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Top hidden features tips and tricks of Windows 10A

Windows 10 is out and millions of people are already running it,
let’s take a look at some of the best hidden features, tips, and tricks
in the operating system. If you’re still on the fence, take note: You
really do want Windows 10, despite a lot of the gripes we’ve shared over
the past several months. It’s worth getting on the list for (or downloading the Windows 10 ISO directly). 

It combines the best of Windows 8 — super-fast startup, improved
security — with much of what made Windows 7 familiar and easy to use,
and without trying to force you to buy a touch screen or learn a whole
set of hidden UI gestures.

And
if you’re a computer nut like me,
tweaking the OS is always the fun part. Discovering and implementing
power user tips are my favorite part of getting a major new version of
an OS. I still remember back when DOS 5.0 came out, and I was running
DOS 3.3, and I got to try all these new things to optimize my 286. And
when I upgraded from Windows/286 to Windows 3.0, I felt like my life had
changed. (We’ve come a long way.) Nostalgia aside, here’s what you need
to know to amp up your Windows 10 install and take it to the next
level.

GodMode Windows 10

Set up GodMode

The
awesomely named GodMode brings up a special menu that puts lots of
settings together in one place. To enable it, create a new folder
anywhere on your root drive and rename it
GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}. It will create a special
icon that when you click on it shows you a beautiful advanced control
panel.

Windows 10 Virtual Machine

Task view and virtual desktops

One
of the best things about Windows 10 is how it handles virtual desktops.
The fact that it finally handles them at all, out of the box, is a
great step, since Mac OS X and Linux users have had that capability for a
long time. It lets you set up a series of tasks and windows on your
desktop, your email and Twitter window on another, and a third for
general Web browsing and research. To get started, click the Task View
icon on the taskbar (immediately to the right of the Search box), or
hold down the Windows key (abbreviated throughout as Win) and Tab. You
can also drag an app to a new virtual desktop by bringing it over to the
+New Desktop option at the lower right. (Click to read more on Task View and Virtual Desktops.)

Configure privacy settings

When you’re first setting up Windows 10, make sure to select a Custom install so you can modify the privacy settings,
instead of going with the Express install. (If you already installed
it, no worries; you can fix it all in Settings). Otherwise you’ll find
yourself agreeing to all sorts of private data sharing — and while
Windows 10 is free for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, it’s not a free
product in and of itself — so there’s no reason to share your personal
information when it’s not required.

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Make the desktop more stylish

Windows
10 lets you personalize your desktop more thoroughly than before. Head
to Start > Settings > Personalization > Colors, and choose Show
color on task bar and Start Menu. You can also tell it to automatically
pick a color from your wallpaper and apply it underneath icons of open
apps, and you can remove the Start Menu’s translucent option.

Print to PDF

You
can finally print a document (or rather, save it) as PDF without using a
third-party utility. This makes it much easier to save and distribute
documents that aren’t easily modified. Another long overdue feature
makes it in under the radar.

Make sure WiFi Sense is off

You
may feel differently about this, but I certainly don’t like the idea of
allowing access to my WiFi 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.

Schedule Windows updates

Instead
of getting ambushed whenever Microsoft decides to push out a patch, you
can schedule restarts to install updates by going to Start >
Settings > Updates and Recovery > Windows Update. You can do this
for future updates as well by selecting Notify to Schedule Restart.

Run it in a virtual machine

If
you’re thinking of taking the Windows 10 plunge, but don’t want to
disturb your machine that’s currently running just fine, here’s how to install Windows 10 in a virtual machine
first. Note that this is different than the virtual desktops I
mentioned above; it’s virtualizing the entire OS within another OS (your
existing one).

Explorer Home Tab Quick Access Windows 10

Windows Explorer Home tab and Quick Access

Windows
Explorer windows are a lot more useful this time around, thanks to a
new Home tab (pictured above). It makes file copies a cinch. If
you look at the top left of the window, you’ll see a new Quick Access
group that lets you navigate to recently accessed folders. That makes it
much easier to maintain a fast workflow as you navigate around your
computer’s file system. And while File Explorer defaults to the Quick
Access view, if you don’t like it, you can set it back to This PC by
choosing View > Options > Open File Explorer > This PC.

Start Menu Clip Windows 10

Customize the Start Menu

The
new Start Menu is such a huge improvement over what came with Windows
8.1 that it’s almost impossible to describe the relief. It combines the
best elements of Windows 7 and Windows 8. And it’s also fully
customizable. You can resize tiles in the Start menu by right-clicking
them and choosing Resize, and then selecting a size from the pop-up
menu. You can also unpin them or uninstall them completely. I admit the
first thing I did is unpin all of Microsoft’s tiles and then shrink the
size of the menu so it looks a lot like Windows 7 (pictured).
For a
while, during some of the Windows 10 Technical Preview builds, you
could pin the Recycle Bin to the taskbar, which makes it a bit more like
OS X. Unfortunately, that functionality seems to be gone in the release
version, though you can still pin it to the Start Menu as a tile.

