values for before. Close the Properties window and close Command Prompt. When you open Command Prompt again, it ought to open to the correct position.

If it doesn’t, repeat the above process and take down the values for Window Position, and apply them to the Defaults window. That ought to do the trick.

This works if you only ever use a fixed number of screens. If you use multiple monitors that you frequently connect and disconnect, you might have mixed results with this because when you remove a monitor, your primary monitor resets. If your monitors are different sizes, the Command Prompt window might open off screen. It’s not supposed since it should be able to set the size and position relative to the screen size of the primary monitor but this is Windows 10 so it’s not always going to work right.

Command Prompt is the only app that lets you set the window size and position to suit your preferences. You can do that with other apps. The only way to change the window size, and relative position of an app window is to resize and position it before you close the app. When you open it the next time, there’s a reasonable (50/50) chance that it will remember its previous size and position.

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How To Get An RSS Link To A Podcast On iTunes

iTunes isn’t just great for buying high quality music, it’s also a good place to find podcasts on all sorts of topics. You can subscribe to most popular podcasts on iTunes however you may not like listening to them on the app itseld. A lot of people have their own preferred apps for listening to podcasts and these apps allow you to add any podcast to it with an RSS link. Here’s how you can get an RSS link to a podcast on iTunes.

RSS Link To iTunes Podcast

Open iTunes on your desktop. Make sure you’re already subscribed to the podcast that you want to get the RSS link to. Go to your Library and select Podcasts. From the list of podcasts in your library, right-click the one you want to get the RSS link for. From the context menu, select ‘Copy Podcast URL’. This will copy the RSS link to your clipboard. Save it somewhere or add it to your preferred podcast app.

This allows you to listen to the complete podcast series. If you want, you can also get the link to a specific episode from a podcast. To do that, again go to your iTunes library and select Podcasts. Select the podcast that contains the episode you want to get the link to. Find the episode from the list of episodes and right-click it. From the context menu, select Podcast Info.

Another window will open. This window will have multiple tabs. Go to the Description tab and check the description given for it. It will contain a direct link to the episode. You can use this link to listen to a particular episode instead of the entire podcast. To listen to the episode, add the link the same way you add a podcast to your preferred app.

If you don’t have a podcast app that you prefer, you can always use VLC player but we should warn you that while it can play entire podcast series as well as individual episodes, it’s not the greatest podcast player.

If you’re looking for a new podcast app and you don’t mind spending money on one, make sure that it allows you to add podcasts with a link. It’s a fairly staple feature but some apps prefer to offer their own selection of podcasts and bar all others from being streamed. That’s not the kind of app you want to spend money on so do your research before you buy an app. There are of course a lot of free ones that are good.

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How To Find The Seed Value For A Minecraft World On Windows 10

No two worlds created in Minecraft are identical unless you use the same seed for them. A seed is a value that Minecraft’s algorithm uses as an origin point to create the rest of the world. You can seed worlds in Minecraft to get worlds that have specific biomes that you’d like to play in. That said, you can also get the seed value of your own world and share it with others. If you happen to have generated a particularly interesting world, sharing its seed with others is a great way to let them play in it (on their own systems). Here’s how you can find the seed value of a Minecraft world.

Seed Value For A Minecraft World

Open Minecraft and click the Play button on the main screen. You will see your usual list of worlds that you’ve created. Click the little edit button next to a world.

This will bring up the Settings screen for the world. Scroll down and you will see a Seed value. Note it down, and share it with anyone you want. When someone uses the seed value, they will be able to generate the exact same world, minus any structures that you’ve built.

On older versions, or Java versions of the app, you may not see this field. Instead, you will need to use a console command within the game. We should mention that if you use these commands, you will need to enable cheats which disables achievements. If you’re still using an older version, try these commands inside a world.

/world seed

or

/seed

The bedrock version of Minecraft lets you find the seed value of a world without enabling cheats so this is a pretty good improvement. Older versions of Minecraft required that you enable cheats or that you use third-party apps to find the seed value of a Minecraft world.

You cannot change the seed value of a world once it’s been created so once you have your seed value, all you can do is share it with someone else, or create an exact duplicate of the world. There’s no predicting how much of a change there will be in a world if you change one small digit in its seed value. You will likely end up with a completely different world altogether.

If you need to create a copy of the world, complete with all the structures you’ve built, you should export it and then import it.

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