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© Copyright 2016 Craig Burr. All rights reserved.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner
without the express written consent of the author, except in the case of brief
excerpts in critical reviews or articles.

Notice of Liability
Every effort has been made to ensure that this book contains accurate and
current information. However, the author shall not be liable for any loss or
damage suffered by readers as a result of any information contained herein.

Trademarks
Microsoft® and Windows® are registered trademarks of Microsoft
Corporation. All other trademarks are acknowledged as belonging to their
respective companies.
Contents
Disable Data Collection
Slide to Shut Down
Use the Maximum CPU Power
God Mode
Bypass Sign-In Screen
Print To PDF
Battery Report
Create Recovery Disc
Save Apps to External Drive
Define Shortcuts for Any App
Offline Maps
Make Cortana Respond Only To You
Dark Theme
Customize Start Menu
Cast Videos and Photos to TV
Schedule Restarts
Useful Keyboard Shortcuts
Tablet Mode
Create Virtual Desktop
Play Xbox One Games On PC
Record Any App or Software
Doodle On Any Webpage
Analyse PC Storage
Find Lost Device
Stop the Ads
Do Not Disturb Mode
Add Pin Number to Your Account
Quickly Launch Taskbar Apps
Saving Battery
Disable Start-up Programs
Disable Data Collection
According to the Microsoft Privacy Statement, Microsoft collects data
whenever you, “Create an account, submit a search query to Bing, speak a
voice command to Cortana, upload a document to OneDrive, purchase an
MSDN subscription, sign up for office 365, or contact us for support.”

The data is collected in order to improve software and services on offer and to
serve relevant ads and promotions but the collected data may also be shared.
The good news is that you can opt out of many parts of Windows 10 that
collects this data but it will mean that you won’t be able to use some of the
cool new features that Windows 10 offers.

Tailored Adverts
The first thing you can do is to head over to the security settings and switch off
the tailored adverts system. You can do this by going to Settings > Privacy >
General and find the option that says “Let apps use my advertising ID for
experience across apps”. Slide this to the “Off” position.

Next, you want to head over to https://choice.microsoft.com/en-us/opt-out and


choose “Off” for “Personalized ads wherever I use my Microsoft account” and
“Personalized ads in this browser”.

Disable Cortana
As Microsoft collects data every time you speak a voice command to Cortana,
it is a very good idea to disable this app. You can do this by opening Cortana
in the task bar, hitting the notebook icon from the left-hand side and then
clicking on “Settings”.

From here, find the option that says “Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas,
reminders, alerts and more” and slide this to the “Off” position.

Disable Keystroke Logger/Voice Recorder


In order to disable the much debated keystroke logger and voice recorder, head
over to Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking, and typing. Click on “Stop
getting to know me”.
Wi-Fi Sense
Head over to Settings > Network and Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage Wi-Fi
Settings and slide the following two options to the “Off” position:

1. Connect to suggested open hotspots


2. Connect to open networks shared by my contacts

System File Sharing


By default, Windows 10 shares system files and updates to your PC (and from
your PC to other users). Stop this from happening by going to Settings >
Update and Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options > Choose how
updates are delivered.

From here you will need to make the decision as to whether to completely
disable updates from more than one place or deciding to opt for sharing info
just with PCs on your local network. The decision is completely up to you.

Turn Off OneDrive


Next up, we want to look at turning off OneDrive in order to stop Windows
from storing information on Microsoft's servers. You can do so with the
following:

• Click the up arrow in your system tray.


• OneDrive > Settings > Deselect all 3 options from under “General”.

Stop Sending Info to Microsoft


Simply go over to Settings > Privacy > General and turn off the option that
says “Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and
writing in the future” and “Let websites provide locally relevant content”.

Disable Location Service


Disabling the location service is really down to you but if you do choose to
disable it, you can find it under “General”.

Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge is the new internet browser that is available in Windows 10.
By default, this is set to communicate with Microsoft. You can stop this from
happening by opening the Edge browser, Clicking on the menu (three dots),
selecting “Settings” and then “View Advanced Settings”. From here go through
the “Privacy and Security” section and turn off everything that you do not need.
Slide to Shut Down
The slide to shut down feature in Windows 10 allows you to do just that, shut
down your computer by sliding a touch screen down using your finger or
mouse. You do have a couple of different ways of going about doing this
however; here we are going to be looking at manually creating a slide to shut
down shortcut.

