Must-try Windows 11 customization features

Windows 11, the newest operating system from Microsoft, is a breath of fresh air for PC users. Designed to provide a personalized experience, it offers many ways to change your PC’s interface, from how windows look to how apps can be accessed. Here are some Windows 11 customization features that will give you more control over your PC settings.

Change your theme

The easiest way to customize Windows 11 is by changing your theme, including your desktop background and lock screen image. Just right-click anywhere on your desktop, then click on Personalize. This will lead you to the Personalization menu, where you can preview and choose different backgrounds and themes. You can even create new themes by using images from your gallery. You can also see more themes in the Microsoft Store by clicking “Browse more”.

Use dark mode

If light or bright colors are not your thing, Windows 11 is here to the rescue. To change your desktop’s colors, right-click on your desktop, choose Personalize, and click Colors. Then, select Dark under “Choose your default Windows mode”. This changes the colors of your taskbar and Start menu. If you want to change the color of your apps from white to black, pick Dark under “Choose your default app mode”. To restore your default settings, follow the same procedure under “Choose your default app mode” but click Light.

Create virtual desktops

Having trouble separating work files from personal files? Try creating a virtual desktop. You can do this by clicking on the Task view icon on the taskbar. This will display all your open windows. Just drag any window to the “New desktop” space on the lower part of the screen to create another desktop. Repeat the process if you want to add more windows to the new desktop. To add more virtual desktops, hover over the Task view icon and click on the + sign. To remove a virtual desktop, hover over the Task view icon and click the X button on the desktop you want to delete.

Try snap layouts

Snapping is not a new feature, but Windows 11 makes it more efficient by letting you snap any app or window wherever you are on your PC. Access snap layouts by hovering over a window’s maximize button or pressing Win + Z. You can then see which layouts are available to you, and pick the one that best suits your needs.

Reorganize your Start Menu

You can also personalize how your apps are arranged on the Start menu. For one, you can rearrange applications by dragging them anywhere around the Start menu. Or, if you won’t be using a particular application, simply right-click the tile and select Unpin from Start. On the other hand, if you want even faster access to your most-used apps, right-click on an app and choose Pin to taskbar

Disable all your notifications

Some people prefer to receive notifications, but some don’t. If you’re one of the latter and wish to never see notifications ever again, click on the gear icon on the taskbar to open Settings. Then, choose System > Notifications. From there, you can switch off whatever app notifications you don’t want popping up on your screen.

Personalize your Windows 11 PC however you like by using some or all of these options. If you want more ways to customize your device or if you need information on anything Windows 11-related, give us a call.

 

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Windows 10 and 11 keyboard shortcuts you need to know

Using keyboard shortcuts activate computer commands faster than dragging a mouse. If you’re using Windows 10 or 11, you may want to try out the following keyboard shortcuts.

Snap

Snap allows you to put two to four windows side by side, making it easier to compare documents or do two things at the same time. You can use Snap with these keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows Key + Left – snaps the current window to the left side of the screen
  • Windows Key + Right – snaps the current window to the right side of the screen
  • Windows Key + Alt + Up (Windows 11 only) – snaps the current window to the top half of the screen
  • Windows Key + Alt + Down (Windows 11 only) – snaps the current window to the bottom half of the screen

You can also select a snapped window and press Windows Key + Up/Down to move it to your desired corner of the screen.

Taskbar

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to navigate the Windows 10 or 11 taskbar. Here are the ones you need to know:

  • Windows Key + T – cycle through opened and pinned apps on the taskbar
  • Windows Key + (number) – open the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the app is already running, pressing this shortcut will switch to that app.
  • Windows Key + Shift + (number) – start a new instance of the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number, even if one is already open

Task View

This window management feature allows you to see all of your opened windows and browser tabs so you can quickly return to a specific program, document, or web page. This is particularly useful if you have multiple windows open at once.

