Windows 10 tips and tricks

A little guide to helps you get more familiar with Windows 10.

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1. Tablet Mode
Tablet Mode enables users to quickly switch between stationary position to on the move easily. This is because since Windows 8 there has been an increase in hybrid tablet/PC laptops flooding the markets, that combine the power of a laptop in a tablet form factor. It removes unnecessary icons in the task bar making the more important ones prominent like Wi-Fi, battery, volume and the action center where all quick settings and notifications live. It also adds a back button next to the windows button, shrinking Cortana down to just an icon (which you can still trigger with just your voice), and the task view which is very convenient because it makes multitasking a lot easier sort of like Android and Apple’s multitasking window. Finally, the Windows 8 start menu with live tiles makes a return in tablet mode so it’s easier to navigate. For some reason though they allowed the feature on all Windows 10 machines even desktops and laptops…

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2. ‘Hey Cortana!”
With the Windows 8.1 mobile update Microsoft introduced Cortana. She is an intelligent virtual personal assistant, who is similar to Google Now and Siri. You can ask her questions like, ‘What’s the weather like today?’ or ‘How tall is the Eiffel Tower?’ Now with the Windows 10 update Microsoft have brought her across to help with your daily life. There a cool feature similar to Google Now’s ‘always listening’ where you can trigger Cortana with the phrase ‘Hey Cortana’. This can be toggled on by selecting Cortana > select the note-book icon > settings > then toggle on Hey Cortana.

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3. Intelligent natural language search
Have you ever struggled to find that document from last month that you really need, or those pictures from last summer. Well now that Windows 10 comes with a new edition Cortana their new personal assistant. You can now use the new search bar on the left in the task bar, or by calling the hot word ‘Hey Cortana’. To find the files or photos you can type exactly what you want and cortana will show present it to you in a small thumbnail which is a direct link to it.

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4. It’s a Chameleon?
Windows 10 has a built-in color changing tool, which automatically changes colour according to your wallpaper that you want to use. This feature is turned on by default and is very handy to customizing the software experience to you. To toggle this on or off go to Settings > personalization > Colors.

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5. Recycling
Honestly, this is not a very exciting feature, but FINALLY Microsoft have allowed us to place the recycling bin the start menu. It may seem stupid but it is actually very convenient to drag items to the start menu instead of minimizing all open tabs and to navigate to the home screen.

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6. Adjustable start menu.
Back when Windows 8 was it was redesigned a lot from the previous operating system Windows 7, and along with this transition came the infamous full screen start menu. It was full screen as I mentioned and Microsoft brought the live tiles from their windows phones to their PC experiences. Now with Windows 10 they have integrated what people liked about both Windows 7/8 where you have the traditional most used apps to the left in a list, with also a short cut to the user profile, settings and power toggles. Then to the right of this is a small scrollable live tile menu with stock Windows apps and other shortcuts. The best part about this is that you can, re-size the start menu to be taller, shorter or wider for ease of use.

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7. ‘You have 1 new message.’
App notifications became more apparent when Windows 8 was introduced as the Windows Store was introduced. This also means more notification will be pushed to your laptop, also apps like Pushbullet which make it easier to mirror your phone and tablet notification to your desktop/laptop means that you will also be receiving notifications as well. So with Windows 10, Microsoft has added a ‘Notification Centre’ which collates all the notifications for you laptop in one area which makes them easier to manage.

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8. Desktops Galore
A key feature which has been baked in to Apple’s mac OS is the multi desktop feature, this makes multitasking easier as all your windows aren’t crammed together. Microsoft have also included a similar feature where you can add unlimited desktops. This can be handy when you are connected to an external monitor as well. This way you can spread out your opened windows. Also another feature is that you can see all you programs that are open in all desktops, so when selected it will jump you to that desktop.

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9. New multi-tasking
A shortcut I used to quickly switch between open programs is alt + tab, which gives you a small window in the middle which you can use the tab key again to select from the different windows. With Windows 10 the tab view is different as you can still use the alt + tab shortcut but it also takes you to the new task view which also doubles up as a small preview for the multiple desktops. Also when you pin a program to the side, it presents the other programs which you might want to pin next to it.

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10. Settings.
Windows 10 now has a simpler setting menu it is categorized into 8 main sections; System, Device, Network and Internet, Personalization, Accounts, Time and Language, Ease of Access, Privacy and Update and Recovery. This makes it easier to navigate around and find the settings you want. If you can however find what you are looking for, there is now a new search bar at the top right hand corner so it is even easier to find what you are looking for.

 

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Sachin Mistry
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Sachin Mistry

Sachin is an Editor at Bane Tech, where he loves exploring the latest in the Android/Google universe. When he's not buried in words, Sachin is a student at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK studying his first passion which is training to become a culinary arts Chef.