18 Tips and Tricks Inside Windows 10 You Should Know
Windows 10 is the last operating system from Microsoft. The new operating system is being offered as a free upgrade to Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 users, for the first year, and will be supported for ten years by Microsoft. The new operating system has a lot to offer including some great new features. Let us check out some Windows 10 tips and tricks that will help you get the best out of it.
Upgrade to Windows 10 but be careful
Windows 10 Tips and Tricks Back up your data before you upgrade and check to make sure that you can reload your software in case the system crashes all together.
Many people have had issues with their computers after doing the windows 10 upgrade. While Windows 10 is a pretty good operating system, the upgrade process can go wrong especially if you already have software problems.
This article “Tips and Tricks for Windows 10 shows you great features.
Those already running Windows 10 probably know by heart all the best features of the operating system. There are many reasons to get Windows 10 if you haven’t, especially because it is a free upgrade at the moment, it comes with an enhanced security, super-fast start-up and it also includes some revamped, great features that made Windows 7 one of the easiest Windows operating systems to use.
Windows 10 at the moment can only be installed in the form of an upgrade. This can be done either by doing all Windows Updates until your computer is ready to download and install Windows 10 or by downloading Microsoft’s upgrade tool.
An upgrade is not a clean install. Because Windows 10 does not require a license key, it needs to be loaded on top of an existing, already activated Windows 7 or Windows 8 installation. Once the upgrade is done, the computer’s hardware is registered with Microsoft’s servers which in turn will allow you to do a fresh install of Windows 10 that will not require a license key.
Once you have downloaded the Windows 10 ISO, mount it and run it. The installation set up is very easy and if the upgrade goes well then follow this next tips to get the most out of your new Windows 10 installation
Privacy settings configuration
This is the most important tip. If you haven’t launched Windows 10 yet, go with a Custom install that allows privacy settings modification rather than use an Express install. However, for those who installed the operating system through an Express install earlier simple go to Settings and fix the issue. In the process you would have avoided agreeing to every kind of sharing of your private data and letting your personal information be accessed without notice.
Disable WI-FI Sense
Wi-FI Sense is a new, controversial feature in Windows 10 that allows your computer to share your WI-FI with all your Skype or Microsoft contacts.
Assuming that one of your contacts is close to your computer, their pc or laptop could acquire your WI-FI password and connect to it.
For some this may be useful but it may be a good idea to turn it off by going to Settings – Wi-Fi – Manage WI-FI Settings and disable Connect to networks shared by my contacts.
Windows 10 data monitoring
Those who have limited data connection will find the inbuilt tools in Windows 10, particularly those using laptops and tablets, very important. Check the amount of data you are consuming by going to Settings-Network & Internet-Data usage for an eye opening overview.
You will easily see the amount of data and kind of connection used such as mobile data, Wi-Fi or Ethernet, in the last one month.
Check the amount of data your applications or software are consuming over a normal connection, right click on the Start menu for the Task Manager and go to the App history tab. However, the Task Manager list only shows native apps in Windows 10 and none of the desktop applications.
This is extremely useful if you work a lot on the road and depend on a mobile Internet dongle or on your phones’ broadband connection.
You can also create a metered connection in case you would like some bit of data usage control since your data plan is limited. This makes some apps to work in a certain manner in the process reducing data usage. In case you want to control Windows from automatically downloading heavy updates, simply tweak Wi-Fi into metered by going to the Settings-Network & Internet-Wi-Fi and clicking ‘Advanced options’ in the Wi-Fi networks’ list and selecting the ‘Set as metered connection’ option.
Limiting data connection might stop large Windows updates from consuming all your data until you are connected to a Wi-Fi or non-metered connection, but in the background your apps will probably continue syncing and running normally. Manage this by turning off the background activity of the apps by clicking the Settings-Privacy-Background apps and view the apps utilizing background data for updates and push notifications, among other things. Windows 10 native apps can also have their background data turned by swiping the toggle alongside the app into “Off” (Settings-Accounts-Sync Settings).
Email accounts configuration
Many times it happens that after you have to reload the operating system you can not find your old Microsoft Office discs. This for some people means that you can not install Microsoft Office Outlook which in turn means that you may have to spend close to £300 to buy the Home and Business version.
If you are in a situation like this then I would recommend that you give a try to the integrated MAIL app in Windows 10. It is quite nice, easy to use and above all free. The downside to it is that it is not compatible with data from Outlook and that in order to access your contacts you need to set up Microsoft’s People app.
Still considering that by doing this could save you a few hundred pounds it may be worth it.
New, feature rich browser
Internet Explorer is almost gone and its replacement is called Microsoft Edge. This new browser is a serious competitor to Google’s widely used Google Chrome browser.
It is certainly worth to give it a try as it is quite fast, it is compatible with Internet’s latest web requirements, it looks great and it includes great features like site annotation and reading view.
Start Menu is back
Yep…the start menu is back and is great. All the installed programs are neatly arranged on the left side but you access your most common software from the top left side corner and now the old tile system from Windows 8 is part of the start menu and it can be customized as you wish.
One of the most annoying things in Windows happens when you need to turn off your computer and it will not shut down until the remaining updates finish to install.
Now you can schedule a restart in Windows 10 in order to avoid this kind of problems. Just go to Settings – Update and Recovery – Notify to schedule restart.
