Top 13 Windows 10 Tricks and Hacks

Top 13 Windows 10 Tricks and Hacks

Today, Windows 10 is one of the best and most popular operating systems when it comes to personal computing. It has loads of new added features and optimizations which makes it stand out in terms of performance and security compared to other operating systems.

Windows 10 is the most convenient and user friendly version of windows so far which was released for public in July, 2015. Since then, it has made its place in most of the personal computers of the world giving a nice experience to the users.

It has a lot of added tweaks and tricks compared to the previous version which creates a whole new experience for the user. It has hundreds of user interface and security related changes ranging from including a whole new and secure edge browser to boost its performance while playing games manually or to curb the performance in order to save the battery.

The best 13 tweaks and tricks of Windows 10 are mentioned below.

Regarding the look & feel and Personalization

Windows 10 has a variety of UI customizations which makes it more flexible in day to day usage. Just by clicking on personalization in settings menu, one can try a variety of tweaks to the UI from customizing start menu to applying different themes and accent colours.

The best tricks regarding the personalization are listed below

#1 Slideshow

This feature is basic but one of the most pleasing and attractive to the user. To run a slideshow instead of a fixed wallpaper, all you have to do is go to settings>personalization>background. There you will see an option under background named slideshow. That is it. All you need to choose now is the time after which the wallpaper should change.

slideshow
slideshow

Also, the same option is there for lockscreen. In the personalization section, go to lock screen and there you will see the same option of slideshow. To get more options, you can also go to advanced slideshow settings link just below the “choose albums” option.

#2  Applying a theme

Changing or applying a new theme is the quickest way to create a whole new experience in terms of look and feel. Changing themes will change your background and accent colours both at once.

You need to go to settings>personalization>themes. From there, you can select from the inbuilt themes available. But, that’s not all of it.

Theme
Theme

You can download a number of themes from the microsoft store. All you need to do is click on “Get more themes in the store” link which will take you to the app store from where you can pick any theme you want by clicking on “get”. It will start downloading the theme and once it is downloaded, you have to click launch button in order to go back to the themes menu. You will see your downloaded theme there and then you can apply it.

There is also an option available in themes which is “use custom themes”. From that, you can make your own themes as you like.

#3 Customizing the taskbar

This is another unique improvement in the UI section which gives more options to change the look & feel and also utility of the taskbar. These options help in adding more real estate to the desktop.

In order to customize the taskbar, you need to open settings, then personalization and then taskbar. In that, you will see a dozens of options with ON and OFF toggles in it.

Taskbar
Taskbar

You can enable and disable any of them you want. Also, there are options regarding the location of the taskbar. You can keep your taskbar at the bottom, top, left or right position on the desktop, wherever you want.

Along with this in the taskbar section, you can also customize the notifications. All you need to do is jump down in the taskbar section to the notification area. Under that, again you have a tons of different options. You can select the number of apps which you want notifications from, on the taskbar and disable the ones you don’t want. For that, you just have to click on “Select which icons appear on the taskbar” and your job is done.

You can also optimize the taskbar space by just right-clicking the taskbar. By doing that, a dialog box will pop up in which there will be many options related to what and how to show anything on taskbar. For example, if you want to keep the full cortana search bar or just the cortana button you can check or uncheck against “Show Cortana Icon” or “Show Search Box”. There are other options also included in this box.

#4 Customizing the Start Menu

This change is a huge upgrade compared to the previous version of windows. It brings tons of changes to the visibility, UI and apps in the start menu.

For basic start menu changes, you need to go to settings>personalization>start.

Start menu
Start menu

There you will see a number of different toggles which are sufficient for some basic changes in the start menu. For example, there are toggles to show more tiles in the start menu, show recently added apps, most used apps, show recently opened apps, etc. These all can be enabled or disabled by clicking on the toggle button.

There is also an option to select the number of folders appearing on the start menu. Folders appear as a group of tiles on the start menu and to customize that, you just need to click on the “Choose which folders appear on start” option inside the start section of personalization and enable the toggle which prompts to show folders.. Also, creating new folders is very easy. You need to drag and drop a tile on other tile inside the start menu and it will be a new folder. These folders can also be resized by just right clicking on them.

You can also customize the left start menu column which shows the “shut down” and “settings” options as default. For that, again click on “Choose which folders appear on start” and then you will see a number of toggles which, on enabling, will add icons on the left smaller column of the start menu. That’s all.

