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News Windows

Windows 11 Run Faster Than Windows 10 On The Same Hardware

Microsoft has unveiled some of the major new features when it comes to Windows 11 performance — which makes Windows 11 run faster than Windows 10 on the same hardware.

In a Microsoft Mechanics video, Microsoft Vice President Steve Dispensa detailed some of the enhancements and their implementation.

The new graphics, the redesigned Start menu, the activity center, the rounded windows, the new icons, the new system applications will be the first features that users will notice when they upgrade to Windows 11. However, an operating system for the general market such as Windows 11 also needs many changes “under the hood” that are much less evident than those related to the interface and user experience.

These “under the hood” changes make Windows 11 feel more agile and more responsive than Windows 10.

Dispensa explains that the Microsoft software engineers have done an amazing job in terms of memory management. “Microsoft has done a lot of work on memory management to allow applications running in the foreground to be prioritized with more use of CPU and other system resources.

Optimizations intended for foreground software also apply to the Windows shell itself as well as to open tabs in the browser. “After implementing the new code we immediately noticed an average resource saving of 32% for in terms of system memory, and 37% in CPU usage” , says Dispensa in the video. “All these optimizations combined between OS and applications, as you can imagine, will lead to longer battery life.” 

In addition, with the same hardware, Windows 11 will restore systems from hibernation much faster than it does with Windows 10. For that, Windows 11 has “an optimized instant-on experience as your PC resumes from sleep.”

During sleep, Windows 11 computers keep RAM “energized” while many other components are turned off. Microsoft has optimized the way Windows 11 accesses hardware and reduced resource constraints between processing threads. This speeds up sleep recovery by up to 25%.

The Windows Hello biometric authenticator should also be up to 30% faster, thanks to code optimizations.

Last but not least, Windows 11 software updates should be up to 40% smaller thanks to a new engine that will only download necessary files from Microsoft’s servers.

Windows 11 will arrive on October 5. From that date, the update will be distributed gradually. Microsoft has said that it expects that by mid-2022, Windows 11 will reach to all devices.

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Windows

How to Use Virtual Desktops On Windows 11

Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 11, is already available as a beta download. Also, the operating system is set to arrive at compatible PCs this fall. If you are using Windows 11 for a while, you might have noticed many new features like Snap Layouts, Virtual Desktops, etc.

In this article, we are going to talk about the Virtual Desktop feature of Windows 11. Actually, the feature was introduced in Windows 10, with the built-in Task View button on the taskbar.

Virtual Desktop feature is also seen on Linux operating system. If you don’t know, Virtual Desktop is basically a feature that lets you set up different desktop experiences and switch between them easily. This means you could make separate desktops for work, school, and personal use.

Step 1. To create a Virtual desktop, hover your mouse over the Task View button on the taskbar. A new menu will pop up. Next, you need to click on the ‘New Desktop’ option.

Step 2. This will create a new virtual desktop. You can now create a work environment in it. For example, here, I have two virtual desktops running different apps.

Step 3. Windows 11 also lets you rename a virtual desktop. For that, you need to right-click on the virtual desktop and select the ‘Rename‘ option.

Step 4. If you wish to move Windows between Virtual desktops, you need to click on the task view button and hover the cursor over the Window which you want to move. Next, right-click on the Window and select ‘Move to’ and then select the desktop.

Step 5. To close a Virtual desktop, you need to hover over the desktop you want to close and click on the ‘X’ button, as shown in the screenshot.

That’s it! You are done. This is how you can create and use Virtual Desktops on Windows 11.

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Windows Internet

How to Benchmark Your Windows PC

To fully understand your PC’s performance, you need to understand benchmarking and benchmarking software. This tutorial helps you do that by walking you through all you need to know to benchmark your PC and the benchmarks to start with.

What Are Benchmarks?

In this context, a benchmark is a fixed test (measure) of performance – whether of your entire PC or individual components. This measure of performance can be lined up to and compared with other PCs that have run the same benchmark, allowing you to see how your performance lines up compared to everyone else’s.

Is one of your components underperforming in comparison to what other people are scoring? A benchmark may reveal that discrepancy.

Have you overclocked your components? A benchmark will help you quantify how much improvement you made and test the system’s stability.

How do I benchmark my PC?

Fortunately, benchmarking software is usually pretty simple, especially if you aren’t specifically running a graphics-focused benchmark. As a quick example, below is the installation and initial process of Geekbench 5.

1. Download Geekbench 5 to your Downloads folder of choice. Once the download finishes, run the setup application.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Geekbench Setup Example

2. From here, it’s just your usual Windows installation process – reading the EULA, deciding if you want it pinned, and so on. You can even launch it right out of Setup, and after choosing the trial run, your benchmarks are immediately available.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Geekbench Setup Example 2

3. Click on the “Run Compute Benchmark” button to start the benchmarking test.

This straightforward download-to-setup-to-run process is pretty much identical across top benchmarking software. With the benchmarking software that I test in this article, I’m specifying where the installation process differs or more options are available.

Where more options are available in a piece of benchmarking software, it’s usually graphics options or other benchmarks. You’ll be walked through these options, what they mean, and if you should even use them for all of the software tested below.

The Best Benchmarking Software

Note: I have actually installed, run, and included my results in all of these benchmarks below! My PC’s specs for running these benchmarks are:

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z490i AORUS Ultra
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10700K
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9i chromax Low Profile CPU Cooler
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4-3200 Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO (XMP disabled, so clocked at 2133 MHz)
  • GPU: Gigabyte Windforce Nvidia GTX 1070
  • SSD 1 (boot): SATA3 ADATA ULTIMATE SU800 512GB
  • SSD 2 (storage): NVMe XPG Gammix S11 Pro 1TB
How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Author Pc
Same PC, old graphics card

1. Geekbench 5

Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform benchmarking tool. We’ve talked through the Windows setup process for this one above, but the specifics are what you should expect: download, run the installer, and run the program. Once you’ve done all of this, you’ll be presented with your choice of two benchmarks.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Geekbench Setup Example 3

With “CPU Benchmark,” you can test the speed of your CPU, both per-core and with all cores working together.

