Windows 10 is probably the best operating system from Microsoft since Windows XP. Here’s a handful of tips to help you and your colleagues enjoy the Win10 experience more! 

  1. Set Fast startup. Simply “wake up” your computer. Turn on Fast startup from Start, Power Options. Click “Additional power settings”, “Choose what the Power buttons do,” “Change Settings that are currently unavailable.” Check the box next to “Turn on fast startup (recommended)” and Save.
  2. Create a virtual desktop. Use this if you use your PC for multiple purposes, for example, a project or periodic task which calls for specific sets of applications and files. Click on the Task View button (on the taskbar, just to the right of the search bar), then look at the bottom right of your screen: “New Desktop.” Build a desktop view with taskbar links, tiles, and files that you need for that specific purpose.
  3. Dynamically lock your PC, hands-freePair your Bluetooth enabled phone. Assuming you’re carrying it on you, your screen will lock when you move away. Go to Control Panel, Hardware and Sound, Devices and Printers to pair your devices, then select Settings, Account, Sign-in Options. Check the box under Dynamic Lock.
  4. Use the improved TroubleshooterWin10 has consolidated all of the troubleshooting dialogs into one tool! End users don’t need to instantly dial the helpdesk. Go to Home, Update & Security, Troubleshoot and click on one of the common issue icons: Internet, Audio, Printing, Windows Update, blue screen crashes, and more.
  5. Take control of Windows Update. You cannot refuse patches, but you don’t need to drop what you’re doing to download and restart. “Meter” your WiFi connection. Go to Settings, Network, WiFi. Slide the “Set as metered connection” on. Windows Update will notify you when an update is ready for download. Set Active Hours so downloads and reboots won’t interfere with productivity. Go to Settings, Update & Security, Windows Update. Look for “Change active hours.” Adjust and Save. Updates will not be installed during these hours.
  6. Schedule your restarts. Go to Settings, Updates and Recovery, Windows Update. You can “Select a restart time”. You can also open Advanced Options and tell Windows to notify you to schedule the next reboot.
  7. Turn off unwanted ads in three ways. a) Disable ads in your Lock screen. Go to Personalization, Settings, and change your Background setting to Picture. Turn off the slider for “Get fun facts, tips and more…” b) Stop ads in the Start menu. While in Personalization Settings, go to Start, and turn off the slider for “Occasionally show suggestions in Start.” c) Stop pop-ups by going to Start, Settings, Notifications, and turning Notifications on or off depending on your preferences. 
  8. Reclaim storage space. If you did an “in-place” upgrade and you’re definitely not going to roll back, there are several gigabytes of files from the old OS that you won’t need. Type “Disk Cleanup” in the search bar and run it. After it has initially scanned the drive for files to clean up, select “Cleanup System Files.” Disk Cleanup will re-scan. You should see “Previous Windows installation(s).” Make sure this box is checked and hit OK. Bonus: Turn on Storage Sense. Go to Start, Settings, select System, Storage and turn the slider on. Choose “change how you free up space” and review the options. Windows can automatically clear out unneeded temp files and files in the Recycle Bin past a certain age. 
  9. Establish “God Mode” controls. Go old school and see ALL of the settings in Win10. Create a new folder on your desktop and name it as shown: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} You can change the text “GodMode” to anything you like. When you open the folder, you’ll see a menu with everything that can be tweaked or adjusted.  
  10. Disable the Cortana virtual intelligence. Cortana is a nice tool but office users might prefer to turn it off completely so it’s not sending intel back to Microsoft and their advertising sponsors. PC World wrote a step-by-step registry edit process. If you don’t know how to create a restore point, hand this to an expert.