Microsoft Expert Solutions

Microsoft Expert Solutions

File Explorers New ‘Quick Access’ Menu

Quick Access folders

The File Explorer has a new feature called ‘Quick Access’ list. This feature allows the user to pin their favorite folders to the top of the list for quick, one-click access.

Recently used folders show up below the pinned items in the list, which can be handy when the user is working with a group of files.

To add a folder to this list, right-click it and select Pin to Quick Access. To remove a folder from the list, right-click the folder and select Unpin to Quick Access.

Frequent folders section

When the user first opens the File Explorer, any items in the Quick Access list also show up in the Frequent folders section. Recently used folders show up automatically in this section.

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Microsoft Expert Solutions

Windows Tip of the Day: Windows 10’s Anniversary Update

If you have not heard, Microsoft is releasing a free Windows 10’s Anniversary Update. This upgrade is supposed to be available in July of this year. This is not a small update, it’s going to contain a lot of new features and enhancements.

I will post more information as we get closer to the release.  If you want to play with the new enhancements now, join the Insider Preview program and joining fast ring. Open the Setting app, select Update and Security, select Windows Update, press the Advanced options link. Follow the instructions under Get Insider Builds section. 

Please note this is beta prerelease software, so don’t run it on your production computer.

To learn more about this and other features check out my book on Windows 10 (Power User Guide: Windows 10 Secrets: The Ultimate Windows Tips and Tricks Guide for Everyone) [shameless plug].

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Microsoft Expert Solutions

PowerShell: One Line Ping Scanner

Need to do some basic network exploration, use the one-liners below to see what device are on your network (Note: only setup for Class C, IPv4 networks).

Example 1: Less Detail
0..255|%{$a=”192.168.0.$_”;$b=Test-Connection -count 1 -ComputerName $a -quiet;If($b){Write-Host $a}}

Example 2: More Detail
0..255|%{$a=”192.168.0.$_”;$b=Test-Connection -count 1 -ComputerName $a -quiet;If($b){

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Microsoft Expert Solutions

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

On October 17, 2017, Microsoft released the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The video below from Microsoft gives an overview of the new features that are included in this update to the Operating System.

Some of the new features include, Mixed reality support (i.e. blending the virtual and real world together using a headset like a HoloLens), updates to the photo app to create movies from your photographs.  The update also includes several enhancements to Cortana and Microsoft Edge.

The operating system includes new security features to make your system more secure, such as the Windows Defender Security Center. Which includes new features Windows Defender Exploit Guard.  That helps protect files from unauthorized changes by malware (and ransomware).

Another new feature is the Continue on PC. When you visit websites, do searches, or read articles online that are on your iPhone or Android smartphone.  They can be forward to your PC where they can be instantly opened.

The video is a Microsoft promotion for their products, but it includes a lot of useful information about the new Windows OS update.  It also includes examples of the available mixed reality hardware and an overview of the new Surface Book computer.

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Microsoft Expert Solutions

Updates to the Windows as a service model

If you’re a Microsoft Windows IT professional and support Windows 10, then you should spend 5 minutes to watch this video. This will explain the changes that are being made to Windows Update service model.

Video Description: “With Windows 10, there is a shift to delivering Windows as a service. Catch up on the new way Microsoft builds, deploys and services Windows. Michael Niehaus, Director, Windows Commercial, defines the core components of the Windows as a service model and recent updates Microsoft announced. He will also review the build release process and update cadence, upcoming enhancements to further streamline the model, and how the model also applies to Office 365 ProPlus and Windows Server.


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Mixed Reality headsets (Overview to Get Started)

Have you been hearing all the hype about the Windows Mixed Reality headset?  This is not a review of a single headset, but an overview the technology and what you need to know to get started.

Introduction to Microsoft Mixed Reality Technology

With the release of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. A new hardware market segment for Windows is now available.

It is called the Windows Mixed Reality headsets. These headsets integrate with Windows 10 and allow the user to experience virtual worlds in new ways that is not available using a traditional keyboard, mouse and monitor.

Mixed Reality Headset Hardware Overview

Below is an example of what the Mixed Reality hardware for Windows currently looks like.  It is composed of two parts, the headset and the motion controllers.  The headset is obvious what you are supposed to do with it, and the motion controller are for interacting with objects within the virtual world.

