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5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Windows 10

John Curtis 2016-07-13

When Microsoft released Windows 10, there was a collective sigh of relief from tech aficionados and average desktop users all over the world. For years, Microsoft has consistently disappointed consumers for its average-to-poor operating systems, which has been surprising to say the least.

With Windows 10, it has corrected its previous OS mistakes of the past.

Since its release to the general public last summer, there has been mass adoption of the OS. What makes Windows 10 compelling is the fact that it welcomes all sorts of devices that its users utilize, everything from desktops to smartphones, office workstations to tablets.

Windows 10 is for everything and everyone.

The response from the technorati has been positive overall. The tech media have celebrated its functionality, lauded its fast loading times and embraced its heavy personalization elements.

Because of the return of the Stat menu and the introduction of the new Edge browser, Windows 10 has a wave of new features and tools that can definitely take time to get used to. Even if it's already been a year since its release, you continue to come across new features you're unsure of.

If you don't own Windows 10 already, you can purchase a copy at retailers. Once you have Windows 10, here are five tips to get the most out of your new OS:

1. Personalize Your Start Menu

When Microsoft announced the return of the Start Menu in Windows 10, there were celebrations with champagne and caviar held all over the world. To say it was a big deal would be an understatement. The Start Menu is a nice addition to your overall computer experience.

The Start Menu, which is 20 years old, in Windows 10 integrates the touch-friendly user interface and tiles of Window 8 with the original function. In order to fully maximize your Start Menu, you should certainly personalize it. You can do this in a number of different ways:

Do you want more or fewer tiles? Click and hold the cursor of the Start box and drag it to customize the size of it. Afterwards, pin any applications you may want to your tiles.

When you want to personalize beyond tiles you click Settings then Personalization then Start page of the updated modern control panel. By doing this, you turn on or off new apps, types of content and app suggestions. You completely personalize it as you see fit.

2. Keyboard Shortcuts Are Your Friends

Our keyboards have evolved over the years, like becoming wireless and cleaner! But there are various shortcuts that you should be aware of in Windows 10 (it's more than just hitting the OS logo on your keyboard). Here are several shortcuts you should take advantage of:

  1. ALT + TAB: highlights new Task view window view.
  2. WIN + TAB: new Task view opens up and stays open.
  3. WIN + CTRL + D: creates new virtual desktop
  4. WIN + CTRL + F4: closes current virtual desktop
  5. WIN + LEFT or RIGHT: snapping a window.

Indeed, keyboard shortcuts have gone beyond just CTRL + C or CTRL + P

3. Schedule Your Windows Updates

Do you hate the idea of being interrupted with a Windows update? Well, you can control when you receive updates to your OS and when they're installed. This is achieved by clicking on Settings and hitting Updates and Recovery. You will then have to select Notify to Schedule Restart. This way you won't be disrupted when you're watching a movie, playing a game or working on an important assignment for school or work.

4. Over the Edge With Internet Browser

After playing around with Edge for a little while, you may be tempted to abandon Google Chrome or delete Mozilla Firefox from your computer. For years, Internet Explorer has fallen behind the times, but Microsoft Edge is a considerable introduction or upgrade in the browsing market.

Here are several reasons why you may want to replace your current browser with Edge:

  • Edge is fast, and is one of the most positively reviewed aspects of the browser.
  • It annotates web pages that you have been reading.
  • You can add web pages to your Reading List for further viewing in the future.
  • Developers have added extensive security features to Edge.
  • The clutter is gone! No longer will your Internet browser be filled with junk.

It may be time to go over the Edge with Microsoft's latest incarnation.

5. Take Advantage of Cortana

Lastly, it may be time to fully acquaint yourself with Cortana. If you have a microphone attached to your desktop or laptop then get to know Cortana by clicking on Setting and hitting "Let Cortana respond to 'Hey Cortana.'" Cortana, the digital personal assistant, will listen for your commands. After a while, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it for this long.

You can ask Cortana anything: the weather, sports scores, appointments or election results.

Windows 10 is likely the best Microsoft OS since Windows XP. Everything from Windows Vista to Windows 7 has been abysmal since then. The PC experience has greatly changed in the last decade, and Microsoft has finally discovered what its users want from their operating system.

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