Windows 10 All-in-One For Dummies book cover

Windows 10 All-in-One For Dummies

By: Woody Leonhard and Ciprian Rusen Published: 01-27-2021

Dig into the ins and outs of Windows 10  

Computer users have been “doing Windows” since the 1980s. That long run doesn’t mean everyone knows the best-kept secrets of the globally ubiquitous operating system. Windows 10 All-in-One For Dummies, 4th Edition offers a deep guide for navigating the basics of Windows 10 and diving into more advanced features.  

Authors and recognized Windows experts Ciprian Rusen and Woody Leonhard deliver a comprehensive and practical resource that provides the knowledge you need to operate Windows 10, along with a few shortcuts to make using a computer feel less like work. 

This book teaches you all about the most important parts of Windows 10, including: 

  • Installing and starting a fresh Windows 10 installation 
  • Personalizing Windows 10 
  • Using Universal Apps in Windows 10 
  • How to control your system through the Control Panel in Windows 10 
  • Securing Windows 10 against a universe of threats 

Windows 10 All-in-One For Dummies, 4th Edition is perfect for business users of Windows 10 who need to maximize their productivity and efficiency with the operating system. It also belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who hopes to improve their general Windows 10 literacy, from the complete novice to the power-user. 

Articles From Windows 10 All-in-One For Dummies

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6 results
Windows 10 All-In-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-14-2022

Adjusting to a new operating system, whether you're upgrading from an old version of Windows to Windows 10 or you've purchased a new machine running Windows 10, isn't an easy thing to do. In this cheat sheet, you'll find out what you should do right away, what you shouldn't do, and how to find the features you're used to. You also will find some tips for keeping your sanity while adjusting to your new operating system.

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How to Use Event Viewer in Windows 10

Article / Updated 11-04-2021

Every Windows 10 user needs to know about Event Viewer. Windows has had an Event Viewer for almost a decade. Few people know about it. At its heart, the Event Viewer looks at a small handful of logs that Windows maintains on your PC. The logs are simple text files, written in XML format. Although you may think of Windows as having one Event Log file, in fact, there are many — Administrative, Operational, Analytic, and Debug, plus application log files. The Event Viewer logs Every program that starts on your PC posts a notification in an Event Log, and every well-behaved program posts a notification before it stops. Every system access, security change, operating system twitch, hardware failure, and driver hiccup all end up in one or another Event Log. The Event Viewer scans those text log files, aggregates them, and puts a pretty interface on a deathly dull, voluminous set of machine-generated data. Think of Event Viewer as a database reporting program, where the underlying database is just a handful of simple flat text files. In theory, the Event Logs track "significant events" on your PC. In practice, the term "significant" is in the eyes of the beholder. Or programmer. In the normal course of, uh, events, few people ever need to look at any of the Event Logs. But if your PC starts to turn sour, the Event Viewer may give you important insight to the source of the problem. How to find the Event Viewer Follow these steps: Click in the Search field in the bottom left corner of your screen. Search for Event Viewer. Click on Event Viewer in the search results. The Event Viewer appears. On the left, choose Custom Views and, underneath that, Administrative Events. It may take a while, but eventually you see a list of notable events like the one shown. Don't freak out. Even the best-kept system boasts reams of scary-looking error messages — hundreds, if not thousands of them. That's normal. See the table for a breakdown. Events are logged by various parts of Windows. Events and what they mean Event What Caused the Event Error Significant problem, possibly including loss of data Warning Not necessarily significant, but might indicate that there's a problem brewing Information Just a program calling home to say it's okay Other logs to check out The Administrative Events log isn't the only one you can see; it's a distillation of the other event logs, with an emphasis on the kinds of things a mere human might want to see. Other logs include the following: Application events: Programs report on their problems. Security events: They're called "audits" and show the results of a security action. Results can be either successful or failed depending on the event, such as when a user tries to log on. Setup events: This primarily refers to domain controllers, which is something you don't need to worry about. System events: Most of the errors and warnings you see in the Administrative Events log come from system events. They're reports from Windows system files about problems they've encountered. Almost all of them are self-healing. Forwarded events: These are sent to this computer from other computers.

