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https://killexams.com/exam_list/MicrosoftKillexams : How to Sign a PDF document in Microsoft Edge
Here is a guide that shows you how to sign a PDF document in Microsoft Edge. Signatures are basically used to get or provide consent or approval on documents like contracts, legal documents, applications, forms, and more. Just like how you add inked signatures on a hard-paper document, you can also add an electronic signature to your PDF document in the Edge browser.
Microsoft Edge is a great PDF viewer for Windows 11/10 with some good PDF studying and annotation tools. Additionally, you can easily draw and add a handwritten signature to a PDF document right from the Edge browser. In this post, we will discuss two different methods to electronically sign a PDF document in Microsoft Edge. Let us check out these methods now!
These are the main methods to sign a PDF document in the Edge browser:
Use the Draw tool to sign a PDF in Edge.
Digitally sign a PDF in Edge using an add-on.
Now, let’s discuss these two methods in elaboration!
1] Use the Draw tool to sign a PDF in Edge
You can simply sign a PDF file using the Draw tool in the Edge browser. These are the basic steps to digitally sign a PDF in Microsoft Edge:
Open the Microsoft Edge browser.
Import a PDF file.
Click on the Draw tool from the toolbar.
Select pen color and thickness.
Draw a handwritten signature anywhere on the PDF.
Save the signed PDF document.
Let us discuss the above-mentioned steps in detail!
Firstly, simply launch the Microsoft Edge browser on your PC. Then, you need to import a PDF document file that you want to sign using the Ctrl + O hotkey.
After you open the input PDF file, you will see various PDF studying as well as annotation features on the top toolbar. You will see page view, rotate, zoom, read aloud, highlight, erase, etc. To sign a PDF, you need to use the Draw tool; simply click on the Draw option. And, choose the ink properties including the color and thickness of the drawing pen.
Now, draw your handwritten signature with the drawing pen anywhere on the PDF document. In case of any mistake, click on the Erase option and then delete the drawn signatures. You can then redraw the signature in the PDF.
Next, you need to save the PDF with an added handwritten signature. For that, click on the Save button to save the signature in the original PDF. Or, you can use the Save as button to create a new PDF document with a handwritten signature.
So, this is how you can easily sign a PDF document in Microsoft Edge using its native draw feature.
2] Sign a PDF in Edge using an add-on
Some add-ons for Edge enable you to add a signature to your PDF right in the browser. In this post, we are going to use this free add-on service called Digital Signature for PDF Files. It is a dedicated add-on service using which you can add handwritten signatures to a PDF file in the Edge browser. This add-on service also lets you draw individual handwritten signatures and obtain them in PDF, JPG, and PNG format. You can then add the created signatures to your Word, PDF, and other documents.
Here are the main steps to sign a PDF in Microsoft Edge using this add-on:
Launch Microsoft Edge.
Go to the Edge Add-ons page.
Search and Install the Digital Signature for PDF Files add-on.
Click on the icon of this add-on from the top badge.
Press the PDF and Advanced Options button.
Import a PDF document.
Add a handwritten signature with customized line width, color, etc.
Save the signed PDF document.
Now, let us elaborate on these steps for you!
Firstly, launch the Microsoft Edge browser and open the Add-ons page in it. To do so, go to the three-bar menu and click on the Extensions option.
Next, press the Get extensions for Microsoft Edge option and it will navigate you to the Edge Add-ons page.
In the search bar, type and enter Digital Signature for PDF Files. You will see the Digital Signature for PDF Files add-on in the result. Click on the Get button to install and add this extension to the Edge browser.
Now, click on the icon of this newly installed add-on from the extension badge. And, press the PDF and Advanced Options button.
A Signature Pad page will open up in a new tab. In this tab, click on the Pick a PDF File option to browse and load the source PDF document to which you want to add a handwritten signature.
After that, you need to set up the drawing options to draw a signature including minimum line width, maximum line width, minimum dot distance, pen color, and velocity factor. Configure these options and then draw a signature on the PDF at any part of it. You can also select the page of the PDF on which you want to add a handwritten signature.
In case you want to delete the added signature and draw a new signature, tap on the New Signature option and then draw your signature. It also provides you an Undo option to undo a previous action.
When you are done signing a PDF document, choose PDF Document as the Save Format and then click on the Download to Disk button to save the signed PDF document.
This is how you can draw a signature and sign a PDF document in Microsoft Edge using this free add-on.
How do I edit a PDF in Microsoft Edge?
Microsoft Edge allows some basic editing as of now. It provides a few annotation features including Highlight, Draw, and Erase using which you can draw annotations on a PDF document. You can also rotate pages of a PDF document in Edge.
Also, the new Chromium-based Edge browser supports Chrome-based extensions, so you can search for a PDF editing extension on the Edge Add-ons page and install one to edit PDF in Edge.
It is quite easy to digitally sign a PDF document in Windows 10. You can use a free software like Advanced PDF Utilities Free that allows you to edit as well as digitally sign a PDF file. Also, you can electronically sign a PDF document right from your Edge browser that we already discussed in this article.
Hope this article helps you sign a PDF document in Microsoft Edge browse using two simple methods.
Sun, 12 Sep 2021 01:55:00 -0500en-ustext/htmlhttps://www.thewindowsclub.com/how-to-sign-a-pdf-document-in-microsoft-edgeKillexams : How to Batch Convert PowerPoint (PPT or PPTX) to PDF in Windows 11/10
This post talks about how to batch convert PowerPoint presentations on your Windows 11/10 PC. If you have multiple PowerPoint files like PPT or PPTX and you want to convert them all to PDF simultaneously, this article will help you. Here we are going to discuss methods to bulk convert PowerPoint to PDF. Batch conversion saves your time as well as effort. In this article, we are going to mention some free tools using which you can perform batch PPT or PPTX to PDF conversion. Let us checkout.
How to Batch Convert PowerPoint to PDF in Windows 11/10
You can use the following free software and websites to batch convert PowerPoint presentations to PDF on Windows 11/10:
Soft4Boost Document Converter
AVS Document Converter
Let us discuss the above-listed converters in detail now!
Convert PPT or PPTX to PDF
1] Soft4Boost Document Converter
You can try this freeware called Soft4Boost Document Converter to bulk convert PowerPoint to PDF in Windows 11/10. It is a dedicated free batch document converter that lets you convert different types of documents in bulk. You can convert PowerPoint presentations including PPT, PPTX, PPS, and PPSX to PDF and other file formats like DOC, DOCX, Images, etc. It even lets you read the source PowerPoint presentations before the conversion.
How to batch convert PowerPoint (PPT) to PDF in Soft4Boost Document Converter:
Here are the man steps to convert multiple PowerPoint presentation files to PDF documents in this free document converter software:
Download and install Soft4Boost Document Converter.
Start the software.
Import multiple PPT and PPTX files.
Select PDF as the output format.
Set up the output PDF options.
Enter the output location and press the Convert Now button.
Let us check out the above-listed steps to perform conversion!
Firstly, obtain and install the Soft4Boost Document Converter on your PC. Then, launch the main GUI of this software.
Now, click on the Add Files button and import several PowerPoint files to this freeware. You will be able to view the content of the source files on the main interface. It lets you zoom in/ out and navigate through PPT slide pages.
Next, from the Output Format section at the right-side panel, select the To PDF option. After that, you can set up output options including add a watermark and password protect the output PDF.
Finally, provide the output folder location and then press the Convert Now button to start the batch PPT to PDF conversion process.
7-PDF Maker is a free PDF creator software that you can use to batch PPT to PDF. It lets you batch convert over a variety of file formats including Word, Images, Excel, and more files to PDF documents. You can access this freeware from the right-click context menu as it integrates itself with the File Explorer.
How to batch convert PowerPoint to PDF from right-click context menu using 7-PDF Maker:
You can follow the below steps to convert multiple PowerPoint to PDF from the right-click context menu using 7-PDF Maker:
Download and install 7-PDF Maker.
Start the GUI of this software.
Set up the output PDF configurations.
Go to the PowerPoint files.
Select the input PowerPoint files.
Right-click on the files.
Click on the Create PDF (7-PDF) option to batch convert.
Let’s elaborate on these steps in detail now!
Firstly, obtain and install the 7-PDF Maker software on Windows 11/10 PC. You can then launch the 7-PDF Maker’s main interface to customize settings for the output PDFs. It lets you configure options like image settings, PDF-security settings, page range, tagged PDF, export bookmarks, create PDF/A-1, etc. After configuring these options, click on the Save Changes button.
Now, open the File Explorer and go to the source PowerPoint files. Then, select the input PPT or PPTX files that you want to batch convert and then right-click on them.
After that, from the context menu, press the Create PDF (7-PDF) option and it will start the batch PowerPoint to PDF conversion process. It stores the output PDFs in the same folder as the source files.
Try AVS Document Converter to convert multiple PowerPoint files to PDF in Windows 11/10. It is a batch document converter software that enables you to convert PPT, PPTX to PDFs in bulk. You can also convert various other document formats to PDF like RTF, TXT, XPS, DOCX, DOC, DjVu, FB2, MOBI, EPUB, TIFF, etc. It lets you convert documents to separate files or merge all the input files to a single output. So, you can convert all PPTs to separate PDF files or combine them all into one PDF document.
Here are the main steps to batch convert PPT or PPTX to PDF using AVS Document Converter:
Download and install AVS Document Converter.
Launch the software.
Import PowerPoint presentations.
Choose PDF as export format.
Configure output PDF settings.
Press the Convert Now button.
Simply obtain and install AVS Document Converter and then start this application on your PC. Now, click on the Add Files button to add all the source PowerPoint files that you want to convert to PDF. You can view the files as it comes with an inbuilt document reader.
Next, select PDF as the output format from the left-side panel and then configure Format Settings. It lets you watermark as well as add a password to the resulting PDFs.
At last, you can provide the output location and then click on the Convert Now button to start the bulk conversion process.
If you want to batch convert PPT to PDF directly from a web browser, you can use online2pdf.com. It is a dedicated online tool that lets you bulk convert files to PDF. Using it, you can also rotate PDF pages, merge PDFs, unlock PDFs, edit PDFs, and do a lot more. Let us find out how you can convert a set of multiple PowerPoint presentations to PDFs at a time.