You can access Task View by clicking on its button on the taskbar or using these keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows Key + Tab – opens the Task View interface with windows from your current desktop
  • Alt + Tab – switches between open windows and browser tabs on all desktops
  • Ctrl + Alt + Tab – functions similarly to Alt + Tab but the thumbnails stay on the screen even after you release all the keys

Virtual Desktop

This handy feature enables you to create a new desktop that can display different open windows and apps. You can dedicate virtual desktops for certain functions. For instance, one virtual desktop could be used solely for work and another one for entertainment.

You can quickly manage your virtual desktops using the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows Key + Ctrl + D – opens a new virtual desktop
  • Windows Key + Ctrl + F4 – closes the current virtual desktop
  • Windows Key + Ctrl + Left/Right – switches to the virtual desktop on the left or right

If you’re looking for more time-saving technology tips or have any questions about how Windows 10 or 11 can help streamline your operations, just give us a call. Our IT experts are more than happy to assist you.

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MS Excel 2021 for Windows: Great new features and functions to leverage

Microsoft Excel makes it easy to create budgets, track inventory levels, and analyze sales. This software can handle huge amounts of information, making it an extremely useful tool for storing and analyzing data. No wonder Excel has become a staple in offices worldwide over the years. Its latest version, Excel 2021 for Windows, is packed with even more powerful features and functions that you can enjoy.

Features exclusive to Excel 2021 for Microsoft 365

The following new features are available for Excel for Microsoft 365, but not its long-term servicing channel (LTSC) version, which was formerly known as the “perpetual license” version.

  • Co-authoring – lets you work simultaneously with other users on the same Excel workbook and see each other’s inputs in a matter of seconds
  • Threaded comments – allows you to have better discussions with other users in an Excel workbook, thanks to the ability to reply to comments inline
  • Visibility of active co-authors – lets you see the other users who are also working with you and where they are in the workbook

XLOOKUP function

Similar to the VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, and INDEX+MATCH functions, XLOOKUP searches for an item in a range or table and returns the matching result. However, XLOOKUP is more powerful than other lookup functions since it requires only three basic parameters to perform the search:

  • The value you are looking for
  • The list that should contain the value
  • The list where the result should come from

XLOOKUP can search anywhere in the data and find the result, not just on a specified column or row like with the VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP functions. Moreover, XLOOKUP finds the exact match by default, so you don’t have to indicate “True” or “False” in the formula.

LET function

The LET function allows you to assign names to calculation results. For example, you can apply names, such as “monthlySales” and “totalSales” to an associated value, which makes formulas easier to read. The LET function supports up to 126 name/value pairs. Take note that the names work only within the scope of the LET function.

To use the LET function, you need to provide at least three parameters:

  • Name
  • Associated value
  • Calculation that uses the name and associated value pair/s

For example:
=LET(x,1,x+2) → x+2 → 1+2 → 3

6 New dynamic array functions

For the longest time, Excel allowed users to use just one formula per cell. However, this has changed with the recent introduction of dynamic arrays wherein any formula that returns an array of values automatically spills into neighboring cells.

To leverage dynamic arrays, Excel 2021 for Windows introduced six new functions:

  • FILTER – filters data based on the predefined criteria
  • SORT – sorts a cell range by a specified column
  • SORTBY – sorts a cell range by another range or array
  • UNIQUE – takes out unique values from a range of cells
  • SEQUENCE – creates a list of sequential numbers
  • RANDARRAY – creates an array of random numbers

XMATCH function

The more powerful successor to the MATCH function, XMATCH looks for a specified item in an array or range of cells and then returns the item’s relative position in vertical or horizontal ranges. It can also return a value in an array.

The XMATCH function assumes that you want an exact match, so it requires only two parameters (i.e., lookup value and lookup array) to work. However, you can add an optional third parameter to change the default matching type to “next smaller,” “next larger,” or “wildcard match.”

XMATCH has another optional parameter that allows you to indicate whether to search from the top or bottom of the lookup list, or whether to conduct a binary search on ascending or descending values.

These are just some of the great new features you can leverage in Excel 2021 for Windows. For more Microsoft Office productivity tips, consult our IT experts today.

