What is that little Windows icon on my taskbar?

Win10-U-07A little Windows icon has appeared in the notification area of the taskbar on PCs operating on Windows 7 (SP1) and Windows 8.1. What is it for?

It is a little “gateway” to the future!

Win10-U-08Put your pointer on it and it will bring up a little message saying “Get Windows 10”.

Click on it and you will see a window with this message:

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The “How this free upgrade works” message from Microsoft tells you the three steps to get your free upgrade to Windows 10. Step 1 is to “Reserve” your copy of Windows 10. You really have a year to perform this upgrade operation, but why not get in line to be one of the first to enjoy the latest and most efficient operating system from Microsoft?

Click on “Reserve your free upgrade” and you will see a simple form that just asks for your email address and whether you want to be informed of the latest on Windows 10.

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Once you have sent in your reservation, you will get downloads of the upgrade components. The actual Windows 10 upgrade package will not be installed on your computer until after July 29, 2015, the official release date of the new operating system. There will still be opt-in steps for you, so don’t worry that your computer will be “taken over”.

.:.

© 2015 Ludwig Keck

When it says “Do not turn off your computer” what happens if I do?

You see this message usually when your PC is installing updates and it is in the process of shutting down or restarting. If the computer is powered off during this process the installation process will be interrupted.

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The interruption can have several outcomes. The best is that when you restart your computer the process either continues or picks up from the start and you hardly notice that anything bad has occurred. It may be that the computer goes through several cycles trying to get the job done. That may take extra time but gets everything updated.

It can also happen that the process was stopped when it was already marked done but has not completed. The PC will show the update installed when in fact it reverted back to the prior version of whatever was being updated. This can be bad especially if some vulnerability was being corrected and that did not really happen. It is usually best after a power interruption to manually check for updates again.

The worst outcome can be that the process gets caught in such a way that it loops back to the same incomplete state. The machine might even be unusable as it tries over and over to complete the update. Intervention might be needed, restarting into safe mode, and starting the update process again.

One thing you normally do not need to worry about is loosing any of your data.

.:.

© 2015 Ludwig Keck

How do I pin Outlook to the taskbar in Windows 8?

How to pin Outlook to the taskbar in Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10

Outlook can mean a couple of different things these days. There is Microsoft Outlook, the desktop mail client that is part of Microsoft Office, there is also Outlook.com the Microsoft email service. Let’s take them up one at a time.

Office ProgramsOutlook – mail client

To pin the Outlook mail client to the taskbar do this:

  • Click Start, or press the Windows key on the keyboard.
  • Find the Outlook listing – you may need to scroll around a bit.
  • Right-click on Outlook
  • Click on Pin to taskbar

That’s it.

Outlook.com – the online email service

To pin a link to the Outlook.com site to the taskbar proceed as shown below.

NOTE: This only works if you are using Internet Explorer.

  • Outlook.comOpen Internet Explorer and go to outlook.com. Sign in.
  • Find the little icon in front of the web address. See the illustration here.
  • drag iconPlace the pointer on the little icon. Note the tooltip “Drag to taskbar to pin site”.
  • Drag the little icon down to the taskbar and release it on the taskbar.

That’s it.

You can have both the mail client and the online outlook.com site pinned to the taskbar. The icons are very similar. The “white envelope” one is the Outlook client.

Taskbar icons

Outlook icons

.:.

© 2015 Ludwig Keck