How to show the taskbar in full screen on Windows 10

In full screen, no other UI elements of the OS are visible. That is the whole point of the full screen; you get an uninterrupted interface to work in, or watch videos. If you tap the Windows key on your keyboard though, the Start menu will open, and the taskbar will also appear. Tapping the key again will hide them both. If you want to show the taskbar in full screen, but don’t want the Start menu to open, you can try two other shortcut keys.

Show Taskbar full screen

The two keyboard shortcuts that you can use to show the taskbar in full screen are Win + T and/or Win + B.

This will show the taskbar but it won’t automatically dismiss itself. To dismiss it, you have to click inside the app that is full screen.

These two shortcuts aren’t meant to actually show the taskbar. Like the Windows key on your keyboard, they do something else. The Win + T keyboard shortcut will focus the apps on the taskbar and the Win + B keyboard shortcut will focus the items on the system tray or if they’re collapsed inside the menu, it will focus the little arrow that reveals them.

This will work for practically any and all apps, even games. If a certain element within an app can go full screen e.g., a video player on website in your browser, the shortcut(s) will show the taskbar in that case as well.

The Windows key opens the Start menu and the taskbar just happens to appear with it. If you don’t actually need to open the Start Menu, the Windows key is a poor way to access the taskbar. It’s unfortunate that it’s the only one that can actually toggle the two items whereas the keyboard shortcuts that we’ve mentioned will only show the taskbar and you will need to use the mouse cursor to actually bring focus back to the full screen app.

If you have a multi-monitor set up, you will find this trick only works with your main monitor. If the app that’s in full screen is not on your main monitor, you won’t be able to get the taskbar to show up. This holds true whether you use these shortcuts, or the Windows key.

macOS does this so much better. If you’re in full screen mode, moving your cursor to the bottom of the screen will reveal the Dock, and moving it to the top will reveal the menu bar.

Read How to show the taskbar in full screen on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix stuck downloads/updates in the Microsoft Store on Windows 10

The Microsoft Store isn’t as popular as Microsoft would like for it to be but there are some apps that you can only get there. The app itself isn’t bad, especially considering you can remotely install apps from it. It’s more the UWP apps that are limited that force users to stick with desktop apps. That said, if you have a bunch of apps that you downloaded from the Microsoft Store, that’s the only way you can update them. Unfortunately, sometimes you’re left with stuck downloads/updates in the Microsoft Store. Restarting the app or the download doesn’t do much to fix the problem but here are a few other solutions you can try.

Internet connection

First and foremost, make sure your internet is working and that your ISP isn’t blocking access to Microsoft’s servers. If everything is working, try using a different internet connection to see if it will force the download to start or complete.

Hosts file

If you’ve recently edited the Hosts file to block certain Windows 10 services, or you use apps to keep Windows 10 from downloading updates, you should check to see if they’re causing the problem. Although the Microsoft Store isn’t tied to Windows updates, and its related services, blocking it may have a residual effect on the app.

Uninstall/Reinstall

If you’re dealing with a stuck app update, you can uninstall and reinstall it. When you do that, it will install the latest version. If you’ve already got a stuck app update though, you might want to resolve that first however, if your problem is just a stuck update, this should work.

If you have just one app stuck on a certain version, and it refuses to update, there’s a different fix for that.

Remote install

We mentioned earlier that you can remotely install apps on your system. If a download appears in the queue but it won’t start or finish, and is just stuck, cancel it and restart the Microsoft Store i.e., close and open it. Visit the app’s page in your browser and sign in with your Microsoft account and send the app to your system.

Sign out/Sign in

Try signing out and back in to the Microsoft Store app. To sign out of the app, click your app profile and select your account from the menu. In the pop up that opens, click the Sign Out option.

Reset the Microsoft Store

This applies to both stuck downloads and updates. Open the run box with the Win+R keyboard shortcut, and enter the following;

wsreset.exe

Tap Enter and wait for the store app to open on its own. When it does, attempt the download/update again.

Read How to fix stuck downloads/updates in the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install Chrome themes on Chromium Edge on Windows 10

The new Edge is based on Chromium and it allows you to install any and all Chrome extensions in Edge. If you try installing themes though, you can’t. This is to be expected because while Microsoft is building Edge on top of Chromium, it is making modifications to it. This is one of them but you can work around it and install Chrome themes on Chromium Edge.

In order to install Chrome themes on Chromium Edge, you need to get the theme file, and install it as an unpacked extension.

Get theme file

In order to get the theme though, you’re going to have to use Chrome, and a Chromium theme called Get CRX. Install it and then, in Chrome, visit the theme page in the Chrome Web Store and click the GET CRX extension’s icon next to the URL bar.

Select the Get CRX of this extension option, and that will download the extension’s CRX file.

Install on Chromium Edge

Open Chromium Edge and click the more options button at the top right. Select Extensions from the menu. On the extensions’ page, enable the Developer Mode switch at the bottom left.