Local account log in Windows 10
As Windows 10 turns global in all respects, you are required to have a Microsoft account to maximize on the connected features of the new OS like setting up syncing.
With a Microsoft account, it means you need a password whether your desktop is bolted in your bedroom or you are the only person accessible to the PC. To avoid being frustrated by all this, Windows 10 has another local account option you can use, which is very easy to create.
Nonetheless, to sync Microsoft branded applications like OneNote or Office 365 and to purchase apps or download software from Windows Store, you still require a Microsoft account.
Set up a local account by going to the Settings-Account-Your Account and select Sign in using a local account instead. Once you’re done, Sign out and finish and log back in using the local account you have created.
Disabling the lock screen in Windows 10 without touching the log-in Windows 10 has been designed for those using touchscreen devices and those using non-touch screens such as a desktop.
However, the lock screen that first appeared in Windows 8 is definitely made for those using touch screens only. Those using computers lacking a touchscreen will find the lock screen more of a bother than help and has to be removed to access the log-in screen. Since removing the lock screen is not a straightforward affair, you need to do it within the Registry (be clear because incorrect Registry editing can damage the computer).
Touchpad issues in Windows 10
If you are using or have been using the new Windows 10 OS on your desktop computer, chances are everything has been seamless so far. However, if you install the same operating system in a touchscreen device you might be shocked to realize the touchpad is not working as it should. To deal with this, ensure the touchpad has been enabled by going to the Start-Settings-Devices-Mouse & touchpad. Below the page you’ll see “Additional mouse options” and once you have opened the window with more mouse properties go to Devices and have the touchpad enabled.
Your laptop might also have a unique functional key capable of enabling or disabling the touchpad and mostly looks like a small touchpad containing a diagonal line running across it. Toggling with the F key on your laptop can easily deal with any touchpad misery really fast.
Command prompt enhancements
While most of the command prompt features are almost similar to Windows 8 and Windows 7, you can tweak your Command Prompt by enabling lots of customization such as word wrap, window resizing and transparent backgrounds. Go to Properties to launch the Command Prompt. For any tasks that require administrative privileges remember to open command prompt as an administrator.
If you are still unable to scroll on a window after hovering the mouse cursor, perhaps due to the window being inactive, there is a solution for that. Turn on the feature by going to the Settings-Devices-Mouse-Touchpad and easily adjust it.
Shortcuts on your keyboard
Heavy computer users know how critical keyboard shortcuts are in making work flow easier. Windows 10 has a number of handy shortcuts, such as:
- Task view – Windows Key+Tab
- Moving apps to the right quadrant’s top – Windows Key+Right>Up
- Snapping or maximizing apps to the bottom or top of the screen – Windows Key+Up>Down
- Closing the virtual desktop – Windows Key+Control+F4
- Check sports, news, weather daily – Windows Key+S
- Virtual desktop – Windows Key+Control+D
- Cortana listening – Windows Key+Control+C
- New virtual desktop – Windows Key+Control+D
Save battery life
Beyond the normal power options you can use to keep your PC or laptop awake or asleep, there are other cool features to help you save battery life better. These new settings are especially useful for laptop users.
Start by going to Power & Sleep-Settings-Systems-Power-Sleep. Select the amount of time you want the machine to remain idle before reverting to Sleep Mode or shutting off the screen automatically.
Battery Saver is a Windows 10 new feature; a unique power mode for battery saving that easily limits the background activities of apps as well as push notifications. It is a mode commonly found in most Tablets and Smartphones. Once your laptop’s battery life has dropped below 20 percent, Battery Saver comes on automatically; you can also set it manually through Settings-Systems-Battery Saver.
Visit the Battery Saver Settings within the Battery Saver menu to adjust the percentage range you would like the Battery Saver to start saving the power, which is between 5 percent and 100 percent. Through the same menu, select dimmer screen brightness or add app exceptions or enable push notifications in Battery Saver.
You can also see how different apps are using the laptop’s battery power within the Battery Saver’s main menu and select Battery Use. Continue to disable those apps you feel are unnecessarily consuming power.
Cleverly access most used programs
This is one of the greatest features. Right click on the start button in Windows 10 and access a handy menu containing a good number of system programs mostly in use. This includes task manager, device manager, and control panel, among others.
Stream games locally on your computer from Xbox One first by enabling it through Settings-Preferences-Allow game streaming followed by doing the same on the computer within the Xbox app.
The importance of cloud storage cannot be understated particularly if provided free. Microsoft’s free cloud storage in Windows 10 is very easy to use through OneDrive. It comes in handy for storing files from Android to iOS mobile devices. Take OneDrive a step further by setting it up to allow file fetching of any document on your PC beyond the ones you have added to the OneDrive folder.
With Windows 10 you can now print any document or save it in the form of PDF devoid of the need to use a third-party program. The features make distributing and saving docs that have not been modified, very easy.
Downgrade to the previously installed operating system
Have you upgraded to Windows 10 and you really do not like it? Well if you are in the first 30 days since the upgrade you ca revert back to the operating system, Windows 7 or Windows 8 that you were using before the upgrade.
To do that, backup your data just to be on the safe side and then go to Settings – Update and Recovery – Go back to Windows 7 or 8.