You got yourself a new PC (or an old one), your programs are installed and everything is ready to go – or is it? If you want to make sure that your operating system is performing at its peak, and that you are getting the most from your system, then don’t skip out on some of the more technical tips and trips for Windows 10 that are easy to do right now!
1) Disable Ads In Your Start Menu
Ever opened up your start menu, and get annoyed at the fact its full of adverts you never asked for? Especially in an operating system that you paid for? Seems unfair, doesn’t it? Well, don’t worry there is a pretty simple way of removing those ads to make your start bar a little more streamlined (and cutting down on your total bandwidth usage).
All you need to do to disable ads in the Windows 10 start menu is navigate to Settings, then Personalization, then Start. You should be met with an option to ‘Show suggestions occasionally in the Start menu.’ This is a strange way of saying ‘show ads’, but that’s what it means. Anyway, toggle that option to ‘off’.
2) Rotate Your Screen
This might be a classic, but realistically a lot of us are using multiple monitors at the moment, and sometimes you might want to use a monitor in a portrait mode rather than in landscape. That your situation? Simple stuff.
Just navigate to the monitor you want to change the orientation of, and hit control, alt and d all at the same time, then hit the directional button of your choice to change the orientation to whichever way you want it to. Pretty easy, and a quick fix to a classic office prank. Not that I have ever done that.
There is a longer form way to do this as well – just head on into display orientation, and choose from the setup options available in that menu – but to be honest, the keyboard shortcuts accomplish the same thing, and it’s way quicker.
3) Streamline Productivity With Focus Assist
Are you the kind of person who can get really easily distracted by different notifications and alarms on your PC? Or by literally anything that you have access to on your computer? Then you need to try out focus assist.
Focus assist is a setting that changes your computer’s notification and application settings to be completely silent for a set period of time, rather than bonging every five seconds and distracting you from what you’re doing. Especially helpful if you are currently working from home, and have your team chat notifications set up. Not that I speak from experience, I love notifications when I’m trying to focus on writing.
Anyway, head to settings, then system, then focus assist, and you can fully customize your focus assist settings from there. Especially handy if you need to silence your PC for an hour or so to focus in.
4) Turn On Windows Gaming Mode
It’s no secret that for a lot of people, using your PC as a gaming hub is the priority. That being said, did you know that it’s possible to stick your computer into gaming mode, so that you stop receiving notifications, have processing power pooled towards the game itself, and open up options for you when it comes to capturing and streaming your gameplay. If that’s your kind of thing.
Just hit the Windows key and the G key at the same time, and your PC will shift into the games menu. It won’t just help you out with performance either, but give you a snapshot into your CPU, GPU, and RAM performance as well as a look into any of the game’s achievements you might have with the Xbox interface. Pretty great overlay if you need it, especially if you want to adjust any settings or audio on the fly.
5) Slow Down Or Shut Off Background Apps
Looking to speed up your Windows 10 a little bit, and want an easy fix? Don’t worry, minimizing the number of apps drawing power from your CPU is a doddle.
Just head to Settings, then Privacy, then Background Apps – you are going to be met with a list of all the different background apps running at any point your PC is on. Probably best to pick and choose which ones to close down – color managers, audio enhancers and antivirus applications can stay, but otherwise, feel free to shut down and disable as many background processes as possible to make sure your PC is running as quickly as possible at any given moment.
6) Master Screenshots
We all know that the Windows key, pressed with the print screen key takes a screenshot of your desktop at any moment. But, what if you are looking to only share a little portion of your screen rather than the whole thing?
Just hit the Windows key, then the shift key and the S key at the same time to open Windows Snip & Sketch – I know, I can think of better names too. Anyway, this is a function that lets you click and drag your mouse to select a section of the screen to capture it, and copy it to your clipboard.
Much better than capturing the entire screen and then cropping it after the fact just to highlight the portion you want to share!
7) Use Nearby Sharing
Are you a Windows user who is jealous of the Apple Airdrop feature present on the MacOS devices out there? Can’t blame you, it’s a simple and life-changing feature that can save a lot of time – and there is an equivalent on Windows.
All you have to do is make sure that you are connected to a network (obviously, this won’t work otherwise’ and then open up whatever document, file, picture or video you want to share. Find the share icon, click it and then select ‘Nearby Sharing’ as the method via which you want to share. From here, you should be met with a list of different nearby devices that are ready to receive whatever you want to share!
Much easier than fiddling about with data sticks!
8) Use The ‘Secret’ Start Menu
The start menu is pretty easy to find – it’s the little button in the bottom left of your screen, on the task bar. I already went through how to remove ads from your main start menu, which opens it up to only display the programs that you want it to – great.
But did you know that there is a second start menu that offers easy navigation to performance and settings based features at the touch of a button? Just hit the Windows key and X at the same time, and you will be met with a list of features like the Mobility Center, the power options, and disk management.
Realistically, this isn’t the biggest hidden feature, but in terms of time management? It can be a lifesaver. I don’t know about you, but I hate slogging through the setup menu sometimes, so the ‘secret’ start menu? A great little timesaver.
9) Do More With Your Phone On PC
Ever heard of the ‘Your Phone’ app for Windows? No? Let me explain it a bit for you. This app lets your PC run certain applications like it was your phone, things like sending text messages, viewing photos, make calls and even interact with the apps you have on the phone itself.
It’s handy, and whilst it’s not exactly a tip for Windows 10 itself, it is really nifty if you want to manage a bunch of devices from your desktop or laptop. You need to download the ‘Your Phone’ app for the PC as well, but that’s hardly a large price to pay.
10) Run Storage Sense
Whats storage sense? Well, over time your PC is going to accumulate a whole load of unneeded file and folders, most of which you might use once or twice then completely forget about. So, you need to get rid of them. The thing is, it can be hard to stay on top of these mounting clutter files, so Windows made an in-built program that does it all for you.
Storage sense is that program. You can find it in Settings, then system, then storage, and from there you can set up the storage sense program to run regularly deleting and tidying up clutter on your PC so that you don’t have to. If you haven’t already, it’s a great way to not only free up space on your computer, but increase its average running speed as well.
And it only takes a moment. What’s stopping you?
So, there you have it – ten tips to improve your life with Windows 10 – they might not be the most obvious, or have relevance in every moment your spending on your PC, but I guarantee that when the time comes, and you need the Windows Game menu, or the ‘secret’ start menu, you will be glad to know how to access them. Its all a learning curve.
Got your own Windows 10 tip that you want to share with us? Don’t keep it a secret, let us know in the comments below!