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Command prompt tweaks

A
lot of Windows 10 utilities underneath the service still look the same
as they did in Windows 7 and Windows 8. But one of the hidden tweaks is
in the Command Prompt — head over to Properties and you’ll suddenly find
you can enable a host of customizations, including a transparent
background, resizing the window, and word wrap.

Battery saver

If
you’re on a laptop and your battery is running low, Windows 10 is smart
enough to begin throttling back background services and other threads
so that you can squeeze the last bit of battery life out of your
machine. To enable Battery Saver, click the Start menu, and head to
Settings | System | Battery Saver.

Background scrolling

Ever
notice how when you hover your mouse cursor over a window and try and
scroll, you still can’t, because the window wasn’t active? Turn this
feature on in Settings | Devices | Mouse and Touchpad and you’ll be able
to do just that.

Keyboard shortcuts

Here are some keyboard shortcuts you may want to be aware of — ones that will really help your daily workflow:

  • Windows Key-Tab (Task View)
  • Windows Key-Right-Up (Moves app to top right quadrant)
  • Windows Key-Ctrl-Left or Right (virtual desktop)
  • Windows Key-Ctrl-D (new virtual desktop)
  • Windows Key-Ctrl-C (Cortana listening)
  • Windows Key-S (Daily Glance for weather, news, sports)
  • Windows Key-Ctrl-F4 (closes virtual desktop)
  • Windows Key-Up and Down (snap apps to top or bottom of screen or maximizes)OneDrive

OneDrive integration

Free
cloud storage is a godsend these days, and Microsoft makes it super
easy in Windows 10 with OneDrive. You can use it to store files for
mobile device access from iOS or Android, and you can even set it to let
you access any file on your PC remotely — not just the ones you drag
over to your OneDrive folder.

Amp up Cortana

If you’ve got
a laptop, or a desktop with a microphone attached, click the search
field and select the Notebook icon on the left. Then click Settings and
click “Let Cortana respond to “Hey Cortana.” Now Cortana will listen for
your commands. Cortana can also use Google instead of Bing, even though
Microsoft really wants you to use the latter. Install the Chrometana extension
in Chrome, or just install Firefox and make that your default browser;
both will accomplish the task of removing Bing from Cortana’s brain.

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Use Maps offline

The
new Maps app lets you work offline (Remember those old Microsoft Maps
programs?); click Settings > Download or Update Maps, and then select
the continent and country you want.

Xbox Streaming

Windows
10 finally shows some real Xbox integration, and you can use it to log
into your Xbox Live account. But more importantly, you can use it to stream Xbox One games locally on your PC.
You’ll have to enable it first on the Xbox One under Settings |
Preferences | Allow game streaming, and then on the PC in the Xbox
application. (Interestingly, Microsoft is also going the other way and adding keyboard and mouse support to the Xbox One — not that you’ll need that, since you’ve already got a PC.)

Control Panel Windows 10

Record games and app videos

You
can now record videos of apps or games using the Game DVR function.
Press the Windows Key + G, click ‘Yes, this is a game box,’ and then
you’ll see options to manipulate the recording.

Find the original Control Panel (and other goodies)

The
new Settings panel is easy to navigate and makes more sense than the
crufty old Control Panel, but you’ll still need the latter to access
some deeper options in the system. It’s easy to call up, even though
it’s hidden; just right click on the Start button on the bottom left of
the screen and choose it from the pop-up menu, or type Control Panel in
the Search bar at the bottom left in the taskbar. When you right-click
the Start button, you’ll see all kinds of useful things there, such as
Computer Management and Disk Management; for what it’s worth, those
options bring you right back to the familiar Windows 7-style apps in
each case.

Tone down Notifications

Notifications are a
giant pain in Windows 10; there’s just too many of them, and some are
unnecessary. Turn ’em off by heading to Start > Settings > System
> Notifications and actions, and turn off Windows tips and specific
app notifications (you’ll need to scroll down for the latter).

Fix the Office ads

Are
you sick of the occasional Office ads that pop up on the desktop? So
are we. To kill them, right-click on Get Office in the Start Menu and
uninstall it.

Gurjit Singh is Microsoft Certified IT Professional. He likes to write about Computer Network, WordPress, Blogging Tips, SEO, Make Money Online, Computer Tips and Creating Tech Tutorials. Thanks For Visiting YouMeGeeK.CoM
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