8 Handy Hidden Windows 10 Features You Didn’t Know About
Despite its popularity and widespread usage, there are still a few hidden gems, even the most avid users of the operating system might’ve missed. So, whether you’re new to the system, or have been using it for years, check out these eight hidden features that will help you make the best use of your Windows 10 operating system.
1. An All-New Power User Task Menu
Microsoft continually monitors the performance of its operating system and conducts numerous in-depth analysis before coming out with a new version, or update on it. Through these analyses, the company can clearly distinguish between regular users who conduct most of their daily operations on their personal computers and others who would use their computers only occasionally. Microsoft had to come up with something to meet the needs of both types of users.
There were certain programs and tasks that regular users would use the most, and it would often take them a while to go through the whole menu in search of these programs. This is why Microsoft introduced a Power Users Task Menu, simply the Power Menu. This menu contains essential features that a lot of experienced or professional users may use.
However, since they can also cause some degree of instability or data loss if used in the wrong way, Microsoft has kept this feature hidden from non-regular users. The menu itself is quite easy to access. All you have to do is right-click on the Windows button. Or you could use the shortcut (Win+X) on your keyboard to gain access to this feature.
2. Find Out Which Apps Are Hoarding Up Your Disk Space
For quite a while, Microsoft’s competitors, iOS and Android, boasted about their ability to let users analyze relevant data about their device’s disk space. This option was easily accessible through the settings apps and allowed users to find out vital information about their device’s disk space, such as how much storage is currently available and how much space each app utilizes.
This way, if your device has become particularly slow after one too many app downloads, you can always refer to the disk space option and free up space accordingly. Previously, Windows had no such system to check disk space, and users would often have to refer to professionals or do guesswork regarding disk space availability.
However, now, Windows 10 has introduced an easily accessible disk space monitoring feature as well! This feature can be accessed by going to Settings, then clicking on System, and then Storage. This feature allows users to sort out which files or programs are taking up the most space and clear them accordingly.
3. Minimize Inactive Windows Quickly And Easily Without Affecting Your Active Window
Microsoft is striving hard to become as innovative and original as possible with its operating system. Although it contained a “Show Desktop” feature since its early Windows 95 days, there was no way of minimizing all the distracting inactive windows running behind your active window.
Microsoft recognized this as a problem that needed immediate attention and came up with an ingenious and easy way for users to solve the issue. Windows 10 users can now grab the active window by the title bar using their cursor and give it a little shake. Voila! All the inactive windows will be successfully minimized.
4. Stop All Background Apps From Running
Microsoft has borrowed another critical feature from mobile operating systems, which makes it much more efficient. Most mobile operating systems allow you to control which apps run in the background. Most PC operating systems, including the older versions of Windows, however, do not have this feature.
Although this may not seem like such a significant issue initially, it could be very frustrating if you want to conserve data. For example, when you’re using a mobile hotspot tethered to your laptop and have limited data. Lots of background apps running simultaneously can even affect your laptop’s battery life. To give you more control over which apps you want to run in the background, Windows 10 has introduced an excellent new feature.
To utilize this feature, click on the Settings app, then click on Privacy, followed by Background apps. This will lead you to a list of all apps installed on your device and will allow you to choose whether or not you want them to run in the background.
5. Becoming A Power User Of The Windows 10 Start Menu
Generally, the more your personal computer is used and customized, the more apps you will need to download. This ultimately results in a severely bloated Start Menu, causing you to have trouble browsing through and locating the particular app that you want to use, from the plethora of apps you have.
To make the operating system quicker and more efficient, Microsoft has devised a new way of speeding up the app location process. All you have to do is open the Start Menu and first click on the All Apps button. This will generate some letters that you will be able to click on. From here, click on the first letter of the app that you want to open up. This will cause the app to appear on the right, in the tiles.
To make the process even quicker, Windows 10 also has a search bar that you can use. Here you can search for any app that you want and open it immediately instead of browsing through the list of apps in the Start Menu.
6. The ‘Print to PDF’ Option
Can we all agree that Google Chrome is one of the best search engines ever created? Even Mac users prefer installing Google Chrome and making use of its numerous, brilliant features such as Print to PDF. Looking at the success of such options, and how much more efficient they make the whole operating system, Microsoft has also introduced them into the Windows 10 operating system.
These options include the coveted “Print to PDF” option as well, which is now a native of the Windows 10 operating system. This option can easily be accessed by users of the operating system from any print dialogue.
7. A New List Of Super Useful Keyboard Shortcuts!
We’ve made a list of some handy keyboard shortcuts that will make navigating the Windows 10 operating system a breeze! These shortcuts will not only save valuable time but will also make working with the operating system much easier!
- Task View = Windows Key-Tab
- To move an app to the top right quadrant; you can also use keys of different directions to position windows wherever you prefer = Windows Key-Right-Up
- To snap apps to the top or bottom of the screen, or to maximize = Windows Key-Up and Key-Down
- To scroll between different virtual desktops = Windows Key-Ctrl-Left or Right
- To generate a new virtual desktop = Windows Key-Ctrl-D
- To close a virtual desktop = Windows Key-Ctrl-F4
- For Cortana listening = Windows Key-Shift-C
- For a daily glance into weather, sports, news = Windows Key-S
8. New and Improved Trackpad Gestures
In an attempt to be more advanced, efficient, and fast, Microsoft has adopted numerous trackpad gestures that are also found in Mac’s OS X. Most Mac users are already accustomed to these and will be delighted to know that they work almost identically in Windows 10 as well. These features include basics such as using two fingers to scroll and pinching to zoom in.
However, Microsoft has added some new Windows 10 specific gestures as well. These include swiping up with three fingers for Task View, swiping left with three fingers, which acts as Alt-tab to open Task Switcher and swiping down with three fingers to access the desktop. Tapping the trackpad with four fingers will bring up the Action Center while tapping with three fingers opens the Cortana.
Written by The Original PC Doctor on 15/02/2020.