Right-click an empty area of the desktop, click “New” and then “Shortcut” and
you should get the following appear on the screen:

In the location box, you need to input the following string and then click on
“Next”:

%windir%\System32\SlideToShutDown.exe

You will then be asked to name the shortcut so call it Slide to Shut Down (can
be anything) and click on “Finish”. Your newly created shortcut should now
appear on the desktop. Right-click the shortcut and choose “Properties” from
the list. Go over to the “shortcut” tab; click “Change Icon” and then “OK”
when warned of no icons. You will then be able to search for an icon.

In the “Look for icons in this file” box, type in the following string and then
press enter:

%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll

Choose any icon that you like from the box and then tap on OK. You're done.
Use the Maximum CPU Power
This is a very simple trick that can allow you to use the maximum CPU power
of the main processor of your PC.

Simply head over to the control panel, click on “Hardware and Sound” and
then on to “Power Options”. You should end up with the following box on
screen:

Click on “Change plan settings” from the right-hand side of “Balanced


(recommended)” and then on to “Change advanced power settings”. You will
then get a pop-up that looks like the following image:
From the list, find and click on the option that says “Processor power
management” and then “Minimum processor state”. Change the numbers to
reflect the following:

1. On battery (%): 100%


2. Plugged in (%): 100%

Next, choose “Maximum processor state” and change the figures accordingly.

1. On battery (%): 100%


2. Plugged in (%): 100%

It should now look like the following image:


Click on the “Apply” button and then “OK”.
God Mode
You may be wondering just what this God Mode is all about and believe me, it
is pretty awesome. Once enabled, God Mode opens up 262 new god-like
powers which will open you up to additional features and tools that you can
have some fun with.

It isn't a tricky process to enable God Mode and can be done very quickly by
following the steps below:

1. Create new folder on the desktop (right-click > new > folder).
2. The name of the folder needs to be “GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-
465E-825C-99712043E01C}” ← (Needs to be exactly the same as this
without the quotes).

You are now done; enjoy using your new features and god-like powers.
Bypass Sign-In Screen
OK, so Windows 10 requires a password to login to your computer, you need
to input this password every time that you want to use the computer. After a
while, you may just want to bypass this screen for a little speed and
automatically login without having to input the password. There may be a
couple of reasons for this such as you have lost the password or are just tired
of putting it in.

Although passwords are important for safety and privacy, not everybody wants
to use them and so here we are going to look at how you can disable this
feature so that you can login straight in to the system at boot.

• Log in to your account as you normally would.


• Once in, click “Start” and type in “netplwiz” without quotes, hit
“Enter”.
• Click the result to open up netplwiz

The user accounts window will appear that will list all accounts that are
available on the computer. Click on your account and then uncheck the box
labelled “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer”.
You will be prompted to enter your password to ensure that it is nobody else
that is trying to change the settings. Click OK and you are done.
Print To PDF
Windows 10 have finally offered native support to PDF files and this includes
the ability to print your documents straight to PDF.

Again, this is a very simple tip and can be done with the following:

1. Open your document and then head over as usual to File > Print
2. Under the Printer section choose “Print as a PDF”.
3. Click “Print”
4. You will be prompted for a name for the PDF file so give it a name and
then click on save to save the document as a PDF file.
Battery Report
The battery life of your computer or tablet is something that you should be
taking extra time to monitor.

Right-click the start menu and choose “Command Prompt (Admin)” from the
list.

You will notice another command prompt on the list so be sure that you choose
the admin version. A box will appear asking for permission so just accept. In
the command prompt window, copy and paste the following command:

powercfg /batteryreport /output “C:\battery_report.html

The above command will save your battery report to the root folder (C:) so
make your way over to this directory and you should now see a file named
battery_report.html. Open it up and it will open in your default browser and
you will see your detailed battery report.
Create Recovery Disc
When it comes to creating a recovery disc, Windows 10 offers a few different
solutions and we are going to look at a couple of those options here.

Media Creation Tool


If you used the media creation tool to upgrade to Windows 10, you have the
option of using the same tool to create install media on to a disc or USB drive.
If you didn't use this tool, you can download it from the following link:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10

Make sure that you get the right tool for your operating system (32-bit or 64-
bit) and then select the “Create installation media for another PC” option. On
the next page, you are asked for your language and versions so input these and
then click on the next button.

