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Paste in Plain Text Natively in Windows 11

15 août 2021 à 09:07
Par : Kent Chen

Well, a little quick note here from me and Jonathan.

This post will be our last post on Next of Windows. It’s been a fun and bumpy ride for almost 12 years and it’s time for both of us to move on with other adventures. The site is in the good hand and will continue delivering great content.

Thank you all for being part of the journey. 🙂

Cheers – Kent (@oversale) & Jonathan (@jonathanhu)

Back in Windows 7 days, I have this little awesome tool called PureText that basically let me paste almost anything in plain text on any application. It’s my universal plain text paster. And I’ve been using it not on Windows 7 but Windows 10 as well.

Well, I won’t need it anymore on Windows 11, or after the next feature update on my Windows 10. That’s because the plain text feature is coming with Clipboard History.

Here is how to use it to paste anything in Plain Text.

Press Win + V, click the triple dots next to the content you want to paste.

And click the Paste as Text icon next to the trash bin.

Whatever the formatting that comes with the text will be stripped off from this point.

And because the feature is part of the clipboard history you can basically use it on any application so you don’t have to remember the keyboard shortcuts that let you paste plain text in browsers or Office apps.

While we are at the new clipboard history, have you noticed some additional gems that have been added to the tool?

That’s right, you can paste in modern emojis, classic text emojis, live gifs, and even some special characters right from the same clipboard history popup window. That’s going to be a quite fun and convenient way to be pasting anything.

The post Paste in Plain Text Natively in Windows 11 appeared first on Next of Windows.

Adobe Trick: How To Redact PDF Document without Pro License

12 août 2021 à 02:29
Par : Kent Chen

We have Adobe Acrobat Standard software for our basic PDF editing tasks. It works great. But occasionally, we need to redact documents for other parties and only the Pro version has the feature built-in.

But Adobe Acrobat Pro isn’t cheap. It’s quite expensive actually. Since we don’t do redaction often, it really doesn’t justify the cost.

So, what I ended up doing is to come up with a workaround that is simple enough for people to redact the document without compromising the result.

First off, draw a rectangle box over the content you want to redact. Make sure to set the properties of the box with black-filled color and mark it as default.

Repeat the same step until you are done with all the redactions to the document.

Then, to finalize the redactions you just did, you will need to flatten all the black-filled boxes into the document so no covered content can be reviewed by anyone else.

To do so, Print the document to Adobe PDF printer. But before you hit the Print button, click the Advanced button and check the option Print as Image. And then click OK and Print.

And that’s it. Note that, since we reprinted the file in image format, the size of the file will be bigger than the original. You may also OCR the document and/or save a reduced version if needed.

The post Adobe Trick: How To Redact PDF Document without Pro License appeared first on Next of Windows.

How To Force Windows 10 To Do A Restart Right Away Without Saving Anything

10 août 2021 à 02:26
Par : Kent Chen

First off, you may ask in what circumstances you will need to restart your windows right away without saving anything. It could be helpful when the computer is compromised by malware that is running in the memory. An immediate shutdown without damaging anything further could save the day.

If an emergency happens like this, a hidden power option called Emergency Restart could be super helpful.

Press Ctrl + Alt + Del on your keyboard.

Hold down the Control key and click the Power icon on the right bottom of the screen.

Click OK and the system will restart right away without bothering to save anything.

Apparently, the Emergency restart is nothing new. It’s been there since Windows 7, believe it or not.

Of course, you can always press and hold down the physical Power button on your computer for more than 5 seconds.

You can also use the command line shutdown.

shutdown /s /t 1

It gives the computer a 1-second chance before shutting everything down.

The nice thing about using the command line is that you can shut down any remote computers on the same network.

shutdown /s /t 1 /m \\computername

Also, anything mentioned above can be used as a method to shut down or restart on a computer that somehow cannot be shut down or rebooted.

The post How To Force Windows 10 To Do A Restart Right Away Without Saving Anything appeared first on Next of Windows.

