The operation of Automatic Maintenance in Windows 10

With Windows 10, automatic maintenance runs in the background whenever the computer becomes idle, including when you sleep, as long as there is power. By default the automatic maintenance checks for errors to fix (via Windows Error Report), performs hard drive storage optimization, system diagnostics and optimizes other services to [generally] improve the overall performance of your computer.

With Windows 10, the automatic maintenance feature was designed to help keep your computer healthy and optimize it without compromising performance or energy efficiency.

Normally, automatic system optimization occurs once a day at a time when you are not actively using the computer. If your computer is in Sleep mode, while on AC Power, it will be resumed and the maintenance events will be carried out using full system resources to execute the task as fast as it can. After completion of the automatic maintenance, the system will return to Sleep mode. However, it is possible to modify this schedule to avoid missing an automatic maintenance if your computer is turned off at critical times, or if something does not go as planned.

Automatic maintenance under Windows 10

Windows 10 Automatic Maintenance
Windows 10 Automatic Maintenance

Automatic maintenance is a set of associated tasks, scheduled to run daily at 3:00 AM by default. These tasks run simultaneously in the background only when your computer is powered on and idle. In this case, Windows 10 is able to actively perform maintenance and then sleep (economize power consumption) once it is done.

During a typical maintenance operation, specific tasks will run; hard disk optimization and defragmentation, scans for Malware, attending to Action Center messages, system and application updates, security checks, system and device diagnostics, and other tasks that assist in keeping your computer healthy and functioning optimally. However, the number of tasks will differ among various computers as software developers use different devices and special applications may be added as tasks to the standard Windows 10 automatic maintenance scheduler list.

The optimization process can only run for one hour per day. If the tasks are not completed within this time, they stop and resume at the next scheduled event. An exception to this rule is the ant tasks marked as critical, these will continue to run until complete completion, even if you are actively using the computer.

You can manually start the Maintenance task immediately by clicking on the Run Maintenance button. This is referred to as the User Initiated Mode.

Windows 10 Security & Manintenance Manual Mode
Windows 10 Security & Manintenance Manual Mode

It should be noted that Windows 10 updates are more likely to download and install outside the normal maintenance schedule. You can not use the automatic maintenance feature to disable Windows Update.

In case your computer is turned off or if you are actively using it, the planned maintenance operation will be delivered at another time when these such tasks will impact you.

Scheduled Automatic Backups: File History

A important role of maintenance schedules is about how backups are done. Windows 10 offers a feature known as "File History". File History is a simple but important utility that that backs up your important files and it works automatically - once it has been set up. File History is  not a complete backup of your whole disk drive, however it is a backup the  folders where you store documents, photos, videos, music, contacts etc. Basically everything that is important.

You can find File History in the Control Panel or in Windows Settings.

File History - Windows Settings
File History - Windows Settings

Windows File History is typically set as off

Windows File History is typicall Off
Windows File History is typicall Off

You need to add an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or some other external media storage.

Then File History can be enabled for the external media (any).

Setup File History on External Media
Setup File History on External Media

Once you are ready to use that external media, you could click on "Advanced settings" and choose a time schedule for the File History and how long to keep saved versions.

File History will keep multiple versions of your files that often change and remove them after the set time period. If there is just one version of a file, it is left as is.

How to control automatic maintenance in Windows 10

Although maintenance works automatically under Windows 10, you can consider various aspects of automatic maintenance. Here"s how to do it:

To open automatic maintenance, you can search for its settings via Cortana or through the Control Panel.

Windows 10 open automatic maintenance
Windows 10 open automatic maintenance

Click the Maintenance section to bring up the automatic maintenance options

Click Change Maintenance Settings

Windows 10 Change maintenance settings
Windows 10 Change maintenance settings

Use the drop-down menu to choose the time you want the system to perform automated maintenance tasks.

Windows Automatic Maintenance Set Schedule Time
Windows Automatic Maintenance Set Schedule Time

Tip: If you do not want your computer to automatically wake up at night, disable the Allow Scheduled Maintenance option to interrupt the sleep of my computer at the scheduled time.

Click on the OK button

Once these steps are completed, your computer will run the maintenance daily, at the time you have chosen and for a maximum of one hour. Note that ff you do use your computer, Windows 10 will postpone this maintenance.

If you want to run maintenance immediately, you can click Start Maintenance . This will cause the maintenance to continue and continue even if you are actively using your computer.

How to disable automatic maintenance on Windows 10

Automatic maintenance is a useful feature and it is desirable to leave it on for your PC to work to its full potential. But if you notice problems, such as unexpected performance consequences, crashes, or other problems, you can disable this feature.

Warning: Changing the Windows registry is can be a risky operation unless it is done carefully. I recommend that you make a full backup of your computer beforehand.

Although there is no disabling option in the Windows 10 automatic maintenance settings, you can manually disable it by editing the registry. Here are the steps to follow:

Use the Windows + R shortcut keys to open the Run command

Type Regedit and click OK to open the registry

Follow this part of registry tree: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Schedule\Maintenance

Tip: On Windows 10 Creators Update and later, you can copy / paste the path into the new address bar of the registry to access the destination key directly.

