It has just been over a year and a half since Windows 10 — the operating system from Microsoft— was officially launched. And if you look at the technical evolution, Windows has changed tremendously and it has done so rather beautifully. Now we have a whole different level of features which are not only brilliant but equally flexible.
It’s not essential that we know all the tricks that a particular tool has in its arsenal. Knowing the few important ones is all one needs for a smoother experience. Features — big or small — play a big role in enhancing productivity. And while it was an arduous task of picking and testing them, we have done it and filed it. Phew!
1. DARK THEME
The Windows dark theme is one of the newer features of the Windows 10 operating system. It comes in a time when most of us were bored of the ordinary look (read ancient). Initially, the darker theme could be enabled only through the registry, but now it can be achieved with just a few clicks.
2. RESIZE & UNPIN TILES
I love the start menu tiles since the time when they were first launched, providing me with useful insights into the weather, mail snippets, news, Twitter feed, etc. In order to get the most out of it, this live tiles section can be customized to your utmost satisfaction.
3. START MENU CUSTOMIZATION
One of the best things about customization is that it lets you achieve a unique look and Windows isn’t far behind.
The start menu can be customized in many ways. Right from displaying the recently added apps to the frequently used apps, all these can be turned off/on depending on your choice.
4. ALTERNATE START MENU
Surely, you must be knowing that you can right-click on the start button to access the Power User Menu, but what if you need it real quick?
Just hit Win + X and the menu will pop up. The menu holds a lot of useful apps in its quiver, like Command Prompt, Control Panel, Mobility center, etc. And if you want to use the keys to navigate around, the up/down keys should do the trick.
Another nifty trick to open the tools swiftly is to just press the underlined letter. For instance, hitting P would open the Control Panel.
5. SNAP WINDOWS
An impressive feature for the multi-tasker in you. This feature lets you snap the current window to one side and simultaneously open the second one on the other side. Just press Win and right/left arrow key. What’s more, you can just scroll through the windows sans the clicks.
6. THE CORTANA SEARCH
“Microsoft’s voice-activated virtual assistant is more than just a direct link to Bing (or whatever search engine you’ve got her to use) — she’s, well, an assistant.”, writes CNET about this wonderful assistant.
And while she can do almost anything right from singing songs (bet you didn’t know that) to setting reminders, you can also customize the way Cortana operates. Whether it’s the type of cards that you want to see or the data that Cortana accesses, there’s a whole bunch of things hiding beneath the notebook icon.
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7. QUICK ACCESS FILES AND FOLDERS FROM FILE EXPLORER
One of the features that I was desperately waiting for and finally, Windows 10 answered my prayers. I find it feasible to have quick access to the recently used folders, but we are humans and we have a great reputation of not thinking alike.
So for those who would NOT like to have an open display of their recently accessed files & folders, there’s quite an easy trick to hide them. Head over to the file explorer and click on View > Options and uncheck the privacy checkboxes. The file explorer will switch to the My PC look.
8. VIRTUAL DESKTOPS
Task View, known popularly as Virtual desktops (VD), was added as a mainstream feature in Windows 10 and trust me, VDs can boost the productivity levels. In simple words, you get to have a number of desktops on your system which you can easily traverse using some handy keyboard shortcuts.
There are a lot third party apps that let you have VDs, but a native one surely beats the odds when it comes to stability and accessibility. The choice is yours as to how you would utilize this space. For starters, you can have a work desktop and an entertainment hub.
9. COMMAND PROMPT SHORTCUTS
The previous versions of Command Prompt did a pro-level job of testing your patience. This new version of Windows is the first one from the Microsoft stable to include keyboard shortcuts for Command Prompt.
10. ANNOTATING IN WINDOWS EDGE & CALENDAR SYNC.
We tend to mostly research online these days, ending up reading tons of articles. That also means getting lost in the sea of posts and not getting any meaningful work done. That’s when the annotation feature of the Edge browser can come into great use.
It lets you annotate on a specific area of the webpage where you would like to add a note and save the same for later references.
These were some of the tips and tricks of Windows 10. How many of these were you already using? Any favorites yet? We will be waiting to hear from you.