Welcome to Windows 10
Windows 10. The last version of Windows, designed to be the best Windows ever.
Tested by millions of users who provided input and ideas, Windows 10 combines familiarity, speed and innovative new features – including a digital assistant and a brand-new browser – with the bedrock strengths you expect from Windows, like superior security and compatibility. And for the first time ever, you get free, always-enabled updates that help keep your systems current for the supported life of the device.
The result is a fresh experience that’s quick to learn, easy to use, and great for doing the things that matter most to you.
The familiar Start menu is back in a more robust and expanded format that provides one-click access to the functions and files that people use most. You can quickly reach your most frequently used apps and PC settings and there is plenty of space to add your favorite Live Tiles.
The new Start menu is familiar whether you’re coming from Windows 7 or Windows 8.
The Start Button
Clicking the Start button brings up the old-style Windows 7 look and the Windows 8 tile-look. There are lots of changes that can be made in this to get it the way you’d like to see it, and many changes can be made here to alter other areas on Windows 10. If you right click on the Start button there is a context menu from ‘Programs and Features’ to ‘Command Prompt’ and from ‘Task Manager’ to ‘Run’.
Removing all the tiles allows you to resize the start screen to a very Windows Seven-esque start menu. You’ll now find the apps and applications clicking Start > All Apps.
Your apps—right at your fingertips
Here’s what you’ll find on the left side of the Start menu:
- Most used — the apps that you use every day, front and center.
- Suggested/recently added — the place to discover new apps based off of your current collection. You’ll also find any new apps you install from Windows Store so that they’re easy to access or pin to Start right away.
- Places — the fastest way to access File Explorer, Settings, and Power.
- All apps —a list of all your installed apps, arranged for easy alphabetical browsing.
- Right clicking on an app or application in the All Apps section allows you to pin that to the Start or Taskbar.
The Tile Apps
Right-clicking on a tile allows you several options such as sizing it, pinning it to the Taskbar or removing the app from the Start all together.
Get up-to-the-minute updates with Live Tiles
New email, your next appointment, or the weekend weather: Live Tiles deliver updates from your apps right on your Start screen so you can easily see what’s happening in your world and jump right into an app when you need to.
Stay organized with tile groups
If your Start menu starts to feel cluttered, try moving some of your pinned apps into a group of similar items.
To create a new group of tiles, move an app’s tile up or down until a group divider appears, and then release the tile. Move apps in or out of the group as your fancy takes you. To give your new group a name, select the open space above your new group and enter a name.
The Settings App
The Settings app (Start > Settings) is a graphical interface of the Control Panel, with various sections: System, Devices, Network & Internet, Personalization, Account, Time & Language, Privacy, & Security.
This type of interface makes it easier for users adjust settings that were somewhat more difficult to locate.
Choosing the Personalization section allows for customization of which folder appear on Start. This is also where you change colors, desktop background, the screensaver and themes.
Windows Search: Cortana
A major feature in Windows 10 is Cortana, the search assistant, which is deeply integrated into the operating system. This is not enabled by default, you have to agree to the conditions to do this.
Typing (or speaking, if you have a microphone) in a query will yield results in both the web and the local machine.
Think of Cortana as a truly personal digital assistant who works across all your Windows 10 devices to help you get things done. By learning more about you over time, Cortana becomes more useful every day and is on your Windows 10 PC, tablet, and phone.
Cortana Home gives you helpful info at a glance
Cortana Home is the place to go for personal suggestions, a daily glance of the day ahead, recommendations for restaurants to check out, and more.
To get to Cortana Home, click the search box located in the task bar or click on the Cortana Live Tile on your Start menu.
Keep track of your preferences in Cortana’s Notebook
The Notebook is where Cortana keeps track of what you like and what you want. Use it to control what Cortana knows about you, including your interests and favorite places.
To open Cortana’s Notebook, select Notebook from the left-hand side of the Cortana window.
Cortana makes it easy to keep up with your schedule
Cortana can be a personal assistant for reminding you about all the important things in your life. Time-based, people-based, and location-based reminders all trigger at the right time on any device, making sure that you never miss a thing.
To set a reminder using your voice, select the microphone icon (or + C on your keyboard) and then tell Cortana what you want to be reminded about. Start by saying “Remind me to” and then add any details you need. You can include a time or a location when setting the reminder as well. For example, you can say “Remind me to feed the fish at 3 PM,” or, “Remind me to water the plants when I get home.” If more information is needed to set the reminder, Cortana will ask you for it.