These few easy tricks, which are mentioned above, are useful in completely changing the look & feel of your windows OS. It includes changes related to accent colours, themes, wallpapers, icons, toolbars and mainly the start menu.

The new Cortana

Ofcourse, one of the best features of windows 10 OS is the new Cortana assistant which is exclusive to the windows 10 when it comes to personal computers. It was there for windows 8.1 phone OS but not as functional and efficient as on Windows 10 PC Operating System. It has a tons of AI features which makes it very easy and at the same time “friendly” to use.

#5 Enabling voice search hotword

To enable your voice detection with cortana, you need to click on the search box next to the start button. Then, from there, you will see a popup and on the bottom-left corner of the popup menu, there will be a notebook icon. Click on that icon and head to its settings. From there, jump down to “Hey Cortana” option and enable it. Then click the “Learn my voice” and it will ask you to speak in order to match the voice. Once the setup is complete, you will be able to do a lot of things by just speaking the hotword “Hey Cortana”.

voice search
voice search

You will be able to directly log in to your PC after it starts by saying “Hey Cortana”. Also it will assist you when you want to search anything on the internet. Just say the words “Hey Cortana” and once it activates, you can ask whatever you want.

(As a matter of fact, when cortana was still in its developmental stage, it was able to predict the winners of first 14 matches of FIFA 2014 world cup knockout stage which was a huge surprise.)  So such is its accuracy.

#6 Getting the perfect assistance

As Cortana is one of the best A.I. assistants, it gets your job done in many cases and that too quite perfectly. You can do a number of things with the help of it. These functionalities include:

Searching with Bing: The Cortana uses Edge browser and bing search engine as default to search for required information. This information can be anything for example weather conditions, sports scores, regarding politics, etc.

As a notebook: Cortana can be used as a notebook or precisely as a personal diary to store your private information. To use the Cortana notebook, you need to open the Cortana menu, in that, below the home icon, there will be a notebook icon. Click on “About me” in the notebook icon and then you can add any information you want to, and it will be safe.

voice search

Setting reminders: This is again a very useful feature of cortana. All you need to do is just activate the cortana either by speaking “Hey Cortana” or by clicking on the cortana button and then speak out what reminder you want to set and at what time. After doing that, your job is done. It will give you the notification of your reminder without any mistake.

These were the main uses of Cortana. These tricks enable users to get a taste of assistance which they have never got before.

Regarding the updates

The not-so-popular feature of windows until its latest OS upgrade was its updates section. Microsoft made the update process really easy and convenient with the Windows 10 OS. Now you can update your system whenever you want. Also, you can download updates in patches and mainly, by enrolling the insider program you can get the taste of unreleased versions of Windows 10.

#7 Update anytime

With Windows 10, you can update your windows at any time you want, that too, very easily. You need to go to settings, then “Update and security” and then to “Windows update”. In that, you will see a link saying “Change active hours”. Click on that and you will be able to choose your desired time for the update to be done.

Update
Update

You can also update overnight by turning on the download and leaving your PC on at night. Just remember to plug in if it is a laptop and stay connected to wifi. This is a good option to avoid any daily interruptions.

#8 Freeing up space

Windows 10 comes with a smart feature of “storage sense” which ensures the routine removal of unwanted files automatically. It deletes all the junk files in order to free up space for future updates.

Freeing up space
Freeing up space

To enable this, you need to go to settings, then system, then storage. There you will see a toggle under storage sense which on enabling, will activate “Storage sense”.

Useful Gestures

This is mainly for users using Windows 10 on laptops. There are a number of touchpad gestures which are extremely useful in day to day tasks. These gestures allow users to get the most of the work done just with their touchpads on laptops.

#9 Show more commands-gesture

This gesture is used as an alternative for right click. All you need to do is tap two fingers on the touchpad and it will open the dialog box showing more commands

#10 See all open windows

This gesture is used to give a bird-eye view of all the open windows. To do that, you need to place your three fingers on touchpad and swipe them away from you or towards the screen of the PC and your job is done.

#11 Switch between open windows

After you have a view of all your open windows, you can also switch between them just by swiping your three fingers right or left. By doing this, all the windows will open consecutively.

#12 Open action centre  

To do this, you need to tap four of your fingers on the touchpad and the action centre will directly open.

#13 Switch between virtual desktops

Windows 10 also has an option to jump between desktops just by a simple gesture. You need to place four of your fingers on the touchpad and swipe right or left.

NOTE:- Some of these touchpad gestures will only work on precision touchpads. They are a special type of touchpads specially made for Windows 10 and do not come with all the laptops.