Archive for the ‘Windows 10’ category

7 Ways to Restart or Shut down Windows 10

May 22nd, 2016 by Admin

How to quickly shut down or restart Windows 10 computer? It’s not as straightforward as you might think. In this article we’ll show you 7 simple ways to restart or shut down Windows 10 computers.

Method 1: Restart or Shut Down Using the Start Menu

This should be the simplest way of restarting or shutting down Windows 10 computer. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start Menu by clicking the Start button in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  2. Click on the Power button from the Start Menu, and then select Shut down or Restart.

    start-menu

Method 2: Restart or Shut Down Using the WinX Menu

  1. Press the Windows key + X to open the Quick Access menu (also known as Power User menu, WinX menu).
  2. Select Shut down or sign out, and then select Shut down or Restart on the pop-up menu.

    win-x

Method 3: Restart or Shut Down Using Alt + F4

  1. Click on your desktop to make it the current focused (active) window, and press the Alt+F4 keys. This will open the Shut Down Windows dialog.
  2. Select Shut down or Restart from the drop-down menu, and then click OK.

    alt-f4

Method 4: Restart or Shut Down from Command Prompt

  1. Press the Windows key + X to open the WinX menu, and then select “Command Prompt“.
  2. If you want to shut down your PC, type shutdown -s at the Command Prompt and press Enter.

    command-prompt

    If you want to restart your PC, type shutdown -r instead.

  3. You’ll get a popup stating that “You’re about to be signed out. Windows will shut down in less than a minute“.

    pc-will-shutdown

  4. Click Close or leave the popup open. The computer will automatically perform a shutdown soon.

Method 5: Restart or Shut Down Using the Run box

If you don’t like the Command Prompt interface, you can issue the shutdown command from the Run box. Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box.
  2. At the Run box, type the shutdown -s command and press Enter to shut down your computer. Or type shutdown -r and press Enter to restart your PC.

    run-box

Method 6: Restart or Shut Down from Windows Login Screen

  1. Just sign out your current account and Windows will take you to the login screen. You can also access Windows login screen by pressing the Windows key + L, or press Ctrl + Alt + Del key combinations.
  2. At the login screen, click the Power icon at the bottom right corner. You can then select Shut down or Restart from the pop-up menu.

    login-screen

Method 7: Physical Shut down or Restart

Every Windows 10 computer comes with a Power button on your computer case or the edge of your laptop. Press the Power button once and wait for the computer to shut down. Press the Power button again to turn the computer back on. If your computer is frozen, press and hold the power button for five seconds to shut the computer off.

How to Add Group Policy Editor to Windows 10 Home

May 12th, 2016 by Admin

Group Policy Editor is not available in Windows 10 Home edition. When you run the gpedit.msc command, you might get the error message “Windows cannot find ‘gpedit.msc’. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.

cannot-find-gpedit

Luckily there is a free third-party patch originally created by the enthusiast “davehc“, which can enable Group Policy Editor in Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home and Windows 8. But it also works well on Windows 10, here we’ll walk you through the steps of adding Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) to Windows 10 Home.

Note: This utility has been shared for the sake of knowledge sharing. Patching system files using 3rd party software might be dangerous for your system. Use it at your own risk.

How to Add Group Policy Editor to Windows 10 Home?

  1. Before getting started, download the free patch from jwills876’s DeviantArt page. After you downloaded the patch, right-click on it and select “Extract All“.

    extract-zip

  2. After extracting, you can see the installer file: setup.exe. Right-click on it and select “Run as administrator“.

    run-setup-as-admin

  3. A setup wizard will launch. Keep clicking Next to finish the patching process. When prompted to install .NET Framework, just click “Skip this installation“.

    skip-net-framework-install

  4. When it’s done, go to the temporary folder created by the patch: C:\Windows\Temp\gpedit, and you’ll see two batch files: x86.bat and x64.bat. Right-click on x86.bat (or x64.bat if you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows Home), and choose Open With > Notepad.
  5. You’ll find a total of 6 lines containing the string %username%:f in the file. Edit those lines and make sure %username% is in quotes.

    modify-bat

  6. Now, just save the file, and run it as Administrator.

    run-bat-as-admin

  7. Restart you computer and you should be able to access the Local Group Policy Editor in Windows 10 Home.

Prevent Other Users from Accessing Windows Apps with AppLocker

May 9th, 2016 by Admin

AppLocker is a Window’s built-in application that gives the administrator a very granular control over which applications are allowed to execute and which are blocked for a Windows account. This feature is really useful if you share a computer and don’t want other users accessing certain applications.

