25 Useful Tips All Windows 10 Users Should Know
2015 was a great year for anyone awaiting the arrival of Windows 10. Windows 10 promised to cure everything wrong with Windows 8 and it didn’t disappoint us. We covered the new operating system extensively with posts on how to deal with the little bugs that plague it, and hacks for getting it to work better and more to your liking. Windows 10 had a lot for us to explore so here’s a list of the 25 best Windows 10 tips and tricks we covered in 2015.
1 – How To Disable Automatic Updates In Windows 10
Windows 10 comes with a lot of fantastic new features and Microsoft has been diligent in listening to its users feedback when building it. Almost everything you hated in Windows 8/8.1 has either been removed of fixed in Windows 10 but that doesn’t mean the OS doesn’t come with its own set of problems. Windows 10, when released in July, was soon labelled a work in progress.
It was so rife with bugs that users were surprised it was marketed as a stable OS. In addition to the bugs, Windows 10 has made it so that you can no longer stop the OS from automatically installing updates and these updates are more problems in progress. The November update has caused new problems as well and most people were helpless to stop it. Win Updates Disabler is a free Windows app that will stop Windows 10 from downloading any and all updates.
Win Updates Disabler comes as an installable app, and a portable utility. Download whichever version it is you want to run and then open it. The app has two tabs; Disable and Enable. Go to the tab that corresponds to the action you want to perform. If you want to disable updates, go to the ‘Disable’ tab. Check the ‘Disable Windows Updates’ option and click the ‘Apply Now’ button at the bottom. Your system will need to restart.
Once the system has restarted, open the Settings app and go to the Update and Security group of settings. Under Windows update, you will see an error where normally the app shows you when your system was last checked for updates, available updates, and download progress for an update.
To enable updates again, run Win Updates Disabler and go to the ‘Enable’ tab. Check the ‘Enable Windows Update’ option and apply it. Once you restart the system, it will be able to search for and download updates again.
2 – Quickly Switch Power Plans In Windows 10 With Command Line Shortcuts
Windows power plans allow users to create different profiles that can consume as much or as little battery/power as is suitable at a given time. When on battery, users opt for lower display brightness and a shorter time out period for the system to go to sleep.
Likewise you can configure a power plan to up the brightness on your display and keep your system awake longer if you’re connected to a power outlet. These two power plans trigger automatically when they detect a change in the power source but to switch to a different power plan, one that isn’t triggered by you plugging your laptop in/out, you have to go through the whole ‘Power options’ window. You can instead create command line shortcuts which when executed will switch to the power plan they were created for. Here’s how.
Before you create the shortcut, you need to know the GUID that is assigned to a power plan. Each power plan has its own GUID and you will need it to create the shortcut. Open a Command Prompt window and type in the following command. You will get a list of all configured power plans and their respective GUIDs.
Note the GUID of the power plan you want to create the shortcut for. Next, open a text file (use notepad) and type in the following;
powercfg /s [THe GUID of the power plan]
and save the file with a CMD extension. You will want to name it the same as the power plan it is meant to switch you to so that you can identify the file later on (see screenshot below).
That’s about it. Every time you run the file, it will switch to the power plan it corresponds to.
3 – How To Share A USB Printer Over Your Network In Windows 10
Windows 10 has made both big and small changes to how things are done in the OS. Many features continue to work much the same way they did in older versions of Windows but almost as many things have changed. If you previously used a USB printer, sharing it with everyone over your network was pretty easy.
All you had to do was go to the Share tab in the printer’s properties and share it with everyone. The share tab is gone in Windows 10 and how you share a USB printer in Windows 10 has changed. Here’s how to find the share option for sharing a USB printer over your network in Windows 10.
Open the Control Panel app and go to Devices & Printers. Right-click the printer you want to share and select ‘See what’s printing’ from the context menu.
This opens the printer’s jobs’ window where you can see all active and queued print jobs. Open the Printer menu and select Sharing. This opens the properties window for the printer and here you have a Share tab. Go to the Share tab and enable the ‘Share this printer’ option. You can enter a different name for the printer if you like. Click Apply and everyone on your network should now be able to send print jobs to the printer you just shared.
This works for when you have multiple systems connected to the same WiFi network but are not necessarily part of the same home or work group. Why Microsoft chose to hide this little option like that is a mystery but rest assured if you don’t find an old setting, feature, or option in Windows 10, it’s not necessarily gone. It’s just moved.
4 – How To Set WiFi Connection Order In Windows 10
Most offices have more than one WiFi connection available. Multiple connections serve either as a backup in case one of them fails, or they are meant to distribute the load from many users across multiple connections. That said, Windows 10 doesn’t consider which of the available WiFi connections has stronger range before connecting to one. Instead, it gives priority to connections based on which one was added first, and which one was added later. That is the default behavior and it can be problematic especially if you often have to manually change which WiFi connection your computer is connected. Here’s how you can change the priority of a WiFi connection in Windows 10.
In order to change the priority of a WiFi connection, you must have administrative privileges on your system. Run Command Prompt as an administrator and type the following command;
netsh wlan show profiles
This will list all WiFi connections currently saved in Windows 10. Next, enter the following command swapping out ‘connectionname’ with the name of the connection you want to change the order of. Pick the name from the list you got in the previous step. The number against priority should be updated to reflect the order you want to give the connection.
netsh wlan set profileorder name="connectionname" interface="Wi-Fi" priority=1
The connections it seems are sorted by priority and location. For locations that have only one WiFi connection saved, the order of said connection cannot be changed. If however, you have multiple connections saved for a location, you can reorder them with this command. Run the ‘netsh wlan show profiles’ command again and you will see the new order of the connections.
5 – How To Natively Mount And Burn ISO Images In Windows 10
File Explorer in Windows 8 was revamped and the new look made its way to Windows 10. File Explorer got a new name; Windows Explorer and it bid farewell to the controls bar just below the address bar. The new UI features three basic ribbons that mimic the grouped controls you see in MS Office apps.
The ribbon tabs have more or less the same controls you could access either from the control bar or the menus but some controls appear only when a specific type of file is selected. In Windows 7, regardless of what type of file you selected, you could always see a ‘Burn’ option at the top that allowed you to burn the file to a disc. With Windows 10, the option has not only migrated to a different tab, it’s also only available for certain file types. It gives the impression that you can no longer burn or mount disc files in Windows 10 when in fact, you can. Here’s how.
Here’s the burn option appearing for a folder of images in Windows 7;
When you select a similar folder in Windows 10, this is what you see;
The burn feature, as well as the option to mount a disc image file are present in Windows 10 and they do not require the use of any third-party apps, nor changes to the registry to see. To mount a disc image, select the file in Windows Explorer and go to the Manage tab. The Manage tab is always context aware and the controls in it change depending on the selected file type. When you select the ISO file, the Manage tab featuring Disc Image Tools has two options; Mount and Burn.
If you choose to Mount the file, you can see what’s inside and even execute files in it.
And if you choose to burn it, it will ask you to select the disc burning device.
Next Read : 25 Useful Tips For Windows 10, Part-2