What is “Windows 10 in S Mode”? Can I Change it to Regular Windows?

Microsoft has done some weird things with Windows over the years. Windows running in S Mode is one of those things. 

More and more, we find laptops listed as having Windows 10 running in S Mode, but there’s no explanation of S Mode. There’s also nothing in the laptop ads to let us know that we can take Windows out of S Mode and have a regular version of Windows 10.

What Is Windows 10 In S Mode?

As the name suggests, it’s a mode of Windows 10 as opposed to being its own operating system (OS). 

It’s not public knowledge yet what the S stands for, but based on their marketing, it could be for Security, Speed, Smaller, or even Schools. Maybe all of those. Windows OS names have been cryptic.

Security In Windows 10 S Mode

Windows 10 S Mode is marketed as being more secure than the full Windows 10. It only allows for installing Microsoft verified apps from the Microsoft Store. That does limit the number of apps available, but it shouldn’t limit us from what we can do. 

As of the end of September 2019, there were over 669,000 apps in the Microsoft Store. We should be able to find what we need. All our everyday apps, like Spotify, Slack, NetFlix, and the Microsoft Office Suite are there.

S Mode also uses the Microsoft Edge browser as the default web browser, and it cannot be changed. Microsoft is clinging on to the 2017 NSS Labs Web Browser Security Report stating that Edge is more secure than Chrome or Firefox. That report is 3 years old, so it’s up for debate.

Working in PowerShell, CMD, and tweaking the Windows Registry is also stripped out of Windows 10 in S Mode for greater security. Basically, if it’s an administrator-level tool, it’s not in S Mode, making it that much harder to hack.

Speed In Windows 10 S Mode

Microsoft also says the Windows 10 S Mode has greater speed. Well, at least at startup. It’s a reasonable claim that if it doesn’t have to load the full bloat of Windows 10, it will start up faster than full Windows 10. 

The Edge web browser is the default browser for S Mode, and Microsoft argues that it’s faster than Chrome or Firefox for browsing. Again, that’s debatable as there are too many factors involved in web browsing to make a definitive, objective claim like that.

Size & Windows 10 S Mode

In a game of size-does-matter, Windows running in S Mode has an installed size of about 5GB on the hard drive. A Windows 10 full-installation can range from about 20GB to 40GB, depending on the edition and features chosen. S Mode saves us at least 15GB of drive space. 

As we’ll see below, S Mode is also likely to run well on the absolute minimum system requirements of Windows 10.

Windows 10 S Mode For Schools

The education market is a key to OS dominance. Whatever OS young people first use is likely to be the OS that they’ll prefer later in life. Whatever OS schools are using to teach work skills is likely to be the OS that employers will use so young employees can be productive and quicker. That’s a big part of how Microsoft became what it is today. 

Google knows that and has been getting its small, fast, affordable Chromebooks into schools in droves. S Mode is Microsoft’s counter to that.

Windows 10 S Mode’s speed, security, and even size suit the school market. Plus, S Mode comes with education-specific support with administrator tools like the Set Up School PCs app. There’s also the Microsoft Educator Center, where teachers can learn more about Microsoft products and how best to use them in the classroom. 

The lighter OS should also use less power, making for longer battery life. The idea being that a student could use it all day without recharging it.

Why Are More Laptops Being Sold As Windows Running In S Mode?

We suspect it is because they can sell a laptop with lower-end hardware if Windows is installed in S Mode. That’s not a bad thing! If people need a Windows computer but can’t afford a full-featured laptop, this helps lower the entry barrier. It makes a Windows device a contender against Chrome devices.

Full Windows 10 and Windows running in S Mode have the same minimum system requirements to be installed. 

  • The device needs at least a 1 gigahertz (GHz) processor or System on a Chip (SoC). 
  • There must be a minimum of 2GB of RAM and 32GB of hard drive space. 
  • It must have DirectX 9 or later compatible graphics card and display resolution of at least 800×600 pixels. 
  • The only extra requirement Windows 10 S Mode requires is that the device is able to connect to the Internet on the initial set up.

