Windows 10 has a hidden dark theme which lets you change from the boring Grey-White looks to Black Blue looks and its definitely pleasing to eyes. So if you want to enable this on your Windows 10, here is how to do it.
- Create a System Restore first as we will add few things to registry.
- Now type REGEDIT.EXE in your Win + R prompt. It may ask you for admin permission.
- Now in here we need to create keys and DWORDS. In case the folder or the key personalize is missing, create it by right click new key.
create a DWORD value named “AppsUseLightTheme”
with the value of “0”.
create a DWORD value named “AppsUseLightTheme”
with a value of “0”.
- Once done, exit and reboot your pc. When you come back, you will have black theme.
When you upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, The installation will make sure that you have option to downgrade or roll back to your old OS including settings. However this is valid for one month. This was the case even when we were using Windows 10 Technical Preview. There is a boot menu that stays for over a period of 1 month, and then it disappears. Now if you would want to roll back there might not be any option. This is as far as we know for now.
So the next option is to use a third party tool that can help you get it done. Today we are talking about EaseUS, a free tool to backup and restore your system whenever you want it. Here is how to use it:
- First download the software, and install it.
- Once don’t, you will have straight forward option to backup your Windows 8.1 / Windows 7 installation.
- Make sure to save it on an external drive or USB drive to be on the safer side.
- Once Done, You can now upgrade to Windows 10 either using the Automatic Windows 10 Upgrader which downloads on your PC, or just use the downloaded ISO when it becomes available.
- The app will be there after the upgrade is complete. So when you want to downgrade, use the same app and choose to revert.
That said, here are few words of caution. Make sure to always backup your files before you downgrade or upgrade. Second the software downgrades and writes over MBR. This is like replacing using a System IMAGE to go back to the same stage.
That said, Microsoft should come up with a tool or option to downgrade, but if they do not you still have an option. Just use it wisely.
If you want to reserve a copy of Windows 10 for your Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PC, Microsoft is rolling out an update which will help you do that. While this should work automatically, which eventually will, but if you are little impatience, here is a trick to get this done ASAP. Just before you start, this tick sometimes have worked instantly, and sometimes taken a lot of time.
How does it work:
This script will make the Get Windows 10 App appear on your task bar, close to the clock. You need to click on it and follow the instructions.
- For Windows 7 SP1 : KB3035583 and KB2952664
- For Windows 8.1 : KB3035583 and KB2976978
If they are not in your Windows Update list, hit the “Check for Update” option to forcefully download it.
Step 1: Launch Notepad from run, by typing “notepad” in it. Now copy paste the below script and save it as “.CMD” file. You may have to replace the quotes with the one you have in your PC. Both and open and close quotes need replacement.
REG QUERY “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\UpgradeExperienceIndicators” /v UpgEx | findstr UpgEx
if “%errorlevel%” == “0” GOTO RunGWX
reg add “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Appraiser” /v UtcOnetimeSend /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
schtasks /run /TN “\Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience\Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser”
schtasks /query /TN “\Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience\Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser”
schtasks /query /TN “\Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience\Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser” | findstr Ready
if NOT “%errorlevel%” == “0” ping localhost >nul &goto :CompatCheckRunning
schtasks /run /TN “\Microsoft\Windows\Setup\gwx\refreshgwxconfig”
Step:2 Again, Type CMD in your Start menu search, and when it appears, right click, and choose to “Run as Administrator”. Now navigate to the location where you have saved the above script file and run it.
Step 3 : This should run continuously until the Get Windows 10 App appears right on the task bar. The wait could be long, but the script will stop when it appears.
Source : KEEN AND GRAEV
Project Spark which was announced few days ago is now live on Windows Store and some of you might be able to download it and may be not because it seems Microsoft is still stuck with something as the download prompts still gives some error.
Those who don’t know what is Project Spark then in simple words its giant drawing board boosted with digital intelligence where it allows anybody, literally anybody to create gaming environment for Xbox and Windows Games. You can create altogether a different world, stories or games or even customize an existing game to add your twists. That said, this still in beta and so even if you download it, you might not be able use it without a key as the expected final roll out period is around Spring 2014.
- Using this you will be able to mix content and create another mix by adding your idea.
- You will be able to use an Xbox Controller, Keyboard, mouse or any touch device.
- If you are using it on Xbox, you will be able to use Kinect and Smartglass.
- There is lot of physics you can play with by adding behavior to objects which could be a tree or rock.
To get a beta key, you will probably need to signup at the official website https://joinprojectspark.com/ and get in loop with MS devs and so on.
When it comes to remote login or control your Windows PC from Android or iOS ( Tablet or Phone), there are a couple of solutions that makes it possible. Microsoft keeping its pace up to bring more and more Microsoft apps on other platforms, has released official Remote Desktop App for both of these platforms. Both of these apps used Microsoft Remote FX technology , which covers set of technology to enhance remote experience for Windows Devices.