Right-click Maintenance , select New and click 32-bit DWORD Value

Edit Windows Registry - Add new 32-bit DWORD
Edit Windows Registry - Add new 32-bit DWORD

Name the key MaintenanceDisabled and press Enter

Double-click on the newly created key and change the value from 0 to 1

Windows Registry - New MaintenceDisabled Value
Windows Registry - New MaintenceDisabled Value

Click OK

Restart the computer.

Once these steps are completed, the Maintenance section and its options are still visible in the Control Panel, but the schedule will not run and if you click Start Maintenance , nothing will happen.

You can cancel changes at any time using the same instructions, then choose to delete MaintenanceDisabled with a right click and then choose Delete to clear it.

How to view all the Automatic Maintenance Tasks in Windows 10

Right mouse click over the Windows 10 Start tMenu and choose PowerShell
Paste the command below into the PowerShell window

Get-ScheduledTask | ? $_.Settings.MaintenanceSettings | Out-GridView

Showing all the Scheduled Tasks
Showing all the Scheduled Tasks

In the result, you can see a list of all the scheduled maintenance tasks.

Although this guide is intended for Windows 10, you can use these instructions to manage automatic maintenance in Windows 8.1.

Windows 10 Home versus Windows 10 Pro: What is the Difference?

Most new computers will come with Windows 10 Home, however Windows 10 Professional includes a couple of features that may interest you.

Windows 10 Pro vs Windows 10 Home - Differences
Windows 10 Pro vs Windows 10 Home - Differences

In this post we will explore the differences by three comparative tables being; 1)Basic features, 2) Administration functions and 3) Security tools that cover both versions. Below each table there is a summary which will explain the most notable differences.

Basic characteristics

Basic characteristicsWindows 10 HomeWindows 10 Pro
Start menu and dynamic iconsYesYes
Windows InkYesYes
Tablet modeYesYes
Microsoft EdgeYesYes
Support for voice, pencil, tactile functions and gesturesYesYes
Virtual desksYesYes
Quick startYesYes
Windows UpdateYesYes
Maximum RAM128 GB2 TB
Price$225.00 AUS$339.00 AUS


As you can see, the main basic functions of Windows 10 are present in both versions. You can use Cortana or the Microsoft Edge browser in the both Home and in the Pro, as well as your virtual desktop system, the start menu with customizable donámicos icons or the tablet mode.
A virtual desktop is about creating a new "desktop" instance where you can have other applications running. It’s like having a second instance of the operating system running on the same computer.

You can also use and share  Continuum between phones with Windows 10 Phone and computers with Windows 10 Home or Pro.
Continuum is able to know which device you are using and switches the user interface to make it adapt for for Computers, Touchscreen"s, 2-in-1 devices, tablets, or turning your phone into a PC.

Windows 10 Home version supports up to 128 GB of RAM , more than enough considering that home computers have hardware that can only handle 16 or 32 GB at most. The Windows Pro version supports memory up to 2 TB of RAM.

Administration and implementation

Administration and implementationWindows 10 HomeWindows 10 Pro
Remote DesktopNoYes
Group policyNoYes
Roaming business states with Azure Active DirectoryNoYes
Enterprise-class Internet Explorer (EMIE)NoYes
Windows Store specific for companiesNoYes
Create and join domainsNoYes
Access assignedNoYes
Dynamic provisioningNoYes
Hyper-V client for virtual machinesNoYes
Windows Update for companiesNoYes
PC shared configurationNoYes


As you can see in this graph, most of the differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro are in the administrative and implementation options. Basically, Windows 10 Pro version is more focused on companies , so it adds a number of specific functions that the Home version does not include, mostly related to administration.

Windows 10 Pro includes functions such as; remote desktop, shared configuration of computers or assigned accesses to be able to work in networking groups. It also includes network options such as several Azure implementations or the possibility of creating and joining domains in a network, as well as the Hyper-V client for the management of virtual machines, something that any user perform with paid third party software packages.
Microsoft Hyper-V, formerly known as Windows Server Virtualization, is a native hypervisor. You also need a CPU which supports virtualization.

Finally, the Pro version has some variations of exclusive applications, such as a Enterprise Mode of Internet Explorer or a Windows Update policy for companies. This version of the update system includes options such as deciding when and which devices receive the updates, pausing updates for individual devices or creating different schedules for different device groups.

Windows 10 Pro allows you to pause updates for up to 35 days.
Enterprise Mode is a new feature in Internet Explorer that allows businesses to use old web applications in modern versions of IE. This feature is designed to help businesses who still need Internet Explorer 8 for some reason to upgrade to a more modern, secure browser.