How to batch convert PPT to PDF online:
These are the basic steps to convert multiple PowerPoint to PDF online:
Then, set the conversion mode to Convert files separately. If you want to merge all the input files to a single PDF, select the mode as Merge.
Now, configure some output options like compression, header & footer, PDF security options, and more.
At last, press the Convert button to start the batch PPT to PDF conversion process.
When the conversion is done, you will be able to obtain the resulting PDFs.
Another online tool that you can try to batch convert PowerPoint to PDF is pdf2go.com. It is an easy-to-use web service that provides conversion as well as other PDF tools like Merge PDF, Split PDF, Compress PDF, Protect PDF, Repair PDF, Rotate PDF pages, and more. Let us now check out the steps to perform the batch conversion using it.
First, launch a web browser.
Then, go to the pdf2go.com website. Make sure you are on its powerPoint to PDF page.
Now, choose locally saved PPT or PPTX files or upload input files from URL, Dropbox, or Google Drive.
Next, set up optional PDF settings like PDF version and deskew option.
Finally, tap on the Convert button and it will batch convert PPT to PDF.
You can obtain the resulting PDFs once the conversion is finished.
How do I save multiple PowerPoint slides as one PDF?
You can easily save multiple PowerPoint slides as one PDF in Windows 11/10. For that, use the Microsoft PowerPoint app. Just open your presentation file with multiple slides and then click on the File > Export option. Set the output format to PDF and then save the entire presentation in a single multi-page PDF document.
Can you convert multiple files to PDF at once?
Yes, you can convert multiple files to PDF at once. We have mentioned some free software and online services using which you can convert multiple files to PDF at once. If you want to convert several document files to PDF, you can use Soft4Boost Document Converter or AVS Document Converter that we have discussed above in this article. Additionally, free websites like pdf2go.com or online2pdf.com also let you batch convert various files to PDF documents at once.
Mon, 27 Jun 2022 05:53:00 -0500en-ustext/htmlhttps://www.thewindowsclub.com/batch-convert-powerpoint-ppt-or-pptx-to-pdfKillexams : Best document editing and management software of 2022
The best document editing and management software can provide a simple way to administrate and organize your team's files.
Document editing and management software has become increasingly common as businesses continue to promote working from home(opens in new tab). This means employees being able to work remotely while still being able to collaborate and save the same documents they are working on.
While there are a number of office suites and document storage options available, not all work well when it comes to collaboration(opens in new tab). It's not simply the case that employees need to be able to share files as much as work on the same files in real time, such as spreadsheets and documents.
This means the best document editing and management software needs to be able to account for this while still maintaining a proper system of filing and archiving, while keeping such files available for team editing as required. Often this will involve cloud document storage(opens in new tab) services being built into the software, or at least available as an option.
The overall result is a software platform which not only make it easy for teams to work with, but also ensures safe and secure storage of documents.
We'll therefore feature the best document editing and management software currently available.
Microsoft Office is probably the platform most people think of first when it comes to office productivity suites, with the cloud-based Microsoft 365 (previously named Office 365) being the latest incarnation.
What ensured that Office became a market leader is the comprehensive way data can be covered by different applications and moved between them, making working more efficient and hassle-free. With Word(opens in new tab), Excel(opens in new tab), PowerPoint(opens in new tab), and Outlook(opens in new tab) forming the core programs, these cover everything from documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and emails - in effect covering most essential office needs. In addition to that, OneDrive offers online saving and backups to keep your files safe.
While there are alternatives to Microsoft 365(opens in new tab), most rivals attempt to play catch-up with Microsoft rather than provide innovative new features, and Microsoft 365 still remains the office suite with the most comprehensive range of features. And even if you do use one of these alternatives, the chances are you are going to be working with document formats created specifically for MS Office, and handle data from customers and suppliers who are using the MS Office platform.
While Microsoft 365 does have its critics, the bottom line is that nobody does office productivity better than Microsoft, and the core applications in Office have yet to be bettered.
Scaling down the canvass a little, Evernote, as its name suggests, specializes in note taking, filing and sharing, and has been widely adopted in the work place (and by individuals) for a number of years.
Despite its digital makeup, it can process hand written notes as well as receipts and audio files and makes everything accessible on both desktop and mobile devices. It also has the collaboration factor, with users able to work on shared notebooks that update instantly on editing.
Evernote is available for businesses with basic, plus and premium models. This expands storage on the free offering, and makes it easy to share content, digitize important documents, capture image-centric brainstorms, and keep track of finances.
You may well be thinking that Evernote would work well in addition, rather than instead of, your current word processing and productivity tools. Such a demand has been noted – pun intended – and the service can be fully integrated with Google Drive, Outlook, Slack, Salesforce and others.
WPS Office is an all-in-one office productivity suite with a full range of document editing and management features.
Although it's available for obtain to Windows PCs, it has found particular success as a mobile office suite for iOS and Android.
While the PC version has a basic free version and a more advanced paid version, the mobile version of WPS Office is free and supported by non-intrusive ads though you can pay a subscription to remove them.
Where WPS Office comes into its own is the vast number of types of different files that can be edited or managed, from the wide range of document types to additional file formats such as PDF and XML, as well as a number of programming file types.
It's easy to convert office files between types, whether relating to documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, and there's a fully functional PDF editor and manager included for free.
Files can be automatically saved to the cloud via various services, not least Google Drive, DropBox, and OneDrive.
Sales-focused document manager PandaDoc describes itself as ‘the future of documents’, and it reports statistics that apparently show the difference it makes to your business’s bottom line. According to the service, clients report 50% less paperwork, 30% higher close rates, and 15% higher value per closed rate thanks to PandaDoc.
Your sales team is salivating, but what exactly does the program do? Well, features include a document editor that comes with themed templates for consistent branding, content and image libraries to store reusable assets, cost and margin calculators, document analytics to show how long people spend on each item, a configure, price and quote (CPQ) tool and many more.
While workspaces are available for collaboration, multiple users are not able to access and work on a document at the same time, which feel likes a drawback. Nevertheless, the business-focus of PandaDoc will appeal to those who want to specifically manage sales and finance via their document manager, something the other services we’ve covered don’t offer.
5. Adobe Document Cloud
For comprehensive PDF management
Reasons to buy
Edit and manage PDFs
The Adobe Document Cloud works with the proprietary PDF file, rather than a range of common file types as some of the above listed software does. However, in business PDF files are ubiquitous, so it makes sense to have a dedicated software package that can not just work with these but also allow the widest range of editing features.
While many people will be familiar with the read-only PDF file, the Adobe Document Cloud allows the full range of creation and editing, even with existing PDF files. There are also additional features such as the ability to merge PDFs, password protect, as well as esign PDF documents for returning agreements.
This makes the Adobe Document Cloud both incredibly versatile and useful as a document editing and management platform, allowing full control of your files in ways that common document formats either do not support.
Additionally, because so many businesses scan documents into PDF format for their digital archives, this makes Adobe Document Cloud an even more essential part of your office software range, even if you also use other programs for different tasks.
And as documents can be commonly exported into PDF format by other office software, this can make the Adobe Document Cloud something of a master controller for all your document editing and storage.
Document overload in your business? eFileCabinet(opens in new tab) is here to help, by capturing, storing, managing and sharing files. It comes as a mobile app too, allowing users to click and upload pictures of documents then can then be processed and filed.
Microsoft wants to take care of your scribbles and shorter texts as well as your longer documents, with OneNote(opens in new tab) taking on Evernote in the world of note editing and management. Those already well embedded in the Office ecosystem may well opt for Microsoft’s version.
You may think we’ve covered everything you can do with a document by now, but no. Enter e-signature specialist DocuSign(opens in new tab), which lets businesses’ and their clients quickly and easily sign a full range of documents and forms online without the hassle of training or extra software to install.
Sun, 31 Jul 2022 12:01:00 -0500entext/htmlhttps://www.techradar.com/best/best-document-editing-management-softwareKillexams : Getting Up and Running with Windows Autopatch
The Windows Autopatch service, which allows enterprises to automatically roll out updates for Windows 10, Windows 11, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft 365 software, is now live, Microsoft said this week. Autopatch is intended to streamline updating operations and reduce the time it takes for systems to be patched. Originally announced in April, the feature has been in public preview since May.
"Essentially Microsoft engineers use the Windows Update for Business client policies and deployment service tools on your behalf," wrote Lior Bela, senior product marketing manager at Microsoft, on the Microsoft IT Pro blog. "The service creates testing rings and monitors rollouts—pausing and even rolling back changes where possible."
This Tech Tip summarizes the prerequisites for using Autopatch and instructions on enabling the new feature.
Very Specific Prerequisites
Customers must have Windows 10/11 Enterprise E3 or E5 licenses. The organization must also have Azure Active Directory Premium and Microsoft Intune. A proxy or firewall that uses TLS 1.2 is also required.
"Azure Active Directory must either be the source of authority for all user accounts, or user accounts must be synchronized from on-premises Active Directory using the latest supported version of Azure Active Directory Connect to enable Hybrid Azure Active Directory join," Microsoft said in the deployment guide.
The endpoints that will be enrolled into Windows Autopatch must be managed by either Microsoft Intune or Configuration Manager Co-Management. Intune must be set as the mobile device management (MDM) authority or co-management must be turned on and enabled on the endpoints. The endpoints being enrolled must also have connected with Microsoft Intune within the last 28 days in order to be registered with Autopatch.
The endpoints, which must be corporate-owned (bring-your-own-device is not currently supported) should have 64-bit editions of Windows 10/11 Pro, Windows 10/11 Enterprise, or Windows 10/11 Pro for Workstations. However, Windows Autopatch will support updating of Windows 365 cloud PCs in mid-July.
Configuring the Environment
Since Autopatch is cloud-based, there are specific Microsoft services that must be available at all times. The four URLs that must be on the allowed list of the proxy or firewall are mmdcustomer.microsoft.com, mmdls.microsoft.com, logcollection.mmd.microsoft.com, and support.mmd.microsoft.com.
The deployment guide lists other firewall configurations, IP ranges, and port requirements for Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Intune, Windows Update for Business, and individual Microsoft applications.
Azure Active Directory must have security defaults enabled and not have any user names that conflict with the ones Autopatch needs to use: MsAdmin, MsAdminInt, and MsTest. Azure AD must also be set so that conditional access policies and multifactor authentication aren’t assigned to all users. The point is that Autopatch can’t be required to have multifactor authentication enabled.
