Microsoft’s Windows 10 was released back in July 2015. Since then a lot of changes have been made to Windows 10. Windows 10 includes some new features as well as advancement to old features. Here are some tips and tricks for Windows 10 users.
1. Talk to Cortana
You will find Cortana in Windows 10 as Microsoft’s digital assistant. As Windows 10 is available for PCs as well as Tablets and Phones, you can use Cortana on all of these devices. You just have to turn Cortana on and change its settings according to you, then you can use your voice or the search box on the Taskbar to run search web, set reminders, check the weather conditions and more. It’s currently available in the US only but it is coming to other parts of the world soon. But you don’t have to wait for Cortana to come to your country to test it. Change your system region and language to US in the Time and Language section in Settings and you will be able to use this feature.
2. Sign-in Options
Windows 10 has a new feature called Windows Hello. Using this feature, you can log in using facial recognition, fingerprint or even using IRIS scan, but your computer should have the necessary hardware attached to it. To change your login method, go to the Settings, then click the Accounts link and select Sign-in options from the menu on the left-pane. The available options will vary depending on the hardware attached to your computer, but in new laptops and desktops which are made specifically for Windows 10, you can find some of the new options.
3. Save Battery Power
For laptop users, Windows 10 has an official Battery saver application. You can find this option in System section of Settings. You can also see an estimate of how long your battery should last. Turn the Battery saver mode on or off manually, or you can set it to turn on automatically when your battery gets down to a certain level — click the Battery saver settings link to change this level from the default to your desired level, and you can specify certain apps that are exempt from the various power-saving features.
4. Multiple Desktops
Windows 10 supports “virtual” desktops. It means you can set up multiple desktops rather than sticking with one (the Taskbar and desktop shortcuts appear same on all desktops). You can have one desktop for your Work and one for entertainment and many more. Click on the Task View button on Taskbar or press Windows Key+Tab on the keyboard to view, create and remove virtual desktops. You can also click on the individual application thumbnail to switch between them. You can use Ctrl+Windows Key + Left or Right Navigation Key to switch between desktops quickly.
5. Snap Opened Windows to Corners
Microsoft has upgraded the window snapping function introduced with Windows 8. In Windows 8, you can drag any open window to the sides of the screen to snap it to either side of the display, but in Windows 10 can also snap them into the corners. Drag an open window into the corner of the display; you can also hold down the Windows Key and press the Navigation keys to do it if you prefer. You can use this feature if you want your apps to be arranged properly.
6. Offline Maps
You must have saved maps for offline use on smartphones, but tablets and laptops can benefit from it as well. In Windows 10 you can save maps to your device to use in case you don’t have a Wi-Fi or data connection while you’re travelling or not in coverage area. Go to the Settings >> System >> Offline maps and choose which maps to download. The download size may vary depending on the area whose may you want to download. After successful download, you can use Maps app even when you are offline.
See Also: How to use offline Maps in Windows 10?
7. Analyse the Hard Drive
Windows 10 brings a new interface for viewing the contents of your hard drive. Which makes it much easier for you to see how is your HDD Space is being used. Go to Settings >> System >> Storage option and choose the drive you want to take a closer look at — the next screen breaks up used storage space into pictures, documents, videos, email, music and so on, provided all of this content is saved into the appropriate folders. Click on any entry in the list for more details.
See also: How to use Storage Sense in Windows 10?
8. Change Default Application Associations
Application association decides what application will open a particular type of file, i.e. Microsoft Office Word opens .doc files. The Windows 10 upgrade process can change some of these associations. To change them back, go to Settings >> System >> Default apps and make any necessary changes, as well as you can reset file associations back to their “Microsoft recommended”.
9. Alternate Start Menu
Windows 10 provides quick access to useful utilities in form of an alternative Start Menu. To see alternative Start menu, Right-click on Start button. It is not good looking but provides quick links to most important areas of the system, including the Device Manager utility, the command prompt window and the Control Panel. You can access the Task Manager, system search and the Run box from here. This alternative menu was available in Windows 8 as well. Keyboard shortcut for launching alternate Start Menu is, Windows Key+X.
10. Turn Wi-Fi Sharing On/Off
Windows 10 has a more controversial feature, i.e. Wi-Fi Sense, which lets you automatically share Wi-Fi passwords with your contacts on Facebook and Skype. This feature provides them quick access to the internet, when they come to your home or office by using your Wi-Fi. But it is not safe to share your Wi-Fi passwords over Facebook or Skype. You can turn if off in Settings >> Network & Internet >> Manage Wi-Fi settings. At the bottom of the screen you can turn sharing on or off for all of the networks your computer usually connects to.