Today we’ll walk you through how to create rules in AppLocker to prevent other users from accessing certain applications in Windows 10, 8 and 7.

How to Restrict Access to Programs with Windows AppLocker?

  1. Press Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.

    gpedit

  2. Under Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to:
    Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Application Control Policies -> AppLocker -> Executable Rules
  3. Right-click on Executable Rules in the left pane, and then select Create New Rule.

    applocker

  4. Click Next to bypass the Before You Begin screen. On the Permissions page, select Deny (Click Allow if you want to restrict what programs other users can access only).

    permissions-page

    Click on the Select button to choose the user or groups you want the rule to apply. When it’s done, click Next to reach the Conditions page.

  5. AppLocker rules can identify programs using the following conditions: Publisher, Path and File hash. Publisher condition relies on the digital signature of the executable file.

    conditions-page

    Here we’ll choose File hash because AppLocker can still identify the program even if it’s renamed or moved.

  6. On the File Hash page, click Browse Files and find the executable file for the application to which you want this rule to apply, or click Browse Folders if you want the system to calculate a hash for all of the executable files in a folder. Click Next.

    file-hash-page

  7. Type a name for the rule that will make it easy for you to remember what it is, and then click on Create.

    name-and-description

  8. When prompted to create the default rules, make sure you click Yes. This is to ensure that the rules you created don’t block operating system files from running.

    create-default-rules

  9. Now you will see three default rules and the new one you created.

    applocker-rules

    Restart your computer for the AppLocker rules to come into effect. When you try to run the blocked application, you’ll receive an error: “This app has been blocked by group policy. For more information, please contact your system administrator.

    app-blocked-by-group-policy

AppLocker Doesn’t Work?

AppLocker doesn’t work under either an admin account or a standard account? AppLocker not blocking application even if you set up the executable rule correctly? AppLocker relies on the built-in Application Identity service, which is normally set to manual startup type by default. Administrators should configure the service to start automatically.

To bring AppLocker back to work, follow these steps to start the Application Identity service:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type services.msc and press Enter.

    services-msc

  2. Right-click on the Application Identity service, and select Properties.

    services

  3. Set the Startup type to Automatic and click on the Start button to run the service.

    application-identity-service

  4. Click on Apply and then OK.

How to Block An Application from Running in Windows 10

May 9th, 2016 by Admin

Whether you’re sharing a computer with other family members or friends at home, or securing computers in a corporate environment, there may be some situations where you need to block a user account from running a certain application.

In previous post we’ve explained a way to prevent a program from running using Group Policy. Here’s another way to block a certain application from running in Windows 10, by using a registry hack. This method works with all editions of Windows 10, 8 and 7.

How to Block An Application from Running in Windows 10?

  1. Hold down the Windows Key and press R to bring up the Run dialog box. Type regedit and press Enter.
  2. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
  3. In the left pane, right-click on Policies, and then select New -> Key, type in Explorer and press Enter. If the Explorer key already exists, just skip this step.

    new-explorer-key

  4. Select the Explorer key on the left pane. Right-click a blank area on the right side, select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    new-disallowrun-value

  5. Rename the newly-created entry to DisallowRun, and set its value to 1.

    disallowrun-value

  6. Right-click on the Explorer key on the left pane, and then select New -> Key, type in DisallowRun and press Enter.

    new-disallowrun-key

  7. Select the DisallowRun key on the left pane. Right-click on an empty space and select New -> String Value.

    new-string-value

  8. Name the new entry with the number 1 and set its value to the name of the application(.exe) that you want to block. If you want to restrict more programs, simply create more String entries with names 2, 3 and so on and set their values to the program’s exe file.

    list-of-disallowed-apps

  9. Restart your computer and try to run the blocked applications and you’ll get the error message “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.

    block-app-from-running

I should mention that if the user is smart enough to rename the program file, they will be able to run the program again. If this method does not meet your needs, you can use the Protect My Folders to deny access (read/modify/run/rename/copy/delete) to any application in Windows 10.

