The latest major Windows 10 ($ 150 at Amazon) update began rolling out for desktops, laptops and two-in-one in late October, and should be available for download now. (Learn how to If you still haven’t upgraded from Windows 7 ($ 26 at Amazon), you may Also.) After you update your device, you’ll find a few important new features that will help you get the most out of the new OS.
Upgrading as soon as the update is available to you will make your computing life easier and more secure. And right now, since many of us still 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. Plus, updating prepares you for what’s ahead, which seems to set the stage for greater changes in the future.
Here are three of the best new features in the Windows 10 October 2020 Update (aka version 20H2) and how to use them.
1. Microsoft Edge browser offers privacy enhancements
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.
How 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 – the icon is a circular, crashing wave that is tinted blue, green, and aqua, similar to Internet Explorer’s old blue “e” icon.
Go to to set up your privacy features Settings> Privacy and ServicesYou’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 a majority of trackers from all sites).
To instantly check your privacy settings when using the browser, click the lock icon on the left side of the search bar. 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.
How 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 an image of the page and drag it into 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.
2. Customize your new Start menu
The classic Windows Start menu will be refreshed in the October 2020 update. The new design is more streamlined 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 also change depending on whether you are working in light or dark mode.
How 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 at TechRepublic: 20 Pro Tips To Make Windows 10 Work The Way You Want It (Free PDF)
3. Open all your tabs at once
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, rather than 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 plus TabGo to to configure your tab settings or disable the feature Settings> System> MultitaskingYou will see a drop-down menu with options for what Alt plus Tab can do.
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