11. Video Record Your Screen
Windows 10 comes with an on-screen video recording function. This was first designed to capture your game-play for sharing with friends, but you can use it to prepare a presentation or prepare a tutorial for Windows troubleshooting or How-To videos. First open any application that you want to record, then press Windows Key+G and tick the check box to start the Game DVR utility and keep running. The clips you have recorded will be available inside the Xbox application. You can use the Windows Key+Alt+Print Screen keyboard shortcut to save a screenshot to the same location.
12. Prevent Windows 10 Automatic Restarts
Windows 10 users are not allowed to choose Windows Update settings, i.e. you can not prevent Windows from installing latest updates and Windows 10 will restart your PC without notifications. This may cause data loss to you. Though you can’t change Windows Update settings, yet you can prevent your PC from restarting automatically. Go to Settings click Update & security and then select Windows Update from the left-pane. Now, click on Advanced options and you can choose to be notified before scheduling shutdowns.
13. Turn Quick Access ON or OFF
Windows 10 File Explorer has a new feature called Quick access. Where you can find recently opened files and frequently used folders. You can also “pin” folders to Quick access by right-clicking and choosing Pin to Quick access. You may not like this new feature, right-click on the Quick access heading on the left-pane and choose Options. Here you will see an option which will allow you to open “This PC” rather than the Quick access page, and you can also hide recent files and folders.
14. Get Windows 10 Working with Your Smartphone
Microsoft’s Windows Phone has not been a big success, that is why Microsoft is making its software compatible with iOS and Android platforms. Launch the Phone Companion app from the Start menu and you get your emails, photos and other files on your Android or iOS phone through applications such as OneDrive and Outlook. Choose the type of your device from the opening screen and follow the instructions to get started.
15. Customize the Start Menu
Start menu has made a comeback with Windows 1. But as you can see it is like a copy of Windows 8 Start screen. But you can customize the new Start menu according you. You can also turn live title off, remove that particular tile from Start menu and you can add other tiles to Start menu also. Apart from tiles you can re-size the width of Start menu. Just right-click on a tile to turn live title off, change it’s size or remove it from the Start menu. Right-click on an application in the All apps list and chose Pint to Start, to pin it to the Start menu.
16. Turn ON/OFF Tablet Mode
Windows 10 has two different modes for tablets and PCs. This feature is added after problems faced in Windows 8. The good thing in Windows 10 having two modes is that it can switch between them automatically if you attach a keyboard a tablet. You can also switch between these two modes manually. Click on Action Center notification icon in the right-bottom corner of the screen and choose Tablet mode to switch between tablet and PC modes. Look of Taskbar changed to make it easier to use on a touchscreen and the Start menu is turned to full-screen mode as in Windows 8.
17. Xbox One: Live Stream Games
Windows 10 and Xbox One consoles are made even more friendlier than ever. Most important feature that has been added to Windows 10 is that you can stream games from Xbox One to a Windows 10 desktop or laptop. You have to enable game streaming in Xbox One settings, open Xbox app in Windows 10 and select Connect from the left-pane. Now, select your console from the list to start streaming. Both the devices should be on the same local Wi-Fi network, otherwise it won’t work.
18. Make Notes on web pages
You can find Internet Explorer is available in Windows 10, but for a better Web browsing experience, Microsoft has introduced a new web browser i.e. Microsoft’s Edge. Most beautiful feature of this new browser is that you can make notes right on the webpages, and you can save these notes with webpage. Just click on annotate icon on the top right corner of the webpage. Now, you can mark, highlight, or make a note on the webpage. What’s more, you can also save these changes with the webpage to your PC.
19. Distraction Free Reading on the Web
Another useful feature that comes with Microsoft’s Edge browser is Reading View mode. You will see a book like icon on the right side of the address bar. Clicking on that icon will activate Reading mode, and the layout of the page will change to add-free and easy to view, and other unnecessary distractions will also be remove so that you can focus on the main text of the page. You can turn off Reading Mode by clicking the book icon again.
20. Get Control on Your Notifications
The notification system in Windows 10 is really a good looking one. You get all types of the notifications related to Windows events, pop-up alerts from your installed software and updates from individual Windows apps, Email notification and notification for new attached hardware etc. You can customize what shows up here. To change the settings, go to Settings >> System >> Notifications & actions. Here you can block or allow alerts from applications as well as you apply a blanket ban. If these notifications disturb you a lot, then you should change settings as explained above.
See also: How to use Focus Assist in Windows 10?
21. Share Windows 10 Experience Across Computers
Like Windows 8, you can synchronize various parts of your Windows experience in Windows 10 also. Such as you can sync your desktop wallpaper and online passwords. You just have to sign in using same Microsoft account on both the PCs. Go to Settings >> Accounts >> Sync your settings and follow on screen options to turn syncing on and off. This feature will be very useful for you if you have multiple PCs over various locations – you can keep all of them synchronized to each other.
You can discover more about Windows 10 yourself by exploring Windows 10 Insider Preview Program. Hope you liked it. Don’t forget to share your Windows 10 experience in comments. Enjoy, have fun.