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How to Install a Second Internal Hard Drive on Your Windows 10 Device

Article / Updated 09-15-2021

You probably know how easy it is to install an external hard drive on a Windows 10 PC. Basically, you turn off the Windows 10 computer, plug the USB or eSATA cable into your computer, turn it on … and you’re finished. But, what if you need to install a second internal hard drive on your Windows 10 device? Installing a second internal hard drive into a Windows 10 PC that’s made to take two or more hard drives is only a little bit more complex than plugging an external drive into your USB port. Almost all desktop PCs can handle more than one internal hard drive. Some Windows 10 laptops can, too. Yes, external hard drive manufacturers have fancy software. No, you don’t want it. Windows already knows all the tricks. If you install one additional hard drive, internal or external, you can set up File History. Install two additional drives, internal or external, and you can turn on Storage Spaces. None of the Windows 10 programs need or want whatever programs the hard drive manufacturer offers. If you need help, the manufacturer’s website has instructions. Adding the physical drive inside the computer case is really very simple — even if you’ve never seen the inside of your computer — as long as you’re careful to get a drive that will hook up with the connectors inside your machine. For example, you can attach an IDE drive to only an IDE connector; ditto for SATA. Here’s how to install a second internal hard drive on a Windows 10 computer: Turn off your PC. Crack open the case, put in the new hard drive, attach the cables, and secure the drive, probably with screws. Close the case. Turn on the power, and log in to Windows. Right-click in the lower-left corner of the screen, and choose Disk Management. The Disk Management dialog box appears. Scroll down the list, and find your new drive, probably marked Unallocated. The new drive is identified as Disk 0. On the right, in the Unallocated area, tap and hold down or right-click, and choose New Simple Volume. The New Simple Volume Wizard appears. Tap or click Next. You’re asked to specify a volume size. Leave the numbers just as they are — you want to use the whole drive — and tap or click Next. The wizard asks you to specify a drive letter. D: is most common, unless you already have a D: drive. If you really, really want to give the drive a different letter, go ahead and do so (most people should leave it at D:). Tap or click Next. The wizard wants to know whether you want to use something other than the NTFS file system or to set a different allocation unit. You don't. Tap or click Next; then tap or click Finish. Windows whirs and clunks, and when it’s finished, you have a spanking new drive, ready to be used. If you have three or more drives in or attached to your PC, consider setting up Storage Spaces. It’s a remarkable piece of technology that’ll keep redundant copies of all your data and protect you from catastrophic failure of any of your data drives. Changing Your Windows 10 C: DRIVE Whoa, nelly! If you’ve never seen a Windows 10 PC running an SSD (solid-state drive) as the system drive, you better nail down the door and shore up the, uh, windows. Changing your C: drive from a run-of-the-mill rotating platter to a fast, shiny new solid-state drive can make everything work so much faster. Really. Unfortunately, getting from an HDD (hard disk drive) C: to an SSD C: ain’t exactly 1-2-3. Part of the problem is the mechanics of transferring your Windows 10 system from an HDD to an SSD: You need to create a copy (not exactly a clone) that’ll boot Windows. Part of the problem is moving all the extra junk off the C: drive, so the SSD isn’t swamped with all the flotsam and jetsam you’ve come to know and love in Windows. Most of the drive cloning/backup/restore techniques developed over the past decade work when you want to move from a smaller drive to a bigger one. However, replacing your HDD C: drive with an SSD C: drive almost always involves going from a larger drive to a smaller one. LifeHacker has an excellent rundown of the steps you need to take to get your old hard drive removed and have everything copied over to your new SSD, using a backup program called EaseUS Todo Backup Free. A friendly warning, it’s not a simple process.

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What Is OneDrive?