With “Compute Benchmark,” you may have a choice of different APIs to use. I recommend using Vulkan, if available, as it is the most modern standard. The “Compute” refers to GPU Compute and is used to benchmark GPUs rather than CPUs.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Geekbench Setup Example 4

On an Nvidia GPU, you may also see CUDA as an option under “Compute Benchmark” – this will score lower than the other tests for the reason that it’s focused specifically on a part of your GPU that normally isn’t used by other applications, even games. CUDA is mainly for accelerating professional workloads, like rendering video, without hurting GPU performance.

Once you have your results, you can compare them with any other set of results on the site. 

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Geekbench Pc Results
Desktop run of Geekbench 5, showing a 1334 single-core and 7609 multi-core score.

To compare, I’ve also embedded below the results of the same test run off my phone. (To get it for your own phone, check the Geekbench site’s downloads page.)

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Geekbench Mobile Results
Mobile run of Geekbench 5, showing a 312 single-core and 1299 multi-core score.

According to this benchmark, it takes every CPU core of my phone to compare to even one of my desktop CPU cores in raw power. To compare results between your own devices, run the benchmark for yourself and use this page to find other results.

2. Unigine Valley

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Unigine Valley

Unigine Valley is not the latest Unigine benchmark, but it is the best one for running stability tests on a wide range of graphics hardware, including low- and mid-range hardware.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Unigine Setup

After a quick download and install process, type “Valley Benchmark” in Start and open the benchmarking suite. As with all benchmarking software, you’ll want to use a standard preset to properly compare to other users and hardware. I recommend “Extreme HD Preset” (even for modern low-end GPUs, due to the age of this benchmark). I’ve included my results with that preset at the bottom of this review.

If you’re looking to push the limits of your benchmark even further than this standard and have a compatible display (or graphics card that supports downsampling), you can push the rendering resolution past 1080p by switching Preset to Custom.

Now you get to choose each individual setting – including resolutions besides 1080p. 1440p and 4K, for instance.

In this case, I would recommend turning down anti-aliasing, since it isn’t as noticeable when you’re downsampling or running higher-than-HD signals at native res. This will keep the benchmark in line with what you can expect running most modern games at higher resolutions on your hardware.

“Quality” will have the biggest impact on specific graphical effects and fidelity for each of its tiers. I recommend keeping it on “Ultra” to account for the age of the benchmark, but you can definitely try to lower it if you’re interested in seeing how your hardware scales.

“Stereo 3D” is for 3D monitors. If you don’t have one, ignore that setting.

Once you’ve selected or customized your preset, launch into the benchmark by clicking Run.

At the top of the screen, you’ll notice a row of in-Benchmark options.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Unigine Setup 2

Clicking “Benchmark” will immediately start the benchmarking run, which will rotate through various high-fidelity scenes, testing different graphical features while recording system metrics. Your final score will be given in a results screen like the one at the end of this review.

“Camera” allows you to adjust field of view and camera settings, including complete free camera control and a first-person walking camera. The Valley is quite large if you choose to explore it, so be mindful of that.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Unigine Setup 3

In-Benchmark Settings and Quality Settings are about the same – mostly. Within Settings, you’ll find a few new options for toggling the FPS/GPU monitor and heavier graphics settings like Volumetric Shadows. I recommend keeping all of these enabled, especially GPU Monitor (to see if you’re overheating under high load).

That’s everything important explained. Now for the results on my system below running the recommended Extreme HD Preset. I’ll explain the score, too.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Unigine Valley Results

The FPS score is what is going to matter most here. For the majority of modern games, you’ll want to aim for a score of 60 FPS or better. This means your GPU should be in roughly the punching weight needed for modern games at high settings: 1080p and 60 FPS.

My results here show an average of 95 FPS for my GTX 1070.

According to these GTX 1070 July 2021 benchmarks, the GTX 1070 on High settings at 1080p can push about 88 FPS on average in the latest games. That is uncannily close for a synthetic benchmark, especially one this old, but it shows just how scalable both it and GTX 1070 still are.

At the default 1080p, though, you will be limiting the ability of high-end GPUs to use their faster and larger-density memory. If you want to really see what a modern high-end graphics card is capable of and aren’t just testing stability and temperatures, scroll down to the 3DMark review!

3. UserBenchmark

UserBenchmark is among my favorite full PC benchmarking tools for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, using the application is exceedingly simple: it doesn’t need to be installed, and after you launch the application, you can benchmark your entire PC in one click. Once the benchmark finishes, you’ll see your results automatically opened in your default web browser on a page like the one in the screenshot below.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Userbench Results

However, I would be remiss not to discuss UserBenchmark’s weighting of results. While UserBenchmark’s individual metrics will be generally accurate, the final score used to tally up everything can be less consistent, especially if you’re comparing AMD and Intel CPUs.

UserBenchmark remains useful due to the sheer sample size of its database, and it serves as an especially good way to make sure your hardware is performing as it should compared to identicalhardware. However, it’s important to NOT use it to make final hardware buying decisions, since the UserBenchmark-weighted score and real-world comparisons can differ.

4. 3DMark

3DMark is one of the premier graphical benchmarking solutions on the market, and like Geekbench, is also multi-platform. Unlike Geekbench, it has a variety of paid demos and tiers and essentially has the most intensive CPU and GPU benchmarks on the market at a given time. This is the benchmark to use when you really want to put gaming-grade hardware to the test.

For PC users, especially those who wish to test it for free, setup requires a few extra steps. Specifically, you’ll need to go to the 3DMark Steam Page and click “Download Demo” to get the free trial of 3DMark. From there, you would launch it like any other Steam game.

However, 3DMark is a little different from the other benchmarks on this list, since it’s actually a benchmark suite rather than a singular benchmark on its own. Let’s take a look at the main launcher together.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update 3dmark Setup 1

By default, you’ll see whichever of the three benchmarks included in the demo that 3DMark decides is best for your system.

The current-gen 3DMark test included with the demo is “Time Spy,” so I recommend running that one if you want to see whether your current-gen gaming PC is up to snuff.