Unlike previous versions of Windows, the option for creating a recovery disc
cannot be found within the recovery options of the control panel but can still be
hunted down if you know where to look.

Click the start menu and then open up the settings. In the search box, type in
“Recovery” (without quotes) and then select “Create a recovery drive” from
the list.

As always, it is a good idea to check the box that takes a backup of the system
files and then click on next. After a short time, you will be asked to connect a
USB drive to your computer and will alert you as to the size of drive that you
need. This will usually be around 4GB depending on what software is
installed on your computer. Anything on this drive will be wiped out as part
of the process. Select the drive and click on next.

You should now receive a further warning alerting you to the fact that the
content of the drive will be wiped in the process so click on Create only if
sure that you want to continue. It will take some time for your system to create
the recovery disc however; your computer can still be used for other tasks
whilst you wait.

Once complete, you will receive a message stating that the recovery drive is
ready. Click “Finish” and you are done.
Save Apps to External Drive
It is no secret that not all computers available have the same amount of space.
The good news for us is that Windows 10 apps and games don't have to be
using this space up as you can install these to a separate drive such as an SD
card or USB flash drive.

Here, we are going to look at how you can change the location of where any
newly installed apps will be saved.

Start off by inserting your external storage device such as SD card or USB
drive. This will be your new save location.

Open up the settings from the start menu and then choose “System”

In the left-hand side menu, select “Storage” and you should see your external
storage device. Select your drive in the “New apps will save to” section under
“Save locations” and click “Apply”.

If you want to move apps that are already installed to your external storage
device, you can do so with the following:

1. Settings > System > Apps and features


2. Select the app and click “Move”.
3. Verify drive and choose “Move” again
Define Shortcuts for Any App
As it turns out, all the apps that are installed on your computer are accessible
from a hidden shell view called Applications and once found, you can easily
create shortcuts for any of them.

Open “Run”, type in the following and then click OK:

shell:AppsFolder

Select the app that you want to create the shortcut for and right-click on it.
Choose “create shortcut”.
Your new shortcut will appear on your desktop which can then be renamed and
moved as you wish.

An even easier method that came to light is to simply drag and drop from the
start menu to the desktop.
Offline Maps
The maps app allows you to download maps for specific areas and then use
these maps offline so that they are available even without an internet
connection. Simply do the following:

1. Start > Maps


2. Click the gear icon (settings) from the lower-left corner of maps
screen.
3. Choose “Download or update maps” from under the “Offline maps”
section.
4. Select “Download Maps” from the left-hand side of the screen.
5. Select your continent and then on your country.
6. You can then choose to download specific regions or “All regions” and
then your download will start.
Make Cortana Respond Only To You
Did you know that you can train Cortana so that she will only respond to your
voice and not just anybody shouting out “Hey Cortana”. Before doing any of
the following, make sure that you are in a quiet place and then proceed with the
following steps:

1. Open up Cortana (Windows Key + S)


2. Click the notebook icon from the left-hand side of the screen
3. Choose “Settings”.
4. Choose “Learn my voice” and then click on “Start”.
5. From here you will be instructed by Cortana to repeat six sentences out
loud so be sure that you repeat them loud and as clear as possible. From here
Cortana will respond only to your voice.
Dark Theme

*Any time that you edit the Registry Keys, it is a good idea to create a
restore point beforehand

I really like the design of Windows 10 and find it very pleasing on the eyes.
However, for those that like to have something a little different, the OS has a
dark theme which can be enabled by doing the following:

1. Open “Run” (Windows Key + R) > Enter Regedit and then click enter
to open up the registry editor.
2. Locate the following entry without the quotes,
“HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Them
3. Right-click “Themes” > Select “New” > “Key” and name the newly
created key as “Personalize”
4. Select the new Personalize key and scroll towards its right pane.
5. Find an empty space and right-click > select “New” > DWORD Value.
Rename this key to “AppsUseLightTheme”
Do the same steps at the following location also:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Perso

Reboot your computer > Open settings and you should now see that the dark
theme has been activated.
Customize Start Menu
I am personally not a fan of the Windows 10 start menu and for anyone else out
there that feels the same way, we are going to be looking at a few different
things that you can do to make your start menu a little prettier and pleasing on
the eyes.

The start menu in Windows 10 has three different sections instead of the usual
two sections.

