Category Archives: Windows

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.

Creating a shortcut to shutdown your PC

From Windows 8 onwards several ways to shutdown your PC were introduced. Windows 8 in particular made it a difficult process with several steps. This was made easier in later versions of Windows. Whatever version of Windows you are running you can easily create a Shutdown PC button to allow you to turn of your PC with a single click of the mouse.

Shutdown PC icon

To create a shortcut on your Desktop follow the steps below:

  1. Right click on the Desktop
  2. Move the mouse cursor down to New and then click Shortcut
  3. Within the box marked “Type the location of the item:”, type in shutdown /s /t 00 and then click next
  4. Type in a name for the shortcut. i.e. Shutdown PC, and then press finish.

You will now have an icon for quickly shutting down your PC.

Changing the Icon

To make the icon easier to find you can add a custom icon. To do this follow the steps below:

  1. Right click the newly created Shutdown PC icon
  2. Click on Properties
  3. Click on Change IconYou will be shown a message that advises you that the shutdown exe file does not contain images, this is normal behaviour. Click ok
  4. Within the box that appears select a suitable icon and click ok
  5. Click ok on the Shutdown PC Properties window

Your icon will now have a custom icon.

Pin to Taskbar

The icon can be pinned to the taskbar to make it easy to shutdown the PC with a single click of the mouse. To do this follow the steps below:

  1. Right click the Shutdown PC icon
  2. Click on Pin to taskbar

The icon will now be pinned to the taskbar for easy access.


While you are here check out our previous Tech Tips articles!