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Windows 10

Windows 10 is full of tricks and little known or explored features that are designed to make working (or leisure) life easier and more fun. We’ve rounded up a few of the best and most useful, so you can try something different today with your Windows 10 interface:

Resize the Start Menu

The Windows 10 start menu packs a lot into a small space, and grows accordingly. If yours is taking up more screen space than you like, simply open the Start Menu then click on one of its corners and drag to the size you prefer. You can adjust it for height or width.

Pin Files to the Start Menu

Sometimes it’s handy to get to your personal files and folders, fast. In Windows 10 you can pin any folder to the start menu very easily.

  • Open File Explorer and find the folder you want to pin to the Start Menu.
  • Right click on the folder for menu options.
  • Click Pin to Start.
  • Close File Explorer.

Next time you click the Start button, your newly pinned folder will be visible, ready to access without any further searching. If you decide later that you don’t want the folder pinned anymore, just right click on its icon in the Start menu and click Unpin from start.

Minimise Multiple Windows in a Flash

It’s surprising how many open windows you can end up with during the course of the working day. When your Windows 10 desktop is cluttered with windows you don’t need anymore, here’s a fast (and fun) way of shutting them:

  • Grab the title bar (along the top) of the window you want to keep active.
  • Click and hold, then shake the mouse back and forth. All the other windows disappear.
  • When you want them back, shake the active window again and all your previous windows reappear.

If you don’t want to do the mouse shake, there’s another way to hide open windows. In the bottom right corner of the screen there is a vertical line. Click to the right of the line and all windows minimise. All you see is your clean desktop. Click again to make the windows come back.

The difference between the two actions is that the mouse keeps the active window (the one you’re shaking) open. Clicking by the line at the bottom minimises them all.

Have Fun with Cortana

Cortana is good at finding things and organising your diary or to-do list. There’s a guide here if you’re struggling to get going with Cortana. As well as helping streamline everyday computer tasks, she’s up for a few games too:

You can tell Cortana to ‘roll the die’ or ‘flip a coin’ if you want some help making a decision, or say ‘rock, paper, scissors’ for a game of chance.

Say ‘sing’ and Cortana will soothe you with dulcet tones, or say ‘do an impression’ and prepare to be amused. She can also talk like a pirate. All you have to do is ask. Cortana recently learned to, ‘play the movie game’. She’ll give you three clues and you have to try and guess which film she’s talking about.

Windows 10 is far richer than it appears at first sight. There are many ways to customise different aspects so it works the way you want it to, and it’s updated regularly to improve features and security. It’s a hardworking business engine, but it’s got a fun side that helps lighten the day.

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