Windows 10 Features you'll wish you Discovered Sooner

24 January 2018
Administrator

Pinning the Recycle bin to the Start menu

Windows 10 logo

This feature was available in previous versions of Windows but since it helps improve productivity and efficiency we thought we would include it. We know how time consuming it can be to locate the recycle bin on your desktop, especially when you have a few Windows open, and you generally would rather not minimise them to then have to locate and open them all again. To pin the recycle bin to the start menu, first navigate to your desktop, right click on the recycle bin icon and select ‘Pin to Start’.

Windows 10 Start Menu

Making your Desktop your own

Windows 10 provides users with more freedom in terms of personalisation. If you follow the path of Start Menu > Settings > Personalization > Colors. Under ‘Accent color’ you can choose the colour you prefer, by default this modifies the colour of the tiles in the start menu, as well as a few other visual elements. You can turn off the option that makes the start, taskbar and action center transparent, which by default is on. You can also turn on the option to show your preferred colour on the Start, taskbar and action centre, which by default is turned off. All these customisations can help give your desktop your own personal touch.

Windows 10 Personalise Desktop

Printing to PDF

Printing to PDF is finally an inbuilt feature in Windows so you no longer need to rely on third party tools. This feature differs from saving as a PDF as colour quality increases when printed. Saving as a PDF is more appropriate when distributing the content electronically. To use this feature go through the print process as normal but you will need to change the printer to ‘Microsoft Print to PDF’. Then you will be prompted to choose where to save the document as a PDF.

Windows 10 Printing to PDF

Battery Saver

If you are using a laptop or another portable device with Windows and have been in a situation where you have been unable to charge it, you will benefit from this feature. Windows 10 gives you the ability to restrict background operations so you can utilise the remaining power as efficiently as possible. To utilise this feature, click on the battery symbol, to the left of the time and date, and use the slider to determine battery to performance ratio.

Windows 10 Battery to Performance

Drag to pin Windows

If you select and hold any window and drag it to one side, it will fit to half of the screen. This feature was first introduced with the release of Windows 7 but it was given an update for Windows 10. The update provides the option of dragging the window to any corner so that it fits only a quarter of the screen, this means you can view 4 open windows on one monitor. This can also be achieved by clicking the top of the Window you want to move, then holding the Windows key and using the arrow keys to move the Window in any direction you wish.

Windows 10 Multiple Pinned Windows

A Secret Desktop Button

This is another feature that has been around since Windows 7 but is great for increasing productivity and efficiency. If you look to the bottom right on your task bar, to the right of the date, time and notifications, there is a little rectangle, if you click on the rectangle, all open windows will minimise to give you a clear view of your desktop. If you click on the rectangle again, the windows are restored to where they were previously. By default hovering over the rectangle enables you to ‘Peek at the desktop’ but the behaviour of the rectangle can be modified by right clicking it.

Windows 10 Desktop Button

Creating a Virtual Desktop

If you click the icon next to the search button or bar, Task View will open. Select the “New Desktop” button to create a virtual desktop on your machine. To flick between desktops click on the Task View icon and select which desktop you wish to navigate to. Creating a new desktop can also be achieved by using the shortcut keys Ctrl + WinKey + D. This feature could be beneficial if you have a lot on your desktop or if you would like a desktop of sticky notes, rather than a desk full of physical sticky notes.

Windows 10 Virtual Desktop

Useful Keyboard Shortcuts to know

  • Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert: Copy selected or highlighted item (e.g. text and images etc.)
  • Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert: Paste selected or highlighted item.
  • Ctrl + A: Select all
  • Ctrl + X Cut selected or highlighted item.
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo previous action.
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo action.
  • Windows key + E: Open File Explorer.
  • Ctrl + N: When File Explorer is your current window, open a new File Explorer window with the same folder path as the current window.
  • Windows key + F1: Open "how to get help in Windows 10" Bing search in default browser.
  • Alt + F4: Close the current app or window.
  • Alt + Tab: Switch between open apps or windows.