Microsoft’s Windows 10 Network Bug Fixing Update Leads to a Network Bug

Microsoft presented an out-of-band update for Windows 10 a few days ago to solve an issue wearing down VPN connections on some devices.

But because as it happens, this bug-fixing update is causing another bug, with some users now complaining of an issue breaking down Wi-Fi connections.

Windows update KB4554364 landed to solve a problem that potentially prevented some users from working remotely, something which considering the existing pandemic is terrible news. As per the official changelog:

“Addresses an issue that might display a limited or no internet connection status within the notification area on devices which use a manual or auto-configured proxy, particularly with an online private network (VPN). Additionally, this issue might prevent some devices from connecting to the web using applications that use WinHTTP or WinINet.”

It’s understandable that lots of rushed to install this update on their devices to revive the normal VPN functionality. Some, however, learned that KB4554364 then prevents their computers from connecting to Wi-Fi networks for a reason that’s yet to be determined.

No workaround so far

A report from HTNovo implies that no workaround has been discovered so far, apart from removing the update completely. In which case, users are left without the VPN patch, obviously.

Connecting to some Wi-Fi network fails using the following error when the bug occurs on the device:

“Socket error 0×2200021. c:/windows/sywow64/appidpolicyengineApi.dll, instruction can’t be read.”

Microsoft is yet to understand the issue, but with a new Patch Tuesday just around the corner, there’s an opportunity the organization waits for this patching cycle to produce more fixes. This month Patch Tuesday happens on April 14, so that as usual, new cumulative updates including both security and non-security fixes is going to be shipped to all Windows 10 versions out there.

New Microsoft PowerToys Version Released with increased Built-in Tools

Microsoft just released an up-to-date version of PowerToys for Windows 10, this time around included a lot of new utilities that users can check out on their own devices.

First of all, the primary highlight of the release is the addition of Image Resizer. Just as its name suggests, this new tool is specifically designed to allow you to resize pictures quickly on a Windows 10 device.

Available in PowerToys 0.16, Image Resizer lands as a Windows Shell extension, so just select the images that you would like to work with and then launch the app from the context menu.

There are two new pane extensions within this new release called Markdown Preview and SVG Preview.

Hello, Window Walker

Another welcome addition is called Window Walker, which is designed to serve as an alternative choice to the classic Alt + Tab app switching interface. What Window Walker does is permit you to switch to a different application already running around the device simply by typing its name in a search engine. So if you make use of a number of apps simultaneously, it may be simpler to just type a name rather than use Alt + Tab to find the thumbnail.

FancyZone is also getting a bunch of improvements, including a simplified UX with a remote layout hot-swap and flashing feature. This was necessary because FancyZone now features improved multi-monitor support, as zone flipping now works between monitors.

“Our mantra for the 0.16 was adding in additional features along with a continual push for quality and stability. We’re going after getting a method to auto-update PowerToys and have a great idea for this. We want to proactively thank the community for quickly identifying several bugs inside 0.15 and allowing us to quickly release 0.15.1 and 0.15.2,” Microsoft says.

Windows 98 with Fluent Design Looks Too Best to Be True

Microsoft is all about Windows 10 these days, however it doesn’t suggest the world has already left out the prior Windows versions.

Even though a lot of people still love Windows 7 as well as Windows XP, Zee-Al-Eid Ahmad Rana, who already created several pretty cool concepts, decided to give Windows 98 a contemporary touch together with his very own facelift.

What exactly we have here is a Windows 98 refresh according to Fluent Design, the design language that Microsoft uses in Windows 10 and in several other products.

The concept imagines a redesign UI for many core Windows 98 components, including Windows Explorer, the Start menu, and Microsoft Edge (as a matter of fact, Microsoft Edge didn’t appear in the Windows 98 era; this is a browser that Microsoft produced for Windows 10, and Windows 98 shipped with Internet Explorer as the default browser).

