Category Archives: Windows

Upgrading to Windows 11

Windows 11 was released to the public early October 2021. It is a free upgrade for users running Windows 10, but do you need to upgrade?

The short answer is no. If you are running Windows 10 you can expect security patches from Microsoft until October 14th, 2025. You can safely run Windows 10 until this date.

To see if your device can run Windows 11 you can run and download the Windows PC Health Check from Microsoft.

The system requirement for Windows 11 are reasonable low, requiring a dual Core 1GHz CPU, 4GB Memory, and 64GB of storage. Windows 11 does however require a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). This might not be available on all devices meaning a device without a TPM will have to stay on Windows 10.

A TPM is hardware that handles security functions within your device. One function is ensuring that the booting operating system is trusted. This helps to prevent an attacker from tampering with your device in order to install a rootkit. A rootkit is normally not detected by your antivirus software and could allow an attacker to steal private information such as credit cards details or passwords.

A TPM is also used to enable biometrics for logging in to your PC. Windows Hello is a feature available to Windows users to allow them to log into their device with facial recognition or fingerprint. Without a TPM this functionality cannot be used. All the features of a TPM happen in the background and are going to go unnoticed by most PC users.

The only noticeable change for the average Windows user will be the new Start Menu. The Start Menu has always been down the bottom left of the screen, but with Windows 11 it has moved to centre screen. This change is to cater for wider screens that are in use these days, making it easier to navigate on those devices. There are also some cosmetic differences in the icons and menu items.

If, like many people, you don’t like changes to the look of your device, it is perfectly safe to stay on Windows 10 until October 2025. But if you like to experience the latest and greatest why not download Windows 11 today.

Turning off the News and Interests Toolbar

With a more recent update; Microsoft have added a new feature to the Windows taskbar. This new feature is called the News and Interests Toolbar. Essentially, it is a way for Microsoft to compete in attention economy and give you quick access to news items and articles tailored for you. Some people will welcome the new feature with open arms, whereas, others, do not like change.

On PCs with smaller screens, the News and Interests Toolbar may take up what little taskbar you have. This can make it harder to switch between programs and documents.

Luckily, turning off the News and Interests Toolbar is a simple process – which we will go through now:

  • Right Click anywhere along the Windows Taskbar (but not on an icon on in the task tray)
  • Move the mouse cursor up and Left Click on News and interests
  • Move the mouse cursor over and Left Click on Turn off

The News and Interest Toolbar will now be disabled on the Windows Taskbar. This can be enabled again by following the steps and selecting Show icon and text instead of Turn off.

While you are here check out some of our previous blog posts!

Your Windows 7 PC is out of support

Support for Windows 7 ended on January 14th, 2020. As of writing, Windows 7 has missed 6 months worth of updates released to patch vulnerable code.

If you are still running Windows 7 you need to upgrade to a currently supported operating system sooner rather than later. Running unsupported software, especially an operating system, leaves your device open for malware and cyber criminals,

Many PCs running Windows 7 can easily be upgraded for free to Windows 10. You can find more information in an earlier post. The Microsoft website has the minimum requirements for hardware as:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800 x 600

This means that Windows 10 can be run on reasonably old hardware.

Another alternative would be to install a Linux distribution such a Ubuntu, or if your PC is very old, Lubuntu.