Windows includes a variety of “troubleshooters” designed to quickly diagnose and automatically solve various computer problems. Troubleshooters can’t fix everything, but they’re a great place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer.
You may want to turn your Wi-Fi off to save battery power on an airplane or somewhere else where there’s no Wi-Fi available. With Windows 10’s Creators Update, you can now have your PC automatically re-enable your Wi-Fi so you don’t have to remember to do so later.
Windows 10 includes a telemetry service that automatically sends diagnostic and usage data about your computer to Microsoft. These settings have caused a lot of controversy since Windows 10’s release, but what do they actually do?
A screenshot is an image taken of whatever’s on your screen. Today we’re going to show you how to take a screenshot in Windows.
The Windows 10 Creators Update—which you can get manually if it hasn’t rolled out to you yet—brings with it a new “Game Mode” that focuses on improving performance for game applications.
Windows 10’s Creators Update adds a handy little feature that automatically cleans out your temp files and stuff that’s been sitting in your Recycle Bin for more than a month. Here’s how to enable it.
Microsoft’s “Shared Experiences” allow you to start a task on one device and finish it on another, or easily set up a remote control or other companion app on a smartphone.
Windows 10’s Creators Update brings a number of improvements to Microsoft Edge—mostly in the areas of responsiveness and security. It also includes some new tab management features, like being able to set aside tabs for later.
Many older (or cheaper) Windows laptops come with traditional mechanical hard drives—which these days, are pretty outdated and slow. Upgrading to a new, super fast solid state drive (or SSD) is the surest way to speed up an old computer. There’s one problem: moving your Windows installation can be tricky, especially since SSDs are often smaller than their traditional hard drive counterparts.
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 8 and 10 both allow you to set certain types of connections as metered so that you can limit the amount of data Windows (and certain apps) can use without asking. You can use the regular Settings interface to set mobile and Wi-Fi connections as metered, but for some reason Windows assumes you won’t need to do this with wired Ethernet connections. If you use an ISP that has monthly data caps, you know better. The good news is that a quick Registry edit will fix you right up.
Windows 10’s Creators Update includes a new live game-streaming feature. You can broadcast your gameplay in real time to your friends without any additional software.
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.
Windows 10’s Creators Update adds themes to the Windows Store, making it easy to customize your desktop with new backgrounds, sounds, and colors. These are the same types of desktop themes originally offered in Windows 7.
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.
Some PDFs are encrypted with a password, which you’ll need to enter each time you want to view the document. You can remove the password to save yourself some inconvenience if you’re keeping the PDF in a secure location.
Google and Mozilla now offer 64-bit versions of Chrome and Firefox for Windows. Here’s how to find out what version you’re running and how to upgrade.
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.
Microsoft will start rolling out Windows 10’s Creators Update starting April 11, but it will be a few months before every PC gets it. If you don’t want to wait, you can download the Creators Update from Microsoft right now.
When you install the Windows 10 Creators Update, you may notice Command Prompt missing from the Power Users menu. Here’s how to get it back.