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The “Reset Your PC” feature in Windows 10 restores your PC to its factory default settings…including all that bloatware your PC manufacturer included. But the new “Fresh Start” feature in Windows 10’s Creators Update makes it much easier to get a clean Windows system.
The Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows 10 provide more control over Windows Update than the Home edition does. If you have one of those editions, then starting with the Creators Update, you can now pause receiving updates and defer some updates for up to a year.
Windows 10’s Creators Update adds Dynamic Lock, which tries to automatically lock your PC when you step away. Dynamic Lock uses Bluetooth to check the signal strength of your smartphone. If the signal drops to a certain level, Windows assumes you’ve walked away with your smartphone and locks your PC.
Windows 10 automatically installs updates, including new versions of hardware drivers. But you can block Windows Update from installing driver updates, if you like. Early versions of the Creators Update included an easy graphical option to change this setting on Windows 10 Professional, but Microsoft decided to remove it.
Windows 10’s Creators Update includes Night Light, a “blue light filter” that makes your display use warmer colors at night to help you sleep better and reduce eyestrain. It works just like Night Shift on the iPhone and Mac, Night Mode on Android, Blue Shade on Amazon’s Fire tablets, and the f.lux application that started it all.
More and more laptops these days are coming with super high resolution screens, which means Windows needs to “scale” the interface to make things readable. If you don’t like the default scale level, you can change it yourself. This is essentially a “zoom” of sorts—scaling icons and text so that the display is still running at native resolution, but all the on-screen content is larger without getting distorted.
The Windows 10 Creators Update—codenamed Redstone 2—will begin rolling out on April 11, 2017. Like other updates to Windows 10, it’s free, and includes a host of new features. It will be rolled out slowly like the Anniversary Update, so it will be a few months before Microsoft offers it to everyone.
Windows 10’s Creators Update has a switch you can flip to only allow apps from the Windows Store. This feature can also be used to whitelist your existing desktop apps, only allowing your currently installed applications to run and blocking new applications until you allow them. It’s similar to Gatekeeper on macOS.
The bash shell is the standard terminal environment included with most Linux distributions, included with macOS, and available for installation on Windows 10. It remembers the commands you type and stores them in a history file. You probably know a few basics of the bash history, but it’s a lot more powerful than you might realize.
Windows is great at a lot of things. Handling its sound devices is not one of them. Despite the fact that most desktop PCs come with multiple sound output options (standard stereo, surround, front and rear, and so on), it’s still a pain to actually switch between them. Let’s see if we can change that.