Windows 11’s New Context Menu and How To Open the Classic One

31 juillet 2021 à 09:28
Par : Kent Chen

Windows 11 is all about UI improvements and that includes a new Context Menu.

Why the change?

First off, the menu is much shorter.

Second off, all common commands, such as cut, copy/paste, rename, delete, or share, are now placed right next to where the menu is invoked. It could be at the top of the menu. Or it could also be at the bottom of it, whichever is closer to the cursor.

Then, Open and Open With are grouped together. When the file you are trying to open isn’t associated with any registered App, Open With will automatically pop up instead.

Or, Open With will also show up right next to Open when the file can be opened by multiple apps.

Lastly, when there is a need to open the classic Windows 10 context menu, Show more options is your friend.

Or highlight the file and press Shift + F10 or the keyboard Menu key.

And that’s where I get the Edit option to modify my Remote Desktop Connection file.

The post Windows 11’s New Context Menu and How To Open the Classic One appeared first on Next of Windows.

Microsoft Outlook Extension for Edge Browser

31 juillet 2021 à 02:26
Par : Kent Chen

Checking, reading, and sending emails, or even checking your calendars right on the Edge’s toolbar without opening Outlook could be convenient for many of us. With the Microsoft Outlook browser extension, now you can.

It’s still currently in the Preview stage but if you want to check it out, head out to its Extension page and install the Extension on your Edge browser.

You will see a little Outlook icon showing up on your toolbar after the installation. Click it and sign in from there.

The sign-in process follows the standard Microsoft Account sign-in process. You will need to pass 2FA as well if it’s enabled in your account. It supports both Microsoft Account and Office 365 accounts

Once login, a mini version of Outlook web will be showing up in the same pullout window.

Within the little popout window, you can do all normal Outlook tasks as you do on your Outlook web. You can switch to Calendar, Contacts, and Todos from the bottom of the window too. The experience will pretty much be the same.

To sign out, click the hamburger icon and the Signout link.

Overall, it works quite smoothly. It’s an extension that is worth keeping in my Edge browser.

Currently, it’s only available for Edge but the Chrome version is on its way as well.

The post Microsoft Outlook Extension for Edge Browser appeared first on Next of Windows.

Tips on Renaming Multiple Files on Windows

28 juillet 2021 à 03:14
Par : Kent Chen

When it comes to renaming a large chunk of files, here are a few tips that would make you like a Pro.

The magic of the Tab key

When you have a large number of files to rename, instead of doing this:

  1. Highlight the first file, and hit F2;
  2. Type in the new filename hit Enter;
  3. Move onto the next one and repeat steps 1 and 2.

Give it a try this:

  1. Highlight the first one, and hit F2;
  2. Type in the new filename, and instead of hit Enter, press TAB, which quickly moves onto the next file and have F2 already pressed for you so you can be ready to start typing right away.
  3. Keep typing and hitting the Tab key to fly through the rest of the files.

Isn’t it much faster and efficient?

Even better, hit Shift+Tab to jump back so you can go through the list in reverse order too.

To rename files to the similar name

If you need to rename a bunch of files to have the same basename with a number in sequence, i.e. file1, file2, …etc., try this:

First, highlight all the files you want to rename, and hit F2.

Type in the basename you want to use, and hit Enter. Hooray.

I can imagine that it could be extremely useful when renaming a season of a TV show.

To add a prefix

How about I want to rename a bunch of files in the same folder by slightly appending a file extension or inserting a letter or two in the middle of the file?

Now it’s where the built-in command REN shines.

To append a file extension, like from whatever to TXT,

ren *.* *.txt

To append a letter or two at the end of the filename but before the file extension,

ren *.txt ?????????????????????hello.*

To make things easier, you can navigate to the folder that has the files you want to rename, and type the following command in the address bar, and press Enter.

cmd /c "ren *.* *.PDF"

The command might change to fit your needs but you get the idea.


But if you are really serious about the file renaming business, PowerRename from PowerToys is the one tool you will need.

The post Tips on Renaming Multiple Files on Windows appeared first on Next of Windows.