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Simplify logging in with Windows Hello

You can now log in faster and more securely to your Windows 10- or 11-powered device with Microsoft’s Windows Hello. This feature allows you to log in to your computer without having to enter a password. All you need is a fingerprint, iris, or facial scan, or a PIN code.

How to set up Windows Hello

To get started with Windows Hello, click the Start menu icon and open Settings. From there, choose Accounts, followed by Sign-in options. You should see options for setting your PIN or scanning your face, iris, or fingerprint. Select which method you want to set up and follow the prompts to create a login profile.

You can even save your biometric data or scan more than once to boost accuracy. The system collects more data every time you scan, so it’s better to complete a few scans before enabling the login feature.

After setting up your account, you can start adding other trusted users who share the same device. Each of them can set up their own PIN or biometric profile in a separate account. Passwords and PIN codes can be used as backup login options in case the camera or fingerprint scanner aren’t working.

Limited availability

As of this writing, Windows Hello is only available on select Windows 10 and 11 laptops and tablets. To see which devices have Windows Hello, go to the Windows website, scroll down to the “Filter by” section, then select the Windows Hello option under the “Features” column. The resulting selection lists devices that have the infrared camera and/or fingerprint scanner required to enable this feature.

Microsoft’s promise of security

Your Windows Hello login info is saved only on your device and never on Microsoft’s servers. Furthermore, Microsoft assures users that third parties cannot access locally saved PIN codes and biometric data. All of this means that you never need to worry about your login info falling into the wrong hands.

In addition to Windows Hello, there are other Windows features that can make your life easier. Our IT experts can help you get more out of your Windows devices. Contact us today!

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Make your desktop clutter-free with these tips

Filling your desktop with shortcuts to files and applications may seem practical because it lets you quickly access the resources you need. But when more than half of your screen is filled with icons, you’ll waste time looking for the files and programs you need. Ultimately, this will lower your productivity. You can avoid that by making your desktop clutter-free. Here’s how.

Do a bit of recon

Before decluttering your desktop, sort out which files and folders you need to keep and which ones you can let go of. For instance, you can OR you may want to delete files and folders that haven’t been opened in a long time. You can easily find these by right-clicking on an empty area of your desktop, selecting View, and then clicking Auto arrange icons. This will organize your icons into a grid format that makes them easier to view. Then, right-click once again on the empty space on your desktop and go to Sort by > Date modified. This will arrange the icons by the date they were last opened, with the latest on top.

Create holding and app shortcut folders

People often use their desktop folder to store downloads, photos, screenshots, email attachments, and other files, which easily messes up the desktop screen. To prevent these files from cluttering up your desktop, you should create a folder for nonessential files and folders. To create a folder on your desktop, simply right-click on an empty space on your desktop and then click New > Folder.

Use this folder to store temporary items, including those you’re keeping in the short term. Then, delete the files inside the folder once you no longer need them. You can also create a folder for shortcuts to frequently used programs. This will allow you to quickly find the program you need and help you avoid cluttering up your desktop.

Be ruthless in decluttering

Once you have your folders set up, it’s time to get rid of the clutter. If you haven’t used a file or folder in the past two months or so, seriously consider getting rid of it. Uninstall programs you no longer use, delete images you no longer want or need, move unimportant files elsewhere, and place the rest in relevant folders.

Once you’re done, take a look at your browser to see where it stores downloaded files. If your browser downloads files to your desktop by default, go to Settings and change the target location to the Downloads folder.

Stick with your plan

Once you have decluttered your desktop, try to stick with the rules you’ve made. Whenever you download something, ask yourself whether it should go to the desktop or someplace else. Of course, sticking with these rules won’t always be easy, so aim to clean up your desktop at least once or twice a month.

Use the taskbar or Start menu for apps

Pinning apps to the Start menu and the taskbar is a great alternative to simply having program shortcuts on your desktop. To pin apps, go to the apps list via the Windows Start menu and right-click on the app you want to pin. Then, simply select Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.

Strategically position your wallpaper

An interesting way to minimize clutter is to pick a wallpaper that you like, which could be your favorite picture or slogan. Frame the image so the focus is in the center of your desktop. Then, place your icons around the image in a way that allows you to still see the image. If you can no longer see the image, that means you have too many icons and it’s time to get rid of a few.

