Remove Windows Default or Pre-Installed Apps

There are some apps that get real annoying. Like for example Windows Mail app. I really dislike the interface and prefer to use Outlook, but when I receive an email I will get two different popup notifications on my computer for each application. I found that the best way to remove it for good was to use PowerShell commands.

To view all installed Windows App Packages for Windows 10:

  • Open PowerShell with admin privileges, and execute the following command:
  • Get-AppxPackage –AllUsers | Select Name, PackageFullName

Here are some more examples of commands to remove different pre-installed Windows 10 applications:

  • Open PowerShell with admin privileges, and execute the Remove App package command
Windows Mail appGet-AppxPackage Microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps | Remove-AppxPackage
Microsoft PeopleGet-AppxPackage Microsoft.People | Remove-AppxPackage
Microsoft YourPhoneGet-AppxPackage Microsoft.YourPhone | Remove-AppxPackage
SkypeGet-AppxPackage Microsoft.SkypeApp | Remove-AppxPackage
Mixed Reality PortalGet-AppxPackage Microsoft.MixedReality.Portal | Remove-AppxPackage


Windows 10 Wrong Location

I recently discovered that all the Microsoft branded apps that came with my brand new surface had incorrect location data.  I first noticed it on my lock screen – it had Virginia Beach, VA weather information! I used to live there but currently I do not.  So after numerous google searches I found my self right back where I started with the same incorrect weather information.

I found the the first part of my solution on Microsoft’s account management page.

Sign into your Microsoft account and scroll down to the privacy section and click on “Activity History“.  Sign in again for the security Prompt and once your in select “Locations” under Filter by data type tree.  From here you can either delete individual locations or clear all locations for your account by clicking on Clear Activity.  I opted to clear all.

Now for the second part. In your windows settings menu select the Privacy Menu.  Next select Location in the left column.  Now scroll until you see the Location history section and simply click the Clear button.

For the Microsoft Weather app that is included with windows go into the settings menu by clicking on the gear icon.  Under the General tab toggle Launch Location from or to Default Location and then back to Always detect my location.  In the grayed out box it should now display your actual location.  On a final note, if you get any prompts asking your to merge data – just click No.

Weather App

If you have any problems or comments please share them with me.

Windows 10 Search not working? Here’s the fix!

Nothing returned from your search term?  I recently had the same problem!  So I did some tinkering and looked into services.msc to see if maybe windows search was not running, but it was in fact running.  Next, I looked into “Change folder and search options” under the file menu.  Navigated to the search tab and decided to check the box for “Don’t use the index when searching in file folders for system files (searches might take longer)” and also checked the box for “Always search file names and contents (this might take several minutes)“.  I clicked “Apply” and then “OK“.  Finally, I attempted my search term again and voila! It worked!

folder search

Megabit vs Megabyte Explained

Internet Service Providers have marketed their speeds in Mbps or Megabits Per Second for years. It’s important to know the difference between Megabit and Megabyte, as they are two completely different metrics. Megabit is a lot smaller than a Megabyte.  If you want to calculate your actual download or upload speeds – you need to multiply the speed you’re getting by “.125“.  So, for example, if you’re getting 300 Mbps download speed from your ISP – you’re actually only getting 37.5 MBps Download speed.  This is a huge misconception with a lot of people thinking they are actually getting the 300 MBps speed!  To put it in perspective a SATA 3 (6 GBps) hard disk transfers data at a rate between 70 MBps to 120 MBps.  A USB 3.0 Thumb Drive will transfer data around 80 MBps to 130 MBps.  So in short, keep this in mind when you are shopping for an Internet service provider or upgrading your service.

Here is a chart so you can see how download rates compare to transfer rates.

Data Measurement Bit Byte Kilobyte [KB] Megabyte [MB] Gigabyte [GB]
Download Rate 1 or 0 8 Bits 1024B 1024K 1024MB
Transfer Rate NA NA 128b 128k 128mb

Fix Slow LAN File Transfers Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10!