SecurityWindows 10 HomeWindows 10 Pro
Windows HelloYesYes
Windows Information ProtectionNoYes
Encryption of devicesYesYes
Safe startYesYes
Windows DefenderYesYes
Windows device status certification serviceYesYes


In terms of computer security, we can see that the differences between both versions of Windows 10 are minimal. The Windows Hello biometric system is present in both versions, as well as the ability to encrypt the computer, the safe boot or the native "antivirus" Windows Defender. So basically choosing either version does NOT directly affect your security.

The exception is BitLocker and Windows Information Protection, presented by Microsoft in the Anniversary Update. BitLocker is a system that encrypts your entire hard drive so that a hacker can not steal data even if they have physical access to it.

With Windows Information Protection , IT administrators can determine which users and applications have access to what data, and what users can do with corporate data. Once again, this option is a more specific tool for business use.

Another basic comparison of the differences is shown below:

Windows 10 Pro vs Windows 10 Home - Compare
Windows 10 Pro vs Windows 10 Home - Compare

Microsoft also present a side-by-side comparison of Windows 10 Home vs Pro Editions.

Windows 10 forthcoming October 2018 Mail App Won’t Force You to Use Edge

Windows 10 Mail app used to open links in Microsoft Edge despite the browser’s settings. Of course, users did not embrace this feature warmly and Microsoft was faced with a some serious backlashing.

Here’s some good news about the October 2018 Update: Microsoft has completely backed off on plans to force the Edge browser on Windows 10 Mail app users.

In March 2018, Microsoft announced it was “testing” a change that would completely ignore any default web browser choice when opening links in the Windows 10 Mail app. Such links would, therefore, always open in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft promoted this choice by quoting that Edge; “provides the best, most secure and consistent experience on Windows 10.” A lot of users think the most consistent experience is using the default (user chosen) web browser every other application on the system uses, be it an alternative like Chrome or Firefox.

“We look forward to feedback,” wrote Microsoft. Microsoft got that feedback in the form of many complaints, and they have removed this change without any further public announcement.

Basically, Mail would ignore your default browser unless you dug deep into the Reading pane options and disabled it. This was first reported by Italian blog Aggiornamenti Lumia back in July.

On March 16, Microsoft released build 17623 of Windows 10 Redstone 5 , which introduced a novelty not very welcome to users: opening hyperlinks of mail with Microsoft Edge. In essence, for four months now, Insider users who use a Redstone 5 build are forced to open the mail links of the Mail app with Microsoft Edge , even if it was chosen as system browser any other (Google Chrome , Mozilla, Opera etc.). This is what Microsoft announced last March:
For Windows Insiders in the Skip Ahead ring, we will begin testing a change where links clicked on within the Windows Mail app will open in Microsoft Edge, which provides the best, most secure and consistent experience on Windows 10 and across your devices. With built-in features for reading, note-taking, Cortana integration, and easy access to services such as SharePoint and OneDrive, Microsoft Edge enables you to be more productive, organized and creative without sacrificing your battery life or security. As always, we look forward to feedback from our WIP community.

Aggiornamenti Lumia posted a screenshot of the new version of the app that’s just around the corner in the coming [revised] October 2018 release of Windows 10. In the lower part of the screenshot, there’s a new setting option that has "on / toggle" for opening links in Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Windows 10 Mail app default Browser Links
Microsoft Windows 10 Mail app default Browser Links

New UI elements included in the Mail and Calendar app

The screenshot also shows the new UI elements packaged in the Mail and Calendar app. There is a likely hood of some new icons for the mail folders and a icons for the users’ multiple accounts.

This upcoming change is a sign that hints at the fact that Microsoft is now, at least, not considering to push Edge and instead there some good enhancements for the Mail app based on some user feedback.

Microsoft has always [desperately] pushed Edge, which explains the warning to users switching Edge in preference to installing and using Chrome or Edge.

Microsoft Windows 10 default Browser (Edge)
Microsoft Windows 10 default Browser (Edge)

Thankfully, those warnings have been removed after a lot of user feedback.

However, The Windows 10 "Cortana" app still ignores your chosen web browser and points you to use Microsoft Edge.

Also Windows 10 offers adverts on the lock screen via Windows Spotlight. Randomly Windows Spotlight will just demo view cool wallpapers, along with advertisements for games like Rise of the Tomb Raider and Quantum Break in the Windows Store. To get rid of these lock screen ads, head to Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen and set the background to “Picture” or “Slideshow” instead of Windows Spotlight.

Finally, Microsoft still appears to install apps like Candy Crush on your PC without asking.

Due to the "Microsoft Consumer Experience” program, such items cannot be disabled on normal Windows 10 Home or Professional systems.

Microsoft Consumer Experience - Extra Applications (Candy Crush)
Microsoft Consumer Experience - Extra Applications (Candy Crush)

The Microsoft Consumer Experience is a background task that runs when a new user account is created in Windows 10 for the first time. It then automatically downloads apps like Candy Crush Soda Saga, FarmVille 2: Country Escape, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and possibly other items Microsoft considers to promote.

