Windows 10 – Hidden gems and useful features

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Windows 10 – Hidden gems and useful features

So I think it’s fair to say that after Windows 8 we are all grateful to Microsoft for giving us back the Start Menu, but Windows 10 has so much more to offer. Here are some useful features of Windows 10 to help you acclimatise and get the most out of your software.

The Start Menu
Your most used programmes will show at the top of your Start Menu, but did you know, if you right click on Outlook you can send an email or add an item to your calendar without the need to go into Outlook.

Using the same right click on Word or Excel means you can instantly access your most recent documents.

You can customise the Start Menu look and behaviour, by clicking on Settings, Personalisation, then choose Start from the list on the left. Amongst other things you can increase the number of tiles you see or add links to most used folders.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Settings window as eventually it will replace the familiar Control Panel.

Windows Updates
Yes, your computer does still do the dreaded Windows Updates. You can’t stop it from downloading the updates, but you can control when it restarts:

  • From the settings cog on the Start Menu choose Update & Security
  • Windows Update should be highlighted in the left hand column, Click on the Advanced options link.
  • Change the Drop down box “Automatic (Recommended)” to “Notify to schedule restart”

Next time Windows 10 wants to update itself, it will ask you first!

Keyboard Shortcuts
Lastly, for now here are some useful keyboard shortcuts for you to try. (For these to work, your keyboard needs to have, what’s known as a Windows Key, usually between the CTRL and ALT keys on the same row as your space bar, with a little Windows logo emblazoned upon it):

  • Windows Key and TAB
    Makes all your open windows little mini windows so you can find the one you are looking for.
  • Windows Key and D
    Minimises (Does not Close) all your open windows and shows your desktop.
  • Windows Key and i
    Opens the Settings Menu we have been talking about.
  • Windows Key and , (Comma)
    Lets you peek at your desktop (I don’t know why, but it does it!)
  • Windows Key and L
    Locks your computer, handy when you need to step away from your desk and you don’t want anyone snooping.