• Left section = Important menu item icons


• Middle section = List of applications
• Right section = Unchanged

Move/Resize Tiles
Open up the start menu by either pressing the Windows key or by clicking the
Windows logo in the lower-left of your desktop screen. Click on “All apps”
and find the app that you want to pin to the start menu. Right-click it and
choose “Pin to Start”. The icon for the chosen app will now appear on the live
tiles pane.

If you choose to remove a tile from the start menu then you can do so by right-
clicking the tile and then choosing “Unpin from Start”.

If you right-click a tile you will notice that you also have the option of resizing
it. Just simply mouse over the option and choose your preferred size from any
of the available four:

1. Small
2. Medium
3. Wide
4. Large

Once you have added the apps that you want and changed the sizes of the tiles,
you can simply just drag and drop the live tiles to arrange them how you want.
You cannot rearrange the tiles in the left-hand column as these shows your most
used.

Group Tiles Together


Grouping your tiles together is great for when you want to try and keep
everything separate. You could create a group for games or your social media
apps.

Click and drag a live tile in to an empty space of the live tile panel in the start
menu. You should see a horizontal bar appear at which time you can release the
mouse button and Windows will create a new group that contains that app.

To name your group, mouse over the space above the group and then click on
“Name Group”.

Resize Start Menu


I have never really found the size of the start menu a problem however some
have and so here we are going to look at how you can resize the menu in
Windows 10.

Mouse over the top of the start menu and the resize pointers should appear.
Simply click and drag these to your own preferred size.

Change Colour of Start Menu


From the start menu, head over to settings and then choose “Personalization”.
Choose colours and then turn off “automatically pick an accent colour from my
background” and then choose the colour that you want.
Once you have chosen your accent colour, scroll down and turn on the setting
“Show colour on Start, taskbar and action centre”

Turn Off Recently Added and Most Used


These lists are not to everyone’s taste in the Start menu and luckily for those
people, both of those can be switched off. Head over to Settings >
Personalization > Start.

Find both the “show most used apps” and the “show recently used apps”
options and turn them off.
Remove Suggested Apps
The more that you use the Start menu; you will begin to notice that occasional
suggestions for apps appear in your app list. You can get rid of this by heading
over to Settings > Personalization > Start and then turning off the
“Occasionally show suggestions in Start” option.
Cast Videos and Photos to TV
If you have a lot of media files on your computer and wish to view this from
your TV, you’re in luck. With the built-in apps that Windows 10 provides you
can easily stream videos from PC to TV, play music through your TV, and cast
photos from your PC to your TV. For this to work, both the PC and the TV
needs to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Via File Explorer


Run the File Explorer which you use when viewing and managing the files on
your PC. Find the music, video, or picture, right-click it and select “Play To”.
Your computer will start to search for compatible devices which will appear
in the list to be chosen from. Find your device and select it.

Via Windows Media Player


Click Start and then “All Programs”, find Windows Media Player and select it.
By default, your media library will open up. Find the media that you want to
cast to your TV, right-click it and select “Cast To”. Choose your networked
device from the list.

Via Movies and TV


This is another built-in app that comes with Windows 10. Simply launch the
app, click your media. Click on the “Show more options menu” (three dots),
and choose “Cast to Device”. Select your TV from the list and you are done.
Schedule Restarts
One really annoying feature for me in Windows 10 is that instead of allowing
you to handle Windows updates, they are all automatically downloaded to your
computer and then scheduled to install when your computer is idle.

The good news, is that Microsoft WILL allow you to choose when your
computer actually restarts to install them. We can do this with the following:

Start > Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update
Choose “Advanced Options” from bottom of screen.
Under “Choose how updates are installed”, click and select “Notify to
schedule restart”.
Press the back button to return to the previous screen and if an update is ready,
click “Select a restart time” and adjust the times to your own liking. If you
prefer you can simply choose to “Restart now”.
Useful Keyboard Shortcuts
If you use keyboard shortcuts, you understand how useful they can really be.
Below we are going to be looking at some of the new keyboard shortcuts
available in Windows 10 that can help make your time at your computer more
efficient.

Windows Key + A: Opens the Action Centre


Windows Key + C: Start Cortana in listening mode
Windows Key + I: Open Settings app
Windows Key + S: Launch Cortana
Windows Key + Tab: Open Task View
Windows Key + CTRL + D: Create a new virtual desktop
Windows Key + CTRL + F4: Close the current desktop
Windows Key + CTRL + left or right arrow: Switch between virtual
desktops
Windows Key + left or right arrow: Snap window to left or right of
screen
Windows Key + up or down arrow: Snap window to quadrant after
doing the left or right snap.
Windows Key + up arrow: (without snapping), maximises window
Windows Key + down arrow: (without snapping), minimises window
Tablet Mode
The Tablet Mode in Windows 10 means that instead of apps running in
windows, they are run at full screen instead and instead of a start menu, you get
a start screen.

