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Top 10 tips for Windows 10

Woody Leonhard | Oct. 7, 2014
You need to know these behind-the-scenes tricks to get the most out of the current Windows Technical Preview.

Microsoft may ignore one-off feedback entries. They're going to stand up and take notice if the number of "Me, too!"s goes into the hundreds, or thousands. Get off your butt and vote now!

Tip 5: Learn the new keyboard shortcuts
Yeah, I know, they're almost never worthwhile and a pain to memorize, but this time there are a couple of genuinely useful new keyboard shortcuts. Brandon LeBlanc has a preliminary list on Blogging Windows.

The ones I find useful:

  • Win + Left (or Right) to snap a window, then Win + Up (or Down) to snap into quadrants.
  • Win + Ctrl + D to create a new desktop

The old Alt + Tab Windows XP-era "Coolswitch" still works, but it has a few new tricks, like switching among desktops.

Tip 6: Get used to Home, or vote to change it
I don't like the fact that File Explorer now opens to a completely new made-up location called Home. If you don't already know, Home consists of pinable Favorites, the most frequently used folders, and recently opened files. I liked Windows 8's opening to This PC (another made up location) better. And I liked Windows 7's opening to Libraries best of all.

If you like Home, may the File Explorer force be with you. But if you don't like Home, vote it down. See Tip 4.

Tip 7: Move running programs between desktops
Here's a nifty tip from Windows guru Paul Thurrott's WinSupersite: You can move running programs from one desktop to another by bringing up the Task View (that's the icon two spots to the right of the Start button), right-click on the window for the program you want to move, and choose Move To --> the other desktop.

Slick and easy, almost as easy as moving tiles on your mobile phone.

Tip 8: Reconcile yourself with keylogging
There's been a hue and cry online that Big Bad Microsoft is keylogging everything you do with Windows 10. Meh. Of course, Microsoft's logging everything you do. That's what the Customer Experience Improvement Program is all about. When you sign up to run Windows 10, you agree to all sorts of things that I would normally advise against -- Automatic Update and using Bing for desktop search being the primary culprits. CEIP is one of the creeps.

News flash: This is a beta, folks. The telemetry monkey is always on your back, and you agreed to it. Microsoft's watching everything you do.

Tip 9: Log in without a Microsoft account
With all that keylogging data headed to Microsoft's databases, you might want to try logging in without a Microsoft Account. While it may appear to be impossible to use a local account (which is to say, a user name that isn't a registered Microsoft Account, typically a or email address), in fact it's easy -- and the procedure is the same as it is in Windows 8/8.1.


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