However, there are tests besides Time Spy! Let’s take a moment to peek at the others. Click “Benchmarks” in the top-right taskbar.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update 3dmark Setup 4

Some of these Benchmarks will be grayed out due to paid tiers, but they all include explanations for what kind of hardware they’re made for.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update 3dmark Setup 3

The free tests for all users are Time Spy for DirectX 12, Fire Strike for DirectX 11, and Night Raid for DirectX 12 integrated graphics users. Time Spy and Fire Strike are both viable for modern desktops, but Night Raid should be scalable to the integrated graphics in your laptop as well, so long as it was made after mid-2015.

Beside choosing your benchmark, there isn’t much to customize in the demo version of 3DMark. The actual settings are best left on default if you don’t know what you’re doing, and you can’t actually take control mid-benchmark as with Unigine. You’ll need to wait it out to get scored or cancel it entirely by hitting ESC.

Since Time Spy is the most modern test, and you’re unlikely to be using 3DMark without gaming-grade hardware, I’ve chosen to run Time Spy and include my results below.

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update 3dmark Time Spy Results
My results screen for a 6377 Time Spy score; Individual Graphics Score is 5996 and Individual CPU Score is 9981

You’ll get a few different scores. The main two scores are Graphics and CPU score, which measure your GPU and CPU power, respectively. “Estimated game performance” is a metric that is locked behind paid tiers but allows you to see lab-tested estimates for your performance in specific games.

Your main Score is a little different. The green meter/worded score and the numeric score don’t actually match each other.

Your numeric score is for your ranking in the benchmark as a whole. An RTX 3070 gets a score of 12311 compared to my 1070’s 6377, for instance. Lined up with the 1070’s real-world performance of ~88 FPS average in modern games at 1080p, I’d say you’re doing very well once you breach 6000.

The green meter/worded score actually corresponds to how you performed compared to people with similar or identical hardware – below “Good,” and you’re most likely overheating or being bogged down by background programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What should I do before I benchmark my PC?

Before you start benchmarking your PC, it’s important to ensure that you have all other programs closed. Having other applications open will bog down your results, sometimes significantly, especially in the case of games and web browsers. You’re also advised to close as many background applications as you can, but those shouldn’t matter too much.

2. Should I benchmark my PC?

If you’re an overclocker: absolutely, you need to test the stability of that overclock.

If you’re a regular user: It depends. If you’re here, chances are you’re at least curious. We recommend anyone run a benchmark if they suspect that their PC is underperforming. Despite some controversies (discussed in its entry), UserBenchmark is great for identifying whether components in your system are underperforming compared to identical components in other systems.

Outside of testing stability, there’s no reason you have to benchmark your PC. But it can tell you a lot about what you’re working with, especially if you’re looking to compare your current performance to potential upgrades.

3. Should I benchmark my PC before selling it?

Absolutely, especially if you want to quickly demonstrate the legitimacy of your listing and asking price. If you’re selling a gaming PC in particular, you may even want to run games with in-game benchmarks and include those results with your listing.

4. My PC shut off during a benchmark, what do I do?

If you’re an overclocker: congratulations, you just experienced your first unstable overclock! Turn things down and try again or revert to stock and stay there.

If you’re a regular user, chances are high that something is wrong with your PC, most likely your cooling or power. Use a hardware monitor to verify that your components aren’t overheating when you’re running your benchmarks. If you are overheating, it may be time to replace your cooler or thermal paste. (You can also take the steps outlined in this article to alleviate the issue in the meantime.)

If your thermals don’t seem to be the problem, it’s most likely a case of your GPU trying to draw more power than your PSU can handle.

5. What do I do if my hardware is performing below expectations?

How To Benchmark Your Windows Pc Update Userbench Below Expectations
UserBenchmark Results Page With Underpeforming Hardware

Simply take whatever steps you need to to fix the issue. Benchmarking software with a large database is ideal for finding issues like this.

Categories
Windows

How to Install and Run the Nginx Server on Windows

Nginx is a web server that is very popular with Linux and BSD systems. It can also be installed on Windows 10. However, there are a few performance limitations in Windows that have not been mitigated so far, but the developers will address these problems in a future release. To install and run Nginx successfully on Windows, follow the steps below.

Download the Nginx Server

There are many download versions of Nginx for Windows, and Nginx recommends using the “mainline version.” However, you will not find any issues if you download its most recent stable version for Windows.

Select the version you want and download its zip file to your PC.

Nginx Windows Mainline Version Download

As a first step, you need to extract the new folder. You can use 7-zip, WinRAR or any other popular compression software.

Nginx Windows Extract Zip File

After extracting the file contents in the original folder, you have to move the entire folder that came with the built-in download copy into the “Program Files.” We can either move or cut-paste this extracted folder.

Nginx Windows Program Files

We will run Nginx from this location as a default web service program.

Installing Nginx

To install and run Nginx, select and double-click the Nginx.exe file. It has now been activated for further use. You may run into a Windows Defender block screen while running the Nginx server, which has to be allowed by you.

Nginx Windows Run Program

In the next step, you need to verify whether the installation has been successful. For this, go to your default browser and type localhost. Microsoft Edge is the browser used in the below example. If you see a screen saying the Nginx web server is successfully installed and working, it means there were no problems with your Nginx installation in Windows.

Nginx Windows Browser Localhost

To stop Nginx, you can end it from the Task Manager window.

Nginx Windows End Task

Running Nginx on Your Windows PC

To run Nginx, you have to use Internet Information Services (IIS), which is a Microsoft web server that serves requested HTML pages or files. You can enable it in “Turn Windows Features On or Off” in the Control Panel. Check the required fields for “Web Management Tools” and “IIS Management Console.”

Nginx Windows Iis Enabled

It will take a while for IIS to be enabled on your computer as the changes are applied.

Nginx Windows Iis Applying Changes

You can open IIS Manager directly from the Start menu. Always open it in Administrator mode.

Nginx Windows Iis Manager Start Menu

Here, you will be able to access the default website, which is usually located at “inetpub wwwroot.” This is also known as the web application root. You can look for it in File Explorer through a simple search.

Nginx Windows Inetpub Root Folder

It is helpful to change the physical path of this root to a more desirable folder. I created a new “Work” folder in C:\ and changed the physical path to “C:\Work.” When you double-click on the “default web site” option in IIS Manager, it should lead to this new folder. Alternatively, you can right-click the menu and select “explore” for the same result.