Office 365 Mail Tip: How To Quickly Empty Any Folder in Outlook

27 juillet 2021 à 02:32
Par : Kent Chen

One of the users’ mailboxes got out of space the other day. After doing a bit of digging, here is what I found.

And that’s right. One of the tasks with too many attachments kept failing to sync back to the server and it quickly ate all the space left under his account.

If you have used Outlook before, you know how painful it is to clean up 49GB of data out of any folder. And here is a quick tip for those who just want a quick way to clean up space so they can be back to work right away.

Unfortunately, Outlook is not up for the task. We will be using Outlook web instead.

Log into Outlook online, click the Gear icon and choose View all Outlook settings.

In the General, tab, click the Storage tab. You will see the list of folders on the right that have the most data in there. Click the Empty button next to the folder you want to clean up and pick the option of All, 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months or older.

One-click. That’s all they need and Outlook online will take care of the rest.

The post Office 365 Mail Tip: How To Quickly Empty Any Folder in Outlook appeared first on Next of Windows.

A Quick Task Manager Trick You May Not Know About

26 juillet 2021 à 09:09
Par : Kent Chen

I’ve been using Task Manager since almost the day I started using Windows. I’ve used it to troubleshoot countless computer problems and kill so many processes along the way. But I wish I could know this trick a long time ago.

You can freeze the Task Manager values by holding down the Ctrl key.

And thanks to Reddit for teaching me a useful trick I should have known years ago. I bet you will too.

Now, to catch the process that uses the most CPU power, I can switch over to the Details tab in Task Manager, hold down the Ctrl key, and click the CPU tab. No more jump up and down, easy to catch the bad guy and kill right there.

With the value being paused, it’s also easy to take a screenshot of the values for troubleshooting purposes.

Note that you can also use the F5 to refresh the values too. Yes, the Task Manager does refresh itself to get the almost real-time value but pressing the F5 key would refresh the values right away without waiting for the next cycle.

What’s even better, pressing and holding down the F5 key will keep refreshing the Task Manager until you are done.

The post A Quick Task Manager Trick You May Not Know About appeared first on Next of Windows.

Fix Windows Activation Fails with Error 0xC004C003

19 juillet 2021 à 08:45
Par : Kent Chen

A friend of mine wants to protect the data on his computer so I suggest using BitLocker to encrypt the whole hard drive. But his Windows 10 is only a Home edition that doesn’t have the business features such as BitLocker. Luckily, that didn’t stop him from using it. He took out the wallet and paid right there in the Activation window to upgrade his Windows 10 to Pro edition.

Things went well mostly until it’s failed, with an error code 0xC004C003.

Restart didn’t help. The troubleshoot button there did nothing either.

A quick Google search tells me that this is actually another Windows update that messed up the registry hive responsible for Windows Activation.

But the solution for either removing the update or installing a new one didn’t actually make the Windows activated.

What ended up working is the generic Windows 10 product key that reactivated the Windows.

In Setting’s Activation window, click the Change product key link and type in the following key to get your Windows reactivated.


Note that, the key listed above is a generic Windows 10 key that will be used only to reactivate your Windows. Your copy of Windows will still be checked based on the keys embedded in the BIOS and your Microsoft Account used for purchasing the upgrade license.

Once done, also run the following command in an elevated Command Prompt window to make sure your Windows is permanently activated.

slmgr /xpr

The post Fix Windows Activation Fails with Error 0xC004C003 appeared first on Next of Windows.

A New Set of Emojis Coming to Windows

17 juillet 2021 à 09:44
Par : Kent Chen

Something nice is on its way to Windows. Something vivid, and something fun, really fun to use. According to this Microsoft’s Design post, more than 1800+ emojis will be replaced by another sea of icons that are not only moving but in the 3D format as well.

Here are 5 brand new emojis that look so cute.

And here are also some concept sketches that capture the new hybrid world.

Aren’t they fun to watch and will put a smile on your face when someone sends you one of those.

And how about the newly designed Clippy?

