Windows 10 Tips And Tricks

Windows 10 is pretty awesome! Microsoft brought back the Start menu and introduced tons of new and exciting features, including Cortana, an intelligent personal assistant for Windows and a new browser, Microsoft Edge. If you just upgraded your PC here are some cool Windows 10 tips and tricks.

Windows 10

Windows 10 tips & tricks

How to manually connect to a Wi-Fi network

If you can’t connect to a Wi-Fi network automatically for some reason, you can do it manually. Here is how.

In the notification panel which is located at the bottom-right corner, click on the icon in the form of the antenna. If you installed a Wi-Fi driver but the adapter is turned off, the icon will have a red cross. If there is an available Wi-Fi network, it will be marked with an asterisk. Click on the icon and then click on “Available”. Next, click on the network you wish to connect to and click on the “Connect” button. If the password is required, enter it and then click Next. If you are connecting to your home network, click Yes when asked if you want your computer to be the part of the Home network.

How to forget a Wi-Fi network

Forgetting a Wi-Fi network in Windows 10 is a really simple thing to do. Just follow these steps.

Click on the Wi-Fi icon in system tray. Right above the network you’ll see Network Settings. Just click on that option and Windows 10 Wi-Fi settings will open. Scroll down and click on “Manage Wi-Fi settings”, find the network, select it and then click Forget.

How to disable Wi-Fi sense

Wi-Fi sense is enabled by default. It allows your computer to acquire Wi-Fi passwords from your friends, and it also shares your password with them. Here is how you can turn this option off.

  • Click on the Start button and then click on Settings
  • Go to Network & Internet
  • Click on Wi-Fi
  • Scroll down and click on Manage Wi-Fi
  • Disable the following options “Connect to suggested open hotspots” and “Connect to networks shared by my contacts”.

How to find the Wi-Fi password in Windows 10

If you forgot your Wi-Fi password, here is how you can find it.

In the taskbar, click on the Wi-Fi icon, and you’ll see “Network Settings”. Click on it. Next, click on Network and Sharing Center. Find the network you are connected to, click on it with the right mouse button, and click on Wireless Properties. Now click on the Security tab and check the option “Show characters”.

How to increase microphone volume

To increase microphone volume in Windows 10, follow the steps below:

  • In the Windows 10 taskbar, click on the volume icon with the right mouse button
  • Click on Recording devices
  • Double click on the Microphone
  • Select “Levels”
  • Move the sliders to the right and adjust the settings according to your desires.

Windows 10 not recognizing the headphones

Here is what you need to do if Windows 10 is not recognizing the headphones.

Method 1: Audio driver update

  • In the search field in the bottom-left corner, type Device Manager and when it shows up on the list click on it
  • Click on Sound, video and game controllers
  • Select VIA HD Audio and tap on the right mouse button
  • Now, click on Update Driver Software

Method 2: Change default sound format

  • With the right mouse button click on the volume icon in the bottom-right corner
  • Next, click on Playback Devices
  • Double click on Speakers
  • Click on Advanced tab, and under Default format set the sample rate to the highest value

Method 3: Uninstall the las headphones driver

If the problem occurred when you installed the driver, perhaps the latest driver is causing the problem. Here is what you need to do:

  • With the right mouse button click on the volume icon in the bottom-right corner
  • Click Playback devices
  • Click on Headphones and then click on Properties
  • Click on Driver under Controller information, and choose Roll Back Driver.

How to disable Windows defender

Windows comes with an antivirus software called Windows defender. If you want to use another antivirus program, Windows defender will be disabled automatically, but sometimes you have to do this on your own. Here is how.

Method 1: Disable it temporarily

To disable it temporarily, follow these steps: click on Start > Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Defender and turn off Real-time protection. After 15 minutes, it will turn back on.

Method 2: Disable it permanently

  • First, you need to open “Run” with the combination of keys Win + R
  • Next, type gpedit.msc and click OK
  • Now, click on Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender
  • Double click on Real-time protection and select enabled option to turn it off
  • Click OK.

