How to change Windows 10 projection mode with a keyboard shortcut

Windows 10 has four different projection modes that work with secondary monitors or TVs connected to your PC. To change the projection mode, you can tap the Win+P keyboard shortcut to open the Project panel and you can select whether you want to use both screens, a single screen, or duplicate your screens. If you find yourself visiting this panel often, you can change the Windows 10 projection mode with a keyboard shortcut. Here’s how to set it up.

Change Windows 10 projection mode

There are several different ways to create this shortcut however, we’re going to go with possibly the easiest one. Open File Explorer and navigate to the following location.

C:\Windows\System32

Look for an app called DisplaySwitch.exe. Right-click it and select Send to> Desktop (create shortcut). Go to the desktop and right-click the newly created shortcut to DisplaySwitch.exe, and select ‘Properties’ from the context menu.

The first thing you have to do is make a change in the Target field. The change depends on the projection mode you want to use. Add a space at the end of the path in the Target field and enter one of the following.

For Duplicate mode: /clone

For Extend mode: /extend

For PC screen only mode: /internal

For second screen only mode: /external

You can only use one switch with one shortcut so if you want to use it for different projection modes, you’ll need to create more than one shortcut.

After you change the target field, you have to set a keyboard shortcut for it. On the same General tab on the Properties window, you will see a Shortcut key field. Click inside it and tap a letter or number key. It will be executed with the Ctrl+Alt keys. The shortcut will let you change the projection mode.

The Project side panel will still open and in some cases, it might take a second or two for the mode to switch but it will work. As for the Project panel, if you’re looking for a way to do this silently/in the background without it opening, there isn’t one. This is simple and it works.

We should mention that you will have to keep the shortcut on your desktop. You cannot move it to a different drive. To keep everything tidy, create a folder on the desktop and move the shortcut(s) to it. The keyboard shortcut will still work in this scenario. As for the Ctrl and Alt keys, there’s no avoiding them. They’re added automatically.

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How to delete the WindowsApps folder on Windows 10

There are many folders on your Windows drive that you cannot access and/or delete. These are normally system folders and deleting them or modifying them could break the OS. Some of these folders can be deleted without damaging the OS but due to their nature, they’re protected. The WindowsApps folder is one such folder.

WindowsApps folder

The WindowsApps folder is where UWP apps are installed. UWP apps can be installed or moved to any drive on your system. What this means is that if you’ve ever installed an app to a non-Windows drive, it will have the WindowsApps folder. As such, if you want to delete the WindowsApps folder from a drive, you have to make sure that there is no UWP app installed to the drive the folder is on.

Delete/move apps

Before we show you how you can delete the WindowsApps folder, you need to first make sure there are no apps installed to the drive it’s on. Checking which apps are installed on a drive is incredibly easy.

Open the Settings app and go to the Apps group of settings. On the Apps & features tab, scroll down to the list of installed apps. Open the Filter by dropdown and select the drive with the WindowsApps folder that you want to delete.

Look through the list and move the apps you want to keep to a different drive. Delete the ones you don’t want to use. The list will be a mix of UWP apps and desktop apps. The desktop apps do not need to be removed. They do not install to the WindowsApps folder.

Change WindowsApps folder permission

You’re going to need admin rights for this. Navigate to the root of the drive with the WindowsApps folder. Right-click it and select Properties from the context menu. Go to the Security tab and click ‘Advanced’.

On the next window that opens, click the Change option next to the Owner.

Another window will open where you can enter a new owner for the folder. In the box at the bottom, enter your admin user name and then click the Check Name button. Once the name is verified, click OK, and then Apply.

Delete the WindowsApps folder

After you’ve changed the permissions, go ahead and select the WindowsApps folder, and the Delete key on your keyboard. You will be prompted to allow the change as an admin user but once you give it admin permission, the folder will be deleted.

If you ever install or move a UWP app to the same drive again, this folder will be recreated. It won’t have any data left over from the previous version that you deleted.

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How to flip a video on Windows 10 with Handbrake

Editing a video is easy if all you want to do is trim it a bit, or extract a frame from it. For other more complicated edits such as cropping a video, or even flipping it, your average video editor won’t do the job. Fortunately, there’s Handbrake. It’s feature rich, it’s free, and if you need to flip a video, it’s more than up to the job.

Flip a video with Handbrake

Open Handbrake and add the video that you want to flip.

Once the video has been added, go to the Filters tab and select the ‘Flip’ option. Set a place to save the output file and click ‘Start Encode’ at the top. The video will be flipped however, the process will take more time if the video is longer and in higher quality.

Flipping a video does change it however, it can be reversed. All you have to do is flip the video over again and it will be back the way it was. Much like flipping an image is reversible, so is this.

