Losing hair is a natural occurrence and according to a New York based study, on an average, we lose at around 50-100 hair strands on regular basis. And this happens because your hair goes through its cycle where your hair re-grows when you lose them. However, if that cycle disturbs because of certain reasons, you should immediately get your Doctor’s appointment. While choosing a suitable hair shampoo and conditioner are essential to prevent excessive hair loss, there are certain physical and mental reasons which contribute to it. Losing hair also acts as an indicator of your overall health and therefore it is important to be careful about excessive hair loss. Hence, read further to know about the reasons which makes that happen.
1. Hormonal Changes
Imbalanced secretion of hormones in the body causes excessive hair loss. The reasons for this hormonal imbalance is manifold; they can be due to pregnancy, childbirth or the onset of menopause. According to health experts, thyroid problems also distorts hormonal levels.
2. Scalp Infections
Scalp infections like- Ringworm loosens your hair roots and often result in patchy scalp. An unhealthy scalp can cause inflammation that makes it difficult for hair to grow. Skin conditions that lead to hair loss include Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), psoriasis and fungal infections.
Seborrheic dermatitis causes the scalp to shed it skin which leads to greasy and yellowish scales on your shoulders or in your hair. It is possibly because of hormonal changes or excess oil in the skin.
3. Hair-Pulling Disorder
Hair-Pulling Disorder is also called trichotillomania which causes people to have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair- from scalp, eyebrows or other areas of the body. This unusual disorder leads to hair loss.
4. Hereditary Hair Loss
Genetic hair loss is known as androgenetic alopecia and according to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is one of the most common cause for hair loss. The gene can be inherited either from your mother or father. If not given timely medical attention, this leads to permanent hair loss.
When your body produces too little thyroid hormone, you are said to have hypothyroidism (or an under-active thyroid). Thyroid hormone is responsible for everything from your basal metabolic rate to the growth of your hair, skin and nails. But when you don’t have the right amount, you may notice changes in bodily functions.
6. Iron Deficiency
Women with heavy blood flow during menstruation or those who intake food with insufficient nutrient content, have unusual loss of hair. The excessive blood flow during periods, often lead to iron deficiency which obstructs the oxygen supply into your blood.
7. Excessive Styling
Too much styling and dyeing can harm your tresses. Heat and chemicals used in styling weakens your hair, causing it to break and fall out. It is, therefore, advisable to style your hair while being mindful of the kind and composition of the hair-color used.
Tantric Orgasm: All you need to know (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)
Orgasm is a word that’s mostly taboo. We hardly mention it at our dinner table, at public places, or at family gatherings. We just can’t. There’s a lot about orgasms that we do not know. A sexual apogee can affect not only your bodies, but also your mental health and even your lives, or so says Teal Swan, an international spiritual catalyst. There are many kinds of orgasms; most of them have nothing to do with sex. There are countless benefits of orgasms, and these not only involve physical and emotional benefits but also achieving what you desire. They are like the sorcerer’s stone. They may also help you undo harmful beliefs and manifest what you want in your lives.
TOI Health got in touch with Teal Swan, an international spiritual catalyst, who shared with us her views of orgasm, its types, and benefits.
TYPES OF ORGASMS
The primary thing that we need to understand is that an orgasm may not be only sexual. Orgasm refers to a sudden release of energy which may or may not be sexual in nature. “When it applies to a sexual orgasm, this energy that is accumulated is usually sexual energy. Where as in a different type of orgasm experience, the energy that could lead to a peak can be any type of energy. On an energetic level, an orgasm can technically be seen as a climax that involves the sudden release of accumulated energy. This could be either pleasurable or not. For example, by this definition a seizure is a kind of orgasm, so is yawning, so is sneezing, so is birth, and so is crying. As far as the body is concerned, orgasm is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. But we can use techniques, like breathing and conscious control of our thoughts to facilitate any kind of release that we desire to have,” says Teal.
Two studies reported the percentage of women who had orgasm while giving birth. A 2013 study pinned it at 0.3 percent while a more recent 2016 study found the number increased to 6 percent.
USES OF ORGASMS
We have often heard that orgasms are healthy for your body. “Accumulation of energy creates imbalance in the body and if that energy is not channelled, the body becomes unhealthy. So, orgasm keeps you healthy on a mental, emotional and physical level,” says Teal.
