Windows 10 for Sussex staff

The new operating system will be deployed on all desktop PCs at Sussex.

You will notice a few differences when you use Windows 10, but you should find most programs and files in familiar places. We're upgrading to Windows 10 to maintain the security of the network, to ensure we are compatible with the latest software and to protect us against the discontinuation of Windows 7 in January 2020.

However, there are a few aspects of Windows 10 that can be confusing. You can find the answers to many common questions on this page.

How will the upgrade to Windows 10 affect me?

Windows 10 is now the standard operating system from Microsoft. It's more secure and performs better than Windows 7, and it's more compatible with modern software. Windows 7 will be retired in January 2020 so it's time to upgrade. ITS have been testing Windows 10 over recent months and it is ready for deployment.

You may be familiar with Windows 10 from your home computer. In many ways it works just the same as Windows 7, but there are a lot of subtle changes and improvements. There are also some unique differences between a home installation of Windows and a large-scale enterprise deployment (for example, you use a different button to log off).

How will the upgrade disrupt my work?

Staff from ITS will visit your office on the day of your upgrade and trigger the process.

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You will need to stop using your computer by 4pm on the day of your upgrade so ITS staff can work on your PC.

The upgrade process will run overnight, and most PCs will be ready for use when you come in the next morning. In a large-scale deployment like this, some computers will fail to upgrade. If this happens to your PC it won’t be ready for you to use in the morning. We’re sorry about any disruption this may cause and we’ll work to ensure that as many computers are seamlessly upgraded as possible.

What will be lost during the upgrade? How do I need to prepare for the upgrade?

In many cases, we'll be able to update applications like Microsoft Office. If you find you don't have the latest version, you can update a lost of sofware from the Software Center. All of your files should continue to work if your version of Office is updated.

However, some things may be lost during the upgrade.

What will be lost?

Depending on how we update your PC, the following settings are at risk:

  • Your email signature will disappear, so you'll need to recreate this once the upgrade is complete
  • Your bookmarks in your web browser will be at-risk, so you'll need to take steps to back these up. You can export them (instructions for Internet Explorer can be found here), or if you use Chrome you can sign in with your Sussex and your Sussex password to sync your bookmarks with the cloud. If you log in again once you've been upgraded, Chrome will restore your settings.
  • The items pinned to your taskbar and start menu will either disappear or may stop working. For example, if you have an old version of Word pinned to your taskbar the shortcut will stop working when the new version of Office is installed. You'll need to find Word in the start menu, right-click on the icon and select 'Pin to Taskbar' when your PC has been upgraded to Windows 10.

What will be safe?

  • Files that you keep in network drives (G, N and T Drives) will be safe and available straight away on your new Windows 10 installation, but if you have stored any files in unusual places such as a folder on your C drive, these will be lost. You should move any of these files to your Documents folder (part of the N Drive) before the upgrade. Your desktop folder is also part of your N drive, so files on your desktop will be safe.
  • Files in Box or OneDrive will also be safe during the installation. If you use Box Drive then you'll need to install it again once you've been upgraded.

When will I be upgraded?

ITS will upgrade staff in groups in a logical order, usually by team, department or building. Large-scale deployment will begin after Easter, and staff will visit your building and advise you well in advance of your upgrade.

Staff in ITS will often know about key dates for your team when an upgrade wouldn't be convenient and we'll do our best to work around these dates. If you'd like to advise us of important dates for your team, or if you have other concerns about the timing of your upgrade, please contact ITS by emailing

As soon as possible, we will publish more information on this page about the upgrade dates for teams/buildings. These dates will be subject to change depending on how smoothly the deployment goes. We will not rush one team in order to reach another. Our priority will be ensuring that each team is left able to work effectively.

We expect it'll take several months to complete the deployment of Windows 10 to all teams.

What support will be provided by ITS?

ITS staff will be visiting your office before the upgrade and will be happy to answer any questions you have.

On the day of your upgrade they will arrive in your office around 4pm and trigger the upgrades, then floor-walkers will visit you the following morning to make sure you're able to work.

I've lost my email signature or the shortcuts in my taskbar, what should I do?

You will lose your email signature(s) as part of the upgrade, and you'll need to recreate them. To set up a signature in Outlook, please follow this guide. To create a signature that matches University guidelines, please use this page.

The taskbar is the black area at the bottom of the screen. The Start button is in the bottom left hand corner, and you can see your background apps and other information in the bottom right. In the space in between you can find the applications that have been “pinned” to your taskbar. If you regularly use certain applications (for example, Microsoft Word), you can pin them to your taskbar for quick access. If you want to remove an application from the taskbar, you can unpin it.

You might find that applications pinned to your taskbar will disappear, or may no longer work, after the upgrade. To add an app to the taskbar in Windows 10, please follow these steps.