Nginx Windows Iis Manager Root Folder

After this, go to the Nginx folder that you renamed in the Program files. Click “Conf” and select “nginx.conf.” This file can be edited using the Notepad++ text editor, but you can use any other editor such as Atom or Visual Studio Code.

Edit Nginx Conf File With Notepadplusplus

In Notepad++, find the location of the root and change it from the default html.

Nginx Windows Location Root

As shown here, change the root to the edited physical path which we discussed above.

Nginx Windows Location Root Changed

You can edit the index.html file in the root folder in a separate tab. Change the text to what you want the web server to display on the screen.

Nginx Windows Text Changed Index.html

Exit the Nginx.exe program using “End Task.” Open and run the “nginx.exe” file in Admin mode.

Type localhost in a browser window. The Nginx web server will highlight the edits you made.

Nginx Windows Runing Program

Example Application of Nginx in Windows

The Nginx resources site has a full list of web server applications which you can use to run various applications on Windows PC.

For example, you can use Nginx in Windows to link to a webpage such as a customer login page. Once you make the configuration changes in the “nginx.conf” file, your end users will be able to access the login page on their end.

Go back to the “nginx.conf” file shared in the previous section. Instead of “localhost,” you need a domain name for the server to access. “index.html” is a command used to point to any static html page.

Nginx Windows Put Domain Name

In the next step, go to “location” and modify the text using an “api,” followed by a proxy server added with an “http” ping. This should point to any login page you want this page to direct to.

Nginx Windows Proxy Server Login

Save the file and run the “Nginx.exe” program in Admin mode. For this login page to look nice to the end user, you should have previously configured the web server in an IDE program like Eclipse.

Categories
Windows

10 of the Best Chrome Themes to Beautify Your Browser

For years, Google Chrome has allowed users to beautify the browser with hundreds, if not thousands, of themes. Let’s take a look at some of the best Google Chrome themes you can download right now.

How to Install Chrome Themes

Installing a theme for Google Chrome is as easy as it gets. One word of warning: you should always get your themes directly from Google’s official Web Store for Themes. Barring that word of warning, to install your theme, follow the next few steps:

Beautiful Chrome Themes Theme Store

1. On your computer, open and start Chrome. At the top right, click on the “Menu” button which looks like three vertical dots.

2. Under “Appearance,” click on Themes. Alternatively, you can go right to the gallery by using a direct link for the Web Store.

3. Browse through a variety of thumbnails and categories to find the perfect theme for you.

4. When you find the theme you want to add, click on “Add to Chrome,” and the theme will be applied automatically. To install a different theme, repeat the process. If you want to go back to the default theme, head back to “Menu -> Appearance -> Reset to Default.”

1. Sea Foam

Best Chrome Themes Sea Foam

Sometimes it’s good to keep things simple, and to that end, Google has a vast selection of subtly tinted themes that wouldn’t look out of place adorning the walls of a beautiful townhouse. Of these elegantly named themes, a personal favorite is Sea Foam, which has a gentle pale green color that instantly makes me feel at peace.

But many of the themes in the “Published by Chrome” section are lovely, so check them all out!

2. Into the Mist

Best Chrome Themes Into The Mist

How moody can you handle your Chrome themes? Perhaps a perfect theme for Halloween or for those who appreciate a brooding atmosphere, Into the Mist is a beautiful theme that doubles as a dark themes, making it much easier on the eyes when you’re browsing in the dark or in the evenings.

3. Material Incognito Dark Theme

Beautiful Chrome Themes Material Dark

Using a dark mode is all the rage these in days in the tech world, so it’s fitting a Google Chrome theme exists for that. Enter Material Incognito Dark Theme, which is the same color as Chrome’s incognito window, hence the name. If you have long been a fan of that color scheme and wished it was available in the regular Chrome window, your prayers have been answered.

4. Beauty

Best Chrome Themes Beauty

If you want a sense of tranquility every time you open your browser, the Beauty theme is what you need. The developer says it best: a “bright pink sunset, green plains and hilly forests … will make you open your favorite browser again and again.” There is just something incredibly serene about how this looks on Chrome. When you open your browser, you may forget what you want to do for a second or two. It’s so easy to get caught up in the beauty of the theme’s wallpaper.

5. Galaxy-View

Best Chrome Themes Galaxy View

Space truly is the final frontier with the Galaxy-View theme. There has always been something wondrous about looking up at the stars and knowing how small Earth is in the greater universe. This theme will remind you of that as you look up from the comfort of a beautiful forest and see the galaxy in all its beauty.

6. Iron Man-Material Design

Best Chrome Themes Iron Man

While the Marvel movie character has long since met his untimely end, he lives on forever with the Iron Man-Material Design Chrome theme. The muted colors and vision of Iron Man ready to do battle will forever be enjoyable to view as you open a new browser tab. That it follows the material design concept ensures it will continue to look great even as Google enhances Chrome well into the future.

7. Colors

Beautiful Chrome Themes Colors

For anyone who wants a little vibrance in their life, the Colors theme will do just that. This theme will either distract you or provide a sense of colorful wonder. Every time you open a new tab, you will be met with a rainbow of color splotches. While the theme is mostly focused on the background wallpaper and not the address bar, it remains a large step up from the default theme.

8. Horizon Club Sydney

Beautiful Chrome Themes Horizon

An abstract work based off the bridge in Sydney, Australia’s iconic harbor, Horizon Club Sydney adds mild green flair to the address bar while the wallpaper dazzles you. The abstract wallpaper is delightful to look at time and time again with a variety of shapes and colors. While nothing can replace a trip to the real harbor and Sydney proper, this Chrome theme is the next best thing.

9. Lone Tree

Best Chrome Themes Lone Tree

Another Chrome theme that begs for serenity, Lone Tree adds a feel to your browser that is entirely unique. Everything from the address bar to the wallpaper will be touched with light touches of color that emanate from the main image. There is just something beautiful about opening up the browser and staring at the beauty of a single tree.

10. Indescribable

Beautiful Chrome Themes Indescribable

Of all the names that could be the right fit for this Chrome theme, Indescribable is about as perfect as it gets. For those weeks and months when a vacation is not practical, the beauty of this theme will transport you to somewhere magical. The sun, the ocean and the palm trees are all begging you to visit while providing a sense of joy and tranquility.