The physical benefits
“Orgasm leads to feelings of euphoria and pleasure which reduce stress, depression and anxiety levels, thus boosting the immune system. Orgasm is also known to burn calories, promote relaxation and release tension, which can improve your sleep quality. It increases blood circulation in the body and the brain, leading to increased mental sharpness. It can help alleviate pain, regenerate cells in the body and inhibit the aging process,” says Teal.
“It increases the hormone oxytocin in your body, which is a powerful brain chemical that inspires feelings of intimacy. Known as the “cuddle hormone,” oxytocin makes you feel connected to your partner, making you bond better,” she added.
The Spiritual Benefits
“After an orgasm, the body opens up to a state of receptivity, during which the meridians and chakras of the body receive an unrestricted flow of energy. Alignment occurs between the vibration of your physical perspective and your non-physical perspective. Thus, you experience a blending between your physical aspect and your non-physical aspect.
During an orgasm, the awareness of your identity or your ego is dissolved. Hence, you can touch your infinite nature. This is why sex and orgasm have been used as tools in spirituality to reach higher states of consciousness. Orgasm is, in fact, one practice you can use to attain enlightenment. Tantra is the most well known example of sexual practice being used as a doorway to enlightenment,” Teal said.
Manifest What You Want In Your Life Through Orgasms
This sounds a little too fancy to be true but the analogy is convincing. Teal says,” Human life on earth is the by-product of orgasm. Orgasm and conception go hand in hand. An orgasm has an element of extreme creative force to it. The question is, what are you conceiving?”
She calls it the ‘art of manifestation’. She says, “Orgasm is one of the most powerful tools for manifestation that you can possibly imagine. Nothing matters more than what you are focusing on and feeling the experience of in the moment of orgasm. What you focus on, especially on a feeling based level, is what you will conceive.”
“In the minute of orgasm, the accumulated energy that is building up is released. You can aim and lend that powerful burst of energy towards what you desire, thus manifesting it into reality.”
Be it a career promotion, a relationship you want to mend, a project you want to work, think about being there when you have your next coming.
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Manifest Positive Beliefs In Your Life Through Orgasms
Much the same way as manifesting your desires works, here your focus is on manifesting a belief in your life while you climax. This can be used as a powerful self-esteem building process, a process to replace negative childhood thoughts such as about your looks, and so many more. Take the help of your partner to prompt what you want to hear while you are having your big O, or utter it mentally to yourself.
THE IDEAL FREQUENCY OF ORGASMS
Many of us often wonder what is healthy. Teal answers it for us. She says, “This really depends on the person and the person’s capacity to build up energy. We are all different in this respect. For some people, an orgasm per day is healthy; for others, several a day is fine; while for some, once a week will do. This also depends on what a person is doing in their lives. We can “waste” our sexual energy and use orgasm as an escape, in which case the orgasm is not healthy. But we cannot make general statements about what is healthy for all people or how many anyone can have.
“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that colors your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.,” said Allen Klein. The colors that you perceive around you reflect on you in a certain way. Take up the following quiz and know if you are stressed, melancholic, or relaxed and happy.
(Picture courtesy: Vinoth Chandar/Flickr)
2/8Which color speaks to you the most?
A. Pink B. Green C. Red D. Yellow E. White F. Deep Red G. Black
3/8Which color speaks to you the most?
A. Blue B. Yellow C. Navy Blue D. Violet E. Pink F. Red G. Dark Green
(Picture courtesy: Sonya Bobb/Flickr)
4/8Which color speaks to you the most?
A. Yellow B. Pink C. Red D. Green E. Blue F. Dark Violet G. Shades of Grey
5/8Which color speaks to you the most?
A. White B. Peach C. Orange D. Yellow E. Blue F. Red G. Black
(Picture courtesy: Faith Goble/Flickr)
6/8Which color speaks to you the most?
A. Light Pink B. Mustard C. Yellow D. Hot Pink E. Rosewood Pink F. Black G. Flaxen
7/8Which color speaks to you the most?
A. Blue B. White C. Orange D. Shades of Green E. Brown F. Red G. Black
8/8Find out here!