"Your conditional access policies must not prevent our service accounts from accessing the service and must not require multi-factor authentication," Microsoft said.
How Do I Get Started?
Customers with Windows Enterprise E3 and E5 licenses will find Tenant Administration in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager administrator center. The option Tenant enrollment in the Windows Autopatch section will begin the process to set up and configure Autopatch.
But first, Microsoft will run the online Readiness assessment tool to check the settings in Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory to ensure they are properly configured to work with Windows Autopatch. If issues are found, the administrator must fix them before continuing.
Once everything is ready, the tool will show an Enroll button to kick off the enrollment. During the enrollment process, administrators will be guided to create the policies, groups, and accounts necessary to run Autopatch.
"Once you've enrolled devices into Autopatch, the service does most of the work. But through the Autopatch blade in Microsoft Endpoint Manager, you can fine-tune ring membership, access the service health dashboard, generate reports, and file support requests," Microsoft said.
What Sysadmins Can’t Do
It would not be possible to schedule the updates to roll out on certain days or times. The decision of when to move to the next ring is also not configurable.
Once a device is registered with Windows Autopatch, updates are rolled out to the devices according to its ring assignment. Currently, there is no support for individual device level control.
Windows Autopatch doesn't support managing update ring membership using your Azure AD groups.
There is currently no programmatic access via PowerShell to Autopatch
Wed, 13 Jul 2022 00:45:00 -0500entext/htmlhttps://www.darkreading.com/dr-tech/getting-up-and-running-with-windows-autopatchKillexams : Microsoft: Windows, Adobe Zero-Day Used To Hack Windows Users
The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) and the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) on Wednesday claimed that they found an Austrian-based private-sector offensive actor (PSOA) exploiting multiple Windows and Adobe 0-day exploits in “limited and targeted attacks” against European and Central American customers.
For the unversed, PSOAs are private companies that manufacture and sell cyberweapons in hacking-as-a-service packages, often to government agencies around the world, to hack into their targets’ computers, phones, network infrastructure, and other devices.
The Austrian-based PSOA named DSIRF, which Microsoft had dubbed Knotweed, has been linked to the development and attempted sale of a malware toolset called “Subzero”.
DSIRF promotes itself on the website as a company that provides “mission-tailored services in the fields of information research, forensics as well as data-driven intelligence to multinational corporations in the technology, retail, energy, and financial sectors” and have “a set of highly sophisticated techniques in gathering and analyzing information.”
The Redmond giant said the Austria-based DSIRF falls into a group of cyber mercenaries that sell hacking tools or services through a variety of business models. Two common models for this type of actor are access-as-a-service and hack-for-hire.
MSTIC found that the Subzero malware was being circulated on computers through a variety of methods, including 0-day exploits in Windows and Adobe Reader, in the years, 2021 and 2022.
As part of its investigation into the utility of this malware, Microsoft’s communications with a Subzero victim revealed that they had not authorized any red teaming or penetration testing, and confirmed that it was unauthorized, malicious activity.
“Observed victims to date include law firms, banks, and strategic consultancies in countries such as Austria, the United Kingdom, and Panama. It’s important to note that the identification of targets in a country doesn’t necessarily mean that a DSIRF customer resides in the same country, as international targeting is common,” Microsoft wrote in a detailed blog post.
“MSTIC has found multiple links between DSIRF and the exploits and malware used in these attacks. These include command-and-control infrastructure used by the malware directly linking to DSIRF, a DSIRF-associated GitHub account being used in one attack, a code signing certificate issued to DSIRF being used to sign an exploit, and other open-source news reports attributing Subzero to DSIRF.”
In May 2022, Microsoft detected an Adobe Reader remote code execution (RCE) and a 0-day Windows privilege escalation exploit chain being used in an attack that led to the deployment of Subzero.
“The exploits were packaged into a PDF document that was sent to the victim via email. Microsoft was not able to acquire the PDF or Adobe Reader RCE portion of the exploit chain, but the victim’s Adobe Reader version was released in January 2022, meaning that the exploit used was either a 1-day exploit developed between January and May, or a 0-day exploit,” the company explained.
Based on DSIRF’s extensive use of additional zero-days, Microsoft believes that the Adobe Reader RCE was indeed a zero-day exploit. The Windows exploit was analyzed by MSRC, found to be a 0-day exploit, and then patched in July 2022 as CVE-2022-22047 in the Windows Client/Server Runtime Subsystem (csrss.exe).
The Austrian company’s exploits are also being linked to previous two Windows privilege escalation exploits (CVE-2021-31199 and CVE-2021-31201) being used in conjunction with an Adobe Reader exploit (CVE-2021-28550), all of which were patched in June 2021.
In 2021, the cyber mercenary group was also linked to the exploitation of a fourth zero-day, a Windows privilege escalation flaw in the Windows Update Medic Service (CVE-2021-36948), which allowed an attacker to force the service to load an arbitrary signed DLL.
To mitigate against such attacks, Microsoft has recommended its customers to:
Enable multifactor authentication (MFA) to mitigate potentially compromised credentials and ensure that MFA is enforced for all remote connectivity.
Review all authentication activity for remote access infrastructure, focusing on accounts configured with single-factor authentication, to confirm the authenticity and investigate any abnormal activity.
Besides using technical means to disrupt Knotweed, Microsoft has also submitted written testimony to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Hearing on “Combatting the Threats to U.S. National Security from the Proliferation of Foreign Commercial Spyware.”
Wed, 27 Jul 2022 21:47:00 -0500Kavita Iyeren-UStext/htmlhttps://www.techworm.net/2022/07/microsoft-windows-adobe-zero-day-hack.htmlKillexams : How-To: Web Server On A Business Card (Part 2)
This mini web server is slightly smaller than a business card. There are a lot of tiny one-board servers out there, but this is probably the smallest you can etch and solder at home. Unlike many embedded web servers, files are stored on a PC-readable SD card, not in a difficult-to-write EEPROM. Read on for the web server design, or catch up on PIC 24F basics in the previous article: Web server on a business card (part 1).
The goal of this project is to build a web server on a business card that serves web pages and files from a FAT formatted SD card. The server is based on a PIC 24F that connects to a TCP/IP network using the ENC28J60 ethernet MAC/PHY. Network layers and low-level services, such as DNS and DHCP, are handled by the Microchip TCP/IP stack. A FAT 12/16/32 formatted SD card contains web pages and files. A very simple HTTP server ties everything together by handling page requests on port 80, searching the SD card for requested, and serving them with the correct content type.
Microcontroller (Microchip PIC 24FJ64GA002)
The brain of the server is a 16-bit PIC 24FJ64GA002 (IC1), a 28pin microcontroller available in several hobbyist friendly packages. Check out our PIC 24F introduction for more about working with this chip.
PIC 24Fs operate between 2 and 3.8volts, which is perfect because the ethernet chip (IC2) and SD card both run at 3.3volts. This chip has 8K of RAM, plenty for the TCP/IP stack and a few K for working with a full FAT file system. The 24FJ64 has two SPI modules, so the SD card and ethernet IC each get a dedicated data bus.
The PIC processor core operates at 2.5volts, and requires a 10uF capacitor (C2) for the on-chip voltage regulator. The datasheet specifies a tantalum capacitor, but we used a low-ESR electrolytic in a prototype without incident. Every power pin needs a 0.1uF decoupling capacitor (C4,5).
The internal 8MHz oscillator provides a 32MHz clock source with the 4x PLL multiplier enabled. We’re also using an external 32.768KHz crystal (Q1) with 2 x 27pF capacitors (C17,18) to enable the real time clock calendar.
Programming connections are brought to a header (SV1). We chose to use programming pin pair three (PGx3). The master clear and reset (MCLR) function is enabled with a 2K resistor (R1) from V+ to the MCLR pin. Optionally, add a button (S1) from MCLR to ground for a manual reset switch.
Ethernet connection (ENC28J60)
An ENC28J60 (IC2) handles the network physical connection (PHY) and MAC layer. The ENC28J60 needs a number of support parts beyond the typical 0.1uF decoupling capacitors (C6,7,9,10). A 25MHz crystal (Q2) and 2 x 27pf capacitors (C15,16) provide a clock signal. The internal core voltage regulator requires a 10uF tantalum capacitor (C1), but an electrolytic capacitor also worked fine. Two LEDs (LED1,2) with 330ohm resistors (R2,3) display link and data status.
A bias resistor (R12) is required; the value will depend on the ENC28J60 version you’re using. Current chips should be B5 (PDF) or B7 (PDF), and require a 2.32K 1% resistor.
The PHY I/O portion specifies 4 x 49.9ohm 1% resistors (R8-11), and a ferrite bead (L1).
The most difficult-to-find part for the ENC28J60 is the correct RJ-45 jack with integrated magnetics (RJ1). We used a J1006F21 PulseJack from Pulse Engineering. Be sure to check the pin configuration and connections if you use a different jack, they will probably be different than ours. A Cadsoft Eagle part library for the JP1006F21 is included in the project archive. This was a $4 part, but it’s gone up to $7. If you know of other jacks that work we’ll add them here.
We used a microSD/transflash card in this design because SD cards waste a lot of board space under the holder. microSD cards are smaller versions of SD cards with the same data interface, and most come with an adapter for use in standard SD card readers. The card needs a holder (SD1) and a 0.1uF decoupling capacitor (C8).
If you want to use a full-size SD card, take a look at our version one prototype in the project archive. We used Alps SD card holder #SCDA1A0901. Unfortunately, this part is has been discontinued and we’ve yet to find a suitable replacement. Don’t try #SCDA5A0201, that’s for sure. If you have a favorite, we’ll add it here. Sparkfun has one, and a matching Cadsoft Eagle part library.
An adjustable LM317 voltage regulator (IC3) is set to 3.3volts using a 390ohm (R6) and 240ohm (R7) resistor. We considered several 3.3volt regulators, but nothing was cheaper than a LM317 and two resistors. There’s a 0.1uF decoupling capacitor (C13,14) and a 10uF capacitor (C3,19) on both sides to help support the power hungry Ethernet transceiver. The LM317 will output 3.3volts from an input of 5 to 20volts+, but it gets really hot with greater than 9volts supply. The specified input capacitor is only rated 16volts, so consider an upgrade if you plan to use a supply greater than about 9volts.