We know that if we had a laptop with those minimum specifications and tried to use Windows 10 Home, Pro, or Enterprise on it, we’d be pulling our hair out very quickly. It would be next to useless. So, we get computers with far greater specifications at a far greater cost.

Windows 10 in S Mode is likely to run just fine on those minimum specifications. A device built at, or close to, those minimum specs are going to be far more affordable than the full-featured laptops costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

How To Change From S Mode To Full Windows Mode

Now that we know what Windows 10 S Mode is, we don’t need to fear that we’re not getting the full Windows experience. If we want to use the full version of our Windows OS, we can take it out of S Mode and go into regular more anytime we want to. There’s no extra cost either. Just be sure that your device can handle it.

The most important warning is that once we switch to full Windows mode, we cannot easily go back to S Mode. If we created restoration media with the device when we got it, then we can restore the computer to S Mode. 

There has been chatter on the Internet about Microsoft eventually including a way to easily switch back and forth, but there is no official notice about that happening yet.

  • Press the Windows and X keys at the same time. In the menu that opens, click on Settings.
  • In the Settings window, click on Update and Security.
  • In the Update window, click on Activation on the left-hand side.
  • Look for the section Switch to Windows 10 Home or Switch to Windows 10 Pro, click on Go to the Store.
  • The Microsoft Store will open to the Switch out of S Mode page. Click on the Get button. After a few seconds, there will be a confirmation message showing that the process is done. The computer will now be using the full Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro. Programs other than apps from the Windows Store can be installed, too.

Can We Go Back to Windows in S Mode?

No, in case it was missed before, rolling back to Windows 10 in S Mode cannot be done. At best, the computer could be completely reset if we have the restoration media from when it was in Windows S Mode. 

How to get clocks for multiple time zones on the menu bar on macOS

macOS displays the time in the menu bar and while you can choose any time zone for the system clock, you can only add one clock to the menu bar. If your work has you split between different time zones, the single clock in the menu bar will be inadequate. To fill the gap, you need an app that can give you more clocks and there’s no shortage of them, paid and free. We recommend using Clocker to get clocks for multiple time zones because the app also lets you create reminders for these time zones, effectively taking the work out of calculating the time difference yourself. It’s also free.

Need multiple clocks on Windows 10? There’s a built-in feature that can add them.

Clocks for multiple time zones

Download Clocker from the Mac App store. The app will ask for access to the Reminders app and the Calendar app so that you can create reminders in other time zones.

To add a clock, click the plus button in the app’s preferences and enter the name of a city. It will show up in the search results and you can add it. By default, the clocks appear in a menu and to view the menu, you have to click Clocker’s icon in the menu bar.

If you’d like a clock to show up on the menu bar without clicking anything, select the ‘Favorite’ box next to it.

To create reminders in one of the time zones you’ve configured, click the app icon or the clock in the menu bar. In the pop-up that opens, click the three dots button next to a clock and create your reminder. Once you create it, the reminder will appear in the Reminders app, and when you next open this pop-up, it will also appear under the respective clock.

Clocker is feature-rich; it supports the light and dark theme, and it can match the theme to whatever is set on an OS level. There are plenty of customization options for the clock that’s added to the menu bar, and you can even change the size of the text which is always great.

Clocker checks most, if not all, boxes for a good clock app. It’s amazing that this app is free and is actually better than a lot of paid options. You can add as many clocks directly to the menu bar as you want. All you have to do is favorite the clock. macOS might limit them if the space on the menu bar runs out but Clocker gives users the option to view the time in a ‘compact’ mode which manages to squeeze the time, and the location it’s for onto two lines.

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How to always run Command Prompt and PowerShell as Admin on Windows 10

Command Prompt and PowerShell can be run with admin rights, and with normal user rights. It goes without saying that if you run either of these command lines with admin rights, you can execute higher-level commands. With normal user rights, the commands that you can execute in either Command Prompt or PowerShell are tame. In many cases, you might even be blocked from running scripts. If you often need to open either or both these apps with admin rights and would like to skip using the context menu to do it, you can have Command Prompt and PowerShell always run as admin.