Disclaimer: This should not be considered as a substitute for Physician’s advice. Please consult your treating Physician for more details.
You never know when you’ll need a Windows recovery drive, so the time to make one is now—and it’s very easy to do.
A recovery drive is similar to the media you’d receive if you bought a pre-built system. Back in the day, PCs would ship with a CD or DVD that included an image of the system as it left the factory. If your PC’s OS went sideways, you could easily revert to the way things were on day one (though you’d lose all of your subsequently created data and applications, obviously). Nowadays manufacturers usually just put an image of the system as it left the factory on a hidden partition of your main drive.
A Windows recovery disk builds on this idea. In addition to letting you reinstall Windows, it includes several troubleshooting tools, which can be a lifesaver if your system won’t boot.
Some of these tools used to be part of the OS. If your PC failed to boot you were presented with a menu allowing you to try and boot into Safe Mode, or use “last known good configuration.” That’s no longer the case with Windows 10. Now you need these tools to reside on a separate, bootable USB key, and every person running Windows should keep one in a safe place with the label “in case of emergency.”
Here’s how you create one and what it can do for you.
First, obtain an 8GB to 16GB USB key. Next, go into Windows’ Control panel (right-clicking the Windows icon is the easiest way) and type create a recovery drive into the search bar. The manual method would be to go to System & Security > Security & Maintenance > Recovery.
You may need to enter your admin password to go further. In the resulting dialog box, check the box labeled Back up system files to the recovery drive.
With your recovery drive created, you’ll have to boot from it in order to use it. How your PC boots from USB varies according to your PC’s age and motherboard, but typically you can press one of the F-keys during boot to arrive at a boot selection window. From there you select the USB key you’re using, and it should proceed to boot from the recovery drive. When you successfully boot from it you’ll see the following options. Here’s what each of them does:
The first window gives you essentially two options: Recover from a drive, and Advanced options.
The first option lets you re-install Windows. Note that it says you will lose all your data and installed applications. This is a clean installation of Windows, not a restore from backup or something along those lines. This is the nuclear option, in other words.
The second option, which is labeled Advanced Options, lets you fix your Windows installation in several ways, and brings you to the following menu:
The Advanced Options menu allows you to do the following:
System Restore: Use this to revert your PC to a happier time, when things were working normally. This does not affect your data, but it does affect installed programs as it replaces the registry with an earlier version.
System Image Recovery: If you’ve used the image backup tool in Windows 10, this would be where it would come in handy. You can restore the image of your PC at the time you created the image, which includes all your data and installed programs at that time.
Startup Repair: This is sort of a “black box” in that it tries to fix whatever issue is preventing the system from booting, but it doesn’t tell you what it’s doing or, if successful, what the problem was. This is the first thing you should try, as it’s the quickest and least invasive.
Command Prompt: This can be useful for a wide array of tricks and tactics, most especially running the SFC /Scannow command to scan and fix corrupted system files. We all know the command prompt is a wizard’s toolbox, and if you know what you’re doing the possibilities are almost endless.
Go Back to the Previous Build: Though worded a bit cryptically, this lets you revert your PC to the previous build of Windows, meaning the one before whatever update turned everything pear-shaped.
As you can see, it’s quite useful to have one of these recovery drives handy. Do yourself a favor and make one now.
Everybody expected mixed-reality technology to play a part in Microsoft’s big Windows 10 event on Wednesday—but nobody expected what we got. Rather than showing yet another HoloLens demonstration, Microsoft instead announced a small army of virtual reality headsets unlike anything available today, and they’re all powered by the forthcoming Windows 10 Creators Update.
The demo raised more questions than it supplied answers, but there was still plenty of info to glean if you were paying attention. Here’s everything we know about Microsoft’s Windows 10 VR headsets—and one massive question spurred by their mere existence.
Further reading: Everything Microsoft revealed: Surface Studio, Windows 10 Creators Update and more
1. They’re wholly unique
Today’s mobile VR headsets (like the Gear VR and Daydream View) can track your head’s rotation, but not its position in space, making mobile VR a stationary experience. PC-powered VR (like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) can track both head rotation and position, but require the use of extra “base stations” that cast out invisible laser beams to keep tabs on your movement across space.