Windows 10 and 7 support time-line changes: How they will now affect you

Microsoft is changing how it supports Windows 7 and Windows 10

This change will allow businesses and schools to run a more mature, stable and secure version of Windows for longer without the pressure of migrating computers to newer releases.

This change follows an report made to Microsoft from sysadmins, who reported that "keeping up with the twice-yearly feature updates to Windows 10" was causing them "fatigue".

The survey was conducted by Susan Bradley, a Microsoft-certified Small Business Server and Security Most Valued Professional who moderates the email list.

"It appears that there is a breakdown in the testing process. The Windows 10 insider process is not able to identify issues on released products. When your own products break with these releases, it is clear that current testing processes are not good enough," Susan Bradley said.

It Support Roles

  • Windows sysadmins have advised Microsoft that they no longer trust system updates will not make systems unstable.

  • The majority of sysadmins surveyed shared that the Windows 10"s twice-yearly feature updates were of little value to business.

What you need know about the changes and how they affect you.

Windows 10

Old arrangement

The Spring and Fall "feature updates" for Windows 10 were given support for 18 months from their release (24 months for the Windows 10 Education & Enterprise editions).

New arrangement

  • New feature updates for Windows 10 that roll out in the Fall (September), such as the (re-released) upcoming Windows 10 October 2018 Update, will receive support for 30 months from the release date.

  • New feature updates for Windows 10 that roll out in the Spring (March) will be supported for 18 months from release.

  • All currently supported versions of Windows 10 — builds 1607, 1703, 1709, and 1803 — will be supported for 30 months from the release date.

Which Windows 10 versions does this change affect?

Windows 10 Education and Enterprise editions (no change for Home or Pro editions).

Other details

  • Microsoft states that businesses that wish to run the same stable version of Windows 10 for a longer period will be able to choose the Fall (October) release (30 months support).

  • The longer support guarantee time window for the Windows 10 Fall updates are similar to the LTS releases offered by Ubuntu Linux.

  • To help ensure new versions of Windows 10 are compatible with a business"s existing apps, Microsoft is to release a new Desktop App Assure service to both Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education customers free of charge from February 2019. A preview of the service will be made available to select customers from sometime in October 2018.

Windows 10 - Support Releases & Timeline
Windows 10 - Support Releases & Timeline

Windows 7

Update: Microsoft adds another three years of security updates for Windows 7, for a fee.

Although Windows 10 has officially surpassed Windows 7 in terms of public adoption, Windows 7 is still prominent in the business & enterprise world. In what is likely a pressure relief for business users entering their final 500 days of Windows 7 support, Microsoft is now offering the chance to extend support by up to three years for cost.

Microsoft Windows - End of Support Timelines
Microsoft Windows - End of Support Timelines

At this time, about 40 percent of systems are running Microsoft’s Windows 7, the majority of which is in corporate environments and unwilling to upgrade "if possible". For an example, with Windows XP, Microsoft eventually forced business users to show that they were making the effort to migrate, but "today" no such signs have been shown with Windows 7’s end of life.

The Old arrangement

Extended support for Windows 7 — under which Windows 7 receives security and reliability fixes — until January 14, 2020.

The New arrangement

A new option for extended support until January 2023 under a new paid program.

Which versions does this affect?

Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise editions for customers using Volume Licensing.

Other details

  • To receive the Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) until 2023 Microsoft customers will be required to purchase a licence for each Windows 7 device that needs support.

  • No pricing has been released at this time for the Extended Security Updates, but the cost will increase for each subsequent year of support.

  • A discount is to made available to customers with Windows software assurance, Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education subscriptions.

  • Office 365 ProPlus will be supported on devices with active Windows 7 ESU (only) and will continue to run.

Microsoft Office

  • Office 365 Pro Plus will be supported on Windows 8.1 until January 2023 and on Windows Server 2016 until October 2025.

  • Microsoft will support Office 2016 connections to Office 365 services until October 2023, after which point customers will need Office 365 ProPlus or Office 2019 clients in mainstream support.

Microsoft have halted the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809)

Headline: October 6th: Microsoft pulls Windows 10 October 2018 Update after reports of mass file deletion

A number of users have reported that the October 2018 Update has removed  user profiles and some folders. Microsoft is actively investigating the issue, but the company has not yet fixed the issue and has decided to pull the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

The latest Windows 10 version is no longer made available through Windows Update or the media creation website, and for the moment  only allowing the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

Microsoft pulls Windows 10 Version 1809 update October 2018
Microsoft pulls Windows 10 Version 1809 update October 2018

The halted Windows 10 release rollout is no consolation to early updaters affected by the data deletion bug, however. Microsoft says to call 1+800+MICROSOFT or your local customer service number if the October 2018 Update wiped out any of your files.

The info below is quoted direct from Microsoft"s Windows 10 update history page:
Known issues updating to Windows 10, version 1809


We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809)* for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating.


If you have manually checked for updates and believe you have an issue with missing files after an update, please minimize your use of the affected device and contact us directly at +1-800-MICROSOFT, or find a local number in your area Alternatively use a different device to contact us at (link will vary according to country of origin).

