Training, Certification, and Program Support Community Frequently Asked Questions

Joining the Community

Joining the Community

How do I join the community?

You can explore the community and search for solutions without joining. But if you want to post or receive email notifications, you'll need to sign up.

  1. Click Sign in at the top of any Training, Certification, and Program Support Community page.
  2. If you already have an account, a Hotmail account, a Messenger account, or an Xbox Live account, you already have a Microsoft account. Just sign in with your account name and password.
  3. If you do not already have a Microsoft account, click Sign up now and follow the instructions.
  4. In the Create Profile window, type a community display name and email address.
  5. If you agree, click I accept the Answers Code of Conduct, and then click Sign Up. You are now a member of the community!

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Searching the Community

How do I find information in the community?

Search first. There's a good chance that someone has already written about the topic you have in mind.

  1. In the search box, type your question, keyword, or topic.

  2. Click the search button Description: Search button, and then look through the results for your solution.

back to topCan I refine my search?

Absolutely. There are a number of ways to narrow your search:

  • At the top of the screen, click Forums, and then select a product or technology to search in that forum.
  • Use the drop-down menu on the Search button to refine your search by product or forum.

    Description: Search drop-down

  • Go to any forum list page, and select a version and or topic in the dropdowns, and then click Apply. You can also select a content type. You'll be searching with those filters. If you don't find what you need, you can remove the filters in the search results window to widen your search.

    Description: Forum drop-down

back to topSomeone posted my question, but it hasn't been answered yet.

If you find the same question you wanted to ask in the forum, but it hasn't been answered yet, click the Me Too button. That way you'll be notified via email when your question has been answered.

Note: You can click Me Too even if the question is answered, to get updates on that thread. You have to be signed in to click Me Too.

back to topThere are a lot of posts replying to my question. How do I know which is the best?

Posts that contain the correct answer to the question will be marked Answer by the original poster or a moderator.

You can also look for posts with a high number of Helpful votes, even if they haven't been marked as answers yet. These may appear with the designation "Most Helpful Reply."

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Asking a Question or Starting a Discussion

How do I create a question or discussion post?

If you've searched the community and you can't find a question or topic that is the same or similar to yours, it's time to post your own.

  1. Click the Participate menu and then click Ask a Question or Start a Discussion.
  2. Type in any details about your question or discussion topic that you think would be useful. Include details like what you are trying to do, what you have already tried, and your computer type if you are asking a question.

    Description: Question drop-downs

  3. From the Forums dropdown list, select the product or service you're asking about. This may generate other dropdowns. Use these to make your post as specific as you can.
  4. Select the Post a question or Post a discussion radio button as appropriate.
  5. Select "Notify me when someone replies to this post", in order to get an email notification when others respond to your question or discussion.
  6. Click Submit. Your question or discussion has been posted.

Note: You have to be signed in to post.

back to topWhat is the difference between a question post and a discussion post?

Question posts are used to get an answer or solution to a specific question or issue.

Discussion posts are used to share opinions, discuss tips and tricks, and chat about Microsoft technologies.

Both types of posts have the same formatting and similar options. The most noticeable exception is that no answer-marking is needed or available on discussion posts.

back to topHow can I edit a question or discussion I've posted?
  1. Go to your post.
  2. Click the Edit option and make your changes.
  3. Click Submit when you are done.
back to topCan I delete a question or discussion I've posted?

Yes, if no one has replied to it.

  1. Go to your post and click the Edit button. The "Edit" screen opens.
  2. Click the Delete button.

If other users have replied to your post, you can't delete the post unless the other users delete all of their replies first.

back to topNo one replied to my question or discussion. Should I post it again?

No. Posting the same question or discussion multiple times creates distraction. Just wait--someone will reply, and you'll be notified when it happens.

back to topCan I get notified when someone responds to a question or discussion?

Yes. Just click the Subscribe to updates option on any post. If you didn't provide an email address at sign-in, you'll have the opportunity to provide one when you click Subscribe to updates.

back to topHow do I stop getting notified when someone responds to a question or discussion?

If you clicked Me Too, Subscribe to updates, or checked the Notify me when someone responds to this post box, a Stop emails option will appear at the bottom of the post. Just click the Stop emails option.

back to topI had a question and somebody else posted the answer. How do I mark it as Answered?

If you posted the original question, you can mark the question as answered yourself. Just click the Mark as Answer button.

If you didn't post the original question, you can still mark the post as Helpful.

back to topI had a question and marked a response as "Answered," but then I found out it was wrong. What should I do?

