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Configuring UAC in Windows Operating System

To Turn UAC control ON or OFF

  1. Open ‘Control panel’. Click on ‘User Accounts’. In the ‘User Account’ window, click on ‘Change User Account Control Settings’.
  2. To turn off the UAC, move the slider to the ‘Never notify’ position and then click ‘Ok’. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation. You will need to restart your computer for UAC to be turned off.
  3. To turn on UAC, move the slider to choose when you want to be notified and then click ‘Ok.’ If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Turn the guest account ON or OFF

If you want to provide temporary access to someone who will be using your computer for a while, you can turn ON the guest account. The guest account allows a user to log on to a network, browse the internet and shutdown the computer. The guest account should be turned OFF when not in use.

  1. Open ‘Control panel’. Click on ‘User Accounts’. In the ‘User Account’ window, click on ‘Manage another account’.All the users’ account that is created on the computer system will be displayed here.
  2. Click on ‘Guest’ account.
  3. Click the ‘Turn On’ button to enable the ‘Guest’ account.

Changing the UAC settings

To make changes in the UAC settings you must be logged on as an administrator.

  1. Click ‘Start’ and then ‘Control Panel’.
  2. Select ‘User Accounts’. In the ‘User Accounts’ task window, click ‘Turn User Account Control ON or OFF’.
  3. If the ‘User Account Control’ dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click ‘Yes’.
  4. In the ‘Security’ section of the ‘Windows Solution Center’ page, click ‘Adjust UAC settings’.
  5. On the ‘User Account Control Settings’ page, move the slider to ‘Never Notify’ to disable UAC.
  6. To enable UAC or change the level, move the slider to the appropriate option. Click ‘Ok’.

UAC detects most of the setup applications automatically and then treats them as applications that require elevation of the user’s security context, even if the application is not explicitly marked as a setup application. In a managed environment, where users are not expected to run installation or setup programs, this can create unwanted request for support when users receive a UAC prompt.

Changing the behavior of UAC by applying Group policy

  1. Press ‘Windows + R’. Type ‘gpedit.msc’.
  2. Under ‘Computer configuration’. Select ‘Security settings’.
  3. Go to ‘Local policies’. Select ‘Security options’.
  4. In the details pane, scroll down and double click the group policy setting that you want to change.

UAC policy settings that a local administrator can modify

  1. User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the built-in Administrative account.
  2. User Account Control: Allow UIAccess applications to prompt for elevation without using the secure desktop.
  3. User Account Control: Behaviour of the elevation prompts for administrators in Admin Approval mode.
  4. User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompts for standard users.
  5. User Account Control: Detect application installations and prompt for elevation.
  6. User Account Control: Only elevate executables that are signed and validated.
  7. User Account Control: Only elevate UIAccess applications that are installed in secure locations.
  8. User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode.
  9. User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation.
  10. User Account Control: Virtualize file and registry write failures to per-user locations.
  11. On the ‘Properties’ page, make your selection, and then click ‘Ok’.

Upgrading to Windows 10

Before upgrading to Windows 10 we need to take care of few things that are listed below. If these conditions are followed than the upgrade will run smoothly:

1. Activated copy of windows

To upgrade your computer from windows 7 or windows 8, it is important that your current copy of windows has an activated license. You cannot upgrade to windows 10 if your previous operating system is not activated. To check the activation of your windows 8 copy, type ‘activation’ on the search box and select ‘see if windows is activated’. To check the activation of windows 7, right click on ‘computer’ and click ‘properties’. This ‘properties’ window will show if your copy of windows is activated or not.

2. Check the version of windows

Another important thing is to check if the version of windows is 32- bit or 64- bit. If it is 64 –bit version than you have to upgrade the same version of windows 10. Another important thing is that you cannot upgrade windows from 32 –bit version to 64 –bit version even if your hardware supports 64 –bit architecture. In that case, you will have to perform clean installation.

3. Checklist

Before upgrading to windows 10 you should decide what you like to see in your computer after upgrading. For example, the files, the settings, the user accounts, etc. Windows 10 allows you to choose the appropriate options while upgrading.

There are three general options that can be selected while upgrading to windows 10:
a. Keep personal files and apps.
b. Keep personal files only.
c. Nothing.

Keep personal files and settings

Most of the users may want to select this option as this option allows you to keep all the settings from previous version of operating system. However, some users prefer to clean up all other stuff and may want to experiment new settings with windows 10. By selecting this option basic computer settings like ease of access, computers desktop background or internet favorites and history will be retained.