Outlook isn't notifying me when I get new emails, what should I do?

There's a simple fix for this problem, please see this guide to restore Outlook notifications.

How do I log out?

log out iconThis is the single most common question asked by new Windows 10 users.

To log out of a Windows 10 computer on a Sussex PC, please follow these steps:

  1. Left click on the Start button in the bottom left of the screen
  2. Left click on the small grey user icon, located at the top of the left hand column in the Start menu
  3. Click on the Sign Out option

Microsoft Edge

The difference between Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer iconsMicrosoft Edge is a new browser, included with Windows 10. It is not Internet Explorer; it's an entirely new browser.

You will find the Microsoft Edge browser in the taskbar, in the Start Menu and in several other locations around the operating system. You can remove it from the taskbar and start menu, and you can set another browser to be your default on a particular computer.

If you use Edge you may encounter some problems. IT Services recommends that you DO NOT use Microsoft Edge for the following tasks:

  • Printing any documents from a web page
  • Browsing Canvas
  • Following links or printing from webmail

If you're doing these things, we suggest you use Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer instead. You can find these browsers in the Start menu and you can right-click on them to pin them to your taskbar.

To change your default browser from Edge to something else, please follow these steps:

  1. Click on the start menu and type the word “default” (don’t press enter). This will search through the available apps and present you with a list. Click on 'Default app settings'.
  2. Scroll down to Web browser and click Microsoft Edge to bring up a list of alternative web browsers. The list will consist of all browsers installed on the computer (typically this is Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer). Click on your preferred default web browser.
  3. A box will pop up urging you to continue using Edge. Click Switch Anyway. This will change your default browser.

Please note that if you make these changes on a computer in your office, a cluster room or teaching space, they will only apply to that computer. If you customize your taskbar or system preferences, these settings will not follow you between computers.

What settings follow me between computers?

Very few settings will follow you between computers under Windows 10. This is something configured by Microsoft and it cannot be changed by institutions like Sussex.

A limited number of application settings will follow you when you log in to a different Windows 10 PC, and your desktop shortcuts will follow you to a different computer. To ensure your web bookmarks will be available on a different PC, we recommend you log in to Chrome with your Sussex username on each PC you use, to synchronise your bookmarks.

Settings that will not follow you from one Windows 10 computer to another include:

  1. Items that you have pinned or removed from the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, or items that you have pinned or removed from the Start Menu
  2. Changes to your default applications (for example, your web browser)
  3. Display settings
  4. Most other Windows system preferences

How can I set a default printer?

Please read this page for instructions to set a default printer on a Sussex Windows 10 PC.

How do I add system icons like Computer and Recycle Bin to my desktop?

If you want to add these icons to your desktop, please follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the desktop and select Personalize
  2. Click Themes
  3. Scroll down until you see Desktop icon settings. Click on this
  4. Tick or untick the icons you want and click Apply. If they're already ticked, just click Apply to force these icons to appear
  5. Click OK

Where can I find my files?
(“N drive” is now called “Home Share”)

Your files are stored in the standard folders like Documents, Pictures, Music and Videos.

Previously, these were all stored in the “N Drive”, and you might see references to the N Drive on various guides and documentation. Your files are still in the same places, but in File Explorer (which is pinned to the taskbar at the bottom of your screen and located in your Start menu) the “N Drive” is now called “Home Share”.

The Downloads folder is a local folder

Everything saved to your Home Share (including the Documents folder) will follow you from PC to PC, so if you’re working on a document saved in your Documents folder on one Sussex PC, you’ll be able to find the same file when you log in to another Sussex PC.

However, your Downloads folder is different. This is a local folder, which means it isn’t synchronised with your profile on the network. If you save something to the Downloads folder on one Sussex PC, you won’t find it on another Sussex PC. This folder is also cleaned up regularly, meaning the contents of your Downloads folder will be erased.

If you download something important from the web, be sure to save it to your Home Share, and don't leave it in your Downloads folder.

Slow logins or applications

Your files and applications are handled differently in Windows 10 to the old Windows 7 system.

When you log in, your files will be available straight away. However, the first time you log in to a Sussex PC that you haven't used before, you’ll find that it can take a few minutes for Windows to load, and for all your applications to become available.

“Software Center” is now also called “Install Applications”

If you have previously used the Software Center to install new applications, you will still be able to do this. If you click on the Start Button and begin typing the first few characters for "software", it will appear in the search results. However, the Software Center can also be accessed through a shortcut called “Install Applications”, which is located in the Start Menu. This link is identical to the old Software Center in all other respects.

More information about Windows 10

If you would like to know more about Windows 10, please see the Microsoft Quick Start guide.

Please note that the version of Windows 10 that is installed at Sussex may differ from that in the Microsoft guide.

Updated on 27 April 2021