Over the past year Microsoft Windows has slowly released their upgrade to the new Windows 10 operating system. For better or for worse, many consumers have experienced trouble navigating the update because it is vastly different from anything that Windows has ever released in the past. In order to help ease the struggle and attempt to expedite the process of this learning curve here are some quick tips to help you better navigate your new system and work through issues with ease.

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  1. The Not So Secret Start Menu: Right-click the Start button to access a not-so-secret secret menu. I promise, just knowing this trick will save you a ton of time.
  2. Cortana Saves You Money: Windows 10 has gotten rid of Internet Explorer, the age old internet browser that has been associated with Windows for years. In its place is Microsoft Edge, a new browser with some cool, new features. One such feature is Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana. Cortana will often appear and offer to use one of several coupons it finds automatically from the web
  3. Put the Web (And Desktop) In Your Toolbar: You can simplify the browsing process and expedite searchability with just a few clicks on your desktop toolbar. On the toolbar, right-click any unused space you can find, then select the “Toolbars” tab. After that, check off one of three options: Address, Desktop, and Links. The Address option will allow you to add an address bar to your toolbar for instant browsing access without opening a browser, and the links option allows you to do the same, but via saved bookmarks in the toolbar.
  4. What’s Using the Space?: By going to Settings > System > Storage there is a list of drives on your PC. Click on a drive and you will receive a breakdown of how much space, apps, photos and videos are taking up in that particular drive. This is helpful to know what to delete if your computer starts running slow.
  5. Mail Gets Rid Of Clutter:  Microsoft’s mail application now has a Clutter folder that filters out not just spam, but emails that are not quite relevant. This folder can be found under the “More” subheading in mail. (Just in case you’re worried a critical email might be misplaced, you know where to find it!)
  6. SHUT UP CORTANA!: Cortana tracks your information to make your computer usage a more relevant experience. However, some users have complained that this is an invasion of privacy and not something they are interested in having monitored. If you want to erase Cortana’s memory and turn her off, go to Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking and typing, and click the big gray button that says “Stop getting to know me.”
  7. Configure Privacy Settings:When installing windows 10 make sure you select Custom Install or you will be agreeing to all sorts of privacy data sharing you may not necessarily want. The custom install ensures that you can modify your privacy setting to make sure you’re not sharing information you don’t need or want to share.
  8. Clean Installs: Sick of laggy installs that slow down your computer? Head to Settings > Updates & Security > Recovery and you’ll see a new option under More Recovery Options. This will link you to an online Microsoft Help page that lets you download a tool to aid in clean installs that won’t slow down your computer.
  9. Make your Desktop Your Own!: With Windows 10, you can customize your desktop more than ever before! Here’s how: Head to Start > Settings > Personalization > Colors, and choose Show Color on Taskbar and Start Menu. You can also tell it to automatically pick a color from your wallpaper and apply it underneath icons of open apps, and you can remove the Start Menus translucent options
  10. Printing PDF: You can finally print, or more importantly, SAVE your documents as PDF files. This option makes it much easier to save and distribute documents that aren’t easily modifiable. In your ‘Save As’ or ‘Print As’ options, you can find this feature in the drop down menu!

These are just a few quick tips and tricks to help make your Windows 10 experience a bit more user friendly. As you continue to use the software and learn more about it, all these shortcuts will become second nature to you. In addition, browsing and computer usage will be a breeze!