2 Ways to Configure Windows Firewall to Allow SQL Server Access

May 2nd, 2016 by Admin

By default, Windows Firewall doesn’t allow inbound / outbound requests for SQL Server. If you try to connect to a SQL Server instance from network, you might get the error saying “The server was not found or was not accessible”. In this tutorial we’ll show you 2 ways to configure Windows Firewall to allow SQL Server access.

Method 1: Allow SQL Server Access Through Control Panel

  1. Open Control Panel in Large icons or Small icons view, click on Windows Firewall.

    windows-firewall

  2. Click the link “Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall” on the left of window.

    allow-app-through-firewall

  3. You will now see a list with all the apps which are allowed to communicate through the Windows Firewall. To change the rules, you need to click the Change Settings button. The list of rules will no longer be gray and you will be able to edit it.

    change-firewall-settings

  4. Click the “Allow another program…” button.

    add-another-program

  5. From the “Add a Program” window, click the Browse button.

    browse-program

  6. Navigate to the installation path for your SQL Server instance and select sqlservr.exe, and click Open. In my example, the location is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.SQLEXPRESS\MSSQL\Binn\sqlservr.exe.

    sqlserv

  7. You’ll back to the “Add a Program” window and see SQL Server is added to the list. Click the Add button.

    add-sql-server

  8. SQL Server now appears in the list of Allowed programs and features. You can check any of the location types: private or public. When done, press OK.

    allowed-program

Method 2: Allow SQL Server Access Through Command Prompt

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt.
  2. You can run the Netsh advfirewall command to open all ports for SQL Server connections. Assuming the path of your SQL Server service is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.SQLEXPRESS\MSSQL\Binn\sqlservr.exe, copy / and paste the following commands in the Command Prompt, press Enter after each.

    netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="SQL Server TCP" protocol=tcp dir=in action=allow program="C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.SQLEXPRESS\MSSQL\Binn\sqlservr.exe" enable=yes profile=any localip=any localport=any remoteip=any remoteport=any

    netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="SQL Server UDP" protocol=udp dir=in action=allow program="C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.SQLEXPRESS\MSSQL\Binn\sqlservr.exe" enable=yes profile=any localip=any localport=any remoteip=any remoteport=any

    advfirewall

  3. When it’s done, you’ve successfully opened up all ports to allow SQL Server access through Windows Firewall.

How to Reset Start Menu Layout to Default in Windows 10

April 27th, 2016 by Admin

Start Menu is messed up and how to restore it to default? If your Start Menu has gotten overly cluttered, or want to restore the tiles that you’ve unpinned from Start Menu, here is a simple way to reset the Start Menu layout to default in Windows 10.

start-menu-mess-up

How to Reset Start Menu Layout to Default in Windows 10?

Before getting started, you need to create a new administrator account in Windows 10. If you haven’t enabled the built-in Administrator account before, just activate it if you don’t want to create a new administrator account.

The first time you log into the new administrator account (In my example, it’s Administrator), Windows 10 will set up the default apps, programs, tiles for the Start Menu. Windows 10 keeps almost all data related to Start Menu in the following directory:
C:\Users\{new_administrator_account}\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer

Note: You need to configure Windows 10 to show hidden files if you want to see the TileDataLayer folder.

Now log off the new administrator account, and log in with your regular account (In my example, it’s Tom). Browse to the folder: C:\Users\{new_administrator_account}\AppData\Local, and copy the TileDataLayer folder to the root path of C:\ drive for backuping.

copy-tiledatalayer

Log off your regular account, and log in with the new administrator account. Copy the backup folder C:\TileDataLayer and paste it into the directory C:\Users\{regular_account}\AppData\Local. When prompting to replace the file or skip copying, click on “Replace the files in the destination“.

paste-tiledatalayer

When it’s done, log out and log back into your regular account, you will find that your Start Menu is magically back to defaults, and only the tiles of the built-in / predefined apps are pinned to the Start Menu.