Windows chief Terry Myserson says the new Windows 10 powered VR headsets use “inside-out six-degree-of-freedom sensors.” That means they’ll be able to track their own position with internal sensors, negating the need for base stations and dedicated VR spaces. No currently available VR headset offers that flexibility. The closest we’ve seen is the Santa Cruz prototype revealed at Oculus Connect earlier this month, but it’s far from finished, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressing that Santa Cruz is more idea than reality at this point.
The HoloLens overlays 3D holograms atop the real world, providing an experience totally different from traditional virtual reality.
2. They’re tethered
The Windows 10 headsets can’t quite shake all of PC-based VR shackles, it seems. Unlike Microsoft’s HoloLens (and Oculus’ standalone Santa Cruz prototype), it appears as though these incoming devices lack onboard computers, requiring them to be tethered to a PC—somewhat of a bummer after the excitement about inside-out sensors. During an on-stage demonstration, the host’s headset clearly sported a long wire, and a promotional image for these headsets shows a discrete connection to a laptop in the background.
This raises some interesting questions. How powerful will the PC powering these Windows 10 headsets need to be? Full-blown VR is much more graphically demanding than the HoloLens’ augmented reality. The laptop in the image doesn’t appear bulky, butNvidia’s new GTX 10-series mobile chips are powerful, yet cool enough to drive virtual reality experiences from relatively svelte notebooks. We’re going to have to wait for more info. Myerson suggested you won’t need a particularly beefy rig.
3. They share HoloLens controls
These “Windows 10 Creators Update accessories,” as Myerson calls them, may be different from the HoloLens but it appears they’ve picked up some tricks from Microsoft’s augmented reality device. During Microsoft’s on-stage demo yesterday, the Windows 10 VR headset was controlled using voice commands and hand gestures, similarly to how you control the HoloLens. No obvious in-hand controllers were visible.
You can’t help but wonder if these more affordable, tethered VR headsets will stand in as “consumer HoloLens” alternatives until Microsoft’s able to perfect the design of its headset and drive the cost of its standalone design down to more reasonable levels—which may take years.
4. They’re popular with PC makers
A slew of PC makers want in on the VR action. HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer will all offer Windows 10 VR headsets. Here’s hoping Microsoft and its partners institute some quality controls, as janky VR hardware can make you puke in a jiffy.
5. They’re damned cheap
Or at least one version is. Myerson says these Windows 10 VR headsets will start at just $299, compared to $600 for the Oculus Rift and $800 for the HTC Vive.
6. They’re coming soon
Look for these Windows 10 VR headsets to appear around the launch of the Windows 10 Creators Update, early next year.
The big question: What about Oculus?
Just last year, Oculus and Microsoft seemed pretty buddy-buddy. Xbox chief Phil Spencer took the stage at Oculus’ E3 2015 event to announce that the Rift would ship with an Xbox One controller, and be able to play Xbox One games on a virtual TV screen. Rampant rumors suggested that rather than building an in-house headset like PlayStation VR, Microsoft would instead tap Oculus as a drop-in solution for the Xbox One.
But it looks like things have changed since then.
Those Xbox games have yet to materialize for the Rift, and these Windows 10 headsets could very well wind up being the Xbox One’s VR solution. The only time Oculus was mentioned at the Microsoft event was when Myerson tossed shade, stating that “those other, less immersive accessories today cost over $500 dollars” (emphasis his).
To be clear, the Rift headset still ships with an Xbox One gamepad, and neither Oculus nor Microsoft have mentioned anything negative about each other. The Rift could very well still become the Xbox One’s VR headset! But the Oculus team’s noticeable absence at Microsoft’s event paired with the natural rivalry between the Windows 10 VR headsets and Oculus’ Santa Cruz headset sure makes you wonder.
“I think that Microsoft has been targeting this price segment for quite some time,” says Anshel Sag, associate analyst and VR expert at Moor Insights & Strategy. “Their biggest fear is missing this technology inflection and not being a major player like in mobile. That is why they partnered with Oculus early before they had a working headset design of their own.”
“Microsoft will still likely partner with Oculus, but that relationship seemed one more out of convenience than necessity,” says Sag. “Facebook and Microsoft fundamentally have competing visions and platforms for VR and that ultimately boils down to why their partnership couldn’t last.”