You can go to the response and click Unmark as Answer.

back to topI had a question and I posted the right answer. Can I mark it as Answered?

No one can mark their own post as an answer. Only the person who posted the original question (if it someone else) or a moderator can mark as post as Answered.

back to topI found a great discussion, how do mark it?

You can follow the discussion and let others know it’s worthwhile by clicking Me Too on the Recommend button.

If you like a specific reply in a discussion, click Like.

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Contributing to the Community

How do I post a reply?
  1. Click the Reply option.
  2. Type in your reply.

    Description: Reply area

  3. Select "Notify me when someone replies to this post," in order to get an email notification when others respond to your reply.
  4. Click the Submit button.

Note: You need to be signed in to post a reply.

back to topWhat does "Reply with quote" mean?

When you select this check box, your reply will be posted with the content of that post at the top of your reply window.

Description: Reply with quote

back to topHow can I edit a response I've posted?

  1. Go to your response, click the Edit option and make your changes.
  2. Click Submit when you are done.

back to topHow can I delete a response I've posted?
  1. Go to your response and click the Edit option. The "Edit" window opens.
  2. Click the Delete button. The "Are you sure you want to delete your post?" window opens.
  3. Click OK.
back to topAre there guidelines about what I can say in the community?

Yes. Please read our Code of Conduct for using the community.

back to topHow do I report abuse?

If someone has posted content that is abusive, offensive, threatening, or otherwise violates the Community Code of Conduct, you can report it.

  1. Click any Report abuse link.
  2. A pop-up menu opens. Select the type of abuse you're reporting.
  3. Briefly describe the abuse you saw.
  4. If you are not signed in, you will be required to complete a CAPTCHA to verify that you are a real user and not an automated bot used for spam.

    Description: Submit button

  5. Click Submit.

A Microsoft representative will review your report and decide how to proceed.

back to topI answer a lot of threads. Are there any tools to help me find the topics I’m interested in?

Yes. Advanced user options can help you find and review threads more efficiently.

  • Use the advanced search filters to find threads that were posted within a defined timeframe. Advanced search filters appear in addition to other forum filters.

    Description: Advanced filters

  • Advanced search filters must be activated through your user profile.
    1. Open your profile by clicking your screen name anywhere it appears in the community.
    2. Click Edit profile.
    3. Under Advanced user options, select Show advanced thread list filters.
    4. Click Save.
  • Use thread preview to read posts without leaving the thread list. To open thread preview, click the arrow to the side of the thread name. The full question, up to two answers, and up to five recent replies appear, along with the option to reply or open the full version of the thread. Click the arrow again to close the preview.

    Description: Thread preview

    Thread preview must be activated through your user profile.
    1. Open your profile by clicking your screen name anywhere it appears in the community.
    2. Click Edit profile.
    3. Under Thread Preview, select Show thread preview in the thread list and select the number of replies to display.
    4. Click Save.
back to topI was notified that I have a private message, what does that mean?

Only a Microsoft moderator can start a private message. If you receive a private message, it means that the moderator needs to address your question or issue in private or requires information that may be more personal (such as an email address or account details). Only you and Microsoft moderators can see the contents of the private message—other community members cannot see it.

  1. Open the private message.
    • From an email notification, click the link provided.
    • From a thread, click You have a private reply to this message. Click here to read it on our secure private messages section.
    • From anywhere else on the community, click Messages in the top navigation. Your Private Messages inbox appears. Click the appropriate subject line.
  2. If the moderator has asked for a response to the private message, click Reply above the private message box.
  3. Type your response and click Submit.

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Your Profile

How do I find my profile?

Click your screen name anywhere it appears in the community (for example, in one of your posts or questions, or at the top of any page) to go to your profile.

back to topWhat's on my profile?Profile tab

The personal profile information that you choose to share will appear to all users on the Profile tab.

  • Your username
  • Your picture (if you decide to upload one)
  • Your title, if you have one (for example, Community Moderator or Guardian)
  • Your introduction (if you decide to write one for your profile)
  • Bonus links (if you are eligible)
  • Your accomplishments and badges
  • Any weekly awards you may have won
Activity tab

All of the threads including forum articles that you participated in, voted for, or are subscribed to appear on your Activity tab.