How to remove the Windows.old folder

When you upgrade your OS to a new version, you’ll notice Windows.old folder on the disk C:, and it’s useful if any error appears after the installation of the new system. However, this folder takes a lot of space and it will be automatically deleted after 28 days. You can delete it manually. Here is how:

  • Use the combination of keys Win + R to open “Run”
  • Then, type cleanmgr
  • Select Drive C and click OK
  • When the Disk Cleanup window opens, select Clean up system files and then Disk Cleanup will open again
  • Select Disk C and click on OK
  • After a brief scan, select the folder Previous Windows installation(s) and click OK.

How to restore old Windows photo viewer

One of the first things many of us noticed once we installed Windows 10 is the fact there is no old Windows photo viewer. There is a modern app called Photos. If you want, you can restore the old photo viewer. Here is how.

  • First, you need to download this file:
  • Extract the file and run it
  • Files will be added to the registry
  • Once you click on the context menu “Open with” when you want to open a photo, you will be able to select Windows photo viewer.

How to use Cortana

Personal Windows 10 assistant Cortana can do many things for you. In order to use it, you need to adjust the privacy settings in Speech, Inking & Typing. Add the information about your location.

Cortana can remind you to do something, send an email, play music, give information about the weather, and so much more. You will see a search box “Ask me anything” and there you can type a question. Also, you can use your microphone as well. Just say “Hello” followed by a command. Type Cortana in the search box, and then click on Cortana Search & Settings to learn more. It’s all very simple!

How to disable automatic updates

Updates are important because they fix the errors and glitches the users may have been experiencing. However, automatic updates can be disabled.

Method 1: Group Policy Editor

This can be applied only on Windows Pro and Enterprise. In the search bar, type gpedit.msc, and when the window opens, go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows components > Windows Update and then double click on Configure Automatic Updates. In the Settings window, select Disable. Click Apply and close the editor. Go to System settings and from there start checking for updates for the change to take effect.

Method 2: Services

If you have the Home version of Windows 10, type services.msc in the search box and click on Services. Double click on Windows update, then click Stop and select the startup type “Disabled”. Apply the changes.

Method 3: Use limited internet connectivity

“In Windows 10, there is another possibility to disable updates – using Wi-Fi Limited connection. This option controls data usage and it will not be able to download updates: Open the Settings and go to “Network and Internet” section; click on Wi-Fi section open “Advanced Settings”, find “Metered connection” and switch to On.”

How to roll back builds and uninstall updates

Both, regular updates and builds (large updates) are important because the updates bring improvements and fixes. But sometimes, after the update some issues may appear in which case you want to roll back builds and uninstall updates.

To roll back builds, follow these steps:

  • Click on Start
  • Go to Settings > Update and Security > Recovery
  • Next, click on Get started and click on Go back to an earlier build.

To remove typical Windows 10 updates, follow these steps:

  • Click on Start
  • Go to Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options > View Your History
  • You will see the list of recently installed updates
  • You can click on the update and click Uninstall updates.

How to enable hibernate mode

Here is the simplest way to enable hibernate mode in Windows 10.

  • Click on the search box in the bottom-right corner, type Command Prompt and when it shows up on the list, click on it
  • Next, type powercfg –h on to enable the hibernate mode
  • To disable it, open Command Prompt and type powercfg –h off.

How to use battery saver

You can use the battery saver option to increase the battery life on  your laptop. When the battery on your device is low, this mode will turn on automatically, but you can turn it on manually as well. Here is how:

  • In the taskbar, click on the battery icon
  • Click on Battery saver

To adjust the Battery saver settings according to your desires, do the following:

  • Click on Start
  • Click on Settings > Battery Saver > Battery saver settings

How to configure Do not disturb mode

The notifications and sounds can be pretty annoying, but in Windows 10 you can turn on quiet hours and mute the notification alerts.

To enable quiet hours, right click on the notification icon located in the taskbar and click on Turn on quiet hours.

If you want to mute notification alerts, go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions and turn off the following: “Show notifications on the lock screen” and “Show alarms, reminders and incoming VOIP calls on the lock screen”.

If you don’t want to turn off the notifications for all the apps, go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions, scroll down to “Show notifications from these apps” and leave the notifications on for the apps you want.

How to find and set screensavers

Follow these steps:

  • With the right mouse button click on the desktop
  • Click on Personalize
  • Click on Lock screen
  • Now click on Screen saver settings
  • Choose the screen saver you want, set the “Wait” time, click Apply and then click OK.