The clean Start menu

Obviously, this can very well be only a skin for Windows 10 because, let’s be honest about it, really looks great. The Start menu itself is apt to be the one thing a lot of people love, especially thanks to its clean design which reminds from the Windows 7 version.

The Start menu has evolved in Windows 10, now coming with live tiles and other elements, but those upgrading from Windows 7 prefer to stick with a more simplified and cleaner look similar to the one in the 2009 operating-system.

After your day, it’s remember this case an idea and there’s basically no chance to determine something like that ever going live in Windows 10. Microsoft rarely uses these concepts as the supply of inspiration for its visual updates, even though the organization would actually do itself a favor to check out such ideas from time to time.

Windows 98 with #fluentdesign – Zee-Al-Eid Ahmad Rana (@zeealeid) March 29, 2020

Windows 10 Proxy Bug Breaking Down the Internet, Microsoft Says Fix coming

Microsoft has recently acknowledged an insect in Windows 10 that causes the operating system to show a limited or no Web connection status in the notification area on devices with a manual or auto-configured proxy.

The problem, which Microsoft confirmed today, dates back towards the February 27 cumulative update KB4535996 and affects all of the latest versions of Windows 10, starting with Windows 10 version 1709 and newer.

Windows 10 version 1909, the latest stable feature update for that operating system, can also be impacted.

Fix arriving early April

“Devices using a manual or auto-configured proxy, particularly with a virtual private network (VPN), might show limited or no web connection status within the Network Connectivity Status Indicator (NCSI) within the notification area,” Microsoft explains.

“This can happen when connected or disconnected to some VPN or after changing state between the two. Devices with this particular issue, may also have issues reaching the internet using applications which use WinHTTP or WinInet. Types of apps that might be affected on devices in this state are listed below although not restricted to Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Office, Office365, Outlook, Internet Explorer 11, plus some form of Microsoft Edge.”

The good thing is that Microsoft says a fix is already on its way to Windows 10 users, however the not so good news is that it should take some more days until it lands. Microsoft explains that the out-of-band patch is going to be published on the Microsoft Catalog in early April, so further information is going to be posted at in the future.

Meanwhile, you skill is restart your device, as Microsoft states that in some instances, this helps mitigate the problem. Probably, this is just a brief fix, but since not one other solutions can be found, it’s perfectly worth a try anyway.

Microsoft Improves Windows 10’s Tablet Mode, So It Makes More Sense Now

Microsoft has enabled a brand new tablet experience for select users in the Windows Insider program included in a new build shipped to the Fast ring a few hours ago.

Windows 10 build 19592 returns this tablet experience after it was first released as an experiment in Windows 10 build 19013 but pulled next for additional refinements.

“This experience is separate from named Mode experience that you’ll still be able to utilize. This new experience allows users entering tablet posture to stay in the familiar desktop experience the whole time with a few key touch improvements,” Microsoft explains.

The brand new tablet mode comes with some important changes, all of them allowing the feature overall to make more sense moving forward – as numerous have no doubt about, the Windows 10 tablet mode hasn’t really removed, mostly because lots of people considered it rather cluttered and difficult to make use of.

Welcome improvements

So this updated experience comes with taskbar icons which are spaced out, basically making named mode feel a lot more like the desktop. This is certainly a good approach, especially because it helps provide more consistency over the operating system.

Looking box embedded in to the taskbar can now be launched from an icon, as the touch keyboard automatically launches whenever you tap a text field, something that should have had the experience from the very beginning.

And of course, you can find more touch improvements for File Explorer, with all of elements now featuring more padding to be easier to use with a tap.

“In to help ensure quality, the feature will be rolling out slowly, beginning with part of the Insiders that have never detached their keyboard before, or have their tablet mode settings set to Don’t ask me and don’t switch,” Microsoft says.

This new mode has created to users gradually, as well as an ETA regarding if this could go love production devices isn’t yet available.

