Windows 10 is the latest and greatest operating system for PCs. If you have Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 installed, then upgrading is free for a limited time. Windows 10 has its quirks, but ultimately, is a h u g e improvement over 8.1 (hello again, Start Menu).
1. Click the active (front most) window and move it left and right with your mouse.
2. They make navigation so much easier, but they only work on precision touchpads (like the ones on Surface tablets).
First, check to see if your laptop has precision touch by going to Settings > Change PC Settings > PC and devices > Mouse and touchpad. You should see Your PC has a precision touchpad.
Then you can try 3 finger swipe up to see “task view,” which shows you all open windows.
3. Three finger swipe down: Show desktop.
4. Three finger flick left or right: Return to previous app (left) or go back to current app (right)
5. Three finger tap: Opens Cortana Search.
6. Windows Key + Left or Right: Snap window to left or right side of the screen.
Use this in correspondence with the up or down keys to snap the windows to quadrants.
7. Alt + Tab: Shows all open windows. Press tab repeatedly, then release to switch to the open window.
8. Windows key + Tab: Like Alt + Tab, except it stays open and doesn’t disappear when you release keys.
9. Windows key + Control + D: Creates new virtual desktop.
10. Windows key + Control + F4: Closes current virtual desktop
11. Windows key + Control + Left or Right: Switch between virtual desktops
12. Just say “Hey Cortana.”
HEY GIRL, HEY.
If it’s not working, open Settings > Cortana & Search and make sure Hey Cortana is enabled. One thing to note is that leaving this feature on will drain your battery, so turn it off when you aren’t plugged in.
13. Go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options and set the first option to “Never.”
Only remove the sign-in password if your device is always in a safe place (like home).
14. Go to Settings > System > Storage and click on This PC to see a storage breakdown.
15. Force Windows 10 to respect your privacy.
When the new operating system launched, users were up in arms over major privacy concerns. Default settings send information automatically to Microsoft and enables WiFi password sharing, among other things. Microsoft recently addressed the privacy issues in a blog post, but if the explainer still doesn’t make you feel good about sending your information to a big corporation, here’s how to crack down on your privacy.
First, go to Settings > Privacy. Under General, you might want to turn off all of the privacy options accept for SmartScreen Filter (which checks for URLS that might contain viruses).
16. Then limit diagnostic reports sent to Microsoft.
In Settings > Privacy, scroll down to Feedback & diagnostics. Then under Diagnostic and usage data, select Basic. This doesn’t fully turn off the feature, but with this option, your device will only send limited health and performance feedback to Microsoft.
17. Finally, disable peer-to-peer Windows updating.
This setting is the most confusing of the bunch. Windows 10 includes a new feature that prompts your computer to send update files to other computers on the web and vice versa, like a Napster-style peer-to-peer network. Microsoft claims that it can speed up app and update downloads.
To turn this off, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options (at the bottom) > Choose how updates are delivered and turn it OFF or select PCs on my local network to keep it restricted to local computers.
18. Open the Xbox app, then type Win + G.
When this dialog box pops up, just pretend it’s a game and select Yes, this is a game.
Click the Record button to start, then stop, the screen recording.
To view the clip, go to File Explorer > This PC > Videos > Captures.
The only downside to this built-in screen recorder is that it only captures activity in the active window in the currently open app. That means you can’t record the whole screen and you can’t switch apps.
For more complex screen recording, you can download the Windows 10-ready, free, and open source Open Broadcasting Software.
It’s baaaaccckkkkkkk! THREE CHEERS FOR THE RETURN OF THE START MENU.
19. Hover over the top edge of the start menu window, then click and drag up and down.
If you hate the start menu’s dark interface, brighten it up with some color.
20. Go to Settings > Personalization > Colors.
Then turn Automatically pick an accent color from my background to OFF. Scroll down and turn Show color on Start, taskbar, and action center to ON.
In Windows 10, Edge replaces Internet Explorer as the default browser, and one of Edge’s best features is built-in search from Microsoft’s artificial intelligence bot, Cortana.
Enable Cortana by opening Edge, clicking on the ellipses button on the right (…) >Settings > scroll to the bottom to View Advanced Settings > turn Have Cortana assist me in Microsoft Edge to ON.
21. Right click on any term, and select “Ask Cortana.”
22. Open Settings and right click on any category to pin it to start.
For Settings that you access a lot – like Bluetooth connections, changing WiFi networks, and checking storage usage – pin them to the Start Menu and save yourself a couple of clicks.
Now you can ride into the future, Windows warriors. RIDE INTO THE FUTURE.
If you’ve discovered any ~cool new Windows tips~ that didn’t make this list, let me know.