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Windows 10 Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks

Written on March 23, 2016 by
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Windows 10 Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks - Part 1

Greetings - and welcome to this little guide on Windows 10 Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks!  By now, you have either made the jump to WIndows 10, or quite possibly considering the upgrade from a previous Windows version.  While I am a huge fan of Windows 7 and usually one that is slow to upgrade to a new Operating System, I rather enjoyed making the switch to Windows 10.  Of course it was a little daunting at first, but now as I dive deeper into the inner workings of this operating system, I am finding several tricks to enhance my own experience and thought I would like to share a few with you.  

When composing this article, I had a difficult time initially on coming up with the first tip I wanted to present.  Would it be power options?  Or administrative tweaks perhaps?  How about the look and feel options of the graphical user interface?  Choices, choices, choices.  After much thought, I decided to go with the first thing I did when I logged into Windows 10:  Customizing The Start Menu.  

So without further ado:  Off we go!

 

How To Customize The Start Menu

Microsoft has added the "Live Tile" feature most commonly found on the Windows Phone and Tablet mode and pinned these tiles to the Start Menu.  I personally was not a big fan of these tiles, especially the tiles involving the "XBox" or the game title "Minecraft", so I looked for a way to somehow remove these tiles.  Well, it took a few seconds and a couple of mouse clicks and Viola!  Solution found.

Just open the Start Menu by clicking on the Windows Start Menu icon and right-click on any tile you want to remove.  A bubble with options will appear and select "Unpin from Start".  Once complete, the tile will no longer appear on the menu.  The process of unpinning these tiles will not remove the software from your system.  If you do want to remove the software instead however, just select the "Uninstall" option instead.  This will instantly remove the application from your system, and in the end could free upwards of 500mb of space.

If you want to remove all of the tiles, and shrink the size of the Start Menu window, go for it!  Just unpin everything, and then go to "Start" and choose "Settings" to pull up the Windows 10 Settings menu.  Once there, choose the "Personalization" option.  On the left hand side, there will be an option labeled "Start" and you will see quite a few slider options on the right.  I personally disabled all of these options, but you can leave what you like.  Once done, your menu should have a quite a bit of blank space available.  You can then shrink this window by hovering over the outside edges and "dragging" your mouse to make the window smaller.  Presto!  Now your Start menu does not take up the entire screen.

On to the next tip:

 

Disable Fast Startup

Windows 10 has a feature that mimics the previous Windows 8 idea of logging off all users and then putting the system in a pseudo hibernation mode.  The idea was to appear to have an almost instant power on of the system so you can immediately get started using your system for the day.  In theory the idea was valid, but I have found the implementation to be poor and quite frankly in my opinion, not worth using for the following reasons:

- First, it is proving to be very "buggy" in that we have encountered several systems that cannot be "woken up" from sleep mode.  This leads to a hard power off which not only can damage the OS, but could potentially damage hardware as well.

- Secondly, any miscellaneous garbage you may have had resident in memory or specific processes that would normally be cleared upon a shutdown, will unfortunately still be there upon "restart".

To disable this feature go to "Search the web and Windows" bar next to the Windows Start Menu icon then type powercfg.cpl and then press enter.  This will open up the Power Options in Control Panel.  Click 

"Choose what the power buttons do" then click the "Change settings that are currently unavailable" option (See related pic).  Make sure to uncheck "Turn on fast startup"  and then click the "Save Changes" button and you should be good to go!

Disable Hibernation Mode

In addition to the above tweak, I also like to disable Hibernation Mode entirely as it goes hand in hand with Fast Start and will save up potentially quite a bit of space in the long run.  To disable this option, open a command prompt by right-clicking on the Windows Start Menu icon and choosing the "Command Prompt (Admin)" option.  This will bring up a command prompt window.  At the cursor, just type the following and press enter: powercfg -h off

Hibernation mode will now be disabled.  To enable Hibernation, just run the same command but replace "off" with the word "on".  I personally like to keep this off because in every Windows OS released, rebooting and clearing memory has always been a quick go-to solution to potentially resolve random intermittent issues.  If you have ever called a Technical Support line in the past, I am sure you have heard the question asked of you - "Have you tried rebooting the system?".  

On to the last tweak I will talk about in Part 1 of this series:  Changing the default apps you use.

Changing The Default Apps 

To change the default program you use for things like music, web browsing, email and the like, go to "Start" and then "Settings" to bring up the Settings menu.  Choose the first option on the left titled "System Display, Notifications, Apps, Power" and then choose "Default Apps" near the bottom on the left.  This will allow you to change the default programs here.  Choose the program you want to use, and then you are done.  By default, Windows 10 will always open up the program you chose for the designated task.

I sincerely hope these few tweaks will help you customize your Windows 10 more to your liking.  All in all, I think WIndows 10 is great once we get past some of the annoyances it has to offer.  Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon!  As always, if you have any questions or feel we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our Support Department and one of our qualified Technicians will be able to guide you through these same steps.

Until next time!

Tags: Windows, Software, Windows 10
Suzanne

Thank you for the article. In Part 2, if possible, would you please include information on getting Windows Picture and Fax Viewer to work? Thanks.

Posted on 2016-04-02 19:58:54
Chang Chew Fatt

thumb up, great post

Posted on 2016-06-28 14:14:26