Before the many options are discussed, it is important that you understand what causes teeth discoloration. One of the most common reasons is your eating habits. The food and beverages you consume can stain your teeth. If you wish to maintain good oral health, it is recommended to avoid food and beverages such as tea, coffee, red wine, soda drinks, and berries too frequently. Keep in mind that antibiotics such as tetracycline can also discolor the teeth. You may already be beware of how smoking can discolor teeth.
While all of these are strong reasons, many people naturally have yellow-toned teeth. This is determined by genetics.
Different Methods of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a popular procedure and there are various options available on the market. Depending on what you are comfortable with, you can choose to do it at the comfort of own home or set an appointment with the dentist.
Understandably, the in-office procedure yields better results. It is also much quicker when compared to the in-house method. When you go to a dentist, you will most likely see the result of teeth whitening immediately. However, if you are uncomfortable going to the dental office, you can do it yourself.
Manu over-the-counter products such as whitening strips and whitening gel trays can be used. Dentists usually prescribe a mouth tray with bleaching gel. If you want to do it at home, read all application instructions properly and follow consistently.
Cost of the Products and Procedure
Depending on the method you select, your cost will vary. The most expensive option is in-office teeth whitening conducted by a professional. Dentists can charge a few hundred dollars for teeth whitening. If you are not willing to spend so much on teeth whitening, the best option would be to pick over-the-counter products. These are significantly cheaper. Prices start from $30.
Maintenance After the Procedure
Irrespective of whichever method you select, the result will not last forever. Keep in mind that discoloration will happen again. The effects of teeth whitening generally last from a few months to 1 year. You can prolong its effect by simply avoiding certain food items and drinks. It is also important to avoid smoking if maintaining bright smile is important to you. Even when you eat berries, drink carbonated soda or other drinks that can lead to discoloration, it is advised to brush teeth immediately.
Why Teeth Whitening Results Vary
The same procedure can have different results on 2 people. You must understand that all teeth do not respond equally to whitening. Those who have yellow toned teeth may see results quickly while teeth that are gray may take some time to whiten. In some cases, results are unsatisfactory when whitening is attempted at home. If having white teeth is important to you, it is advised to set an appointment with your dentist. Professionals can analyze teeth and the suggest the best teeth whitening treatment.
Before you decide on a method, consider important factors like time, budget and efficiency. If you choose to use over the counter products, consider factors like ease of procedure and side effects. It is always best to discuss options with the dentist beforehand.
Four years ago, on this day Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban. The youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner has since then come a long way in advocating Human Rights, specially education for women.
Here are few things about Malala that you should know:
1. Born in 1997 in Pakistan, Malala became an activist for women’s education rights as a child. She delivered a speech titled “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?” in Peshawar in 2008, at the young age of 11.
2. In 2009, she started blogging for BBC about how it is to live in the presence of Taliban and their threats. She did not reveal her identity and wrote under the name, Gul Makai. However, her identity was made public by the year end.
3. In 2011, Malala was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize and won the Pakistan National Youth Peace Prize.
4. Reacting to Malala’s success the Taliban issued a warrant of death threat against her. And on October 9, 2012 a Taliban gunman shot her in the head while she was going back to home from school.
5. After recovering from the life-threatening incident, Malala presented a speech at the United Nations in 2013.
6. She has also penned an autobiography, , ‘I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban’.
7 In another addition to her achievements, Malala won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European parliament in October 2013.
Yahoo’s announcement that state-sponsored hackers have stolen the details of at least 500 million accounts shocks both through scale—it’s the largest data breach ever—and the potential security implications for users.
That’s because Yahoo, unlike MySpace, LinkedIn and other online services that suffered large breaches in recent years, is an email provider; and email accounts are central to users’ online lives. Not only are email addresses used for private communications, but they serve as recovery points and log-in credentials for accounts on many other websites.
An email compromise is one of the worst data breaches that a person could experience online, so here’s what you should know:
Fifty shades of hashing
Yahoo said that the “vast majority” of the stolen account passwords were hashed with bcrypt. Hashing is a one-way cryptographic operation that transforms data into a set of random-looking characters that serves as its unique representation—this is called a hash.
