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 – 5
21 – Automatically Turn On Battery Saver Mode When Battery Is Low In Windows 10
Windows 10 has a nice battery saver mode. It may be there mostly for the benefit of tablet users but anyone on a laptop can certainly use it to get the same advantage. The battery saver mode can be toggled On/Off from the notification panel and is set to turn on automatically when battery is below 20%.
If the setting doesn’t suit you, or 20% battery time means less than thirty minutes for your system, you might want to change this setting so that battery saver mode turns on earlier. You might also want to prevent it from turning on automatically. Here’s how you can do all that.
Go to the Settings app and click on the System group of settings. Click the Battery tab where you will see a ‘Battery Use’ option. Click on it. Scroll down and click the ‘Change battery saver settings’.
On the following screen, use the bar to set the trigger value for the battery saver mode. You can set it to anything above or below the default 20%. You can also set up exceptions for the battery saver mode which, when enabled, will limit apps so that they cannot run in the background. To add an exception, click the ‘Add an app’ button under ‘Always Allowed’. Notifications will continue to be shown in battery saver mode but the screen will be dimmed. You can stop notifications from showing and the screen being dimmed by unchecking the respective options on the screen.
Turning Of Automatic Battery Saver Mode
If for some reason, you aren’t a fan of the batter saver mode, you can stop it from automatically turning on by unchecking the ‘Turn battery saver on automatically if my battery falls below’ option.
22 – How To Change Where OneDrive Saves Files In Windows 10
OneDrive comes pre-installed on Windows 10. It won’t sign you in even if your PC is linked to your Microsoft account but once you do sign in, it by default puts your OneDrive folder at the root of your User folder. OneDrive will then sync files to that folder and depending on how big and how many files you’ve synced, it might take up substantial space on your hard drive. If you prefer to move the files to a different drive and change where OneDrive saves files, here’s how you can do just that.
Right-click the OneDrive icon in the System Tray and select Settings.
Unlink OneDrive from the PC.
Open your OneDrive folder at its location. Select it and move it to a new place using the ‘Move to’ button at the very top of the Home tab in the explorer ribbon.
Next, sign in to OneDrive again. When you sign in, OneDrive will ask you where you want to save folders to with a suggested location (your User folder) already selected. Instead of accepting this suggested location, click ‘Change’ and then navigate to the where you moved the OneDrive folder to in the previous step.
The process isn’t exactly the easiest and Microsoft should have included an easy way to change the location of the OneDrive folder. That said, if you’re setting up OneDrive for the very first time, you have complete freedom to select any drive or folder as the destination for the OneDrive folder. It’s only the change that’s complicated and needs fixing on Microsoft’s part.
23 – Create A Color Theme For Any Background In Windows 10
The Personalization options in Windows 10 have changed. For the most part, you can manage basic settings related to backgrounds and colors from the Settings app. If you’re trying to set a theme in Windows 10, you will have to switch to the Personalization pane in the Control Panel but that too has been stripped so that you can no longer set sounds, colors, and a screensaver.
Any colors you can set for the Taskbar, Start menu, and the window borders are set from the Settings app and you can only choose one. Now there are plenty of ways to modify the UI. You can use tools like Rainmeter and find a great skin pack to make Windows 10 look good but, if you’re not into any heavy tweaking, but would like to freely tweak the colors in Windows 10 to go with a certain back ground, and save it as a theme, here’s how.
You will need the following;
One super awesome desktop wallpaper of your choosing
Step 1: Set your wallpaper from the Settings app in the Personalization group of settings.
Step 2: You can go to the Colors tab and set one of the predefined colors for the Start menu, Taskbar, and windows’ borders or you can use the pick accent color from background option. This accent color option usually give a more visually appealing color but it doesn’t always deliver. In the event that you don’t like it, turn off the accent feature and proceed to the next step.
This is where the Windows 10 color control utility comes in. The utility does three things; it lets you set a different color for the Start menu and Taskbar, and the windows borders, it lets you turn of the dark accent effect that’s applied to the Taskbar and Start menu, and it lets you freely choose a color for both these elements.
Step 3: Open the background you’ve just set in the Paint app. Select the color picker tool and click the color you want to set for the Start menu and taskbar. Once the color has been picked, click the Edit Colors button to get its RGB values.
Step 4: Launch the Windows 10 Color Control utility and pick a more suitable color to use on the Start menu and the Taskbar. It’s up to you if you decide to turn the accent effect off. Follow suit to set a different color for the windows borders.
You end up with a much better, and more visually appealing color scheme for Windows.
And you can get the windows borders to stand out more vividly against the background as well as other apps.
The downside of course is that you can’t save this as a theme. When attempting to save as a theme, Windows 10 ignores one of the two colors you set with the color control tool so that when you apply it the next time, it looks bad. Very bad.
24 – Find And Disable The Programs Slowing System Startup In Windows 10
Some programs are so vital to our everyday tasks that we allow them to be run of their own accord when we Windows starts up. Unfortunately, the more programs you have lined up to run at startup, the longer it will take for your system to fully startup. So, like with all things, you have to choose which programs are better left starting up on their own and which you want to start manually later.
Two things will impact this decision; how important the app is to you and how great an impact it has at startup. Regarding the app’s importance, it’s up to a user to decide but as far as the startup impact is concerned, you can use the Task Manager in Windows 10 to help determine it. Here’s how.
First, make sure you have closed all apps that you might be working on. Make sure you save everything and then proceed to allow all your important programs to run at startup, and then restart your system. Wait until it has finished and then open the Task Manager.
Go to the Startup tab and in the Startup impact column, look for which programs have a high impact.
And it’s decision time; pick which programs are the most important and based on their startup impact, decide which ones you want to keep in this list. Removing a program from startup is easy, right-click it in the Startup tab and disable it. The downside, any programs that Windows has set to run on startup cannot be removed from this list so regardless of their impact, they will have to stay.
25 – Pin Frequently Accessed Settings To The Start Menu In Windows 10
The Start menu in Windows 10 is very different from what it was in Windows 7 but not in a bad way. It offers more space for pinning app tiles and serves as a great way to quickly access your frequently used apps without giving them precious space on the Taskbar. The live tiles themselves make it all the more useful.
When you transition to Windows 10, especially if you’re coming from Windows 7, the settings in Windows 10 are going to take a little time adjusting to. How you access them has changed from build-to-build, and definitely from one operating system to another. To make it easier to access Settings, you can pin them to the Start Menu. Here’s how.
Open the Settings’ app and right-click the group of settings you want to pin. You can pin an entire group to the start menu.
If you don’t need to pin an entire group of settings but would instead prefer one particular setting to be accessible from the Start menu, navigate to it in the Settings app. On its respective tab, right-click and you will get the same ‘Pin to Start’ option you did before.
You an pin as many settings as you want to the Start menu and even group them together so you have them all in once place. It’s a great way of getting to toggle switches faster and you don’t have to search for a particular setting that you’re prone to forgetting the location of often.