Stopping Windows 10 from sending data (redux)

Here is the second part of an article I started a few months ago.

We were talking about how to turn off all the telemetry data that W10 sends back to Seattle.  I had shown you how to do this via the registry in this post ( so in this section I will show you how to do it via GP

  1. Launch gpedit.msc
  2. Navigate to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Internet Communication Management > Internet Communication settings
  3. double click on “Turn off Windows Customer Experience Program” and enable the policy
  4. reboot

Again, this should turn off most of the data flow.  Let me know how it goes 🙂

Adding storage to X Box One

Okay, so, Christmas has come and gone and lots of us gamers have no room left on which to install our shiny new games.  Woe is us 🙁  In the past it has been very hard and you needed some serious hardware skills to increase your storage capacity (as well as a strong stomach once you void the warranty) but on the XBO it is really easy – scary easy actually.  All you need to do is install an external drive.  That’s it.  Done. Xbox One should tell you it detected a drive and will format it for you (so make sure the data from the disk is not needed) and this is a great way to re-use older hard drives you have laying around from past projects.  The only 2 catches I have seen so far are:

  1. The drive must be at least 256 gigs in size
  2. The enclosure has to run on USB 3 (this is to ensure a good gaming experience)

You can have 2 external drives installed at the same time so there is an easy (and cheap) way to get tons of storage

As a personal point I do recommend building you own enclosure for a number of reasons

  1. it is very easy.  Connect 1-2 conectors and screw/lock the drive in place.  Voila! Fini!
  2. You get to pick the drive that goes in the enclosure. These days there are huge speed differences so you can select what you want (read as “can afford)
  3. Its cheaper. By a lot.  Some research shows me 20-50% cheaper  – which could mean 100$ plus of savings – not bad for all of 15 minutes work

So there you have it – have fun with your IT project and more fun with your increased storage space for games



Now I’ve seen it all

How often have we said this. Well,  say it again. A recently reported points to a possible double screen phone. Its a phone AND a tablet – without breaking your thumbs.  Similar tech has been demo’d before and did not seem to get very far but as times advance we will have to see.  I am reminded of the old tablets PCs from the early 200s – they were clunky and mostly just used to show off ones e-peen.  But now – they are the form facto of choice. Hopefully MS can do the same for a dual screen device.

Do people still read books?

They seem quaint and boutique-y. Is that a word?  Either way, it seems like yes and Microsoft is entering the e book market.  While not the tried and true paper and ink variety, e-books are still very popular.  With the release of build 15014

Books can be downloaded from the Windows store app.  Once downloaded they can be accessed via the downloads section or from within Edge itself (use the Hub and you will see a new icon there).

Seems like there is some good content so far but it is locked to WIndows 10 devices which is a bit limiting…

Clearing Live Tiles

Here is a quick way to clear the Live Tiles when you reboot

  1. Go into the registry
  2. Go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\
  3. Right click the Windows folder and create a New Key.
  4. Name it Explorer
  5. Select the Explorer folder and in it create a new DQORD 32-bit
  6. Name it ClearTilesOnExit
  7. Make sure it is on (1 not 0)
  8. Reboot.

Tiles will be blank on initial reboot and will update as new data comes into them

Removing old install files in Windows 10

When you upgrade the old files are kept around. Usually, you have tons of free space but with time things accumulate in the dusty corners.  Removing the old versions can free up gigs of space.  There are 2 ways to do this

  1. NOT recommended – just find the windows.old directory and delete it. Poof!  However this is a bit hacky and can lead to long term stability issues.
  2. The other way is to use Disk Cleanup
    1. Right-click on your system disk (C:)
    2. Click Disk Clean up
    3. Click “Clean up System Files”
    4. Check the “Previous Windows Installations” entry
    5. Click “OK”
    6. Choose the “Delete Files” option

A quick little EXCEL command


This wonderful little command removes all spaces from a text field except single spaces between words. This can save you tons of time as exporting .TXT files and other CSV files can add these spaces.  From recent experience formulas don’t work as well when you don’t include the “hidden” space characters in a users name… just saying

Keep your stick on the ice!

Call me on my Surface

Microsoft and hardware have a shaky relationship. When the Surface was first launched, under the Ballmer regime, it had a massive and very public failing.  But now, Surface is an integral brand and a prestige item.  Same for the phone markets, right?  The first attempt, Lumia, was a failure. I do have to add here that I find that a shame as I used and loved my Nokia Lumia for a long time and only reluctantly switched to Android when I had to upgrade.  But wait, what about the bright and shiny phone future you ask.  Enter Surface phone

Fall 2017 is the date they are currently whispering about and Pegatron is in the mix! Things look promising 🙂

A brave new era

Microsoft is taking the electronic assistant and making it new again.  In order to compete with Echo and Home they are leveraging an old ally – Cortana.  The Microsoft approach may not require purchasing hardware – just up dating the software you are already using.  Brilliant!  All your devices can be a part of “Home Hub” (or whatever the final version of the offering is to be called)

There was talk of releasing hardware but it seems like the course of that ship has changed to include Windows 10 devices.

Intel is interested in this as well.  They are looking at ways to turn on a computer using far-field speech recognition.  Hopefully Redstone 3 will start this brave new era 🙂

Cortana to get smarter and better at scheduling meetings

Scheduling meeting is a pain.  It can take a long time and is a task for an assistant … maybe a personal digital assistant?  Now that Microsoft has acquire Genee (and AI scheduling start-up) it looks like meeting scheduling may get easier.  Currently there is a preview wait list but you can enroll and cross your fingers

Enroll in the preview and let Cortana schedule your meetings

Using common language voice commands you will be able to set date, duration and location.  Now if only it can arrange peoples schedules so the only free time is not Friday at 4:00pm 😉