Tweaks & secrets you don't know about Windows 10

Tweaks & secrets you don't know about Windows 10
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List of the more hidden tweaks you can make to your PC that uses windows 10.

Change the command prompt opacity

opac

Windows 10’s command prompt has a new trick – adjustable window opacity. Right-click on the command prompt header, select Properties, choose the Colours tab and at the bottom, drag the Opacity slider left to make the command prompt window progressively more see-through.
Very handy if you still need to see what’s behind the prompt.

Pull in Windows 10’s hidden God Mode

GodMode is a one-stop panel that gathers all Control Panel commands within Windows 10. Create a folder on your desktop (or documents folder, it doesn’t matter) and rename it exactly:
GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
That means the period ‘.’ and the curly braces ‘{‘ and ‘}’. Press Enter and the folder changes to the Control Panel icon and rename itself ‘GodMode’. Use carefully.

Download maps for offline use

maps

You don’t have to put up with spending your data quota on maps when searching for directions – you can pre-download maps for offline use.
Select Settings / System / Offline Maps, press the ‘+’ icon next to Download Maps and choose your country area to download. Currently, Australia is a 461MB download, while New Zealand maps will cost you 110MB.

4. Peek at the desktop from the taskbar

peek

It’s quite a bit skinnier than it was on Windows 8, but the Show Desktop button still exists on the Windows 10 taskbar – it’s at the far right end.
By default, it shows the desktop, but right-click on the skinny button and choose ‘Peek at desktop’. Now when you roll the cursor over it, it’ll show the desktop and revert back when you move away.

Windows 10’s virtual desktops

virt

Windows has a new Task View feature – Windows Key-Tab, which also hides a ‘+ New desktop’ icon bottom right. Yep, Windows 10 now supports virtual desktops.
Click that icon to create a new virtual desktop or use the Windows Key-Ctrl-D shortcut and use Windows Key-Tab to choose between desktops. Ideal if you don’t or can’t have a second monitor.

The new Action Centre

action

Keep missing those ‘here-gone’ notifications in the system tray? Windows 10 has expanded this out to a new Action Centre panel, keeping track of notifications and when they were sent.
Just click on the text bubble icon in the system tray and the panel flows out from the right-side. Use this to also switch between desktop and tablet modes.

Resize the Start menu

With the reintroduction of the Start menu comes the ability for it to be resized like any app, by just clicking and dragging the top or right edge of the Start panel.
The top edge is continuously resizable, while the right edge collapses the tile panels into a single vertical scrollable column.

Use Ctrl-V on command prompt

ctrl

The new Command Prompt now also allows you to use Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V to copy and paste commands inside.
But to get this happening, you need to right-click on the Command Prompt header, select Properties and at the bottom of the Options tab, tick off the ‘Use legacy console’ checkbox.
This should auto-check the ‘Enable Ctrl key shortcuts’. Restart and you’re away.

Have Cortana only respond to you

cortana

You can get Cortana to respond only to your voice. Click on the Cortana search bar, select Notebook from the left menu, choose Settings, scroll down and tick the box at ‘Let Cortana respond to Hey Cortana’.
Press the Learn My Voice button and speak the phrases to teach Cortana your voice. After that, it automatically sets the Respond option to ‘To me’ and now only responds to your voice.

Choose right or left-swipe delete

Windows 10 is getting a new Mail app. Open it, click on the Settings (gearwheel) icon at the bottom-left and then Options from the pop-out Settings menu on the right-side.
The Quick Actions option sets out how right and left swipe gestures work. Either way, you can choose to delete, move, mark as read or set/unset a flag.

Open File Explorer to This PC

File Explorer replaces the Favourites folder view with ‘Quick Access’, but if you’d prefer to go straight to ‘This PC’ when the app is launched and see all your storage, click on the View tab, select Options and change ‘Open File Explorer to:’ setting to ‘This PC’. Click the OK button and restart File Explorer to commit.

Remove Cortana’s search box

Don’t want the Cortana search assistant taking up so much taskbar space? Right-click on an empty part of the taskbar, select Cortana and choose ‘Hidden’ to change it to a pop-up.
You can keep Cortana on the taskbar as a standard icon by choosing the ‘Show Cortana icon’ instead. You can also revert back to the search bar again using the same method.

Learn new snap keyboard shortcuts

snap

Windows 10 has a new Snap feature – it now supports a 2×2 grid. So learn these Windows Key+<Arrow> key shortcuts.
Replace <Arrow> with ‘left’ to snap the current window to the left, ‘right’ to the right, ‘Up’ to the top and ‘Down’ to the bottom.
Double-up commands to reach the quadrants, for example top-left is Windows Key+<Left>, then Windows Key+<Up>.

Use the power-user menu

menu

The new Start menu doesn’t bring back Control Panel to the menu list, but you’ve still got the power user menu from Windows 8.
Just right-click on the Start icon or type Windows key + X to bring it up. In Build 10158, it’s exactly the same as it is in Windows 8, so you shouldn’t have trouble with it.

Save apps to external drives

Using a Solid State Drive as your system drive and want to conserve space? Tell Windows to save future apps to other storage.
Select Settings/System/Storage, make sure your alternate drive is available and set ‘New apps will save to’ to your alternate drive. It should work nicely with Windows 10 tablets.

Backup and restore returns

Microsoft killed it off in Windows 8, but the old Backup and Restore app from Windows 7 has made a return and should make an ideal option for Windows 7 users to jump straight to Windows 10. You’ll find it lurking in the Control Panel.

credit: APCmag
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