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Fix the most annoying things in Windows 10 | News & opinion



Windows 10 is probably the best edition of the venerable Microsoft operating system. But Redmond has never made a completely perfect operating system. As much as we like Windows 10 – and we really like it – it has problems. Fortunately, many are easy to correct. Here are the steps you can take to correct them so that the operating system does not send you to the Windows background.


Stop Auto Reboots

Windows 10 updates are regular and seemingly endless, and virtually out of user control (unless you completely disable updates, which is a bad idea). Even worse, if you do not restart your PC after an update, Windows 10 ultimately takes on a restart for you. That is a good way to lose data in open apps.

Take advantage of a feature called Active Hours, which allows you to schedule a time to restart. And s starts with the May 201

9 update (version 1903), Microsoft will not force these updates on you as strongly as before. Instead of automatically installing major feature updates, you will see an option in the Windows Update settings to download and install the update at your leisure.


Preventing Sticky Keys

 Preventing Sticky Keys in Windows 10

If you press the Shift key five times in a row in Windows, you activate Sticky Keys, a Windows function that allows shortcuts where you press one key at a time instead of simultaneously (so it works with any combo that contains the Shift, Ctrl, Alt, or Windows keys ()).

If you activate it without knowing it, you must enter & # 39; yes & # 39; in a dialog box. without thinking, but it happens – it can be very annoying. Prevent this from ever happening by quickly pressing the Shift five times to open that same dialog. Click the "Disable this keyboard shortcut in Accessible keyboard settings" and clear the check box next to "Enable Sticky Keys when SHIFT is pressed five times."


Calm down the UAC

 Calm down the UAC

Since Windows Vista, User Account Control (UAC) has been in place to protect users so that they can quickly grant administrator rights to software programs & # 39; s need this, especially when installing or removing software. In the past, when you started installing, the screen suddenly went dark and everything seemed to stop, causing various (anecdotal, probably fictional) heart attacks in the midst of the population. UAC is still there in Windows and still dims the desktop, but you have the option to turn it off or at least prevent the screen from dimming.

Type UAC in the Windows 10 search box to get the User Account Control settings change. The screen presents a slider with four security levels, from never reporting (bad) to always reporting (annoying – it alerts you when you make your own changes). Choose one of the middle options; the second from the bottom warns you without the dimming scare tactic. With that option you still get a dialog confirmation with a yes / no option when you install things.


Remove unused apps

 Remove unused apps [19659004] Did you know that you have a program in Windows 10 called Groove Music? Probably not, because the world uses different services. Fortunately, a few pre-installed Windows apps can finally be removed.

Navigate to Settings> Apps> Apps and Functions where you can delete Mail and Calendar, Groove Music, Weather and Maps. [19659004] If your deletion option is gray, you can follow the DOS route, but it becomes a bit complicated and you have to be 100 percent sure of what you are doing.

  • Type PowerShell in the Windows search box – when you see Right click and launch it via Run as administrator.
  • Type "Get-AppxPackage –AllUsers" without the quotes. A huge list appears with all the things you have installed that came from the Microsoft Store, plus some other things.
  • It's hard to find those apps there, but the latter is likely to read Microsoft clearly. ZuneMusic – that is actually Groove Music. Copy everything on the line next to PackageFullName.
  • You then type a command and paste that line, so it says something like "remove-AppxPackage Microsoft.ZuneMusic_10.16122.10271.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe" (yours will look different after the first underscore).
  • Run it with a stroke of the Return key and if you get no errors, the Groove Music app is gone. Be careful with this in other apps – make sure you have chosen the right one.

Use a local account

 Use a local account

Microsoft really wants you to log on to Windows 10 with your Microsoft account – the account that is linked to Microsoft, whether it's your Xbox, Office 365 or OneDrive account, buying apps or music or video in the Windows Store, even talking on Skype, to name just a few. When you set up Windows, Microsoft specifically asks you to log in with that account.

But you don't have to. Click on during the installation. Skip this step . If you have already logged in with the Microsoft account, go to Settings> Accounts> Your info . Instead, click on Log in with a local account . Enter a local account name and a new password (with a hint for when you forget it).

The disadvantage is that when you arrive at a service or site that requires Microsoft credentials, you must enter your Microsoft login time each time; it will not automatically log you in as it does when you log in to Windows with a Microsoft account.


Use a PIN code, not a password

 Use a PIN code in Windows 10

If you can use the Microsoft account, but you hate how long it takes for your super secure password to enter. Reset it to a short personal identification number (PIN) that is only used on the PC. The pin code, which only contains numbers (no mixed capital letters or special characters), may not sound very secure. Because it is only for PC, you are hopefully the only user and will not endanger the security of your Microsoft account anywhere else. In addition, the PIN can contain as many digits as you want.

Go to Settings> Accounts> Login Options and click the Add button under PIN. Enter the desired PIN and restart to try. If you already have a pin code, you will see options to change it, delete it or click on "I forgot my pin code" to restore it.


Skip the password login

 Skip password Log in

Are you the only person ever – and I mean ever – using your PC ? Then you can probably skip the password login screen that appears after every restart or sometimes even when you return from the screen saver.

Go to the user account control panel by typing "netplwiz" in the search bar. Select the account, clear the check box next to "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer." You will receive a confirmation window asking you to enter the same password – twice. Click okay. Restart the PC and it should scroll to the desktop without requesting a password. Do not do this if it is a shared PC. Remember that you still need to know the password if you log into the PC remotely. (Or you can use TeamViewer.)


Refresh instead of reset

 Restore factory settings Windows 10

Windows 10 has a fantastic function that allows you to essentially install Windows 10 from the ground again, as new, with the option not to delete any of your data (although you need to reinstall software & drivers). If your PC can no longer be repaired, open it via Settings> Update and security> Recovery and click Get started under Reset this PC and choose settings such as "My files save "or" Delete all & # 39; and let it tear. You do not need separate media, such as a copy of Windows 10 on a disk or a USB stick.

However, that can be overkill. Sometimes Windows just has need a reset that does not eradicate your software and drivers & # 39; s. This is also easy to do, but it requires a copy of Windows 10 on separate media. ? Get it here. Run it and install the included ISO file on a USB disk of 4 GB or larger to use now and in the future for the reset, or you can simply mount it as a virtual disk in Windows 10

On the installation, double-click the Setup option for that media / disk, request to download updates and check "Save personal files and apps" when it appears. After a few more prompts and waiting, your Windows 10 system will get the refresh it needs.


Hiding Cortana or turning it off

 Hiding Cortana

Master Chief would never let this happen. Windows 10 made the switch to disable Cortana, Microsoft's response to Siri and Alexa. But Cortana is more than just looking at your computer; it searches the entire internet – that's why its search box says & # 39; Ask me everything & # 39 ;. However, you can still switch it off.

First there is the option to hide Cortana : right click on the taskbar and select Cortana> Hidden . The search box disappears. However, it is still active and easily accessible: tap the Windows key () on your keyboard and start typing.

If you really want to delete it so that all searches are local, you must edit the registry. Do not do this if you do not feel like a Windows expert. And create a system restore point before you do it, just in case.

Open the Registry Editor: Type + R, then type regedit and press Enter. In Windows 10 Home, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Policies Microsoft Windows Windows Search. If it is not there, create it. Right-click on it to create a DWORD value and name it AllowCortana . Set that value to 0 (zero). After you log out and come back, the search box now & # 39; Search in Windows & # 39; displayed. You can reset Cortana by doing all this again and setting the value to 1 (one).


Send OneDrive to the grave

Like Cortana, OneDrive – Microsoft's answer to Dropbox or Google Drive – is integrated into Windows 10. Tight. Maybe too tight. You can try to ignore it, but it is common.

Your first option: disconnect it. Right-click the OneDrive cloud icon on the taskbar and select Settings . Click the Account tab on Disconnect this PC . If that is not enough, on the Settings tab, clear all check boxes. Then go back to Account> Select folders and disable all folders that were synchronized. Go to Windows Explorer, right click on OneDrive and select Properties; on the General tab, under Attributes, check the box next to Hidden. Then right-click OneDrive on the taskbar again and select Close OneDrive.

