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10 Tips When Using Windows 10

Posted on July 05, 2018
  
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Microsoft released a Windows 10 update in April 2018. With it came plenty of useful tools to maximize your PC experience. Here are our top 10 tips to get the most out of Windows 10.

1. Hey Cortana

Microsoft introduced their response to Apple's Siri in April 2014. Once activated, just say "Hey Cortana" and this digital assistant can manage your calendar, send emails, answer questions, have a conversation, and much more.

To activate "Hey Cortana": click on the search bar in the task bar, then the Settings button on the left. Switch the "Let Cortana respond to 'Hey Cortana'" to "On." Explore other settings for "Hey Cortana" in this same menu.

hey cortana

Or if you want to deactivate Cortana entirely - though we do not recommend it - follow the steps here.

 

2. Disk Cleanup

You are likely harboring a lot of now-useless files. Even if you "recycled" files, they are probably still hiding out in your hard drive. While devices are better and have more storage capacity now than they ever have before, performing a disk cleanup could speed things up and create more storage space.

To perform a disk cleanup: type "disk cleanup" into the search bar of the task bar, and select the "Disk Cleanup" app that appears at the top of the screen. Once the select the files you want to delete, and click "ok."

disk cleanup

Poof - your hard drive is free of unwanted files.

 

3. "God Mode"

Remember when people paid hundreds of dollars to "jailbreak" their phones? Well now Microsoft has given you that power on your Windows 10 device...for no extra charge. With this tool, you can truly customize your PC.

To activate "God Mode": go to your home desktop with no apps open. Right-click, select "New," then "Folder." Name the folder GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} and open the folder. Please enjoy responsibly.

 

4. Near Share

Finally, an Airdrop for Windows. You can now share files and websites between devices using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Some caveats: the devices have to be in close proximity, it is not as quick as Apple's Airdrop in its current form, and it is not yet available on mobile.

To share URLs and files with Near Share: turn on each computer's Bluetooth and connect to Wi-Fi. Both are required, though only one will be used depending on their speeds. Be sure each device has Nearby Sharing enabled in the desktop settings.

near share

Then to send your URL or file, click the "Share" button in Microsoft Edge or File Explorer respectively, on the host device. This button can be found in the top right corner of the window. Then select the receiving device or person in the "Share" menu.

 

5. Night Light

If you're like us, you use screens until going to bed for the night. But all that blue light we stare at is slowing our ability to fall asleep. Windows 10 has a "Night Light" feature that reduces the blue light emitted from the screen, allowing for a dark-room-friendly experience. In "Settings," you can adjust the tint of the display and schedule what time you want the light to change automatically.

night light settings

In addition, the Night Light can be toggled on and off easily in the Side Menu on the right of the screen.

night light

 

6. Right-Click on Start

A common complaint of Windows 10 was the alterations to the Start Menu. The Start Menu can be accessed by pressing the Windows icon on the keyboard, or on the far left of the task bar. When selected with a left-click or simple keyboard tap, you see something like this:

start menu normal

But when you right-click on the icon, you see a simplified set of options:

start right click

So instead of going on a scavenger hunt for the tools you often used in previous versions of Windows, try a right-click on the Start button.

 

7. Schedule your system restarts

There is nothing more frustrating than when you are working on your computer (or even worse - in a video conference) and it decides it needs to update and restart. While many applications warn you or ask if you want to restart now, unexpected shut-downs still occur.

To schedule your restarts: go to "Settings," then "Updates & Recovery," select "Windows Update," and finally "Restart options" to see the customization screen. It should look something like the image below.

schedule restarts

 

8. Windows Sonic

Want a greater surround-sound experience out of your device? When connected to headphones, right-click on the audio icon on the task bar. Hover over "Spatial sound," then click on "Windows Sonic for Headphones."

spatial sound

Results will vary depending on your audio tech, but you should definitely give it a try.

 

9. Start Menu folders

Organize your Start Menu by putting the app icons into clusters.

start menu folders

Click and drag app icons over each other to group them. Then click the carrot to collapse. You can name the folder as well. A clean Start Menu is a happy Start Menu.

 

10. Task View tricks

Windows 10 introduced a major multitasking tool: the Task View. You can access Task View a few ways: click the Task View icon next to the search bar on the task bar; if you have a touch mouse pad, drag three fingers upwards across the touch pad; or hold down the Windows key and press the Tab key. When you open Task View, you will see the brand new Windows Timeline, an overview of every window you have opened on your desktop in the last week. Task View is also where you can open additional virtual desktops.

task view

I personally use this tool to separate my leisure from my work. For example: on Desktop 1, I have whatever I need to do my job open and ready to use; on Desktop 2, I have anything I want to keep open but do not need immediately, potentially distracting from my work.

 

These are just ten of the several tools Microsoft has equipped Windows 10 with to optimize your PC experience. Try them out for yourself and if you make a mistake, give us a call at 844.927.6433.

Tagged Help Desk, windows 10, microsoft, pc tips

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