10 things about Windows 10 that you don’t want to miss!
- Start Menu Shortcuts
By default Windows 10 will only display Settings, Power and All Apps on the start menu. So where have your documents, pictures, and user folders gone? While these folders aren’t displayed by default a few clicks will allow you to enable them.
Click on the following Start Menu > Settings > Personalization > Start
From the list on the right choose the last option that says Choose which folders display on Start. From here you will be able to add File Explorer, Settings, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos, HomeGroup, Network and your Personal (User) folder on.
- Sharing Windows Updates with other PCs
Default Windows 10 settings include allowing your computer to share Windows Update files with PC’s on your network or other PC’s online. This can be especially disheartening if you’re using a metered connection (Paying for the amount of data being used, usually overage charges can be quite hefty). However, if you are on a metered connection and have several Windows 10 computers that will need updates this can save on your data usage. This feature can be disabled with a few short clicks.
Click on the following Start > Settings > Update & Security
Under the Windows Update selection you will click on Advanced options. Next you will select Choose how updates are delivered. You will then see a slider button with an on / off option. When turned on your computer will share updates with PCs on your local network or PCs on your local network and PCs on the internet (based on the radio selection below). When turned off this option will prevent Windows 10 updates from being shared with any other computers.
- Finding Programs and Apps and making them easy to access
At first glance you may find yourself in a panic when trying to locate your programs and apps. Don’t fret there are several ways to find your programs in Windows 10. The easiest way to locate both programs and files in Windows 10 is to use the built in search conveniently located beside your start menu button. Just start typing the name of the installed program (Not yet installed Apps from the Windows store will also appear here!) and you will see the program appear in the list. For a more traditional approach to locating your programs you can click your start menu button, then click on all apps and scroll down through the alphabetical list of programs and apps until you locate what you were searching for.
Now that you know how to locate Programs and Apps making them easy to find for the future is a snap. There are several ways that you can create shortcuts in Windows 10. You can pin items so that they appear in the “most used” list at the top of your start menu. If for an even quicker access you can also pin items to your task bar to appear at all times (the same location where open programs appear at the bottom of the screen). Although it will take a few extra steps, traditional desktop shortcuts can also be created fairly easy.
To pin items to the start menu or task bar right click the program or app after locating it via the search or start menu. A menu will appear and you will have the option to Pint to Start or Pin to Taskbar. If you want to create a desktop shortcut you will have to choose the Open File Location option from the same menu. Once File Explorer opens with your application in view, you will have to right click on the application in File Explorer then highlight Send To and choose Desktop (create shortcut) from the menu.
- Using Task View
A brand new feature in Windows 10 is the ability to create several virtual desktops. This feature is especially useful for those who tend to run many different programs at once. Task View will let you view open programs and setup a seemingly unlimited number of desktops (we stopped trying to max them out once we reached 42 additional desktops.) When you click on Task View you will see open applications within your current desktop at the top. Below you can select one of your virtual desktops. Here you can open programs that won’t appear open on your other desktops. This is great if you are working on multiple projects or want to keep say a personal and work desktop separated. One important thing to note is that your desktop icons will remain the same no matter what desktop you are on and you can’t set them to be different. Hopefully in the future Microsoft will listen to the many requests to also name the virtual desktops, currently they are labeled Desktop 1, Desktop 2, Desktop 3 and so on.
- New and improved Snipping Tool
One of my personal favorite additions to Windows 7 and 8 included the project Snipping Tool. This program allows you to easily take screenshots of your computer screen with the ability to select the area that you want to capture. Windows 10 takes this tool to the next level by allowing users to set a delay. This is ideal for those trying to screenshot menus which can’t be captured without clicking on something on-screen beforehand. Once a screenshot is captured you can use a pen, highlighter and eraser to make changes to the image before saving the file or copying the picture to your clipboard for easy pasting.