We designed the project with large SOIC chips and 0805 surface mount (SMD) parts, but haters can rest assured that chips are available in a through-hole package. We prefer to use SMD parts because the resulting circuit boards are smaller, cheaper, and faster to produce. 0805 parts are dirt cheap, and easy to solder with a normal iron. Don’t expect this project to work on a breadboard, there’s probably too much capacitance for this circuit.
We took full advantage of the PIC’s programmable pin placement to get the simplest trace routings possible. Just four jumper wires are needed on an otherwise single-sided board.
The traces are large and clean, DIY toner transfer boards should be easy. We made our PCB using an inkjet printer transparency mask over an UV sensitive circuit board.
In addition to the final design, the project archive contains our v1 prototype design. The prototype uses a full size SD card (SCDA1A0901) and all electrolytic 10uF capacitors. We also put the RJ45 Ethernet jack on a daughterboard to better accommodate different pinouts.
Three firmware examples are included in the project archive [zip]. The examples compile with Microchip’s demonstration C30 compiler. Learn more about working with the PIC 24F in our previous article: Web server on a business card (part 1). MPLAB isn’t great about project portability, you may need to locate all the project files again if your path doesn’t match the ‘c:wsbc’ format that we used.
FAT12/16/32 disk library
Our first step was to get the FAT library studying from a SD card. FAT 12/16/32 are simple disk storage formats that work with PCs, MACs, digital cameras, music players, and other electronics. Here’s our favorite FAT tutorial/teardown (PDF).
Microchip’s FAT 12/16/32 library gives us simple functions for working with SD cards. The included demo application creates some files and directories to demonstrate each function. Here’s how we configured it to work on our custom hardware, you can find these changes by searching for the tag ‘HACKADAY’ in the code:
HardwareProfile.h assigns actual PIC hardware to generic references in the code library. For the SD card this is an SPI interface, and pins for chip select and card detect. First, we deleted all the unused hardware profiles to make the code more manageable. Next, we configured the FAT library to communicate with the SD card using an SPI module (line 132). Finally, we defined the SPI pin assignments (line 152). Pin setup is shown in the table below.
SD card detect
Demonstration.c. On line 48 we set a custom oscillator fuse configuration, as described in our PIC 24F introduction. This is also the logical place to configure pin assignments with peripheral pin select (line 63).
FSConfig.h. This file enables various components of file system library, affecting the amount of memory and program space used. A read-only library is very small, a full write configuration is bigger. We didn’t have to make any changes for the demonstration, but this is an important file to note.
At first, the library failed to recognize our SD card. It only supports disks with a master boot record (MBR). Windows XP formats SD cards as a DOS disk: a single partition with no MBR. To verify this, open a Windows-formatted disk with a utility like HxD and inspect sector 0 of the physical disk. Byte 446 should be the location of the first MBR partition entry, but instead it’s the NTLDR executable code.
To format the disk in the ‘correct’ FAT format, use a digital camera’s format function or a utility like Panasonic’s SD card formatter. We also considered using a different FAT library that reads DOS disks, like DOSFS, or adding similar features to the Microchip firmware.
Microchip’s TCP/IP stack used to be messy and confusing. Now it’s just confusing. The last few versions of have improved considerably in code clarity and structure. Here’s what we did to to configure the base TCP/IP stack example for our hardware, you can find these changes by searching for the tag ‘HACKADAY’ in the code:
HardwareProfile.h assigns actual PIC hardware resources to generic references in the code library. We added our custom oscillator configuration (line 68), and configured the server status LED to use the LED attached to PORTB7 (line 83). We defined the SPI interface to the ENC28J60 as follows (line 116):
Wake on lan
MainDemo.c. We eliminated a bunch of unused code, and added the peripheral pin select configuration code to the InitializeBoard() function (line 332).
TCPIPConfig.h defines the TCPIP stack components included in a compile. We’ve enabled DNS, DHCP, the IP announcer, and the ping server (line 56):
#define STACK_USE_DNS // Domain Name Service Client
#define STACK_USE_DHCP_CLIENT // Get DNS automagically
#define STACK_USE_ANNOUNCE // Microchip Ethernet Device Discoverer
#define STACK_USE_ICMP_SERVER // Enable the PING server
After loading this firmware, we’re ready to connect the server to a network for the first time. During initialization, the TCP/IP stack negotiates with the network router for an IP address using DHCP. We need to know this address to communicate with the device. If the device had a screen we could display the IP address, but instead we use the MCHPDetect.exe utility from Microchip.
When the TCP/IP stack finishes initializing, it broadcasts an announcement packet to port 30303 of all locally connected computers. MCHPDetect extracts the IP address from these packets. A new announce packet is sent on every PIC reset.
It’s also possible to read the IP address directly from memory with a debugger. The address is stored in the AppConfig.MyIPAddr variable, the .byte form follows the standard x.x.x.x IP notation.
Once we have the IP address, we can ping the server and test its responsiveness.
If ping shows high latency or malformed packets, you can use Wireshark to inspect network traffic at the byte level. Unless you’re in Germany, because it might be criminal.
Building the custom HTTP server
The custom web server looks for requested files on the SD card, and sends them with the correct content type. We used the Microchip HTTP example server v1 (HTTP.c) as a base for our FAT file server (FATHTTP.c).
Microchip’s HTTP server used a simple file system called MPFS to index web pages on an EEPROM chip. We replaced calls to MPFS functions with calls to functions in the FAT library (see the HTTPProcess and Sendfile functions in FATHTTP.c). Our changes demonstrate the concept as simply as possible, without adding confusing pointers and other handy C obfuscations. The code leaves a ton of room for improvements, have at it. File writes are disabled in the default compilation, but there’s enough program space to enable them if you want to write to the SD card (see FSConfig.h).
It’s necessary to registered our custom FATHTTP server with the rest of the TCP/IP stack. We did a search and replace for the original HTTP server components, and added calls to our new FATHTTP server as needed. That turned out to be these places:
TCPIPConfig.h. First we inserted some definitions that enable the FATHTTP server (line 70), and added a TCP socket for the FATHTTP server (line 248).
TCPIP.h. Next, we added FATHTTP to the list of services that require the TCP/IP stack (line 170) and then included the necessary headers (line 351).
StackTSK.c. We added the FATHTTP server initialization (line 138) and processing (line 340) functions to the list of TCP/IP stack tasks.
Helpers.c. We also needed to include a few helper functions for working with URLs (line 259).
At long last, it’s time to put some files on an SD card and test this thing. Make sure your files follow the 8.3 file name format. The project archive contains a sample website with a test image and zip file.
After grabbing the server’s IP address with MCHPDetect, we pointed a browser at it. The IP address entered alone will redirect the browser to index.htm, whether or not it exists. Web pages and images stored on the SD card display in the browser, but unknown binary types trigger a obtain prompt.
Taking it further
We see a lot of potential projects using this tiny web platform.
Add hooks in the FATHTTP.c source for special URLs that trigger events or configure pins.
Build a remotely accessible data logger. Use the extra pins to read sensors and log data to the SD card. Logs are retrievable from a web browser, or directly from the FAT readable SD card.
Get remote access to an ancient serial terminal or BBS, optionally log the console output. Use two external pins as a serial port, and forward commands from the Internet using Microchip’s Telnet server and Ethernet-to-serial bridge examples.
Next time, we’ll use the mini server to make an Internet connected, electronic indoor graffiti wall. This will be an interactive project where everyone can contribute graffiti and animations on-line.
Wed, 27 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500Ianen-UStext/htmlhttps://hackaday.com/2008/09/25/web-server-on-a-business-card-part-2/Killexams : Best free Android apps in 2022
The best free Android apps don't cost a cent upfront, but offer you limitless capabilities — though some come with subscriptions or limited trials. Whether you've picked up one of the best cheap phones or you pay big bucks for the latest flagship, you get the same experience.
And if you do buy the latest and greatest Android phones these days, you're paying more for your device. Some devices easily blow past the four-figure mark. Throw in a monthly data plan, and it's easy to understand why you'd want to slash spending from your mobile budget.
Why not start to save money by opting for some of the best free Android apps? After all, not every app available at Google Play comes with a fee. The true challenge is sorting the must-downloads from the ones that will just waste space on your phone.
Whether you've got a new Android device to load up with apps or you're just looking for new additions to your old phone, here are some of the best free Android apps we've found on our trips through Google Play.
The best free Android apps you can obtain right now
If you're looking for a fresh new way to experience your Android phone's home screen, then look no further than Niagara Launcher. It shirks the traditional app drawer paradigm, instead opting for a minimalist group of favorites with an alphabetical list as the app drawer replacement. The end result is clean look with intuitive gestures for navigation.
Of course, you can pay a small fee to unlock the full experience, but the core part of Niagara is free. It's my go-to launcher now and it won our Best Android App award for this year. It's definitely worth checking out.
Outside of the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook apps, the absolute best ebook reader on Android is Moon+ Reader. It is a fantastic app and I can't say that enough. As someone who runs a Calibre ebook server at home with hundreds of ebooks (obtained mostly through Humble Bundle), Moon+ Reader is my choice for studying any one of those books on my phone.
Simply put, Moon+ Reader can handle any format, like EPUB and MOBI. There are a ton of ways to customize it to your liking, like line spacing, font scale, themes, and much, much more. It has a great and easy-to-use bookshelf and you can connect a lot of online libraries. Like I said, if you're running Calibre in your home, this is the app for you.
While you may be locked to Kindle or Nook for your ebooks, Moon+ Reader gives you the option for your DRM-free books.
Notion aims to be your personal and team productivity hub, allowing users to create custom private or shared workspaces. From there, you add versatile "blocks" that can act like text snippets, bookmarks, images, toggle links, files, code snippets, discussion sections, and more.
This approach means you easily customize your workspace, and you can still drag and drop individual blocks of content to where you need them without disrupting an entire document. Whether you're taking notes, crunching spreadsheets, or building a Kanban board, Notion's powerful building blocks make things a snap to set up.
The free version of Notion allows you to save and sync up to 1,000 blocks of content, while premium subscription plans remove that content limit and add admin tools, permission settings, and other features.
When the Pixel 4 debuted in 2019, one of the best things to come with it was Google's Recorder app. Recorder not only filled one of the big missing gaps on Pixel phones — which previously didn't feature a built-in voice recorder — but did it in style. Recorder could transcribe your recordings in real-time, even as you were speaking. And all that transcription work was done locally, without sharing your recordings to the cloud.