  • Click Applied Filters to filter by types of content or by products and services.
  • Use the sort options to put your content in a desired order.
    • Questions
      • Helpful Votes: Sort posts by the most "helpful" votes
      • Me Too Votes: Sort posts by the most "me too" votes
      • Replies: Sort posts by the highest number of replies to a thread
      • Latest: Sort posts by most recently posted
      • Views: Sort posts by the number of times a thread has been viewed
    • Discussions
      • Recommended: Sort posts by the most "recommended" votes
      • Replies: Sort posts by the highest number of replies to a thread
      • Latest: Sort posts by the most recently posted
      • Views: Sort posts by the number of times a thread has been viewed
Statistics tab

The totals displayed on your Statistics tab represent the actual number of actions you performed since you joined the community.

  • Thread statistics. This is summary of thread activity in Question and Answer threads and Discussion threads combined.

Note: Totals do not reflect any posts that were deleted by you or by a moderator.

Edit profile tab

From the Edit profile tab, you can:

  • Change your profile picture
  • Change your display name
  • Write or edit your bio
  • Add a signature that will be displayed with your posts
  • Update your email address
  • Choose to get email notifications or not
  • Select advanced user options
back to topHow do I edit my profile?

Click the Edit profile button on your profile page. Change your publicly-facing profile information, subscribe to email notifications, and select advanced user options as desired. When you've finished editing your profile, click Save.

back to topHow do I delete my profile?

You can delete your profile from this community, but keep in mind that it will also be deleted on all communities that use this profile. The communities that use this profile are Microsoft Community and Microsoft Training, Certification, and Program Support Community.

When you delete your profile, all of your posts, awards, votes, and subscriptions will be permanently disassociated from your profile. The profile name will become “A.User” and the profile details and signature line will be removed.

Note: Once a profile has been deleted, it cannot be restored.

  1. Click the Edit profile button on your profile page.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Delete My Profile.
  3. Confirm that you want to delete your profile and click OK.
back to topDoes my profile picture have to be a picture of me?

No. You can use a picture that you own (for example, a picture of your cat or dog) or a picture in the public domain, like license-free clip-art or photographs.

Please read our Code of Conduct to make sure your profile picture is appropriate.

back to topHow do I get badges and weekly awards on my profile page?

They will appear automatically as they are earned. To learn about the badges you can earn, see Building your reputation, below.

back to topCan I see other people's profiles?

Yes. There are two way sto view another community member's profile.

  • Browse to a profile page. Whenever a profile name appears as part of thread activity, or award recognition, you can click on it to open the profile page.
  • Search for a profile page. Enter the exact profile name in the search box and select Search community member in the dropdown. Click the search icon. If an exact match is found, the profile page will appear.
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Building your Reputation

You can start earning badges with your very first answer and continue building your reputation every time you ask a question, post a reply, or vote for something helpful. All of your badges appear on your profile and help others understand your level of community involvement. Meet the community leaders who have earned their reputation as contributors within the community.


These badges are awarded to community members who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to helping build a community of high quality content in a safe, healthy environment.

This is an ongoing, dynamic process. Badges earned for accomplishments can be lost if your community activity no longer meets the badge criteria.

MCC: Content Creator badge Description: Content Creator badge

Each time one of your question and answer posts is marked as helpful or as an answer, you get a vote toward your Content Creator badge. When you have a high enough percentage of posts marked as "helpful" or "answers," you'll get your badge.

Benefits of being a Content Creator:

  • Your profile will be featured in the Top Contributors rotator
  • You'll be awarded space for 5 additional links in your profile
  • A Content Creator badge is added to your profile
back to top MCC: Content Curator badge Description: Content Curator Badge

When you vote a question and answer post or a forum article as helpful or you recommend a discussion post, you have started on the path to a Content Curator badge. If enough of the posts and articles (in any combination) that you have voted for end up as answers or as the most helpful or recommended post and articles in that category, you'll get your badge.

Benefits of being a Content Curator:

  • Unlimited votes per day (ordinary users get up to five votes per day)
  • Your profile will be featured in the Top Contributors rotator
  • You'll be awarded space for 5 additional links in your profile
  • A Content Curator badge is added to your profile
back to top The Guardian badge Description: Guardian Badge

Every time you report legitimate abuse in the community, you get a vote toward your Guardian badge. When you have reported enough actual cases of abuse and accurately pointed out the type of abuse, you'll get your badge. Reporting content that is not actual abuse will not get you votes and will slow your progress toward earning this badge.

Benefits of being a Guardian:

  • A Guardian badge will be added to your profile
  • Content the Guardian reports as abusive is automatically hidden until moderated.
back to top The Conversationalist badge Description: Conversationalists Badge

Conversationalists are community members who have consistently started and participated in discussion threads. Many of the discussion threads they’ve started are highly recommended by other members of the community.

back to topAwards

Every week we recognize the contributions of our community members with badges awarded for the best content in each category. These award badges are yours to keep and cannot be lost.