Prices for this hardware start at $299, and go up from there.  It is going to require a computer that can run Windows 10 with the Fall Creators update, and has HDMI and USB 3.0 port.  Microsoft designed their mixed reality technology to only need very basic specifications for the user to to get started.

My personal opinion is that the faster the computer and more system resources (i.e. CPU, RAM, storage, network) the better the virtual world experience will be.

Below are some of the generic specification and considerations for selecting a mixed reality headsets (these specs will all vary between manufactures and available models):

  • Two high-resolution LCDs displays builtin to the headset.
    • Resolutions of these displays will vary depending on the manufacture.
  • Front-hinged display for lifting the viewer up out of your way
  • Built-in 3.5mm jack for audio and microphone support  
    • Consideration: Depending on the headset you buy will determine if it comes with a way of outputting and inputting audio. Otherwise you will need to purchase your headphone with a microphone.
  • A cable(s) for HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 for video and data.
    • Consideration: Make sure the cable is going to have adequate length to allow you to have enough freedom to movement.

To see all the latest devices, check out: Microsoft Store: Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

Mixed Reality Headset

Motion Controllers

How to Setup the Hardware

To get an idea of what the what the hardware setup requires, check out the following video:

Quick Overview of the Windows Mixed Reality Experience

Since this is such a new technology, getting an idea of what you can do with it after buy it might be your first question. Since most people do not have point of reference on what to expect when it comes to buying this type of hardware.

The video below demonstrates what the average person can do with the technology (without all the marketing hype).  I think the guy demoing the hardware does a good job of  providing a quick overview of what he did with the technology.

Competition (in conclusion)
There are several players in this market; and Microsoft is just one platform among several competitors.  Ultimately, only market execution by the company, great apps created by its developers, and how well customers will buy the technology and content will determine who succeeds and who will lose.

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Microsoft Expert Solutions

The Ultimate Windows Tips and Tricks Guide for Everyone

Check out the new edition of my book called “Power User Guide: Windows 10 Secrets (2018 Edition): The Ultimate Windows Tips and Tricks Guide for Everyone”.  

It is now available for sale on (

Book Description: Windows 10 is the latest Windows operating system from Microsoft. The new OS contains hundreds of new and updated features, applications, services and user interface changes.

This edition of the book series has been updated to discuss the latest release of Windows 10, the Fall Creators Edition. The content of the book has been doubled from the original version.

This book can help all levels of users (from beginner to IT Professional) to take full advantage of the operating system. Below are just some of the topics covered in the book:

  • Leveraging the power and features of the new OS and applications and services.
  • The book includes hundreds of power user notes, tips and tricks to utilize all the new features of the OS.
  • Learn the history and future of the Windows ecosystem, as well as what this means for the users.
  • Discover undocumented and little known features that can grant the user access to functionality that is only known to experts.
  • Understand the new privacy and security concerns that comes with using all the new applications and services.
  • Understand the different installation and upgrade options that are available to you. Including how to create your own installation media.
  • There is expanded technical content for IT professionals that provides basics like networking troubleshooting, more. 
  • Including new and updated sections on getting started with Hyper-V, Docker, Linux, PowerShell and the upgraded command prompt.
  • – And more…

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Microsoft Expert Solutions

Failure to Display Security and Shut Down Options Error in Window 7 & 10

Sfc Scannow command in Window 7 & 10

Failure to Display Security and Shut Down Options Error in Window 7 & 10

Try this…..

1. Restart the computer.

2. Start tapping F8 key.

3. You will get advanced boot option window.

4. Select the option “Safe mode”.

5. Once you’re logged in, click Start, All Programs, Accessories.

6. Right click on Command Prompt and RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR

7. Type “sfc /scannow” and click Enter Key

8. You should see a message that the Scan completed, reboot for changes to take effect.

9. Restart.

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Microsoft Expert Solutions

How to Stop Microsoft Window 10 Automatic Updates


How to Stop Microsoft Window 10 Automatic Updates

There are many ways to disable auto-updates in Win 10 which requires some technical skills and understanding of some core concepts of Windows.
1. Right click on Window Logo startup —–> Select Control panel
In Control Panel, click on Administrative Tools -> Services. A window with all the Win 10 services will open.                –> Alternatively, to open services, enter “services.msc” in the Run Command Box.
Scroll down and find a service named “Windows Update“. Right-click on it and “Stop” Windows Update if it’s Running currently.
Right click on Windows Update -> Properties. This will open another dialog box with Property options. Find Startup Type there and change it’s value to “Disable“.

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