Windows is a vast operating system with plenty of features you might never stumble upon. Make the most of Windows 10 with these expert tips.
Microsoft’s Windows OS isn’t any one thing; it’s an interwoven patchwork of features built atop other features that trace all the way back to the beginning of the time-tested operating system. Each individual feature is, in turn, the result of a team of dedicated engineers who create the best (often customizable) experience possible.
With such a complex piece of software, it makes sense that there are little tricks and UI flourishes most people don’t even know about. We’ve compiled a list of useful tips that will help you get more out of your Microsoft Windows 10 experience. Or, at least, teach you some things you may not have known about.
Secret Start Menu
If you’re a fan of that old-school (i.e. non-tiled) Start menu experience, you can still (sort of) have it. If you right-click on the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner, it will prompt a textual jump menu with a number of familiar popular destinations (Apps and Features, Search, Run). All these options are available through the standard menu interface, but you’ll be able to access them quicker through this textual interface.
Show Desktop Button
This desktop button actually dates back to Windows 7, but is handy nontheless. On the bottom-right corner of the desktop is a secret button. Don’t see it? Look all the way to the bottom and right, beyond the date and time. There you’ll find a small little sliver of an invisible button. Click it to minimize all your open windows.
There’s also the option to have windows minimize when you hover over this button versus clicking. Select your preference in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Use peek to preview the desktop.
This feature actually debuted in Windows 7, but I’ve found a lot of people don’t know about it or use it (but they should—it’s cool!). If you have a display full of windows, clear the clutter by grabbing the top of the window you do like and “shaking” it to minimize all the other windows. Suddenly having shaker’s remorse? Shake again and the windows will come back.
Rotate Your Screen
This tip won’t be useful to most, but you can rotate your screen by simultaneously pressing Ctrl + Alt + D and any of the arrow buttons. The down arrow will flip it upside down, the left or right arrow buttons will turn it 90 degrees on its side, and the up arrow will bring you back to standard orientation. If you use multiple displays, this feature allows you to orient just that display in a particular way.
Alternatively, you can right-click on the desktop background > Graphics Options > Rotation to turn your page around in all sorts of ways. This feature is available on Windows 7 and 10.
Enable Slide to Shutdown
This trick is complicated and probably not worth the effort for what you get out of it, but here you go: Right-click on the desktop > New > Shortcut. In the ensuing pop-up window, paste the following line of code:
This creates a clickable icon on your desktop, which you can feel free to rename. To shut down via slide-down, double-click on the new icon to prompt a pull-down shade. Then use your mouse to drag it down to the bottom of the screen. Keep in mind, this isn’t sleep, this is a shutdown.
Enable ‘God Mode’
Are you a power user who wants access to your PC’s nitty gritty? “God mode” is for you. Right-click on the desktop > New > Folder. Re-name the new folder with this bit of code:
To enter the “God Mode” window, double-click the folder and go nuts.
Right-Click on Tiles
Want to personalize those tiles quick? Just right-click on them to prompt a pop-up menu. This menu will give you various options like the ability to un-pin from the Start menu, resize the windows, or turn that live tile off.
Right-Click on the Taskbar
Here’s a handy menu that will allow you to quickly access a number of presets for the toolbars, Cortana, and window schemes. There’s a lot there, and it’s just a click away.
Drag to Pin Windows
This feature was available as far back as Windows 7, but has some extras in Windows 10.
Grab any window and drag it to the side, where it will “fit” to half the screen. In Windows 10, you have the option of dragging the window to any corner to have the window take over a quarter of the screen instead of half. If you’re using multiple screens, drag to a border corner and wait for a prompt signal to let you know if the window will open in that corner.
You can prompt similar behavior by using the Windows key plus any of the directional arrow buttons
Marvin, Rob. “25 Hidden Tricks Inside Windows 10″ PC Mag.com July 22, 2019