Recorder was so good, Google hasn't restricted it to just the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. The app is available to all Pixel phones, and updates have added editing features introduced with the Pixel 5. Even if you carry around a different Android phone in your pocket, there's a workaround to install Recorder on your Android device. You'll need to be running either Android 9 or Android 10, and some features may not be supported on all phones, but it's still a great way to experience one of the best free Android apps we've ever seen.
A past Google Play Awards winner, Canva is a quick, user-friendly photo editing app that's designed with social media use in mind.
The app comes with a variety of ready to use templates, filters, fonts, and other tools that you can apply to images in your device's gallery or in Canva's selection of free and premium images, which you can then easily share to your favorite social network or media platform. You can use Canva to quickly set up a cover photo or account avatar for Facebook or create crisp and clean Instagram stories, Twitter banners or the perfect Youtube thumbnails.
There's a wealth of free material and templates you can work with, as well as a selection of premium templates, images, and more that you can access with in-app purchases.
If you want one of the best free Android apps that's better geared toward proper photo editing, consider PicsArt Photo Editor, another past Google Play Awards winner (from when the app was known as PicsArt Photo Studio.)
PicsArt puts a ton of editing tools straight to the palm of your hand, from standard editing tools that stretch, distort, and crop images, to filters, beautifying tools, cutout tools, collage makers, double-exposure mixing tools, masking selections, drawing tools, and more. In short, it's a collection of tools that's useful for everything from cleaning up quick snapshots to making a share-worthy social media piece.
While you already get a good selection of features for free, a PicsArt Gold premium subscription provides a wider array of tools along with more filters and fonts and video editing; the subscription also removes ads.
Whisk can bring order to your kitchen and meal planning without costing you a dime. The recipe organizer lets you pull recipes from the web or other cooking apps, adjusting ingredients and serving sizes to your specification. Then, just one button converts that recipe into a shopping list that you can use for in-store or online grocery shopping.
In addition to recipe management and grocery shopping features, Whisk also boasts a community of home cooks who can share recipes that inspire you to try new meals. And a meal planning feature lets you plot out what you'll be serving all week long. That's a lot of features to pack into one of the best free Android apps we've seen.
Woebot channels chatbot technology for good, building on proven principles and techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and dialectical behavior therapy to help with emotional self-care and help you process difficult emotions and life events.
Don't confuse Woebot with a good — and human — therapist. Instead, the app aims to help you self-assess your state of mind, checking in with you regularly and helping you practice mindfulness exercises to try to help center yourself and Improve your mental and emotional well-being.
Because Transit is a fantastic aid to your commute, it earns a spot on any list of the best free Android apps. Transit helps you plan out the fastest public transport routes to your destination.
The app provides routes that combine numerous transportation methods — such as trains, buses, and bike sharing — while also factoring in short walks to each stop and wait times. Transit can provide real-time data on arrival times of your bus or train, compare routes, step-by-step navigation, and notifications for service line disruptions. You can even book an Uber or reserve a car2go from within the app if public transport has failed you.
Initially designed as a hub app for Google's Chromecast device, Google Home has since grown into a handy smart appliance command center, offering compatibility with devices like the Google Home smart speaker, as well as smart lights, internet-connected thermostats, home security devices, smart plugs, and more. (We've got a complete look at the best Google Home-compatible devices.)
Rather than having to continually shuffle between dozens of device-specific apps, you can turn the Google Home app into an all-in-one command center and a true central hub for your smart home.
While your Android phone probably has some support for the basics of opening and viewing PDF files, if you want anything more capable, you'll want a dedicated PDF reader app, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The mobile version of Acrobat Reader is a capable reader, with configurable view modes, support for page search, cloud storage, bookmarks and tables of contents. It also includes annotation features for your marginal notes, comments, and even digital signatures. (You can also check out our picks for the best free PDF editors if you need to make more substantive changes.) In-app purchases and subscriptions unlock professional and productivity-oriented features.
Born from Microsoft's acquisition of Wunderlist, Microsoft To Do is a smart, no-nonsense to-do list app that presents a sleek and distraction-free interface, while intelligently suggesting tasks based on long-term patterns, upcoming deadlines, or stuff that you weren't able to see to in the past days.
Users can keep task descriptions simple, or add detailed descriptions, color codes, categories, and more. While the app is free, cross-platform, and works perfectly fine on its own, it also plays well with the rest of Microsoft's Office 365 suite of productivity tools.
If you want to amp up the music player on your Android device, supply JetAudio HD Music Player a try. The free version of the app features a 10-band graphics equalizer and a number of playback features including crossfading, playback control, and automatic gain control.
JetAudio supports a wide variety of formats including .wav, .mp3, .ogg, .flac, .m4a, .mpc, .tta, .wv, .ape, .mod, .spx, .opus, and .wma (though that last one depends on your device).
For even more features, including a 20-band graphic equalizer, and to ditch the ads that come in the free version, you can upgrade to JetAudio HD Music Player Plus for $3.99, though the free app offers enough features for most users. In fact, this free version isn't just one of the best Android apps, it's also one of the best Android music players available.
Adobe Photoshop Sketch is a free app that provides users with a set of expressive drawing tools. Users can choose from utilities that mimic a graphite pencil, ink pen or marker. The app supports a variety of Bluetooth styluses on the market such as those by Wacom and Adonit.
Sketch aims to replicate the analog drawing experience, augmented with a few digital flourishes such as a color picker and an undo history and is best suited for phones with bigger displays.
Users can import assets from other Creative Cloud tools such as custom brushes and colors, and your creations can also be exported into Creative Cloud as layered PSDs to Photoshop, or to Illustrator.
Tired of your stock launcher, looking to optimize your home screen performance, or just looking to customize your device's UI? Nova Launcher is among the best Android launchers, offering loads of cosmetic and utility customizations with minimal performance overhead, letting you set your home screen just right without slowing down your phone.
There are a lot of options to work through, from color themes to icon packs, scrollable docks to app drawer customizations, folder settings and infinite scrolling. The Nova team is never content to rest on its laurels, continuously adding new features, such as Sesame Shortcuts, animations, new adaptive icon shapes and other improvements geared toward exact Android versions.
While many customizations are available in this best free Android app, others such as gesture controls are gated behind the premium version.
In addition to being a top-notch running and cycling tracker — we think it's the best running app you can obtain — Strava adds gamified features to supply the usual run-tracking recipe a competitive edge, whether you're monitoring your runs, bike rides, or swims.
The app records your running speed, distance traveled, time and course taken, but also combines it with leaderboards, achievements and challenges. Strava supports a variety of running trackers, in addition to Wear OS and Apple Watch.
A premium subscription improves on the formula with filtered leaderboards, the ability to create exercise goals and view more detailed analytics and more. But the free version is enough for basic tracking.
Podcasting platform Castbox combines a clean and navigable interface, a good selection of podcasts, and powerful podcast audio searching to deliver an excellent mobile podcatcher and one of the best free Android apps.
Users can sign in with Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter, and then search and subscribe to podcasts, obtain episodes for offline listening and sync their subscriptions across multiple devices. You can stream podcasts through Chromecast or Amazon Echo.
A premium tier of Castbox removes subscription limits, allows for homepage customization, and puts you on priority for customer support and new features.
Now that Dark Sky is gone from Google Play, AccuWeather provides Android users with timely and detailed weather forecasts, from 15-day outlooks to the hyperlocal MinuteCasts. Forecasts come with animated weather info, radar maps, detailed summaries, and push notifications for extreme weather alerts in the US.
Extra features include AccUcast, a system for crowd-sourced warnings on hazardous weather and road conditions, as well as customizable forecast details, weather-related videos, and Wear OS support so that you can get forecast info at a glance on your smartwatch.
For a bit more snark with your weather report, check out Carrot Weather. This free Android app delivers the forecast with a hefty side order of biting commentary.
Carrot Weather pulls data from Dark Sky to provide current, hourly, and 7-day forecasts leavened with sarcastic humor to cushion even the gloomiest outlook. Infographics put useful information in quick reach, with more detailed meteorological data available as you tap and swipe. You can even configure Carrot's sense of humor to be friendly, snarky, or murderous, with the ability to set how political the AI's jokes can get.
While you can enjoy Carrot Weather for free, a Premium Club subscription removes ads and unlocks features like a Weather Time Machine and widgets.
Waze is a godsend to many motorists, providing accurate, time-saving turn-by-turn navigation that takes advantage of traffic data and crowdsourced incident reports.
You select your destination, and then Waze uses mapping data and traffic information pulled from a variety of sources including official data as well as your fellow Waze users to automatically create a recommended route, complete with turn-by-turn directions.
The app is remarkably adaptive, automatically adjusting routes based on the latest traffic info, as well as shifting routes on the fly should you miss a turn. In addition, Waze can display crowd-sourced incident reports, the cheapest gas stations along your route and other extras.
If you find yourself wasting a lot of time with repetitive internet tasks, or just want to automate tasks on your phone, try IFTTT. The app comes with a variety of pre-built "applets" that automate tasks like backing up photos to cloud accounts, messaging your roommate or family if you're near the grocery, or having your smart lights turn themselves on when you return home from work.
In addition to the pre-built applets in this best free Android app, users can also build custom tasks from these applets and services, combining multiple tasks and triggers in an "If This, Then That" structure (from which the app takes its name).
Passwords and login credentials are a peculiarly internet age hassle. Thankfully password managers such as Lastpass can keep that hassle in check, serving as a mobile password vault that encrypts and stores your logins and automatically fills them in when using apps or signing on to websites.
In addition to keeping track of your logins, Lastpass can generate strong passwords and store encrypted data; it also supports fingerprint scanners. Cross-platform syncing is free to all users, so you can sync your password vaults between your Android phone or tablet and other devices such as your PC, Mac, or iPhone.
Looking for something a bit more appealing than the standard emoji that come with your Android smartphone? Bitmoji is the app for you.
With Bitmoji's help, you can create your "personal emoji" that look like you and more effectively communicate whatever you might be thinking or feeling. It's a neat and popular app that works in Snapchat or anywhere else you're communicating with others.
Mint is one of the most popular personal finance tracking solutions online, and you can take it mobile with this dedicated app from Intuit.
