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Windows 10: the best 3 new features to try out now



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Sarah Tew / CNET

The latest Windows 10 ($ 150 at Amazon) October 2020 update has been rolled out to desktops, laptops and two-in-one over the last month. After updating your device, you̵

7;ll find a few important new features that will help you get the most out of your device. (Learn how to download the Windows 10 October 2020 update here. If you still haven’t upgraded from Windows 7 ($ 26 at Amazon), you may use this trick to download Windows 10 for freealso).

Upgrading as soon as the update is available to you will make your computing life easier and more secure. And at this point, since many of us spend more time at home on our computers for work or play, every little thing that can improve your experience is a win in our book.

Here are three of the best new features in the Windows 10 October 2020 Update (aka version 20H2) and how to use them.

Read more: The best antivirus protection of 2020 for Windows 10

1. Microsoft Edge browser offers privacy enhancements

Microsoft Edge icon logo

Microsoft Edge is getting new privacy features to help you stop sites from tracking you for ads.

Illustration by Stephen Shankland / CNET

Windows 10 version 20H2 is the first to ship with the revamped Microsoft Edge browser installed by default. The browser is now built on Chromium, Google’s open-source base for the Chrome browser, making it compatible with more websites than the old version.

There are other benefits too. The new Edge browser includes a privacy feature that tries to block sites that track you online – similar to Mozilla’s Firefox browser. And a feature called Collections makes it easier to collect information from different websites while you research.

To use the new Edge browser privacy settings: You use the new Edge browser much the same way you use any other browser. Navigate to the logo on your taskbar or from the Start menu – it appears as a circular crashing wave that turns blue, green and aqua, similar to Internet Explorer’s old blue “e” icon.

Go to Settings> Privacy and services to set your privacy features. You’ll see three options for preventing tracking: basic (allows most trackers), balanced (blocks trackers from sites you haven’t visited – Microsoft recommends these), and strict (blocks majority of trackers from all sites).

To instantly check your privacy settings, click the lock icon to the left of the search bar while using the browser. A box will appear to let you know if your connection is secure, with options to verify the site certificate, cookies used, and site permissions. You can also enable or disable tracking prevention and manage the setting for all sites you visit. When enabled, you will see the number of trackers the browser has blocked.

To use the Edge Browser Collections feature: Once you’ve navigated to a page you want to save, click the icon that looks like a ‘+“in a box to the right of the search bar. This will open the Collections pane on the right side of your screen. Click Start new collection, and rename it to whatever you want. You can click Add current page to save the web page you are on. You can also click and drag an image from the page to the collection, select and drag text, and add your own notes as well. To export your collection to Word or Excel, click on the three dots share and more icon at the top of the collection.

Read more: This is the best way to set up your new PC or laptop

2. Customize your new Start menu

The new Start menu changes the appearance of the tiles.

Microsoft

The classic Windows Start menu will be refreshed in the October 2020 update. The new version has a more streamlined design and replaces the solid color backplates behind the logos in your apps list with partially transparent backgrounds to make the icons stand out. The colors will also change depending on whether you are working in light or dark mode.

To customize the new Start menu: To add an accent color so that your tiles match your desktop theme, go to Settings> Personalization> Color and enable the accent color on Start, taskbar and action center.

Read more on TechRepublic: 20 Pro Tips To Make Windows 10 Work The Way You Want It (Free PDF)

3. Open all your tabs at once

View all your tabs at once by pressing Alt + Tab.

Microsoft

The update allows you to open all of your tabs in Edge with a simple command, instead of just the active one in each browser window. This makes it easier to get a full picture of every window you have open, instead of just one. You can also configure it to show only your last three or five tabs, or turn it off completely. However, it only works with the Edge browser, at least for now.

How to Customize Your Tabs: Press to open all tabs in Edge at once Alt + Tab. Go to to configure your tab settings or disable the feature Settings> System> Multitasking. You will see a drop-down menu with options for what Alt + Tab can do.

Want more? Check out our roundup of the best Windows 10 tips and tricks, and six simple security changes all Windows 10 users should make.


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