Article / Updated 09-14-2021

OneDrive is an internet-based storage platform with a significant chunk of space offered for free by Microsoft to anyone with a Microsoft account. Think of it as a hard drive in the cloud, which you can share, with a few extra benefits thrown in. One of the primary benefits: OneDrive hooks into Windows 10, at least in fits and starts. Microsoft, of course, wants you to buy more storage, but you're under no obligation to do so. How much storage can you get? As of this writing, OneDrive gives everyone with a Microsoft account 5GB of free storage, with 50GB for $2/month. Many Office 365 subscription levels provide 1TB (1,024GB) of OneDrive storage, free, for as long as you're an Office 365 subscriber. Microsoft's offers change from time to time, but the general trend is down — prices are going down, fast, and it won't be too long before most online storage approaches free. The free storage is there, regardless of whether you use your Microsoft account to log in to Windows, and even if you never use OneDrive. In fact, if you have a Microsoft account, you're all signed up for OneDrive. OneDrive can be confusing Many people find OneDrive — at least the Windows 7, 8, and 10 versions of OneDrive — very confusing because, in essence, OneDrive keeps two sets of books. (Windows 8.1 OneDrive, by contrast is quite upfront about the whole process.) In Windows 10's OneDrive, there's the whole OneDrive enchilada stored on the web. But there's a second, shadow, subset of OneDrive folders that are stored on your computer. Some OneDrive users have all their web-based files and folders stored on their computers, and OneDrive syncs the folders quite quickly — what you see in File Explorer is what's stored in the cloud, and vice versa. But other OneDrive users have only some of their OneDrive folders on their computers. File Explorer shows them only this subset of folders and hides all the others that are sitting in the cloud. If you aren't confused, you obviously don't understand. What OneDrive does for you OneDrive does what all the other cloud storage services do — it gives you a place to put your files on the internet. You need to log in to OneDrive with your Microsoft account (or, equivalently, log in to Windows with your Microsoft account) to access your data. If you log in to a different Windows 10 computer using the same Microsoft account, you have access to all your OneDrive data through the web but, surprisingly, not necessarily through File Explorer. In fact, if you look only at Windows File Explorer, you might not even know what data is sitting in your OneDrive storage. This is one of the most confusing and dangerous parts of Windows 10. Realize that Windows File Explorer, when looking at OneDrive, is lying to you. File Explorer offers a very simple process for copying files from your computer into OneDrive, as long as you want to put the file in a folder that's visible to File Explorer. File Explorer lets you move files in the other direction, from OneDrive storage on to your local hard drive, but again you must be able to see the file or folder in File Explorer before you can move it. You can share files or folders that are stored in OneDrive by sending or posting a link to the file or folder to whomever you want. So, for example, if you want Aunt Martha to be able to see the folder full of pictures of Little Billy, OneDrive creates a link for you that you can email to Aunt Martha. You can also specify that a file or folder is Public, so anyone can see it. To work with the OneDrive platform on a mobile device, you can download and install one of the OneDrive programs — OneDrive for Mac, OneDrive for iPhone, iPad, or Android. The mobile apps have many of the same problems that you find in File Explorer in Windows 10. In Windows 10, you don't need to download or install a special program for OneDrive — it's already baked into Windows. If you have the program installed, OneDrive syncs data among computers, phones, and/or tablets that are set up using the same Microsoft account, as soon as you connect to a network. If you change a OneDrive file on your iPad, for example, when you save it, the modified file is put in your OneDrive storage area on the Internet. From there, the new version of the file is available to all other computers with access to the file. Ditto for Android devices.

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How to Use Android and iPhone Devices with Windows 10