Track, budget, and manage your finances all in one place so you can see where you're spending and where you can save. Keep track of your savings, checking accounts, and credit or debit cards, input transactions, and set reminders for things like bill payments to avoid late fees.
It might feel a little dry and dull itemizing and tracking your expenses and purchases, but it can make a real difference in your budgeting, and the Mint app helps by putting your budget and spending information in clear and readable graphs and charts.
The best free Android apps include a versatile, all-in-one media player that'll play just about any file format that you can throw at it VLC for Android is the mobile version of the popular desktop media player.
VLC is designed to play just about any file format out of the box, from ubiquitous .mp3 and .mp4 files to more unusual formats such as .mkv and .flac. In addition to playing local files, VLC for Android also supports network streaming and media library organization.
The latest version of Snapseed combines the old selective area edits with one-touch edit tools and filters, transform and brush editing tools and a powerful layer for working on your image edits. All told, Snapseed boasts of 29 tools and filters including Healing, Brush, Structure and HDR.
Snapseed works with both JPG and RAW images and delivers the kind of depth and flexibility you normally don't see with free photo-editing tools.
Spotify has become synonymous with online streaming music, thanks to its familiar UI, Facebook integration and massive song library of more than 20 million tracks. The Spotify mobile app has been updated to allow for more free music streaming than ever, and a $9.99 monthly subscription allows you to save an unlimited number of songs for offline listening.
Factor in Spotify's artist radio stations, its growing interest in podcasts and a Browse function for finding playlists, and you'll likely be hitting Play on this app for a long time to come.
Contacts+ is an address book replacement that helps organize your contacts and integrates with your social media accounts and communications. The app, which we include among the best contact apps, automatically imports information from linked social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn contacts, allowing you to access them all in one place.
Cover pictures can automatically be filled in from Facebook, and you can view your exact communications from each contact. This means you can keep conversation histories for your friends, family and colleagues.
Though it's part of the Facebook galaxy of apps. WhatsApp still deserves your attention as one of the best free Android apps. That's because of WhatsApp's remarkably easy setup, automatic syncing with your phone's contacts and a feature-rich, ad-free experience.
Users can send text, photos, voice and short video messages to their WhatsApp contacts. WhatsApp has been continuously adding to its formula, with updates adding encrypted messaging, video calls, and multi-device and cross-platform compatibility.
Stuck trying to pick which flick to watch? Letterboxd is the cinefile's diary and social network, and its free Android app enables you to share film reviews and recommendations with friends.
Not only can you keep a log of the movies you've seen, complete with ratings, reviews and tags, you can also follow friends, look up cast and crew data for movies and create shareable lists of favorite flicks and actors.
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 18:18:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-free-android-appsKillexams : Best productivity tools of 2022
The best productivity tools make it simple and easy to Improve efficiency among teams, both in the office or working from home.
The main features of productivity tools will focus on collaboration(opens in new tab) and project management(opens in new tab), so that no matter where any individual is, they can remain in contact with the rest of their team and provide the latest updates and information that everyone needs. This can be done on a per project or by department basis, so that managers can ensure that the right people are in the right place to get the job done.
Management tools are also important, to prioritize schedules and work to deadlines, such as for time management(opens in new tab) and task management(opens in new tab). The also interface needs to be simple and easy to use so that managers do not become bogged down in administrating it all. Additionally, everything needs to be presented in a clear way so that contact management(opens in new tab) information is easy to find and action.
There are also other tools that can help Improve productivity and efficiency, simply by making complex tasks simpler and easier to do. This could be anything from managing backups to social media monitoring, or customer relationship management(opens in new tab).
Here then are the best productivity apps on the market, showing our featured preferences with additional ones to also consider.
Microsoft Office is probably the platform most people think of first when it comes to office productivity suites, with the cloud-based Microsoft 365 being the latest incarnation.
What ensured that MS Office became a market leader is the comprehensive way data can be covered by different applications and moved between them, making working more efficient and hassle-free. With Word(opens in new tab), Excel(opens in new tab), Powerpoint(opens in new tab), and Outlook(opens in new tab) forming the core programs, these cover everything from documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and emails - in effect covering most essential office needs. In addition to that, OneDrive offers online saving and backups to keep your files safe.
While there are alternatives to MS Office(opens in new tab), most rivals attempt to play catch-up with Microsoft rather than provide innovative new features, and MS Office still remains the office suite with the most comprehensive range of features. And even if you do use one of these alternatives, the chances are you are going to be working with document formats created specifically for MS Office, and handle data from customers and suppliers who are using the MS Office platform.
While MS Office does have its critics, the bottom line is that nobody does office productivity better than Microsoft, and the core applications in Office have yet to be bettered.
Asana has been around since 2008, making it a veteran in the collaboration arena, and companies such as Intel, Uber, Pinterest and TED all use it as their core method of communication.
It’s been designed as an easy way for companies to track the work of employees and to get the best possible results. Using the platform, you can create to-do lists for ongoing projects, set reminders for upcoming deadlines and send requests to colleagues. Team members can also assign comments to posts within the app.
You can organize all your projects in a list or board format, and there’s a search function so you can locate past work quickly. In short, Asana is a very effective way to stay super-organized and facilitate conversations when it comes to updates on how work is progressing.
Bitrix24 provides a vast suite of powerful business tools: collaboration, instant messaging, telephony, project management, document handling, scheduling, employee management, and more.
If you prefer to keep things simple then you can concentrate on the excellent CRM, which is a capable system all on its own. Contacts and communications are logged, leads assigned to sales managers, emails sent, calls recorded, quotes and invoices issued. Detailed reports keep you up-to-date and there's convenient access via the mobile app.
Bitrix24's unusually generous free account supports 12 users and includes 5GB storage, but if you need more, the Plus account offers more features.
Overall, Bitrix24 is offers a powerful suite of tools that is especially going to be handy for small businesses and start-ups to help them develop and grow through improved productivity, all in one platform.
Covers everything from simple to-do lists to project management
Reasons to buy
Dead easy to use
Integration of many third-party services
Powerful collaboration tools
Trello is a smartly designed and popular service for managing, organizing and sharing everything from simple to-dos to major project management tasks.
Getting started is as easy as dragging cards onto a Trello board. Cards can represent single tasks, with priorities and deadlines attached. But they can also be more substantial checklists, with attached files and pictures, containing hyperlinks to point somewhere else.
And there's a whole library of Power-Ups, custom cards which allow you to integrate a host of third-party services into your workflow: Box, Evernote, GIPHY, GitHub, Hangouts, Join.me, Mailchimp, OneDrive, Salesforce, Slack, SmartDraw, SurveyMonkey, Twitter, ZenDesk and more.
Trello has plenty of collaboration tools to help you manage your projects, and a stack of ingenious features to ensure it's user-friendly. Just one example: the Cloud Aging power-up visibly ages cards if they've not been accessed for a while, fading them out, maybe turning them yellow and even cracking. This isn't just a visual gimmick – it allows users to instantly see underused cards on even the busiest of boards, a real timesaver.
Tracks your activity in the background without being a distraction
Reasons to buy
Discreet and unobtrusive
Reasons to avoid
Limited historic data in free app
RescueTime not only tracks the time you spend doing different things on your computer or mobile – such as visiting particular websites or using specific apps – it does so automatically. Running in the background as it does, RescueTime quietly logs your activity without serving as a distraction.
It's possible to set yourself targets and alerts, and the idea is that these goals will help you to develop better working habits. It enables you to see just how you spend your day on your digital devices so you can better understand where the time has gone. There free version of the app enables you to look back at three months of data for analysis, but paid-for packages (which start at $6 per month) have no limits and includes a number of extra features.
For most people, the free version will be more than enough, and the fact that it is available for macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android and ChromeOS means that it is possible to track work across multiple devices and platforms.
Track almost anything and make better use of your time
Reasons to buy
Connects with many other apps
Flexible and adaptable
Reasons to avoid
'Fines' not for everyone
Beeminder is quite a unique tool that can be used to track and monitor everything from running or trips to the gym, to logging how often you write, or managing a to-do list. Available as an app, or usable online, Beeminder is endlessly flexible – you define your goal (whatever that may be) and you are tasked with logging your progress. There is a degree of gamification to things here; you're aiming to stick to the 'yellow brick road', which means that, at least on average, you are hitting your targets.
Anything that can be plotted on a graph can be tracked – number of words written, number of hours worked, number of contracts signed – and sticking within the golden zone can be hugely incentivizing. If you're willing to commit fully, you can add your credit card details to your account so you can be fined for failing to stay on track. Beeminder is not for everyone one, but it is so unique, it is well worth giving it a try to see if it works for you.
Best free time management app
Reasons to buy
Clockify grabs the idea of clocking on and off for a shift and runs with it. It is a very simple tool, but that's precisely what will make it so appealing to people – after all, if you're busy with work, you don't to be overwhelmed with a complex tool for tracking what you're doing!
Clockify is essentially a basic stopwatch so you can easily record how long you spend working on different project. Just start the timers, and you can add labels, descriptions and project details, and just hit stop when you're done. You can configure timers to start as soon as you open your browser so you don't need to remember to do so.
Clockify integrates with Trello, Asana, Jira, Todoist and more, and you can use the website and apps to view details reports and breakdown of how you have spent your time. If you would like to keep Clockify available at all times without the need to dedicate a browser tab to it, you'll be pleased to hear that there is a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that keep it just a click away. There are also mobile apps, and desktop versions for macOS, Windows and Linux.
A time-management app that's a great choice for small teams
Reasons to buy
Tracks productivity and manages tasks
Allows tasks to be delegated
Todoist straddles the categories of time management tools and to-do lists, with an element of project management thrown in for good measure. Despite touching on multiple genres, the tool remains easy to use, making it possible to manage multiple project with ease, and see at a glance what you still have to do.
The website or app gives you a daily and weekly overview of what work you have to do, what appointment you have, or whatever else you choose to track. If you're working with a group of people and find that your workload is getting a little heavy, you can delegate tasks to others.
The free version limits you to working with five people and having 80 active projects on the go at any one time, and this should be more than enough for most people, but Premium and Business plans are available for a fee. Todoist offers integration with dozens of apps and services so it can tie in neatly to your existing workflow.
Toggl is described by its developers as ‘insanely simple time tracking’, and that's a pretty fair summary. If you take a look at the website, it is the premium versions of the service that are pushed, but there is a free version suitable for teams of up to five people.
