help | how-to | troubleshooting Fri, 17 Jan 2020 11:49:08 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 32 32 140865022 Report Unsafe and Criminal Websites in Edge Fri, 24 Jan 2020 08:50:34 +0000 Read the postReport Unsafe and Criminal Websites in Edge]]> We all get spam email trying to sell us fake goods, or that contain links to phishing websites that want to steal and use your personal information or credit cards.  Fortunately Microsoft’s Edge browser makes it really easy to report websites that you think might be unsafe, or criminal.

To report an unsafe website, click the Menu icon () in the top right corner of the browser window and a menu will appear.  Then click the Help and feedback option, followed by the Report unsafe site link.

This takes you to a page where you’re asked why you think the website is unsafe.  You’re asked if it is a phishing site, where criminals try and get your personal information such as bank or website login details, or access to your credit cards or date of birth, of if you think it contains malicious software such as viruses and malware downloads and embedded code.

All in all, Microsoft make it super easy for you to report unsafe and criminal activity online, and the report unsafe website feature is well worth using should you come across a suspicious website.  You can download Microsoft’s Edge browser from HERE.

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Browse the Internet as a Guest on another PC in Edge Thu, 23 Jan 2020 09:32:04 +0000 Read the postBrowse the Internet as a Guest on another PC in Edge]]> Sometimes you want or need to use somebody else’s PC, but you don’t want to have access to, or they don’t want you to have access to their Internet favourites and personal settings.  This is where guest mode in Microsoft’s Edge browser comes in handy.

With the browser open, click the user icon near the top right corner of the window, and a menu will appear for the current user of the PC.  Below this is a Browse as guest link, and you can click this to initiate guest mode.

Guest mode appears as a new window, and you’re told that “As a guest, your browsing data is kept separate from the profiles on this device.”  When you close the browser your browsing history, download history, and cookies and website data are all deleted, giving you peace of mind that you have been able to use the web privately on the PC.

Guest mode is a great way to safely, securely, and privately use the Internet on somebody else’s PC and is another great reason why Edge is very much a privacy-focused browser.  You can download Microsoft’s Edge browser from HERE.

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Manage Downloads in Microsoft Edge Wed, 22 Jan 2020 09:06:53 +0000 Read the postManage Downloads in Microsoft Edge]]> Well all download things from the Internet, be they documents, apps, or music and video files, and Microsoft Edge makes it super easy to manage them.  With the Edge browser open, click the Menu icon () in the top right corner of the browser window and a menu will appear.  Then click the Downloads option.


This takes you to a Downloads manager page.  Categories on the left allow you to sort and search your downloads, and they are automatically separated into PDFs, documents, Apps, Images and more.  At the bottom of the page are links to your Downloads settings and to Open [your] downloads folder.

You can also click the Clear all link to quickly clear your entire downloads history, though this does not delete any files you have downloaded.  Within the download settings you can choose the folder where downloads are placed, and even get Edge to ask you for each one where you want to put it.

All in all, the Downloads manager in Edge is very powerful and flexible.    You can download Microsoft’s Edge browser from HERE.

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Browse the Web Privately and Securely Tue, 21 Jan 2020 08:29:28 +0000 Read the postBrowse the Web Privately and Securely]]> Sometimes you want to browse the Internet without any record being kept of what you’ve been doing.  This could be because you’re setting up a new bank account, or because you’re shopping for a super-secret birthday or anniversary present.  Microsoft Edge makes it really easy to browse privately with InPrivate mode.

To open an InPrivate browser window, click the Menu icon () in the top right corner of the browser window and a menu will appear.

From this menu, click the New InPrivate window option, which is also available at any time when you’re using Edge through the key combination Ctrl + Shift + N.

You’ll see a noticeable difference with the InPrivate window, and you’ll be informed that “When you browse InPrivate, Microsoft Edge will delete browsing info once you’ve closed all InPrivate tabs.”  InPrivate browsing is a great way to make your browsing safe and hidden from prying eyes.    You can download Microsoft’s Edge browser from HERE.

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Using Browser Plug-ins in Microsoft Edge Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:53:32 +0000 Read the postUsing Browser Plug-ins in Microsoft Edge]]> The Microsoft Edge web browser supports a wide range of browser plug-ins that are very easy to install.  With the Edge browser open, click the Menu icon () in the top right corner of the browser window and a menu will appear.  Then click the Extensions option.

This takes you to a page where you can install new extensions, and also manage, disable, and remove your existing installed extensions.  To install new extensions click the Get extensions from Microsoft Store link.

This opens a new tab in which you can view and install a huge range of browser plug-ins, including ad-blockers and shopping and Office assistants.  There are different categories you can drill down into, to make finding plug-ins easier, such as Adblockers and password managersShopping, and Productivity.

It’s very easy to install and manage browser plug-ins in Microsoft Edge.    You can download Microsoft’s Edge browser from HERE.

]]> 0 2870, The Environment and Climate Change Fri, 17 Jan 2020 11:24:20 +0000 Read the, The Environment and Climate Change]]> There can be no doubt that our climate is changing and that it is having a dramatic, and extremely negative effect on our world.  This is affecting and impacting people, nature, animals, birds and every aspect of our planet.  Governments discuss and argue over emissions and what they should do and by which decade, but ultimately it is the people of each country who would need to effect changes in their own lives, as no amount of legislation can bring about change on its own.

To this end I felt it was important to set out my own stance, and my own targets for reducing my personal impact on the planet, and on the climate.


  • I do not and have never driven, and use an electric bicycle for transport and shopping locally, this will continue.
  • Where transport is needed for shopping for larger items, I use supermarket home delivery, or car-pool with friends when they are going shopping.
  • I always use public-transport, especially trains, for travel nationally and when in other countries around the world, this will continue.
  • I do fly, sometimes several times a year and this can include transatlantic travel.  I pledge to dramatically reduce my air travel, and to stop using air travel completely by 2030.


  • I have a lot of electrical and electronic items, though I always purchase A+ or higher rated equipment where available, this will continue.
  • I always hold on to hardware, including mobile devices such as smartphones for a long time, usually until they become unusable for one reason or another, and this will continue.
  • When I replace hardware that is still good I always recycle them by either passing them on to friends and colleagues who will continue to use them, or by passing them to a dedicated recycling facility.
  • I will be fitting solar panels to the new home that I will purchase later this year, and will seek the most efficient available.  I aim to add a home battery supply to this by 2025.
  • From the time of purchase of my new home I pledge to only use environmentally responsible energy providers.
  • I pledge that by 2025 I will have moved all of my website and other work hosting and my online services to responsible carbon neutral, or carbon negative companies, or to companies actively working towards these goals.


  • I am always very careful to avoid food waste.  While this isn’t always possible, I do pledge to continue and be conscientious about consumption and waste, and where waste is produced I will dispose of it all in an environmentally responsible way.
  • While I cannot in all honesty say that I will switch to an entirely plant-based diet, I do pledge to reduce my consumption of animal products, and replace them with plant-based substitutes where available.
  • Where there is packaging waste, such as cardboard and polystyrene, I will always make sure it is taken to appropriate recycling facilities.
  • Because I live in a rural area I do burn wood at home to generate heat.  I pledge to change this to more sustainable fuel sources by 2025.

I will add to and update this information periodically.  I do not contribute to carbon-offsetting schemes as I believe these are little more than a placebo used by people to justify their existing behaviour.  As such I would prefer to focus on reducing my own environmental impact.  You can read information from the United Nations on climate change on this link.




Mike Halsey

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Manage Privacy and Tracking in Edge Fri, 17 Jan 2020 09:07:54 +0000 Read the postManage Privacy and Tracking in Edge]]> One of the advantages of the Edge web browser from Microsoft is that protecting your privacy is baked in, and it’s possible to block all online tracking by advertisers, and third-party companies and organisations that collect and use your data.  To set your privacy, click the Menu icon () in the top right corner of the browser window and in the menu that appears, click the Settings link.

A new tab will open showing all the browser settings.  Click Privacy and services and you will see three large Tracking prevention options, each explaining what it is and what it does.  There is a switch above these and to the right to turn the tracking prevention features on or off completely.

Below these are additional Privacy options.  You may want to click Send “Do not track” requests which will cause the browser to inform websites that you do not want to be tracked.  This can automatically set many cookie settings that pop up the first time you visit websites, asking for permissions from you, and that may seem confusing.

Microsoft never store or sell any personal data about your own web usage, which is why Edge is so good for safe and secure web browsing.  You can download Microsoft’s Edge browser from HERE.

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How-To Switch Seamlessly from Chrome to Edge Thu, 16 Jan 2020 09:09:40 +0000 Read the postHow-To Switch Seamlessly from Chrome to Edge]]> Microsoft’s Edge browser is a privacy-focused web browser that is built on top of the same engine that powers Google’s Chrome browser.  This means that Edge is effectively Chrome, with the same speed, same compatibility, and the same features.  Additionally though, Microsoft have baked in features of their own such as easy to use privacy and tracking protections.

It’s very easy to switch to Microsoft Edge from Chrome.  The first time you start the browser you’ll be asked if you want to import your data from another web browser, and all your installed web browsers are included from Internet Explorer to Firefox.  Should you miss this step however, or choose not import everything that’s offered at the time, you can still import your favourites and settings later.

