Top 10 Windows10 tips

Compartmentalize your work with Virtual Desktop

One of the first things to do in any article about Windows 10 is to congratulate Microsoft for abandoning Windows 8. The second thing to do is to thank them for bringing in a number of features which have been staples of MacOS and certain Linux environments for a while. The main one worth mentioning here is the introduction of Virtual Desktop. This allows you to navigate your working environments easily and to separate out your workspaces. For instance, I have one workspace now with Slack, Trello, Google sheets, Airtable, and other work-related resources. I have another one with some interesting articles about the upcoming UK general election in a separate workspace for me to pop over to on my breaks. Separating my workspaces helps me remain focused and the virtual desktop feature seems to understand that. Good addition.

Quickly Access Emoji Keyboard

Emojis have become more popular than anyone could have ever imagined and while it’s easier to access them on a mobile device, there is no apparent way to quickly access emojis on your Windows machine. Not many people know about this feature, but Windows 10 actually allows you to quickly access an emoji keyboard with just a few clicks. All you need to do is enable this feature first. To access emoji keyboard first enable the virtual keyboard button by right-clicking on the Taskbar and clicking on the “Show touch keyboard button”. Now, whenever you want to access emoji keyboard, first click on the touch keyboard button in the bottom right and then click on the emoji symbol. Here, you can select and use all the emojis that you want to. But before you start using emojis, remember to learn the emoji meanings so you don’t send the wrong emojis and make a fool of yourself.

Task View helps you organize your Virtual Desktop

Task view is just a simple add-on to the Virtual Desktop feature. This helps you easily manage which windows you want to have in which desktop. It acts as an overview of your different windows and helps you categorize your work so that you can find it more easily. If you find yourself enjoying the Virtual Desktop then you should use the task view to help you manage it more easily. It’s only a simple little feature, but it’s included for the organized folk out there.

Open Pinned Programs

This trick of windows 10 allows us to open the pinned application quickly with keyboard shortcuts. Let’s say if you have pinned 5 programs on the taskbar. Then to open the second program, you need to press “windows+2“. To open a specific program, you need to hit “windows+number-in-sequence“. The number starts at 1 followed by 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and ends at 0. So basically, you can open only 10 pinned applications at maximum by this method.

Select Audio Source from the TaskBar

The audio source selection process on Windows 10 is elegant. It can be done right from the comfort of your current window. Just click on the volume icon on the taskbar and select the appropriate source. And this seems like a cakewalk when you compare it to opening the Audio Properties window and then choosing the audio source.

Run Disk Clean up

A hard disk that is filled with too many files will affect the performance of your Windows 10 in more ways than you can imagine. One of the most effective ways to get your computer functioning at full speed is by deleting old and unwanted files. Junk files should also not be spared as they do more harm than good to your system. To run a successful disk cleanup, visit the Storage Sense in your system to launch a system cleanup procedure. Here are the steps you can take to speed up Windows 10. Go to settings: Click System and then Storage at the top of the screen. If the toggle is On, switch it off by clicking the "Off" toggle. Immediately you do this, Windows will begin to follow up on your activities and will delete files you no longer need. Files that you have not used in a month will also be eliminated to free up space on your hard disk. Customize storage Sense: Windows 10 also provides you with an option to change how you free up your space on your system. To do this, click on the button "Change how to free up space" From this menu, you can choose how often you want to run your disk to free up space. There are daily, weekly, and monthly options. Windows can also decide when to clean up your hard disk on your behalf without being prompted to do so. Delete Old Windows Version: If you have older Windows still running on your PC, it may be slowing down speed without your knowledge. Since you no longer need them, delete it to free up space on your hard disk. At the right-hand bottom of the screen, click the box next to "Delete previous Windows version"

Picture Passwords & PIN

Because conventional passwords are just so passé. On a serious note, we all know the vulnerabilities traditional passwords pose. So, the new sign-in options seem to be an added bonus since it gives you an alternative choice of having a picture or PIN as passwords. And not just a plain picture, you will need to annotate over three points in the picture — these can be a circle, a stroke or a dot on any random area. As pictures have far more characters, it’s much safer to use them as passwords, provided you don’t use obvious gestures in noticeable places (over the nose and ears).

Keyboard shortcuts always save you time

We all know how useful keyboard shortcuts can be if used well. With the addition of virtual desktop and the shift away from some of the panel display of Windows 8, here are a couple of handy shortcuts which could speed up your workflow:

  • To create a new Virtual Desktop – Windows + CTRL + D
  • To close the current Virtual Desktop – Windows + CTRL + F4
  • To switch to the next Virtual Desktop in the queue – Windows + CTRL + Right Arrow
  • To switch to the previous Virtual Desktop in the queue – Windows + CTRL + Left Arrow
  • To open the Task View – Windows + Tab
  • To toggle Cortana listening – Windows + Ctrl + C
  • To launch Cortana – Windows + S,

or alternatively: “Hey Cortana”

  • To snap apps to the top of bottom of a screen – Windows + Up / Down Arrow

Turn on Dynamic Lock

If you are someone who constantly forgets to lock his Windows PC whenever he moves away from it, then this tip can save you a lot of hassle. When turned on, this feature will automatically lock your system whenever you walk away from your work-desk. Basically, the feature uses Bluetooth connection with your phone to determine if you are near it or not. Once your phone is out of the range when you walk away, your system will automatically lock down. You can enable this feature by going to Settings -> Accounts -> Sign-in Option and turning on the “Dynamic Lock” feature. Once you enable this feature, you will have to pair your smartphone to your Windows PC if you have not already done so. I really love this feature and I cannot explain how many times it has saved me a trip back to my PC just to lock it down. If you are half as forgetful as I am, you should definitely enable this feature to save your information from prying eyes.

Block Notifications

Windows PC just never stops from awakening you on every single thing, if it’s a Java update that’s available or a new notification. And moreover, if you are annoyed or disgusted with this feature, there’s an easy way to turn it off. You don’t need to do anything much. All you need to do is, go to Settings > System > Notifications and actions and turn it off.