After that, drag & drop the CRX file onto the extension’s page and it will be installed.

The themes look as good as they do in Chrome.

Uninstalling themes

Uninstalling the theme is a bit tricky since we’ve used a bit of a workaround to get it in the first place.

First, close Edge. Open Task Manager and make sure no instance or service that’s related to Edge is running. If you see anything Edge related, select it and end it.

Open File Explorer and navigate to the following location;

C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Edge Dev\User Data\Default

In the Default folder, look for the Preferences file. Open it with Notepad or any other text editor of your choice. Use the find feature to look for ‘theme’.

You will find a line like this;

"theme":{"id":"aghfnjkcakhmadgdomlmlhhaocbkloab","pack"

The “aghfnjkcakhmadgdomlmlhhaocbkloab” bit is the ID of the theme you installed. It will differ based on the theme that you’ve installed so it’s not going to match the example. You need to delete it all so that the line looks like this;

"theme":{"id":" ","pack"

Save the change, and then open Edge. The theme will be gone. You might see a message in Edge saying it didn’t shut down properly. This is likely a result of closing an Edge related process from Task Manager.

Read How to install Chrome themes on Chromium Edge on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to join the Release Preview ring on Windows 10

If you use Windows 10, you have probably heard of the Insider program that allows users to run test builds of the operating system. These builds are many steps ahead of the normal, stable build in terms of features, bug fixes, and bugs. Microsoft advises against running an Insider ring build on your main PC. What you may not know is that there is another ring that you can join and get builds that are not as unstable as those on the Insider Fast ring. This is the Release Preview ring.

Release Preview ring

The Release Preview ring does not get updates as frequently as the Insider Fast and Slow rings do. In fact, this ring only gets updates when a major feature update is about to roll out to the stable channel, the Release Preview ring get the build first.

In most cases, the build that the Release Preview ring gets is the one that will be rolled out to the stable channel. This isn’t of course guaranteed as sometimes, new bugs/problems arise when users on the Release Preview ring get the build and they need to be fixed. Case in point; the October 2018 update.

Join Release Preview ring

You can join the Release Preview ring if you’re running the latest stable version of Windows 10. Open the Settings app and go to the Update & Security group of settings. Select the Windows Insider Program tab.

Click the Get Started button and select the account you want to use to join the program.

You’ll be presented with three options for the ‘ring’ you want to join. Select the ‘Just fixes, apps, and drivers’ option and you will be part of the Preview Release ring. If there’s a new update available, it will download and install to your system.

Should you join?

The Release Preview builds will be more stable than the ones you get on the Fast or Slow rings. These builds are almost ready for use by users in general and are only undergoing one last month of testing. They are far more stable than the Fast and Slow ring builds and are mostly safe and stable.

If you’re eager to get the newest features, but don’t want to risk the instability of the Fast/Slow rings, this build is worth joining. The stable channel will eventually get this update in a month but the roll out won’t be universal. In a few more months, the Media Creation tool will be updated so you can force the update even if you don’t get it via Windows updates.

Read How to join the Release Preview ring on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to find the motherboard model on Windows 10

A motherboard is an essential component of every computer. The motherboard model is what determines the other hardware that you can add to your system. If you want to increase the RAM on your system, for example, your motherboard needs to have empty slots for it and it has to support the card that you’re trying to add.┬áThis particular component is so essential, OEM licenses are tied to it and replacing it is almost like getting a new PC.

Find motherboard model

If you need to know what your motherboard is capable of, and you don’t want to physically open up your PC to take a look, you can find the motherboard model number from inside Windows 10.

Command Prompt

Open Command Prompt with admin rights, and run the following command;

wmic baseboard get product, manufacturer, version, serialnumber

The output will return the product name, serial number, and version of the motherboard that’s installed on your PC.

System information

If you don’t have admin access on your system, you can check the System Information app for this same information. Select System Summary and look for the the BaseBoard entries. You won’t find the the serial number for your motherboard but the rest of the information is there.

CPU-Z

CPU-Z is an app that we recommend for a lot of things such as finding out whether your CPU is a Skylake or kabylake processor. Download, install, and run the app. It has a tab called MainBoard which is another name for motherboard and it will give you the model number and version for it. Unfortunately, it still won’t give you the serial number for the motherboard so if that’s what you need, you’re going to have to use the Command Prompt method.

The serial number of a motherboard is rarely needed. If you need to replace your motherboard and are looking for the same model, the information that the System Information app and CPU-Z give you will do the trick. If you need to look up the slots it has, you can Google its model number.

If you’re looking to add or change the hardware components on your PC, you should also check what hardware you currently have on your system. The motherboard will determine what you can and cannot add to your system but the hardware you add needs to be compatible with the other components as well. You can’t, for example, change your GPU but not have enough RAM to support it.

Read How to find the motherboard model on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter