How to remove unwanted Windows 10 apps

Windows 10 is proving stable and useful. But what if you want a cleaner environment? What if you don’t like Bing News? What if you don’t want to Bing anything?

Powershell can help! If you open this command line tool and enter Get-AppxPackage, it returns a list of currently installed apps under your user account.

You can also export the resulting list to a text file with Get-AppxPackage | Out-File c:\users\youareawesome\desktop\yourfilename.txt.

These are not just full-blown programs as seen under Programs & Features, but smaller applications built into Windows. These include both critical pieces like the .NET framework and less useful apps like Bing Food and Drink. The second category are the apps that haunt your Start menu live tiles.

What you’re looking for in the resulting list is the value in PackageFullName for the app you want to weed out. You can even zero in further by using wildcard text in the package call. Get-AppxPackage *bing* returns any apps with “bing” in the name text.

Let’s assume the Bing Health and Fitness app is not going to put more broccoli in the fridge or increase your overall deadlift. Let’s get rid of it.

We copy the PackageFullName of the app. In this case, it is Microsoft.BingHealthAndFitness_3.0.4.336_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe.

This helps build our overall command in Powershell to remove it:

Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.BingHealthAndFitness_3.0.4.336_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe | Remove-AppxPackage

If the command runs successfully, no errors show and the cursor displays a second time. Bing Health and Fitness has been removed from your system, but only within the current user account. It still lurks elsewhere.

To remove the app for all users of your machine, our command needs the switch -AllUsers. It goes into our command behind the first cmdlet, like so:

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.BingNews_4.11.156.0_x86__8wekyb3d8bbwe | Remove-AppxPackage

Running this command for all users requires administrative privileges on your system. If you’re a local administrator and the command is still denied, try running Powershell as administrator.

If you’d like to try it out, you can download our sample Powershell script: Remove Windows 10 Apps. This removes some of the most common third-party apps from Windows 10 for all users. Feel free to modify in the same format to clear out whichever apps you want.

Happy cleaning!

Better Wi-Fi: Check your environment

We’d all love fast and seamless wireless that never has problems. Most of us would also like a winning lottery ticket, a pony and a trip to Hawaii if wishes are being granted.

But better Wi-Fi is not so impossible when keeping in mind how the technology works. Receiving wireless Internet depends heavily on a strong radio signal between your device and the access point. Your surrounding environment is the biggest single influence on the quality of your wireless radio signal.

Here are some questions to ask yourself.

What objects are between me and the access point?

Radio frequencies are affected by some objects and can reflect off of them or scatter. Dense objects can block the signal. So can metal that forms any type of grid or lattice, creating a Faraday cage effect. This means wireless signals are vulnerable to blockage by metal-framed walls or rebar within concrete. Radio frequencies are also affected by electrical and magnetic fields, or other strong radio transmitters.

In the case of outdoor wireless networks at marinas, navigation equipment on vessels can interfere with wireless radio signals.

Do I have a clean line of sight to the access point?

This builds on the previous solution. Move or position your equipment to reduce the amount and density of interfering objects between your device and the access point.

How far am I from the access point?

Currently, wireless Internet operates on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrum. The official range of older 2.4GHz transmitters is 100 metres, but actual performance is heavily affected by your environment. Newer transmitters using the 802.11n protocol officially reach up to 400 metres at either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz, but again this is affected by what is around you. Ensure you are within the broadcast range of the access point.

Checking your surroundings is only the first step in wireless troubleshooting, but awareness of your environment alone can greatly reduce the severity of connection issues.

How to find your IP address in Windows

There are many different situations where you’ll need to know the IP address of your Windows machine.

A quick way to find it is to use the Command Prompt application. Search Windows for command prompt, or type run in the search box and run cmd.

In the command prompt window, type ipconfig.

Ipconfig displays the current state of your network adapters. The Ethernet adapter is for the cable connected to your machine. The Wireless LAN or Wi-Fi adapter is for your wireless card. They operate independently and can each have their own IP address.

Under each adapter name, you’ll see your current IPv6 and IPv4 addresses. In the case below, the current address of the Wireless LAN adapter is 192.168.1.68.

ipconfig
ipconfig

At this time, IPv4 is still the standard for addressing on home and small business networks. IPv6 will eventually take its place entirely due to the much greater range of possible addresses.

This method to find your IP address is simple and works from Windows XP all the way through to Windows 10.

How to shorten if/else statements in Javascript

If there’s ever a programming concept that should be carved on a stone tablet, it’s the if/else statement.

If something is true, do this. If it’s not, do something else. An if/else statement is foundational. We’re telling the system to make a choice.

But the syntax can sometimes be long and clunky. Solving smaller conditions with a big if/else statement is like patching that big scrape on your car with a can of spray paint. It works, but it could be a lot better.

While building the compound interest calculator, I finally learned a shorter way that the rest of the world has probably been using for years.

Enter the ternary.

It does the same job and sounds way cooler when you tell your friends about it.

Say we want to find out if a number is something other than zero. We want to write a different result on the page depending on what the number is. In ancient times, I would use this:

if(number == 0){

document.write(“This number is just a zero.”);

}else{

document.write(“This number is definitely not zero, it is definitely a value!”);

}

And if there are multiple conditions you’re looking for, this method still works.

But what if I told you there was a shortcut? The ternary checks a single condition and does different things if it is true or false.

Condition ? First action : Second action;

The part before the ? checks our condition. In the example above, that would be number == 0. After the ? Come our options for action. The first action will be performed if the preceding condition is true. The second action will be performed if the condition is false, just like our else statement.

Our example would look like this in a ternary:

number = 0 ? document.write(“This number is just a zero.”) : document.write(“This number is definitely not zero, it is definitely a value!”);

Simple and shorter. Ternaries are especially useful when you’re changing numerical values or dealing with a lot of variables and conditions.

You can read much more about our friend the ternary operator here through the Mozilla Developer Network.