Click the Menu icon () in the top right corner of the browser window.  Navigate to the Favourites link in the menu that appears, and from the sub-menu that pops out click Import.

This will display the Import browser data dialog that allows you to choose which web browser you wish to import your data and settings from, and what to import.  The data you can import includes your favourites, saved passwords, addresses, payment card information, browser history, start page and other settings, and any tabs you have open at that time in the other browser.

Microsoft have made it extremely easy to switch browsers, and you should try Edge as it’s extremely quick while being every bit as the Chrome web browser it is based on.  The real winner though are the privacy controls of which I will write a separate article.  You can download Microsoft’s Edge browser from HERE.

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Introducing the Microsoft Edge Web Browser Wed, 15 Jan 2020 09:22:53 +0000 Read the postIntroducing the Microsoft Edge Web Browser]]> There’s a new Edge in town, and if you’ll excuse the pun, it definitely has the Edge over other browsers such as Google Chrome.  Edge is a privacy-focused web browser that allows you to browse the Internet safe in the knowledge that your personal data and browsing history isn’t being harvested by large companies and advertisers, or sold on to third-parties.  In fact Microsoft never collect or sell your personal data to anybody, nor do they use it themselves unless you explicitly give them permission to do so.

Edge is built on the same browser engine that powers Google Chrome, so it’s fast, and every bit as compatible as Chrome, which also supporting a huge range of browser plug-ins.  Edge is also available for download for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, any Windows 7 machines in the enterprise that are still receiving support, and even for Apple’s OS X.  You can also download and use Edge on your Android and iOS devices, and all versions include full synchronisation of your favourites, saved passwords, and preferences.

Microsoft have also worked hard to make Edge easy to use and highly configurable.  If you’ve been using Google Chrome then you’ll be instantly familiar with the way Edge works.  You will be able download Microsoft’s new Edge browser now from this link.

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All Support for Windows 7 Has Now Ended Tue, 14 Jan 2020 07:43:40 +0000 Read the postAll Support for Windows 7 Has Now Ended]]> Every dog has his day and all support has now ended for Windows 7.  This means that there will be no further security or stability patches released for the operating system. Operating systems are periodically retired because as technology moves on, several things can happen.  Firstly, and most importantly while the operating system might have been perfectly secure a few years before, the inexorable move forwards very often means the latest technology and techniques can render these operating systems highly vulnerable to the latest threats. Additionally, as hardware develops and new devices are released, fewer and fewer manufacturers release compatible drivers for older operating systems, as this can be costly, time-consuming, and offers increasingly diminishing returns as the user base for those operating systems shrinks.  If you want additional information about end of life for Windows 7, resources and help are available in the information below (provided by Microsoft).

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Windows 7 End of Support FAQ

What does end of support mean for me? If your PC is running Windows 7, it will no longer receive security updates. Therefore, it’s important that you upgrade to a modern operating system such as Windows 10, which can provide the latest security updates to help keep you and your data safer. In addition, Microsoft customer service will no longer be available to provide Windows 7 technical support.

What should I do? For most Windows 7 users, moving to a new device with Windows 10 will be the recommended path forward. Today’s PCs are faster, lightweight yet powerful, and more secure, with an average price that’s considerably less than that of the average PC eight years ago. Our Guide can help you choose a new PC in just a few easy steps. Want to learn more about Windows 10? Check out our overview page to learn more.

Can I upgrade my existing PC to Windows 10? To take advantage of the latest hardware capabilities, we recommend moving to a new PC with Windows 10. As an alternative, compatible Windows 7 PCs can be upgraded by purchasing and installing a full version of the software. For more information, see Windows 10 upgrade FAQ.

What happens if I continue to use Windows 7? You can continue to use Windows 7, but after support has ended, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Windows will continue to start and run, but you will no longer receive software updates, including security updates, from Microsoft.

Can Windows 7 still be activated? Windows 7 can still be installed and activated after end of support; however, it will be more vulnerable to security risks and viruses due to the lack of security updates. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft strongly recommends that you use Windows 10 instead of Windows 7.

Will Internet Explorer still be supported on Windows 7? Support for Internet Explorer on a Windows 7 device has also be discontinued. As a component of Windows, Internet Explorer follows the support lifecycle of the Windows operating system it’s installed on. See Lifecycle FAQ – Internet Explorer for more information.

What if I’m running Windows 7 Enterprise? If you are using Windows as part of a work environment, we recommend you check first with your IT department or see Windows 10 deployment support to learn more.

What about Windows 7 Embedded? Windows for embedded devices such as ATMs or gas pumps have lifecycle dates that sometimes differ from versions of Windows that are used on PC devices.

Helpful Support Articles

Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10

Post purchase transferring to new PC

Post purchase Tips and Help

Post expires at 1:00am on Saturday January 14th, 2023

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