Cortana can find what you’re looking for
When you search from the task bar, Cortana will show you results from your PC, the web, and OneDrive. You can also use Cortana for help with troubleshooting. If you run into a problem or have a question about how to get things done, just type something about it into the Windows search box. Cortana will provide instant answers or links to helpful websites.
Microsoft has embedded OneDrive into Windows 10, for free cloud storage of your files.
OneDrive is an online storage service, integrated into Windows 10 and also available as an app, that makes it simple to access and share your files and photos across your devices. When you make a change on one device, the updates are available on your other devices so you can pick up right where you left off.
There are those with privacy concerns over this feature.
There is no doubt, however, of the advantages to this: you can use it to store files for mobile device access from iOS or Android, and you can even set it to let you access any file on your PC remotely — not just the ones you drag over to your OneDrive folder.
Add files to OneDrive on your PC by dragging them into the OneDrive folder located on the left-hand side of File Explorer. Or you can choose OneDrive as the save location when you save a file in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or another app.
Tina Sieber has written an excellent article in Digital Trends on the many advantages of this and how to set up and use it
The Action Center
The Action Center gathers and shows notifications and alerts from various Windows applications. It will show you these notifications until you clear them. You can choose and personalize which notifications you receive.
Microsoft Edge is the all-new browser designed to go beyond browsing to help you do more on the web—one that’s made for easy sharing, reading, discovery, and getting things done online. With inking capabilities built-in, you can write or type directly on webpages and share your mark-ups with others. There’s a feature that allows you to clear away distractions from your online articles and a reading list that organizes your favorite reads to enjoy later. The improved address bar helps you to find things faster, and with Cortana enabled, you can instantly move from searching to doing.
Easily mark up and share web pages
Microsoft Edge has the built-in technology that lets you write or type directly on webpages. Add your thoughts on the page and then easily share it with others or save to OneNote. Select Make a web note to start adding to the page you’re on. Use the Pen to write with your touchscreen or mouse, Highlight, or Type a note and then Share it.
A new reading view lets you enjoy online articles in a distraction-free layout optimized for your screen size. You can also have any webpage or PDF file saved and organized in your reading list for convenient access later. For a clean and simple layout, select Reading view in the address bar to bring whatever you’re reading front and center. You can even change the reading view style and font size. Select More actions > Settings. To save an article to read later, just select Add to favorites or reading list > Reading list > Add. When you’re ready to read, go to the Hub and select Reading list.
Find it faster
Microsoft Edge will make recommendations to speed you to your online destination. You can also get quick answers for weather, stock, definitions, and calculations – even the most popular fun facts like “How tall is the Eiffel Tower?” – right from the address bar. Get more done with Cortana built in Microsoft Edge helps you go beyond browsing.
With Cortana enabled, you get instant access to key actions – like making reservations or reading reviews – without leaving the page you’re on. You can also highlight an unfamiliar term to get a contextual explanation that doesn’t take you away from where you are.
Highlight a word or phrase, press and hold (or right-click) it, then select Ask Cortana to find out all about it.
And Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome can be downloaded, installed and used if Edge not the browser you’d like to use. Internet Explorer can be used as well: it’s located under Windows Accessories, in the All Apps list.
Security, Privacy: Windows Defender
Windows Defender is included as part of Windows 10, working right out-of-the box so that the machine is always protected. Windows Defender provides the defense you need; it is constantly updated to meet evolving threats as they are identified and is faster at detecting and protecting you against emerging malware, seen in the first critical hours.
Windows Defender uses a highly scalable and geo-distributed back-end service that leverages data from about one billion devices to draw fast insights and respond in milliseconds.
Microsoft has built Windows 10 with a user’s convenience in mind, and in order to accomplish much of this, there is information a user gives for a simpler, and quicker way to access information, and use various tools. There is a Privacy section in Settings, covering areas such as Location, Account Info, and Messaging. Going through the various options allows you to turn off some of the information sharing used to create an ease of use.
Snap Assist: Organize Your Screen
Snap Assist in Windows 7 allows you to work in two windows side-side. This feature has been improved to support four windows.
