Windows 10 hacks: 11 hidden tricks to master after upgrade



These Windows 10 tips and tricks can save you time and effort.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Whether you’ve been using Windows 10 for years or recently updated, there are plenty of new and old hidden tips, tricks, and features you’ll learn that will make using your laptop every day faster and smoother. For example, find the secret start menu and save battery power with a simple trick.

Microsoft doesn’t usually advertise its hidden features like Apple does, which can make it harder to know how to get the most out of the machine you use every day.

Even learning to upgrade to Windows 10 for free It can be tricky. You’ll want to do this ASAP, by the way, since support for Windows 7 ended in January. So it doesn’t matter which Microsoft, Dell, HP or other Windows 10 computer that hasThese smart tips will help you stay organized and get more done. Also, here is everything you need to know about the next Windows Update April 10, 2020.

1. Minimize all windows except the active one

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

Simply click on the title bar of the window you want to remain open to select it. Then, hold down the mouse 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 opened. Neat, huh?

Read more: 20 Pro Tips for Windows 10 to Work the Way You Want (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

2. Open the ‘secret’ start menu

You know that to access the Start menu, you must press the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen or on your keyboard. But Windows 10 includes a lesser-known version second start menu that makes it easy to access important functions like Command Prompt, Control Panel and Task Manager. You can access it in two different ways, either by pressing the Windows key + X, or right-click on the Windows icon / Start button.

3. Create an event without opening the Calendar application

The latest Windows 10 update allows you to quickly add events to your Microsoft calendar directly from your Taskbar, without having to open the calendar. Here’s how to do it:

one) On your taskbar, click the time and date box in the right corner.

2) Click on the date 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.)

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

4. Take a screenshot

I know, it’s basic, 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 is at least Eight different ways to take a screenshot with Windows 10. If you want to capture and save an image of your entire screen, the easiest way is to press the Windows key + Print screen key, and that image will be saved in the Images> Screenshots folder.

To capture only part of your screen, press 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.

5. Open items on your taskbar with keyboard shortcuts

If you have pinned programs to your Taskbar at the bottom of your screen to create a shortcut, you don’t have to click on the icons to open them. Instead, use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + [Number key], with the numeric key corresponding to the position of the program in the task bar. For example, the Windows key + 2 will open the second item on the taskbar.

This is especially useful if you are typing furiously and don’t want to lift your fingers from the keyboard. It may seem more natural to hit the Windows key.

6. Calculate how much space the applications take up

Computers begin to run more slowly as they run out of space. A quick way to speed them up may be to get rid of apps that take up more space than they should, especially if you don’t use them regularly.

To see how much space an app uses, navigate to Configuration> System> Storage. Click on the drive you want to search for (probably local storage, “This PC”) and click Apps and games to see a list of the applications installed on your machine and how much space they are taking up. You probably won’t get rid of your browser, but you might find that a game you haven’t played in years is a good dead weight.

7. Get rid of the ads on your Start menu

When you run Windows 10 with the default settings, you can sometimes see apps on the right side of your Start menu. Microsoft calls them “tips,” but they’re actually ads for Windows Store apps you can buy.

TO get rid of ads in Windows 10 Start menu, to go Settings> Personalization> Start. Toggle called settings Show suggestions occasionally in Start to the off position.

8. Close the applications in the background.

Apps running in the background can receive information, send notifications, and stay up-to-date, even when you’re not using them, which can be useful, but can also absorb battery and data, if connected via a mobile phone access point

To control which apps are running in the background and save some battery and data, go to Settings> Privacy> Background applications. To prevent all apps from running in the background, toggle Let apps run in the background to Off. Or you can choose which apps to run in the background individually by scrolling down the list on the same page.

9. Use the background offset

With Windows 10, you can scroll up and down in any window, even if it’s not the one you’re working on directly. This is a useful tool when you have many windows open that you want to look at the same time: for example, if you want to open new submenu options in new windows to save time by clicking on the same page.

Try opening two programs, for example, an Internet browser page and a notepad or Word document. Arrange both on the screen so that you can see at least some of the text in each. While in one window, move the mouse or use the touchpad to move to the second window and scroll. Even if it’s not active in that window, it should allow you to move the page up and down.

The feature should be enabled by default, but if it isn’t, go to Settings> Devices> Mouseand toggle Scroll inactive windows when you mouse over them to In. Then you can mouse over a window that is in the background and use the scroll wheel to scroll.

10. Show file extensions in File Explorer

Microsoft hides file extensions by default, making life difficult for people who need to search for specific types of files, such as JPEG and JPG. TO view file extensions in File Explorer, Do the following:

1. Go to Search bar at the bottom of the screen and type File Explorer Optionsand click on it. (There are other ways to get here, too, but that seems the fastest.)

2. In the pop-up window, click the See tab.

3. Uncheck the box that says Hide extensions for known file types. Click Applyand OK. You should now see the file extensions for all files in File Explorer.

You can also use the File Explorer Options menu to choose to show empty drives, hidden files and folders, and more.

11. Reduce distractions with focus assist

It’s frustrating trying to get the job done when notifications interrupt you. You can determine how many you get with the help of Focus, a tool that Windows 10 added in April 2018 update.

Set it up by going to Settings> System> Focus help. Choose from three options: Off (get all notifications from your apps and contacts), Priority (see only selected notifications from a priority list that you customize and send the rest to your action center), and Alarms alone (hide all notifications except alarms).

You can also choose to automatically activate this feature during certain hours or when you are playing a game.

For more tips and tricks for Windows 10 laptops, see Don’t put up with a slow PC, fix it yourself and 6 simple security changes that all Windows 10 users should do.

Originally published earlier this year.