Have you been using Windows 10 for years or you upgraded recently? there are plenty of tricks and hidden features to learn that will make using your laptop every day faster and smoother. For example, finding the hidden Start menu and saving battery power with an easy trick. In case you haven’t upgraded, read my previous post on HOW TO INSTALL WINDOW 10 ON YOUR PC FOR FREE
Microsoft doesn’t typically publicize its hidden features, which can make it more difficult to know how to get the most out of the machine you use frequently. Even learning the way to upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost may be tricky. You’ll want to do this immediately, by the way, since support for Windows 7 has be discontinued. These amazing tips will help you stay organized and get more done.
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1. Minimize all windows except the active one
If your desktop screen has gotten too crowded with open windows, you’ll quickly minimize all of them except the one you’re currently working in.
Just click the title bar of the window you would like to retain. Then, hold the mouse down and move the window TO and FRO quickly – shaking it, essentially. After a few of quick shakes, all other open windows will minimize, leaving only the one you’ve shaken open. Interesting?
2. Open the ‘secret’ Start menu
You know that to get to the start menu, you hit the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen or on your keyboard. But Windows 10 includes a lesser-known second Start menu that makes accessing important features like the Command Prompt, the Control Panel and the Task Manager much easier. You can access it in two ways, either by pressing the Windows key + X, or right click the Windows icon/Start button.
3. Take a screenshot
This is a basic one though! – but it’s amazing how easy it is to forget how to take a screenshot on your laptop or desktop when you don’t do it often.
There is at least eight different ways you can take a screenshot with Windows 10. If you want to capture and save a picture of your entire screen, the easiest way is to hit the Windows key + Print Screen key, and that picture will be saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.
To capture only one a part of your screen, hit the Windows key + Shift + S to open a tool called Snipping Tools, which allows you to click and drag to make a screenshot, which you can save to the Picture folder.
4. Open items on your Taskbar with keyboard shortcuts
If you’ve pinned programs to your Taskbar at the bottom of your screen to create a shortcut, you don’t have to click the icons to open them. Instead, use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + [Number key], with the number key corresponding to the position of the program on the Taskbar. For example, Windows key + 2 will open the second item on the Taskbar.
This is especially useful if you’re typing furiously and don’t want to lift your fingers from the keyboard. It may feel more natural to go for the Windows key.
5. Figure out how much space apps are taking up
Computers start running slower as they grow short on space. One quick way to speed them up could also be to eliminate apps that take up more memory space than necessary, especially if you do not regularly use them.
To see the amount of space an app uses, navigate to Settings > System > Storage. Click on the drive you would like to search (likely the local storage, “Windows (C:)”), and click on Apps & games to check an inventory of apps installed on your machine and how much space they are taking up. You probably won’t get rid of your browser, but you might find that a game you haven’t played in years is some good dead weight to drop.
6. Shut down background apps
Apps that run within the background can receive info, send notifications, and stay updated, even once you aren’t using them – which may be useful, but also can suck your battery and your data, if you’re connecting via a mobile hotspot.
To control which apps are running within the background and save battery power and data, go to Settings > Privacy > Background apps. To stop all apps from running in the background, toggle Let apps run in the background to Off. Or, you can choose which apps to run in the background individually by going down the list on the same page.
7. Use background scrolling
With Windows 10, you’ll scroll up and down on any window — even though it isn’t the one you’re directly working in. This is a useful tool when you have a lot of windows open that you want to look through at the same time — for example, if you want to open new sub-menu options in new windows to avoid wasting your time clicking back and forward on the same page.
Try opening two programs – for instance, an internet browser page and a notepad or Word document. Arrange both on the screen so you can see at least some of the text on each. While you’re in one window, hover your mouse or use the touchpad to maneuver to the second window, and scroll. Even though you aren’t active in that window, it should allow you to move up and down the page.
The feature should get on by default, but if it is not, move to Settings > Devices > Mouse, and toggle Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them to ON. Then you can place your mouse over a window that’s in the background and use the scroll wheel to scroll.
8. Show file extensions in File Explorer
Microsoft hides file extensions by default, which makes life difficult for people who need to look for specific types of files, like JPEGs and JPGs. To see file extensions in File Explorer, do the following:
1. Go to the Search bar at the bottom of the screen, and type in File Explorer Options, and click it. (There are a number of other ways to get here too, but that one seems fastest.)
2. In the window that pops up, click the View tab.
3. Uncheck the box that says Hide extensions for known file types. Click Apply, and OK. You should now see file extensions for all files in the File Explorer.
You can also use the File Explorer Options menu to choose to show empty drives, hidden files and folders, and more.
9. Cut down on distractions with Focus assist
It’s frustrating to try and get work done when you keep getting interrupted with notifications. You can determine how many you get with Focus assist, a tool Windows 10 added in the April 2018 update.
Set it up by going to Settings > System > Focus assist. Choose from three options: Off (get all notifications from your apps and contacts), Priority (see only selected notifications from a priority list that you customize, and send the rest to your action center), and Alarms only (hide all notifications, except for alarms).
You can also choose to automatically turn this feature on during certain hours, or when you’re playing a game.
10. Create Multiple Desktops
Start by clicking the task view button next to the search bar (or icon) in your taskbar, which will bring up a button in the bottom-right corner/top right corner of your screen labeled “+ New desktop.” Just click this button to create a second desktop, then click it again to create a third, and so on. To have a view of the created desktops, just click the task view button, then click any of the thumbnails at the bottom/top of the screen to switch to an open desktop. To close your desktops, just click the task view button, then hover your mouse pointer over one of the desktop thumbnails and click the “X” button.
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