Windows 10 Start Menu: Restrict User from Rearranging or Unpinning Tiles

April 26th, 2016 by Admin

Is there a way to prevent users unpinning tiles (apps/programs) from Start Menu? You need to lock the Start Menu layout in order to restrict users from customizing or altering it. In previous post we’ve covered a registry hack to lock the Start Menu layout. Here we’ll show you another two ways to restrict users from rearranging, pinning or unpinning tiles from Start Menu in Windows 10.

unpin-from-start

Method 1: Lock Start Menu Layout via Group Policy

The Group Policy Editor is not available in Windows 10 Home. If you’re running the Home edition, please check out Method 2 below.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type gpedit.msc and hit Enter to access the Local Group Policy Editor.
  2. If you want to lock the Start Menu layout for all users, navigate to:
    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar

    computer-start-layout

    If you just want to lock the Start Menu layout for the currently logged on user, navigate to:
    User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar > Start Layout

    user-start-layout

  3. On the right-side of Local Group Policy Editor, double-click the entry labelled Start Layout to open its properties, select Enabled, and then click Apply.

    enable-start-layout

  4. Reboot your PC to apply the changes. From now on, you couldn’t alter the Start Menu layout, pin a program to Start Menu, or unpin a tile.

    locked-start-menu

Method 2: Lock Start Menu Layout via Registry Editor

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type regedit and hit Enter to access the Registry Editor.
  2. If you want to lock the Start Menu layout for all users, navigate to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

    If you just want to lock the Start Menu layout for the currently logged on user, navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

    Note: If the Explorer subkey doesn’t exist, create it (from the Edit menu, select New > Key and type “Explorer” without the quotes).

  3. From the right pane, right-click in the empty area and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Give the new registry value a name: LockedStartLayout. Double-click the created value, set it to 1, then click OK.

    LockedStartLayout

  4. Restart the Explorer or reboot your PC to apply the changes. That’s it!

How To Shrink & Expand Partition in Windows 10 / 8 / 7

April 25th, 2016 by Admin

Keep getting low disk space on C:\ drive even if you’ve deleted all files you can delete? There is no spare partition for another operating system? In this tutorial we’ll show you how to use the built-in Disk Management to shrink & expand partition in Windows 10, 8 and 7.

Part 1: Open Disk Management

To access Windows build-in Disk Management tool, just press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter. This will open the Windows Disk Management utility. From there you can resize (shrink or expand) your hard drive partition without data loss.

disk-management

Part 2: Shrink Partition

Need to create a new partition but you don’t have unallocated space? Just shrink an existing partition to free up space from which you can create a new partition. Here’s how to shrink a partition:

  1. Right-click the partition you want to shrink (C: in our example) and select Shrink Volume.

    shrink-volume

  2. Windows will take a moment to query the volume for available shrink space. Enter the amount of space you want to shrink. For example if want to free up 15GB space, enter 15000 Mb (1000 MB = 1 GB) in the text box. Next click Shrink.

    space-to-shrink

  3. When the process is complete, you will see a new unallocated partition right next to your shrinked partition.

Part 3: Expand Partition

Run out of space on one of your Windows partitions? You can also expand disk partitions, as long as there is free (unpartitioned) space available only after the partition you’re trying to expand. Here’s how to expand a partition:

  1. Right-click the partition you want to expand (C: in our example) and select Extend Volume. Note that the Extend Volume option might be greyed out when there is no unallocated space right after your selected partition.

    extend-volume

  2. Now when the Extend Volume Wizard opens, click Next.

    extend-volume-wizard

  3. It will select the maximum number of unallocated space itself. But you can set any amount yourself too, keep in mind that it is calculated in MB not GB. After you are done here, click Next.

    select-disk-to-extend

  4. You’ll see a brief summary of the changes. Click Finish to apply them. Now you’ll see your partition is larger and the unallocated partition has been merged.

