Windows 10, the successor of Windows 8.1, was built to seamlessly fuse mobile computing with laptop computing, allowing a wide range of hardware and software to be run out of the box while making it super easy for customers to do whatever they need to do, anywhere they want. Windows 10 is, however, not without flaws — whether you’re running a state-of-the-art octa-core, 32GB RAM monster of a computer or a 5-year-old Celeron-powered netbook, a little bit of tweaking can make your operating system work much better for you.
Advanced Windows 10 Tips & Tricks
In this tutorial, you’re going to learn just how much better your system could be with just a little bit of modification.
Customize File Explorer
The file explorer on Windows has been modified to make it simple to use, especially on touch screens. For people used to the Windows 7 user interface, however, this drastic change in user interface implemented starting from Windows 8 received a lot of negative feedback and has caused people to veer away from upgrading to 10. Fortunately, however, you can actually install third-party apps such as Classic Shell to give Windows 10 the classic Windows 7 user interface that people miss. Feel free to play around with the file explorer — you can show hidden files, show the file extension of every file, etc.
Talk to Your Computer
Cortana is one of the coolest features added: You can use either voice commands or typed commands in the Start Menu instead of using the typical graphical user interface (GUI) with a mouse or a trackpad. If you want to control your computer using voice command, you’ll want to enable the “Hey Cortana” feature so you could simply say “Hey Cortana” to trigger the voice control prompt. You can do this by searching for “Cortana settings” in the Start Menu and toggling the switch under “Hey Cortana” to ON. You’ll want to calibrate voice recognition by selecting under “Respond best,” “to me.”
What’s awesome about Cortana is that it is a lot more lenient when it comes to understanding commands. For instance, there’s more than one correct way to ask what the weather is or what’s on your schedule. Try out different keywords and commands and see what works best for you!
See More Windows in Action
If you have a large enough monitor, you can actually comfortably view four applications running all at the same time on your screen! You can do this either by dragging each window to one corner of the screen until an outline shows up, or by clicking the desired window, and then press the Window key + right/left/up/down to place them accordingly. For instance, pressing Window key + right and Window key + down will place a window at the bottom right part of your screen.
Hide All Windows
Do you need to get a clear view of your desktop? You can do this by minimizing all your open windows by either clicking the button -right corner of your screen or pressing the Windows key + D. Both will either minimize all your windows or restore them.
Enable Background Scrolling
Back then when computers were only able to run one application at a time, scrolling was enabled only for the active window. This means that when you hover your mouse cursor over an inactive window and try to scroll, it won’t respond. Fortunately, background scrolling, while previously only available on Mac OSX, is now available on Windows 10. This feature is enabled by default, but if for some reason it isn’t, you can simply go to Settings > Devices > Mouse and Touchpad, and enable background scrolling.
Take Control of Your Desktop
Windows 10 adds a lot of neat features to your desktop to take advantage of users with multiple monitors or for people who prefer working with different workspaces. One of the neat features added is the virtual desktop, which you can access by clicking on the Task View button on the Taskbar. Clicking this shows you the list of your current virtual desktop, with a + option to add a new desktop. You can move applications between these desktops and delete virtual desktops when you’re done with them. If you’ve used a Mac before, the process of adding, modifying, and deleting virtual desktops is quite similar.
Take Advantage of the Reminder Feature
Since Microsoft is now currently working on improving its operating system for laptop and tablet users, it borrows a few features from smartphones and adapts them to a desktop/tablet environment. In this context, it’s the ability to remind users of tasks.
These tasks can either be time-based, mean you can tell Windows to remind you to do something at a certain time; location-based, meaning you can tell Windows to remind you to do something when you are at a particular place; and person-based, meaning you can tell Windows 10 to remind you to do something when you communicate with a particular person, by call, text, or email.
You can ask Cortana to add your reminders for you, or you can create them by clicking the bulb icon on the left part of the search box and then clicking the + icon to create a new reminder.
Make the Action Center Work For You
The action center received a lot of flak from Windows 10 users, but with a little bit of tweaking, it can actually be quite a useful sidekick. For instance, you can choose four actions that’ll be visible all the time — such as the WiFi toggle switch, the screen brightness control, etc. — thanks to the quick actions feature.
You can also enable other neat features, such as the “Hide notifications while presenting” option, which prevents notifications from popping up while you’re running a PowerPoint presentation. Since the action center is a unified place for all your notifications and system settings, knowing what you can and cannot do with the Action Center will make Windows 10 work much more smoothly for you.