Windows 10 Tips and Tricks

Let’s face it, Windows 8 was……not so appealing. The user interface was tricky to navigate, and if you didn’t have a touch screen, it was even more time consuming to move around the OS.

8.1 was an improvement, with the return of a more familiar start menu, but it still didn’t quite cut it.

Enter Windows 10, and the anniversary update which made all the difference.

Windows 10 took the best elements from Windows 8 and Windows 7, and made for a great overall user experience.

So, now that Windows 10 is running on millions of computers around the globe, I thought I would share some tweaks, tips and tricks to make your experience that bit more enjoyable.

GodMode

By setting up GodMode, you get a special set of menu options, grouping a bucket load of settings together in one location. To enable GodMode, you need to create a folder on your root drive (usually C:\>) and name it “GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}”  

This will create an icon that, when you open it, will give you and advanced control panel interface.

godmode

Shop with Edge

This particular tip is aimed more at those of you living in the U-S-of-A.

coupons

After installing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, it’s a good idea to make Microsoft’s Edge your default browser—even if it’s just for online shopping.

That’s because if you open a site like Target.com or BestBuy.com in Edge, Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, will often appear and offer to use one of several coupons it found automatically. Now that really is helpful.

Windows Activation

Your windows key can now be linked to your Microsoft account, instead of directly to your hardware, meaning upgrades are a lot easier, and you don’t need to contact Microsoft every time you reload.

activation

This option can be found under SETTINGS > UPDATE & SECURITY > ACTIVATION

Save Power on a Laptop

If you are using a laptop, Windows 10 has the capability to control how processes and background apps run, in order to preserve battery life.

batterysaver

To enable this feature, click START > SETTINGS > SYSTEM > BATTERY SAVER

Stop the Irritating Office ads

getoffice

One really annyoing thing on Windows 10 is the fact that every now and then, a pop-up ad shows up, asking you to “Get Office“. Even with Office installed, it still pops up.

Fortunately, it’s easy to stop Windows 10’s annoying Microsoft Office ads.

These pop-up ads come from Windows 10’s “Get Office” app, which is installed by default. If you uninstall the app, you will get rid of the ads.

If, for whatever reason, you want to keep the app, you can still stop the pop-upsby going to Settings > System > Notifications & actions and disable notifications from Get Office.

The exact same procedure works for silencing the Get Skype app ads as well.

Obey Your Every Command

By default, Cortana does not listen for you every command. In order to rectify this, you need to open Cortana (click the search field in the taskbar and select the Notebook icon in the left-side options pane.)

cortana

Select Settings from the list, then simply enable the Let Cortana respond when you say “Hey Cortana” option. You’ll need an active microphone for this to work, of course.

Fresh Installation

It’s always nice to have a clean install once in a while. De-clutter your hard drive and start from scratch.

If you look under SETTINGS > UPDATE & SECURITY > RECOVERY, you’ll find a new option under MORE RECOVERY OPTIONS, called “Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows” 

Clicking this link will take you to an online how-to, where you can download a tool that will assist you with a clean install.

cleaninstall

Just be sure to back up your data first. You have been warned…

Windows Updates

updates

Being able to schedule installation times is a welcome option, but the fact that you cannot refuse patches is a bit of a pain. If you are running Windows 10 Pro, you can at least can delay the downloading of updates for a while, but Microsoft will force them on you eventually.

However, there are a few tricks you can do in order to control the updates to an extent.

If you are using a WiFi connection with limited data, you can set the WiFi connection to Metered“, which will allow you to decide when to download updates, rather than Windows just downloading them automatically.

In the Anniversary update, there is also a feature called “Active Hours, which lets you specify times when updates should not be installed.

Microsoft have also released a tool that lets you choose individual updates to not install, which is handy for those updates that just don’t play nice.

Configure privacy settings

When you initially set up Windows 10, be sure to select a CUSTOM install. That way you can modify the privacy settings. If you have already installed, don’t fret – you can still change these settings – have a look here)privacy.jpg

If you don’t turn off some of these settings, you will find yourself agreeing to all sorts of private data sharing.

Turn off WiFi Sense

wifisense

WiFi Sense automatically connects your PC to detected crowdsourced WiFi networks, acquires network information and provides “additional info” to networks that require it (it’s not clear exactly what constitutes additional info).

It can be used to automatically share your WiFi password with your contacts on Facebook, Skype, and Outlook.

You may feel differently about this, but I certainly don’t like the idea of allowing access to my Wi-Fi network unless I specifically give out the password. Here’s how to make sure your computer isn’t doing that — and if it is, how to turn it off.

 

Well, these are just a few of the many tyweaks available. Feel free to leave a commen and add some more…

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This article was compiled from information found on extremetech.com and pcworld.com

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