The simplest Fix for the Latest Security Vulnerabilities in Windows

Microsoft has recently acknowledged two zero-day vulnerabilities in Windows, confirming that it’s aware of attacks happening in the wild already.

Specifically, the font parsing remote code execution bugs in Windows come from the Adobe Type Manager Library, which Microsoft uses to render fonts in the operating system.

“Two remote code execution vulnerabilities exist in Microsoft Windows once the Windows Adobe Type Manager Library improperly handles a specially-crafted multi-master font – Adobe Type 1 PostScript format,” Microsoft says.

Despite attacks already happening in the wild, there’s no rush to patch the flaws, it seems, and Microsoft says a fix will probably land next month. What this means is we might need to hold back until April 14 when the next Patch Tuesday updates go live officially for all Windows users.

“Microsoft understands this vulnerability and working on the fix. Updates that address security vulnerabilities in Microsoft software are usually released on Update Tuesday, the second Tuesday of each month. This predictable schedule allows for partner quality assurance also it planning, which helps maintain the Windows ecosystem as a reliable, secure choice for our customers,” Microsoft says.

There are several methods to exploit the vulnerability, and something of these is opening a crafted document specifically created to make use of the bug within the Windows Explorer preview pane.

So technically, the workaround is dependant on this: disabling the preview pane and also the details pane in File Explorer.

This workaround pertains to all Windows versions, as File Explorer is offered as the pre-loaded file manager within the operating system. The steps, however, really are a quite different with respect to the version of Windows that you simply run on the unit.

Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019

Open File Explorer on the tool and then follow these steps:

View tab > Clear Details pane + Preview Pane > Options > Change folder and search options > View > Advanced settings > Always show icons, never thumbnails

At this point, the preview ought to be disabled, so you need to relaunch File Explorer in order to save your settings.

Windows 8.1, Windows 7, older Windows Server versions

Nearly exactly the same steps work because well, having a small difference:

File Explorer > Organize > Layout > Clear Details pane + Preview pane > Organize > Folder and check options > View > Advanced settings > Always show icons, never thumbnails

What you ought to do know is when you make these changes, File Explorer won’t display OTF fonts automatically, to want to reset these steps when a patch is published. To do this, just follow the aforementioned steps and uncheck the last option.

“Disabling the Preview and Details panes in Windows Explorer prevents the automated display of OTF fonts in Windows Explorer. Although this prevents malicious files from being viewed in Windows Explorer, it does not prevent a local, authenticated user from managing a specially crafted program to exploit this vulnerability,” Microsoft explains.

The next Patch Tuesday, due on April 14, will likely resolve the vulnerabilities within the supported Windows versions. This is actually the most essential thing, as despite Windows 7 also being vulnerable, it’s no longer getting updates, therefore it’ll remain open to attacks.

Windows 7 reached no more support in January this season, so users still running it are recommended to switch to Windows 10 for security reasons. All Windows 10 versions can get cumulative updates around the next Patch Tuesday, albeit only the newest are supported for home users.

The Best Windows 10 Antivirus to make use of While Working from Home

Virtually the entire world is working from home nowadays because of the new coronavirus outbreak, but simultaneously, cybercriminals are fairly busy too within their struggle to compromise out devices.

Running up-to-date antivirus is very often an easy way to block an important share of malware, and also the researchers at German institute AV-TEST have conducted a brand new number of tests in January and February to determine the best security products for Windows.

As usual, they tested each application for protection, performance, and usability, offering no more than six points for each category.