Limitations

This trick will work for a specific shortcut to Command Prompt and PowerShell. You must always use that shortcut to open these apps. Any other shortcut that you use or any other method that you use to open them will not result in them opening with admin rights. While, in theory, you can change this behavior for any and all instances of Command Prompt and PowerShell, it isn’t a good idea to do so since it will involve taking ownership of the EXEs for both apps, and that may lead to additional problems down the line.

To keep it simple, either pin Command Prompt and/or PowerShell to the Start Menu or, pin them to the taskbar.

Run Command Prompt as Admin

If you’ve pinned Command Prompt to the Start menu, right-click the tile and go to More>Open File Location. Right-click the Command Prompt shortcut that opens in a new folder. If you have a simple desktop shortcut, you can just right-click it provided you will always be using that shortcut to open Command Prompt.

Go to the Shortcut tab, and click Advanced. Select the ‘Run as administrator’ option, and click OK. Now, the next time you use this shortcut or tile to open Command Prompt, it will open with admin rights. You will still see the UAC prompt.

Run PowerShell as Admin

To always open PowerShell as admin, you will use more or less the same method that you did for Command Prompt. Locate the shortcut that you want to use to open PowerShell. Right-click it and select Properties from the context menu. Go to the Shortcut tab and click the Advanced button. Select the ‘Run as administrator’ option, and click OK, and then Apply. That’s all you need to do. Every time you use that same shortcut to open PowerShell, it will open with admin rights. You will still get the UAC prompt before the app actually opens.

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How to access Chrome bookmarks without the browser

Bookmarks are some of the most valuable data that users accumulate overtime. They’re useful links that users have found either accidentally or after considerable research. Losing them isn’t easy to recover from. If you use Chrome and have lost access to the browser with all your bookmarks, you may still be able to recover it. Your first attempt should be to just sign into Chrome and sync it to the same account that you used before. Ideally, this should sync all your bookmarks to the new Chrome that you signed into. If this isn’t an option, you’re going to have to use Google Takeout.

Note: This only works if you connected a Google account to the Chrome browser that you were using.

Access Chrome bookmarks

Visit Google Takeout and sign in with the Google account that you used in Chrome. By default, every single device, service, and app that belongs to Google is selected for export. Unselect all the items, and select only Chrome.

Once you’ve selected Chrome, Takeout will ask you which items from Chrome you’d like to download. Select only Bookmarks and leave everything else unchecked. Click OK at the top right corner.

Return to Takeout and select how you want to receive your data. The default options are fine if you’re just downloading bookmarks. You now have to wait for an email that will deliver your takeout. It won’t take too long since it’s just bookmarks.

Download the zipped file you get in your email and unzip it. There’s going to be a Takeout folder, and inside there’s going to be a Chrome folder. Look for a file in the Chrome folder called ‘Bookmarks.html’. This file has all of your bookmarks and since it’s an HTML file, you will be able to import it in almost every modern browser, and all Chromium-based browsers.

The bookmarks file will not only contain all your bookmarks but it will also have them sorted into the folders you created in your old Chrome installation. They will be up-to-date or, missing a day’s bookmarks at the most though even that is unlikely.

If you have a perfectly functioning Chrome installation that you can access, and you just want all your bookmarks in a file, use the built-in bookmarks manager to export them. Takeouts is great if you remotely want to export bookmarks from Chrome but it is definitely the long way of doing it if you have access to the Chrome browser that you created your bookmarks library in.

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How to cut video footage in Kdenlive on Linux

Do you have some video footage that you need to make some cuts to? Unsure about how to make cuts in footage on Linux? We can help! Follow along as we show you how to use Kdenlive to cut video footage on Linux!

Installing Kdenlive on Linux

Before we can demonstrate how to cut video footage in the Kdenlive video editor, we need to go over how to install the video editor on Linux, as it does not come pre-installed on many Linux operating systems.

To start the installation of the Kdenlive video editor, open up a terminal window. Launch a terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Once the terminal window is open and ready to go, follow the installation instructions below that corresponds with your distribution.