Toggl is available for multiple platforms and synchronization means that you can move between devices and stick track your work. There's a lot to explore here, including manual and automated track of activity, a Pomodoro timer, automatic detection of idle time, reminders, integrations with various apps and services and much, much more.
The beauty of Toggl, however, is that it is so flexible and customizable. What ever you're looking to monitor, you can probably bend it to your will. The detailed reports are impressive, but it's a bit of shame to see that there is no invoicing option in an otherwise feature-packed tool.
Best mobile office suites for Android
While we've featured Microsoft 365 as the best overall productivity app, there are other mobile office suites worth considering. Here we'll provide a run down of these:
1. WPS Office
A formidable free office suite for Android
Reasons to buy
Free to install
Full office suite
WPS Office is an office suite developed by Chinese software outfit Kingsoft. The app is free to obtain but in-app purchases can be made to include more features. The suite comprises of WPS Writer, Presentation and Spreadsheet.
The WPS PDF reader has the ability to convert PDF to WPS and is able to read Adobe PDF files. The app supports a number of file types such as DOC, RTF, DOT, PPTX, TXT and HTML amongst others. All documents are fully compatible with Microsoft Office and Google Docs.
The app allows you to securely encrypt your files with passkeys, and you can edit your documents without fear of losing your work thanks to the auto-save option. Features include the ability to track changes, comments, and run spell checks.
Another handy feature supported by the app is the ability to present documents straight from your smartphone (or tablet) to a compatible TV or projector. WPS for Android also supports 47 different languages.
The downside here is that if you’re not a paid user, you get shown adverts, and they are seemingly quite intrusive.
A user-friendly suite with neat chat and collaboration options
Reasons to buy
Free office suite and PDF viewer
Reasons to avoid
Standard version is very basic
OfficeSuite was first released as a mobile app in 2004 on Palm OS, where it was mainly read-only until 2009. At this time Sony requested an Android version within a very short time span of 12 weeks. This was achieved and OfficeSuite for Android was born. The product is now a fully featured cross-platform productivity suite.
Although OfficeSuite is free to download, there are in-app purchases to upgrade the features available. If you purchase the Pro version you won't be forced to make certain in-app purchases (for example, paying for extra fonts), but you can still make purchases if you wish.
This suite is also fully compatible with a large number of file formats such as ODT, PDF, RTF, TXT and CSV. However, the free app is inundated with ads. Further note that you will need to upgrade to the premium version if you want to open certain file types such as ODT.
The OfficeSuite Drive allows you to store up to 5GB of files in the cloud. The Chats feature helps co-workers to collaborate and swap documents online. The app is fully compatible with all Microsoft documents and boasts support for PDF files with features such as camera scanning and PDF exports.
A powerful suite with word processing, spreadsheet and presentation tools
Reasons to buy
Versatile free version
Lots of functionality
Reasons to avoid
PDFs can seemingly cause crashes
DataViz, the company that established Docs to Go, started off with a product that connected Macs and PCs together. Docs to Go was subsequently created for BlackBerry and is now a multi-platform app.
The Android app allows users to view Adobe PDF and Microsoft Office files. From here you can edit and create Excel, PowerPoint and Word files, all in the palm of your hand. Docs to Go has many formatting tools, such as word count, tables, font color and the ability to track changes.
There's a free and premium version of the app. Both support editing and formatting within the app, along with advanced Excel support. Some features such as cloud services, desktop sync, and password-protected file support require in-app purchases. Both the free and premium applications are optimized for use on a tablet with portrait and landscape views.
Docs to Go has its own versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These are known as Word to Go, Sheet to Go and Slideshow to Go. The only criticism the solution seems to receive is that PDF files tend to cause the app to crash, with folks being advised to stick with a separate PDF viewer for this purpose.
An excellent basic suite with optional extra features
Reasons to buy
Free mobile app
Reasons to avoid
Copy and paste is tricky
SmartOffice claims to offer the most accurate representation of Microsoft Office products that can be seen on a mobile app. It is one of the few free office suite solutions for Android out there. The company used to have a paid product, but in exact times has got rid of that to offer this free version, which comes with all the features needed to make a truly innovative app.
As the official Microsoft apps can take up a lot of storage space, this app is perfect for space-constrained users, as it only utilizes 16MB. The user interface is straightforward and simple to use, too.
The app offers password protection so that you have extra security when saving any documents you have been working on. Users can edit and share Microsoft documents easily and efficiently, plus all files can be converted to a PDF if needed. Documents can be opened and saved online with access to the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive.
SmartOffice supports several image formats such as PNG, JPG, GIF, TIFF and BMP. Wireless printing is also supported. It is compatible with all versions of Word since 1997 and supports over 37 different languages. The only real criticism of this suite is that the copy and paste options appear to be needlessly complicated, and as such, can take a while to figure out.
Editing and viewing documents made easy with this collaboration app
Reasons to buy
Integrated chat rooms
Quip is an online collaborative software suite that is available on Android devices. The company was founded in 2012 by Bret Taylor, who was a former Facebook CTO, in conjunction with Kevin Gibbs, founder of the Google App Engine.
The main features of Quip are the spreadsheet and word processing functions which allow online collaboration as well as alterations on the corresponding Android apps. All members of the group can view and edit documents at the same time and also have the ability to add comments if need be. Quip also has its own chat rooms and it is used by major players such as Amazon and Dell.
Quip offers a free tier, although it’s based on the activity of the user, rather than on the number of days you use it for. So, the more you make use of it, the more free time you will receive.
The paid tier enables a team to use spreadsheets, chat and Live Apps such as a Calendar. If you need assistance there is also excellent support available. The app allows you to work offline and sync documents when you are next online.
Some online reviews have criticized Quip's ability to load PDF documents saying that it is limited and sometimes can be time consuming. Further note that the app only supports a limited number of import/export formats.
Other Android office suites to consider
We've covered just a few of the office apps for Android above, but there are plenty more to consider. Here we'll add a few more than are also worth thinking about:
Google Workspace(opens in new tab) is also worth considering, though while there are limitations to Google Docs and other apps in Google Workspace compared to other offerings, it's still worth considering. This is not least because of the integration between the different Google apps and other Google services, such as GMail and Google Drive (aka Google One) which means it provides a decent if sometimes basic all-in-one office software solution. Perhaps the bigger sell is the collaborative functions that are available to use across Google Workspace, which could make them ideal for small teams.
Polaris Office(opens in new tab) is another big office software suite, providing word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations in a single app for Android. Advertised as an All-in-One Complete Office Suite, it's compatible with Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat files. In fact, it has a decent list of file types it can work with, not least DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, PPS, PPSX, TXT, HWP, ODT as well as PDF. Even better, it's free, though it is advertising-driven and in-app purchases are available to both remove the apps as well as expand the available feature list.
Zoho Sheet(opens in new tab) is just one of a large number of apps from the Zoho Corporation for office and business use, all of which should integrate easily with one another. As with some of the above, collaborative working is available on shared documents. Not only is Zoho Sheet free, it also works easily with Excel files for creating, editing, and saving.
AndrOpen Office(opens in new tab) works with the OpenDocument format and advertises itself as 'the world's first porting of OpenOffice for Android'. As with other office suites, it provides a platform for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, but also comes with a drawing feature as well as a math editor. AndrOpen Office certainly contains a lot of features and is compatible with a huge range of file types that most other applications can't touch, so for accessibility it's definitely a winner.
How we tested the best productivity tools
To test for the best productivity tools we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, whether as a obtain or as an online service. We then tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each software platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.
When deciding which productivity tool to obtain and use, first consider what your actual needs are, as sometimes free platforms may only provide basic options, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a paid platform is much more worthwhile. Additionally, free and budget software options can sometimes prove limited when it comes to the variety of tools available, while higher-end software can really cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require.
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08:17:00 -0500entext/htmlhttps://www.techradar.com/best/best-productivity-appsKillexams : The Best Two-Factor Authentication App
The most important thing you can do to increase your online security, alongside using a password manager, is to enable two-factor authentication. After interviewing three experts and testing seven authenticator apps, we think Authy has the best combination of compatibility, usability, security, and reliability.
Authy is free, available across platforms, and easy to use, and its security features are better than those of other two-factor authentication apps.
When you log in to an online account with two-factor authentication enabled, the site first asks for your username and password, and then, in a second step, it typically asks for a code. Even if someone gets ahold of your username and password, they still can’t log in to your account without the code. This code, which is time-sensitive, can come to you via SMS, or it can be generated by a two-factor authentication app, such as Authy, on your phone. When you open Authy you see a grid with large icons that makes it easy to find the account you’re looking for, copy the security token, and get on with your day.
Compared with other authentication apps, Authy is also available on more platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it features PIN and biometric protection for the app. Unlike most other two-factor authentication apps, Authy includes a secure cloud backup option, which makes it easier to use on multiple devices and makes your tokens simple to restore if you lose or replace your phone. The fact that the backup is optional lets you decide what, if any, security risks you’re willing to make in favor of usability. It’s run by Twilio, a reputable company that clearly outlines its security practices and updates Authy frequently.
Mon, 22 Nov 2021 17:51:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-two-factor-authentication-app/Killexams : What Is Microsoft PowerToys, and What Are the Best PowerToys Utilities for Windows 10 and Windows 11?
Microsoft PowerToys is a collection of utilities for Windows operating systems to help you perform operations more efficiently and streamline your workflow.
Microsoft debuted the first version of PowerToys with Windows 95. A few years later, it released its second iteration with Windows XP, as a separate download. Later, after a lull for a few years, the company eventually released another update to PowerToys in 2019.
With the latest release, Microsoft has made PowerToys open-source, opening the door for developers to collaborate and build better and more functional utilities for the platform.
Currently, PowerToys offers a bunch of different utilities to help you with various operations on your computer. If you’re on Windows 10 or Windows 11, you can take advantage of these utilities to add better functionality to your system and Improve your productivity.
And, to help you with the same, here’s a guide explaining Micorosft PowerToys, the steps to use it, and the essential Micorosft PowerToys utilities you should be using on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer.
What Is PowerToys?
PowerToys is a set of freeware utilities from Microsoft for its Windows operating system. Primarily targeted towards power users, these utilities help you automate tasks on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer to perform them more efficiently, and in turn, boost your productivity.
