Cool New Windows 10 Features You Should Try

Windows 10 is filled with new features and better ways to control the computer, but every user has to learn how to access these feature and how they work. As Windows 10 celebrates its 6-month birthday, Microsoft reports that, “More than 200 million devices are running Windows 10 in 192 countries across the world.” Many of these users have yet to investigate or use some of the new features. You don’t have to be one of them. Here is a brief tutorial to get you going.

Split View

Getting more than one windows on the screen at a time is now easier than ever. You can drag a window to the side of the screen to have it fill half of the screen or you now drag windows into the corners of the screen to snap it to a quarter view. When you do that, you will see the remaining open windows as small icons and can easily choose any one to fill the remaining area.

Windows 10 Features

Notification Screen/ Action Center

On Android and iOS, there is a notification center that you can drag down from the top of the screen. In Windows 10, that notification screen, called the Action Center, can be found by swiping from the right side of the screen. As you can see from this screenshot, this notification screen sometimes contain valuable information. You should check it occasionally.

Windows 10 Features

Command Prompt

Up to now, we have been stuck with the command prompt that we used since the 1990s. Microsoft has finally improved that experience. You can now use the familiar keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste at the command prompt. It’s a small, but very welcome change.

Numerous other changes have been made to the console window, like the ability to resize the command prompt windows and support for high resolution monitors. These are very useful to administrators and have been explained in detail in the Microsoft Blog.

Hidden Access

Windows 10 is not perfect. When you start using Windows 10, some features that used to be front and center are now slightly hidden. Just right-click on the Start icon to see a list of useful commands. These include Programs and Features, Power Options, Event Viewer, System, Device Manager, Network Connections, Disk Management, Computer Management, Command Prompt, Task Manager, Control Panel, File Explorer, Search, Run, and Sign-out Options.

While Windows 10’s new features are better than ever, a few of the older features are also a little hidden. It used to be quite easy to get to the Control Panel. Now, as stated above, you get to it by right-clicking the Start menu. Putting the Control Panel icon and other Windows icons like This PC, Recycle Bin, User’s Files, and Network on the desktop is even a little more obscure. Go to Settings, Personalization, Themes, and click on Desktop Icon Settings to get these icons to your desktop.

Windows 10 Features

Task View

The new Task View icon shown below makes it much easier to see all the open apps and windows at once. The layout is customizable, with the grid layout very easy to use quickly at a glance. The Task View icon will show you virtual desktops, as well as open apps and programs. When you open the Task View interface for the first time, or you only have one desktop, you can use the “Add a desktop” button at the bottom of the screen to take you to the wonderful world of virtual desktops.

Windows 10 FeaturesTask View icon

Windows 10 Features

Virtual Desktops

If you have used Linux or a Mac, you already know how useful virtual desktops can be. They can be extremely handy if you don’t have multiple monitors, but you work on multiple projects at once.  You can use Alt-Tab to move between apps as usual, and then Windows-Ctrl and the left and right arrow keys to move between desktops.

Task Manager

There are many ways to open the new Windows 10 Task Manager. Right-clicking the Start icon or opening it from the Quick Access menu are two of the easiest. The old CTRL-Alt-Del will also still work. Once open, you will find the Task Manager both simpler and more powerful than it was in previous versions of Windows. Besides using it to shut down programs and processes, you can now also monitor your computer performance more easily and check on things like CPU, disk, and memory usage. You can also see if other users are connected to your computer.

Windows 10 Features

Cortana

Cortana, Windows 10 new digital voice assistant, might not sound very useful, but everyone should give her a try. She can open programs, help you find documents, check your calendar, open an email, give you the weather forecast, and more.

Xbox

With Windows 10, Xbox play can now be mirrored on your computer. You can play with your friends across devices and can also capture, edit, and share you gaming experience with Game DVR.

File History

Although File History made its debut in Windows 8, it is even more useful in Windows 10. You can use it to back up your computer on the fly. One of my favorite features is the ability to right-click on a file and choose Properties to see the brand new Previous Versions tab. This tab shows you versions that are in the File History or are found in a Restore Point.

All-in-all, Windows 10 has a lot of new features. Whether you use it only occasionally or you use it every day, it is worthwhile to take the time to investigate some of its great new features.

Author: Sandy Berger

Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up's Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.

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