From the start menu, choose “Settings” and then select “System”.

Select “Tablet Mode” from the left-hand side, change the setting “Make
Windows more touch friendly…” to the “On” position to enable Tablet Mode.
Simply change this setting to “Off” to go back to desktop mode.
If you do not want to be prompted by Windows 10 you can select “Don’t ask
me and always switch” from the “When this device automatically switches”
Create Virtual Desktop
If you like to have multiple windows open for different things, you know that it
can get a little bit confusing sometimes. A much better way of doing this is to
have an individual desktop for each task that you are doing. This not only gives
you more desktop space but also means that you can quickly access whatever
you need.

In the right-hand side of Cortana’s search menu, you will see the Task View
button. Click this to open the multi-app view that will allow you to see all the
apps and windows that you have active on the desktop.

Move your cursor to the bottom-right and click on “New desktop” and add as
many of these virtual desktops as you like. You can view what is open in each
desktop by opening up the Task View again and hovering over each desktop tab
from the bottom of the screen.

It is really straightforward if you choose that you want to move apps from one
desktop to another. Again go in to Task View, left-click and hold the open
window or app and you can now freely drag it to your chosen desktop.

If you wish to have all open programs from across the desktops to appear in
the taskbar, type in Virtual Desktop in to the Start menu, open the settings and
then change the first menu to “All Desktops”.
Play Xbox One Games On PC
Here, we are going to look at how to correctly configure both your Windows
10 computer and your Xbox One console so that you can start streaming your
games.

Updates
Both devices must be updated. On your Windows 10 computer you can do this
by clicking the Start button and then searching “Check for updates”.

On the Xbox One, updates are installed automatically so as long as you are
connected to the internet, head over to Settings > System > Console info and
then check that the OS version found here is the same as the most recent edition
from Microsoft.

Enable Streaming
From your Xbox, make your way over to the Settings app, select Preferences
and make sure that you have checked the box next to “Allow game streaming to
other devices”.

Connect to the Xbox


On your PC/tablet, locate the Xbox app and click it to log in. Make sure that
the Gamertag on the Xbox app matches that found on the Xbox console and then
choose the “Connect” icon from the left-hand side panel. This will open up a
new window where you can add a new device. If the Xbox is listed, click on
“Connect”. If it is not listed then you will need to manually enter the IP address
of your Xbox which can be found at Settings > Network > Advanced Settings.

Connect Controller
Now that your PC/tablet is connected to your Xbox console you should now
see some new options such as “Stream” and “Test Streaming”.

Connect a micro-USB to USB cable from an Xbox controller to the USB port
of your PC or tablet.

Streaming
Now we are down to finally streaming. Simply select “Stream” to begin. Once
streaming, you have the options of changing the quality from the low to very
high. Displayed next to this setting is the total bandwidth along with stats and
to the right of that; you have the option to stop streaming.
Record Any App or Software
The new Game DVR feature available in Windows 10 was originally created
for recording clips of your games. This same feature can however, be used
away from this as a way of simply recording any app or software that is on
your screen.

Head over to the Xbox app and login to your account. Go over to the Settings
and this is where you can make changes to the duration of recorded clips,
quality, and shortcuts.

Press the Windows Key + G where you will be asked if you wish to open a
game. Say yes and you will get a new toolbar with tools to capture your
content. This works with most features within Windows 10 but sadly, not yet
with Skype.

Any saved videos created with Game DVR get saved in the Game DVR section
of the Xbox app or the default location of
C:\users\%username%\Videos\Captures
Doodle On Any Webpage
Who doesn’t like a little doodling every now and then? Thanks to Windows 10
and the Edge browser, you can now take notes directly on websites and send
them to your friends. If you are viewing a website and decide that you want to
“Ink” it, select the pen and paper icon from the upper-right corner of the
browser window and after the page refreshes, you should now see a new
toolbar appear over the original toolbar showing five icons:

1. Pen
2. Highlighter
3. Eraser
4. Text
5. Clip

As the pen is selected by default, you can start doodling on the page straight
away. The highlighter will allow you to highlight text and images instead of
drawing over them.

Comments
If you don’t want to be drawing and prefer to type instead, you can select the
text tool. Simply choose the tool, select an area on the page and a numbered
pin will appear next to which you can start typing. You can minimise the text
box by clicking the numbered pin and click again to reopen the text box. You
can also click and drag to reposition the text box.

If you wish to delete both the pin and text box, you can do so by clicking the
trash icon in the lower-right corner of the text box.

The clipping tool can be used to clip out a section of the page. This works in
much the same way as the snipping tool works. Once you have selected an area
of the page, you can copy it to your clip by clicking on the copy icon in the
lower-right corner.

The eraser tool does just that. You have the power to erase any inked lines
from the screen although it will remove the whole line in one go instead of
parts if you make a mistake. If you want to erase the whole page, you can
simply click the eraser tool a second time and a new menu will appear with
just one option, “Clear all ink”.

Share/Save
If you look at the inking toolbar, you will see a save a share icon to the right-
hand side. If you wish to save you have three options:

1. You can send it to OneNote


2. Add it to favourites
3. Add it to your reading list

If you wish to share, click the icon and the Windows 10 sharing sidebar will
appear. From here you will see the name of your file along with any apps and
programs that you can use to share your work.
Analyse PC Storage
From time to time it is always a good idea to get rid of any junk from your PC
that is no longer needed. This usually means that you need to rely on third-party
software to do the job but thanks to Microsoft; Windows 10 comes with its
very own storage analyser.

Head over to the Start menu, then in to Settings and find the “Storage” section.
From here, you can choose which drives to analyse. Once chosen, you will get
a list of different types of files along with the space that they use up and a list
of folders.

You can manage each of the sections and start removing files by simply
clicking each segment. As an example, if you were to click on “Apps and
games”, you will be presented with a new screen detailing the apps and games
that you have installed on your computer. You can click on each individual item
for the option to uninstall.

If you head back in to the main storage settings screen, and look down towards
the bottom, you will see that you have the option of deleting temporary files.
Click “Temporary files” to delete them. You can also empty the recycle bin
from here and view your downloads folder.
Find Lost Device

The “Find my device” feature within Windows 10 can help you track down
your lost or stolen device. This feature will allow you to call, lock, erase and
see the location of the device on a map. This is turned off by default but can be
enabled in the following way:

1. Turn on the master location setting on your device. Sign in to your


Microsoft account as admin.
2. Start > Settings > Update and Security > Find my Device > Enable.

Your Windows 10 device will now start sending location data to Microsoft
which is stored in the cloud. This allows for much easier searching of lost
devices. If you have lost your device, you can track it down with the
following:

1. Head over to account.microsoft.com/devices and login with the same


account you used on the lost device.
2. You will be asked to select the device from a list. Choose your device
and select “Find my Device”.
3. A map will now appear showing the location of the device, take note.

It is important to note that the location that you are shown for the lost device is
only the location of where it was last used online.
Stop the Ads
With Windows 10 come a lot of built-in advertisements. The good news is that
most of this can be disabled.

Lock Screen Ads


Windows Spotlight is used not only for showing wallpapers but is also used to
show advertisements from time to time. You can remove these from the lock
screen by heading over to Settings > Personalisation > Lock Screen and then
changing the background from Windows Spotlight to “Picture” or “Slideshow”.
Whilst you’re at it, why not turn off the option for “Get fun facts, tips, and
more…”

“Helpful” Tips
Microsoft likes to nag at us a little lately about what they recommend we use
for various tasks. You can disable these “helpful” tips by going over to Settings
> System > Notifications and Actions and then disabling the option “Get tips,
tricks, and suggestions…”

Get Office Notifications


To stop the Get Office notifications, go over to Settings > System >
Notifications and Actions and set the Get Office app to “Off”. If you wish, you
can just uninstall the Get Office app by finding it in the Start menu, right-
clicking it and then selecting uninstall.
Do Not Disturb Mode
I find the pings of notifications suddenly appearing to be very annoying
especially when I have got my head in to some task. If you like the silence as
much as I do, these notifications and sounds can be turned off. When “Quiet
Hours” is enabled, the notifications will continue but the sounds will be
silenced.

Configuring Do Not Disturb Mode


To enable, click on the Action Centre icon in the taskbar and click Quiet Mode.
The tile will become coloured when enabled.