Categories
Windows

The Ultimate Guide to Check Windows 11 Compatibility with My PC

Will my Windows 10 computer be compatible with the upcoming Windows 11? Microsoft has spelled out the hardware and software requirements for Windows 11, but the information is vague on how to evaluate your system to meet the free upgrade requirements.

We have prepared an ultimate guide for you to check Windows 11 compatibility with your existing PC and laptop. If you want to know whether your laptop or PC qualifies for Windows 11, the following tests give a clear indication. As more information comes from Microsoft’s end, we will revise and update the requirements here.

1. CPU Requirements Test

Microsoft maintains a list of processor requirements for all operating systems comprising Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm. This has now been updated to include the future Windows 11. According to a Microsoft blog update, the Windows 11-compliant CPUs have been designed to adopt the new Windows Driver model for a 99.8 percent crash-free experience.

The basic values of 1 GHz or more speed with two or more cores on a 64-bit processor remain unchanged from Windows 10.

Windows11 Compatibility Processor Info

To know your own processor type, click “view processor info” on the Windows 10 search box. This will give you the exact processor model of the device.

Windows11 Compatibility Processor Details

Go back to the processor list page and search for your processor type on the browser. Check whether it’s been listed in the official page. The CPU requirements will be further validated with additional tests.

Windows11 Compatibility Processor Support

2. Microsoft Online Test

Go to this link and scroll down below to determine whether your current Windows device is compatible with Windows 11. It should display a clear “This PC will run Windows 11” status message. Note that at this moment, Microsoft has disabled this handy option with a “Coming soon” message. It should definitely be available again when the release date draws near.

Windows11 Compatibility Online Will Run

3. PC Health App Test

Microsoft has launched a PC Health app to give an instant assessment of Windows 11 compatibility. At the moment of writing, the app was discontinued for unknown reasons. In the future, when you manage to install the app, you can open it from the Window search box like a typical app.

Windows11 Compatibility Pc Health Search

There is a prominently visible menu option for checking whether your PC meets the system requirements of Windows 11. Click “check now” to proceed.

Windows11 Compatibility Pc Health Check

If your existing Windows 10 system is incompatible with the Windows 11 requirements, you will get an alert that “this PC can’t run Windows 11.”

Windows11 Compatibility Pc Health Cant Run

On the other hand, if your system is compatible with Windows 11, you will get the status “this PC can run Windows 11.” Now you just have to wait for the update to arrive, which will be during the 2021 holiday season.

Windows11 Compatibility Pc Health Can Run

4. Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Test

As part of a robust hardware encryption security design, Microsoft has mandated Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Version 2.0 for all Windows 11 upgrades. This is a device health and system integrity consideration which your existing device must pass. To know the TPM readiness status of your device, search for tpm.msc on the Windows search box.

Windows11 Compatibility Tpm Msc

In non-supported hardware, you will see a status “compatible TPM cannot be found.” If your device CPU supports windows 11 but TPM shows failure, try going to the BIOS and enabling TPM.

Windows11 Compatibility Tpm Not Found

For a compatible TPM which supports Windows 11, you should see a “the TPM is ready for use” status.

Windows11 Compatibility Tpm Ready To Use

5. UEFI Secure Boot Test

The new Windows 11 devices should be able to run on UEFI secure boot mode. If you can enable and disable this mode easily, then you are all set. To know the current status of UEFI secure boot, go to “device security” from the Windows search box.

Windows11 Compatibility Device Security

A prominent “secure boot is on” message should be displayed in the Secure boot option.

Windows11 Compatibility Secure Boot

6. Virtualization-Based Security (VBS) Test

Virtualization-based security (VBS) is another important component of Windows 11 systems. To go to this option, type “virtualization security” in the Windows search box.

Windows11 Compatibility Device Security Virtualization

If your VBS feature does not exist, under core isolation, “memory integrity” will be greyed out/disabled. You can try to fix the problem by reviewing the incompatible drivers and removing/replacing them.

Windows11 Compatibility Vbs Memory Integrity

If your device supports VBS, then you can easily enable memory integrity under core isolation (with a system restart).

Windows11 Compatibility Vbs Memory Integrity On

7. Graphics Card Compatibility Test

The graphics card requirements of Windows 11 are higher than you might think. Press Win + R to open the Run command box, then type dxdiag followed by Enter. This will open a DirectX Diagnostic Tool window where under “System” you can see the DirectX version of your Windows computer. If that displays DirectX 12 or later, then it passes the Windows 11 criteria.

Windows11 Compatibility Directx 12 1

However, do a further check for a Driver model in the “Display” tab. In the following example, the driver model is WDDM 1.3, which is not a good sign.

Windows11 Compatibility Wddm

According to Microsoft, the driver model value should be a WDDM 2.0 driver (and above). It will be used in features such as Windows Projection.

Windows11 Compatibility Wddm 2

8. Screen Resolution Test

With regard to Windows 11 requirements, does your laptop or computer have a high-definition display (720p)? Does it support a screen greater than 9″ diagonally with 8 bits per color channel? To check the display resolution compatibility, open the menu item from the search box.

Windows11 Compatibility Display Resolution

Go to “Advanced Display Settings,” where you can see the highest desktop resolution. Any figure at or above 1280×720 pixels will make the device 720p HD-compliant. You can check here for 8 bits per color channel using “bit-depth.”

Windows11 Compatibility Display Advanced 1

For most devices manufactured in the last six to seven years, finding a Windows 11-compliant resolution is not going to be an issue. It never hurts to be absolutely sure, though. However, it’s recommended to go for a 1080p (1920×1080 pixels) full-HD resolution instead of 720p. (See feature-specific tests for “Snap” layouts.)

9. Feature Specific Tests

Windows 11 is adding key features such as 5G support, which are above and beyond the minimum requirements. Let’s run a summary of the capabilities your existing device should have to support the needed features.