The First Answer badge Description: First Answer Badge

The first time one of your question and answer posts is marked as an answer, a First Answer badge will appear in your profile.

back to top The Quickest Answer badge Description: Quickest Answer Badge

This badge is awarded to the person who posts to a question and answer thread in the shortest amount time after a user asks a question and which is marked as an Answer either by the person who asked the question or by a moderator in the past week.

The Helpful Post of the Week badge Description: Most Helpful Badge

This badge is awarded to the person whose question and answer post gets the most "Helpful" votes in a given week (minimum 5 votes). Every week this badge will be awarded to a poster in each category.

back to top The Most Important Answer of the Week badge Description: Most Important Answer of the Week Badge

This badge is awarded to the person whose question and answer post gets the most "Me Too" votes in a given week, and is subsequently marked as an answer. Every week this badge will be awarded to a poster in each category.

back to top The Most Answers for the Week badge Description: Most Answers of the Week Badge

This badge is awarded to the person who creates the greatest number of question and answer posts marked as answers in a given week.

back to top The Most Recommended Discussion badge Description: Most Recommended Discussion Badge

This badge is awarded to the person whose discussion thread gets the most “Recommended” votes in a given week. Every week this badge will be awarded in each category.

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Who's Who in the Community

Community Moderators

These are volunteers who are here to help the community. Community Moderators answer questions, and work to keep the community healthy and fun. Community moderators are members of the community, not Microsoft employees. People who make extraordinary contributions to the community may be asked to be Community Moderators.

back to topSupport Engineers

Support Engineers are experts who are engaged by Microsoft to answer your questions.

back to topForum Moderators

Forum Moderators are experts engaged by Microsoft to mark the best answers, manage abuse, and maintain community health.

back to topForum Owners

These are Microsoft employees in charge of a particular category. Forum Owners are ultimately responsible for the health of the category.

back to top MVPs Description: MVP Badge

Most Valuable Professionals are independent experts who are offered a close connection with people at Microsoft. They can often answer your most challenging questions. Find out more about the MVP program.

back to top Microsoft Staff Description: Microsoft Employee Badge

Microsoft staff participating in the community have a badge that says Microsoft. These community members may work in the community, or they may be general employees who choose to participate

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Supported Browsers

What browsers are supported?

To take advantage of all Training and Certification Support Community features, use a supported browser.

In general, Training and Certification Support Community supports the current and previous major releases of each browser. This enables us to provide new features made possible by modern browser technologies.

back to topIs the community mobile-friendly?

Yes, the community uses responsive web design to scale the webpage to the right size for your device. To expand a menu in the tablet or mobile device experience, simply tap on it. Some advanced features might not be available in the tablet or mobile device experience due to space constraints.

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Community Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct applies to all users of the Training and Certification Support Community.

The Community includes forums, blogs and other community features.

Member Qualifications

The Microsoft Community is designed for individuals 13 years of age or older.

As a participant of these forums you agree that you will uphold this Code of Conduct, and are responsible for all activities and content you post/upload.

In addition to upholding this Code of Conduct, you are responsible for adhering to all applicable local and national laws.

This is your community. Help us to keep it safe, friendly, fun and helpful.