Simply tap it again to turn Quiet Hours back off. Now we can look at changing
which features turn on and off. Start off by heading over to Start > Settings >
System > Notifications and Actions. From here you will find your options for
notifications so change them to suit your needs.
Add Pin Number to Your Account

Did you know that in Windows 10, you have the option of setting a pin number
to your account instead of the usual password? Let’s take a look how you can
set this up on your computer.

1. Go over to Settings and then select “Accounts”.


2. Choose Sign-in options from the left panel and then click on “Add” from
under “Pin” in the right.
3. You will now be asked to verify your password, enter it, click OK and
then Next and Next again.
4. Enter a minimum of a four number pin and then click on OK.
5. Close the Settings window and you are finished.

If you wish to remove the pin from the account, you can do the following:

1. Go over to Settings and then select “Accounts”.


2. Choose Sign-in options from the left panel and then click on “Remove”
from under “Pin” in the right.
3. Click Remove to confirm and then type in your account password to
verify.
Quickly Launch Taskbar Apps
Below, we are going to quickly look at how you can add the Quick Launch
Toolbar in Windows 10.

To add the Quick Launch Toolbar from the Taskbar, right click an empty area,
mouse over “Toolbars” and then on to “New Toolbar”. In the folder field add
the following as it is written:

%UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick
Launch

Press “Select Folder” to add Quick Launch Toolbar.

If you wish to remove the toolbar, right click on an empty area, mouse over
“Toolbars” and then uncheck “Quick Launch”.
Saving Battery
Not only does Windows 10 come with a built-in battery saver, there are also a
couple of other little things that you can do to save the battery on your
computer.

Battery Saver
We will start with the built-in battery saver as this is the most obvious first
step to saving the battery life. You can find the battery saver by navigating to
Settings > System > Battery saver. By default the battery saver is set to kick in
when the battery reaches 20% life which you can change if you choose or
simply manually turn it on whenever you want to use it.

From the Battery Saver Settings page you will also be able to see the stats for
how long until the battery is fully charged, how much life left on the battery
when unplugged, and you can also make certain apps exempt from using the
battery saver feature altogether.

Power Plan
Before making any following changes we need to first know which plan we are
actually using. Head over to Settings > System > Power and Sleep and you
should see something similar to the following image:

Basically, the lower the figures are, the more juice you will get from your
battery before it needs charging back up.

If you click on “Additional Power Settings” you can set up a bunch of stuff like
when the hard drive goes to sleep and several other power plans that can be
adjusted to your own liking.

Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/Screen Brightness
Just like those users of smartphones that can save their battery by disabling
their Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you can do the same in Windows 10. We do this via
the Airplane Mode (Flight Mode) under Settings > Network and Internet.

The screen brightness is another feature that can really drain your battery if not
set correctly. You can find the brightness settings under Settings > System >
Display. Turn off the auto-adjust setting to stop Windows from overriding your
settings.
Volume
Not many people seem to realise but the volume can also have quite a big
impact on battery life. Turn down the volume a couple of notches, or even
switch to headphones if possible. The Windows Mobility Centre is home to the
master volume control which can be found by simply searching for “mobility
centre” from the taskbar and then choosing the first result.

Unnecessary Peripherals
I am guilty a lot of the time when it comes to not unplugging those peripherals
that I am not using. This can include:

1. External Hard Drives


2. Printers
3. Memory Sticks, etc.
Disable Start-up Programs
Certain Windows applications will automatically start up each time to power
up your computer. Below, we are going to look at how you can remove those
that may be slowing your computer down.

Some apps are better to be started this way instead of having to remember to
keep enabling them however, some are just unnecessary.

Via Task Manager


Right-click on the Start button from the bottom-left corner of the screen and
then choose “Task Manager” from the list of options that appear. By default this
will show you which apps are currently running on your system so move your
mouse down to “More Details” and click on it to see plenty of information
such as background processes and the resources that they are currently using.

Select the tab at the top that is labelled “Start-up” and you should see
something similar to the following image:

This list will show you every application that runs when you start your
computer although if you look over to the right of the “publisher” you will see
the status as not every app on the list will be enabled. Anything marked as
disabled can be ignored but if you see anything enabled that you wish to
disable you can do so by simply right-clicking on the app and then clicking the
disable option from the list.

The app will not be removed from the list but it will be stopped from
automatically starting up when you boot up your machine.