We’re on the record as believing everyone should upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 users know that it offers a lot of performance and user-friendly benefits right out of the box. And, as every version of Windows before it, Windows 10 comes packed with ways to tweak and improve your experience. Today, we’re going to share a few Windows 10 tips that are essential to making your computer work for you.
If you’re accustomed to classic versions of the Windows Start Menu, the new tile-based version can take some adjustment. Users new to the modern Start Menu experience will notice immediately (to their frustration!) that many installed apps don’t appear in the primary view. Thankfully, it’s an easy fix!
A button appearing on the left-hand side of the Start Menu will show you that list. In older versions of Windows 10, it’s called “All Apps” and appears to the lower left of the menu. In more recent versions, the button appears to the upper left as an icon that resembles a bullet list. But, if you’d like to see this list every time you open the Start Menu, you can do that, too! Just open your settings app, and click “Personalization,” then “Start,” and finally “show app list in Start Menu.” Voila! All your apps are once again at your fingertips.
Pin to Start
Tired of scrolling through a long list to find the app you want? The “Pin to Start” feature is one of our essential Windows 10 tips! Simply open the Start Menu, and right click on the program’s icon, then select “Pin to Start” to make access to your favorite apps quick & easy. Once the tile is pinned to start, you can drag it higher up the menu to make it even easier to find when you need it.
Access Quick Actions Menu
This simple Windows 10 tip is easily overlooked, but it is super convenient. When you click the Notifications icon (it looks like a chat bubble) on the bottom right of your screen, you’ll see a list of recent notifications. Then, at the bottom of the panel, you’ll also see a group of buttons that give you super-easy access to frequently-used settings like Wi-Fi and brightness control. You can also customize which Quick Actions appear in the list! Just open the Start Menu and type “Choose your Quick Actions,” which will take you to straight to that section of the Settings app.
This feature was introduced in the recent Creators Update, and we’re already in love. Anyone who has spent long stretches in front of a computer screen knows the pain of eye strain. And research has shown that the light of a computer screen wreaks havoc on our sleep cycles. Night Light helps to ease these problems by reducing the amount of blue light your screen gives off. You can even schedule it to coincide with sunrise and sunset! The first time you turn this feature on in a dark environment, you’ll wonder how you ever got on without it.
This Windows 10 tip is primarily for gamers, but it has other uses, as well. The Game Bar is a simple tool that allows you to capture screenshots and video to save and share with your friends. And, following the Creators Update, it can also stream video of your game for others to watch live. Just press Windows key + G while playing a game to open the app and start saving and sharing your favorite moments!
“Secret” Start Menu
This one is for the power users! This menu gives you quick access to features like Network Connections, Device Manager, Disk Management, and Command Prompt. Usually referred to as the “Power User Menu” or “Win+X Menu,” you can access it by right-clicking the Start Menu icon or pressing Windows key + X.
Listen up, multi-taskers! If you like to have a lot of windows open at the same time, virtual desktops help you stay organized and be more productive by allowing you to group windows together however you want. For instance, you can create a desktop for work, one for personal use, and one for school. Or, if your job requires that you work on several projects at a time, you can assign each one to a separate desktop, making it easy to jump in and out of the different workspaces. To get started, press Windows key + TAB to open the Task View, and then select “New Desktop.” To quickly switch between desktops, press CTRL + ALT + RIGHT or CTRL + ALT + LEFT.
Final Windows 10 Tip
Want even more Windows 10 tips & tricks? Here’s a meta-tip: open your Start Menu and type “tips” to find Windows 10’s built-in Tips app!