How to Upgrade to Windows 10 Right Now

Windows 10 is here! The much awaited final public version of official Windows 10 Operating System from Microsoft has been released, and Windows 10 is now available in 190 countries starting today. And it’s free. Yes free. Like everyone else, I was also pretty excited to get my hands on the final version of Windows 10 after using the Windows 10 Insider Preview version for some time now.  But, Microsoft decided to play a safe game by announcing an Android-esque OTA update in waves, meaning not everyone will get Windows 10 on the first day itself. Even though it’s a Free* Upgrade for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users, we have been asked to be patient and wait for our turns in the waiting line like good kids lining up to get their cup of ice-cream until Microsoft lets you know that your machine is ready for the ride to latest version that is Windows 10.

Well, not everyone complies. Like me. The first thing I checked after reaching home from office was to check whether my number has been called and that my Windows 8.1 Pro laptop is ready for the upgrade. It was a No. Wait for the notification – No! I summoned Google and did my research. Well, I didn’t have to dig deep enough to find the answer. Microsoft has made the manual trigger option available in its own website. I followed suit, and tada! Windows 10 is up and running.

Here’s how.

1. Go to this link – http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/software-download/windows10

Windows 10 Dowload

2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and download the Media Creation Tool relevant to your x86/x64 OS.

3. Run the application as Administrator and you will get two options – either Upgrade this machine now (yes!!!) or proceed to download the image file to be used through USB Installation or CD/DVD (ISO).

4. If you wish to have a clean install of Windows 10 or just want to get a copy of the image to install later, simply follow the on-screen instructions, choose your OS Version and language, and start the file download.

4. If you choose to Upgrade now, the tool will analyse your computer and starts the download process for the required files. Once downloaded, it will automatically verify the files and initiate the reboot of the machine. So ensure no data-critical applications are running in the background.

Downloading Windows 10

5. The upgrade will ensure all your data is safe during the installation so that you’ll get all your files exactly how and where they were before the upgrade.

Upgrading to Windows 10

6. That’s it. Wait for the installation to complete which will go through a series of reboots, and presents you with your profile setup.

Hope this helped. Let me know how this worked out for you in the comments below.

 

*The free upgrade offer applies to Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, and Windows 10 Mobile for qualifying Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year after launch. More information about the free upgrade offer can be found at Windows.com

How To Set Up WhatsApp Web

The ability to use WhatsApp through PC has been a long awaited feature by all WhatsApp users. There are ways to use WhatsApp in PCs using BlueStacks Emulator et all, but they need some setting up to be done and is also not easy on the memory usage while it’s running. So the wait for an official release continued. And finally, WhatsApp has responded by unveiling WhatsApp Web, a browser extension to the mobile application installed in your Android/Windows/BlackBerry/Nokia S60 devices. The feature is not currently available for iPhones due to platform limitations.

So, how do we set it up? Let’s get started. Since I’m an Android user, below are the steps for setting it up with an Android app. The steps are pretty straight-forward once you have the right version of the mobile app.

1. Make sure your WhatsApp app for Android is updated to a version no older than v.2.11.498. If you haven’t received the update yet from Play Store, install it manually by downloading the apk file from the official WhatsApp website. The new version will be installed as an update over the currently installed version in the phone, and you won’t lose any data.

2. Make sure WhatsApp Web feature is available by pressing the Menu button in phones that has a physical button or press the 3-dots settings icon on the top-right section in the app. You should be able to see the option WhatsApp Web.

WhatsApp Web4

3. Press the WhatsApp Web option. A barcode scanner will open up within the app to pair the device with the web version of WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Web5

4. Now, go to the WhatsApp Web webpage. A QR code will be displayed on the page, ready to pair with your device. At the moment, only Google Chrome works with WhatsApp Web.

WhatsApp Web1

5. Scan the QR code using the barcode scanner within the mobile app. Once the device is paired, the webpage will reload and you will now be able to see the web version of your WhatsApp app in your phone.

You can now start/respond to messages, open media files just like you do in the mobile app version. You only need to make sure the phone is always connected to internet, since the web version is merely an extension of your mobile app the connection to the webpage will be lost if the phone loses connectivity to internet.

You can also enable microphone to record audio messages as well as desktop notifications to receive notifications for new messages even if the browser is minimized.

Enable Notifications

That’s it! Let me know your thoughts, and have a good day!

How To Safely Backup And Restore WhatsApp Messages And Media in iOS and Android

WhatsApp has become an integral part of mobile communication these days. It has revolutionized the way we communicate and the progress of WhatsApp has been phenomenal. It’s got steadily updated over the years with feature enhancements and fixes while undergoing minimal aesthetic changes. The day they bring out the calling facility, will redefine the rules of the game once again. Viber should be careful. So should Facebook Messenger, even if it’s owned by the same company, Facebook. So should many other iterations and avatars of mobile chat platforms currently in the cyber space.

Since we are always connected and so attached to WhatsApp, it’s also important that we keep the conversations flowing no matter what device we use and regardless of whether we format the device or swap it with a different device. It’s always a pain backing up and restoring data while formatting or changing devices as we want to ensure that all the data get moved over safely to the fresh system. Thankfully, most of the apps have a cloud system where these data get pulled back automatically once we connect with our account. Contacts will get automatically restored as soon as we connect with our gmail account if you have enabled the option to sync your contacts with Gmail account. Apps also will get installed automatically, and so on.