    complete-extend-wizard

6 Ways to Open Disk Management in Windows 10

April 24th, 2016 by Admin

Disk Management is the built-in partition tool that allows you to create, delete, format, extend or shrink partitions. In this article we’ll show you 6 simple ways to open Disk Management in Windows 10.

disk-management

Method 1: Open Disk Management from WinX Menu

  1. Press the Windows key + X to open the WinX menu, or right-click on the Start button to reveal the WinX menu.
  2. From there you can click Disk Management to open it.

    quick-access-menu

Method 2: Open Disk Management via Run

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box.
  2. Type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter. This will launch Disk Management.

    diskmgmt-via-run

Method 3: Open Disk Management in Computer Management

  1. Right-click the This PC icon on your desktop and then select Manage from the context menu.

    manage-pc

    If the This PC icon is not shown, open File Explorer and right-click This PC in the left navigation panel, then select Manage.

  2. In the left pane of Computer Management, expand Storage and then click Disk Management to open Windows Disk Management window.

    disk-management

Method 4: Open Disk Management from Command Prompt

  1. Press the Windows key + X to open the WinX menu, and then click Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Type diskmgmt and press Enter. Disk Management will launch quickly.

    diskmgmt-via-cmd

Method 5: Open Disk Management via Search

  1. Click the Cortana search box from the taskbar. If the search box is hidden, press the Windows key + X to open the WinX menu, then click on Search.
  2. Type partition in the Search box. Once the search results are shown, click on Create and format hard disk partitions.

    cortana-search

Method 6: Open Disk Management from Settings

  1. Click on the Start button, and then select Settings from the Start menu.
  2. From the Settings window, click the Search box in the upper right corner and type partition.

    settings

  3. Once the search results start to show, click “Create and format hard disk partitions“.

6 Ways to Open Local Group Policy Editor in Windows 10

April 23rd, 2016 by Admin

Local Group Policy Editor lets you control all kinds of Windows settings via a simple user interface, without playing with the Registry. In this article we’ll show you 6 simple ways to open Local Group Policy Editor in Windows 10.

Option 1: Open Local Group Policy Editor from Command Prompt

  1. Press the Windows key + X to open the Quick Access menu. Click on Command Prompt (Admin).

    command-prompt-admin

  2. Type gpedit at the Command Prompt and press Enter.

    gpedit-command-prompt

  3. This will open the Local Group Policy Editor in Windows 10.

Option 2: Open Local Group Policy Editor Using Run

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.

    gpedit

  3. If prompted by UAC, click on Yes. This should be the easiest and quickest way to launch the Local Group Policy Editor.

Option 3: Open Local Group Policy Editor from Control Panel

  1. To access the Control Panel, press the Windows key + R to open the Quick Access menu and then click on Control Panel.

    open-control-panel

  2. You’ll see a search box in the top right-hand corner of the Control Panel window. Type group policy and press Enter.

    control-panel

  3. Click the Edit group policy link from the search result.

Option 4: Open Local Group Policy Editor via Windows 10 Search

  1. Click the Cortana search box from the taskbar. If the search box is hidden, press the Windows key + X to open the Quick Access menu, then click on Search.
  2. Type edit group policy in the Search box. Once the search results are shown, click on Edit group policy.

    edit-group-policy

Option 5: Open Local Group Policy Editor from Settings Charm

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings charm. Or click Settings from Windows 10 Start Menu.
  2. Once the Settings app is displayed, click the Search box in the upper right corner and type group policy.

    settings-app

  3. Click the Edit group policy link from the search result.

Option 6: Create A Shortcut to Open Local Group Policy Editor

If you need to access the Local Group Policy Editor frequently, you can create a desktop shortcut by following these steps:

  1. Open Windows Explorer, and then navigate to the directory: C:\Windows\System32.
  2. Right-click on the gpedit.msc file and choosing for Send To -> Desktop (create shortcut).

    gpedit-file

  3. This will create a shortcut on your desktop. Just double-click on the shortcut and you can access the Local Group Policy Editor with ease.