Microsoft outlined a list of new features it will deliver to its various Outlook apps, including bill-pay reminders, better calendaring across time zones, and a way to see who has RSVP’d for a meeting. Here are five that could potentially be the most important.
Outlook makes it fairly simple to invite people to a meeting, but now it will also keep tabs on who’s coming. With Outlook for Windows and Outlook, you can now click the “Tracking” option under “Meeting Occurrence” and track who has committed to the meeting and who hasn’t. And you can also keep people from “crashing” the meeting, by preventing the invitation from being forwarded.
Travelling internationally and trying to sync appointments on different continents? Not fun. But now you can set up event start times and end times across different zones.
Outlook now allows you to show multiple time zones – three within Windows, and one within Outlook for Mac. In Outlook for Windows, add one by clicking File > Options > Calendar Time Zones and clicking “Show a second time zone”. In Mac, add one additional time zone under Outlook > Preferences > Calendar Time Zones. For Outlook on the web, click the “Time Zone” drop-down arrow in your Calendar meeting invite to add an additional time zone.
If you’re on the receiving end of a blind carbon copy (bcc) email, that means the other recipients didn’t know you were copied on it. In Outlook for Windows, you’ll now get an alert if you attempt to reply to that message, such as “You were bcc’d, so perhaps you should reply only to the sender?” That way you’ll remain anonymous.
If you use Outlook for Android, the app will integrate the Microsoft Office Lens feature.
When that happens, you can tap the photo icon while composing a message, then take a snapshot of a whiteboard, document, photo or the like. Outlook will optimize it and then embed it into the email.
Microsoft already sniffs out your email for “commitments”—such as “I’ll get back to you before 4 PM Thursday”—and will send you a reminder to follow up. The same technology is at work here. If Outlook sees a bill-payment reminder, it will automatically add an event to your calendar to pay the bill on the day that it’s due, and send an email to you two days before that as a reminder.
Make sure you use Outlook for the Web to get automated reminders of bills to pay.
As with Outlook’s ability to track and create events from flight info, hotel reservations, car rentals, and more, bill pay is only available on Outlook.com at the moment.
There are things that need to be done after unboxing a new laptop. After installing Microsoft’s Windows 10, you need to unlock its full potential by tweaking some important settings. The best thing to do is get help from a technician, but there are a few things you can do without assistance.
Your new laptop should check for updates automatically, but you can also check manually. Just click the gear icon above the Start button to go to the Settings, choose Update & Security > Windows Update and then click the Check for updates button. (Or, just type “updates” into the search box and click Check for updates.)
If something goes wrong with your laptop, you can save a lot of time and hassle if you have a “restore point,” which is like a backup of your entire operating system. To set up a restore point, search for “restore” from the taskbar and click Create a restore point. You’ll be taken to the System Protection tab of the System Properties window.
From there you can choose what you want to be included in the back and then click the Configure button. Select the radio dial to Turn on system protection if it’s not already on. And then you can choose how much disk space to reserve, usually no more than 2 or 3%.
If you want to prolong your laptop’s battery life, one of the best things you can do is switch the Power Saver, High Performance, and Balanced power plans based on your needs. To choose a plan, right-click the battery icon in the lower-right corner of your screen and click Power settings. Next, click Additional power settings to select a power plan.
To restrict which apps can be installed on your laptop, you can disallow anything that isn’t in the Windows Store. Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features and you can choose whether to permit installations from only the Windows Store, any app installations (with a warning), or unrestricted app installations.
Vendors package new laptops with lots of trial apps, which are mostly unnecessary and unwanted software called bloatware.
Windows 10 offers an easy way to see which apps are installed on your new laptop and a quick way to uninstall those you don’t want. Head to Settings > Apps > Apps & features and peruse the list. If you don’t want an app and are 100% certain your computer doesn’t need it, click the Uninstall button.
Ransomware is a form of malicious software (or malware) that makes all your data inaccessible until you pay a fee to hackers.
To combat it, type ‘Windows Defender Security Center’ into the search bar at the bottom of your screen, click it and go to Virus & threat protection > Virus & threat protection settings. Here, you’ll be able to enable a new option called Controlled folder access, which protects you against ransomware attacks. By default, the Desktop, Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders are protected, but you can add others too.
Do you know what settings to change and update to optimize your laptop? This article barely scratches the surface of Window 10’s security and efficiency settings. Call us today for a quick chat with one of our experts about taking yours to the next level.