Obviously, the leading security vendors still top the charts, so if you’re searching for a powerful antivirus product, the next solutions received the maximum score of 18 points:

Avira Antivirus Pro
F-Secure SAFE
Kaspersky Internet security software
NortonLifeLock Norton 360
VIPRE Security AdvancedSecurity

However, the next apps got pretty close to the maximum score having a 17.5 points rating:

BullGuard Internet Security
G DATA Internet security software
K7 Computing TotalSecurity
Microsoft Defender
Trend Micro Internet security software

Windows Defender, the antivirus that comes pre-loaded in Windows 10, once again offered a notable performance, because it were able to obtain nearly the same score because the world’s leading third-party security vendors. Windows Defender received 5.5 points for protection, 6 points for performance, and 6 more points for usability for any final score of 17.5 points.

The worst performance award this time around would go to PC Matic, a burglar product which received just 3 points for protection and 3.5 points for usability. Its performance during the test was rated with 6 points.

At the end of your day, if you’re looking for top-notch malware protection, you can perfectly stick to Windows Defender just in case you’re running Windows 10. For even more advanced features, there are many third-party security vendors to choose from.

This Windows 10 Ctrl+Alt+Del Design Is fairly But May Not Work

User concepts envisioning visual improvements for Windows 10 have been in existence for some time, and in some cases, the ideas they were based on made a lot of sense for the operating-system moving forward.

The concept that we have here proposes an improved design for the Ctrl + Alt + Del menu you need to turn to whenever something goes wrong on the tool and you need to kill a particular process.

At first glance, the proposed design is a lot prettier compared to one right now we have in Windows 10, and it also aligns using the Fluent Design system that Microsoft is currently while implementing in the operating system.

As you may know already, users love such modern looks, but regardless of this, it doesn’t suggest they create sense in all parts of the operating-system. Such as the menu that you simply see when the computer is overloaded, that’s, especially because the UI here ought to be as easy as possible without any visual effects.

Simpler design needed

This is because as easy as it may be: given this Ctrl+Alt+Del menu turns up in case of emergency, such as whenever a certain process freezes, the system itself could already be slowed up. Visual effects like acrylic, transparency, yet others, don’t help much, because they could hamper system performance even further.

Some within this reddit thread believe that even the current design in Windows 10 is too cluttered and really should be further simplified, which means you get the point: the simpler it’s to have an overloaded system to load this screen, the more useful it’s.

However, this doesn’t change the proven fact that the idea looks good. It certainly does, and this is living proof of precisely how awesome Fluent Design could be using the right implementation.

How to Export Favorites in Edge Chromium (backup bookmarks)

Need to produce a local backup of bookmarks in the Edge Chromium browser? Here’s a simple method to export favorites in Edge Chromium.

The Edge Chromium may be the new default browser in Windows 10. Actually, you may also download it for Windows 7, Windows 8, macOS, iOS, and Android. An important feature about the advantage Chromium browser is it is made based on the open-source chromium project. As such, it is super fast and feature-rich.

As with every other browser, you are able to bookmark webpages with only just one click or keyboard shortcut. For better organization, you are able to sort them in folders too. For whatever reason, Microsoft calls these bookmarks as Favorites. This is an old tradition from Internet Explorer. Obviously, the majority of us bookmark our daily used websites and services so that we are able to access them without manually typing in the URL.

If you’re much like me and have a lot of bookmarks, it is only natural that you might want backup Edge favorites for offline purposes. The best thing is, once exported, you are able to import them into any other browser regardless of compatibility with Edge Chromium or take that backup file along with you anywhere for quick access for your favorite links.

In this quick guide, allow me to demonstrate the way to export Edge Chromium favorites or bookmarks in Windows.

Note: I’m showing the stages in Windows 10 but they are work in Windows 7 and Windows 8 too. Also, the steps here are only applicable towards the new Edge Chromium browser, not to that old Edge browser.

Backup or Export Edge Chromium Favorites

Though the Edge browser doesn’t showcase the export option front and center, you can easily export favorites from Edge. The advisable thing is, Edge uses the HTML format to backup favorites. That implies that it’s compatible with just about all web browsers. Moreover, as being a simple HTML file, you can open it in almost any internet browser and access all of your favorite links without importing first.