If you want to learn other ways to optimize your Windows PC, contact us today for more tips and tricks from office IT experts.

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Disable these disruptive Windows 11 settings now

The Windows 11 operating system is growing in popularity among businesses. However, just like its predecessor, it can have some intrusive privacy settings enabled by default. Luckily, you can easily turn these settings off to protect your privacy.

Turn off personalized advertising

Windows 11 features targeted ads as suggestions, recommendations, and tips on your device’s user interface. The operating system personalizes the ads a user sees based on computer activity and browser history. While personalized ads may direct users to helpful content, they can also be a hindrance to their productivity. To remove these distracting ads, here’s what you should do:

  • Click Start > Settings > Privacy & security.
  • Go to Diagnostics and feedback.
  • Find the Tailored experiences menu, and toggle it off.
  • Then, go back to Privacy & security and select General.
  • From there, turn off the “Let apps show me personalized ads by using my advertising ID” option.

You can also remove ads in Windows 11 notifications by doing the following:

  • Go to Start > Settings > System.
  • Select Notifications.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and disable the “Get tips and suggestions when it uses Windows” and “Offer suggestions on how I can set up my device options”.

Disable Cortana

Cortana is a personal assistant that allows users to set reminders, schedule events, and send emails, among other tasks. Every time you use Cortana, it collects information about your computer activity — “learning” it, so to speak — to improve user experience. But if you find this feature intrusive, you can disable Cortana completely with these steps:

  • Go to Settings > Apps > Apps and Features.
  • Find Cortana and open Advanced options by clicking on the three-dot icon.
  • Turn off the Run at log-in option.

Change Microsoft’s Edge settings

The Microsoft Edge web browser is chock full of features, such as web experience personalization and typing prediction. Such features may make you uncomfortable since they all send back data to Microsoft. Here’s how to turn them off:

  • Open Edge and click on the menu icon (three dots) in the upper-right corner.
  • Next, click on Settings > Privacy and services. Scroll down and switch on the “Send ‘Do Not Track’ requests” option.

There’s also a bunch of Privacy and Services settings that you may want to disable, such as tracking services, navigation error resolution, blocking potentially unwanted apps, and more.

For more tips on how to safeguard your security and privacy, drop us a line today. Our experts will be more than happy to help!

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Read this before upgrading to Windows 11

Windows 11 is out. And with its sleek design and new features, it’s no wonder that so many people are considering upgrading. But should you switch to the newest Microsoft operating system (OS)? Here are some reasons why you may want to wait.

1. Your computer doesn’t meet Windows 11 minimum system requirements

One of the main reasons that can keep you from upgrading to Windows 11 is that your computer might not be able to run it. Windows 11’s system requirements are quite high: your computer needs 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC). It also needs at least 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM and 64 GB of available storage.

Although these standards aren’t extraordinary, a considerable number of users have outdated hardware that doesn’t meet Microsoft’s requirements for Windows 11. If you are one of them, you may need to purchase a new PC to get the latest OS.

2. Windows 11 has a lot of bugs

Windows 11 is still fresh out of the oven, and it’s far from being bug-free. Users have reported compatibility issues, missing notifications, and some built-in applications not opening or working as expected. The OS is still missing some features available in Windows 10, and issues are constantly being discovered and fixed, but these are to be expected of any newly released OS. So if you want to stick with a stable and reliable OS, it’s better to wait until Windows 11 is more mature.

3. You can’t access Android apps directly from Windows 11 (yet)

The Your Phone app currently lets Android phone users access mobile apps directly from their Windows 10 PC. This is an especially useful feature for remote and hybrid employees, as the ability to access phone apps on a larger desktop or laptop display and use a mouse, pen, or touchscreen helps with multitasking. If you are one of the people who rely on this feature, you’ll have to wait for the next Windows 11 update to get this functionality.

