WINDOWS ARTICLES / EVERYTHING ABOUT MICROSOFT WINDOWS
Xbox is no longer just a gaming console. It’s an app and set of services integrated into Windows 10. But Xbox still uses whatever old gamertag, or nickname, is associated with your Microsoft account. You may have set this name on an Xbox 360 a decade ago, or may have been provided by Microsoft’s Games for Windows LIVE service.
Microsoft’s DirectX 12 and Apple’s Metal are next-generation graphics platforms. They provide lower-level access to graphics hardware, allowing game programmers to squeeze more performance out of the hardware. Vulkan is the cross-platform answer to Microsoft and Apple’s technologies.
By default, Windows 10 shows background pictures on your lock screen that have been curated specifically for this use–but it’s not immediately clear where they’re stored. Windows replaces these images regularly, but if you want to use them as regular wallpapers, the last several are usually in that cache and are not too hard to save if you grab them in time.
On the desktop, apps like Dropbox and Google Drive sync folders between your devices. But on your phone, it only gives you access to your cloud storage. An app called FolderSync lets you sync files and folders to and from your Android phone, just like Dropbox does on the desktop.
A proxy connects you to a remote computer and a VPN connects you to a remote computer so they must be, more or less, the same thing, right? Not exactly. Let’s look at when might you want to use each, and why proxies are a poor substitute for VPNs.
For the most part, Windows Update works silently in the background. It downloads updates automatically, installs the ones it can, and saves others to install when you restart Windows. Sometimes, though, an update installation fails and that can prevent other updates from being installed, too.
The status bar at the bottom of Excel’s window can tell you all kinds of interesting information, such as whether Num Lock is on or off, the page number, and the average of numbers in selected cells. Even better, you can easily customize the status bar to show just the information you want.
Windows has a hidden setting that will enable only government-certified “FIPS-compliant” encryption. It may sound like a way to boost your PC’s security, but it isn’t. You shouldn’t enable this setting unless you work in government or need to test how software will behave on government PCs.
Whenever you save a new file in Windows 10, the Save As window defaults to whichever of your user folders–Documents, Music, Pictures, and so on–is appropriate to the file type. If you’d rather not save files on the C: drive, though, Windows lets you create those folders on another hard drive to act as your default save location.
By default, Windows formats dates with slashes (3/23/16). However, if you want to use a different format for the date, such as using periods instead of slashes (3.23.16), that’s easy to change in Windows’ settings. You can also change the format of the time.
Have you ever wondered why you can just type ipconfig into a command prompt and it works, but when you want to use a command line program you downloaded you have to navigate to its directory first? Here’s how to fix that using the Windows System PATH.
Windows 10 saves a list of Wi-Fi networks you connect to along with their passphrases and other settings. If you want to set your Wi-Fi network up from scratch–something that’s occasionally necessary to fix connection problems–you’ll need to make Windows “forget” the Wi-Fi network.