These apps are really a bliss for those users who use multiple technology in different form. As an example, I use a Nexus 7 Tablet at home while my wife uses an iPad. Getting anything from PC now means that I just need to make sure to keep all of them on same network and access my PC from anywhere I want.
- It uses the Remote Desktop Gateway to access remote machines.
- Supports RDP and RemoteFX. The latter is useful for Windows gestures
- The data is encrypted using the secure connection using the Network Layer Authentication (NLA) technology
- Manage all remote connections from one place.
- Utilizes bandwidth usage using compression method. So if you are on good speed, you will get high quality video and sound
- Easy connection to external monitors or projectors for presentations
That said, the app has its own set of drawbacks. Here are some features which it does not have:
- There is no way to choose your desktop size.
- You cannot pinch-zoom
- There is no way to change the port in case somebody is already using default port for something else
When it comes to search for apps, the inbuilt store of Windows 8 is pretty slow and takes too much of space to display more results. Plus you have too many steps involved i.e. launch the store, hit the charms menu and so on. Though I mostly do it using the Global Search and then choose Windows Store but many of use feel it would be easy if one could have done from the web. Any idea why ?
We still don’t have Windows 8 installed on every machine nor do we get Windows 8 every other place. So if I want to look for a Windows 8 App in the store, I don’t have any other choice unless I have a Windows 8 machine. This is ridiculous. As an example Windows Phone has a web store which allows me to install and also choose which device it should get installed which makes it lot easy for me to install apps without touching the device.
The same is expected or Windows 8 but seems like Microsoft still doesn’t want it but thanks to official Windows website it has become possible to do that.
All the results are linked to the web store of Windows 8 which gives you the same level of details as you get using the Windows 8 store app i.e. Images, Description, Details, Platform, Size, Publisher and so on.
In the same section you have option to launch it in Windows 8 store which only shows up when you are on Windows 8 platform.
The best part is that you also get to see related apps in the same result which does not show up in the Windows 8 Store App. This way you will discover more apps compared to what you were doing on Windows 8 Store App.
We don’t miss an opportunity to ask for more. Though it is possible to search, its still not possible to install it on a particular device where Windows 8 is installed. Since this is not a true web store, I would expect this to show up when we get that in future.
There are two types of accounts in Windows 8. One is the local account which is created on your computer and second is the linked account or the account which is created using your Microsoft or Live account. The later is set up when you first signed up on your PC with a Microsoft account. Creating a Windows account using your Microsoft account brings in tons of features like seamless sync and Skydrive integration, many of you who never happened to have internet during the setup might have just used the local account option.
Problem: Windows 8.1 accounts which are connected to online account does not have rename account option. This can be done by changing the name in your online account but sometimes it does not sync. You will have remove the connection and reconnect again to fix this problem.
How to change:
Now one of the odd thing which I have noticed with online connected accounts is that there is no option to change the name of the user. Many of you might have always kept some funny names or even names of your super star but since everything is synced online, you have no option to change it directly from your PC. Now if you want to change it, follow the steps below:
- Go to your Microsoft Account Page here
- Look for an option which says “Edit Display Name”, Click on that.
- Next Edit your First and Last Name there. Remember, First name has a bigger display area compared to last name on Start Screen.
- Done that, the name should start appearing on Start Screen in sometime.
Now it may so happen that the change in name does not get reflected immediately and might take sometime or it may never happen. Follow up the steps below to fix this situation.
How to fix (Reflect Name Change)
In case it doesn’t, I will suggest you to restart your machine and see if the change gets reflected. If this doesn’t workout, lets fire up the nuke button.
- Go to Start Screen and select your account on top right.
- Choose Change Picture and this will take you to account settings.
- Right here select Disconnect. This step will take you though many steps and might also prompt for password.
- Next it will warn you about what you will lose and then create a local account with new password.
- Once done, you will have to repeat the everything but this time choose connect to Microsoft account.
- During this process, use the same MS account which was used before.
- Now your name will reflect properly if you changed.
This step can be used every time you think the name is not getting synced properly.
Now there is one major problem here. Since this is an online account, the name change gets reflected across connected services and though you wanted to only change the display name in Windows 8.1 Account, it has reflected everywhere.
Starting with Windows 8.1 where Start button made a cinematic return, it also bought some new options that can be used along with the Start button. Honestly its not the start button most of us were looking for and Microsoft managed to calm down the users by placing the start button icon right where it was.
So what’s the new option? If you are running Windows 8.1, right-click on the start button and it shows up a new menu which popularly is being called as Power Menu or the X Menu. This menu acts as a shortcut to commonly used options like Program & Features, Power Options, Event Viewer, System, Device Manager and others. It also includes shortcut to restart, shutdown, sleep and hibernate but it takes exact number of steps to do that as you were doing with WIN + I.