1. First, open the Edge Chromium browser if it is not already opened.

2. Within the Edge Chromium browser, click on the Menu icon (three horizontal dots) appearing around the top-right corner and choose “Favorites → Manage Favorites” option. Alternatively, you are able to press “Ctrl + Shift + O” keyboard shortcut.

3. Within the Bookmarks page, click on the “Export favorites” link appearing towards the bottom left corner.

4. Within the Save As window, choose the destination and click on the “Save” button. With my case, I’m saving the file on the desktop with the default name.

5. That is all. The file is going to be exported and instantly saved towards the chosen destination location.

From now, you can either import this favorites file into any other browser or open the file directly inside a browser to access your links without importing first.

How to Put Windows to rest At Specific Time (Schedule Sleep Windows)

Need to make Windows sleep automatically at a specific time or event? Here is a method to schedule Windows to sleep at a specific time.

In Windows, you can put the machine into sleep mode when you are not while using system. Whenever you place the system inside a sleep state, Windows saves the present system state to RAM or system memory. As long as you don’t completely turn off the machine, you are able to resume from the current state whenever you want. One of the benefits of putting the system to sleep is you conserve electricity and also have quick access to the system whenever needed.

Beginning with Windows 8, Microsoft is using Hybrid Sleep in most supported systems. As possible guess in the name itself, Hybrid Sleep is definitely an enhanced version where both Sleep and Hibernation are combined. In Hybrid Sleep mode, the Windows state is saved to both system memory and the hard disk drive. So, even though you completely power off the system, you can resume the system, much like with Hibernation. With Hybrid Sleep, you will get the very best of all possible worlds.

If you want to put Windows to rest in a specific time or on a specific event, use a bit of magic using the task scheduler to achieve the purpose. Allow me to show you how.

Make Windows Sleep At Specific Time

To make Windows sleep in a specific time, there is no proper built-in method. For instance, we are able to make use of the SetSuspendState command. However, that specific command hibernates the system, if the hibernation is enabled. So, if you want to put Windows to rest on schedule by using their command, you first need to disable hibernation. As possible guess, this is not the most elegant way to do things.

Thankfully, I discovered a neat tool called PsShutdown which makes the task easier and. PsShutdown is a free Microsoft SysInternals tool. Being a command-line tool, it really works flawlessly using the task scheduler. Yes, we will make use of the awesome task scheduler all over again to get the job done. Just follow the steps out of the box and you will be done in virtually no time.

Steps to follow along with

1. First, download PsShutdown from Microsoft’s official website. After downloading, open the ZIP and extract the psshutdown.exe file in it to a folder of your choice.

2. Once you have the file, open the “Task Scheduler” application by searching in the start menu.

3. In the task scheduler, click on the “Create basic task” choice to create a scheduled task.

4. Name the job anything you like. Just make sure the name is one thing descriptive. Click “Next”.

5. I wish to make Windows sleep daily in a specific time. So, I’m choosing the “Daily” option. If you want something else, you can choose the relevant option. Click “Next”.

6. Depending on what you choose in the last step, you may visit a different screen. Configure the settings when needed. Like me, if you wish to put Windows to rest every single day in a specific time, just change the time accordingly and click on “Next”. Also, make sure the “Recur every” is placed 1. That way, the job runs every day.

7. Select “Start a program” option. This way, we are able to use the download PsShutdown application.

8. Here, click the “Browse” button, find the psshutdown.exe file, select it and click on the “Open” button to include it towards the task scheduler. Next, add -d -t 0 -accepteula within the Arguments field. Click “Next”.

9. Click “Finish”.

10. We need to ensure the command is working as it ought to. So, find the task we simply created in the job scheduler’s main window. Next, right-click on it and select the “Run” option.

If the command is true, the body should immediately go into the sleep state.

That is it. In the future, based on the scheduled task, the system is going to be automatically put into sleep.