If you have manually downloaded the Windows 10 October 2018 Update installation media, please don’t install it and wait until new media is available.

We will provide an update when we resume rolling out the Windows 10 October 2018 Update to customers.

Microsoft has confirmed the news stating:

We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating.

It is likely to be some weeks before Microsoft  re-release the corrected Windows 10 1809. The latest version hasn’t only resulted in data deletion for some users, but it was also blocked for some specific devices due to a high processor demand and (resulting) reduced battery life.

I have successfully done the (early) October 2018 Windows 10 release by using it as clean slate, and then migrating user files in after the full update cycle.

Because the problem appears to be associated with the data migration portion of Windows Setup, it"s unlikely that it will affect you if you have successfully upgraded to this October 2018 feature update.

For now, at the 7th October 2018, there is no information on how or why the data loss occurred and Microsoft has not provided any time-scale as to when the 1809 rollout will resume.

On that note, if you are not already doing some type of backup, now would be a very good time to invest in an external backup drive and set it automatically sync at least once a day. Most of all your data in the user profile.

Windows 10 October 2018 Version 1809 released by Microsoft

Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Version 1809

Microsoft officially released the latest Windows 10 October 2018 Update on Tuesday the 2nd of October 2018. This is the sixth major update that Microsoft is rolling out for its desktop operating system with a new set of improvements and new features to improve the overall experience.

Quick Summary: This release resembles the Windows 10 April Update and appears to be a sign of what you would expect on a (now) mostly mature Windows ecosystem. There on no flashy features, but some nice refinements to some existing features that generally make the operating system better, and nicer to use with your devices.

Windows 10 Update Version 1809 Pending Install
Windows 10 Update Version 1809 Pending Install

Generally speaking, if you have automatic updates installed, the latest Windows 10 October 2018 likely show up on or before the 9th October. You can manually update your machine to the latest Windows 10 version 1809 through Settings or you can use the Media Creation Tool to build your own installation media for the October 2018 Update - as well for offline installation on other computers.

You can use the Media Creation Tool to perform a clean install of the October 2018 Update that can help to fix many performance issues.

Windows 10 Upgrade this PC now
Windows 10 Upgrade this PC now

Note: it is highly recommended that you create a backup of any important data before you install Windows Updates. It is a known fact that earlier Windows 10 version 1803 release was plagued by numerous issues.

Windows 10 October 2018 Update released 2nd October
Windows 10 October 2018 Update released 2nd October

Some of the top Windows 10 1809 features

This latest version does bring a number of small new features and improvements. These include but are definitely not limited to:

  • Dark mode for File Explorer: With this October 2018 Update, Windows 10 has a new dark mode. Go to Settings > Personalization > Colors and scroll down to the bottom. Choose Dark under Choose your default app mode.

  • Diagnostic Data Viewer app: Microsoft now allows you to review diagnostic data in Settings to deal with all those telemetry concerns.

  • Fewer restarts prompted by Windows updates: you will now see more prompts that are designed to avoid unexpected update installation and subsequent restarts.

  • You Phone app: Along with enabling you to send and receive text messages using your PC, Your Phone also offers Android users to view their phone’s photos on their PC, offering easy access. The app is also available for iPhone users but the functionality for them is currently limited to sharing Edge links.

  • Timeline on phone: PC’s timeline is now available on your phone. “You can scroll back in time to find the files and websites you were using on your phone, computer and tablet,” Microsoft explains. “Basically, you can pick up where you left off, wherever you left off.”

  • New screenshot tool: Known as Snip & Sketch (Windows key + Shift + S), you can now copy a rectangle, a free-form region, or a full screen and then annotate it in the app, save, share, or paste it. The old Snipping Tool is expected to be deprecated in the future.

  • Block autoplay videos in Edge: You can now block videos that play automatically to prevent web pages from playing videos automatically.

  • Separate font slider to make text easier to read: Go to Settings > Ease of Access > Display >  Make text bigger to increase text size across without the need to increase scaling of the entire interface.

  • Improved Clipboard known as Cloud Clipboard: You need to learn a new shortcut (Windows key + V) to see a scrolling list of recent items copied to the Clipboard. The new Clipboard experience also syncs across your Windows devices.

  • SwiftKey: SwiftKey will now power the typing experience on Windows when using the touch keyboard. Available languages include English (United States), English (United Kingdom), French (France), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Spanish (Spain), Portuguese (Brazil), and Russian.

    • Battery details of Bluetooth devices: All connected Bluetooth devices will now report their battery lives.

  • Emoji 11 is live too! Windows 10 October 2018 Update finally supports all the new emojis from Emoji 11. Use ( Windows key + . ) or ( Windows key + ; ) to start searching.

Along with the above changes and improvements, Windows 10 1809 is bringing improvements and adjustments to the Game Bar, Windows Search, Settings, Edge, and Windows Shell.