In the past, Microsoft PowerToys has been used as a platform to preview certain upcoming features on the Windows operating system. It’s been available via GitHub until Microsoft released Windows 11 in 2021 and listed PowerToys on the Microsoft Store.
Why Do You Need Microsoft PowerToys?
Almost all Windows operating systems, by default, have their own way of performing certain operations. While these native methods work just fine, they are generally inefficient when you need to carry out the same operations repeatedly.
A better way to approach this problem instead—rather than going the manual route to do things the traditional way—is to automate the process. That way, you can accomplish the same operation with fewer steps and utilize your time more effectively.
For instance, if you need to resize a bunch of image files at once, following the traditional approach would take up a lot of your time and effort. A better alternative, instead, would be to use a PowerToys utility like Image Resizer, which can bulk resize images with just a few clicks.
Of course, this is just one of the examples of what you can do with PowerToys, and there are various other operations on Windows 10 and Windows 11 where these utilities can prove to be useful.
How to install and set up PowerToys on Windows 10?
Microsoft PowerToys is now available on both GitHub and Microsoft Store. So depending on your preference, you can install PowerToys on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC using either the executable file via GitHub or the Winget Windows Package Manager. Below are the steps to install PowerToys using both these methods.
Install PowerToys on Windows 10 and Windows 11 Via GitHub
Installing Microsoft PowerToys via GitHub is easy. Follow the steps below to do this on your Windows 10/Windows 11 PC:
Click on the Assets dropdown menu to reveal PowerToysSetup releases.
Click on PowerToysSetup-0.xx.x-64.exe to obtain the PowerToys executable installer.
Once the obtain is complete, open the executable file and follow the on-screen instructions to install PowerToys on your computer.
Install PowerToys on Windows 10 and Windows 11 Using Winget
Winget is a free and open-source package manager for Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems that simplifies installing, upgrading, and deleting programs on your computer.
Now that PowerToys is available on the Microsoft Store, you can install it on your computer using Winget, as shown in the following steps. If you’re on Windows 11, Winget is preinstalled on your system, and so you can continue with the steps below right away. On the other hand, if you’re on Windows 10, follow out Winget guide to learn how to install and set it up on Windows 10.
Open the PowerShell or Command Prompt.
Enter the following command and press Enter: winget install Microsoft.PowerToys --source winget
How to Run PowerToys on Windows 10 and Windows 11
To run PowerToys, double-click on the app icon or look up PowerToys in the Start menu. As soon as you launch the app, you should be taken to the PowerToys Settings screen. In case you’re not, click on the app icon in the system tray.
Now, on the settings page, click on the Restart as administrator button to run PowerToys as an administrator. This is required for some utilities to function and to change their settings.
Once you have the PowerToys tool set up and running on your computer, you can start using its utilities.
By default, these utilities are disabled, so you need to enable them manually. To do this, click on the utility you want to enable from the left sidebar and toggle the enable button. If you want to change settings for these utilities, this is where you do that as well.
Essential PowerToys Utilities
Now that you have Microsoft PowerToys up and running on your Windows machine, here are all the PowerToys utilities currently offered by Microsoft that you must know about:
1. Color Picker
As its name suggests, the Color Picker utility enables you to pick colors from any focussed app running on your system. If you work with graphics and websites, you may often find the need to check out the color value for different colors. And that is exactly what Color Picker helps you do.
Using Color Pocker is as simple as hitting the Win+Shift+C keyboard shortcut and hovering your mouse over the color you want to determine. Once you’ve identified the color, you can then right-click on it to copy its code. The copied code gets copied to your clipboard, and you can then paste it anywhere.
Color Picker also allows you to change some of its settings. So if you like to change some of its elements, you can do so from the settings menu. Some of the Color Picker elements you can change are the activation shortcut, default activation behavior, and the default color format.
If you’ve been a macOS user, you’d be aware of the different window manager apps on Mac. However, when it comes to Windows, there aren’t as many good options: while you do get the native utility, Windows Snap, it lacks flexibility and functionality compared to some other window management services. But thanks to PowerToys, you have FancyZones, which is probably one of the most feature-rich and customizable window management utilities for Windows out there.
When you launch FancyZones for the first time, you need to set a layout as your default option. This is the layout that’s automatically used every time you arrange your windows unless you explicitly choose another layout.
Once you’ve set the layout, press the Windows+` shortcut to launch the FancyZones editor. Now, on the layout screen, select a layout and the number of rows and grids you need. Alternatively, you can also select the custom option to create a custom layout for your windows. Finally, press the Shift key and drag the windows to snap them in place on the layout.
3. PowerToys Run
PowerToys Run is a quick launcher/search box for Windows that gives you access to various system elements instantly. You can think of it as a Spotlight Search (from macOS), but for the Windows operating system.
With PowerToys Run, you can search and launch apps instantly with the press of a few keys. Not just that, you can also search for files, folders, and running processes right from the quick search window. To perform a search, all you need to do is invoke PowerToys Run using the Alt+Space keys together and enter your query (files, folders, apps, etc.) in the search window.
Besides looking up apps, files, and folders, PowerToys Run can also be used to perform quick calculations. For this, you can simply press the activation shortcut to invoke Run and enter your operations here to get the result. Besides, like any other utility, you can also change a few settings for Run, such as the trigger shortcut and the number of returned search results. [Check out our detailed guide on PowerToys Run.]
4. Shortcut Guide
Shortcut Guide is a simple utility that gives you all the shortcuts for the current state of the desktop on your Windows 10/Windows 11 machine. That way, you can find out the keyboard shortcuts for different apps and services, and eventually, start using them.
To see the key shortcut guide for an app/service, press and hold the Windows key for a second. As soon as you do that, an overlay with the entire list of shortcuts specific to that app/service will pop up on your screen. Make a note of these keyboard shortcuts or take a screenshot to view them later.
Now, similar to how you can change settings for other utilities, Shortcut Guide also offers you a few options to configure to your preference. For instance, if you find the overlay hard to discern from the background, you can change its opacity. Likewise, you can also change the press duration for the trigger key before which the overlay appears to avoid accidental triggers.
5. Image Resizer
Image Resizer is undoubtedly one of the best PowerToys utilities out there. It simplifies the image resizing process and allows you to resize multiple images at once. That way, you don’t have to do the same operation on multiple images repeatedly.
To bulk-resize images, select the images you want to resize in File Explorer, right-click on them, and select Resize pictures from the menu. As soon as you do that, you get a window with a few different options to change the size, encoding, and filename format for your files. Select the appropriate option to perform your desired operation and hit Ok.
Alongside offering you the ability to select the image size and other settings for your images, Image Resizer also has a dedicated settings page to customize certain elements. From here, you can add new preset sizes, change the encoding options (along with the image quality, interlacing, and compression settings), and also customize the filename format to your preference.
Much like ImageResizer, PowerRename is another useful PowerToys utility. It can help you with bulk operations on your system. If you’re someone whose work involves working with a lot of files and folders, one of the most tedious operations is bulk renaming files. While there’s a native solution to this problem on both Windows 10 and Windows 11, it doesn’t provide much control over file names and restricts your ability to perform search and rename operations.
PowerRename, on the other hand, allows you to easily bulk rename files and folders on your computer. Its advanced set of options provides you the ability to modify files names of multiple files (without having to rename all of them), search and replace specific parts of file names, use regular expression RegEx to find files based on your criteria, and more.
7. Keyboard Manager
If you prefer performing operations using your keyboard—and rely on hotkeys—the Keyboard Manager utility is what you need. Using it, you can reconfigure your keyboard and remap its keys and shortcuts. That way, you can do things like change an existing shortcut key to your preferred custom key combination, assign a key to a shortcut, or remap a key to some other key on your keyboard. Do note, however, that some of the keys on your keyboard are reserved for specific functions only, and therefore, you can’t remap them.
To supply you an idea of a Keyboard Manager use case, consider a scenario where you have a broken key on your keyboard. In this scenario, you can simply remap this broken key to some other key on your keyboard and input the character from the broken key using the newly-assigned key.
8. PowerToys Awake
IMAGE: Microsoft Docs
PowerToys Awake is a Windows utility that helps keep your computer awake without requiring you to tweak power and sleep settings. It comes in handy when your system is running a time-consuming task, where you don’t want it to go to sleep to turn off its screen.
To use PowerToys Awake, simply toggle the Enable Awake button. Then, select a behavior for the utility between inactive, keep awake indefinitely, and keep awake temporarily, as per your requirements.
Keep in mind, however, that even when PowerToys Awake keeps the PC awake, it will turn the display off in its default state. So if you need to keep the screen on, enable the Keep screen on option.
9. Always on Top
IMAGE: Microsoft Docs
Always on Top, as the name suggests, is a PowerToys utility that lets you pin windows to the top of all open windows on your computer. It works system-wide, and you can activate/deactivate it using a simple keyboard shortcut.
Simply enable the Always on Top utility in the Microsoft PowerToys app and press the Windows+Ctrl+T keyboard shortcut, while you’re on the app that you want to pin, to pin it to your desktop. To deactivate it, hit the same keyboard shortcut again.
Besides, like most other PowerToys utilities, Always on Top also offers you the ability to change a few settings. For instance, you can exclude apps from being pinned to the top, change the border thickness, and customize the activation shortcut, among other things.
10. File Explorer add-ons
IMAGE: Microsoft Docs
File Explorer add-ons utility leverages the Preview Pane feature in the Windows File Explorer to supply you a quick preview of a file’s content. If you’ve used macOS, you’d be familiar with this feature.
Currently, File Explorer add-ons supports preview pane rendering for SVG icons, markdown files, and PDF files, and icon thumb preview for SVG icons and PDF files.
To use it, enable Preview Pane in PowerToys, and turn on all the toggles next to all the different file types and options. Next, open the Windows File Explorer, click on the View tab, and select Preview Pane.
Now, simply click on a file to preview it.
Streamline Your Workflow For Better Productivity
Microsoft PowerToys utilities are a great way to enhance the functionality of your system and perform operations more efficiently. If you’re someone who likes to automate operations on your computer to streamline your workflow—and always wanted to do something similar on Windows—then the PowerToys utilities we’ve mentioned above can help you achieve that to a great degree.
For instance, you can use utilities like PowerToys Run, FancyZones, and Always on Top to enhance the functionality of your system and get more out of it, whereas you can make use of Image Resizer, PowerRename, and Keyboard Manager to carry out operations more efficiently.