The flip is along the x-axis and there isn’t a setting that lets you flip it along the y-axis. If you need to flip a video along the y-axis, try rotating it first. You can do that in Handbrake from the Filters tab. Rotate it by 180 degrees and select the flip option to see if that does the trick. You may or may not be satisfied with the results though. This is a hack way to flip a video along the y-axis so you won’t always get the same results as you would get when you flip along the x-axis.

It’s important to know that there’s a difference between flipping and rotating a video. Rotation has to do with its orientation or what angle the video is. Flipping is mirroring and it’s easiest to understand if you flip a video that has some text in it. In the screenshot of the flipped video above, you can see that the text is now backwards.

If you still have trouble with the concept of flipping a video, try one that is either all text or one with a pattern that isn’t symmetrical and it will be easier to tell. If you intend to both rotate a video and flip it, it’s a good idea to rotate it first and then flip. Assuming you’re using Handbrake to do the job, it has a neat live preview feature that you can use to see what the video will look like before you convert the whole thing.

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How to automatically shut down on idle on Windows 10

Your computer goes to sleep if it’s idle for a certain amount of time. You can also set the system to enter hibernate mode if you prefer it over sleep mode. That said, people do still shut down their systems and if you tend to forget, you can automatically shut it down if it’s been idle for too long. All you need is a scheduled task to handle it. Here’s how to set it up.

A word of caution

A System is idle when there is no user activity and no system processes are active. It does not check for unsaved work on your system. If you happen to have a file open with unsaved work, the shut down is not going to save it first. On that note, some apps can and do prevent system shut down if they’re open with unsaved work. If you have an app like that open on your system, it can interfere with the task.

Shut down on idle

Open the Task Scheduler and click Create Task in the column on the left.

In the Create Task window, enter a name for the task  and make the following changes;

  • Enable ‘Run with highest privileges’
  • Set the Configure for dropdown to ‘Windows 10’

Move to the Triggers tab. Click New at the bottom to add a new trigger. Use the following settings for the trigger;

  • Set Begin the task to ‘On a schedule’
  • Select ‘Daily’ from the schedule options. Set the Start time to 12:00:00 AM. Leave the date as it is.
  • Enable the task to recur every 1 day.
  • Enable the ‘Synchronize across time zones’ option

Go to the Actions tab. Click the New button to add a new action and set the following action.

  • Under Program/Script, enter Shutdown. There is no space between shut and down. It must be one word.

Go to the Conditions tab and make the following changes;

  • Enable the ‘Start the task only if computer is idle for’ option
  • In both the time fields, enter the same time. This time should be how long your computer should be idle before it is shut down. You only have preset options here but you can go as high as two hours.

Click Ok, and when your system is idle for more than the set time, it will be shut down. As for apps that may block the shut down, you can find free apps that can quit all running apps on your system or you can create a script that do the same thing. In both cases, you can run the script or the app as an action for the task.

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How to check an Intel CPU’s Health on Windows 10

Hardware doesn’t last forever. If you take care of a computer, chances are the hardware will be obsolete before it dies on you but, it can still fail. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep an eye on it. We’ve broached the subject of SSD health but your CPU’s health might deteriorate over time as well. Here’s how you can check an Intel CPU’s health.

There are lots of tools that let you check your CPU’s health however, if you have an Intel CPU, it’s best to use Intel’s own diagnostic tool called Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool. On that note, you should know that Intel is not the sole manufacturer of every CPU in the world. Check if you have an Intel CPU and then use this tool. The easiest way to check for an Intel CPU is by looking for an ‘Intel Inside’ sticker on your computer, or by going to the Performance tab in Task Manager. Select the CPU graph and look at the top right corner.

Check Intel CPU Health

Download the Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool. Make sure you download the EXE that is built for your system architecture i.e., 32-bit if you’re running 32-bit Windows, and 64-bit if you’re running 64-bit Windows.

Run the app and it will automatically start to execute a series of tests to gauge the health of your CPU. By default, the app runs all its tests and if a test should fail, it will stop the testing process. A single test can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes. It depends on your hardware.

Once the test is complete, regardless if it failed or passed, you will get a result summary that tells you if anything is wrong with it. If the test stopped due to a failure, you can go to Tools>Stop testing on Fail and select Off.

As for the test results, they will show you which tests passed and which didn’t. They will differ based on the capabilities of your CPU but you can go through the test summary and see what tests were run. The average user is unlikely to understand, at a glance, what a test is for but if you have tests that failed, you can look into possible solutions for it. Alternatively, you can have an expert look into it.

CPUs can be repaired but the repair might cost as much or almost as much as a new CPU. Weight the cost of the repair with that of new hardware and then pick whatever suits your budget. If you can’t find a reliable repairing option, buying a new CPU is going to be cheaper in the long run.

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