Windows is so commonplace that many of us don’t realize that it has special features that boost your computer’s speed. It streams media to multiple devices, share content with your family, and customise it to make it your own. Windows 10 has come a long way in the past 30 years, and the number of handy tricks may surprise you.
13 most important tips and tricks in Windows 10
Here are a few of the most interesting tools in the Windows 10:
1. A Whole New Start (Menu)
The start menu is a Windows classic. It’s easily accessible through the stylized Windows icon in the corner of your screen. Click on it, and you get a layout of your most-used programs, access to power options, and shortcuts to your file explorer and computer’s settings. Change the start menu’s appearance when you right-click on the icon instead. If you’re using a touchscreen, then touch the icon, hold it down for a second and then release
Alternatively, use a keyboard shortcut by hitting the Windows key. Right-clicking, the Start icon delivers a quick and clean menu. The access to programs is still there, but it also puts a lot more at your fingertips, including the Task Manager, Control Panel, Device Manager, and even the trusty Command Prompt. You can also access this advanced menu by hitting the Windows key + X.Get the Talking Tech newsletter in your inbox.
2. Windows 10 Disk Cleanup
Remember disk cleanup? It was a way to make your computer run faster when PCs had less RAM than they do today. Disk Cleanup fell by the wayside for most of us as PCs and laptops have become more sophisticated. But your computer could still use a de-bloating now and again.
Disk Cleanup is a simple way to delete files and to ensure your Recycle Bin is cleared out. On Windows 10, type “disk cleanup” into your taskbar where it says, “Type here to search” >> Click on Disk Cleanup app >> Put a checkmark next to each folder you want to be deleted, such as temporary files.
It’s more important than ever to have a multilayered approach to cybersecurity. Windows Defender is a security tool that can set up to block malware attacks in real-time, or you can perform a scan when you need it.
To make sure it’s on, type “Windows Defender” into your taskbar >> Select Windows Defender app >> Make sure Real-time protection is on.
4. Windows 10 Open Taskbar Quickly
Windows 10 brought with it a slew of new and convenient keyboard shortcuts. Take a look at the taskbar at the bottom of your screen where you have program icons lined up, most likely including your web browser and the Windows file explorer, among others. You can open those programs by hitting the Windows key and the number that corresponds to the location of the icon in the
Let’s say, from left to right, and you have the File Explorer folder icon, the multi-coloured round Chrome browser icon, and the blue “e” for Microsoft’s Edge browser. Hold down the Windows key and press “2,” and Chrome will open right up for you. It’s a quick way to access your most popular apps without reaching for your mouse.
5. Quick Assist
We all have that tech-challenged family member, don’t we? It might be your Aunt Sally in Boise, your best friend from high school or your book-smart but computer-novice dad.
That’s why there’s Quick Assist. In Windows 10, type “quick assist” into your taskbar >> Select Get Assistance or Give Assistance and then follow the onscreen instructions.
6. Windows 10 Video Streaming
If you’re like me, you probably don’t think about Windows 10 to stream videos on your TV. However, you can use compatible devices such as Roku and Xbox One S. Type “media streaming” into the Windows 10 taskbar >> Select Media Streaming Options and follow the instructions.
7. Shake Your Windows
Here’s a fun one. If you have stacks and stacks of windows open and 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 minimize all other open windows instantly. Please do it again to restore those windows.
8. Find Slow Programs
You’re working on your computer, but it’s dragging. You want to shout “Hurry up!” as you wait for tabs to switch or changes to take hold. It’s time to find out what’s slowing you down, so open up the Task Manager and check out the “Processes” tab. It will show you which apps and background processes are running and how much of your CPU, memory, disk and network resources they are each hogging up.
9. Windows 10 Task Manager
The Windows Task Manager was once a fairly straightforward feature, used mainly to force-quit an unresponsive program. The Windows 10 Task Manager is much more thorough. You can summon it through the right-click Start Menu or by hitting the traditional keyboard combination of Control-Alt-Delete and selecting it from the menu that appears.
10. 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 up a view of the entire alphabet. Just click on the first letter of the app you want, and Windows will take you directly to that part of the Start Menu.
11. Find Missing or Corrupted Files
Remember this: cmd. It’s a command prompt that can help you find files that your Windows operating system needs to work properly. It can also help you fix problems.
Type “cmd” into the taskbar >> Right-click on Command Prompt >> select Run As Administrator. To find missing or corrupted files, type “SFC /scan now.” To check for disk problems, type “chkdsk /f.”
12. Share Files
You and your family probably send each other files all the time. You might send a document or a video by email. A better way is to set up everyone in your house on a Windows network to share files.
You start by clicking on the Start button (the Windows icon on the lower-left side of your computer screen). Then, go to Settings (the little gear icon) >> Network & Internet >> HomeGroup >> Create a HomeGroup.
When your computer gets slow, access Task Manager and trim down the number of programs that load on startup. Click on the “Startup” tab, and you will see a list of all your programs, whether they’re enabled, and what sort of impact each one has on your startup.
Select a program and hit the “Disable” button to remove it from your start-up process. Scrutinize anything with a medium or high impact, but focus on programs you don’t use often.
If you find an app eating more than its fair share, then you can shut it down by selecting it and clicking “End task.” Be aware that you may lose work when you do this, so save first if you can.