For the past three or four months, Microsoft has been pushing advertisements onto the lock screens of some Windows 10 users as part of its “Windows Spotlight” feature. This feature normally shows you scenic photographs and gives you the option to learn more about them by launching an Edge window once you log in. However, the aforementioned users have reported seeing the image below for the new Rise of the Tomb Raider game. Rather than taking you online in Edge to learn about it, you’re given …
Microsoft did a wonderful thing in 2015: for the first time, it was offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 for all current Windows 7 and 8.1 users. And, if you were lucky, the upgrade process was relatively simple and painless. There were, however, some questions after the everything was said and done.
The first time you launch any type of file, Windows 10 will usually prompt you to select an app to open it with. Occasionally, though, this “Open with…” screen doesn’t show up, and instead Windows will use a pre-installed system app to launch the file without ever giving you a choice in the matter.
Microsoft had boasted that Windows 10 starts up as much as 30% faster than Windows 7 would on the same device, but depending on your setup, this can still be incredibly slow. Many programs choose to start up alongside Windows, which can make booting your PC quite a hassle.
Screenshots are an indispensable tool when it comes to relaying information about what’s currently showing on your monitor. Whether you need help troubleshooting an issue or you just want to save and share a protected image, screenshots are often your best bet.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 has proven to be a solid release by Microsoft, with faster adoption rates than its predecessor builds. The seamless integration of cloud services and tweaks both major and minor make using Windows easier than ever now. And it’s almost enough to forget you ever used Windows Vista… almost.
Windows 10 has so many new features that we couldn’t even cover them all with one article. From keyboard shortcuts to revamped search functions and all-new window gestures, Microsoft definitely piled on the fresh functionality in the latest version of their operating system.
For those times when you can’t get something done by clicking a few buttons with your mouse, the Windows command prompt has always been an indispensable tool. But as much as advanced users have relied on this useful utility, it hasn’t seen a significant update since the Windows 95 days.
Windows 10 runs on laptops, desktops, tablets, and even phones—but even though the operating system should scale accordingly, fonts and icons aren’t always perfectly sized for every screen. Luckily, though, there’s a handy new menu for adjusting the size of your screen’s contents, which you can use to make everything bigger or smaller to match your preferences.
Windows 10 definitely has a sleek and modern look to it, but some of these visual changes have been made at the expense of functionality. For instance, the slider that appears when you click the volume icon in your notification tray now sports a completely minimalist look that lacks the quick link to the full volume mixer from past Windows versions.
Windows has always had an “Administrator” account that allowed you to install programs and manage system files with elevated privileges. The difference between this account and a regular user account with administrator access was that you never got bothered by annoying User Account Control popups when you were logged in as Administrator.
It sounded great on the surface when Microsoft announced that existing Windows 7 or 8 users would be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, but the execution so far has left a lot to be desired. Upgrading from an existing installation is relatively easy, but when you start with a clean install of Windows 10, you run into some problems.
The Snap feature in Windows has been tweaked many times since it debuted alongside Windows 7, with productive additions like Snap Assist brought in along the way. It only makes sense that Microsoft would put so much effort into developing this feature when you consider how useful it is for multitasking with two or more windows side by side.
As mobile devices become more and more popular, service providers have unfortunately resorted to capping data. What this means is that, depending on the plan you have with your ISP, you could have limits placed on how much data you can use for a set period of time. Once you’ve hit the limit, your ISP could drastically slow down or throttle your internet speed or charge you outrageous overage fees.
Microsoft decided to give users a free upgrade to Windows 10 if they were previously running Windows 7 or 8—but it came with a catch. Their main motivation for knocking off over $100 from the normal going rate was to get more people using new Microsoft services like Cortana and the Windows Store. To bolster these services, Microsoft implemented a host of new tracking “features” in Windows 10.
For reasons unknown, Microsoft decided to change the way the Guest account feature in the new Windows 10 operating system works. In previous versions, the Guest account feature allowed you to set up a limited account for other users so they don’t have access to your important documents and settings. Now, the process requires assigning an email to a new account and configuring share settings.
If you’ve been using Windows 10 for a while, you already know that Microsoft incorporated lots of new features into it. So you’re probably familiar with Cortana (the new voice assistant), the Edge browser (their replacement for Internet Explorer), the newly resurrected Start menu, and all of the other big changes.
