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In an attempt to optimize and debloat my Windows 11 PC I began disabling various Windows Services. In so doing I had disabled the Microsoft Office Click-to-Run Service which caused my Microsoft 365 programs to fail to open and display error code 0x426-0x0. See screenshot of Microsoft error code 0x426-0x0 below which appeared, for example, when attempting to open Word:


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In some Windows 11 Pro installation instances, which I won’t cover here to keep this article short, Windows 11 Pro will automatically enable BitLocker software based encryption on your solid state drive (SSD). Not sure if this auto-enabling occurs on traditional mechanical hard drives, let me know in the comments section.

The particular Windows 11 Pro installation on my Intel NUC 12 fell within the Microsoft threshold of auto-enabling the BitLocker software encryption. This was without my knowledge nor was I allowed to configure the encryption password or separately store the encryption key. My initial inspection leads me to believe that Microsoft simply uses your Microsoft Account password as the BitLocker encryption key but I have not confirmed this. Let me know in the comments section.

Also, when I originally setup my Windows 11 Pro installation, I used a local account instead of a Microsoft Account. I assume that when I accessed my Microsoft Account to connect my Microsoft 365 software (such as Word and OneDrive) Windows configured BitLocker at that time. I could be completely wrong, but the fact that BitLocker was enabled without my knowledge is a fact in my particular case.

It wasn’t until I discovered an article on Tom’s Hardware regarding “Windows Software BitLocker Slows Performance” that I became aware of a potential performance implication. In that article is covers how the BitLocker software encryption feature can slow an SSD by up to 45%.

This article will cover what I did in order to disable BitLocker software encryption on my SSD since I prefer daily maximum performance over the (in my opinion, false) sense of security provided by encrypting the data on my drive. Encrypting my data may also make data recovery more difficult should the need arise, but I may be incorrect there as well.

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Upon installing Windows, the default directory of a users personal folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, etc.) is within the C:\Users directory. However, a user may choose to Move these folders to another location or external drive, for example if they are running low on storage space.

In some cases, I have noticed that after moving one of the personal folder locations (changing the default storage location) I receive an error which prevents me from restoring the default location.

In this article, I will show you how to restore the default location of, for example, the Documents folder on a Windows 11 PC without errors. But this should work for any personal folder. Read my article on restoring the default Screenshots folder location.

 

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If you’re like me and you take many screenshots, this article will show you how to capture, optimize and customize taking screenshots on a Windows 11 PC.

You may want to also read my article on restoring the default Documents folder location.

 

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Microsoft introduced a taskbar search bar with search highlights to feature social justice causes and other “trending” searches. As if hard working, freedom loving, family focused, productive Americans actually have time to give such hollow gestures a moments thought. On top of that it tends to slow down the already sluggish Windows search feature.

In this article, I will show you how to quickly disable search highlights in Windows 10. The steps are similar to Windows 11, but here is my article on disabling search highlights on Windows 11.

 

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Windows 10 doesn’t have an export and import feature for Sticky Notes. However, you can synchronize your Sticky Notes by signing into both PC’s using your Microsoft Account. If you rather not do that, like me, here are the steps to manually backup and transfer your Stick Notes from one computer to the next.

Note, this article assumes that you are simply transferring Stick Notes to a new PC that does not have any Stick Notes yet.

 

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Windows 11 version 22H2 introduced a new Snap layout interface which allows you to drag a window to the top of the screen to reveal the Snap layouts menu.

Although this makes organizing on screen windows easier, it can become an annoyance for those of us who don’t use it. Luckily Windows 11 22H2 includes an option to disable this Drag to Top feature. This article will show you how to disable the drag to the top of the screen Snap layouts menu on Windows 11 22H2.

 

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If you want to hide the Gallery link from File Explorer on Windows 11, you can currently only do so by editing the Windows Registry. You should be careful when editing the registry as it may affect your system performance or stability. Always ensure you have a working backup of your entire system.

In this article I provide you with instructions for removing the Gallery link from File Explorer on Windows 11.

 

 

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Using a free network monitoring tool such as WireShark we can see that several discrete and background connections are made without our request when simply accessing our computers.

In this article I provide a few simple hosts file entries to help increase our privacy.

 

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