Microsoft releases new updates and patches for Windows 10 rather regularly. It has a been a while since the last major update of the operating system, and now it is safe to say that update was quite good despite having strange changes to upgrade policy as well as phased rollouts. The developers are trying to narrow the gap between mobile devices and desktops while delivering similar user experience. The system remains easy to use even with a ton of new additions and cool features. However, some features are on the surface, while some are hidden within various settings menus, where average users don’t dare to look. So today we’re bringing you the best Windows 10 tips and tricks that will come in handy for every user!
Set File Explorer to Open ‘This PC’
In older versions of Windows, we had a ‘My Computer’ icon on the desktop for quick access to Windows Explorer. In Windows 10, that icon was replaced with another one – ‘This PC’ – but the core idea remained the same. If you don’t see this icon on your desktop, you can make it visible by doing the following:
- Right-click any free space on your desktop.
- Select Personalize from the context menu.
- Click Themes.
- On the right sidebar, click Go to Desktop Icon settings.
- In the next menu, select desktop icons you need to be visible. You can pin any of those icons to the Start Menu if you want to.
In case, you don’t need all those icons on your desktop, but you still want to open ‘This PC’ by pressing the ‘File Explorer’ button in the Start Menu, these instructions will help you:
- Open any folder in Windows Explorer, then go to the View tab.
- Switch to the Extended ribbon and click Options.
- The Folder Options window will appear. In the General tab, you will see the dropdown menu next to the option called “Open File Explorer to.” Select ‘This PC.’
- Apply changes and press OK.
Hide Search and Make the Task View Button Disappear from your Taskbar
Microsoft tries to improve Cortana, your Windows 10 virtual assistant, with every patch even though she is already doing a good job. As for the interface features, some users dislike unnecessary (from their point of view) things on the Taskbar. The most hated feature in this category is definitely the Search Bar. But it is easy to hide, if you need extra space or just don’t like it. Right-click any free space on the Taskbar, click on the “Search” submenu, then select Hidden (or Show Search Icon, if you want to have just a small icon for quick search instead of the Search Bar).
The Task View feature also has a separate button on Windows 10. If you don’t like it, you can make disappear using the method described in the previous paragraph. Right-click your Taskbar and uncheck the “Show Task View button” option.
Customizable Command Prompt
In Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 Command Prompt was not customizable. With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft gifted this tool a pack of options for customization including the ability to change background and text color, fonts, opacity, size, and so on. You can see all the options in the Properties menu. To open it, you need to right-click the top bar of the Command Prompt window and select Properties from the context menu.
How many times have you been in the situation when a random pop-up appears on your screen and deactivates the window you are working in? It wouldn’t be so annoying if you didn’t force you to switch back to the opened window and scroll it down. Windows 10 has an answer to this problem – it is the Background Scrolling feature. It allows you to scroll down even inactive pages as long as your cursor remains on the page. You can enable this feature in two quick steps:
- Open Settings>>Devices>>Mouse & touchpad.
- Look for the option “Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them” and turn it on.
Change the size of the Start Menu
In Windows 10, Microsoft decided to step away from the full-screen Start Menu as it was in Windows 8. However, if you really like that full-screen mode, you can bring it back on Windows 10. Also, it is possible to resize the menu. Move your cursor to the border of the Start Menu until it changes the standard shape to the double arrow form, then drag it to adjust the size.
Background App Manager
If you are using the mobile version of Windows 10, you probably know that it allows users to manage apps in the background. But did you know that the desktop version of Windows 10 has this feature as well? For example, if you don’t need the Weather app running all the time, you can stop it. Go to Settings, select Privacy, click on Background Apps on the left sidebar. In the menu that will appear, choose which apps are allowed to run in the background.
The main difference between timed screenshots and standard screenshots in Windows 10 is a delay set by the user. You can choose how many seconds it will take for the system to take a screenshot after you pressed the Print Screen button. Go to the Start Menu and search for the Snipping Tool, then launch it. When it is up and running, click on the Delay button and select the desired period (No Delay, 1/2/3/4/5 seconds).
Command Prompt Shortcuts
Apart from customization, Command Prompt received another fantastic update – now it understands standard Windows shortcuts such as CTRL+V, CTRL+C, and others. If you are using Command Prompt regularly, you will be more than happy with these shortcuts that will save you plenty of time when typing command sequences.
This concludes our list of the best yet mostly unknown features available on Windows 10. Sure, there are many more cool hidden options and settings in this operating system, and we will cover them in our future guides.