Working in multiple windows is easier and more intuitive thanks to enhancements in Snap. Now you can quickly organize up to four windows on your screen by dragging apps into the corners. Windows will even suggest how to fill the gaps with other open apps.
To snap an app, program, or file, grab the top of the window and drag it to the side to snap half screen or to the corner to snap into quadrants. You can also try the keyboard shortcuts:
- To snap to the left press the Windows key + <
- To snap to the right press the Windows key + <
- Once in half screen, you can snap a window into the quadrants by pressing Windows key + Up or Windows key + down
Task View, the Virtual Desktop
View all your running apps
Use Task view to see all of your open apps, docs, and files in a single view to easily manage what you’re doing. To get to Task view, select the Task view from the task bar. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Tab.
Task View (Virtual Desktop)
Microsoft built a virtual desktop feature into Windows 10 called Task View. Virtual Desktops group windows together to help organize open applications. This way you can have a dozen windows open with 4 or 5 actively visible.
If you’re working on a lot of different projects, using different apps and programs, adding a new desktop can keep things neatly organized for you.
To add a desktop, go to Task view and select New Desktop from the lower right hand side of the screen. To move apps, docs, or files between desktops, open Task view and then drag the item you want from one desktop to another. Or create another virtual desktop by dragging the item to New Desktop. To quickly switch between desktops, try the keyboard shortcut: Windows Key + Ctrl + < / >.
As with Windows Phone 8, Wi-Fi Sense will connect to a wireless connection without requiring a password.
It is enabled by default, making it easier and quicker to get connected to the internet.
If uncomfortable with this being active, it can be disabled. Open Settings > Network & Internet > Manage Wi-Fi Settings.
Windows 10 now has a battery saver feature that begins reducing background services and background activity to get more battery life out of your machine.
To enable Battery Saver, click the Start menu, and head to Settings > System > Battery Saver.
- Windows Key + Left – Snap current window to the left side of the screen.
- Windows Key + Right – Snap current window to the right side of the screen.
- Windows Key + Up – Snap current window to the top of the screen.
- Windows Key + Down – Snap current window to the bottom of the screen.
- Windows Key + Tab – This opens the new Task View interface, and it stays open — you can release the keys. Only windows from your current virtual desktop will appear in the Task View list, and you can use the virtual desktop switcher at the bottom of the screen to switch between virtual desktops.
- Alt + Tab – This isn’t a new keyboard shortcut, and it works just like you’d expect it to. Pressing Alt+Tab lets you switch between your open Windows. Tap Tab again to flip between windows and release the keys to select a window. Alt+Tab now uses the new Task View-style larger thumbnails. Unlike Windows Key + Tab, Alt + Tab lets you switch between open windows on all virtual desktops.
- Windows Key + Ctrl + D – Create a new virtual desktop and switch to it
- Windows Key + Ctrl + F4 – Close the current virtual desktop.
- Windows Key + Ctrl + Left / Right – Switch to the virtual desktop on the left or right.
- Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert – Pastes text at the cursor.
- Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert – Copies the selected text to the clipboard.
- Ctrl + A – Select all text in the current line if the line contains text. If it’s an empty line, select all text in the Command Prompt.
- Shift + Left / Right / Up / Down – Moves the cursor left a character, right a character, up a line, or down a line, selecting the text along the way. Continue pressing arrow keys to select more text.
- Ctrl + Shift + Left / Right – Moves the cursor one word to the left or right, selecting that word along the way.
- Shift + Home / End – Moves the cursor to the beginning or end of the current line, selecting text along the way.
- Shift + Page Up / Page Down – Moves the cursor up or down a screen, selecting text.
- Ctrl + Shift + Home / End – Moves the cursor to the beginning or end of the “screen buffer,” selecting all text between the cursor and the beginning or end of the Command Prompt’s output.
- Ctrl + Up / Down – Moves one line up or down in the Command Prompt’s history — it’s like using the scroll bar.
- Ctrl + Page Up / Page Down – Moves one page up or down in the Command Prompt’s history — it’s like scrolling even farther.
- Ctrl + M – Enter “mark mode,” which helps for selecting text. Previously, the only way to do this was by right-clicking in the Command Prompt and selecting Mark. Thanks to the new Shift key shortcuts, this mode is no longer as important.
- Ctrl + F – Opens a Find dialog for searching the Command Prompt’s output.
- Alt + F4 – Closes the Command Prompt window.