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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.

How To Move Lightroom Catalog Preview to Another Drive

15 août 2021 à 07:17

One of my main reasons for hanging a Synology NAS at home is that it can be a single source of truth to store and organize all the family’s photos over the years. First released in 2007, Adobe Lightroom has come a long way, and it has become the de facto app to manage photos for prosumers and pros alike. I’m sure many more folks out there use those two products for the same reason.

The biggest issue I found with using Adobe Lightroom (classic) is that your photo library will grow. As the year goes by, the size of all your photos and video will only grow. It also does not help as the image resolution increases, and the video codec offers a higher bitrate. The preview cache Lightroom generates also grows. As of 2021, there is yet to be a setting in Lightroom (classic) to limit the size of your preview cache.

There are two cache size settings you can apply, but both are not towards preview storage size. If you choose to enable preview, your user profile storage will grow as your library grows.

That leaves us with only two options, either disable preview altogether or move the preview to another disk where size won’t be an issue. Like most new PC the user profile is default together on the same drive as the OS. This is a problem with a limited SSD storage as your OS.

The solution is to shut down Lightroom and create a symbolic link to another drive. I’ve shared detail on how to do this many years ago, the same solution still applies.

Lastly, as we close this how-to article, I’m also closing a chapter of my career. Kent and I started this over 12 years ago. We never thought we could continue and do this for this long. As of today, this will be my last post for Next of Windows. The site has moved on to a new owner and management group. You can follow us on Twitter.

Kent – @overscaled

Jonathan – @jonathanhu

The post How To Move Lightroom Catalog Preview to Another Drive appeared first on Next of Windows.

Windows 11 Centered Taskbar in Windows 10 without third party tools

14 août 2021 à 20:54

Windows 11’s most noticeable change is the front and center “in-your-face” taskbar (or dock). If this is the number one thing, you are looking forward to trying. You don’t have to wait for Windows 11. You can do that right on with Windows 10 without any third-party tools to have a centred taskbar.

Here is how:

First, right-click Taskbar > Taskbar Settings

Make sure the taskbar is unlocked, set location to the bottom and always hide the label.

Next, right-click Taskbar again > Toolbars > Tun on Links

Drag Links from right past the icons all the way to the left

Right-click the Links section and find “Show Text” and “Show title” turn both off. Now you can freely drag and position the icons to the center of your screen. Once you are happy, you can lock it down.

The catch here is you will notice the start menu is always on the left. This is the only difference in user experience between this tweak and Windows 11’s out-of-the-box new UX. If this is something you want, give it a try, and show off some unique Windows settings to your friend or colleagues.

The post Windows 11 Centered Taskbar in Windows 10 without third party tools 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.

Download Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper August 2021 Windows 10 Theme

2 août 2021 à 10:36

Hello August, we have Summer Olympic 2020 playing right now in 2021, nobody would guess that from the last Olympics. While we are still catching up on what we’ve missed in 2020, 2021 summer sure feels more like another summer. As we slowly moving on from this pandemic, the sign of life is flourishing. As usual, we brought you this week’s wallpaper theme from Smashing Magazine, enjoy.

The post Download Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper August 2021 Windows 10 Theme appeared first on Next of Windows.

Troubleshoot Where To Enable MSI Gaming Plus Max B450 Virtualization

31 juillet 2021 à 21:57

Recently I upgraded my motherboard (to MSI Gaming Plus Max b450) with a newer chipset to have better support my previous upgraded Ryzen 3700X CPU. Obviously, when you ‘upgrade’ a motherboard, it’s rather a full new build again just with existing parts and that the only scenario you are expecting is everything turns back on and hopes it works again. Sadly this isn’t the case, and it is by far the most frustrating build I’ve done!

I hope this tip can save you endless re-tries or hours of reading and watching videos online or even making the wrong decision to RMA your motherboard when things don’t work out.

So what doesn’t work out?

No virtualization.

Unlike what this motherboard’s name suggests, I don’t plan to use it for gaming. I need it to speed up my daily work, and my work involves running docker containers and running virtualized OS. And by default, the setting for AMD’s Ryzen virtualization technology (SVM mode) is disabled.

Other settings > missing CPU Features

So let’s enable it in the BIOS. But you will soon realize if you follow most other guide out there by going to Advanced > OC > Other Settings > (looking for CPU features). The setting is missing from my motherboard. What?!

Long story short, after more digging and countless BIOS version flash, the answer lies in the above menu. The SVM mode setting has been moved under OC > Overclocking > Advanced CPU Configurations.

This is where you can change the SVM Mode from Disabled to Enabled.

I hope this solves your issue of enabling virtualization with the MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max motherboard. Unfortunately, there are more headaches for me with this motherboard that I have yet to figure out. The board would sometimes think CPU is not detected. As a result, nothing boots up.

The post Troubleshoot Where To Enable MSI Gaming Plus Max B450 Virtualization appeared first on Next of Windows.

How To Setup Windows Hello Compatible Webcam To Auto Login

30 juillet 2021 à 19:40

Windows 10 introduced Windows Hello to provide a better and faster way to log in to Windows 10 biometrically. There are two main methods to invoke Windows Hello. One is with a biometric fingerprint scanner, and the other uses a compatible webcam to use facial recognition to log in.

