Tag Archives: Windows 10

Office integration in File History

At the risk of posting so many Microsoft Windows-related posts that I’m accused of being a fanboy, I will share this discovery I made today.

In Windows 10, Office 2013 integrates into File History (the sometimes confused default backup tool in Windows 8 and Windows 10) so you can view your backed up files without having to restore them.

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How to get rid of the Bluetooth icon from the Action Center in Windows 10

EDIT (August 5, 2016): This post is now obsolete: the “Anniversary update” or version 1607 allows you to individually enable and disable the quick actions, including Bluetooth. Worth noting: Windows now does not even allow the icon on my PC, perhaps recognizing that it is not even present.

EDIT (June 16, 2016): It’s gone again, because I installed the latest cumulative update for Windows 10. Will keep observing.

EDIT (May 8, 2016): This no longer works for me.

In Windows 10, the Action Center contains some “quick action” tiles at the bottom of its flyout panel. One of the common ones is Bluetooth, even if the PC doesn’t support it. This is evidently frustrating to many people.

I found what I think is the answer:

  1. Restart Windows

I know it’s an old joke about Windows that you restart it to get it to work, but I’ve noticed that the unwanted icon shows up whenever I’ve installed a cumulative update from Windows Update… and disappears at the first restart afterwards.

Try it and let me know of your success.

What is that supposed to look like? VPN edition

In Windows 10, the Action Center is a flyout panel with information and common (supposedly) actions that you get by clicking the little message icon in the notification area at the lower right of your screen (lower left if you have an RTL language). A sales-language infused explanation is here on Microsoft’s site for Windows (10).

Down in the lower part of the flyout is a collection of “quick actions” – buttons you can hit to bring up common tools like PC Settings and OneNote. One of the common actions is VPN. Evidently Microsoft is expecting them to become a big thing, but my question is:


What is that swirly icon supposed to be? It looks sortof like the Command key on a Macintosh, or maybe this flag from New Zealand. Nothing about it says “virtual private network” to me, nor would I guess that’s what it meant if it was spotted alone in the user interface somewhere.

Questions for Microsoft – Windows Defender

Background: Windows Defender is the name of the bundled antivirus and antispyware software in Microsoft’s Windows 10. You can read the entire detail here and the slightly outdated official word here.

Two questions for Microsoft:

Despite being part of Windows and deeply integrated into the operating system, the little icon that lets you access it from the notification area (ex system tray) only shows up if a virus/spyware is detected, and then it stays until the user signs out. Why isn’t it always there? Note that this is with the option “always show all icons in the notification area” set to “On”.

When the little icon is clicked or right-clicked, you get a one-option menu:


Wouldn’t it make more sense to just automatically load the UI instead of making the user jump through another hoop?


One of your end-users

Stop touching me Microsoft!

As mentioned previously, I am using Windows 10 on my main PC. It is OK, but not really much better than Windows 7 for my purposes. It also engages in dubious rearrangements of file extension associations. (Side note: They did it again, but gave me a little toaster notification. I wasn’t fast enough to get a screenshot.)

Today, this happened:

I opened and was using the calculator (calc.exe). Not paying attention to the screen while keying in numbers, I missed the fact that it had done this on me:


This bizarre invitation to provide a rating had popped up in the app and stolen keyboard focus. The loss of my typing was minor matter (it was a simple product calculation). The loss of concentration was more annoying. The worst part is that Microsoft has adopted this tendency to hide irrelevant prompts that appear with no warning in basic OS tools.

No, thanks, indeed.

Minor change in v. 1511

I just noticed this little things, but I think it’s a nice example of the “devil in the details” that Microsoft noticed and fixed.

In the current latest version of Windows 10 (version 1511), the “Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media” icon is no longer the realistic icon that was carried over from Windows 7:


Now it is a very simple line drawing icon that fits in along with its fellow line drawings:


Windows 10’s inexplicably harder download access

For no valid reason I can find out, in Windows 10 you have to jump through another hoop to get to files downloaded via browser.

In Windows 7, you could configure the Start menu to make the Downloads directory (where most browsers automatically saved files you downloaded) to be a menu itself:


In Windows 10, that option appears to be removed for no reason. You can only add Downloads as a link that opens a new window:


This doesn’t even get into how hard it is to find the option to add the Downloads link to the “new” Start menu to begin with.

A question to Microsoft: Not being snarky here, is/was there a reason to make this change? How did it happen that this option was removed?

WTH Microsoft!

Having forgotten to go back to Windows 7 before my month was up, I’m still on Windows 10. Just now I installed the so-called “November update” or version 1511. To my annoyance, Windows Update scurrilously changed the default PDF reader from SumatraPDF (a third party PDF reader), to their so-called web browser, Edge, without even asking!

I thought Microsoft was over that kind of backdoor boogie.

Spurious Narrator opening on Volume Up caused by stuck Windows button

Playing around with a new tablet, I made a discovery: If you press the “volume up” button and find that Microsoft Narrator opens for no reason, that means the Windows button on the front of the bezel is “stuck”.

Press the volume up button again to close Narrator. Then, tap the Windows logo on the case several times (you should switch back and forth between the Start screen and Desktop) to clear its state. Press volume up again and it should work normally.

Third thoughts on Windows 10: A two of five

My experiences of Windows 10 are split between use on a tablet and use on a desktop.

The tablet experience was terrible. Not being recognized as a touchscreen tablet meant that touch scrolling was completely absent and touch keyboard was missing completely. I had to use OSK with no touch delay to enter text and even passwords. Interesting note: Windows recovery environment (WinRE) included with Windows 10 recognized my tablet as a tablet… which let me reinstall Windows 8.1. I’m back on 8.1 and am quite happy to be back there. Rating: 1/5 or less.

On the desktop, the upgrade lead me to some odd effects, but overall the system still works. HOWEVER… it doesn’t do anything more for me. Nothing that I could do on Windows 7 is any easier/better on 10. Some things are harder. For some reason the Start menu is even less customizable. I can’t make the Downloads directory into a menu, only a link. The Taskbar is stuck with this black color. Rating: 3/5

Average: 2/5

I suggest waiting this one out. Microsoft seems to be innovating for the sake of saying they are innovating. The Windows user interface and experience in 7 was fine for – I’m guessing – 90+% of its users on desktops and laptops, while Windows 8[.1] was a useful adaptation for touchscreen devices like tablets. Windows 10, to me, is a derogation from both.