Microsoft’s confidence in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update arrives with the base that early issues disappeared some months ago as Microsoft focused on the fit and finish of the operating system. Add-on applications such as Your Phone and a bit of buffing-up of the new browser "Edge", along with some welcome UI tweaks.

Windows Security, previously Windows Defender Security Center, has also received a Fluent Design overhaul.

Microsoft first unveiled its Fluent Design changes for Windows 10 at Build in 2018, adding subtle animations to many apps and core parts of Windows. Microsoft is using shadow effects across Fluent Design, alongside modernizing context menus and implementing consistent back button controls in apps.

Windows 10 1809 new Fluent Design
Windows 10 1809 new Fluent Design

The Edge browser receives some attention in this build, with a redesigned menu and options that  make navigation easier to users. A redesigned toolbar along with the Fluent Design touch.Edge users will notice the new sidebar menu that makes things a bit clearer (although it still can"t be opened in its own tab). There is also an option to disable media autoplay in the Settings of the browser under Advanced and control media autoplay on a per-site basis with a click on the (i) icon in the browser"s address bar and the selection of "manage permissions".

Reading View, a readability mode implemented in Edge, features line focus in the new version and includes more themes that users can apply to the mode.

Microsoft Edge"s built-in PDF Reader got updated with new functionality that includes adding notes and pinning PDF documents to the taskbar. There is also a new look-up feature in Reading View and PDF modes.

Dark theme for File Explorer

Windows 10 version 1809 Dark Theme for Explorer
Windows 10 version 1809 Dark Theme for Explorer

If you have set the default app mode to dark under Settings > Personalization > Colors, you will notice that File Explorer features a dark theme as well now.

Search improvements

Windows 10 version 1809 improved Search
Windows 10 version 1809 improved Search

The new version of Windows 10 comes with extended web searching functionality. Bing"s result page may be displayed when you search for a term that Windows cannot link files, folders or settings to on the device.

A search for programs or files displays extended options on the results page as well including options to launch programs with elevated rights, open its file location on the device, or to pin it to start or the taskbar.

Search may also display download links for programs.

Windows 10 October 2018 Update improves ransomware protection

Windows 10 version 1809, brings a shortcut to customizing its ransomware protection feature "Controlled Folder Access".

Now the Windows Defender Security Center is now simply called "Windows Security”.

Inside the new "Windows Security" Windows 10 users can now allow a recently blocked app by opening "Virus & Threat protection" within the Windows Security app, clicking "Ransomware protection", and then going through to "Allow an app through Controlled folder access". The new option to add "Recently blocked apps" will appear in a popup.

Given the potentially dire consequences of ransomware infections, lowering the barriers to using a security feature that shields data from it is a good move on Microsoft’s part.

To access Controlled folder access controls, users should select  Start   > Settings  >  Update & Security   >  Windows Security >  Virus & threat protection. Users should then select Manage settings, and under Controlled folder access , then select Manage Controlled folder access . From there they can set Controlled folder access  to on or off .

There are also changes to how Windows 10 will display information about third party antivirus in the Windows Security app.

Microsoft has added a new page within Windows Security called “Security providers” that displays all antivirus, firewall, and web security services running on a device. Users should be able to resolve issues reported about these apps through the Windows Security app, including links to other security apps.

Microsoft is establishing a new process for third party antivirus that requires vendors to register with Windows Security Center (WSC) before they appear within the Windows Security user interface. Until that registration is completed, Windows Defender Antivirus will remain enabled side-by-side with these products.

Getting the Windows 10 version 1809: If your device is compatible, this new version will automatically download through Windows Update on or before October 9. Alternatively, starting from October 2, you can install the update using the Media Creation Tool to do a clean or in-place upgrade, Update Assistant, or download the ISO file and create a USB or DVD boot media.

If you are not into doing a manual download, simply head over to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update and check if Windows 10 1809 is made available yet.

Microsoft began the Windows 10 October 2018 Update release process for the public on the 2nd of October 2018, skipping the usual "Release Preview" method.

Microsoft has now confirmed at least one compatibility issue with a “range of Intel Display Audio device drivers” that could result in “excessive processor demand and reduced battery life.” The update to Windows 10 October 2018 Update will fail due to this issue.
If you see a “What needs your attention” notification when you run the October Update, you have an Intel Display Audio device driver (intcdaud.sys, versions – installed in your system.

Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 Update roll-out
Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 Update roll-out

The latest Windows 10 October 2018 aka Version 1809 is the last of the two major feature updates planned for 2018. Version 1809 follows the April 2018 Update with performance and some minor design improvements. Excited to get your hands on the newest version of the operating system? This is potentially the first ever Windows 10 version that has been made available to everyone at the same time. But, before jumping on the installation process, make sure your machine can actually run it.

While this update isn’t as exciting as the April 2018 Update that brought in several features, including the highly anticipated Timeline and Game Bar improvements, there are still several features and improvements that the October 2018 Update promises. From dark theme for File Explorer to the incredibly helpful “Your Phone” app that will sync your Android and iPhone to your Windows machines to easily shares notifications, messages, and photos, there is a lot to get excited about this new Windows 10 version.