  • 5G support: to allow for significantly faster speeds in the new standard, you will need a 5G-capable modem. Samsung and Apple are among the makers.
  • Auto HDR support: this necessitates an HDR monitor. To know whether your existing laptop screen supports HDR, go to “Windows HD Color Settings” from the search box. In the below example, HDR support has been greyed out in Display capabilities. Clearly, this monitor wouldn’t support Auto HDR.
Windows11 Compatibility Hdr
  • BitLocker to Go: no changes here. The latest version of BitLocker requires access to a Windows Pro edition and a USB flash drive.
  • Client Hyper-V support: to run client Hyper-V, does your processor support Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)? Windows 11 will use this capability for achieving its objective of hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI). For the latest devices and modern laptops, it shouldn’t be a problem.

To check whether your Windows device has SLAT capability, open Command Prompt in Administrator mode and enter systeminfo. Next to the Hyper-V requirements column, check whether SLAT shows “yes.”

Windows11 Compatibility Slat
  • Cortana: requires microphone and speaker support and is available for select countries such as the United States, Australia, and India (full list on Microsoft site).
  • DirectStorage: this feature requires an NVMe solid state drive (SSD), and it is possible to upgrade your system from hard disk drive (HDD) to SSD.
  • DirectX 12 Ultimate: Microsoft has announced DirectX 12 Ultimate as the latest standard for next-generation games. The driver will be automatically updated and supported with the compatible CPUs discussed above.
  • Presence: this is a new smart feature for human presence detection and is only available with compatible laptops, such as Dell Latitude 7400 and others.
  • Intelligent video conferencing and Multiple Voice Assistant: if your existing device has microphones and speakers, you are covered.
  • Snap (three-column layout): Windows 11 is allowing a custom grid for three windows with a feature called “Snap.” It requires at least full-HD support of 1080p (1920x1080p). You can determine it from your screen resolution test.
  • Mute/unmute from Taskbar: instead of going through several steps to mute or unmute your speakers, Windows 11 will allow direct global mute/unmute from the taskbar itself. But the device has to support a video camera, microphone, and speaker. This is no doubt a next-generation improvement. Also, enabling “spatial sound” requires supporting hardware.
Windows11 Compatibility Mute Unmute
  • Microsoft Teams: if your existing device supports Microsoft Teams videoconferencing, then you’re good to go with Windows 11.
  • Touch: if your existing Windows device supports touch functions, then the same will carry forward to Windows 11.
  • Two-factor authentication, Voice typing, wake-on-voice: this would not be a big deal for the latest Windows devices.
  • Wi-Fi 6E: requires a Wi-Fi 6E capable router.
  • Windows Hello: supported on most of the latest Windows devices with biometric sensors or with PIN. The same will carry forward to Windows 11.
  • Windows Projection: requires WDDM 2.0 and above. (See the section for graphics card compatibility test.)
  • Xbox app: requires an Xbox/Live account, which is not available in all regions. Many countries are not supported.

For projection purposes, the Wi-Fi adapter should support Wi-Fi Direct. To check whether your device can run Wi-Fi Direct, go to Command prompt and type ipconfig/all. Scroll down to find a relevant description of Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter.

Windows11 Compatibility Wi Fidirect

Some of the deprecated features in Windows 11 include Internet Explorer, S mode (only for Home edition), Tablet mode, OneNote, Paint 3D, and even Skype (Microsoft Teams will play a more important role in the future). Windows 11 will ultimately be the new operating system in terms of doing away with many legacy apps and system processes.

Just as we saw with Windows 7’s transition to Windows 10 in the mid-2010s, the early adopters of Windows 11 may be relatively few. Windows 10 Home and the Pro edition are going to remain active at least until October 14, 2025. Therefore, for the imminent future, we anticipate both operating systems coexisting side by side.

Categories
Windows

Windows 11 Preview Build Now Available to Download, Here’s How

Microsoft has finally released its first Windows 11 preview build in the Dev channel. Windows Insiders can now download the preview build 22000.51 and try out the new features like Start Menu, multi-tasking features, updated file explorer, and more.

In the first preview build, almost all the visual changes that were revealed last week will be available. However, the two big features of Windows 11 are missing in this, Android apps on Windows and the Microsoft Teams Integration. Both the features are still being developed so that they will appear in the next preview build.

Microsoft Releases First Windows 11 Preview Build

File Explorer of Windows 11

Last week, at the Microsoft event, the company unveiled the next OS of Windows and the successor to the Windows 10 OS. They said the first preview build of Windows 11 will be available next week, and the official release will be later this year. So, finally, the first preview is here, and you can try out all the new features of the OS.

The Windows 10 users can upgrade to Windows 11; here is a simple guide to help you out. Follow the given steps and try out all the new Operating System Windows 11.

How to Upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10?

The process of upgrading to Windows 11 is very easy. And the best thing is, no data will be deleted from the PC, and if you want to go back to Windows 10 from Windows 11, you can also do it.

As this is not the official version, you first need to join the Windows Insider Program. Then only you will be able to test the new OS.

  1. First, join the Windows Insider Program from the given link and register yourself.
  2. You will need a Microsoft account to register; if you don’t have one, create an account.
  3. Link the Microsoft account to your Windows 10 PC. (No data will be deleted).
  4. Go to Settings >> Accounts  >> Sign in with Microsoft account instead.
  5. Now, enter the same account details you entered to register the Windows Insider Program and sign in.
  6. You have moved to an Online account.
  7. Open the settings page and click on “Update & Security.”
  8. Click on Switch to “Windows Insider Program” and tap on Get started.
    Windows Insider Preview Build
  9. Select your Microsoft account and Pick Dev Channel and confirm it.
  10. Now, open the Windows Update menu on your PC and click on Check for updates
  11. Here it will show Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22000.51 update
  12. Click on Download; the process will take some time, depending on your internet speed.
  13. Once the update is completed, your PC will boot to Windows 11.

That’s it! You can see the new Start Menu, wallpapers, revamped UI, and so much more.

As this is a preview build, there will be bugs, so it is better not to install it on a machine that you use for daily work.