We will look at the latter today simply because there are more options out there for you to upgrade and experience on an existing Windows device that lacks this feature. Having said that, there are USB keyboards out there that come with a fingerprint reader, or you can always purchase a dedicated fingerprint reader for that purpose.

The benefit of selecting a webcam with Windows Hello is it has more than one function. The webcam has played a prominent role during the pandemic. Even as we are heading to this post-pandemic area, remote working has been greatly accepted in more industries and companies. That makes it even more important to select a webcam that gives you a great picture quality and additional features like Windows Hello.

Under the hood, Microsoft requires a webcam to have infrared, so it can see your face and unlock Windows even in the pitch dark. The unlock mechanism is a very different implementation (technology) compare to what Apple did since their iPhone 10 lineup. Recently there have been hackers that tricked and bypassed facial recognition with two well-detailed pictures. It’s, in theory, possible by difficult to pull it off in the real world.

To set up Windows Hello, first, you need a compatible webcam that supports this and has a built-in IR. Next, go to Settings > Sign-in options.

Select Windows Hello Face

If you do have a compatible webcam, Windows will detect and walk you through the setup wizard.

Windows Hello Face Login Worth It?

Ever since I started using Windows Hello to log in, I’ve noticed, this is actually way more accurate and way more reliable than a traditional keyboard passphrase. By accurate, I mean less error rate when it comes to typing the wrong password. Even when you’ve done it thousands of times and have them mechanically memorized. There is still a chance you could have the wrong combination or accidentally have the keyboard caps locked. It offers you a slice of convenience, but this can add up and ensure you can have a great start to your day by getting your login to your system promptly and quickly. If you are on the market to add a webcam, worth consider selecting those that support Windows Hello in addition to the picture qualities and other features you might be looking for.

The post How To Setup Windows Hello Compatible Webcam To Auto Login appeared first on Next of Windows.

Must-Do When Setting Up a new Ryzen CPU build

29 juillet 2021 à 09:24

The consumer custom builds markets, especially with new gaming builds; more and more systems are opt-in with an AMD Ryzen based desktop. Little you might not know while it’s best to download and keep your manufacturer’s motherboard’s driver and utilities updated. There is one driver you should get from the AMD website itself that’s the chipset driver.

One of the biggest benefits of installing an AMD chipset driver is it adds a new power plan to your Windows 10 – AMD Ryzen Balanced.

Do not get fooled by the name; you’d think, why would you want a balanced power plan when you can select the High-performance power plan that Microsoft offers in every Windows 10. The fact is AMD’s Ryzen Balanced power plan offers better performance than the built-in Windows 10 high-performance mode.

The type of performance comes in both the power consumption as well as peak outputs. With the AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan, when your PC is idle, it will turn off more cores and keep the cores that are on at a higher clock speed. At the same time, Microsoft’s Balance mode would keep all the cores on but lower each core’s clock speed. The result is both lower power consumption and higher performance when it needs to crank up the power. AMD Ryzen’s Balanced power plan has a faster reaction time when it needs to change the clock speed than the default plan, according to AMD’s source.

If you have an AMD Ryzen CPU, be sure to grab yourself the latest chipset driver from AMD’s website here.

The post Must-Do When Setting Up a new Ryzen CPU build appeared first on Next of Windows.

How To Merge Photos into One PDF Natively in Windows without 3rd Party App

29 juillet 2021 à 08:11

Microsoft still lacks the equivalent of Preview in Windows. As PDF files are more ubiquitous, the need to create PDFs and making minor annotations or arrange orders becomes increasingly desired. Microsoft has yet to create an app that can compete or offer similar features as Apple’s Preview.

One of the most common tasks is combining and merging multiple photos (scanned JPGs) into a single PDF. If you Google, there are plenty of tools out there that provide this functionality, but would it be great if you can achieve those without any additional tools? In fact, you can, natively, with Windows Explorer.

You can merge multiple images into a single PDF in Windows without any third-party tools. To do this, all you need to do is select multiple images and right-click> Print > Microsoft Print to PDF.

You have the option to change rotations, fit to the page or not. As well as the ability to merge multiple pictures into a single-page PDF.

How to arrange the order of photos in PDF

The biggest ‘hidden’ trick to master this technique is that you have to have the photos arranged in the order you want before ‘printing.’ As there is no ability to alter the order of that page once you are prompt with the preview. The order of which page is determined by which first photo you right-click and all subsequent image’s order following that page.

You can either use the built-in Windows explore to sort the list by existing attributes, or you can rename all the files in a way that will satisfy your order. I hope you find this tip useful. I sure learned some tricks when messing with this.

The post How To Merge Photos into One PDF Natively in Windows without 3rd Party App 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.

Download Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper July 2021 Windows 10 Theme

5 juillet 2021 à 08:43

July is a month that we celebrate the birth of two major countries in North American, the place we call home. Canada day (July 1st) and 4th of July, American Independence Day. I’m sure to many of you July means something else, because of that we have fully packed wallpaper themes for your desktop to have a fresh new look. As usual, we brought you this month’s wallpaper themes from Smashing Magazine, enjoy!

The post Download Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper July 2021 Windows 10 Theme appeared first on Next of Windows.