Hashes are not supposed to be reversible, so they’re a good way to store passwords. You take input, such as a password, pass it through a hashing algorithm and compare it to a previously stored hash.
This provides a way to verify passwords at log-in time without actually storing them in plain text in the database. But not all hashing algorithms offer equal protection against password cracking attacks that attempt to guess which plaintext password generated a specific hash.
Unlike the ageing MD5, which is quite easy to crack if implemented without additional security measures, bcrypt is considered a much stronger algorithm. This means that in theory, the likelihood of hackers cracking “the vast majority” of Yahoo passwords is very low.
But here’s the problem: Yahoo’s wording suggests that most, but not all passwords were hashed with bcrypt. We don’t know how many passwords were hashed with another algorithm, or which one it was. The fact that this hasn’t been specified in Yahoo’s announcement or FAQ page suggests that it’s an algorithm that’s weaker than bcrypt and that the company didn’t want to give away that information to attackers.
In conclusion, there’s no way to tell if your account was among those whose passwords were hashed with bcrypt or not, so the safest option at this point is to consider your email compromised and to do as much as damage control as possible.
Don’t keep emails just because you can
Once hackers break into an email account they can easily discover what other online accounts are tied to that address by searching for sign-up emails. These are the welcome messages that most websites send when users open a new account, and which users rarely delete. These days most email providers offer enough storage space that users won’t ever have to worry about deleting messages.
Aside from exposing the links between an email address and accounts on various websites, those sign-up emails can also expose the specific account names chosen by the user, if different from their email address.
If you’re among the people who don’t delete welcome emails and other automatic notifications sent by websites, such as password resets, then you might want to consider doing so and even go back to clean your mailbox of such communications.
Sure, there might be other ways for hackers to find out if you have an account on a certain website, or even a number of websites, but why make it easier for them to compile a full list?
Be careful when asked for your personal details
Among the account information that hackers stole from Yahoo were real names, telephone numbers, dates of birth and, in some cases, unencrypted security questions and answers. Some of those details are sensitive and are also used for verification by banks and possibly government agencies.
There are very few cases when a website should have your real date of birth, so be judicious about providing it.
Also, don’t provide real answers to security questions, if you can avoid it. Make something up that you can remember and use that as answer. In fact, Yahoo doesn’t even recommend using security questions anymore, so you can go into your account’s security settings and delete them.
Check your email forwarding rules regularly
Email forwarding is one of those “set it and forget it” features. The option is buried somewhere in the email account settings that you never check and if it’s turned on there’s little to no indication that it’s active.
Hackers know this. They only need to gain access to your email account once, set up a rule to receive copies of all your emails and never log back in again. This also prevents the service from sending you notifications about repeated suspicious log-ins from unrecognized devices and IP addresses.
Two-factor authentication everywhere
Turn on two-factor authentication—this is sometimes called two-step verification—for any account that supports it. This will prompt the online service to ask for a one-time-use code sent via text message or generated by a smartphone app, in addition to the regular password, when you try to access the account from a new device.
It’s an important security feature that could keep your account secure even if hackers steal your password. And Yahoo offers it, so take advantage of it.
Don’t reuse passwords; just don’t
There are many secure password management solutions available today that work across different platforms. There’s really no excuse for not having unique, complex passwords for every single account that you own. If you do want memorable passwords for a few critical accounts use passphrases instead: sentences made up of words, numbers and even punctuation marks.
Here comes phishing
Large data breaches are typically followed by email phishing attempts, as cybercriminals try to take advantage of the public interest in such incident.
These emails can masquerade as security notifications, can contain instructions to download malicious programs that are passed as security tools, can direct users to websites that ask them for additional information under the guise of “verifying” their accounts and so on.
Be on the lookout for such emails and make sure that any instructions that you decide to follow in response to a security incident came from the affected service provider or a trusted source.
Procrastinators beware. If you’re a Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 user, you’re nearing a big deadline: on July 29, the free period to upgrade to Windows 10 expires. If you intend to upgrade but haven’t actually completed the process, we can help.
For consumers, the choice is a simple one: You’ll be upgraded to either one of two versions of Windows 10: Windows 10 Home, or Windows 10 Professional. (This guide doesn’t cover the upgrade process to Windows 10 Mobile for phones.) Microsoft has also released the official retail pricing for Windows 10, in case you’re building another PC.