If you want to experience the newest Windows 10 version, take a look at this checklist of minimum Windows 10 1809 system requirements.

Windows 10 1809 system requirements

Following is the complete checklist of all the minimum hardware requirements so you know what your computer should have before you install Windows 10 October 2018 Update. (Internet access is also required.)

RAM1GB for 32 bit,  2GB for 64 bit
Hard disk space16 GB for 32 bit, 20 GB for 64 bit
CPU1GHz or faster
Screen resolution800 x 600
GraphicsMicrosoft DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver

It should be noted that Microsoft have not updated the above checklist for some time. The checklist continues to suggest that all the machines with the above specs should be able to run the latest Windows 10 version perfectly.

Microsoft does include several “notes” informing users that the small storage devices may face issues during the process due to "limited space". While your device may meet this checklist, there could still be firmware, driver and application compatibility issues - if you have a device that is barely meeting the above requirements. (You can check more details here)

Considering the above, this “official” checklist shouldn’t be taken as a guide to help you get support for specific programs or more demanding experiences as there might be some compatibility issues, especially with the Windows Mixed Reality demands. Back with the earlier release of the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft had recommended at least 4GB of RAM and at least a 4th-generation Intel processor.

Most machines should run Windows 10 October 2018 Update just fine as long as it meets the above minimum system prerequisites.

Note: it is highly recommended that you create a backup of any important data before you install Windows Updates.

Note: Windows 10 version 1803 was also plagued by numerous issues.

Reported Windows 10 version 1809 update issues  (current)

Below is a short list of known issues that users may run into when trying to upgrade or install this new Windows 10 update:

  1. Windows 10 update freezes system after first reboot during installation.

  2. Errors starting with 0xC1900101 when trying to upgrade. These indicate driver issues (hardware compatibility).

  3. Errors starting with 0x80070070 indicate storage issues.

  4. Windows Update is stuck at a certain percentage and nothing happens.

  5. Task Manager not reporting correct CPU usage.

  6. System Restore was disabled and System Restore points deleted.

Most user have reported that an upgrade from Windows 10 1803 to 1809 processed without any issues.

How to rollback if the Windows 10 October 2018 Update causes issues

If after installing the Windows 10 October 2018 Update v1809 you are facing problems and issues with it, you can uninstall it and rollback to the previous Windows version.

Windows 10 Roll-back Uninstall
Windows 10 Roll-back Uninstall

Click on the Windows Start Menu. Now click on the Settings icon.

In Settings, click on Update and security and select Recovery settings.

Windows 10 Settings Update and Security
Windows 10 Settings Update and Security

Next click on the Get started button under Go back to an earlier build section.

The roll-back process will start, and you are asked some questions for information purposes. You can ignore most of these if you wish.

The roll-back feedback options are:

  • My apps or devices don’t work on this build

  • Earlier builds seemed easier to use

  • Earlier builds seemed faster

  • Earlier builds seemed more reliable

  • For another reason – Tell them more.

Windows 10 Roll-Back Feedback
Windows 10 Roll-Back Feedback

Click Next to process, or just use Cancel.

Notes: When you go back, you will lose any NEW settings changes or NEW apps that you may have installed after you upgraded to the latest Windows 10 release.

Now a “Check for Updates?” window may appear. By clicking “Check for Updates” the process will check for updates for Windows 10 that have not been applied yet. If your reasons for rolling back are software glitches and/or missing features, this might be a good option to try rather than a complete rollback. You can always proceed to do the rollback after the trying any update first.

To proceed without updating, just click “No, thanks”.

Windows 10 Roll-Back Check for Updates
Windows 10 Roll-Back Check for Updates

You will see tips and notes about the rollback process. Read through these items since they are often important for a successful update.

Typically you will see warnings such as; NOT turning off your device during the update, backing up your files and have ready your account login password.

To proceed, click Next through each window prompt.

Windows 10 - Roll-Back What you need to know
Windows 10 - Roll-Back What you need to know

At the end you will see "Thanks for trying Windows 10". Choose “Go back to Windows 7” to start the rollback process.

Windows 10 Rollback Thanks for trying Windows 10
indows 10 Rollback Thanks for trying Windows 10

At this point, you wait until the rollback finishes. Depending on your device, this process may take up to an hour or longer.

When the roll back is complete, you are greeted by the familiar login screen and as indicated earlier, you may need to reinstall any new applications and restore some of your settings that you may have installed or changed while using the new Windows release. Your files will normally be intact, even the ones you created after you updated to Windows 10.

Microsoft Windows 10 Defender: Finally Good Enough!

Internet security is an increasing real life issue for all Windows based computer users. Gone are the early days when people only had to worry about "viruses". Today, ransomware, spyware, and various new forms of malicious software are considered (sadly) an everyday [normal scenario] threat to all Windows users.