Categories
Windows

How to Upgrade to Windows 11 From Windows 10

After the Windows 11 announcement, Windows 11 Preview Build 22000.51 is finally here in the Dev channel. At Microsoft’s Windows event, the Redmond giant unveiled the next generation of Windows. It is rightly called Windows 11, successor to the company’s most popular Windows 10 OS. Windows 11 is all about visual changes, and Windows fans are waiting with bated breath to try out the new OS. Not anymore. So we have put together a simple guide to help you upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10. We have also mentioned the steps to clean install Windows 11 on any PC. Now if you are excited to try out Windows 11, follow our guide below.

Upgrade to Windows 11 From Windows 10: A Step-by-Step Guide (2021)

If you are on Windows 10, you can follow this guide to install Windows 11 on your computer without any hassles. And for advanced users, we have also added instructions for Windows 11 clean installation through the ISO image.

Install Windows 11 on Your Windows 10 PC

If you are on Windows 10 and want to test out Windows 11, you can do so right away, and the process is pretty straightforward. Moreover, your files and apps won’t be deleted, and your license will remain intact. In case you want to roll back to Windows 10 from Windows 11, you can do that as well. Now having said all of that, let’s begin.

1. For Windows 10 users who want to install Windows 11, you first need to join the Windows Insider Program. Click on this link and register yourself. You should have a Microsoft account to register for Windows Insider Program. If you don’t have one, create one on the same webpage.

Upgrade to Windows 11 From Windows 10 (2021)

2. After creating an online Microsoft account, you need to link the Microsoft account to your Windows 10 PC. Basically, if you were using a local account on your Windows 10 PC, you will have to move to the online account. Don’t worry, this won’t delete anything. To do so, open Settings and go to “Accounts”. Here, click on the “Sign in with a Microsoft account instead” option.

Upgrade to Windows 11 From Windows 10 (2021)

3. Now, enter the same Microsoft account details you used to register for Windows Insider Program and sign in.

Upgrade to Windows 11 From Windows 10 (2021)

4. Once you have moved to an online account, navigate to “Update & Security” from the Settings page. Here, switch to “Windows Insider Program” and click on “Get Started”.

Note: If you get an error relating to Diagnostic data, move to “Settings -> Privacy -> Diagnostics and feedback -> Turn on Optional diagnostic data”.

Upgrade to Windows 11 From Windows 10 (2021)

5. Choose your Microsoft account and then pick the “Dev Channel” as Windows 11 is being currently rolled out to users in this channel only. Now, confirm it. Note that builds in the Dev channel may have several bugs, but in my experience so far, Windows 11 has been pretty solid.

Upgrade to Windows 11 From Windows 10 (2021)

6. Now, switch to the “Windows Update” menu and click on “Check for updates”.

check for windows 11 updates

7. It will take some time, so keep patience. Finally, you will receive Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22000.51 update on your Windows 10 PC. Click on “Download“.

windows 11 insider preview 22000.51

8. Now, depending on your internet speed and PC hardware, Windows 11 installation will take anywhere between 1-2 hours. Your PC will reboot several times during the installation.

reboot PC

9. Once the update is complete, your PC will boot to Windows 11 Preview Build 22000.51 with a new startup sound, new Start Menu (by the way, you can switch back to Windows 10 Start Menu on Windows 11), excellent Windows 11 wallpapers, and a completely revamped UI. All your programs, files, and license will remain intact on Windows 11. Enjoy the new version of Windows on your PC.

install windows 11 on any pc

Clean Install Windows 11 on Any PC

Not everyone wants to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 mainly because of unknown installation errors and slow performance due to carried-over files. So if you are an advanced user and want to clean install Windows 11 on your PC, we need to get back to the bootable method. Note that, by clean install, I don’t mean erasing all of your partitions and files. This method will only wipe the C drive, including files and programs stored within the C drive.

1. First and foremost, download the official Windows 11 ISO build from Microsoft’s website. Currently, the Windows 11 Insider Preview 22000.51 build is not available to download, but keep an eye on the official software download page to download the ISO image.

2. Next, you need to download Rufus (Free) which lets you create a bootable Windows 11 USB thumb drive.

3. Now, launch Rufus and click on “Select“, and choose the Windows 11 ISO image. Plug in your USB thumb drive and Rufus will automatically pick the device. I would recommend running Rufus on the same PC where you wish to install Windows 11. This allows Rufus to automatically pre-select the correct values based on your system configuration.

Clean Install Windows 11 on Any PC

4. To steer clear of any GPT/ MBR errors during the installation process, I would suggest you check the partition scheme beforehand. On the PC where you want to install Windows 11, press the “Windows + X” keyboard shortcut and open “Disk Management”. Here, right-click on “Disk 0” and open “Properties”. If you intend to install Windows 11 on another disk (Disk 1 or 2, make sure to select that disk. Then, switch to “Volumes” and check the “Partition style”, whether it’s GPT or MBR. For example, mine is GPT.

Clean Install Windows 11 on Any PC

5. So on Rufus, I have selected “GPT” under “Partition scheme“. You need to choose the partition scheme accordingly. Finally, keep everything as default and click on “START”.

gpt windows 11

6. Once the flashing process is complete, keep the USB thumb drive plugged in if you want to install Windows 11 on the same PC. Now, restart your computer, and while the computer boots up, start pressing the boot key continuously.

Note: On HP laptops, pressing the “Esc” key during startup brings up the Startup menu. For other laptops and desktops, you will have to look for the boot key on the Internet. It should be one of these: F12, F9, F10, etc.

Clean Install Windows 11 on Any PC

7. Then, Press “F9” (the key can be different for your laptop/desktop) to open “Boot Device Options. Here, select the thumb drive and hit enter.

Clean Install Windows 11 on Any PC

8. You will now boot into the Windows 11 installer setup. Now follow this instruction path, click on Next -> Install Now -> I don’t have a product key -> Select Windows 11 edition -> Custom. If you had Windows activated earlier, the “product key” and “Windows 11 edition page” might not appear. They will be pre-selected by the installer itself based on your earlier configuration.

Clean Install Windows 11 on Any PC

9. Now, identify the “C” drive partition based on the drive size and click on “Next” to install Windows 11 on your PC. This will only wipe your C drive (including programs and files from Desktop, My Documents, Downloads — all within C drive) and will not touch other partitions.

