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Issue #363: Jul 6–12, 2014

Q: In further amplification of your first question on 1 Jun 2014, (I.G.T.M. # 358) after a recent Microsoft Security Update, all of the active tiles on the start screen (weather, bing, travel, Kindle, Store, etc) continue to update, but if you click on any of them you get an error message that you are either offline or the internet is not connected, even though you can do anything on the internet from the “desktop” all of the fixes I have tried have not worked, including Refresh and Restore, which have only downgraded me from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8. I called the Microsoft Help Line and they refused to help unless I subscribed to their $149.00 per year service.

 – Robert M.
Niceville, Florida

A: Wow, It sounds like I should start charging for my advice. I could make a killing cleaning up after Microsoft. There are a couple of things that stand out in your question, Robert. One is that this started after a security update, and the other is that restoring didn’t seem to restore your connectivity. With regards to the former point, this seems to happen often with Microsoft updates. One would think that Microsoft would figure out how to distribute updates in such a way that they don’t break or reset other stuff on the system! Seems like we all go through this occasionally, some with worse results than others. I know how hard it is sometimes for me to keep just the few machines I am responsible for humming along, and I’m The Geek! I can’t imagine how people with few or no technical know-how ever keep their machines alive.

Let’s start at the top with your problem. I don’t want to make any assumptions, so first make sure you’re actually online. I know that you said you were seeing active content on the tiles, but I can’t see it for myself, and for all I know they are merely displaying sample data, or the last update they received, and not actually updating in real-time. Assuming you are actually online, let’s take a stab at some terminology. What you’re seeing is that “Metro Apps” (the active tiles, and the programs that they launch) are not seeing your network connection. I did some Googling on “Metro Apps cannot connect to the Internet” and found more possible solutions than I could fit into 10 columns. So, at this point, rather than take a blind stab at your problem, I’m going to turn it back over to you. Google something like the above, and concentrate on the answers dealing with security issues (since a security update seems to have triggered your problem). Once you’ve found your answer, of if you have more questions, head over to (not .com) and post in the comment thread on this article. Maybe we can all learn a little something.

Q: Please tell me how to remove Skydrive from windows 8.1.

– Frances K.
Odessa, Texas

A: SkyDrive (more contemporarily known as OneDrive) is a cloud service that allows you to store and sync files to a remote server, and then access them from any web browser, or local device. It’s integrated into Windows 8.1, and even in versions of Microsoft Office since 2010.

But you want to remove it, eh, Frances? Okay, who am I to judge? I can help you with that. First of all, run the Group Policy Editor by pressing the key combination WinKey+R and entering gpedit.msc in the Run box. In the editor’s list, locate Administrative Templates->Windows Components->SkyDrive. Open it up and find the setting that says Prevent the usage of SkyDrive for file storage and double-click it. When the settings box appears, check the “Enabled” box, and click OK. Close and reopen all Explorer windows (or just reboot) and SkyDrive shouldn’t bother you anymore. If you have a tile for it on your Start menu, you can get rid of that by right-clicking on the tile and selecting “Unpin” from the context menu.

2 Responses to “Issue #363: Jul 6–12, 2014”

  • mason323 says:

    Thank you for the help. Spent about 4 more hours trying to fix the problem with the Meto Apps not working. Since none of the multiple solutions posted on the web that I tried seemed to work, I reevaluated my situation and concluded that Windows8(whateverInowhave) works quite well for what I am using my computer for (word processing, surfing the web, and mail). I don’t need the silly apps for games, music, maps, etc, because I can get them on the web without going through a Metro App. Additionally in things like Amazon, BarnesandNoble, and other purchase sites I can log on and off as I see fit, not having to always be logged on so that the Metro App can let me in. Therefore I shall continue to use Windows8(whateverInowhave) and forego the frustration and time consuming effort of trying to figure out what MicroSoft did to me. Too bad that Apple is so expensive or I would go out and get one of their machines and forget that Microsoft ever existed.
    Robert Mason Niceville, FL

  • The Geek says:

    “Thanks, Bill!” Sorry you’re still having troubles, but I’m glad to hear you’ve found your Zen with them. Don’t be so quick to adore Apple products. They have plenty of “Thanks, Steve!” issues of their own. The major difference is that Apple doesn’t usually give ANY information about the problem, so you can’t even try to fix it if you want to.

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