4. Windows 11 is very similar to Windows 10

Windows 11 wasn’t intended to be a new version of the OS. It was meant to be a substantial update to Windows 10, initially called the Sun Valley Update. That’s why save for a few features, many apps and functions look and work the same in Windows 11 as they do in Windows 10. So unless you’re looking for something radically different from what you have now, it may not be worth upgrading.

5. Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 until 2025

If you are comfortable with your current setup and don’t have any urgent need to upgrade, you might as well stick with Windows 10. Microsoft has stated that it will continue to support the OS until October 14, 2025. This means that Windows 10 won’t become obsolete in the near future, so you can still enjoy bug fixes, security updates, and new features for this OS version for a few more years.

These are just some of the reasons why you may want to stick with Windows 10. If you decide that upgrading to Windows 11 is right for you, go ahead! But if not, there’s no need to worry — Windows 10 will still be here for a while. Either way, our experts can help you make the most out of your Windows setup. Give us a call today to learn more.

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Windows 11: The basics you need to know

Windows 10 remains the most popular operating system (OS) in the world today. And because it will still be supported until 2025, most users don’t feel the urgency to upgrade to Windows 11. While there’s still plenty of time to upgrade to the latest Microsoft OS, it doesn’t hurt to know what you’re getting into — especially because every Microsoft user will eventually have to use it.

Windows 11 is relatively new to the market, so it’s no surprise that users have plenty of questions about it. From what Windows 11 is to how to install it, here is a list of everything you need to know about the new Microsoft OS.

What makes Windows 11 different from Windows 10?

Microsoft promises to improve its OS with every release, and that’s also the case with Windows 11. It features refined power and security features and redesigned key visual elements that give the OS a more modern look. It is also packed with new tools, apps, and sounds that come together cohesively to give you a refreshing PC experience.

Does Windows 11 take up more PC space than Windows 10?

No. Both versions of Windows require approximately the same amount of disk space. However, you will need extra space in your PC during the upgrade process. After about 10 days upon completing the update, Windows will clean up this extra disk space.

When can I get a PC that comes with pre-installed Windows 11?

Windows 11 is pre-installed on PCs that were available before the end of 2021, as well as on all new 2022 PCs. Older models with Windows 10 will be able to upgrade to Windows 11, given that they meet the minimum hardware specifications necessary to run the latest Microsoft OS.

What are the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11, and how do I know if my PC meets them?

You can check the complete list of Windows 11 minimum hardware requirements here

To see if your PC meets these specifications, download and run the PC Health Check app. Apart from providing a comprehensive eligibility check for your device and giving information on why your device is or isn’t eligible, it will also tell you what you can do if your device doesn’t meet the minimum specifications. 

Will my current accessories work with Windows 11?

All accessories that work with Windows 10 and meet Windows 11 specifications should have no problems working with Windows 11. To be sure, you can always check with the manufacturers.

If my Windows 10 device meets the minimum requirements, when will I be able to upgrade to Windows 11?

While the Windows 11 rollout is expected to be completed in early 2022, it is already available for most of the devices in use today. But because not all eligible Windows 10 devices will be offered the update at the same time, you should run the PC Health Check app on your device to see if Windows 11 is already available.

What if I want to install Windows 11 on my compatible device but the upgrade isn’t available to me yet?

The good news is that you can install Windows 11 on your eligible PC without waiting for Microsoft to offer the OS to you. From the official Windows 11 download page, simply choose how you’d like to install the update. The best and easiest installation option for most people is via Microsoft installation assistant, but there are also options for installing through a bootable USB, a DVD installer, or a disk image ISO.

What should I do if my PC doesn’t meet the minimum hardware specifications?

If your PC is not eligible for a Windows 11 update, don’t fret. You don’t necessarily have to buy a new PC — at least not yet. You can stay on Windows 10; it remains a great version of Windows and it will be supported until October 14, 2025.

How much is the Windows 11 upgrade?

Upgrading to Windows 11 is free for PCs running the most current version of Windows 10 and have the right hardware specifications. To check if you’re running the latest Windows 10 updates, go to Settings > Windows Update

Note that the free upgrade offer doesn’t have a specific end date, so there’s no saying how long it will last. It is within Microsoft’s right and discretion when to cancel the free offer, but the end date should be no sooner than one year from Windows 11’s general availability.