One thing I always wanted in Windows 10 is a nice collection of emojis that can represent my feelings whenever I use them. But often time they fall short. Now, hopefully, I can finally enjoy them.

According to Microsoft, this new set of emojis will come to Teams and Windows this holiday season, with Yammer, Outlook, and more lighting up throughout 2022.

The post A New Set of Emojis Coming to Windows appeared first on Next of Windows.

Microsoft Announces Windows 365

15 juillet 2021 à 08:25
Par : Kent Chen

Streaming a version of Windows 10 or 11 right from the cloud is what Microsoft wants to do in this case. Imaging, running a version of Windows with all the apps, data, and settings across any major platform available on the market, how easy and convenient would that be, to all of us?

That’s exactly what Windows 365 Cloud PC does.

It’s basically an Azure virtual desktop that can be accessed directly from any modern web browser or through Microsoft’s Remote Desktop. If you have used RDP as your remote access tool, this is not much different. Instead of accessing your windows from your work, you are accessing it right from Azure’s cloud service.

That said, you will still need a bare minimum PC hardware to access your cloud PC. The difference is, that PC now can be a Linux, a Mac, or a tablet.

Windows 365 will only available for business when it launches on August 2nd when the pricing will be revealed.

There will be two editions of Windows 365: business and enterprise, both powered by Azure Virtual Desktop. Individual cloud PC can be configured from a single CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage all the way to 8 CPUs, 32GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage, with 12 different configurations in between.

Windows will be everywhere, folks. That’s the future Microsoft is planning on for us.

The post Microsoft Announces Windows 365 appeared first on Next of Windows.

PowerToys’ New Toy – Awake

30 juin 2021 à 02:37
Par : Kent Chen

The toys are slowly piling up in PowerToy’s collection. The new member in town, called Awake, is a utility tool that keeps a computer awake on-demand without having to manage its power settings. It can be helpful when running long time-consuming tasks while ensuring that your PC doesn’t not go to sleep or turn off its screens.

If you haven’t, let’s update the PowerToy to the latest release, at least v0.41.3 from its Download and Release page first.

Then, open the PowerToy settings to start Awake by using the Enable Awake toggle.

Once enabled, it runs quietly in the system tray to manage the awakeness state of your computer.

There are 3 modes available through Awake utility with a behavior option that keeps your screen on or not. By default, it’s in Off (Passive) mode, which basically does nothing.

You can also choose to “Keep awake indefinitely” or “Keep awake temporarily” with a pre-defined limited time.

You can switch the mode simply through the icon in the system tray as well.

Interestingly, Awake can be executed (PowerToys.Awake.exe) as a standalone application directly from the PowerToys folder, with a number of command line’s arguments.

The post PowerToys’ New Toy – Awake appeared first on Next of Windows.

Why My Computer is Not Compatible with Windows 11?

29 juin 2021 à 02:04
Par : Kent Chen

The hardware requirements for the upcoming Windows 10 as below, according to Microsoft.

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC).
  • RAM: 4 gigabytes (GB) or greater.
  • Storage: 64 GB* or greater available storage is required to install Windows 11.
    • Additional storage space might be required to download updates and enable specific features.
  • Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later, with a WDDM 2.0 driver.
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable.
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0.
  • Display: High definition (720p) display, 9″ or greater monitor, 8 bits per color channel.

Even though the bar is relatively low, not all existing computers are compatible.

Microsoft has a PC Health Check tool that tells you whether you can install Windows 11 on your existing PC but it’s a one-liner that doesn’t tell you which part of the computer has failed to meet the requirement.

WhyNotWin11 is an open-source tool that scans your hardware and lists out all of them against Windows 11 hardware requirements and sees where they are at. Green for meeting the requirement, yellow for meeting the minimum requirement for the Insider program, and red means no.

So, if you have more than one incompatible component on your computer, you now know where to upgrade to meet the requirement.

Download the tool from its release page and since it’s a portable tool as well you can just double-click the tool to launch it.

The post Why My Computer is Not Compatible with Windows 11? appeared first on Next of Windows.

Do I Have TPM 2.0 on My Computer to Run Windows 11?