- Managing your Privacy in Windows 10
One of the biggest concerns users have using Windows 10 is the amount of user data being shared with Microsoft. While some privacy features are useful (such as the SmartScreen Filter) others appear overbearing and invasive. Configuring your Privacy settings can be done during setup but if you missed that or purchased a computer with Windows 10 already installed, they can be changed inside windows as well.
To access Privacy Settings Click Start > Settings > Privacy
Some settings will appear to the right of this screen however you will want to go down the list on the left which includes General, Location, Camera, Microphone, Speech, inking & typing, Account info, Contacts, Calendar, Messaging, Radios, Other devices, Feedback & diagnostics and Background apps.
Some suggested settings to check out include:
Speech, Inking & typing > Click on “stop getting to know me” if you don’t want your computer to collect information about you like contacts, calendar events, speech and handwriting patterns and typing history. Turning this feature off will also disable dictation and Cortana.
Feedback & Diagnostics > If Windows is annoying you asking for feedback you can disable that here or set it to annoy you less frequently. You can also limit the amount of diagnostic and usage data that is sent to Microsoft from here.
Background Apps > Here you can see apps that run in the background and use system resources. This screen will give you the option to turn apps off so that they won’t run unnecessarily. Turning apps off here will also prevent them for receiving info and sending notifications.
- Managing Smart Tiles on the Start Menu
If you came from Windows 8 you will be familiar with tiles already if you were previously a Windows 7 user the smart tiles will be a new concept for you. If you open your start menu you will see a number of tiles that rotate on the right hand side of your start menu. By default you will likely see Calendar, Mail, Microsoft Edge, Photos, Cortana, Weather, and Store. Scrolling down will display the Xbox app as well as Groove Music and Movies & TV. All of the apps shown here are from the Microsoft Store.
Apps (Which is just a fancy word for programs) that display on the start menu can be removed or modified by right clicking on the apps tile. You will see several options including unpin the tile from the start menu, re-sizing the tile, turning off live tile (this will stop the tile from rotating) and the ability to pin to taskbar.
If you prefer a different order you can reorganize the apps on the start menu by clicking and dragging the tiles to a new position within the menu.
- Using the search
We already talked about using the search to locate programs and files. The search feature is nothing new to previous users of Windows 7 and Windows 8. Windows 10 takes the search one step further by allowing you to instantly search the web and app store as well. When searching you will notice that your search will be divided into three categories best match, web and store. You will find that you can even use the search to perform conversions by typing questions such as how many inches in a foot! You can find out the weather by typing what’s the weather. (Certain features must be enabled for this to work!
If you click on your start menu without typing any text in you will see some popular topics from Bing news. Clicking the three dots at the top of the search window will show you additional options including the ability to check for updates and hiding popular news. If you want to re-enable the news after disabling it just click on the dots change the settings.
- Explore the Store
One of the most commonly asked questions from Windows 10 users is where is Solitaire? While the popular card game isn’t built into Windows a newer more vibrant Microsoft Solitaire Collection is readily available and free from the store. To find it you can go to your start menu and click on store from the right side of the menu or just search for Solitaire Collection from the search box on the taskbar. Once you locate your desired app from the store you can click on install to download the program to your computer. Your downloaded program will appear to the left of your start menu below most used
- Accessing the traditional Control Panel & More!
Don’t panic! The traditional Control Panel, Programs and Features (to add or remove programs) and more are just a click away. To access these as well as Mobility Center, Power Options, Event Viewer, System, Device Manager, Network Connections, Disk Management, Computer Management, Command Prompt and more just right click on your start button to access the hidden menu! You can also use this menu to shut down your computer or sign-out of the current user account.
If you like this article please share it with your friends and family! You can also contact Jester’s Computer Services to setup a one-on-one technology class. If you’re not in Jester’s local area but would still like a class and have internet access we are now offering remote classes as well where we will be able to share computer screens and use either the built in text chat, Skype or phone to communicate during the class!