Article / Updated 06-09-2021

How to link an Android smartphone to a PC When you install Windows 10, it asks you to link your phone with your PC, using the Your Phone app. When you go to Settings, there’s a Phone section that asks you to add your phone. Microsoft wants to be part of your phone too, no matter what you do with Windows 10. Because Microsoft has lost the mobile war, it decided to link Windows 10 to the Androids and iPhones of the world and annoy users in new ways. The Your Phone app sounds useful, at least in theory: It displays live notifications from your Android device and allows you to respond to messages from your computer and access the photos from your mobile device. And with select Samsung phones, you can even launch Android apps from Windows 10. Unfortunately, the Your Phone app is buggy, and it has the nasty habit of losing the connection exactly when you start to like it. But hey, Microsoft will improve it over time. Until then, here’s how to link your Android smartphone with your Windows 10 PC: Click Start, and then click the Settings icon. In the Settings app, go to Phone. Click or tap Add a Phone (on the right). The Your Phone app opens, asking you to choose whether you want to link an Android or an iPhone, as shown. Choose Android, and click or tap Continue. On your Android smartphone, open Google Play, and install the Your Phone Companion (or the Link to Windows) app. On new Samsung devices, the app is already installed. On your Android smartphone, open the Your Phone Companion app. On your Windows 10 PC, select the Yes, I Finished Installing Your Phone Companion option, as shown. In Windows 10, click or tap Open QR Code, and scan it with your Android smartphone, which should have the camera open, looking for the QR code. On your Android smartphone, tap Continue, and allow Your Phone Companion to receive all the permissions it requests: accessing contacts, managing phone calls, accessing files, and managing SMS messages. 8. On your Windows 10 PC, select Pin App to Taskbar, and click or tap Get Started. The Your Phone app opens on your Windows 10 PC, as shown, and you can start using it. If you want the Your Phone app to work, you must use the same Microsoft account on your Windows 10 PC and Android smartphone. How to link an iPhone to a PC The Your Phone app works with iPhones too—at least in theory. The problem is that the app doesn’t do much, even though the link process is similar to Android. You go through the same setup steps, but on your iPhone you install the mobile Microsoft Edge browser instead of the Your Phone Companion app. After the setup is finished, open the Your Phone app on Windows 1, and note how empty it is. At the time of this writing, it was literally lots of white space (as shown). The only functionality that Microsoft supports is sending links to web pages from the mobile Microsoft Edge to the desktop Edge in Windows 10. How to turn a smartphone into a webcam for your PC The COVID-19 pandemic has made webcams an expensive and difficult to find commodity. You can use your smartphone as a webcam for your PC. Simply install a specialized app both on your Windows 10 PC and your Android smartphone or iPhone. Many solutions are available; the one I like best is DroidCam. Download the app on both of your devices (PC and phone). The DroidCam setup is easy and involves having both your smartphone and your Windows 10 PC in the same network. If you need help setting it up, the folks at Digital Citizen have a detailed tutorial that’s updated regularly. DroidCam has both free and paid versions, and I have found that the free version has enough features for most people.

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How to Work Remotely with Windows 10