What is do different about the menu here is the inclusion Windows Power Shell which is not even used by post of the power users unless he or she happens to a developer. What most of use if it has to be about terminal windows is the command shell. As an example if you have to ping an IP address or trace route a server or run an impossible command.
How to replace power shell with command prompt ?
Good thing Microsoft kept this option open for users allowing them to replace it completely with command prompt and also launch it with administrator privilege. To get this follow the steps below:
- Go to Desktop and Right click on taskbar > properties. ( You can also do it from Start Screen, by hovering over the bottom left corner and then right-click).
- Switch to Navigation tab.
- Uncheck the option which says “Replace Command Prompt with Windows Power Shell in the menu when I right-click the corner or press Windows key +X
- Apply and exit.
Done that not you will command prompt instead of PowerShell which is useful for most of us here.
How to launch command prompt with or without elevation?
Each of the items in the Start button menu has a hotkey attached which can be activated by selecting the assigned alphabet on the keyboard. However they show up only when use WIN+X to activate it but not otherwise. Idea is to quickly launch programs using keyboard. So if you want to launch command prompt with elevation from keyboard press WIN+X+A together. You will be prompted by the User Control Panel for confirmation.
Most of the smartphones these days come with an option where you can set up ringtones for individual contacts. As a matter of fact this feature was available even in old mobile running Symbian or Meego. Skype slowly become the mainstream call app for many, setting up ringtones for contacts here is a great option. Even though there is no way to do this using the default app, third-party apps can do it.
Skypeman is a simple yet effective plugin for Skype which allows you to set up custom ringtones or caller tunes for Skype Contacts. Though it does not come with some free ringtones, you can find a ton of free ringtones to use here.
How to setup SkypeMan:
- Assuming you already have Skype for Desktop installed, download skypeman from here.
- You may get a warning but you can skip it and go ahead with the installation.
- After installation, you will get access warning in your Skype client. Allow so Skypeman can connect.
- Right after this, you should see Skypeman listing all your contacts along with their online status.
- Double click on any of the contacts and it will open another window.
- This window will have details of the contact and options to set ringtones.
- Good thing is you can set ringtone for offline, Online, Call and chat status.
To find out if it worked, experiment with few calls from contacts for which you have set ringtone and then you are done.
Now if you are wondering how this works then its pretty simple. Being a plugin, it hooks up with call manager section of your Skype. So when somebody calls on Skype, it replaces the default ringtone of Skype and attaches the one you had selected.
Other Features of Skypeman:
- Search contacts. This is useful if you have a lot of contacts and scrolling is painful.
- You can change the language of Skypeman from Tools -> Change Language.
- Make sure to set it to Auto Run along with Skype so it will make sure that ringtones work without a problem.
If I am not wrong, Chrome was one of the first browsers to get native tab sync features. Firefox had it but it used plugins to this through. As a matter of fact these days people just want sync to go so seamless that they want to start reading on their mobile where they exactly left off in their PC. Previous to this feature, users just used to sync their browser bookmarks synced to achieve this goal or achieve this via a popular service called as XMarks. Firefox has this via its native
A little late to this party, IE in Windows 8.1 has rolled in Tab Sync feature which allows you to do the obvious. When you would have installed Windows 8.1, an option which asks for Skydrive Integration shows up. If you have enabled this, web browser sync is already enabled but if not, this can be enabled from the PC settings.
This feature is specifically useful for Windows RT users where desktop browser is not available while Chrome and Firefox are not yet ready for their price time. Even I though I kind of like the Chrome App for Windows 8 which is a mix of Desktop and Store App version.
So coming back to topic, list of things you should know:
- You should be using the same Microsoft account on all the PCs and devices you use.
- The PCs where your account is included should be a trusted PC.
- You should have enabled SkyDrive Integration across PCs. Starting with Windows 8.1
- The Sync option for web Browser should be enabled on all PCs
How to Setup IE Sync
- Use WIN+I on Desktop or Start Screen to bring up charms menu.
- Select PC Settings which is at the bottom of that menu.
- In the next screen, select Skydrive from the left pane.
- This will then take you to SkyDrive Options where there are three menu items. Storage, Files and Sync Settings. Select Settings.
- Here there are tons of options but right now we are only concerned about Browser Sync. So scroll down till you find Other Settings.
- Here you will have option which says “Web Browser, My Favorites, Open Tabs, Home Pages, History, and settings.
- That said now whenever you have switch PCs, you will have all opened tabs when you launch IE.
That said, in case SkyDrive Integration is not yet enabled on your PC, you can always do that following the same path. When you select SkyDrive here, it will guide you through process of integration.