Saturday, 23 June 2018

Remove Cortana

  • Press the Windows and R keys
  • A Run dialog box will open:
    • Input the text regedit, and then press the OK button
  • The User Account Control warning will now open:
    • Press the Yes button
  • The Registry Editor will open:
    • Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows on the left
    • Right click on Windows, select New in the menu that appears, and click on Key
    • Input Windows Search as the name of the key (and press enter)
    • Right click on Windows Search, select New in the menu that appears, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value
    • Input AllowCortana as the name of the value (and press enter)
    • Double click on the AllowCortana value
    • An Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value window will appear:
      • Input 0 for the value (in the Value data input box
      • Press the OK button
    • Close Registry Editor
  • Restart the computer
Once you have removed Cortana, you will now have a standard Windows search box in its place
If you now want to change this to a search icon:
  • Right click the mouse in the windows taskbar. In the popup menu that appears, select Search and click on Show search icon (or click on Hidden if you want to hide the search box completely)
If you do want to remove the Search Bar in the Windows Taskbar (which is a part of Cortana), there are some instructions at https://trishtech.com/2016/01/how-to-permanently-stop-searchui-exe-from-running-in-windows-10.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

HP Support Assistant keeps telling me to Update System BIOS

HP Support Assistant often indicates when there are system updates required on my computer (it puts a yellow mark on the HP Support Assistant taskbar icon).
Often though it will indicate that there are BIOS updates just after I have installed one!
It is quite easy though to see the version of BIOS that HP Support Assistant 'wants' you to update to, and what version of BIOS you have installed:
  • To see the which version of System BIOS HP Support Assistant wants you to update to:
    • Open Windows start menu and click on HP Support Assistant (under HP Help and Support)
    • A HP Support Assistant window will open:
      • Select My Devices at the top
      • Click on Updates under your computer
      • Wait while a list of updates loads (this might take a few seconds)
      • Click on the question mark symbol to the right of the listed BIOS update
      • The Version of the update will appear under the update details

  • To see the which version of System BIOS you currently have:
    • Open Windows start menu and click on System Information (under Windows Administrative Tools)
    • A System Information window will open:
      • Click on System Summary on the left
      • The BIOS Version/Date will be shown on the right

If you find that the update and installed versions are the same (which I have found is OFTEN the case) it is possible to delay the update:
  • Click on Remind Me (to the right of the update), and then on One month in the menu that appears.
It is only possible to delay the update by up to a month at a time, but hopefully before the month is up the install will be superseded by an actual update!

Monday, 21 May 2018

Disable Task View

In the April 2018 update for Windows 10, Task View was added, which collects a history of activities that you have performed.
If you want to disable this:
  • Click the Settings icon in the Start menu
  • A Settings window will open:
    • Click on Privacy
    • Select Activity History on the left
    • Untick Let Windows collect my activities from this PC
    • Press the Clear button (under Clear activity history) to clear any existing activity
    • A warning message will appear:
      • Press the Ok button
If you now want to hide the task view button from the taskbar:
  • Right click on the taskbar, and click on Show Task View button in the menu that appears

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Disable fast startup

Windows 10 has a 'Fast Startup' feature that is enabled by default.

What this means is that when you shut down the computer, it doesn't actually turn off completely (see here for more information on this).

To disable the 'Fast Startup' feature:
  • Click the Settings icon in the Start menu
  • A Settings window will open:
    • Click on System
    • Select Power & sleep on the left
    • Click on Additional power settings under Related settings
    • A Power Options window will open:
      • Click on Choose what the power button does on the left
      • Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable
      • Uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended)
      • Click Save Changes

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Prevent 'other people using this PC' messages when logging off

When shutting down a Windows 10 computer, you might get messages to indicate that there are 'other people using this PC' (when you know that there aren't).

This is due to a recent Windows 10 update, that causes the computer to sign you in automatically when some updates are installed.

To prevent this from happening:
  • For each user account on the system:
    • Click the Settings icon in the Start menu
    • A Settings window will open:
      • Click on Accounts
      • Select Sign-in options on the left
      • Set Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device after an update or restart (under Privacy) to Off

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Prevent Steam from Running on Startup

If you have Steam installed on your computer, then it defaults to running whenever windows is started (usually it spends several seconds updating).
If you want to stop this from happening:
  • Open the Steam menu and click on Settings
  • A Settings window will appear:
    • Select Interface on the left
    • Untick Run Steam when my computer starts
    • Press the OK button
Note that after doing this you will still be able to run Steam from the start menu (and Steam will run automatically when a game is started)

Show File Explorer Icon in Start Menu

  • Click the Settings icon in the Start menu
  • A Settings window will open:
    • Click on Personalisation
    • Select Start on the left
    • Click on Choose which folders appear on Start
    • Set File Explorer to On