How to Remove the “Get Windows 10” System Tray Icon

Recently a Windows icon popped up in the system trays of all of my Windows computers. Its purpose, I discovered, is to assist you in upgrading to Windows 10 when it is released on July 29, and asks you to reserve your copy to facilitate your upgrade. That’s fine with me, and I went ahead and did what it asked. The problem is that the icon is consuming valuable screen space in my system tray and won’t go away. Even when you try and hide it (by clicking the little “up” arrow in the system tray then selecting “Customize” and “Hide icon and notifications”) it only comes back the next time you start your computer.

A Google search turned up some complex ways to remove it, but I figured out a very simple and easily-reversible way.

  1. Navigate to c:\Windows\System32
  2. Find the folder named “GWX”. Rename it “GWX2”. (Since this is in a Windows system folder, you will need to agree to provide administrator permission.)
  3. Restart your computer.

I would probably put things back by renaming the folder back to “GWX” sometime around July 29, as I’m assuming this program is important to an easy, automatic Windows 10 upgrade.

Change Windows Live Mail Notification Sound

In Windows 8.1, Windows Live Mail is my mail application of choice. I don’t need anything more complicated.

I recently installed Windows Live Mail on a new computer and tried to change the new mail notification sound. It didn’t work and Google was little help. I finally figured it out on my own.

Normally I would change the New Mail Notification setting in the system sounds section of the Windows Control Panel (hit the Windows key and type Change System Sounds to get there). However, changing this had no effect on the sound Windows Live Mail played when there was new mail. I finally figured out you need to change the Desktop Mail Notification sound.

Yes it’s ambiguous and confusing to have two “Mail Notification” settings. It’s just another of the oddities of Windows 8 that I hope will go away when Windows 10 is officially released.

Windows 8.1 Kills Windows Live Mail

I just upgraded from Windows 8 to 8.1. I use Windows Live Mail as my e-mail program, and got a mild shock when I started it up the first time after upgrading and got the following error message:

This program can’t start because MSVCR110.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

A Web search turned up nothing, but it was easy enough to figure out how to fix on my own:

  1. Hit the Windows key, then type: add remove programs
  2. Select “Add or remove programs” from the list of options.
  3. Scroll down until you see the Windows Essentials option. Double-click it.
  4. Click on: Repair all Windows Essentials programs

Windows Live Mail should now work correctly.