Try These Tips to Get More From Your Windows 10 Computer
Try These Tips to Get More From Your Windows 10 Computer
There are some hidden gems within Windows 10 that can dramatically improve your user experience and keep your home computer running smoothly. And, once you become a Windows 10 guru, there is an app you can use to provide remote assistance to someone who would like to benefit from your knowledge. There is even a tool techies refer to as "God Mode" that you can access if you're really feeling confident in your abilities, but you've got to be careful with that one.
Keyboard and mouse tips
Quickly zoom in or out in any browser: Ever misplace your reading glasses and need to make the text a bit larger on a website? Perhaps you want to zoom in to get a better view of an image. You don't need a mouse with a wheel. Just hold down the ctrl key and hit the + key as many times as needed to incrementally zoom in. Zoom out by using the ctrl and - keys.
Using Windows "Snip & Sketch:" This one's really great for creating screenshots. With a three-key combination and a move of the mouse, you can easily select a portion of whatever is on your screen and instantly send an image of it to your clipboard. From there, the Snip & Sketch tool allows you to edit and save that image. Just press and hold the Windows key, the Shift key, and the S key. When you release them, your cursor becomes a selection tool. You should see a toolbox with a variety of shapes to choose from at the top of your screen. Once you've selected the shape you want to use or decided to use the default, just hold down the left mouse button and drag to select the area of the screen you want to capture. When you release the mouse button, a screenshot is automatically created. You'll see a notification in the lower right corner of your screen. Opening the notifications window displays the screenshot. Clicking on the image opens the Snip & Sketch tool where you can edit and save your image.
Easily scroll Web pages up and down without using a mouse: When you need to scroll in your browser, you probably use your mouse wheel or point at the little arrows and click repeatedly. Why not just hit the Spacebar? Tap it and your screen will scroll down to the next section of the page. To scroll up, just hold the Shift key and tap the Spacebar. This should work on just about any browser.
Quick ways to open the Start menu: One of the first things you probably did when you switched from Windows 7 to Windows 10 was to look for a way to open a familiar-looking Start menu. You may have found that you could do it by right-clicking the Windowsicon in the bottom left of the screen, but you can also open a Start menu by holding down your Windows key and tapping the letter X.
Increasing your computer's efficiency (and yours, as well)
Reduce startup time: Is your computer taking a long time to start? You can reduce the time by removing apps from the startup procedure. Type Task Manager in the search box at the bottom left of your screen and select the Task Manager app when the option appears. At the bottom of the window that opens, click on the more details arrow to expand the app and display the tabs if necessary. Select the Startup tab. This opens a list of programs, indicates whether they are enabled, and tells you whether they have a high, medium, or low impact on the time it takes for your computer to start. Take a look at those that have a medium or high impact. If any of them are programs you don't use that much, you can right-click them and choose disable, thus removing them from the startup process. If this causes a problem later, you can always follow this procedure to re-enable these apps and add them back.
Clean out the clutter: As time passes, your computer gathers clutter, including program installation files, temporary Internet files, error logs, and other data you don't need. In the Taskbar search box, type Disk Cleanup and select the app when it pops up in the list. These days, most consumer-grade Windows computers have only one drive, that being C:. If that is the case, the window that opens will, by default, list Drive C: as the drive selected for the cleanup process. If yours has more than one drive, you'll be prompted to select the ones you want to scan. When the scan is complete, you'll see a list of files selected automatically for removal and information about how much space will be freed up by deleting them. Simply click the OK button to start the cleanup process. It doesn't take long.
Ending unused processes to speed up your computer: You can lose work doing this, so save whatever you're working on before you go any farther. If your computer is slowing down, you may have some processes running that do not need to be, thus consuming resources and impacting performance. From your Start menu, open the Task Manager. Under the Processes tab, scroll down and look for tasks that are using up a great deal of CPU and memory. If the task is associated with an app that you aren't using, you can right-click it and select end task from the menu.
Malware prevention and removal: Malware can affect your computer's operating efficiency and be extremely harmful if not removed. Windows 10 comes complete with the Windows security suite including firewall and malware protection. If any of these components need attention or are disabled, you should be receiving notifications. You can check on the status of the security suite by clicking the up arrow in the Taskbar at the lower right corner of your screen, then clicking on the shield icon. If any action is needed, you'll see messages letting you know what to do.
Notifications settings: Sometimes you can get too many notifications and that can be irritating. You can manage these notifications, decide which ones you do or do not want to receive, and even choose the time of day when you want them to be delivered. From the Start menu, select Settings, then System. In the System window, click Notifications & actions to choose what notifications you want to receive and how you want to be notified. You can also choose Focus assist from the menu and make additional changes to notifications, including restricting delivery times.
Providing remote assistance to those less skilled
Now that you've acquired this new Windows 10 skillset, you may be feeling obligated to share your knowledge with others who are technologically challenged. You can do that with the Windows 10 Quick Assist tool. With it, you can provide remote assistance to those in need. Type Quick Assist in the taskbar search box and open the Quick Assist app when it pops up in the list. You'll see two options, one to get assistance and the other to give assistance. Since you are the giver, you would choose that option. Just follow the instructions from there to remote into your acquaintance's computer and apply your skills.
God Mode, as techies call it, is a tool that gathers all the Windows settings and options you could ever want or need into one list, making them readily available. This is good, but can be very bad. Once you have all these options at your fingertips, you should use them judiciously. Never say to yourself, "wonder what this one does," and then start experimenting with something listed in the God Mode window. If you don't know what it is or what it will do, research it first.
It's easy to access God Mode. Right-click anywhere on your desktop and choose to create a new folder. Rename the folder with this long name: God Mode.ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C Your folder icon will suddenly transform into the God Mode icon. Open it and take a look around. You'll find a useful tutorial about this tool here: lifewire.com/god-mode-windows-4154662.