Clean Install Windows 11 on Any PC

10. After the installation process, your PC will reboot. This time, remove the USB thumb drive, and you will be greeted with Windows 11’s brand new onboarding setup.

windows 11 oobe

11. During the installation, if you are using Windows 11 Home, you can also create an offline account through Sign-in Options -> Offline Account -> Limited experience. For other editions, you can choose not to connect to a Wi-Fi network.

offline microsoft account windows 11

12. There you go! You have successfully installed Windows 11 Preview Build 22000.51 on your computer. Now, go ahead and try out all the new UI elements, centered start menu, new Microsoft Store, widgets, enhanced action center, and much more.

windows 11 live on any PC
Categories
Windows

Windows 11 Update: Expected Features & Other Details

Microsft is gearing up to launch Windows 11 on June 24 at a special event. However, before the launch, the upcoming Operating system details have been leaked. Earlier, few screenshots were shared on China’s Baidu website, and then the Windows 11 ISO also went live.

As per the latest reports, many Windows 11 are already available in Preview to build. If you are a Windows Insider, then you can try out the features. Microsoft is testing these preview builds with Insiders for a long time. However, the company has not yet officially labeled it as Windows 11, but it can be. So, let’s check out the features coming to Windows 11 that are available in Preview.

Windows 11 Preview Shows New Features

The upcoming OS has a revamped UI, a new start menu, taskbar design, a new Windows logo, and more.

HDR Improvements

If you are into gaming, then these improvements in HDR will be so helpful. There is an Auto HDR mode, a DirectX feature, enabling HDR capabilities for around 1000 games. These features are already available on Xbox, and the same thing is seen in Windows 11.

Even for non-gamer, Microsoft has added support for HDR to manage apps like Adobe Photoshop.

Better keyboard and input

Microsoft is improving the touch keyboard, clipboard, and emoji picker. The touch keyboard has a new design with many new features. It has in-built emoji, animated GIF search. The menu is rebuilt and made easier to understand with labels and structure.

Now, you can move the text cursor by using the touch keyboard; for that, you need to hold a space bar and move your finger. For voice typing, there is a quick shortcut, and it has got a new modern look. If you want to use it without the touch keyboard, activate it by pressing Windows key + H.

The emoji picker is updated with support for animated GIFs and search features, so you can easily find the emoji/GIF you want.

Visuals Changes in Windows 11

New icons in Windows 11

The visual changes in Windows 11 are not available in Preview, but there are already some. There are new icons in File Explorer. The folders icons have changed, like the colorful icons for the default folders. For example, the downloads folder is in green with a download icon. Even for hard drives, there are new icons.

Settings App Improved

The settings app now has new capabilities. The storage section has improved, disk management is integrated into the Settings app. It will let you manage the drives that are connected to the PC. Windows will detect the drives, and if it’s at risk, you will get a warning notification so you can replace it.

New Apps

Windows 11 is going to bring two new apps Windows Terminal and Power Automate Desktop.

Other Features of Windows 11

  • New Command Line tools
  • Bluetooth audio experience improved
  • Improved Task Manager
  • Dark Mode
  • New Widgets

These are some of the changes available right now. Nothing is confirmed officially, so let’s wait. Microsoft might release the first build after June 24, as in that event, the company is going announce the upcoming OS.

Categories
Windows

How to Rotate a Video in VLC (And Save It)

Watching a movie or other clip with a conventional 16:9 or old-school 4:3 aspect ratio is a cinch on VLC player. But the rise of smartphones has brought with it one unfortunate side effect – filming videos horizontally (or vertically), then rotating the camera after you started recording.

This means that when you open the culprit video in a video player like VLC, you need to rotate it to make it properly watchable. Here we show you not only how to rotate a video in VLC but how to save it after it’s been rotated.

Rotate Your VLC Video

First, open your video in VLC and take a moment to appreciate how wrong it looks. Now to fix it, you need to go to “Tools -> Effects and Filters.”

Tools Vlc

Next, click the Video Effects tab, then the Geometry tab, and tick the checkbox that says “Transform.” The drop-down menu below should no longer be greyed out, and you should be able to rotate your video as you see fit.

Rotate Video In Vlc

As a general rule, if your video was horizontal and you want to make it vertical or vice versa, select the option to rotate it either by 90 degrees or 270 degrees. You can also “Flip” it to turn it into a mirror image of itself or Transpose it, which flips it and makes it fit the screen.

Save Your Rotated Video

Once you’ve made the rotation adjustments you wanted, click Save. Note that saving at this point doesn’t save the video in its rotated form but rather the settings for VLC as a whole, which means every subsequent video you watch will start off in your rotated format (not convenient at all). We’ll show you how to reset this later.

If you’re happy with your video and want to save it, click Tools in the ribbon at the top, then Preferences.

Vlc Player Preferences

At the bottom left of the Preferences window, click “All” under “Show settings,” then click “Video” and “Filters” in the pane on the left.

Show All Vlc Settings

On the right side, tick the “Video transformation filter” box and click “Save.”

Video Filter Vlc

Next, click “Media” in the ribbon at the top of your VLC window, then “Convert/Save.”

Vlc Convert And Save

In the new window, click “Add,” then browse to your video and select it. Click “Convert/Save” with it selected.

Media Convert

In the next window, click the Profile drop-down menu and select a video format profile you’re happy with – the first one, H.264 + MP3 (MP4), is fine for most purposes.

Convert Format

Next, click the wrench icon next to the Profile drop-down, and then click the “Video codec” tab. (Beforehand, you can select the video format you want to save to if you like – we’re happy sticking with the default MPEG-TS.)

how-to-rotate-save-vlc-video-create-profile

Under the “Video codec” tab, tick the “Video” checkbox, the Filters tab, then scroll down and tick the box that says “Video transformation filter” and click “Save.”

Video Transformation Filter

Back at the “Convert” window, the last thing you need to do is select the destination you want to save your rotated file to (at the bottom of the window) and give it a new filename. Make the name distinct, as we had problems when using a variant of the original name. Do this, then click “Start” to begin the conversion process.

Rotated Video Vlc

Your newly rotated video should now appear in the destination you saved it to. All you need to do now is reset your VLC settings to default. To do this, just go to “Tools -> Preferences,” then click “Reset Preferences” at the bottom of the window.

Rotate Video Playing In Vlc