Large Send Offload or “LSO” is a Property for your Network Adapter. It is supposed to reduce CPU usage and increase network performance. It doesn’t really help at all.  Disabling it can substantially increase file transfer rates on your local network.

You can get to Large Send Offload by going to Device Manager which is in your computers control panel. (Administrator Privileges are required)

  • Press Start and in the search box type “Device Manager“.  Select it from the list that populates.
  • Expand the list for Network Adapters and double click on your GBE Family Controller.  You can also right click and select Properties.
  • Select Advanced Tab.
  • Select Large Send Offload v2 (IPv4) and change the value to Disabled.
  • Select Large Send Offload v2 (IPv6) and change the value to Disabled.
  • Select OK.

You should restart your computer to see the change in speed.


If you do not see any difference in transfer rates, you should reset your network connection.

  • Open Command Prompt by pressing start and typing CMD.exe Right click on the option that populates and select Run As Administrator.
  • Type netsh winsock reset and press Enter.
  • Type netsh int ip reset and press Enter.
  • Type ipconfig /release and press Enter.
  • Type ipconfig /renew and press Enter.
  • Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.

Once you have completed these steps you should notice a huge difference in file transfer rates over your local area network connection.  On my computer a file transfer rate increased from about 50 MB/s to 111 MB/s while transferring a file form my NAS to my desktop.

Windows Hot-Keys


Everyone wants to make life easier, but I still watch co-workers, friends and family peck away at keys or doing things the long way around.  Utilizing these short-cuts will make your life a whole lot easier and you can accomplish your task more efficiently!  So without any further ado here are a few of my favorites!

  • Select all Ctrl + A
  • Cut selection or item(s) Ctrl + X
  • Copy selection or item(s): Ctrl + C
  • Paste selection or item(s): Ctrl + V
  • Switch between windows Alt Tab
  • Scroll between windows WinTab
  • Find Ctrl + F
  • Maximize Current window Win +
  • Minimize Current Window Win + ↓
  • Snap Window to the Left Win + ←
  • Snap Window to the Right Win +
  • Dual Monitor Snap Window to the Left Win + Shift +
  • Dual Monitor Snap Window to the Right Win + Shift +
  • Open Windows Explore Win + E
  • Open Run Menu Win + R
  • Open Task Manager Win + Shift + Esc

Wi-Fi Security Everyone Should Know

Most of the time when we are traveling we don’t want to use all of our mobile data. We would rather stop at a Starbucks or restaurant and connect to their Public Wi-Fi. That is dangerous if you want to do banking or any other financial related tasks online. Your device may not be as secure as you think and someone may be watching your every keystroke or keyboard tap on your smartphone. There are several ways to secure your devices while abroad and mitigate some of the risks of public Wi-Fi. You can use a Virtual Private Network or VPN, which is one of the best ways. You can also use firewall rules to restrict traffic on your PC, Mac or Linux computer. Mobile devices can be lacking in the firewall department though. So we will instead focus on VPNs and the different types and their strengths and weaknesses.

  1. OpenVPN is one of the best options. It has the best encryption. You can use either TCP or UDP protocol.
  2. IPsec or Internet Protocol Security is very common. It authenticates and encrypts data while connected.
  3. L2TP or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol combines other VPN types such as IPsec for added security. L2TP is very secure.
  4. PTPP or Point to Point Protocol is one of the oldest dating back to Windows 95 era. It is the most widely supported across most if not all operating systems. It has the weakest encryption of the VPN Protocols and is considered less secure.
  5. IKEv2 or Internet Key Exchange version 2 is only considered a VPN when you pair it with IPsec – it is very secure.

I personally have an ASUS RT-AC87R router that comes with a VPN feature. You can select which type of VPN you want to use – I prefer OpenVPN.  Setup is a breeze and it works perfectly!

If you prefer to pay for a service, make sure you do you research!  I look for services that do not keep any logs or records of your internet activities. This gives you even more anonymity while online.  I would stay away from “Free” VPN services as nothing is truly free. They have to make money somehow and my guess is that they are selling your metadata. Here are a few top VPNs: