Windows 10: An Overview & Complete Guide

Windows 10, released on July 29, 2015,  is Microsoft's latest OS and the successor of Windows 8. Microsoft took a narrow path and prioritized touchscreens in Windows 8, but with the new version of Windows the company remedied the situation with a more flexible, functional and capable interface. In Windows 10, Microsoft manages to combine the best of traditional Windows elements - which were improved in Windows 7 - while keeping the modernity brings the company tried to offer with Windows 8.

Microsoft seems to have a life cycle marking for its desktop operating systems. Windows XP was a great operating system after Windows ME disappointed like Windows 7 came to remedy what happened with Windows Vista. Windows 10 is here as the best version of the Microsoft operating system, something that the Windows 8 version failed to be.


The new OS, although familiar, does offer new features and enhancements. Windows 10 comes with a beautifully designed start menu that keeps the traditional Windows look while still allowing for a tablet or touch optimized version. There is also Cortana, the virtual assistant, Microsoft Edge, the newly revamped browser (Internet Explorer still lurks). Let's have a look at the features below.


Cortana can search the web and in local files (stored on your device) for anything you ask without having to open a browser. Cortana can send an email to any of your contacts, you can set a reminder in the calendar and then show an alert screen when indicated. Cortana tells the weather and shows news on relevant issues that you customize. Cortana can give directions, set an alarm, tell a joke, play games, open a specific file, launch an application, and it also helps check spelling.

Video: Hi I'm Cortana

Here is a short video showing Cortana how Microsoft created Cortana and a few of its features.

Action Center

Windows was certainly the slowest in this race, but finally installed a notification center of sorts. The Action Center in Windows 10 is still lacking, but for now it's better than nothing. Here there are quick buttons to adjust the brightness, access the bluetooth, make notes, see your emails etc.

via - pcmag -,3253,l=336050&a=336094&po=3,00.asp

It needs to be better integrated with third-party applications, but most of what you get off of the Windows Store will appear there. Besides, occasionally it offers tips and suggestions on Windows 10 that usually are useful.

Did you know? You can now Remove Action Center from Taskbar Windows 10 and Fix: "Windows 10 Brightness Control not Working". Check out the guide and learn how to customize both these features.

Task View

One of the good things in Linux are the work areas, creating virtual desktops allows you to organize your windows on a whole new level. Probably not something that everyone will love, and has some learning curve / usually somewhat high, but Task View a useful feature nonetheless.

You can have a desktop for distracting things (conversations with friends,that totally not funny video of the funny guy having a fall, etc.) and in a completely separate virtual desktop, your job applications. Task View allows you to separate things in view and this way is a great idea to avoid distractions, procrastinate less and be more organized in general.

Picture: Windows Task View Feature

Here you can see the Task View feature in action. There are 5 windows active and each window has their name affixed to the top of the display area occupied. Below you can see the various virtual desktops open, for now, there are only two: Desktop 1 and Desktop 2.

Did you know? You can now Install Android 6.0 Marshmallow on Windows PCCheck out the guide and learn how to dual boot Windows 10 & Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Windows Snap

This function has evolved over time. Just press the Windows key and any directional arrow key on your keyboard and you can move your window to fill half or a quarter of the screen, you can minimize and maximize it, you can then choose which window will occupy the remaining space on screen. Those who work with several open things at once and have monitors with higher resolutions, Windows Snap is one of the best allies to have in order to further organize your already cluttered desktop.

Video: Using Windows Snap

A short video showing you how to use the Windows Snap Functionality in Windows 10.

Quick Access to Recent Files and Explorer

It happens, you download a file or save a document and two seconds later you do not remember which folder you saved it in. You now have to go to the program that created the file and figure out the save path or go do a search in your browser, others do not even remember the name given to the file.

Microsoft thought of the clueless people like me, and now when you open Windows Explorer it presents you with a list of the last 20 files that you have modified. A most useful feature.

Windows Explorer is one of the best among all operating systems, yes, it hangs and tends to suffer from other minor glitches from time to time, but nobody beats the functionality. The Quick Access menu is another big plus, the best part: you don't even have to configure it, it learns what are the locations most opened and adds them automatically. Having everything at hand and a click away in the browser is especially useful for those who never add folders to the desktop.

Windows DVR

You no longer have to download a third party application to record your screen, Windows DVR is capable of doing everything. Designed especially for recording your games, seamlessly integrates with Xbox Live and allows you easily edit your video clips, and share with friends. But it also works with any application that is open in a window, however, is not optimized for other apps, but it could be in the future.

Microsoft Edge

The new browser, Edge, for Windows is one of its great strengths, is a software very well done, and although it lacks maturity, is already well above Internet Explorer. If we do not take into account the current lack of extensions (which I hope will be resolved soon) has a performance that rivals the likes of Chrome and Firefox.

Did you know? Microsoft Edge is the Windows 10 default browser. There are many new tips and tricks that you can learn to improve the user experience.  Read: Microsoft Edge User Guide

Not only does it not consume a fraction of the memory that these monsters swallow, it also loads websites faster. Microsoft Edge has a lot of potential and we expect to see more enhancements with future updates.

Microsoft Edge

Other Details

There are so many things to like about this new Windows and I have just taken the biggest and most obvious and have put in this article. But there are more details that might seem "insignificant" for some, but it is precisely in them that you can better appreciate the great work behind this system. Sadly, Windows Media Center is missing from the new OS but you can still install it if you want.

The new sounds are abysmally better than Windows 7 , something that matters more when you have a Notification Center alerts showing you all the time. Until the test sound that makes the mini-application volume when low or raise is much nicer now. I have no words to express the satisfaction of all open windows, and you can still use the Modern applications in full screen if you want to. The iconography is still not much, but it has taken a small step forward baby, especially when the indicators of the taskbar, if only they were more consistent in the rest of the system ...

Animations to move windows, minimize / maximize, resize, are visually very nice, it's such cosmetic changes that give a smooth interface to appreciate. The new calendar, the quick adjustments, and the charging of the battery are little things that make you want more of what you have in front of you.


Windows 10 combines the best of the best Windows 7 with Windows 8. The new Microsoft operating system offers the most advanced desktop experience that the company has offered thus far and extended it to other devices to provide a relatively good experience - the best solution from an operating system that runs on tablets and computers.

Although Windows 10 still has some stability issues, there is no reason to not recommend an upgrade if you have a Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. However, it is always best to check the compatibility of your software before you upgrade. Windows 10 is an excellent development that brings virtual assistant to powerful desktop computers, it adapts to different devices and continues to evolve to become better.

With Windows 10, Microsoft corrects annoying things that Windows 8 brought and gives us a true view of the future that Windows 8 could not fulfill.

Did you know? There's an easy way to Fix dns_probe_finished_nxdomain ErrorCheck out the guide and learn how to troubleshoot internet connectivity errors on Windows computers.


This section offers a bit of advice for those wanting to customize a few of the features on the Windows 10 OS.

Windows keyboard shortcuts (using Win Key)

Microsoft adds new keyboard shortcuts that use the Win key each time they upgrade to a new version of Windows. Windows 10  is no different and in case you're wondering, here is a complete list of all the Winkey shortcuts.

Note: Pressing the WinKey opens the Start Menu on XP, Vista etc. On Windows 8 it opens the Start screen. Here are the Win key combinations that you may find useful:

Win+A: Launches Action Center
Win+B: Moves the focus to the notification area (System tray)
Win+C: Shows Charms, and the date & time (Windows 8 and later)
Win+D: Shows the Desktop. When you press Win+D again, it restores the open windows.
Win+E: Opens Explorer
Win+F: Opens file search. Prior to Windows 8, this opened Explorer search. Now it opens the Search pane with Files selected for searching
Win+Ctrl+F: Opens the Find Computers dialog (for Active Directory/domain joined PCs)
Win+G: Brings gadgets to the top of other windows.
Win+H: Opens the Share charm on Windows 8
Win+I: Opens the Settings charm on Windows 8
Win+J: Does nothing
Win+K: Opens the Devices charm
Win+L: Locks the PC or lets you switch users
Win+M: Minimizes all windows. Win+Shift+M does undo minimize all
Win+N: Does nothing in Windows. In Microsoft OneNote, it opens a new Note.
Win+O: Locks or unlocks the orientation of the device if it's a tablet PC so if even if you rotate it, it won't rotate
Win+P: Opens the UI to project to another display or projector
Win+Q: Opens the app specific search in Windows 8.1. e.g. In Modern IE, it will search Internet Explorer. In PC Settings, it will search Settings and so on.
Win+R: Opens the Run dialog
Win+S: Opens the search with "Everywhere" selected
Win+T: Focuses on the taskbar icons. Pressing Win+T again moves the focus to the next icon.
Win+U: Opens Ease of Access Center (or Utility Manager in Windows XP/2000)
Win+V: Focuses on the Metro style toast notifications and cycles through them
Win+W: Opens the search pane with Settings selected
Win+X: Opens the Power Users menu on Windows 8 and later. On Windows 7/Vista, it opens Mobility Center
Win+Y: Does nothing
Win+Z: Shows the App Bar in a Modern app, same as right clicking inside a Modern app
Win+1/2/3....0: Opens or switches to the correspondingly numbered Taskbar button
Win+'+': Opens Magnifier and zooms in
Win+'-': Zooms out in Magnifier
Win+Esc: Exits Magnifier if it's running
Win+F1: Opens Help and Support
Win+Pause/Break: Opens System Properties
Win+Print screen: Takes a screenshot in Windows 8/10 and saves it to the Screenshots folder (If there is an additional key that you need to press to take screenshots then you need to press that key as well. For me it's the FN key.
Win+Home: Same as Aero Shake (minimizes all windows except the foreground window)
Win+Left arrow key: Snaps a desktop app's window to the left. In Windows 8.1, it also snaps a Modern app's window to the left.
Win+Right arrow key: Snaps a desktop app's window to the right. In Windows 8.1, it also snaps a Modern app's window to the right.
Win+Up arrow key: Maximizes a window. In Windows 8.1, it also makes a snapped Modern app full screen.
Win+Down arrow key: Minimizes a window. In Windows 8.1, it suspends a Metro app and takes you to either the Desktop or the Start screen depending on your Start screen settings
Win+Page Down: In Windows 8.0, it moves a Modern app's window to the next display if multiple monitors are connected. In Windows 8.1, this shortcut is moved to Win+Shift+Right arrow key to be consistent with desktop apps
Win+Page Up: moves a Modern app's window to the previous display if multiple monitors are connected. In Windows 8.1, this shortcut is moved to Win+Shift+Left arrow key to be consistent with desktop apps
Win+Enter: Starts Narrator (on Windows 8 and later)
Win+Alt+Enter: Starts Media Center
Win+Space: In Windows 7, it does an Aero Peek. In Windows 8, it switches the input language
Win+Comma (,): In Windows 8, this is the new key for Aero Peek
Win+Period (.): Shows you which is the active window (useful when two Modern apps are snapped).
Win+Tab: In Windows 8 and later, when you press Win+Tab and release it, you can switch between Modern apps, the Start screen and the Desktop. If you continue to hold the Win key, it will show you the Switcher UI and when you let go of the Win key, it will switch. In Windows 7/Vista, Win+Tab shows Flip 3D which operates similarly.
Ctrl+Win+Tab: Shows the Switcher UI in sticky mode so you can use keyboard arrow keys or mouse to switch. Ctrl+Win+Tab also opens Flip 3D in sticky mode in Windows 7/Vista

That's about all of them. If you notice one that's missing then let us know and we'd be sure to add it to the list. 🙂

Did you know? There's a Logitech Wireless Mouse Not Working Problems & FixesCheck out the guide and learn how to troubleshoot wireless mouse problems on Windows computers.

Run Dialog Quick Codes

The settings pages in Windows 10 normally have their own Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) and as such you can quickly open a settings page using a command. Here is the complete list of quick codes (ms-settings) that you can use in Windows 10.

What is MS Settings?

ms-settings: is a special protocol used to open Settings pages and other apps which have URIs. Here is the list of URIs for pages of the Settings app.

Open Settings pages directly in Windows 10

  • The first thing you need to do is open the run dialogue by pressing the Windows key and the R button.
  • Type or copy-paste the appropriate command into the Run box. The list of commands is available below.
Battery Saverms-settings:batterysaver
Battery Saver Settingsms-settings:batterysaver-settings
Battery usems-settings:batterysaver-usagedetails
Data Usagems-settings:datausage
Date and Timems-settings:dateandtime
Closed Captioningms-settings:easeofaccess-closedcaptioning
High Contrastms-settings:easeofaccess-highcontrast
Other Options (Ease of Access)ms-settings:easeofaccess-otheroptions
Offline mapsms-settings:maps
Airplane modems-settings:network-airplanemode
Notifications & actionsms-settings:notifications
Account infoms-settings:privacy-accountinfo
Other Devicesms-settings:privacy-customdevices
Speech, inking, & typingms-settings:privacy-speechtyping
Region & languagems-settings:regionlanguage
Windows Updatems-settings:windowsupdate
Work accessms-settings:workplace
Connected devicesms-settings:connecteddevices
For developersms-settings:developers
Mouse & touchpadms-settings:mousetouchpad
Mobile hotspotms-settings:network-mobilehotspot
Manage Wi-Fi Settingsms-settings:network-wifisettings
Optional featuresms-settings:optionalfeatures
Family & other usersms-settings:otherusers
Power & sleepms-settings:powersleep
optionsms-settings:signinoptions
Storage Sensems-settings:storagesense
Tablet modems-settings://tabletmode/

That's a long list. IF you notice anything missing then be sure to let us know and we'd add it the list.

Open This PC instead of Quick Access in Windows 10 File Explorer

By default, Windows 10 opens the File Explorer on the Quick Access Page. Microsoft realized that not everyone might like this and offered the option to change the default location in an update. Here is how to Open This PC instead of the Quick Access area:

  • Open File Explorer.
  • Switch to the View Ribbon tab and click the Folder Options icon:
  • Under the General tab in Folder options select This PC for the Open File Explorer to: drop down list:

That's it. Whenever you launch the File Explore it will open this PC by default. You can also use Win + E shortcut keys to launch the file explorer.

Open the Settings app in Windows 10

"Settings" is a Metro app that replaces the Control Panel (still accessible) for touch screens and classic Desktop users. There are several pages with varying options that allow you to manage everything on the Windows 10 platform. There are also older options from the classic Control Panel. Here are the possible ways to open the Settings app in Windows 10.

Open the Settings app using the Start menu in Windows 10

Open the Start menu. There you will find the Settings icon in the bottom left corner:

Open the Settings app from This PC

In Windows 10, the folder "This PC" has an Open Settings icon in the Ribbon section. So, if you want,  Open This PC, and  launch Settings from the Ribbon:

Open the Settings app using hotkeys

To open the Settings app, press Win + I shortcut keys together on the keyboard. It will open the Settings app directly.

Open Settings app via a pinned taskbar icon

  • Once opened, the Settings app can be pinned to the taskbar.
  • Right click the icon on the taskbar and select "Pin this program to taskbar" from the menu that appears.

There you go. If you know of any other methods then be sure to drop us a line and we'd be happy to add it here.

Resize Windows Live Tiles

This tutorial will teach you how to resize the live tiles in Windows 10 (also works for Windows 8.1). Live Tiles were first introduced in Windows 8.1 and the new Windows 10 start menu also uses Live Tiles. Albeit that  the new ones are more refined when compared to the former.

The click and drag feature as its name suggests allows you to re-arrange the tiles to your liking by simply clicking and dragging them to the position of your choice.

So, how do I resize the Live Tiles in Windows 10? The answer is quite simple. All you need to do is right click on the tile in question and choose the size of your choice. The options are: small, medium, wide or large.  That is all you need to do.

As a bonus, you should be aware that you can also put the tiles in groups.  These groups can be arranged by category or most used, i.e apps you use the most. To create a group all you need to do is hold and drag the Live Tile to the very edge in either corner of the Start Menu and a new group will be created where you can “drop” the Live Tile.

In order to name the group, simply click the empty space above the first row of Live Tiles and then you enter the name you’d like.

And that’s how you resize the Windows 10 Live Tiles. Enjoy and don’t forget to share with your  friends who might also want to know how to do this.

Show Hidden Files and Folders

Here is how to show hidden files and  folders in Windows 10. By default, Windows hides certain files and folders from user’ view in an attempt to prevent accidental deletion of import files and folders. However, if you know what you want to/ are going to do then here is how to show hidden files and folders on a Windows 1o machine.

  • Click Start  in the search box “Search programs and files” type Show hidden files and folders.
  • In the search result under Control Panel, click on Show hidden files and folders.
  • Folder Options window will open and you then select the View Tab.
  • In the Advanced Settings section look under Hidden files and folders and click on the option Show hidden files and folders.
  • Select Apply then Ok.

You have now successfully disabled the hidden files and folder feature and should see them when navigating through your computer. They may appear in a ghost like/transparent appearance rather than a solid.

Create Windows 10 Recovery Partition

  1. Download and install AOMEI OneKey Recovery onto your computer.
  2. Launch the application and select the OneKey System Backup option on the screen.
  3. Select the option “Backup system to AOMEI OneKey Recovery Partition” and click Next.
  4. Select the drive where to create a new recovery partition and click Next.
  5. OneKey Recovery will find the Windows partition that needs backing up and will automatically calculate the space required to create the recovery partition.
  6. Once everything is fine tuned, click Start Backup to continue.

It will begin partitioning the hard drive, in order to create a Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), and prepare the system to upload the backup.

The duration of the process will depend on the amount of data stored on your computer, when the backup is completed, a notification will appear on the screen of your computer.

Things you should be aware of:

There will be a new entry in your Windows boot menu. This is created by the OneKey Recovery application by default, however, you can modify this setting using the software.

Open the program and find your way to the settings page and select the option that is best for you. (The gear icon at the top-right corner will lead you to settings).

The best time to create Windows recovery partition is immediately after you would have installed a clean copy of Windows. This will allow you to avoid backing up viruses and the likes on your recovery partition.

Also, it will be wise to avoid backing up movies, music, pictures and the sorts on the recovery partition which will only take up more space and cause the recovery process to be even longer.

How to Recover Windows Using AOMEI OneKey Recovery

In order to recover your Windows installation using the recovery image you created, you will have to reboot your computer and choose “Enter into AOMEI OneKey Recovery” and then follow the on-screen prompts. Another way will be to open the application system and select the OneKey System Recovery option and follow the prompts that appear on the screen.

This software can be used to create a Windows recovery partition for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Change the Start Menu in Windows 10

Change the start menu in Windows 10 back to the resizable start menu. With all the new features and improvements that Microsoft has sent out to the latest Windows 10 Build 9926. However, the updated Start Menu doesn’t seem to have the re-sizing feature. Not to worry though, Microsoft has not completely deleted the old menu and you can revert to the resizeable Windows menu by modifying the Registry.

Follow the steps below to change the start menu:

  1. Open Registry as an administrator and navigate the following path:
  2. HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced
    Finally create a new DWORD called EnableXamlStartMenu and leave the default value of 0.
  3. Restart your computer and now you can enjoy the old new Start menu.

And in case you want to switch back to the new Windows 10 menu then in order to revert the settings, simply delete the DWORD key you created in step 2 above.

Please do not attempt to tweak the interface if you feel that you do not know what you’re doing. Although the risk is minimal, you could still damage your installation.

Customize Start menu

Microsoft added new customization options for the Windows 10 start menu. The new options, found in the settings app, allow users to customize items displayed in the bottom left area of the Start menu. You can add several frequently accessed files/folders to the area.

To customize the Start menu in Windows 10:

  • open the Settings app
  • go to Personalization->Start (see image below)
  • Click Customize List
  • On the next screen you will be able to select which items to show in the Start menu (see image below)

That's all there is to it. You can continue reading for more tweaks, tips and tricks.

Install Windows Media Center on Windows 10

Although Microsoft no longer develops or offers Windows Media Center, users can still download and install the last stable version of the program on their Windows 10 devices.

These are the steps:

  • Download here.
  • Once downloaded, you must decompress and find _TestRights.cmd file, right-click on it and select "Run as administrator".
    In doing so a dialog prompt appears. After that you have to reboot the PC.
  • Now return to the directory where the original ZIP unpacked, and then select the file You have to right click on it and select "Run as administrator".
  • An installer command prompt appears, and at the end displays the message Press any key to exit.

Ready! Windows Media Center is already installed in Windows 10, and you can find it in the list of "all applications" in the start menu.

Add the Briefcase feature

The default data synchronization method on Windows 10 use Microsoft OneDrive which is linked to your Microsoft Account. Although this allows for almost automatic and hassle free storage and syncing, there is a limit - it depends on an active internet connection. well,there is a simple solution to this, you just re-add the briefcase feature to Microsoft Windows 10.

The briefcase feature offers a simple way for you to perform two-way data synchronization even if you are offline and it also allows you to sync with removeable devices. I don't know why Microsoft removed it from Windows 10 but here is how you reinstall it. The following requires you to modify your registry files in order to bring back the Briefcase option when you right-click on your desktop or whereever.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



That registry entry is missing one key component needed to run the briefcase functionality. The main value is the missing "ShellNew" subkey at Briefcase file descriptor branch in the registry. All you need to do is merge the following registry tweak: Download it here.  Don't worry, the file is from which is a reputable source for Windows information.

Merge the Windows 8-Enable Briefcase.reg file to enable Briefcase feature. Merge the Windows 8-Disable Briefcase.reg file to disable it again if you no longer need the feature.  This also works on Windows 8 and 8.1

PDF printer is missing in Windows 10

Windows 10 allows users to create PDF files without the need for third party applications. However, the default PDF printer sometimes does not show up on some Windows 10 systems. Here is how to restore the default PDF printer in Windows 10.

As with most things the user can delete or uninstall the preinstalled virtual microsoft printer using the steps below ( shown for educational purposes)

  • To do this, go to control panel
  • Hardware and Sound
  • Device & Printers
  • Find "Microsoft Print to PDF"
  • Right Click it
  • Select Delete


You might see something looking like the photo below instead of the image above. The only difference is that you have to select remove device (which needs administrator privileges)

So, its not impossible that in some editions of Windows 10, the built-in PDF printer is missing after setup or deleted by chance. Here is how to restore Microsoft Print to PDF feature back in Windows 10.

Fix PDF printer is missing in Windows 10

To fix this issue, do the following:

  • Press Win + R shortcut keys together on the keyboard. See the list of all Windows keyboard shortcuts with Win keys above.
  • Type the following in the Run box and hit Enter:


Like this:

  • The Windows Features dialog appears.
  • Find the item on the list named "Microsoft Print to PDF".
  • If the checkbox is ticked, untick it and press OK.
  • Now open Windows Features once again and tick the checkbox again.
  • If the checkbox is not ticked, tick it.
  • Press the OK button.

The built-in PDF printer works fine after you complete the steps above. A screen like the one below pops up to confirm that the changes completed successfully.

Create PDFs in Windows 10

  • Run any app that is able to print documents. (Word, Notepad etc)
  • Type your text in Notepad and click File -> Print.

Note: If you do not want to print the header or footer, first select "Page Setup" from the application's File menu and choose the section that you want to print. To print only the selected content (for example in a web browser), drag to select the content with the mouse and then choose File menu -> Print.

  • In the Print dialog, select the printer "Microsoft Print to PDF".
  • Next, select the PDF file's save location.
  • Click the save button, the PDF file will be created. By default, it can be opened with Microsoft Edge if you have no other PDF readers installed. That's it.

Stop Windows 10 apps from running in the background

Windows 10 is also a mobile OS and as such Microsoft integrated the ever battery hogging feature of background apps that constantly run even when you don't or never use them.You can disable these background apps and allow your system to perform faster and save battery life by doing hte following.

As an example, the universal apps preinstalled on Windows 10 run in the background even if you never launched them. This includes apps such as Alarms & Clock, Photos, Windows Store etc.

Luckily, in Windows 10, there is a section in the Settings app that allows you to manage which apps run in the background. Here, you can prevent apps from running in the background.

  1. Open the Settings app (see above).
  2. Go to Privacy -> Background apps.
  3. Disable the apps you don't use from the list. Switch off the appropriate option for each app:

The changes take effect immediately. If you change your mind, you can re-enable the background apps you disabled by returning to this Background apps page and enable the apps you want.


  1. R. Sa.
  2. Gabe

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