Well, WhatsApp doesn’t help in this regard completely. They do have automatic data backup feature, but they save it in your internal storage itself. And it’s unreliable. Most of the times we end up with no backup or broken conversations as what we get back would be from a few days earlier than the day we formatted or swapped the device. Media files won’t be backed up to cloud, so no question there on automatic restoration. It doesn’t mean that all is lost, not at all. Read on. Let’s get to the business.

Here’s how to safely and securely backup and restore your WhatsApp data and media.

 

Backing up the Conversations and Media

1. Open Whatsapp and pull the drop-down menu. (Press the three dots on the top-right corner). Those who have a phone with Menu button, can press that as well. For iPhone users, there is a Settings option on bottom right menu.

2. Select Settings. Then open Chat Settings. (Then Chat Backup for iOS)

3. Click on Backup conversations (Back Up Now for iOS). (Make sure you disconnect from the network directly after you do this, since the messages you receive in the old phone between the time you take the backup and configure the new phone will be lost as they were already delivered to the old phone.) A backup file with all the conversations up until that point will be created in the internal storage of the phone. Let’s get it.

WhatsApp Settings Android    WhatsApp Chat Settings Android

             WhatsApp Settings    Chat Settings    Chat Backup

But here we split up for Android and iOS as they are two different ecosystems and they need two different methods to get this done. So depending on your allegiance, scroll down to 4a or 4b.

4a. For iOS

You will now see two options in the Chat Backup page in the phone – Auto Backup and Back Up Now.Head over to Auto Backup and turn it ON by selecting your backup preference – daily / weekly / monthly. Once it’s activated, all your WhatsApp conversations and media excluding videos will be automatically backup up to your iCloud account storage.

Now press Back Up Now to initiate a manual backup to the iCloud. It will analyse, compress and upload all the WhatsApp conversations and media to the iCloud storage.

To backup the video files, you can either sync it to the PC using iTunes or copy it manually to a folder in PC through USB.

Chat Backup    Auto Backup

4b. For Android

Now that you have backed up the conversations in step 3, open the file explorer app. If you don’t have an pre-installed file explorer app, install one from the Application store for your OS. File Manager is the one I use. It’s a simple and neat app to browse folders and helps to do various actions like Cut, Paste, Move etc.

In the file explorer app, head over to /sdcard/WhatsApp folder. Here, open the Databases folder. You might see more than one .db.crypt7 file. We need only the most recent one. Check the full file name or properties and select the most recent one, since that will be one we just created during the manual backup and has all the latest data. This is the file we need to keep safe and use for data restoration. Go back one folder and open the Media folder. Here we have the various media files like Audio, Images, Video, Voice Notes etc. We need to restore all of them. So copy the entire Media folder and paste it to the external microSD card or to the PC.

Make sure you copy all these mentioned folders to an external microSD card or a storage device safely before formatting the phone.

File Manager WhatsApp Folder    File Manager WhatsApp Databases Folder

 

Restoration

For iOS

It’s fairly easy to restore WhatsApp data in iOS.

1. Login and activate iCloud in your device using the same account you used previously.

2. Install WhatsApp from the App Store, and follow the onscreen instructions to activate the phone number. Once it’s activated, the application should automatically search and restore the most recent backup data from iCloud.

3. All the backed up conversations and media (except for video files which you will need to manually transfer) should now be available in the app.

 

For Android

So, we already have the backup folders ready to be restored. And now you need to transfer them to the new/refreshed phone. If it’s to a new phone, I recommend either SuperBeam app or Lenovo SHAREit app, both will help you to transfer loads of files and folders between devices (also with a PC) at a very fast rate wirelessly. You can always copy them using a PC via USB also, or upload them to Google Drive and download later to the new device.

1. Install WhatsApp from Play Store. Don’t activate it just yet.

2. Open the file explorer app, and browse to the path /sdcard/Whatsapp. If there is no WhatsApp folder, create one with the name exactly as WhatsApp. Create the folder Databases inside it, if not already present. Paste the .db.crypt7 backup file that you copied earlier. Also copy and paste the folder Media under the WhatsApp folder. If there is an existing Media folder, replace it with the backed up folder.

3. So now, under the /sdcard/WhatsApp folder, you should have both Databases and Media folders which contain the most recent .db.crypt7 file and the media folders respectively. Now let’s activate WhatsApp.

4. Open WhatsApp and follow the onscreen instructions to activate the app. Next, if the data copy was done properly, the app should automatically find and restore all the media and conversations from the restored files and complete the set up process.

That’s it! I hope now you can see WhatsApp just like it was before.

Note that this is a ‘planned’ activity where we had time and had manually took backup and then formatted or swapped the device. When your phone crashes or doesn’t work anymore, sadly you might not get an opportunity to take the backup. So it’s always a good idea to take backup of at least the conversations from time to time and keep it safe in an external storage or cloud storage like Drive, DropBox etc. so you can ensure not everything is lost.

Hope this helped you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. If you have a better or alternate idea, please feel free to share them for the rest of us. 🙂