How to boot your computer into Safe mode

To boot your computer into the Safe mode, follow these steps:

  • Press these keys Win + R
  • Enter msconfig in the field and press Enter
  • Open the “Boot” tab
  • Check “Safe boot”
  • You will see several options (minimal – normal safe boot, network – safe mode with networking, alternate shell – safe mode with command prompt, and active directory repair – refers to server restore);
  • Choose one of the options
  • Click on Apply
  • Click on OK
  • Restart your computer
  • Your computer will boot into safe mode

To go back to the normal mode, navigate to the Boot tab (as shown above), uncheck “Safe boot” and restart your computer.

How to disable OneDrive

If you don’t want to use Microsoft’s cloud storage, you can disable it.

To disable it, click with the right mouse button on the OneDrive icon in the notification bar in the bottom-right corner and then click on Settings. Under Account tab cancel the synchronization. In the Settings tab, you can uncheck the option for OneDrive to start when you sign in to Windows.

How to disable login screen

It can be quite annoying to type your username and password every time you turn your computer on. You can disable this option. Here is how:

  • In the search box at the bottom-left, type Netplwiz and when it appears on the list click on it
  • Select your account
  • Uncheck the option  “Users must enter a username and password to use this computer”
  • Click Apply
  • Restart your computer

How to change display language

If you want to change the display language in Windows 10, follow the steps below.

First, you need to download and install the language you want:

  • Click on Start > Settings > Time and Language
  • Next, click on Region and Language
  • Click on (+)
  • Browse the languages and select the one you want and the download will start

Now, to set the language as default, do the following:

  • Click on Start
  • Go to Settings > Time & Language > Region and Language
  • Select “Set as default” and restart your computer.

How to disable AutoPlay

When you insert a memory card, a DVD or any other removable device into your computer, you’ll see “AutoPlay” and you will be asked what type of action you want to perform. If you don’t like this feature, you can turn it off.

  • Click on Start
  • Go to Settings > Devices
  • Scroll down, choose AutoPlay and turn it off for all the devices
  • If you don’t want to turn off the option for all the devices, you can customize the settings under Choose AutoPlay Defaults.

How to add a PIN-code to your account

To add a PIN-code to your account:

  • Click on Start
  • Go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options and in the PIN section, click on Add button
  • If required, verify your password
  • Next, enter the numbers into the box – at least for digits, no letters are allowed
  • Confirm the PIN
  • Click OK.

To change the PIN-code:

  • Click on Start
  • Go to Settings > Accounts > Sign in Options > Change
  • Enter your current PIN-code
  • Enter the digits in the field “New PIN”
  • Click OK.

To reset the PIN-code:

  • Click on Start
  • Go to Settings > Accounts > Sign in Options > I forgot my PIN
  • Verify the password for your account and follow the steps to set up a new PIN-code.

How to disable Quick Access in File Explorer

When you open the File Explorer in Windows 10, the first you will see is the Quick Access.

To go back to This PC view, do the following:

  • Open the File Explorer
  • Click on “File” in the top-left corner
  • Click on Change folder and search options
  • Under General tab select “Open File Explorer to”
  • Now replace Quick Access with This PC

To put your favorite folders to the sidebar, do the following:

  • Open the File Explorer
  • Click on “File”
  • Click on Change folder and search options
  • Under General section in Privacy box uncheck the following “Show recently used files in Quick access” and “Show frequently used folders in Quick access”
  • Click on Apply.

How to keep your personal data private

Here are some tips and tricks to keep your personal data private in Windows 10.

First, go to Settings > Privacy. You will notice that many options are enabled by default. Go through those options and turn the ones you want off.

Cortana is one of the coolest features in Windows 10, but it remembers all your inquiries and it will offer you suggestions based on those inquiries. If your privacy is more important to you than this feature, turn it off.

You can use local Windows account, in which case you won’t have as rich synchronization between devices. On the other hand, with the local account, Microsoft can’t use your data.

“Adverts on Windows 10 work by offering you personalized ads every time you log into your Microsoft account. It is very easy to turn off such adverts – just visit an external site and mark “off” on both options for personalized adverts.”

Image Source: YouTube / MPlugz

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