During the update process, plan to invest some time in prep work and at least an hour or two in the upgrade process itself. And be careful—some of your applications may be left behind or simply turned off.
(Editor’s Note: We originally wrote this story a year ago, in 2015, to explain the upgrade process to Windows 10. We’ve updated our story with more details of how the process has evolved, and explain how you can still upgrade to Windows 10, then revert back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.)
Aside from one major component of some versions of Windows 7, however, the transition between the earlier versions of Microsoft’s operating system and the new Windows 10 should be relatively painless. Basically, if you own a “Pro” version of Windows, you’ll migrate to the Professional version of Windows 10. Otherwise, expect to receive a copy of Windows 10 Home. (We have more about the individual Windows 10 editions here.) Be aware, though, that on Aug. 2, you’ll also receive the first major update to Windows 10: the Anniversary Update. More on that later.
Besides this story, a good reference is Microsoft’s Windows 10 FAQ itself, which explains, for example, what happens to existing applications on your PC, including (expired) anti-malware subscriptions. Also, it offers one piece of important advice: Make sure you’re running a genuine, licensed copy of Windows—sorry, Microsoft won’t be upgrading pirates for free.
Windows 10 prep work
Preparing for Windows 10 was never that hard to begin with, but Microsoft’s made it even easier. Windows 7 users must be running Service Pack 1 to enable the update. At one point, Windows 8 users were required to upgrade to Windows 8.1 before they upgraded to Windows 10. Microsoft representatives confirmed that this is no longer the case, though—Windows 8 will do just fine.
I’ve negotiated several upgrades without having any issue with losing files. Just to be safe, though, back up all critical documents, photos, videos, and whatever else you deem important onto an external storage device of some sort. “Applications, files and settings will migrate as part of the upgrade, however some applications or settings may not migrate,” Microsoft says, somewhat cryptically.
If you’ve done that, then you’re ready to begin. Look for the tiny Windows icon down in the right corner of your taskbar, and click it to launch the Windows 10 reservation app, also referred to as “Get Windows 10” or “GWX”. You’re probably pretty familiar with it anyway, as that’s the app that’s been continually reminding you to download Windows 10.
Here are the system requirements for Windows 10:
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for a 32-bit version, or 2GB for 64-bit
Hard disk space: 16GB for a 32-bit OS; 20GB for 64-bit OS
Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Microsoft also warns that even if your PC seemingly meets those specifications, it might not be upgraded. “Driver and firmware support, application compatibility, and feature support” could affect whether the Windows 10 upgrade takes place. Fortunately, there’s one way to be sure: use the “check my PC” function within the reservation app. Chances are that the Get Windows 10 app will already tell you whether or not your computer has been qualified to run Windows 10, though.
Microsoft advises that the Windows 10 download will be about 3GB in size. I found that on a 75-Mbit/s home broadband connection, that took a bit more than 20 minutes. Since the PC I was upgrading contained a regular old hard drive, however, it was the installation that took forever: about 35 minutes just for the “preparation for installation” alone. If you own a newer computer with an SSD inside, however, expect the installation to proceed much faster.
Once the “installation” phase completes, your PC will reboot and the “upgrading Windows” phase will begin. During this time, Windows will show you a general overview of how the upgrade is proceeding (the large circle in the middle) and a more detailed view at the bottom of the screen.
Once you move into the actual “upgrading” phase, as evidenced by the large circular progress icon in the middle of the screen, the process should be rather anticlimactic. After a reboot or two, you’ll be asked to log in using your password. After my upgrade was completed, I was rather unceremoniously dumped into Windows 10. That all took me about two hours to upgrade an older Asus PC to Windows 10.
What you’ll leave behind by migrating to Windows 10
The upgrade process will involve some sacrifices—but Microsoft is making an effort to make the transition as painless as possible.
For one thing, if you own the premium versions of Windows 7 — Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate—as well as Windows 8 Pro with Media Center or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center… say goodbye to Media Center. Microsoft is going to install its own DVD-playing app into Windows 10 to replace it: the Windows DVD Player app, which (due to licensing fees) costs $14.99. (Just download the free VLC app instead.) Likewise, Windows 7 desktop gadgets will be uninstalled. And the Windows 7 versions of Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts that came with Windows 7 will also vanish, to be replaced with new versions of those apps with Windows 10.
