New Edge Browser To All Windows 10 Users

The new, improved version of Microsoft’s Edge browser has been launched in an update to all Windows 10 users in a move that will give Google’s Chrome some competition.

Available To Millions of Users

In being made available via an update to Windows 10 versions 1803, 1809,1903 and 1909, the new version of Edge (Edge replaced Explorer), is now accessible to many millions of users.  This wide availability, coupled with the improved features that the updated Chromium-based browser has may mean that it narrows the gap further from its second-place market position towards Google’s Chrome in the first place.

Improvements

Microsoft says that Edge now offers “best in class compatibility with extensions and websites” and “provides great support for the latest rendering capabilities, modern web applications, and powerful developer tools across all supported OS platforms.”

In addition to having a new, swish green and blue wave-style logo (which stands out more on the screen), information to note about the new version of Edge includes:

  • Start menu pins, tiles, and shortcuts from the current version of Microsoft Edge migrate to the new Microsoft Edge, as do taskbar pins and shortcuts.
  • The new Microsoft Edge is pinned to the taskbar and replaces the current version of Edge if it is already pinned, and the new Edge adds a shortcut to the desktop and replaces any existing shortcut.
  • By default, most protocols that Microsoft Edge handles will have been migrated to the new Microsoft Edge.
  • The current version of Microsoft Edge will be hidden from UX surfaces in the OS. This includes settings, applications, and any file or protocol support dialog boxes.
  • Attempts to start the current version of Microsoft Edge redirect to the new Microsoft Edge.
  • The First Run Experience (FRE) auto-launches the first time that a device restarts after the new Microsoft Edge has been installed.
  • Data from earlier versions of Microsoft Edge (such as passwords, favourites, open tabs) are available in the new Microsoft Edge.
  • This new Microsoft Edge does not support uninstalling of the update.

New Features

Google’s Chrome has faced some criticism over security so Edge’s new security features may be one area where it can claw back some ground in competition and appeal to users who have been working from home during the pandemic and need to ensure that they can protect business data.  Some of the new security features include:

– The ‘Profiles’ feature helps users separate work and personal browsing using something called “Automatic Profile Switching”.  Edge allows users to set up different profiles and the switching feature deals with the challenge of getting links to open in the right profile and making sure that users don’t mistakenly open work content in their personal profile.  It does this by using a prompt to users to switch to their work profile to access a site without having to authenticate to it

– For Windows 10 and 8.1, Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is a feature in the new Edge to help users to identify reported phishing and malware websites and make informed decisions about downloads. SmartScreen analyses pages and determines if they might be suspicious, checks the sites that a user visits against a dynamic list of reported phishing sites and malicious software sites, and checks files that users download against a list of reported malicious software sites.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Google’s Chrome is still far ahead in terms of user numbers, but this new version of Edge shows some promise in terms of security features and the fact that it has been instantly distributed to millions of users via a Windows update. The security features, if users are aware of them, may be particularly valued by those working from home and needing a secure browser, but also wanting to be able to easily separate their personal and work profiles.  The new Edge browser also has quick and easy links to Microsoft apps (from the app Launcher – top left) which users may also find useful in their day-to-day work. Some commentators have suggested that this Chromium-based browser looks as though it could be a worthy alternative to the mighty Google Chrome.

New Windows File Recovery Tool Resurrects Deleted Files

Microsoft’s own Windows File Recovery tool allows users to use a command-line app to bring back a variety of file-types that may have been mistakenly deleted, formatted, or have become corrupt.

File Recovery

Microsoft’s File Recovery app, which is free from the Microsoft store and requires Windows 10 build 19041 or later, is able to recover lost files that have been deleted from a  local storage device (including internal drives, external drives and USB devices) and can’t be restored from the Recycle Bin.

Situations

The File Recovery app is useful in a variety of situations in addition to accidental deletion of a file, including if a user has wiped clean their hard drive or needs to recover corrupted data files.  

Where recovery of valuable personal files/personal data is concerned, for example, the app can help recover photos, documents, videos and more. This could include recovering files from a camera or SD card using the app’s ‘Signature’ mode or recovering files from a USB drive.

File Systems

The Windows file storage ‘New Technology File System’ (NTFS) is, of course, the default that the tool is designed for i.e. Computers’ (HDD, SSD) external hard drives, flash, or USB drives (> 4GB).  The tool also supports ReFS for Windows Server and Windows Pro for Workstations, and FAT and exFAT (SD cards, Flash or USB drives of < 4GB).

File Types

The types of files that the tool can be used to recover includes ASF (wma, wmv, asf), JPEG (jpg, jpeg, jpe, jif, jfif, jf), MP3, MPEG (peg, mp4, mpg, m4a, m4v, m4b, m4r, mov,  3gp, qt, PDF, PNG and ZIP.

When All Else Fails

The File Recovery app, therefore, provides something to turn to when a simple trip to the recycling bin is not possible and when the situation is more challenging.