back to topPlease do:
  • Be polite and respectful in your posts, and in your replies to other people.
  • Keep conversation threads on track. It's okay to disagree with another user's post, but don't take the thread off track to do so.
  • Always address your comments to the person who asked the initial question, not the other posters.
  • Cite the source of anything you post or upload, if it isn't your own original content. Be honest about your sources.
  • Keep it clean. No profanity, obscenity, insulting or bigoted comments please. No name-calling.
  • Search to see if a question you'd like answered has already been posted by somebody else. Posting the same question repeatedly and starting multiple threads on the same subject can be confusing.
  • Report any kind of abuse you find in the community. You will find "Report abuse" links in every post and in every profile.
back to topPlease don't:
  • Divert or change a thread for your own purposes; just start a new thread with the subject you want to discuss.
  • Post questions that are the same or similar to questions you have already posted. When someone has an answer or a reply, that person will respond to you.
  • Threaten, stalk, insult, victimize or intimidate anyone or any group of people for any reason; including on the basis of age, gender, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race or religion.
  • Incite other users to threaten, stalk, insult, victimize, or intimidate another person or group of people.
  • Harass, insult, tease, or correct other users about the grammar used in their posts. Good or bad grammar isn't the point-the community is about getting questions answered and technical discussions.
  • Post content depicting nudity of any sort, including full or partial photographic human nudity, or nudity in cartoons, fantasy art or manga.
  • Post chain letters.
  • Link to websites that require payment to access information.
  • Post links to external sites that violate this Code of Conduct.
back to topThings that will get you immediately banned from this community:
  • Posting content that is intended to harm or exploit minors in any way, including collecting the personally identifiable information (PII) of any minor (anyone under18 years old), including, but not limited to: name, email address, home address, phone number, or the name of the minor's school.
  • Invading anyone's privacy by attempting to harvest, collect, store, or publish private or personally identifiable information, such as passwords, account information, credit card numbers, addresses, or other contact information without that person's knowledge and willing consent.
  • Posting content or links to content that is illegal or violates any applicable local or national laws.
  • Posting or spreading viruses, worms, malware, or other software intended to harm another user's computer.
  • Impersonating a Microsoft employee, agent, manager, host, administrator, moderator, another user, MVP, or any other person through any means.
  • Pirating Microsoft software or products, or offering pirated software or products for sale, including posting product keys.
  • Specifically violating Microsoft licensing or terms, such as posting content or links that will install a 3rd party kernel, or evade security measures built into the software.
  • Promoting or otherwise facilitating the purchase and sale of ammunition or firearms.
  • Posting 'spam,' 'pyramid schemes,' 'affiliate marketing,' or unsolicited commercial advertisements of any kind, including advertising for money making schemes, discount cards, credit counseling, online surveys or online contests.
  • Attempting to manipulate the forums, or other community features, including ranking and reputation systems, by violating any of the provisions of this Code of Conduct, colluding with others on voting, or using multiple profiles.
  • Offering to make international money transfers for amounts exceeding the asking price of an item, with intent to request a refund of any portion of the payment.
  • Using any form of automated device or computer program that enables the submission of postings without the express written consent of Microsoft Corporation.
back to topCommunity User Cautions
  • Be very cautious about accepting direct help from another user. If that user suggest he use Remote Assistance to help you, be aware that he will have access to your computer, and that your computer could be hacked.
  • If you volunteer to help another user through Remote Access, be very careful not to harm their computer in any way, or to access information that is not openly made available to you. Abuse of Remote Access will not be tolerated, and will result in your being banned from the community.
  • Please be careful with your personal information. If you post your email address in a post, it may be used for any purpose by the general public, as this is a public community.
  • Don't post information that could be used by others to steal your identity, like your street address, your phone number, your social security number, or your credit card number.
back to topTermination and Cancellation

Microsoft reserves the right, at its sole discretion, and without any obligation to do so, to review and remove user-created services and content at will and without notice, and delete content and accounts. Microsoft reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to permanently ban participants or terminate access to the community.

back to topRights and Responsibilities
  • We encourage you to not share information that others could use to harm you. We encourage parents to be aware of and help exercise control over content posted by and activities of their children to keep them safe online.
  • Microsoft is not responsible for the content of any user-created posting, listing or message. The decision to view content or engage with others is yours. We advise you to use your judgment.
  • You are responsible for protecting your computer against interference, spyware or viruses that may be encountered. We recommend you install a virus protection program on your computer and keep it up to date.
  • You may use the Report abuse link to report violations of this Code of Conduct.
  • Microsoft reserves the right to amend or change the Code of Conduct or any service at any time without notice. We encourage you to periodically review these guidelines to ensure you are in compliance.
  • Some information you provide or upload to the service may be stored outside of the country/region in which you reside.
  • All activity on the service is also governed by the Microsoft Terms of Use and the Microsoft Privacy Policy.
  • You acknowledge that you are a volunteer participant in the Microsoft Community and that you may discontinue your participation at any time. Nothing related to your participation will be construed as creating an employer-employee relationship, a partnership, joint venture, association, or agency relationship, or as a limitation upon Microsoft's right to terminate your access as foreseen above, or upon Microsoft's discretion, to terminate your access as provided herein. You assume all risk for your use.
  • You understand that posting content or submitting material is voluntary, and you are under no obligation whatsoever to provide any submissions or contributions. You are solely responsible for your dealings with any third party that relates to your use of the community, or any information or materials you obtain from a third party.
  • No Compensation. Microsoft shall not be obligated to provide, and you have no expectation of receiving, any compensation in any form for your voluntary participation in the community, or for your submissions or contributions.
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