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.
Part – 3
11 – Editing Start Menu Items In Windows 10 [Guide]
In the days leading up to the release of Windows 10, we scrutinized the hell out of the Star menu. As features were added and it evolved we covered how to customize various components on the Start menu. Now that Windows 10 is out in the stable (or somewhat stable) version, we know for sure what we can and cannot add to the Start menu. This is a comprehensive post that details how you can add and remove various item to the Start menu.
Add/Remove App Tiles
The Start menu by default comes with pinned tiles. If you don’t want a tile to show up, right-click it and select ‘Unpin from Start’.
To pin an app to the Start menu, right-click it either from the All Apps list or a shortcut on the desktop and select Pin to Start from the context menu.
Right-click a folder and select the Pin to Start option. To remove it, right-click its tile on the Start menu and select Unpin from Start.
Add/Remove Songs, Albums, Or Playlists
You can play an album, a song, or even a playlist just by clicking the tile. To remove it, right-click the tile and select the unpin option.
This lets you add links to Documents, Pictures etc above the power button. To add these libraries and other folders you will need to go to the Settings app.
Add Website Tiles
This functionality at present is tied to Edge browser.The screenshot below illustrates how to unpin a pinned website.
To resize a tile, right-click it and in the Resize context-menu option, select one of the available sizes.
Group Tiles & Name The Groups
To group tiles, click and drag them to a new position on the Start menu. They stick to an invisible grid and you can organize them like that.
Drag & Drop
You’d be surprised how many things you can pin to the Start Menu simply by dragging & dropping them.
Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below the post.
12 – How To Slim Down The Start Menu In Windows 10
The return of the Start Menu is a major highlight of Windows 10 though it may not sound too impressive to those upgrading from Windows 7. Regardless of whether you upgrade from Windows 7 or 8/8.1, the Start menu isn’t what it used to be in either of these versions of Windows.
It’s different and it’s something between the modern Start Up Screen that was widely criticized in Windows 8 and the smaller much more useful Start Menu that was worshipped in Windows 7. It also features live tiles. If you aren’t a fan of this new Start menu, you can get the old Windows 7 Start menu back with the help of an app, or you could adapt to the new one by tweaking the default one so that it takes up far less space and is super thin. This requires no extra apps to achieve. Here’s how it’s done.
Open the Start menu and unpin the tiles on it.
To unpin a tile, right-click it and select the ‘Unpin from Start’ option. Do this for every single one of the tiles.
When the Start menu is free of tiles, click and drag the edge inwards until all you see is the list of most used apps, recently added apps, and the power, Settings, File Explorer buttons.
It goes without saying that you are sacrificing all your live tiles to have a Start menu that’s this thin but we assume that if this is how you want the Start menu to look, you hate live tiles. Unfortunately, with live tiles active the minimum width that the Start menu spans takes up three columns worth of tiles so it’s either that, or this.
13 – How To Remove Default Windows 10 Apps Using PowerShell
Windows 10 is bundled with a lot more apps than any of its predecessors. Some of those apps are plain pointless; Bing sports, Bing News, etc. Depending on how you look at them, they might be really useful and innovative, or they might be bloated junk that you would love to free your system of. Here’s the complete guide to removing these apps from your system, selectively, or absolutely using PowerShell commands.
Run PowerShell As Administrator
Open PowerShell with administrative privileges. Type PowerShell in the search bar, right-click the app, and select ‘Run as administrator’.
Find App’s Package Name
In order to remove an app you will need to run a command telling shell the package name of the app you want to remove. In order to find the package name of the app in question, run the following command;
Get-AppxPackage -User username
where ‘username’ is your username.
You will get a very long list of apps with lots of details for each one. The information that’s relevant for you is the PackageFullName as shown below. Here we’d like to insert a word of caution; be very careful which app you remove. We tested this out by removing the calculator app but as you can see apps like the .NET native framework are also listed and these should NOT be removed.
Highlight the package name for the app after finding it in your list, click the PowerShell window’s title bar go to Edit>Copy to copy it (or just hit Enter with the name selected).
Remove A Single App For The Current User
Enter the following command;
Remove-AppxPackage [App Package Name]
To paste the name, click the title bar of the PowerShell window and go to Edit>Paste. Hit enter to execute it.
That’s it, the app will be gone.
Here are the commands needed to uninstall apps for all users, a single user, or a single app for all users.
Uninstall all apps for a user;
Get-AppxPackage -User Username | Remove-AppxPackage
Replace ‘Username’ with the name of the user you want to remove the app for.
Uninstall all apps for all users;
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage
Uninstall a single app for all users;
remove-AppxProvisionedPackage [App Package Name]
Where App Package Name is the name of the app’s package.
14 – Find Your Windows 10 Product Key After Upgrading From Windows 7/8
After upgrading your Windows 7 or Windows 8 installation to Windows 10, you might be wondering what product key you will use in case you want to do a clean install of Windows 10. When you upgrade to Windows 10 from an older Windows version (one that lets you upgrade for free), you rely on the operating system’s old (and authentic) product key to carry you through the upgrade.
After that upgrade, that key is not upgraded itself so that it will work on Windows 10 clean installs. What happens is that you’re secretly assigned a new product key for your new operating system, and you need to find it before you initiate a clean Windows 10 install. Here’s how.
Before you start, we’d like to make it perfectly clear that this isn’t going to help you get a pirated copy of Windows 10. This is simply a way to help you find a product key that you’ve legally obtained.
You will need a small utility called ProduKey. It’s exceptionally popular and it lets you find the activation key for over 1000 different programs, including a Windows installation. Download the utility (link at the end) and run it. Depending on the version of Windows 10 you have installed, you will see the product key listed next to its name (see screenshot below) when you run it.
Next, create a Windows 10 installation disc or USB stick and run it on your system. When prompted to enter the product key, enter the one you found via the ProduKey utility and it will be authenticated. You can then proceed with installing a fresh copr of Windows 10 on your device.
15 – How To Make Cortana Use Google Search In Chrome And Firefox
Cortana is one of the major features introduced in Windows 10 and as predicted, it is tied to Bing. Everyone knew Cortana would use Bing and Edge by default but we were optimistic that it would come with a customization tool that would let us use our browser and search engine of choice.
Now that Windows 10 has been released, we realize the error of our ways. If you set a different browser as your default browser in Windows 10, Cortana will route all web searches to it but it will still use Bing. Here’s a work around for Chrome and Firefox users that will force Cortana to not just use your preferred browser but to use Google instead of Bing.
Make Cortana Use Google Chrome (Or Firefox)
This one is simple and requires a bit of tweaking in the Settings app. Open the Settings app and click the System group of settings. Go to the Default Apps tab and scroll down to the web browser option, and select Chrome/Firefox.
Make Cortana Use Google Search In Chrome
This requires an extension called bing2google that redirects all Bing searches to Google, and flawlessly so. With Chrome set as your default web browser, and this extension installed in Chrome, Cortana will send searches to it, and all searches will be made on Google. For Firefox users, there is a little script you can use to the same effect so long as you make sure you’ve set Firefox as your default browser first.
The logical question to ask is will it impact Cortana’s speed and the answer is No. Durings tests, the switch was absolutely flawless and without delays.
Next Read : 25 Useful Tips For Windows 10, Part-4