It’s official, Windows 7 is dead. If you’ve recently upgraded, there are plenty of Windows 10 tips and tricks, plus hidden features to learn that will make using your laptop/desktop every day faster and smoother.
Open the ‘Secret’ Start Menu
You know that to get to the Start menu, you hit the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen or on your keyboard. But Windows 10 includes a lesser known second Start menu that makes accessing important features like the Command Prompt, the Control Panel and the Task Manager much easier. You can access it two different ways, either by pressing the Windows key + X, or right click the Windows icon/Start button.
Make Windows 10 Behave the Way You Want it to
Besides Control Panel, Windows 10 has an easy to use PC Settings window where you can easily change and control the settings related to Windows Updates, Networks, Apps, etc. Manage your System, change Network and Internet Settings, change Windows 10 Privacy settings, manage your Devices, personalize your PC, manage your User Accounts, set your Time & language, use tools for the differently abled and manage Windows Update and Security here.
Open Individual Settings Using Desktop Shortcuts
You can create Desktop shortcuts or Context Menu items to open various Settings in Windows 10. See the URI for Settings apps that open the particular Settings page directly.
Using Cortana in Windows 10
Windows 10 features Cortana, a personal assistant that goes as far to provide you with local information and replace typing in Windows 10 taskbar search box with voice. To give you an idea of how it works, it is like Apple’s Siri. Check out how to set up Cortana in Windows 10 to start using it. If you do not use it, you can disable Cortana.
Change Theme, Wallpaper, Lock Screen
To personalize your Windows 10 experience, you will have to open Settings. To open the Windows 10 Settings app, in the taskbar search bar type Settings and click on the top result which appears at the Start. Here you will see various settings like System, Devices, Network & Internet, Personalization, Accounts, Time & Language, Ease of Access, Privacy and Update & Security. Select Personalization to customize.
Shake Your Windows
If you have stacks and stacks of windows open, and you want to declutter down to just one, do this: Click on the top bar of your desired window, hold it down, and shake the mouse to instantly minimize all other open windows. Do it again to restore those windows.
Track Your Apps
When you open your regular Start Menu, you see a list of your apps running down the side. The most-used apps are on top, but the rest are laid out in alphabetical order. You could scroll through them all to find the one you want to open, but a quicker way to manage it is by clicking on any of the main letters (like “A”). This opens a view of the entire alphabet. Just click on the first letter of the app you want, and you will be taken directly to that part of the Start Menu.
Record Screen Activity
We’re used to videos and online games occurring in real time, but now you can record them for later viewing. When you’re in the game or video, click on the Windows key on your keyboard and the letter G at the same time. Follow the prompts to record.
Make Windows 10 Battery Last Longer
Press Win+I to launch the Settings app and then navigate to System > Battery Saver. Here, depending on your requirement, you can turn Battery Saver on or off manually. If you wish to configure its settings, click Battery Saver settings to control its automatic activation. When you turn on Battery Saver in Windows 10, the following happens:
- You will not automatically receive emails or calendar updates
- Live Tiles may not update
- Apps will not be allowed to run in the background.
Timeline helps you pick up where you left off. Clicking the Task View button in the taskbar or pressing Windows Key + Tab summons the feature, which displays a timeline of your activity in supported apps, stretching back over the past. Microsoft lets you group related apps together into “activities” in the timeline, so that when you open an old document, like a budget, the presentations and websites you referenced at the time can be easily summoned as well. This even syncs across devices, so it could be especially useful if you use multiple PCs.