Keep personal files

If saving disk space is your primary concern, you may want to select this option as this option allows you to transfer only personal files from your ‘user folder’. For example, documents, desktop, downloads, etc.

What are apps: Apps are programs that are installed on your computer to work. For example, Ms office, Adobe, skype, etc are all apps. Before upgrading to windows 10 it is a good practice to generate an app report by visiting this link:
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=261871. This link will help you in understanding the apps from your computer that are compatible or not with windows 10. This helps you to think wisely and decide if you really want your computer to upgrade to windows 10 or not.

Steps to upgrade windows 10
1. Open ‘Control panel’ and click ‘sytems and security’. Now click on ‘Windows update’.
2. The updates will start installing and will take few minutes to complete depending on the number of updates and required size.
3. Once the updates are complete, you will see “Upgrade to Windows 10” and ‘Get started’ links. Click on ‘Get started’ to start downloading the Windows 10 upgrade set up. The size may be around 2.6 GB approx.
4. The software license terms and agreement will be displayed. Click on “Accept”.
5. The windows upgrade window will be displayed and we are ready to install the upgrade. Her you can schedule the upgrade at a later time or you click on ‘Start upgrade now’.
6. The upgrade will take some time to install depending on the hardware configuration and the memory. The computer may restart during the upgrade process and once the upgrade is complete you will see the windows 10 desktop.

How to Create User Accounts in Windows 10

Windows 10 lets you create two types of account:
1. Standard account. Standard account has limited privileges and can only use the computer but cannot make changes.
2. Administrative account. Administrative account can make changes and has full control to access other accounts.
Now let us learn how to create these accounts. Before we start let us make note of few things here:
a. To create an account you must be a member of an administrative group.
b. The user name should not be similar to an already existing account.
c. The user name can contain 20 characters having upper case or lower case.
d. Special characters like, $@# {} are not allowed in a user name.
e. The maximum password length can be up to 127 characters.
Creating a user account in Windows 10:
1. Right click on the ‘Start’ button and click on ‘Computer Management’.
2. In the left pane, under the computer management option, expand ‘Local users and Groups.’ Select ‘Users’ folder.
3. On the right hand side, right click on the vacant area and click ‘New User’.
4. A ‘New User’ window will be displayed. Enter the necessary information of the new user and add a short description in the description box.
5. Type a password for this particular user and reconfirm it. The passwords are case-sensitive.

The ‘New User’ window also allows you to check four other important options that define the user properties. These four options are:
1. User must change password at next logon.
2. User cannot change password.
3. Password never expires.
4. Account is disabled.

Let us understand these four options in detail:
1. User must change password at next logon: If you check this option the user will get an opportunity to change the password when he tries to login next. This option is very important as it allows each user to set his own password.
2. User cannot change password: If you check this option than the user will not be able to change his password. Only the administrator can change the password for this particular account.
3. Password never expires: If this option is checked, the user’s password will never expire. In a highly secured corporate network, it is important to change the password every 72 days as it reduces the chances of password disclosure. This option is mostly unchecked.
4. Account is disabled: Checking this option disables the user account.
After selecting the appropriate option for your user account, click on ‘Create’ button to create the account. The user account that we just created is a ‘Standard user account’ with no administrative privileges.

Changing the properties of Standard account in Windows 10:
We can change a ‘Standard user’ account to an ‘administrative account’ by modifying its properties. Let us see how to do this:
1. Select the appropriate user from the ‘User folder’ and right click it. Select ‘properties’.
2. The properties window for the selected account will be displayed. Select the ‘Member of’ tab and click ‘Add’ button.
3. Select the ‘administrator’ group to make the user as administrator. Click ‘Ok’.
4. Click ‘Apply’ and then ‘Ok.’

Creating Groups in Windows 10:
1. Expand the ‘Local users and Groups’ under computer management. Select the ‘Groups’ folder. Right click on the vacant area and select ‘New Group’.
2. Enter the name of the group and add a short description for the group. Click ‘Add’ button. The ‘Select Users’ window will be displayed. Click ‘Advanced’ button and another ‘Select users’ window will pop-up. Click on ‘Find now’ button and select the user which you want to add in this group. Click ‘Ok’. You are back to the ‘New Group’ window. Click ‘Create’ button to create the group.