Ubuntu

Those on Ubuntu Linux will be able to get the Kdenlive video editor up and running with the Apt package management command below.

sudo apt install kdenlive

Debian

There’s an older version of the Kdelive video editor available for Debian Linux in the “Main” software repository. Though, keep in mind that you may be missing out on newer features by installing it in this way, as Debian takes longer to update software than other distros. To install it, use the following Apt-get command.

sudo apt-get install kdenlive

Want a more up to date version of Kdelive on your Debian PC? Consider following the Flatpak or Snap installation instructions instead.

Arch Linux

On Arch Linux, get the latest Kdelive video editor installed with the following Pacman command.

sudo pacman -S kdenlive

Fedora

To get the latest version of Kdelive working on Fedora Linux, you must use the following Dnf command in a terminal window.

sudo dnf install kdenlive

OpenSUSE

On OpenSUSE, you’ll be able to install a relatively recent version of the Kdenlive video editor by entering the following Zypper command into a terminal.

sudo zypper install kdelive

Keep in mind that some releases of OpenSUSE (LEAP) have older versions of Kdelive available. If you are missing new features, consider following the Flatpak or Snap installation instructions instead.

Flatpak

Kdenlive is available on the Flatpak Flathub store. To get it working on your system, start by enabling the Flatpak runtime on your system. Then, use the commands below to install the software.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo 

flatpak install flathub org.kde.kdenlive

Snap

The Kdenlive video editor is on the Snap package store. So, if you’re running a Linux operating system that has support for Snaps, you’ll be able to get the app working rather quickly.

Note: you must have the Snapd runtime installed and running on your Linux PC to install Snap packages from the Snap store. For more information on how to set up Snapd, click here.

After enabling the Snapd runtime on your Linux PC, use the snap install command to get the latest Kdenlive.

sudo snap install kdenlive

Cut video footage in Kdenlive

Now that the app is installed on your Linux PC launch, Kdenlive on the Linux desktop. Then, find the “New” button and click it to create a new project.

Upon clicking the “New” button, a project selector will appear on the screen. Look through and select the video profile that best matches the video clip you’d like to cut. Then, click “OK” to confirm. Once you’ve set up your new project, click “File” followed by “Save As” and save your project.

With your Kdenlive video project saved, follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to cut footage.

Step 1: Find the “Project” menu and click on it with the mouse. Then, select the “Add Clip or Folder” button to import footage to the Kdenlive editor.

Step 2: After importing your footage to Kdenlive, it will appear in the “Project Bin.” Click on the clip you wish to cut with the mouse and drag it to the timeline. For best results, drag it to V1 (Video 1).

Step 3: Click on the clip in the timeline with the mouse. Then, press the Spacebar to start playback of the clip in the “Project Monitor.”

Step 4:  Watch through your clip in the Kdenlive “Project Monitor” till you get to the part that you’d like to cut. Then, press the Spacebar button again to pause the footage.

Step 5: With the clip playback paused, click on the scissor icon to switch to the “Cut” mode in the Kdenlive video editor. Then, click on the paused spot with the mouse to cut the footage. Repeat steps 3-5 for cuts that must be made in the footage.

Step 6: After you’ve finished cutting your footage in Kdenlive, click on the mouse icon to exit the “Cut” mode. Then, click on the clip you cut and press Delete to remove the cut footage from the timeline.

Step 7: When you delete a cut clip from the project, there will be a gap in the Kdenlive timeline. Drag the remaining footage that was not cut together with the mouse to get rid of the gap.

Done deleting clips from the Kdenlive timeline? Press Ctrl + S to save the edits made.

Step 8: Once the project file is saved, you’re ready to render out the footage as a video file. Locate the “Render” button at the top of the Editor and click it to access the rendering settings for Kdenlive.

Step 9: In the “Rendering” window, select the type of file you’d like to output your footage. Then, click the “Render to File” button to start rendering your newly cut footage.

When the rendering process is complete, your newly cut video footage will be in the “Videos” folder in the home directory.

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