Windows 10 update is coming: Make sure you know these top features first

    These Home windows 10 ideas and methods can prevent effort and time.

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Irrespective of in case you’re a longtime Home windows 10 consumer or a latest convert (and if you have not upgraded to Home windows 10, you possibly can nonetheless accomplish that at no cost), you will discover there are tons of latest and outdated ideas, methods and hidden options which might be simple to be taught and might make working in your laptop computer smoother. 

    Plus, the Home windows 10 spring 2021 replace is predicted to reach later this month. Which means it is a good time to grasp a few of your system’s productiveness options, whether or not you are utilizing it for work or your private life. These built-in methods can assist you do every thing from arrange Taskbar shortcuts to avoid wasting battery energy and get essentially the most out of your machine. 

    Microsoft does not usually publicize its hidden options in the best way that, say, Apple does. This could make it tougher to know easy methods to reap the benefits of all that Home windows 10 has to supply. However we have got you coated. 

    Even learning how to upgrade to Windows 10 for free can be tricky. (If you haven’t done this already, you really should, since support for Windows 7 ended last year.) So no matter which Microsoft, Dell, HP or other Windows 10 rig you have, these clever tips will help you stay organized and get more done. Plus, here’s everything you need to know about the most recent Windows 10 October 2020 updatehow to use the three best new Windows 10 features and how to troubleshoot any Windows 10 problems.

    1. Minimize every window except for the active one

    If your desktop screen has gotten too crowded with open windows, you can quickly minimize them all except the one you are currently working in.

    Just click the title bar of the window you want to remain open to select it. Then, hold the mouse down and move the window back and forth quickly — shaking it, essentially. After a couple of quick shakes, all other open windows will minimize, leaving only the one you’ve shaken open. Neat, huh?

    Read more: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF from TechRepublic)

    2. Open the hidden ‘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 two different ways, either by pressing the Windows key + X, or right click the Windows icon/Start button. 

    3. Create an event without having to open the Calendar app

    Windows 10’s latest update lets you quickly add events to your Microsoft calendar directly from your Taskbar — without actually having to open the calendar at all. Here’s how to do it: 

    1. On your Taskbar, click the box with the time and date in it in the right corner. 

    2. Click the date when you want to schedule an event. 

    3. Enter the event name, time and location. (If you have multiple calendars, click the down arrow next to the event name field to choose the one you want to add it to.) 

    4. Click save. The event should appear in your Calendar app across your devices. 

    4. Take a screenshot on Windows 10

    I know, it’s a basic one — 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 are 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 just one part of your screen, hit the Windows key + Shift + S to open a tool called Snip & Sketch, which allows you to click and drag to create a screenshot, which is saved to your Clipboard.

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    5. Open items from 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 quantity key equivalent to the place of this system on the Taskbar. For instance, Home windows key + 2 will open the second merchandise on the Taskbar. 

    That is particularly helpful in case you’re typing furiously and do not wish to carry your fingers from the keyboard. It could really feel extra pure to achieve for the Home windows key.

    6. Learn the way a lot house apps are taking over

    Computer systems begin working slower as they develop quick on house. One fast method to pace them up could also be to eliminate apps that take up more room than they need to, particularly in case you do not frequently use them.

    To see how a lot house an app makes use of, navigate to Settings > System > Storage. Click on on the drive you wish to search (possible the native storage, “This PC”), and click on Apps & video games to see an inventory of apps put in in your machine and the way a lot house they’re taking over. You most likely will not eliminate your browser, however you would possibly discover {that a} recreation you have not performed in years is a few good lifeless weight to drop. 

    7. Banish adverts out of your Begin menu

    Once you run Home windows 10 with default settings, it’s possible you’ll generally see apps on the appropriate aspect of your Begin menu. Microsoft calls them “options,” however they’re really adverts for Home windows Retailer apps you should buy. 

    To eliminate the adverts in your Home windows 10 Begin menu, go to Settings > Personalization > Begin. Toggle the setting known as Present options often in Begin to the off place. 

    8. Shut down background apps to avoid wasting battery

    Apps that run within the background can obtain data, ship notifications, and keep up to date, even once you aren’t utilizing them — which could be helpful, however may also suck your battery and your information, in case you’re connecting by way of a cell hotspot. 

    To regulate which apps are working within the background and avoid wasting battery energy and information, go to Settings > Privateness > Background apps. To cease all apps from working within the background, toggle Let apps run within the background to Off. Or, you possibly can select which apps to run within the background individually by taking place the record on the identical web page. 

    9. Use background scrolling for a number of home windows

    With Home windows 10, you possibly can scroll up and down on any window — even when it is not the one you are immediately working in. It is a useful gizmo when you’ve a whole lot of home windows open that you just wish to look by means of on the identical time — for instance, if you wish to open new sub-menu choices in new home windows to avoid wasting you time clicking again and ahead on the identical web page. 

    Strive opening two packages — say, an web browser web page and a notepad or Phrase doc. Prepare each on the display screen so you possibly can see a minimum of a few of the textual content on every. When you are in a single window, hover your mouse or use the touchpad to maneuver to the second window, and scroll. Although you are not energetic in that window, it ought to can help you transfer up and down the web page. 

    The function ought to be on by default, but when it is not, go to Settings > Units > Mouse, and toggle Scroll inactive home windows once I hover over them to On. Then you possibly can place your mouse over a window that is within the background and use the scroll wheel to scroll. 

    10. Present file extensions in File Explorer

    Microsoft hides file extensions by default, which makes life tough for individuals who must search for particular sorts of recordsdata, like JPEGs and JPGs. To see file extensions in File Explorer, do the next: 

    1. Go to the Search bar on the backside of the display screen, and kind in File Explorer Choices, and click on it. (There are a variety of different methods to get right here too, however that one appears quickest.)

    2. Within the window that pops up, click on the View tab

    3. Uncheck the field that claims Conceal extensions for recognized file sorts. Click on Apply, and OK. You must now see file extensions for all recordsdata within the File Explorer. 

    You can too use the File Explorer Choices menu to decide on to indicate empty drives, hidden recordsdata and folders, and extra. 

    11. Decrease distractions with Focus help

    It is irritating to try to get work performed once you maintain getting interrupted with notifications. You may decide what number of you get with Focus help, a instrument Home windows 10 added within the April 2018 replace

    Set it up by going to Settings > System > Focus help. Select from three choices: Off (get all notifications out of your apps and contacts), Precedence (see solely chosen notifications from a precedence record that you just customise, and ship the remainder to your motion heart), and Alarms solely (cover all notifications, aside from alarms). 

    You can too select to routinely flip this function on throughout sure hours, or once you’re taking part in a recreation. 

    For extra Home windows 10 laptop computer ideas and methods, try easy methods to repair a sluggish PC your self, and 6 easy safety modifications all Home windows 10 customers must make

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