Exploring Cortana in Windows 10

Cortana in Windows 10 is the best tool that can ever imagine. It is like your personal assistant helping you to prioritize our tasks. It will help you search things on your PC, manage your calendar, find files, search for apps, talk to you. With Cortana your windows 10 experience is more personalized. Just enable the microphone by selecting the microphone icon and talk to cortana. You can use a mic to search for things instead of typing. These are some commands that you can use while talking to Cortana:
1. Show me the latest cricket scores.
2. Put jogging on my calendar for tomorrow.
3. What’s new this weekend?
4. Change my 10 am appointment to 12 pm.
Configuring Cortana: To enable Cortana we need to do the below settings:
1. Select the ‘Search box’ on the task bar and open Cortana. Select ‘Notebook settings’ and turn ON ‘Let Cortana respond when you say ‘Hey Cortana’.
2. In the ‘Respond best’ option, select ‘To me’ radio button if you want Cortana to respond only to you. If you want Cortana to be able to respond to anyone, select ‘To anyone’ radio button.
3. You can also use Cortana to track flight information, etc. by turning ON ‘Find flights and more’ option.
Cortana’s Notebook:
You can add your subjects, interesting topics and articles, favorite places and other stuff you want to remain updated with. Add more information about yourself in Cortana notebook to get more personalized help from Cortana. Some of the categories that you can add in the notebook are:
1. Weather: You can remain updated on the weather where are you now or some remote place.
2. News: Get the latest news on any topic you choose from sports, entertainment, etc.
3. Travel: Cortana can keep you updated with flight information via email and alert you about the traffic conditions and weather at your destination.
Setting up Cortana notebook:
1. Select the ‘Search box’ on the task bar and open Cortana. Select ‘Notebook settings’.
2. You will see an option that says, “Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts and more. Click on the ‘Turn On’ radio button next to it.
Cortana on Windows 10 phone:
You install and user Cortana on your windows 10 phone as well. Cortana will help you sync your settings from your Pc to your phone. To access Cortana on Windows 10 phone follow the below steps:
1. In the ‘App list’, tap ‘Settings’, swipe over to ‘Applications’, then tap ‘Cortana’.
Clearing your data in Cortana:
To clear the data from Cortana go to:
1. Cortana’s ‘Settings’ and select ‘Turn Cortana Off’.
2. Restart your phone to apply the settings.
3. Once the phone restarts, come back to Cortana’s settings and tap ‘Delete phone data’.
Managing Cortana data in cloud:
1. Go to Cortana ‘Settings’ and ‘Turn Cortana off’. Restart the phone once and come back to Cortana’s settings.
2. Tap ‘Manage Cloud Data’ to manage the cloud settings from the dashboard.
Change the way Cortana pronounce your name:
To change the way Cortana pronounces your name follow the below steps:
1. From the ‘Search box’ open ‘Cortana’s Notebook’.
2. Go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Have Cortana call me by name’.
3. Tap ‘Set my name’ to tell her your name.
4. You can check how she will pronounce it and can correct her if required.
Use Cortana to sign in and sign out of the Face book:
To use this feature you will have to allow Microsoft to access certain information from your face book account. Cortana will integrate with Bing to give you more personalized and tailored experience using your face book account.

Overview of the New Features in Windows 10

Windows 10 is fast and highly customized operating system with a totally new looks to the Windows operating system. We find the same ease of working on previous operating systems but an improved functionality and more exciting features. Let us discuss some of these features now:

Start menu

Unlike Windows 8 the full screen start menu is replaced by the start button again and is highly customized with tiles. It becomes very easy to access the apps and other features from this advanced start button.

You can easily download and use the apps which you require by clicking the small ‘Store’ button placed on the taskbar. This gives us an ability to install those apps which are required and get those apps which you may need in future.

Cortana is a new feature introduced in Windows 10 that acts like a personal assistant. It helps you to schedule tasks and you can interact with it to do your tasks. You can use the computer mic to give instructions to Cortana and it will take care of the rest. Cortana is not available in all the countries; it is only available to selected region.
Microsoft Edge

A highly innovative browser which can help you in taking notes and directly highlight webpages. The browser interface is clean and can be integrated with Cortana. You can mark annotations on the browser window to highlight the important points. A tablet pen, finger or mouse can be used for annotations.
Sign in required

Windows 10 needs you to sign in with your Microsoft account to utilize all the features. This eliminates the need of creating a user account in the operating system. Windows 10 uses more secure method of authentication which recognizes you by your face or finger print instead of your password. You can enable this feature by navigating to ‘Settings’ – ‘Accounts’ – Sign in options.
One drive

The most important feature of Windows 10 is One Drive. It ensures that all your important photos, videos and documents are backed up automatically in one storage cloud. One drive is the free cloud storage offered by windows 10.
Windows insider program

Windows insider program allows you to share your windows experience with Microsoft’s IT pros and developers. It helps the Microsoft developer team to design the operating system that best suits the end user’s requirement.
Windows snap ins

