How To

You've probably heard that Microsoft released its first build update to Windows 10 Technical Preview today, which adds the Action Center and Battery Saver, amongst other things.

It is the first of what will be many updates to come. In fact, there's already a small patch out for the build that was just released today. For that reason, it may be helpful to know how to go about upgrading your version of Windows 10 to the latest release.

Here's how.

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Microsoft's Cortana is winning the hearts and minds of users lucky enough to have the personal assistant on their Windows Phone. One feature we know people would really like to have is the ability for Cortana to read out notifications for incoming alerts. For instance, imagine if Cortana could announce a phone call and even the person calling when your phone rings.

Redditor clang_ley has made your dream one-step closer to reality by creating 19 Cortana ringtones and notifications hosted on their OneDrive account. The notifications range from various email scenarios, like work or school, to Facebook and Skype messages. The MP3 clips say things like 'Somebody messaged you on Facebook' or 'Chief, someone is calling you' all in Cortana's distinctive voice.

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Beginners' Tips Series!

Now, more than ever before, people have tons of data about themselves stored online. We have information in emails, bank accounts, social media, and countless other places. And at no other time has all of this data been more at risk.

While we cannot prevent the Targets and Home Depots of the world from being breached and exposing our credit card data, there are some measures that we can take in to help secure our information.

One of the easiest and most effective ways of doing that is by setting up two-step verification in our online accounts, like our Microsoft account.

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How to send drawings on Skype for Windows Phone

On Monday, Skype added drawings to their Windows Phone app. You can draw on empty canvas, add scribbles to a photo, or even add markers on a map. There were other updates too, including sign-in improvements, HD screen support, and faster resume time, but drawings stand out. Not sure how to do it with the new update? Don't worry. We'll show you in this video.

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Advanced Tip Series!

There has been a tremendous outpouring of comments on Windows 10 Technical Preview, both positive and negative. Some people have had a lot of luck running it while others have run into problem after problem. When you're dealing with a software preview, that's just the nature of the beast.

You may be one of the technical daredevils that boldly loaded Windows 10 on your Surface Pro 3. You may also be one of those sad souls who now regret that decision. If you fell into the second category and neglected to heed all the warnings about creating recovery media for your device, Windows 10 install has almost certainly wiped out the recovery partition on your Surface. This missing recovery partition makes an easy return to Windows 8 impossible.

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As people continue to use the Windows 10 Technical Preview, they are identifying subtle differences between it and its predecessor. One such feature that seems to be a double-edged sword is the Home folder in the File Explorer. When clicked, the Home folder displays a list of your File Explorer Favorites, folders that you frequent, and your recently-accessed files. It is the last two that have people questioning whether the Home folder is a good or bad idea.

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Beginners' Tips Series!

My Surface Pro 3 has quickly become the device I use most often. And since what I do on it is typically limited to writing, crawling the web and communicating with people, my demand for storage is not very high. However, I always make sure that I have plenty of music on my Surface, which can take up a lot of space.

When deciding on which version of the Surface I was going to buy I knew I wanted an Intel i5 processor, which left me with 128GB and 256GB for hard drive options. From a storage perspective, it was a no-brainer for me to go with the 128GB drive. Knowing full well that I could increase the amount of storage at any given time by taking advantage of the Surface's microSD card slot helps with that decision.

Considering I already had a 64GB microSD card sitting at home, it was a decision that saved me $300 over the 256GB model.

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Beginner's Tips Series!

About a year ago, I decided to move away from using Gmail as my primary email address, in favor of Outlook.com. I initially considered it way back at the end of 2012 when Google decided it was going to drop support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), but I had been using Gmail for over a decade and was, frankly, just too lazy. Finally, after growing more and more concerned about the privacy of my email data, I bit the bullet and made the switch.

Though I had been using Gmail for so long, the transition was generally painless. One of the most important things that I needed to transfer over, was my list of Contacts. Thankfully, that too, was very straightforward.

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In case you missed it, Creative Studio has just been updated to bring back Color Pop. This feature lets you create black and white images with the exception of certain objects. If done correctly, you can come up with some awesome photos. I walked around New York City today and took some photos with the Lumia 1520. Check out some of the images I've created and my 5 tips with Color Pop.

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Beginner's Tips Series!

Previously, we took a look at different methods of creating screenshots on the Surface Pro 3 and other Windows 8 devices, some of which automatically saved to a subfolder in the Pictures directory called Screenshots. This folder gets created the first time you use the Home (Windows) button + Down Volume to make a screen grab and becomes the default folder going forward.

You may decide that for ease of use or organizational purposes that you want to change the default folder where these files are saved. If that is the case, fear not, you can easily change it. Furthermore, this procedure is not limited to your Screenshots folder. It will work with just about any of your default folders, like Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos. However, for the sake of continuity, we will stick with the Screenshots folder.

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Four different ways to do a Windows 8 screenshot

Beginner's Tips Series!

There are tons of reasons why you might want to capture an image on your Surface Pro 3, or other Windows 8 computer. Maybe you want to preserve a pic of your high score for posterity. Perhaps your IT guy won't accept "My Outlook isn't working" as a legitimate gripe and wants a screenshot of the error message. Or just maybe, you write for a technology website and often find yourself needing images when creating "How To's" for your readers.

Whatever the reason, Windows 8 makes is super easy to getting a pic of your screen. If you are new to Windows 8.1 or have a Surface Pro 3, you may be wondering what your screenshot options are, so we break 'em down for you.

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Today, Microsoft unveiled their Windows Technical Preview for the new Windows 10 operating system. There are obviously plenty of questions from users about upgrading to the Preview, and one of those has to deal with the Modern Start Screen.

If like me, you installed the Technical Preview but you would like to get back the Modern Start Screen, here is a quick and easy way to make that happen.

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When the World Cup ended, I became highly interested in watching more football (soccer) games. Friends who follow football more than me said I have to check out the English Premier League (premierleague.com). I'm in luck because NBC here in the United States has acquired rights to broadcast all the games. Their app, NBC Sports Live Extra, is also available on Windows Phone so you can stream the games live or watch replays and highlights.

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Xbox One SmartGlass is probably the best app to have on your Windows Phone if you have an Xbox One. The app is incredibly useful and gains new functionality with nearly regular monthly updates. Recently, Microsoft introduced the ability to buy and purchase games and game add-ons using SmartGlass. A few of you still aren't too sure how to do that, so here's a quick guide on how to install stuff to your Xbox One without being anywhere near your Xbox One.

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Top Spider-Man Unlimited tips and tricks

Spider-Man Unlimited is the latest endless runner from mobile gaming giant Gameloft. The game's premise involves Spider-Men and villains from various universes converging into a single universe. With slick production values and dozens of different Spider-Men to collect, Unlimited is a real treat for fans of the web-slinger.

Want to get ahead on the Spider-Man Unlimited leaderboards and fill out your roster with Spidey's coolest costumes? Our latest tips and tricks guide will teach you the best ways to spend your time and energy while thwarting the plans of the Sinister Six.

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Microsoft, like most companies who run an app store, on occasion has problems with fake or malicious apps. You know, the ones that purport to be official, but charge you money upfront without a trial, something even more egregious for already free services.

I have seen a lot of teeth gnashing over this and lots of "look at THIS example!" posts. Even Microsoft has recently chimed in to say they are going to be doing more. But you play a role too.

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