If I’m eligible for Windows 11 but decline the upgrade, can I upgrade later?

Definitely. You can upgrade anytime by simply going to Settings > Windows Update.

What will happen to my files when I upgrade to Windows 11?

All your data will transfer by default when you install Windows 11. However, it’s recommended that you back up your files first before installation so you can have a copy of these in case anything goes wrong. Learn more about how to back up your data using OneDrive PC folder Backup here.

If I upgrade to Windows 11 but don’t like it, can I go back to Windows 10?

Yes. Within 10 days of installing the Windows 11 upgrade, you can easily return to Windows 10 while keeping your files and data. To do so, go to Start > Settings > System > Recovery, then click on Go Back.

After 10 days, the “Go Back” option will no longer be available, and you will need to back up your data so you can do a clean install of Windows 10.

These are just some of the questions most users ask about Windows 11. If you have any more queries about the latest Microsoft OS, don’t hesitate to give our experts a call.

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Why is Windows 11’s TPM requirement important?

Months before Windows 11’s official release date, conversations were already focused not just on the new operating system’s (OS) new features, but also on how its hardware requirements compared to its predecessor’s. Among the points raised was the compulsory Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 chip in Windows 11-supported devices — a marked upgrade from Windows 10’s TPM 1.2 requirement. Now, better hardware generally costs more, so it won’t be surprising if you’re looking for ways around this particular requirement in order to save money. In this post, we discuss why you shouldn’t do that.

What is a TPM chip anyway?

A TPM is a security chip embedded in modern systems that provides a hardware-based tamper-resistant environment to generate, store, and protect encryption keys. Commonly found in the latest smartphones and PCs, these chips supply the cryptographic key that unlocks your machine and permits you to access your data. Should a hacker or any unauthorized party gain access to your device and try to tamper with your encrypted drives, then the chip will prevent the device from booting up.

TPMs are also used by some apps and web services. For instance, Outlook uses a TPM for handling encrypted emails. Web browsers, on the other hand, utilize it for maintaining SSL certificates used to authenticate and create encrypted connections with websites.

Why shouldn’t you circumvent Windows 11’s TPM requirement?

Some users felt that requiring TPM 2.0 on devices running Windows 11 was too restrictive. From their point of view, Windows 10 ran with just TPM 1.2 and it has remained fairly secure. As such, some users have been searching for ways to run Microsoft’s newest OS even on devices without the required TPM 2.0 chip. But even if such methods are eventually found, here’s why you’d be wise to avoid them:

TPM 2.0 is more advanced than TPM 1.2
As is the case with most types of tech, iterations with higher numbers aren’t just newer, but they come with better features too. In particular, TPM 2.0 supports more and newer cryptographic algorithms than its predecessors. This means it can generate keys that are harder to break, making devices that use it more difficult for hackers to infiltrate.

Compatibility issues may arise
Like any software manufacturer worth their salt, Microsoft tested Windows 11 extensively prior to the product’s release and they very likely did so on supported devices. Therefore, running the new OS on devices that don’t meet hardware specifications may result in compatibility issues that can lead to various problems, ranging from glitches to outright failure. In any case, addressing these issues may prove to be more expensive than investing in supported hardware from the get-go.

Microsoft won’t release updates for unsupported devices
The software giant temporarily relaxed some of its restrictions and allowed unsupported devices to run Windows 11 for some time. They made it clear, however, that unsupported devices won’t be receiving any future updates.

Updates are extremely crucial. Apart from helping improve user experience through new features and quality-of-life upgrades, updates also bolster your OS’s defenses against the most recent threats. Not receiving future updates will leave your IT systems and your business vulnerable to cyberattacks.

When it comes to bypassing Windows 11’s hardware requirements, especially if these have something to do with security, just remember this adage: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” If you have any other questions about Windows 11 and how you can make the most out of its features, just give us a call.

