Here at Clever Technology, almost daily, we have receive questions and have conversations with our clients about Windows 10 and some if it’s new features. In this article, we have put together a list of the 5 most commonly asked about features and how to make them work.
1. Cortana – Your virtual assistant.
Many people don’t realize that one of the most powerful new features of Windows 10 is Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri. Originally only available on mobile devices, she has finally made the jump to the desktop. Cortana is now your new search companion and can enhance your everyday tasks. What can she do for you? She can set reminders, ask questions, get directions, search the internet for information, track your packages, manage your calendar, and tell you jokes to name a few.
However, if you truly want to make her your personal assistant, you need to be able to talk to Cortana. By default, she does not listen for your voice commands.
If you’d love to be able to bark commands to your computer, click the white search bar in your taskbar, and when Cortana opens, click the cogwheel to to open the settings.
From there, turn on the option “Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts, and more“. Once enabled, Cortana will walk you though setting up the voice recognition. Remember, you’ll need a microphone for all of this to work.
The nice folks over at Lifehacker.com have put together a comprehensive list of commands that you can use to control your new personal assistant.
2. Customize your Start menu
Lets get crackin’ on making that start menu yours. In Windows 10, Microsoft brought back the traditional Start Menu but also incorporated the Live Tiles from Windows 8. You can right click on any of the Live Tiles and choose Resize to change its size to one of your choosing just like you could in Windows 8.
In addition, if you can’t stand the look of the live tiles, when you right click the tile, you can choose the option to ‘unpin’ the tile and make it go away. Before you know it, you can have your Start Menu looking just like it did in Windows 7.
After you’ve removed apps from your start menu, you can replace them with any app that you so desire. Its as easy as ‘drag & drop’. Click ‘Start’ and go to ‘All Apps’, from there you can simply grab the app you want on your start menu and drag it over to the live tile area and drop it anywhere your heart desires. Customization was never so easy as it is now.
4. Turn off the Quick Access View in File Explorer
One of the very first things I noticed when I upgraded to Windows 10 was the change to how files were displayed. When I first opened File Explorer I was lost and it took me a couple of minutes to figure out what I was looking at. Microsoft made it easier than ever to find your most recently used files. When you click your folder icon in the taskbar, this is what you see. As you use your computer, the most commonly used files and folders will populate here. As mush as I love it, some people do not. If you would like to revert the look back to a more traditional feel, its pretty easy to do.
Open File Explorer, then select View > Options from the Ribbon. A Folder Options window will open. Click the “Open File Explorer” drop-down menu at top, then select the “This PC” option. Click OK and you’re done!
5. Move Windows across Virtual Desktops
Probably my all time favorite new feature of Windows 10 is Virtual Desktops. This new feature allows you to have multiple desktops, all with different content. Basically you can segregate your apps into different ‘desktops’ on your computer. Lets say for example, on one desktop you could have all of your Internet browser windows while on another desktop you could have all of your Word and Excel apps open. The possibilities are endless. It really gives you the feel of having multiple computers.
To move apps from one desktop to another is fairly easy. you can use the ‘Task View’ button that is in your taskbar (Right next to Cortana) or you can use Windows key + Tab. Once the vitual dekstop view is opened, just use your mouse to grab the window you want to move and drag it to the desktop of your choosing.
And as always, thank you for being a client with Clever Technology!