13 How-to Windows 10 Skills

Look like a professional Windows 10 power user

Steve Smith makes you a power user with 13 skill sets you shouldn't use Microsoft's Windows 10 without. Dominate your user interface, command its respect, and make it look, run, and operate exactly as you see fit.

Episode #6-30 released on April 11, 2016

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It has been many months since Microsoft has been allowing some users to upgrade to Windows 10, and shoving it down others' throats. No matter which way you acquired it, if you kept it, you might be wondering about a few things to do with Windows 10 and its features.

The most useful feature, the ability to return Windows 10 back to a day one state, and for those wondering, this also works for Windows 8. If something has gone wrong with drivers, or software, and you want to reset your entire Windows install, hold down shift, and from the start menu click on restart. Just make sure you do a backup first, then follow the instructions given.

Disable Cortana, this seems like a feature waste, after all, Siri is great, why does Cortana suck? Well Siri doesn't always listen to you, Cortana does. I have played live streams where Cortana has made it virtually impossible to play by doing completely different tasks. This means that it interferes in my processes. It is for those of you may want to disable it that I add this. Also, it is a privacy risk. If you press the Cortana, or Search icon, you can load the menu, the click the gear icon. Click the slider to off for Cortana. Now, it will no longer be functioning.

Disable Tracking, click the search icon, and search for Privacy Settings. This will bring you to privacy in Windows 10 control panel. I won't tell you to disable or enable anything, only that you can. The less the operating system is tracking you, the fewer tasks are actually being done, and the less Microsoft will know about you in the process. While, I may agree that knowing how the operating system is functioning, what is not working, and how it crashes is useful. I am a firm believer in letting users OPT IN.

Relocating folders like Pictures, Documents, Videos, etc. is a valuable skill set, especially if you are like me, and use a multi drive configuration like a small SSD for your Windows install, and a big data drive. How important is this skill? While having a bigger drive will help, we are in fact lazy. We use default settings to save documents, files, pictures, etc. So if we change the defaults beforehand, we are in fact lessening the risk of filling up our primary SSD drives with files slowing down our experience. Click on my computer, right click desktop, documents, etc. under This PC, go to location, and remap the location to another folder on a different drive. And, that changes the default location. It may copy over the files, if any, at the same time.

If you have several computers running Windows 10, and want to reduce the amount of bandwidth used overall, click the search option, type in update, click Windows Update. Click advanced options, then Choose how updates are delivered. While this option is on by default, if you have computers that are rarely on, you can click on PCs on my local network, or the option including PCs on the Internet. If bandwidth is of considerable issue, you can, also, turn this off and keep the devices from sharing updates, and if you only have one machine, then it may benefit you, too.

Changing default applications in Windows 10 can be an epic pain in the arse, and to be frank, Microsoft is going out of its way to piss us all off by even trying to convince us their applications work better. Really, Microsoft? I doubt it. Click start menu, settings, system, default apps, the select the applications you wish to change the default to. Ignore the message from Windows claiming their application works better, it is likely a farce. At the bottom of the page you can click reset if you make any major mistakes, which I doubt you will have to do.

The easiest way to setup automated tasks using Windows Scheduler, is to use the search option first. Windows 10, as well as Windows 8, allows a search for tool option. Click the search tool and type in schedule, and select Task Scheduler. In the actions menu to the right, select create basic task, give it a name, click next. Select a trigger, click next again. Set up trigger details if necessary, click next again. Select type of action, then click next again. In my case I selected launch program, as a trick, if the program has a desktop icon, go to the desktop folder and select the icon. Then click next. If you are happy, click finish.

Editing start menus tile interface is simple. The instructions are the same for Windows 8 tile interface, for the most part, as well. Open your start menu, and right click any tile to change its size. Certain tiles can, also, have a live option that you can turn on or off. The more live tiles that are on, the more ram it will use, so do this sparely, and only for applications you truly want running all the time. You can, also, drag and drop them into clusters, and different positions, making your own unique interface. You can drag entire sections to change orders, and make the start menus as thin, or wide as necessary to make this all work, too.

Silence notifications is an interesting skill that requires very little explanation, but the benefits can be enormous, especially during presentations, tasks where you need to concentrate, live streams, and of course when you are getting annoyed, or irritated. Click the notification panel and click on quiet hours, and the trick is done.

Airplane Mode, is a useful trick to disconnect your computer from the Internet from WIFI. Use the notification panel to click on Airplane mode to activate it, and when you are ready to reconnect, click it again.

Bluetooth, this is easily accessible via the notification panel, and clicking on the button will bring you to the right place where you can pair, connect, disconnect and forget your Bluetooth enabled devices. For more options and control, click the link, under Related Settings, more Bluetooth options.

Using new desktops, is a neat tool. Linux has had the ability for many years, and before the Linux fan boys claim Linux is better. Let us remember that most Windows users don't switch because of program compatibility, or because of Gaming. One day maybe this won't be an issue, but needless to say, this feature will allow for some neat usefulness. Beside the Search icon, box, or Cortana is a small rectangle icon with two smaller rectangles to the right and left. Click it. Bottom right of the primary screen is a plus sign with new desktop marked below it. Click it. Now you can launch more applications here. Useful for switching between personal, business, or other types of tasks. Above each desktop icon when you click on it again is an X like the top right of applications, this will close the desktop, too.

Getting applications from the Windows App Store is easier than most might believe. Own an Android, or iPhone? If you said yes, you have all the skills you need to achieve this. It will require a Microsoft account, but you likely have a Windows Live, Hotmail, or Outlook account already, so use that. Go to the store icon on your taskbar, or store menus, select an application, and click the free, or Buy button.

With each of these 13 skills acquired, you will be have now become a Windows 10 power user, and with the many years of experience you may already have with Windows itself, you will be better able to make your friends and family power users, as well. Go on, share this episode, spread the word, and make the world a more useful, efficient place in the process.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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