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Use Windows Migration Assistant to import data from Windows to Mac

There are several ways to transfer data from a Windows PC to a Mac. You could save your files to an external hard drive, share them over your network, or sync them up to the cloud. There’s also Windows Migration Assistant, a special utility that Apple created to easily and seamlessly import data from Windows to Mac. Here’s how it works.

Preparing to migrate data

Both the PC and the Mac need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, or if you prefer, you can run an Ethernet cable between the ports on the PC and the Mac for a direct connection. Since newer Mac models do not have an Ethernet port, you may need to purchase an Ethernet adapter, such as the Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter or Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.

Next, you’ll want to make sure that your PC drive doesn’t have any issues. You can check for issues by following these steps.

  1. Type “Run” in the search bar. You can also press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run field.
  2. In the window that opens, type “cmd” and press Enter.
  3. In the command prompt, type “chkdsk” and press Enter.
  4. The check disk utility may report that it found problems. In that case, type “chkdsk drive: /F” and press Enter. Note that drive is the letter that represents your Windows startup disk, such as C: or D:.
  5. At the prompt that appears, press the Y key, then restart your PC.

This process might need to be repeated until the check disk utility reports no issues. If you can’t clear these issues, you may need to have your PC serviced before you migrate data to your Mac.

Migrating data from PC to Mac

You’ll need to download and install the Windows Migration Assistant on your PC based on the version of macOS on your Mac:

Once the Windows Migration Assistant is installed on your PC, you can start the migration process.

  1. Quit any open Windows apps.
  2. Launch Windows Migration Assistant.
  3. Click Continue to begin the process. If Windows updates are configured to install automatically on your PC, you may be asked to disable this feature. When you’re ready to proceed, click Continue.
  4. Start up your Mac, if it’s not already up and running. If it’s a brand new Mac and has never been booted up before, Setup Assistant automatically launches. If you’ve already set it up, go to Applications > Utilities and launch Migration Assistant.
  5. In Migration Assistant on the Mac, go through the on-screen prompts until you reach the prompt asking how you want to transfer your information. Select From a Windows PC, then click Continue.
  6. When prompted, enter the administrator name and password. Then, click Continue and all other open apps will be closed.
  7. In the migration window on the Mac, a list of available computers will appear. Select your PC from the list, then wait for the PC to display a passcode. That same passcode should show up on the Mac as well. Once it does, you can click Continue on both the Mac and PC.
  8. The Mac will scan the drives of the PC and create a list of information you may wish to migrate. When the scan is complete, select the data you want to transfer, then click Continue. If you’re transferring a large volume of data, the process might take several hours to finish.
  9. When the migration is complete, quit Windows Migration Assistant on the PC, then log in to the new user account on your Mac. You’ll be asked to set a password for your new Mac account.

What types of data can you transfer?

A surprising amount of the data on a PC can be transferred to a Mac. For many business PC users, it’s important to know that transfers from Outlook are only supported for 32-bit versions of the program, as Migration Assistant doesn’t support the 64-bit versions. Outlook users can also run the app on Mac (as part of Microsoft Office for Mac) and connect to the same servers for access to their contacts, calendar, and so on.

Photos show up in your Mac’s Home folder, which is the one in the Users folder with your name. A good way to import all of those photos is to launch the Photos app on your Mac, select File > Import, and then choose your Home folder. The Photos app scans that folder for all photo files and presents them for review before being imported.

If you use either Windows Live Mail or Windows Mail on your PC, both your IMAP and POP settings and messages move to the Mac Mail app. For Windows Mail, People moves to the Mac Contacts app.

Any bookmark you had saved for Internet Explorer, the old Safari for Windows, and Firefox on the PC is transferred to Safari on your Mac. iTunes content like music, movies, and other files stored in the Windows version of iTunes are transferred to iTunes on the Mac. Finally, some system settings from the PC — language and location settings, web browser home page, and custom desktop pictures — are also moved to System Preferences.

Changing hardware and operating systems, as well as updating applications, can be a burden, especially if you have hundreds of workstations to manage. These tasks, however, are vital for growing businesses. If done right, scaling hardware and software can be secure, efficient, and cost-effective. Consult with a certified IT support expert today.

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