25 juin 2021 à 20:14
Par : Kent Chen

The minimum requirement for a PC to be able to run is pretty low, see below:

  • Processor: 1GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB or larger
  • Firmware: UEFI or Secure Boot capable
  • Graphics Card: DirectX12 compatible
  • Display: 9″ with HD 720P or up.

They all look pretty basic, right? But this one item on the list is going to put many computers out of Windows 11 business.

TPM: TPM version 2.0

I just checked my 2017 desktop computer. It’s only 1.2 and I am out of luck here.

What is TPM?

TPM, Trusted Platform Module, is a chip embedded on your computer motherboard that helps enable tamper-resistant full-disk encryption without the need of an extremely long complicate passphrase. That’s why BitLocker usually works way better on a computer with a TPM chip. You can still use BitLocker to encrypt an entire disk on a computer that doesn’t have a TPM chip but you will end up typing in the long passphrase every time you turn it on.

Moreover, Windows 10 makes extensive use of the TPM and integrates it deeply inside the Windows system for its security enhancements such as Device Guard and Windows Hello for Business.

How do I tell if I have TPM, especially 2.0?

There are 2 quick ways to tell whether your computer is capable of handling Windows 11.

The TPM Management console

Press Ctrl + Run, type tpm.msc, and hit OK to open the console.

Then in the TPM Manufacturer Information section, you will see the specification version there to indicate which version of the TPM chip you have on your computer.


You can also use the cmdlet Get-TPM to find out as well. Open an elevated PowerShell window and simply type:


If you see anything mentioned “not supported for TPM 1.2” in the ManufactureVersionFull20 field, you are out of luck, like my screenshot above.

The benefit of using PowerShell is that you can gather information from any remote computers on the same network.

Invoke-Command -ComputerName $computername -Scriptblock {Get-TPM}

Well, guess one of my computers are capable of running Windows 11.

Lastly, while we are on the topic, please do check why and how to manage TPM on your Windows computer.

The post Do I Have TPM 2.0 on My Computer to Run Windows 11? appeared first on Next of Windows.

Windows 11 is Here

25 juin 2021 à 08:28
Par : Kent Chen

I thought Windows 10 was the last Windows we will ever have from Microsoft. But guess whoever made that statement was wrong because the rumor once again turned out to be right.

Microsoft announced Windows 11 today on June 24, 2021

No more live tiles, just the apps, recent documents, and a separate search interface from the Start Menu that can be centered on the taskbar.

A new Snap Layouts that allow you to quickly snap apps into the various modes, which can also be remembered to ensure that apps always open on the correct screen.

The updates are also 40% smaller and more efficient as they can be done in the background.

And how about the Teams is integrated directly into the taskbar?

Windows Widgets also come back with a whole new set of touch gestures.

Lastly, a new redesigned Store app that supports for Android apps on Windows, including TikTok and Instagram.

And it will be free upgrade to all Windows 10 users.

Official release? no firm date yet but estimated will be around October.

The post Windows 11 is Here appeared first on Next of Windows.

RDCMan 2.8 is Out

23 juin 2021 à 08:38
Par : Kent Chen

It’s been a long time and finally, the Microsoft version of Remote Desktop Connection Manager gets a new update. I couldn’t wait and give it a try real quick but was disappointed that there are many new things to see.

RDCMan manages multiple remote desktop connections, not only servers but workstations as well. Connections can be managed in groups so they can all be sharing the same login settings from a parent group or a credential store. This can be very beneficial because when you change your password you just need to change the password stored in RDCMan.

There are also smart groups that get populated dynamically based on a set of rules. Go to Edit and choose to Add smart group…

To import the list of computers, prepare a text file with one server name per line format first and go to Edit > Import servers.

All settings you find in standalone Remote Desktop Client are available in RDCMan, including all local resources sharing as well as support for RD Gateway.

The display size in this version of RDCMan does support your window size automatically, which is very nice. But I do find it’s not smart-size enough, meaning that if I resize the RDCMan main window, I will have to reconnect the connections to get the RDP size auto-fit.

