Monday, June 11, 2018

Getting Windows 10 settings right (what a mess)

Windows 10.

Take Windows 8, remove Privacy and add enforced updates... that's Windows 10. I'm especially worried about Windows 10 screwing up older systems by involuntary driver replacements. Microsoft should at least allow us to block driver updates, please!

Anyway, if you want to run Windows it's the only game left in town.. And things can get very, very interesting if you're trying to run Windows 10 as the OS on a home server...

Getting Windows 10 back under control

(This is an update to an earlier post.)

Note that Microsoft keeps changing the location of different options with every incarnation, so you just might have to dig a little further if you've lost some option...

1. Windows 10 by default did not differentiate between active and inactive windows in regards to the tile bar of a window. You migt see a thin line of a different colour surrounding the bar, but that's about it.
  1. RMB on deskop
  2. Personalise / Colours
  3. pick an accent colour
  4. Transparency effects seem to only affect the task bar (?) so set to taste
  5. Enable 'Show the accent colour' for 'Title bars'

2. There are tons of privacy settings to wipe. As they keep moving around check out the Internet where to find them, and what they do.

3. To have easier access to user accounts create a shortcut to:
  • netplwiz

4. Some options are easier to access from the Windows 10 settings, some via the old control panel. A direct link to Windows 10 settings:
  • ms-settings:

5. Same thing for the classic control panel:
  • %windir%\system32\control.exe

6. This is also where you find the old time favorites like naming your PC, set visual effects, virtual memory, environment variables and system protection.

7. Optional: modify environment variables if you like all temp files together, and want to include some folder containing batch files or utilities whenever you go fancy and use the command line...
  1. create a folder C:\TEMP
  2. create a folder C:\temp\admin
  3. create a folder C:\temp\system
  4. go to Control Panel / System / Advanced System Settings / Environment Variables
  5. change user TEMP variable to C:\temp\%username%
  6. change system TEMP variable to C:\temp\system
  7. add paths to PATH variable, for example C:\software\batch and C:\software\utils
  8. reboot

8. There is no direct acces to the startup folder, but it still works and you can find it here:
  • C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

9. Allow ICMP PING. I'm running multiple machines in my network at home, so it's nice to be able to simply 'ping' another machine to check for connectivity:
  1. Control Panel / Network & Sharing / Windows Firewall / Advanced Settings / Inbound Rules
  2. enable "File and Printer Sharing Echo Request ICMP4 In"

10. Optional: if you are using Kodi on an Android tablet as a client then you may run into timeout errors when trying to connect over SMB. This is due to an non-installed Windows component.
  1. go to Control Panel / Programs and Features / Turn Windows features on or off
  2. in the list enable SMB 1.0/CIFS Server
  3. Note that this is a security risk as the old SMB protocol is no longer safe (but if it matters on a home server is for you to decide).

11. Some options of Windows have been removed / hidden for the average user. Bring them back using WinAero tweaker. I immediately change the following:
  1. set Advanced Appearance Settings / Icons / Horizontal Spacing to 100

Windows 8 and Windows 10 settings are a complete mess. Metro stinks. Unfortunately I still have to run Windows as several applications still don't exist on Linux... (And, frankly, I'm reluctant to learn all the ins and outs of Linux, but that day is coming...)

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