Papa John created a strong, complex password for his Microsoft account--as he should. But he wants a simpler password for logging into Windows 8.1.
Microsoft built Windows 8 on the assumption that your local user account and your online Microsoft account would be one and the same. While this provides certain conveniences (and Microsoft profits), it also causes problems.
One big problem: Everything is set up so that you use one password for both logging into your computer and accessing Microsoft’s cloud-based services. But online passwords need to be strong (see Learn to use strong passwords), and local logon passwords should be easy to remember and type. You can’t have both.
Greg Salone doesn’t want to give up Windows XP. He asked for advice on what could “keep me from being vulnerable” after support ends on April 8.
You’ve heard this from me and pretty much every other tech journalist: You need to stop using Windows XP. It will gradually--or maybe not so gradually--become less secure after Microsoft stops updating the OS. I won’t go into the details, since I covered them in Should you keep using Windows XP?
But you might not be able to give it up. Your business may depend on a specialized application that won’t run on Windows 7 or 8. Or you may not be able to afford a new PC and your old one isn’t powerful enough for an upgrade. Perhaps you’re just stubborn.
It’s easy to understand why people would want to do this. With today’s mobile PCs and the proliferation of SSDs, internal storage capacity is shrinking for the first time since the invention of personal computers. People simply can’t keep all of their music, photos, and videos inside their PCs anymore.
Technically, you can do what I described in that earlier article, telling Windows to look for the library on an external drive. But doing so would be a really bad idea.
Bill Verner asked for the easiest way to delete a group of files. I offer more information than he asked for.
Even the most experienced Windows veterans have holes in their knowledge of the operating system—tricks they forgot or never learned. I’m using Bill’s question to go over some basics that even experienced readers may find useful as a refresher course.