So, you’ve downloaded Windows 10 and you’re feeling your way around the interface.
Along the way, you might notice a few things are…different. Here are a few tips for getting more comfortable with Windows 10.
Sort out your defaults
Microsoft have been a little bit naughty with the Windows 10 release. Sneakily, after you’ve download their latest Windows OS, the system inserts a set of default programmes for all your day-to-day tasks.
Included in that is your default web browser. So, even if you’ve downloaded and selected Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your primary browser in Windows 7 or 8, Windows 10 will automatically insert their new browser, Microsoft Edge, as the default. If you’d rather stick with your original browser, head to the following:
Settings > System > Default apps.
And the same goes for any several other apps you’d used previously used. Windows 10 will also reset your defaults for email, calendar, maps, music, photos and videos. If you’re happier using an alternative app for any of these tasks, head to your settings to get them back to how you like it.
Speaking of Edge, if you fancy giving it a crack at becoming your default browser, you’ll need to get more familiar. Whilst you can’t import bookmarks into Edge via a file, you can import through another browser. Follow these simple steps to do so:
Open Edge > Click … > Open the Setting sidebar > Choose Import favourites from another browser > Select the relevant browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox are all available).
Ditch the old OS
Once you’re on board with Windows 10, you can actually turn back and revert to type if you’re just not feeling. Your PC has saved your old OS on your hard drive, should you decide that actually, Windows 10 isn’t for you. You’ve got a month from the download date to move back to Windows 7 or 8, but if you’re dead set on sticking Windows 10, you might as well be rid of those old files.
The old Windows is being held on your Local Disk under, suitably, Windows.old. Head to Disk Cleanup and you’ll find out exactly how much space that old OS is taking up (for my home system, Windows 8 took up over 11GB). Free up some valuable space and get rid of your OS.
Tinker with Tablet Mode
For PC users, Windows 10 should have automatically placed you in PC mode, leaving the humble Start Menu sat proudly at the bottom of your screen. For Tablet or 2-in-1 devices however, you’ll likely to placed in tablet mode (particularly if you have no keyboard attached). Note that in tablet mode, the interface is strikingly different. The Start Menu before the Start Screen, with app icons swarming the screen ala Windows 8.
If you’ve been put in tablet mode and want to switch it off (or perhaps want to try it out) head to:
Settings > System > Tablet mode
Is there any greater frustration than your PC automatically restarting for the latest updates to be installed? Thankfully, you can avoid any inconvenient mishaps by inputting your own schedule times for future updates (of which there are likely to be several during the early stages of the roll-out).
Windows 10 will allow you to switch off automatic updates and schedule them for a time that suits you. To do so, head to:
Settings > Update & recovery > Windows Update > Advanced options.
And under “Choose how updates are installed”, select “Notify to schedule restart”.
The constant, smartphone-esque notifications that received so much criticism in Windows 8 will still be hanging around when you upgrade to Windows 10. This time however, you can customise exactly how you want to view them. Breaking notifications down into a number of sections, you can choose to only see notifications on the lock screen, or when you have an alarm or reminder.
Alternatively, you can switch notifications off altogether. To edit your notification settings, head to:
Settings > System > Notifications & actions.
Get in Sync…or not
Windows 10 loves the sync. You may not be aware, but Windows 10 will sync all your settings and preferences (including passwords and browser settings). So, any Windows PC that is registered under your Microsoft account will also have these details passed across too it, making it easier for people who have numerous PCs say, in the same house.
Sync settings can be entirely customised in the following menu:
Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings
There, you can choose certain preferences to be synced across all devices, or alternatively, switch it off altogether.