Windows 10 has the capability to open four snap ins at a single instance. You can open four windows simultaneously separated on a single window. This enhances multitasking.
Virtual Desktop Options

Windows 10 allows you to design multiple virtual desktops according to your business needs. You can design a desktop for home and office and use them when required.
Control panel

The Control panel view is completely changed with more options and radio buttons to enable or disable the settings. It still shows the category view, small icons and large icons in a completely new avatar. The personalization option helps you to personalize your windows desktop and other settings.
Supports Virtualization

Apart from all other features the virtualization feature gives more power to windows 10 desktop. The client Hyper-V feature with Guest Integration Services (GIS) helps IT Pro’s to build a strong and solid virtual environment.
All the above features contribute in giving a new look to Windows 10 but there are 4 more reasons for you to have windows 10 on your computer. They are listed below:
Free upgrades

If you have a genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8 installed than you can upgrade to windows 10 free of cost.
Free driver support

Most of the hardware and peripherals are supported by windows 10 and have inbuilt set of drivers installed.
Xbox integration

Windows 10 is integrated with Xbox and so you can play your games from Xbox on your windows 10 computer or transfer them. Microsoft has also released Xbox app in Windows 10.

Support & Training

There are many online resources available to help you to get the best out of the new features in Windows 10. There are also organisations who deliver training both to Companies and 1-1, which can make the learning process far quicker. Training providers such as Paul Brown Training and QA deliver Microsoft courses both onsite and at public venues across the UK, visit their website for more information.

Installing Windows 10

Overview of Windows 10

Windows 10 is a unique operating system launched by Microsoft and has more great features then its previous versions. A newly introduced browser “Microsoft Edge” defines the innovative feature of Windows 10 that allows you to take notes while browsing. Let us see how to install Windows 10 on a brand new computer:

Pre installation checklist:
1. Processor: 1 GHZ or faster processor.
2. Memory (RAM): 1 GB for 32 bit and 2 GB for 64 bit.
3. Free space required on Hard Disk: 16 GB atleast.
4. Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM drivers.
These are some prerequisites that you must at least have in your computer hardware to install Windows 10 smoothly.

Installation of Windows 10:
1. Turn ON your computer and insert the installation disc of Windows 10 in the DVD drive. You may need to restart your computer and enter the ‘BIOS settings’ to check if the DVD is selected as first boot device. Please select DVD as the first boot device in the BIOS settings and save the settings before exiting.
2. Once you exit the BIOS screen the computer will reboot and the installation process will begin.
3. The first page displayed is your ‘Installation page.’ On this page select the language and preferences according to your requirement. Click ‘Next’ when you are done.
4. Click “Install now” to install Windows 10.
5. Now you can select if you want to perform “Clean Install” or you want to upgrade from previous versions.
6. When you are installing Windows 10 on a brand new computer without operating system (Bare-metal) you can select “Custom Install”.
7. Select the drive on which you want to install Windows 10 operating system.
8. Click “Next” to install.
9. The installation process will begin and complete in 5 steps:
a. Copying windows files.
b. Getting files ready for installation.
c. Installing features.
d. Installing updates.
e. Finishing up.
10. The computer will restart after completing the 5 steps and will ask to provide basic settings like “Windows Update” settings. Click on “Use Express Settings”.
11. A Microsoft account is required to utilize all the features of Windows 10. Sign in with your Microsoft account and click “Next”.
12. If you want to copy your settings and app settings from another computer select “Show all my PC’s” and choose the computer from which you want to pull the settings. If you want to set this computer with the new settings than select “Set this up as a new PC instead and click “Next”.
13. One drive is an awesome storage feature which comes integrated with Windows 10. Your camera roll and PC settings will automatically get backed up to the cloud and new documents that you create will be saved to One Drive by default. Click “Next” when you are done.
14. The apps installation screen will appear and will take some time for the apps to get installed on your computer. Once the installation of apps is complete you will see Windows 10 desktop.
15. With this we have completed the installation of Windows 10 Operating system.
You can now check the new features of Windows 10 by navigating through the start menu and playing with some options on the screen. You can also look around the media gallery options in windows 10. The most important feature in windows 10 is that it is a cloud based operating system and can be installed on all devices. For eg: Mobile, Smart phones, tablets, Xbox, etc. Hence it is also referred to as Universal Operating System. Enjoy the experience!

If you require further training in installing and configuring Windows 10, QA offer a comprehensive range of Microsoft accredited courses. Contact them on 0330 029 2400