Do you really want to delete OneDrive? It is possible, but not with the graphical interface of Windows 10. First you have to kill the active OneDrive processes by typing this on a command line: TASKKILL / f / im OneDrive.exe. Also type this in the command line to remove: % systemroot% SysWOW64 OneDriveSetup.exe / uninstall (replace System32 in the middle if you use 32-bit Windows). You do not receive confirmation and some remaining folders remain. You can also reinstall it by typing the above line minus the / uninstall at the end.


Access to special symbols Quick

 on-screen keyboard

Simply use 26 letters and 10 numbers and a few punctuation marks – that's so old-fashioned. We now live in the emoji world. So how do you place those nice little icons in your text when you type in Windows 10? That is not possible unless you learn some codes by heart … or you can try the pop-up keyboard. It is usually intended for use when Windows is in tablet mode, but it is easily accessible even if you use it with a normal keyboard.

Right-click the taskbar in an empty area and select Show touch keyboard button . A new icon for a small keyboard appears next to the clock in the taskbar. Tap it with the mouse cursor at any time to display the onscreen keyboard; use your IR keyboard to remove it from the screen. Click on the extra keyboard icon at the top left to access various layout options, including a split keyboard and a stylus pad.

You now have access not only to emoji, but also to special characters such as the em dash or degree symbol (°). If you can't find them, it's because you first have to press the & 123 key to switch to symbols and then, like on a smartphone, hold down your cursor on the main key to get some special symbols – hold the hyphen to get em dash and en dash; hold matches (=) to get non-matches (≠), etc. The same goes for the letters to get variants, such as accent symbols over the letters. Voila!

This on-screen keyboard also provides quick access to the enhanced Windows 10 clipboard, which contains multiple items that you have cut or copied, and types speech-to-text.


No more notifications

 No more notifications

You like notifications or hate the distraction. The sound, the pop-up, it is too much when your phone is likely to display the same information. Go to Settings> System> Notifications and actions . Disable all toggle switches for individual apps, especially the ones that you find the most annoying. Or click on the app name in the list for even more detailed operation – for example, receive notifications from one app on the lock screen, but nowhere else. Or turn off sounds for all notifications except one. Play with the settings to get it right.


Personalize quick actions

 Personalize quick actions in Windows 10

Settings> System> Notifications and actions is also where you can use the Quick Action buttons that are at the bottom of Personalize the Windows Action Center (the panel where messages appear on the screen). The buttons give you quick access to settings such as flight mode, brightness adjustments on laptops, turning off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or VPN, activating a mobile hotspot or making a screen cut. For example, you don't have to have tablet mode if your Windows device never becomes a tablet.


Cool your diagnostics

 Cool your diagnostics

Like many other large companies, Microsoft likes to receive OS feedback on issues such as crashes. But when you perform an installation and ask Windows 10: "Send complete error and diagnostic information to Microsoft," Redmond gets more than you think. In Settings> Privacy> Diagnostics & Feedback you can set things to protect certain privacy, such as only allow basic diagnostic data, not complete data; deselect the "Improve inks and types" option; and even delete all diagnostic data currently on your PC, but that doesn't prevent previous or future data from going to Microsoft.


Get Off the Edge

 Choose the default browser in Windows 10 [19659004] Don't like the latest browser from Microsoft? It's safer and faster than using Internet Explorer, but Edge is nothing special compared to our Editors & # 39; Choice, Mozilla Firefox. But whatever browser you choose, you must set it as the default, so every time you open a link, it goes to the desired browser.

Go to Settings> Apps> Standard apps scroll down and click web browser . A list shows all your installed browsers – choose the one that you want permanently. You can always go back to what Redmond thinks best by clicking on the "Reset to Microsoft Recommended defaults" button.

If you encounter problems with certain links, make sure the file type (such as .htm versus .html) or even protocols (such as http: // versus https: //) are all set to the browser of your choice. Click on Choose standard apps by file type or Choose standard apps by protocol on the same screen.

Most new browsers attempt to return to the default position when you set them the first start time, so if you speed up an installation, you may have to visit these settings again to return to your original, desired web browser.


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