Article / Updated 06-09-2021

It's more important than ever to learn how to work from home or from other offsite locations. During the COVID-19 lockdown, millions of people suddenly required equipment that they may not have had in their homes before: a webcam, a second display, a better keyboard, a computer desk, or even an office chair. They also had to familiarize themselves with apps and tools for remote work. Learn more below about how to make these tools (both physical and technological) work for you. How to enable Remote Desktop connections Remote Desktop connections allow Windows devices to connect to one another through the internet or your local network. When you are connecting remotely to another Windows PC, you see that computer's desktop. You can also access its apps, files, and folders as if you were sitting in front of its screen. This is useful for IT professionals and business users who must work remotely. If you want to connect remotely to the Windows 10 PC you are on from another PC, or you want to let others connect to it, you must enable Remote Desktop. Here’s how: Click or tap the Start button, and then the Settings icon. The Settings app opens. Open the System category of settings, and on the left, click or tap Remote Desktop. On the right, you see the Remote Desktop settings, shown in the figure below. Click the switch to Enable Remote Desktop and confirm your choice. You may also want to dwell and click Advanced Settings, to see how Remote Desktop is configured to work in Windows 10. Close Settings. This procedure works only on Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. If you run another edition, such as Windows 10 Home, you can't enable this feature. In Windows 10 Home, if you open the Remote Desktop section in the Settings app, you see a message stating that Your Home edition of Windows 10 doesn't support Remote Desktop. Don’t forget that you turn on Remote Desktop to let other computers connect remotely to yours. You do not need to enable Remote Desktop if you want to connect from your computer to another. However, the computer to which you want to connect must have Remote Desktop enabled for the remote connection to work. How to connect with Remote Desktop Connection If Remote Desktop is enabled on the PC that you want to connect to and you know the IP address and details of a user account that exists on that computer, you can connect to it from your Windows 10 PC by using the built-in Remote Desktop Connection app. Here's how to establish a remote desktop connection from Windows 10: In the search box next to the Start button, type remote, and click or tap the Remote Desktop Connection result. The Remote Desktop Connection app opens, asking you to enter the address of the computer that you want to connect to, as shown. Enter the IP address of the computer you want to connect to, and click or tap Connect. Remote Desktop Connection may take some time to establish the connection, after which it asks for the username and password to use to connect to that PC. Enter the details of the user account to use to connect to the remote PC, and then tap or click OK. If you see a warning message that problems exist with the security certificate of the PC you want to connect to, tap or click Yes to continue. When the connection is established, you'll see the desktop of the remote PC as if it were your own. A toolbar at the top displays connection information, as shown. When you've finished working on the remote PC, click or tap the X button in the toolbar on the top of the screen. If you want to control how the Remote Desktop connection works, click or tap Show Options, and configure the available settings. You can also set the username so that you don’t have to enter it manually every time. Also, connect to only trusted computers. How to connect a second monitor Working on two screens at the same time can increase productivity, especially in times of lockdown, when you have to be working from home. To connect a second display to your Windows 10 laptop or PC, first check out the ports on the display and on your Windows device. The figure shows you how all the video ports look. There are two possible situations: Your monitor and your laptop or PC share the same video port. Buy a cable that has the same video port on both ends (HDMI, DisplayPort, USB Type-C, and so on). Your monitor and your laptop or PC do not share a common video port. Buy an adapter to convert the video signal from your laptop or PC to the external monitor. Depending on what video ports you have on your laptop or PC and monitor, you might need a DisplayPort-to-VGA, HDMI-to-DisplayPort, USB-C-to-HDMI, VGA-to-HDMI, DVI-to-HDMI, or Mini DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort adapter. You can find inexpensive adapters in electronics shops for almost any type of video connection. After you have the necessary cable, do the following to connect the second monitor: Using the appropriate cable, connect the monitor to your Windows 10 laptop or PC. Turn on the second monitor by plugging it into a power outlet and pressing its power button. Windows 10 takes a few seconds to detect the external monitor. Note that the external monitor may not display anything after it's detected. Press Windows+P to display the Project options. You can view the desktop only on your PC screen (the main display) or only on your second screen, view the same desktop on both screens, or extend the desktop and have two different desktops side by side. Press Windows+P to cycle through the Project options and view the results. You can also click to select an option. The image changes with each selection. If you want more help on this subject, check out a great Digital Citizen tutorial that covers all possible scenarios for connecting a second display, including establishing a wireless connection to a Smart TV or a Miracast-enabled display. How to install a webcam During the COVID-19 lockdown, webcams became a hot item. Millions of people began working from home and had to rely on webcams to join countless conference calls. If you are in the market for a webcam, realize that most people don’t need a high-end model with 4K video recording. A simple webcam with 720p or Full-HD video recording should suffice. Installing a webcam is as simple as plugging it into a USB port on your computer and waiting for Windows 10 to detect it and install its drivers. One of my favorite webcams is Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000. It covers the basics, is affordable, and is plug-and-play. Some webcams include software to activate features that may be useful to you. That’s why it's a good idea to do an internet search for the Support page of the webcam’s manufacturer and download from there the latest software and drivers for your webcam model. Install the webcam’s software, and you should have no problems using it for Skype, Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet video calls. How to add clocks to the Taskbar If you work with a team from a multinational corporation, it's a good idea to set Windows 10 to display a clock from that corporation's time zone. That way, you can quickly check the time in the country of your team members so you don't call someone as they're trying to get their beauty sleep! Here’s how it works: Right-click the clock in the bottom-right corner of the screen. A large menu appears, with many options for customizing the taskbar. Choose Adjust Date/Time. The Settings app opens, displaying options about adjusting the date and time. Scroll down to Related Settings on the right, and click Add Clocks for Different Time Zones. The Date and Time window appears, as shown. Select the first Show this Clock box, choose a time zone from the list, and enter the name of the city/country that interest you. Select the second Show this Clock box, choose another time zone from the list, and enter the name of the city/country that interest you. Click OK. To see the additional clocks, move your mouse cursor over the clock on the taskbar. You can also click the clock and see the additional clocks just above the calendar, as shown.

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