Microsoft also says that it may erase “some applications that came from your OEM.” That seems to imply that some of your PC’s bloatware—or prized utilities, depending on your view—could vanish.
Finally, Microsoft will uninstall, then reinstall, your antivirus application. If your subscription is out of date, however, only Microsoft’s own subpar antivirus app, Windows Defender, will be installed. (Microsoft tried this in 2013, then backed off.) Be sure and check this after upgrading, though Microsoft should also warn you if anything is amiss via its fly-in notifications. I found that my antimalware solution and firewall survived the upgrade process just fine, but the firewall was turned off.
Some additional assembly required
Keep in mind that older hardware simply won’t include some of the hardware conveniences being included inside new Windows 10 machines. For example, Windows Hello, which logs you into your PC by recognizing your face or your fingerprint, won’t work with a webcam—you’ll need a new depth camera (like a Kinect for Windows or Intel’s RealSense) to enable it, or a third-party fingerprint reader. Speech recognition will work best with a high-fidelity microphone array; no surprise there. And there’s a whole host of nitty-gritty specifics that Microsoft has included for Windows 10 Professional, such as a requirements for BitLocker and Wi-Fi Direct Printing.
You’ll have just a few days to get used to everything, though, before the Anniversary Update kicks off on Aug. 2. Again, make sure everything is up to date. Though the Anniversary Update has a big, grandiose title attached to it, think of it more as a service pack. You can get an idea of the changes that were made to it in our Anniversary Update review.
How to “downgrade” from Windows 10 and go back to Windows 7 and 8.1
Congratulations, you’ve upgraded to Windows 10. But what if you want to go back?
If you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, then changed your mind, there is an escape hatch. If you wish, you can revert back from Windows 10 to your older operating system within a 30-day window. (Once that 30 days expires, though, the upgrade is permanent!)
To downgrade to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, open the Settings menu, then Update & Security > Recovery. If you kick off that process, you’ll have the option to go back to your previous operating system. (If those 30 days have expired, however, you’ll simply see options to “Reset this PC” or “Advanced Startup”—neither of which will revert the PC to the earlier operating system.)
It’s a pain, but many feel that even if you have no plans to upgrade to Windows 10, you may as well snag the free upgrade, then revert back. Before you do, though, play it safe: grab a copy of your Windows 10 product key. (Windows 10 should automatically give you a “digital entitlement” to your license simply by upgrading; again, we’re just playing it safe.)
How? Well, we’d recommend trying two ways: first, this Nirsoft utility should snag your Windows 10 product key. Copy it down and squirrel it away, just in case Windows eventually asks for it if you ever decide to upgrade again. (You might find some help in locating your Windows key on your PC with this older guide, too.)
Now what? If you’re new to Windows 10, check out our guide to your first 30 minutes with Windows 10. That will give you a brief introduction of Windows 10 and its various features. Your final step: keep PCWorld.com bookmarked. We’ll keep you up to date on what you need to know about Windows 10.
As you might already know, LG’s newest flagship smartphone – the G5 – was unveiled at the ongoing Mobile World Congress yesterday. If you are in the US, and are planning to purchase the device, here’s what we know about its availability and pricing so far:
AT&T has confirmed that it will carry the LG G5 as well as its companion devices including the 360 CAM virtual reality camera, LG 360 VR, and the LG 360 Sound Bluetooth speaker. The pricing and availability-related information will be shared in the coming weeks.
Sprint will also offer the flagship handset along with the LG 360 Cam and LG TONE Platinum companion devices. The carrier said that pricing and availability date will be announced soon.
Verizon said it will start offering the G5 as well as “select” companion devices this spring. Silver and titanium color variants of the phone will be available.
T-Mobile just confirmed that it’ll carry the flagship smartphone. All other details including the device’s price and availability will be made available later.
Among major online retailers in the US, only Best Buy has currently announced that it’ll be carrying the handset, with pre-orders beginning March 18.
So, as you can see, details are scarce at the moment, but the good news is that all of the Big Four US carriers will be carrying the device. We’ll share more information on the G5’s availability and pricing as soon as we hear something about it.+