Computer Notebook: Get Started with Windows 10This content is saved for historical purposes and is no longer updated.
On first using Windows 10, I made some adjustments and customizations. My goal was to get Windows 10 working as simply as possible, with a minimum of its advanced options.
My Customization of Windows 10
I adjust a few things with Windows 10 so that it would be more familiar to me and run more simply and smoothly.
- Increase Performance by turning off unneeded features:
Start Menu -> Control Panel -> System and Security -> System ->
In upper left corner -> "Advanced system settings"
Section "Performance" -> Button "Settings..."
Tab "Visual Effects"
Click "Adjust for best performance" which will clear ALL boxes
Then click the box for just two features:
- Show thumbnails instead of icons
- Smooth edges of screen fonts
- Turn off WiFi:
Settings -> Network & Internet -> WiFi -> scroll down to Manage WiFi Settings ->
- Connect to suggested open hotspots -> Turn OFF
- Connect to networks shared by my contacts -> Turn OFF
Adjust to show file extensions:
Bring up any directory with filenames with extensions in windows explorer; View-> click box for "File name extensions"
- Adjust the mouse to work faster:
Start Menu -> Control Panel
Search for "Mouse"
Click on "Change mouse settings"
Tab "Pointer Options"
set slider to fast (I put it on the fastest)
check "Enhance pointer precision
- I have my own tool bar (added by right click Taskbar->Toolbars->New) which is a directory of
links to programs and directories I use often. This is displayed in a series of icons
right on the taskbar, to the right of Windows 10 taskbar icons. The screenshot below shows
the directory (called "minibar") open above this toolbar displayed as icons on the taskbar. It is simply a directory of links.
Software Installations and Replacements
- Start Menu X: a replacement of the Windows 10 Start Menu. This allows a more familiar access to Programs as well as Windows 10 Applications and other features. I find this easier to use and more familiar than the Windows 10 Start menu.
- MPC-HC: an open source media player for Windows. It supports all common video and audio file formats available for playback, including playing DVDs. This is free software that you can use to play DVDs on Windows 10.
- I adjusted the context menus and default programs to be more familiar, convenient, and simplified. I used:
- I removed all Adobe software products because of security and usability concerns. Note that Adobe flash plugin can't be removed because Microsoft won't allow permissions to change for the plugin, but you can turn off the use of flash in the Edge browser: Menu -> Settings -> View advanced settings -> Use Adobe Flash Player: set to "Off." For viewing PDF files, I am very pleased with the simplicity and speed of the Sumatra PDF Reader.
- I used the suggestions on "How to Make Windows 10 Look and Feel Like Windows 7" to "Get Rid of the Lock Screen" and "Hide the Cortana / Search Box." (Note that I can still access Cortana through Start -> Applications -> Cortana).
- CCleaner: helps clean files, the registry, as well as context menu and startup items.
- I installed DoNotSpy10 which brings together Windows 10 privacy controls in one panel.
- I installed Autoruns for Windows which shows and controls which programs run during computer startup.
- I customized my Windows Explorer to eliminate unnecessary features and make it more usable. You can do this by:
- turning off the navigation/preview/details panes: View -> Navigation pane -> uncheck Navigation pane and also deselect Preview pane and Details pane
- customizing the quick access toolbar (the down-pointing arrow on the titlebar) to select "Minimize the Ribbon" and deselect "Show below the Ribbon."
- placing functions on the quick access toolbar by right clicking on any function and selecting "Add to Quick Access Toolbar"
- removing functions on the quick access toolbar by right clicking on the function on the Quick Access Toolbar and selecting "Remove from the Quick Access Toolbar"
These images show the Windows 10 desktop initially and then after some customizations.
What I was most impressed with was the ability to run Windows 10 apps on the desktop. I was very impressed by the Maps App to get directions. The Microsoft Maps app allows you to: 1) set your preferred transit mode; 2) set your preferred units of measure (e.g., meters or non-standard); 3) set favorite locations for quick access and directions; 4) choose options such as leave by, arrive by, or leave now. This is an excellent interface-quick and easy, easier than using the web-based Bing maps and superior to Google maps.
After stabilizing and using Windows 10 on my desktop computer, my next step was to get a tablet computer.
- Microsoft Windows 10: official Windows 10 site from Microsoft.