With the latest Windows 10 version April 1803 update, Defender has now reached the point where I can recommend leaving it in place and using it. In fact, I see it as (very) good choice. This post will share some details and test results  that indicates what this package now offers, and some proof of the protection found in this latest release.

latest Windows 10 version April 1803 update

Your firewall, system monitoring tools, parental controls, and Windows Defender itself can be found and managed in one simple interface.

Windows Defender features a firewall, antivirus and anti-malware in one. It detects malicious applications and possible threats while quietly running in the background. It can identify and block malicious websites in Internet Explorer and Edge. It scans email attachments when received through Microsoft Outlook. It also protects links accessed through Microsoft Office 365.

Windows 10 Defender does not come as "bloat-ware", it works straight out of the box; there is no need for you to enable anything, set anything up, or register for anything. For most people, this is a easy choice. The alternative third-party security packages often come with bloatware (advertising) and somewhat complicated fix-it tools.

Understanding the new Microsoft Edge Application Guard released with Windows 10 1803

Occasionally, for whatever reason, we browse parts of the web we know could be dangerous, where malicious pop-ups, ransomware or other malware could infect our PCs. While no (known) solution is totally safe, Microsoft now has a free, specialized version of its Edge browser specifically designed to protect you online: "Windows Device Application Guard, or WDAG."
This feature is available in Windows 10 editions:
  • Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, version 1709 or higher
  • Windows 10 Professional Edition, version 1803

When a person tries to access a site that is not recognized or trusted, the Application Guard creates a new case of Windows which has the ability to support the running of Microsoft Edge browser. This new case of Windows has no access to the user’s normal operating environment, which means that it has no access to local storage, any domain credentials, installed applications, memory etc.
Quote: Microsoft has posted a Browser comparison graph to show that Edge browser had "substantially fewer" vulnerabilities since its launch than Chrome and Firefox, explaining that all the security improvements that the company has been making are paying off.

Windows Defender Application Guard for Windows 10 1803 lets you run Edge in a protected virtualized environment, protecting your PC from malicious code. Even if a malicious website exploited a flaw in Edge, it could not compromise your PC. Notes: With Windows 10 Application Guard is disabled by default.

Windows 7 vs Windows 10: How do the operating systems compare?

History: Back in 2015, Windows 7 was superior to Windows 10 but not by a wide margin. Back then, Windows 7 was a mature operating system that ran software well, and in a predictable manner.

It is now 2018. Now Windows 10 is overall better than Windows 7. Yes, Windows 10 does have some distinct flaws but they are no longer show-stopping flaws.

Many have held back from updating to Windows 10 because they"re afraid of technical problems, don"t like the Windows 10 user interface or are concerned some features may be missing. In this article we can compare some of the main features of Windows 7 along with their Windows 10 equivalents.

The following summary of core features is what makes Windows 10 what it is:

  • Cortana is Microsoft"s version of a digital assistant. It will set reminders, give information, and help you write text messages and emails.

  • Windows Hello is a biometric security system that uses facial recognition or a fingerprint scan to log you into Windows 10 and authenticate Store purchases.

  • Virtual Desktop allows you to create multiple desktops that you can switch between with the click of a button. You can move windows between desktops and easily keep track of multiple ongoing projects.

  • Windows Ink has a growing number of compatible apps that let you edit, annotate, and doodle with a digital pen. It"s incredibly easy to take notes, and you can even create works of art.

  • Edge is Microsoft"s signature web browser and its Internet Explorer replacement. It"s designed for the modern internet user. Options are an e-reader function and new extensions.

  • Windows Defender is software that protects your computer from viruses and malware. It runs full-time and will let you know if anything suspicious is happening or if it thinks you"re about to do something unsafe. It also receives constant updates to ensure it"s protecting as well as possible.

  • Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) offers the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

More like Windows 7

How To Perform a data migration from a Windows Computer to a Mac

Owning a Mac does not require not having all of your Windows data and files. For the most part, all of your Windows user data, including documents, pictures, music, and videos, can make the journey to the Mac without too much trouble.

Your Windows applications, however, will have to stay behind. They depend on a Windows operating system, and won"t run directly on a Mac. In many cases you can find a Mac equivalent software package.

Notes: With the release of OS X Lion (10.7.x), the Apple Migration Assistant gained the ability to copy user data from PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. With subsequent versions of OS X were released, the Migration Assistant picked up the ability to work with Windows 8, and Windows 10.

In this guide we will use the Windows Migration Assistant to transfer your music, pictures, documents, and other data from a Windows PC to your Mac.

Windows Migration Assistant transfers your contacts, calendars, email accounts, and more from a PC. It migrates this data to the appropriate places on your Mac.

Windows to Mac Migration

After you migrate data to your Mac, be sure to authorize your Mac in iTunes. It’s important to authorize before you sync or play content that you download from the iTunes Store.


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Peter Bowey

Peter Bowey
I am a electronics technician, computer engineer, and a IT support person. I work with technology across a wide range of computer disciplines - Apple, Windows and (for myself) Linux.