Previous Versions

It should be noted that Microsoft’s ‘Previous Versions’ feature in Windows 10 also allows for the recovery documents that have been deleted, but this feature has to be enabled first in the File History feature that is disabled by default.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Business and personal data files are valuable and should be protected and securely backed-up anyway as part of security and privacy procedures. However, there may well be situations where accidental deletions or corruption of important files occur and this app provides a reassuring way to ensure that these valuable files are not lost forever. The fact that the app supports a wide variety of popular file types used by businesses, and that it’s free could make this a handy little lifesaver.

Tech Tip – Start Menu Folders

Windows 10 users can help users to get organised with their current work by creating named Start menu folders that have a group of relevant live app Tiles in them.  Here’s how to create your Start menu folders:

– Click on the Start menu (bottom left).

– Click and drag the app tiles that you need for your work on top of each other.

– This will create a folder of apps that will expand when you click on it.

– Give the app folder a name so that you can easily recognise it.

Tech Tip – Save Time With Aero Shake

If you’ve got a screen full of windows open on Windows 10 and you need to unclutter your screen so you can concentrate on just the one you’re working on, the old ‘Aero Shake’ trick still works and can save time. Here is how to use it:

– Left-click on the title bar of the Window that you are working on.

– Hold down the left mouse button and shale the window from left to right.  This will minimise all the other windows.

– To restore the other windows, click and hold and shake the mouse from left to right again.

Tech Tip – Stop Background Apps

If you have apps running in the background on Windows 10, they can use up more of your battery power and data.  Here’s an easy way to stop background apps from running:

Go to: Settings > Privacy > Background apps.

To stop all from running, toggle ‘Let apps run in the background’ to ‘Off’.

You also have the option of choosing which apps to run in the background by going down the list individually.

Tech Tip – 3 Ways to help speed up your Windows 10 PC

Here are 3 tips to help speed up a Windows 10 PC:

1. Change Power Settings

If you are using a power saver plan, you can change your power settings to “Higher Performance” or “Balanced” to speed things up. This can be done via the Control Panel app, then select Hardware and Sound > Power Options.

2. Halt Windows Tips and Tricks

Stopping many of the (often unhelpful) tips and tricks that are triggered by how you use the PC can speed things up.  To do this:

– Go to the Start button.

– Select Settings.

– Go to System > Notifications & actions.

– Scroll down to Notifications and uncheck the box marked “Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows.”

3. Clean Out Your Hard Disk

Your hard disk can contain many old files that just slow things down.  The ‘Storage Sense’ tool can help you to clean out the hard disk and speed things up.

– Go to Settings > System > Storage.

– Top of the screen, move the toggle ‘On’. This will let Windows monitor for and delete old junk files.

– To customize Storage Sense, go to “Configure Storage Sense or run it now” and set your requirements on the screen that appears e.g. how often Storage Sense deletes files (daily, weekly, monthly or when storage space is low).

Tech Tip – Tech Tip – On-Demand OneDrive

If you use OneDrive and you’d like to access all your files without having to download them and use storage space on your Windows device, and you’d like certain files and folders to be always available locally on your device, you can set OneDrive files to ‘On-Demand’. Here’s how:

– Sign in to OneDrive on your device.

– Select the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the Windows taskbar notification area.

– Select More > Settings.

– Select the ‘Save space and download files as you use them’ box. Files On-Demand settings are unique to each device, so make sure they’re turned on for each device where you want to use. 

To mark a file or folder for offline use or as online-only:

– Right-click a file or folder.

– Select Always keep on this device or Free up space

Tech Tip – Managing Background Apps

If you’re connecting via a mobile device, information, notifications and updates going to and from apps that run in the background can sap your battery power and your data.  Here’s how to control which apps are running in the background:

– Go to Settings > Privacy > Background app.

– To stop all apps from running in the background, toggle ‘Let apps run in the background’ to ‘Off’. Be aware that some background app updates serve a useful purpose.

– To stop individual apps from running in the background, scroll down the list and switch to ‘Off’ as required.

Tech Tip – The 2nd Start Menu

In addition to the main Start menu that you can access by clicking on the Windows symbol (bottom left), Windows 10 has a 2nd start menu that gives you fast access to features like PowerShell, Device Manager, Task Manager and File Explorer.  Here’s how to launch it:

– Click on the Windows key + X or right-click on the Windows icon (bottom left).

– This will launch the 2nd Start menu.

Tech Tip – Ransomware Protection in Windows 10

Ransomware is still a common threat to businesses, but you may not know that Windows 10 already has a ransomware protection features built-in to Windows Defender which is usually disabled by default.  Here’s how to enable ransomware protection:

N.B. If you already have third-party antivirus software installed and Windows Defender’s real-time protection is disabled, the Ransomware Protection features screen and Controlled Folder Access feature won’t be accessible to you. You’ll find this out when you follow these instructions:

– Click on the Start menu.

– Type Windows Security and select the search result, or go to the Settings app, then to Update & Security > Windows Security.

– Open Windows Security and click on the Virus & Threat Protection option

– Scroll down to Ransomware Protection and click on the Manage ransomware protection option.

– Next page, you will see a description of Controlled folder access – toggle to enable it.

– To enable Ransomware Protection, turn on Controlled Folder Access and log in to OneDrive.

– This will allow you to configure Controlled Folder Access and choose which folder you want to monitor and block from malicious programs.