If you’ve just upgraded to Windows 10 or picked up a new PC with Windows 10 installed, one of the first things you’d want to do is customize it to make it your own. You’d probably want to get rid of a few sections in the Start menu, resize it, remove tiles you don’ t care for or tweak the taskbar icons.
There are plenty of cool things you can do and in this post, I’ll show you some of the settings that you can tweak to make Windows 10 work to your comfort and convenience. I’ll also share with you a few tips and tricks along the way.
Tips and Tricks to Customize Windows 10
Get Rid of the Most Used and Recently Added Sections in Start Menu
The first tweak we want to show is how to get rid of the Most Used and Recently Added Sections in Start Menu. If you find that the left side of the Start menu is cluttered with too many unwanted apps and programs, you can remove them. Go to Settings->Personalization->Start. Then turn off the Show most used apps and Show recently added apps options to remove them from the Start menu.
Add Folders You Often Use to the Start Menu
If you get rid of the Most Used and Recently Added sections in the Start menu, you can fill up that empty space with folders you often use. Go to Settings-> Personalization-> Start and click Choose which folders appear on Start. Here you can choose which folders and system settings (Documents, Downloads, Music, Videos, HomeGroup and Network) you want to add.
How to Customize the Tiles on the Start Menu
Add and Remove Apps: You can add any app you want to the Start menu by going to All Apps, right-clicking the app you want to add and then choosing Pin to Start. To remove an app, right-click it and choose Unpin from Start.
Resize Apps: To resize an app tile, right-click the tile and choose between small, medium, wide or large.
Rearrange Apps: You can drag and drop pinned apps to any part on the right side of the Start menu to arrange them.
Group Apps: You can also group tiles such as for productivity apps, games, recipe apps and so on by clicking and dragging a tile to the top of the Start menu until you see a horizontal bar (the bar’s color will vary depending on your theme accent color). When you release the mouse button Windows will create a new group containing that app. You can click above the tile to name the group.
Turn Off Live Tiles: If you no longer want to view live updates from any app, right-click the respective app tile and choose Turn live tile off.
Remove the right pane: If you don’t want to see any tiles on the right pane, you can right-click all the tiles and select Unpin from Start. If you hate it so much that you don’t want to hide it but wipe it off the system, you can right-click all the apps and select Uninstall. This will give the Start menu an old Windows 7 Start menu.
How to Resize the Start Menu
You can resize the Start menu to appear full screen, broad or narrow. To do that, just hover your mouse over either the top or right-hand edge of the Start menu until the resize pointer appears. Then click and drag to resize it, just as you would resize a window. this will expand the Start menu to the top or to the right of the screen. To go full screen, click the Action Center icon on the notification area (bottom right of the screen) and select Tablet mode.
Turn Off Quick Access View in File Explorer
When you open File Explorer in Windows 10, it defaults to a new Quick Access view that displays your most frequently accessed folders and recently viewed files. If you prefer to have the old This PC look, go to File Explorer, then select the View tab and click Options. In the Folder Options dialog box, from the Open File Explorer to drop-down menu, select the This PC option and click OK.
Shift an Open App to Another Desktop
The Task View allows you to create multiple desktops to organize and manage open windows. The Ctrl + Windows + Arrow key lets you jump between desktops while the Alt + Tab keys lets you swap between open windows on a particular desktop. But if you want to move an open app from one virtual desktop to another, here’s what you need to do.
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Go to the virtual desktop where the app you want to move is open. Then click the Task View button. Then click-and-hold the app you want to move and drag it to the desired virtual desktop on the bottom tray. If you want to move it to a new virtual desktop, just drag it to the +New Desktop option in the lower-right corner of the screen.
Manage Taskbar Icons
If you want to modify which icons show up on the taskbar, go to Settings and click on System. Select the Notifications & actions tab and click the Select which icons appear on the taskbar option. Here you can toggle any app option you want on or off. Also, you can click on Turn system icons on and off and switch off items you don’t want to see in the notification area.
Color your Windows
You can customize the color of your Windows 10 Taskbar, Start menu, and search field by going to Settings > Personalization > Colors. Here you can let Windows automatically pick a color from your background by changing your background image. Or you can switch off that option, and select an accent color by enabling the Show color on taskbar and Start menu option. Also try disabling the Make Start menu transparent option to remove the see-through aero effect and get a solid color background for the Start menu and the taskbar.
Get More Room on the Taskbar
The Search box or Cortana takes up a lot of space on the Windows 10 Taskbar. If you want more room for othericons, just right-click the Taskbar, go to Search and enable Show Search (Cortana) icon. This will replace the box with the icon. If you still need more space, you can go to Search and enable Hidden. This will completely hide the Search (Cortana) box.
Download an Offline Map
The revamped universal Maps app in Windows 10 packs an offline maps feature. Open Maps and go to its Settings (Gear icon). Then in the Offline maps section, select Download or update maps. You’ll will be asked to select a continent and country whose offline map you can download. Windows will also tell you how large the download is before you start the download.
Schedule Windows Update Restarts
If your Windows 10 PC has pending updates that require a reboot you can schedule it to update at a specific time. To tweak this setting, go to Settings-> Update and Security-> Windows Update. In the right pane select Advanced Options. In the Choose how updates are installed screen, click the dropdown and select Notify to schedule restart.
How to Uninstall Windows 10 Updates
Sometimes a Windows update might cause your PC to crash. In such instances, the best thing to do will be to uninstall an update. To do that, go to Settings->Update & security. In the Windows Update tab, on the right pane, click Advanced Options. In the next screen, click View your update history. This will bring up a list of updates that have happened in your PC over a period of time. Click Uninstall updates. This will take you to the Control Panel screen where you can select an update and click Uninstall.
Get Windows Updates From Other PCs on your Local Network
Windows 10 offers a brand new option that lets you download Windows Updates from other sources instead of doing it directly from Microsoft. For instance you can download it once on your PC and share it with other connected PCs. To do this go to Settings-> Update and Security-> Windows Update. Click Advanced Options. Then in the Choose how updates are delivered section, notice that the option is enabled by default and set to get updates from PCs on your local network and PCs on the Internet. You can choose to set this to PCs on your local network instead.
Access the All Apps Section Quickly
If you want to access an app from the All Apps section, say Windows Media Player you don’t have to scroll all the way down the Start menu. Just click on the Alphabet or Number title at the top, select the alphabet you want, in this case W and you’re taken right down to the section where you can select your app.
How to Change Your Default Browser to Chrome or Firefox
Microsoft Edge is the default browser in Windows 10. If you prefer to have Google Chrome or Firefox instead, go to Settings->System and select the Default apps tab. On the right pane, scroll down to Web browser and click Microsoft Edge. From the pop up menu select Chrome or Firefox as you see fit.
How to Turn Off WiFi Sense
Windows 10 offers a feature called WiFi Sense that lets you share your WiFi with your friends. This feature is enabled by default. To turn it off go to System-> Network and Internet. In the right pane, click Manage WiFi settings. In the next screen, turn off Outlook.com contacts, Skype contacts and Facebook friends. You can then turn off Connect to networks shared by my contacts.
Get Microsoft Support
A quick way to get to the Microsoft community forums or chat or call a Microsoft support representative is to head over to All apps and select Contact Support.