windows 10 tips

Settings page and toggle the ‘Respond Best To Me’ slider.

Now, Cortana will attempt to learn your voice. She’ll give you six phrases to repeat, once that’s done, and it might take a few attempts, you’ll have the sassy personal assistant all to yourself.

5) Fan of Windows 8? Try using the Tablet Mode

Any fans of Windows 8 out there? Hello? Ok, so not many of us are lovers of the fully touch-friendly UI that Microsoft has pushed into the background. Tablet Mode, of course, gets rid of the desktop and lets the Start Menu take center stage.

To access it, Tap on the ‘notifications’ icon (it looks like a message) on the taskbar – or swipe in from the right side if you’re using a touchscreen – in the taskbar to bring up Action Centre. Click the ‘Tablet Mode’ and repeat the method to exit it again.

Incidentally, if you’re using a hybrid device – a Surface Pro 3 for example – popping the keyboard out should automatically bring up Tablet Mode, which is a nice touch.

Related: Windows 10 vs Windows 8.1


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6) How to put ‘switch to Tablet mode’ as a default

If you’re really a big fan of the Tablet mode and want your laptop or PC to boot up into the touchscreen-friendly version of Windows 10 every time you log in, you need to go into the System settings to do this.

Head to the Windows Start Menu and select Settings. Look for the Tablet mode option and when selected it’ll give you a drop down option for ‘When I sign in‘. Here you choose to boot up in whatever you used last or automatically switch to tablet or desktop mode every time.

7) Play Xbox One games on your Windows 10 PC

One of the nicest additions to Windows 10 is its integration with Microsoft’s gaming console, the Xbox One. Game streaming lets you beam titles from your console to your laptop/desktop and continue playing in another room. You could say it’s Microsoft’s competitor to Remote Play streaming on the PS4 and PS Vita, though it’s a far better implementation.

The simplest way to activate it is to open up the Xbox app on your Windows 10 PC, ensure your console is on and connected to the same Wi-Fi network and tap the Xbox One symbol you should see appear on your PC or laptop.

For a more in-depth look at this Windows 10 mode, you can read our how to stream Xbox One games to a Windows 10 PC feature.


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8) How to use Game DVR to record non-gaming content

If you own an Xbox One, then there’s a lot of reasons to like the more console-friendly Windows update. One of the best features is the new Game DVR feature letting you record clips of your games.

There is, however, a way to take advantage of the gaming feature to use for other areas of Windows 10 – like simply recording an app or a piece of software.

The first thing you need to do is head to the Xbox Windows 10 app, which you can find easily using the Start Menu.

You’ll need to log in with a Microsoft account attached to your Xbox gamer tag or create a new one if this is the first time you’ve set one up.

Jump into the Xbox app settings and this where you can adjust things like the duration of clip recorded, video quality and keyboard shortcuts for additional features like taking screenshots.

Once that’s done, press the Windows key and G key on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can plug in an Xbox One controller and press the white Xbox button in the middle of the pad.

A prompt will ask you if you want to open a game. Say yes and a floating toolbar will give you the tools to capture content. It doesn’t work with Skype unfortunately, but should work with most other Windows 10 features.

Saved videos can be found in the Game DVR section of the Xbox app, or inside here C:\users\%username%\Videos\Captures, which is set up as the default location.

Related: Why Continuum is Windows 10 Mobile’s killer feature


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9) Install updates at the most convenient time

Windows 10 will force you to accept updates to the operating system, but the installation process can be delayed by up to six days. You can set this up by opening the Start menu, going into Settings, then Updates and Recovery, and choosing Notify to schedule restart.

10) Get faster updates with P2P

This next tip starts in the same place as the previous one, so stay locked in the Updates and Recovery menu. To ensure your updates are always downloaded quickly and efficiently, you can utilise peer-to-peer tech. Tap on Advanced Options, then Choose how updates are delivered and select Updates from more than one place to ‘on’ – see below for how to ensure P2P updates don’t suck up all your bandwidth.

11) How to disable Windows updates from using your bandwidth

Something that early adopters have found is that by stetting up those faster updates described in previous tip, it will use your internet connection to share updates with other users. It’s called the Windows Update Delivery Optimization and works in a very similar fashion to a peer-to-peer network that’s commonly used for things like torrent sites.

If you’d prefer not to share the bandwidth love then there’s the option to turn it off, but it’s not as straightforward as you think.

To disable it, go to the Windows Start Menu and select Settings. Click on Update & Security and under the Windows Update tab, click on the Advanced options. Select the ‘Choose how updates are delivered‘ option.

You should now see the option to select whether updates from Microsoft are received from ‘PCs on my local network‘ or ‘PCs on my local network and PCs on the internet‘. Select the former if you value your bandwidth more than those speedier updates.

This also allows you to push Windows updates to other PCs in your home without downloading the update multiple times.


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12) Doodle on a web page

Lots of Windows 10 computers have touchscreens, a perfect addition to take advantage of the new doodle features in the new Edge browser. Just tap the pen and paper icon in the Edge’s menu bar, choose your pen of choice and start doodling.

Holding down on the pen type will bring up a variety of hues and sizes, you can copy regions of the page too and save them to OneNote.


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13) Going back to Windows 7 or Windows 8

If Windows 10 isn’t the radical overhaul you’d hoped it would be and you’re left pining for the old times, you can still step back in time and go back to a Windows 7 or 8.1 life. You’ll have a month to revert back to the older version, so make sure you’re definitely sure this is what you want to do.

The first step is to back up anything you’ve downloaded or saved during the time you’ve had Windows 10 running. You could use an online cloud storage service like OneDrive or Google Drive or go old school and opt for an external or USB drive.

Go to the Windows Start menu and click the Update & Security option. Select Recovery and you should see an option to Go Back to Windows 7 or 8.1, depending on what you had last running on your device.

Once you’ve filled in a blue form saying why you’ve had enough of Windows 10, you can begin the very simple process of rolling back.

Depending on how much you’ve managed to install during the brief Windows 10 opening window, this could take a few minutes or a little longer.


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