Overall, it has some improvement that you can see from this latest release. However, it doesn’t seem to offer enough for me to switch over. I am currently using Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager Free version. It’s free and it has everything I need for a remote connection manager.

The post RDCMan 2.8 is Out appeared first on Next of Windows.

What’s After Windows 10?

16 juin 2021 à 08:10
Par : Kent Chen

First of all, people discovered that Windows 10 Home and Pro follows the Modern lifecycle policy but will retire on Oct 14, 2025.

And today, Windows new UI and Start Menu are leaked online, under the name of Windows 11.

Well, that’s disappointing. If it’s indeed called Windows 11, what happened to the original plan that Windows 10 would be the last Windows version when it’s released back in 2017?

Here is a live demo of a leaked version of Windows 11, tweeted by Tom Warren from TheVerge.

here's a first look at Windows 11. There's a new Start menu, rounded corners, a new startup sound, and more

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021

Centered Taskbar apparently is optional and can be switched back to the left-hand side if you want. The Start menu doesn’t really look like or work as a Start menu on Windows 10. I bet people will have another learning curve to overcome.

The new snap controls that you can access from the Maximize button seem like a good new feature to have.

The startup sound is also back and sounds pretty cute.

this is the new Windows 11 startup sound

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021

But whatever we see so far is still a rumor waiting to be confirmed. But luckily, we don’t have to wait too long. Everything will be revealed on Jun 24th, as Microsoft is holding a special Windows event to announce its next OS.

The post What’s After Windows 10? appeared first on Next of Windows.

Dealing with Outlook Stuck at Processing Screen

15 juin 2021 à 02:05
Par : Kent Chen

All of a sudden, Outlook refuses to open with a splash window that is stuck at Processing…

Here are 3 things you can do about it.

Open it in Safe mode

Opening it in Safe mode disables all the add-ins, including the ones that potentially slow down your Outlook, or worse get conflicted with the program. A good way to determine if the problem is caused by one of the add-ins.

Press Win+R to bring up the Run dialog box, and type the following command.

outlook /safe

Outlook opens up with a Choose Profile dialog box, accept the default and click OK.

If it starts ok, it’s time to track down which add-ins that caused the problem.

Re-create the Outlook Profile

Sometimes, it could just be that the Outlook profile got corrupted and needs to be rebuilt.

Open Control Panel, search Mail, and click the Mail applet to reconfigure your Outlook profile.

Click Show Profiles, and remove existing profiles there and add a new one instead.

Most of the times, re-creating a new Outlook profile works like a charm. The downside is that if you are using cache mode, getting your mailbox synced up could take some time.

The /resetnavpane option

Not sure if it’s new, but you now can run this option with your Outlook to reset the navigation pane, the very left pane (or bottom pane) in your Outlook that switches between Mail, Calendar, and Tasks.

outlook /resetnavpane

Quite shockingly, this is the option I used to address this Outlook stuck in the processing stage the other day on one of my work computers.

The post Dealing with Outlook Stuck at Processing Screen appeared first on Next of Windows.

Disabling the News and Interests Gadget on Taskbar

10 juin 2021 à 02:09
Par : Kent Chen

June 2021 Update is out and one thing it does is to mess up your taskbar by adding a new shining toy called News and Interests. When you hover your mouse over 190C Mostly Sunny gadget on your Taskbar, something like this popping up.

While it’s something that might be useful, who needs it while you are at work?

To get the distractions like this out of the way, you can simply right-click on the Taskbar, go to News and interests, and choose the Turn-off option.

If you are in a corporate network environment, you will need to disable it through Group Policy.

Download the latest Administrative Templates for Windows 10 21H1 from here. Copy the feeds.adml from the language folder and feeds.admx to your Domain Controller’s main policy store.

Then in a GPO that controls your workstation computers, go to

Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > News and Intersts

And disable the setting called Enable news and interests on the Taskbar.

And that’s it. No more news.

The post Disabling the News and Interests Gadget on Taskbar appeared first on Next of Windows.