Since the release of Windows 8, Microsoft has been heavily encouraging users to use Windows with a Microsoft account. According to Microsoft, the main benefit of using a Microsoft account is the ability to sign in and sync your information across various Microsoft devices and services. Furthermore, you have access to a singular cloud storage solution which can contain documents, pictures, settings, and more on whatever system you’re using with the Microsoft account.
Slowly but surely, Microsoft seems to be steering Windows in the direction of Google’s Android. First, they released Windows 10 as a free upgrade, mainly because they wanted to cash in on the revenue that they hoped would come when more users had access to the Windows Store. Then, they included tons of tracking “features” to help populate Bing with targeted ads, which has always been Google’s primary method for monetizing Android.
Task Manager got revamped quite a bit in modern versions of Windows. First introduced in Windows NT 4.0, it’s become pretty popular among more advanced users. In Windows 10, Task Manager is not just a task manager anymore, it’s also a system monitor, startup manager, history viewer, user controller, and the list goes on.
While Windows 10’s new File Explorer is just as, if not more, useful as it was in previous iterations of Windows, it could definitely still be better. Two features that would greatly improve File Explorer are tabbed results and a customizable user interface, similar to how they are in Google Chrome.
Uninstalling programs in Windows is not the nicest procedure. Some programs bundle a nice uninstaller with them which helps to ease the process. Other programs, mainly those that utilize the Windows Installer technology, begin the uninstall process right away. This can potentially be problematic for users who are trigger-happy with the mouse.
Windows 10 has proved to be immensely popular (free upgrades certainly don’t hurt), and with back to school time, there’s a good chance you have a new computer running Microsoft’s latest OS. You maybe you decided to go with a clean installation rather than an upgrade, or just haven’t used your computer for much more than surfing the web and watching Netflix.
Historically, battery life has not been a strong suit for machines running Windows. Poor decisions by hardware manufacturers combined with the resource-hogging behavior of Windows are to blame. However, Microsoft is trying to resolve this issue, once again, with the release of Windows 10.
OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive, is a free online storage solution developed by Microsoft. If you’re a fan of using cloud-based storage systems, then OneDrive offers you plenty of benefits. It’s also heavily integrated into Windows 10, including the new File Explorer, in an effort to make utilizing OneDrive easier for you.
Windows 95, which introduced the Start menu to the world, recently celebrated its 20th birthday! The feature was an instant hit, becoming a core component of Windows operating systems. Well, it was removed in the mistake that was Windows 8, but you should know by now that the Start menu has been reincarnated for Windows 10.
The Start menu has definitely seen many changes over the years—from the traditional menu that was present from Windows XP to 7, to the Start screen in Windows 8, to the hybrid of the two in Windows 10. And while the return of the Start “menu” has received near-universal praise, there are still some aspects old Windows 7 users will miss. Namely, the User folder and content folders (like Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos).
Every time Windows gets a significant update, the vast majority of existing tweaking utilities become obsolete. For every option that you fine-tuned with one of these tools on Windows 7 or 8, there’s a change in the registry or system settings that cause your tweaks to now point to a dead end. This was definitely the case with Windows 10, since there were so many sweeping changes that very few existing options carried over.
Modern versions of Windows have revamped the lock screen to make it a lot more useful. If you’re coming from Windows 7 and older versions of the OS, this lock screen is both new and useful (though you can turn it off if you just don’t want it).
The concept of desktop gadgets has been around for quite some time, and Microsoft officially introduced them in Windows Vista to much fanfare. Desktop gadgets offered the ability to view various information at a glance, play mini-games, and more. Unfortunately, Microsoft decided to kill this beloved feature after Windows 7, citing security reasons.
As familiar as it may look at first glance, there are still tons of subtle changes in Windows 10. Many options that existed in past versions have been moved, and virtually every system menu received at least a small visual makeover.
These days, operating systems are becoming more and more touch-oriented, or at the very least, heavily mouse-driven. Nonetheless, while novice users will find it easier to tap and click their way around, power users know that keyboard shortcuts are still the fastest way to get things done.
In a bit of a strange decision, Microsoft has made it to where some users don’t have a choice in the matter of applying failed automatic updates. When a Windows or driver update comes your way and fails to apply for any reason, your computer will continue to attempt applying the broken update at seemingly random intervals. The Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 10 will allow you to delay or stop updates altogether when something like this happens, but the Home edition has no such setting.