Pagoda Blog

14 Windows 10 Tips & Tricks to Optimize Your Workflow

November 1, 2018

Windows 10 has many new features that can improve your productivity and generally make your life easier but you have to know about them and how to take advantage. (Haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 10? You may still be able to get the upgrade for free. Find out how here.) We’ve compiled a list of 14 tips and tricks for Windows 10 to improve and streamline your daily digital experience.


Let’s get started:


1. Share files wirelessly with Near Share

Like Apple’s Airdrop, Near Share allows you to easily share files and URLs with nearby PCs. To use it, make sure you’re connected to both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, then open Settings → System → Share experiences and enable the Nearby Sharing option. Once you’ve met those requirements, simply open the Share interface in Microsoft Edge or File Explorer to see nearby PCs. (You must have the  Windows 10 build 17035 or later for access to Near Share.)


2. Control Windows snapping and resizing

The default setting of Windows 10 is to automatically resize and snap the window when you move it to the side or into the corner. This is helpful for large displays but on smaller screens like a laptop, you may prefer to disable the “multitasking” feature. To stop Windows from resizing and rearranging your windows, open Settings then go to System → Multitasking. From here, you can choose to disable all or select resizing and snapping features.    


3. Save space with Storage Sense

Over time file downloads start to take up unnecessary space on your PC, slowing it down to a snail’s pace. Storage Sense automatically deletes unneeded temporary files and after 30 days, deletes any remaining files in your Recycle Bin. Go to Settings → Systems → Storage to enable this handy feature. Also check out our post on 5 Free Ways to Speed Up Your Laptop.    


4. Get OneDrive Files on Command

This feature allows you to see all the files you have stored in OneDrive in a File Explorer window. None of the files are stored physically on your PC but the folder setup is a handy shortcut that makes it easy to find and access all your files from your desktop. PC World has a helpful article on how to enable this setting.


5. Stop disturbing your sleep cycle with NightLight

Too much screen time before bed can make it hard to fall asleep because your screen emits blue light. This blue light doesn’t cause issues during the day, but when it gets dark it limits your body’s production of the hormone melatonin which regulates your sleep cycle. NightLight adjusts your screen’s color temperature after dark so that it no longer emits this troublesome blue light. Go to Settings → Systems → Display to adjust the settings to your personal preference.


6. Try Dark Theme

Speaking of nighttime, if you’re a PC user who prefers to run your applications in a dark theme, Windows 10 now gives you that option. Head to Start→ Settings → Personalization → Color and select the dark option under Choose your default app mode.


7. Train Cortana

By default, Cortana (the Windows version of Siri) doesn’t listen or respond to your voice commands. To activate this feature follow these instructions: Click the search field in the taskbar →  select the Notebook icon → select Settings → enable the Let Cortana respond when you say “Hey Cortana” option. Make sure your microphone is activated as well.   


8. Learn command prompt tools & shortcuts

To activate all the new, handy command prompt tools in Windows 10 first open the command prompt. Then right click its title bar and select Properties. Under the Options tab choose Edit Options where you can enable useful Ctrl key shortcuts like copy (Ctrl + C) and paste (Ctrl + V). For a list of Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts check out this comprehensive post by PC World.


9. Manage notifications with Focus Assist

Notifications can be useful but too many are just plain stressful. Manage which notifications you receive in the Windows 10 Action Center. Head over to the Start menu then go to Settings → Systems → Focus Assist. Here you can select which apps can send you notifications and when. PC Mag has a great post that details how to customize all your notifications here.     


10. Use Windows Timeline

The Timeline feature shows you a timeline of your latest activity in supported apps and can even be synced across PCs. This feature allows you to pick up where you left off without leaving tabs open and multiple programs running. To access it, click the Task View button in the taskbar or on your keyboard by pressing Windows Key + Tab.    


11. Sync your phone

Automatically transfer photos from  your phone to your computer and send text messages directly from your PC. All you have to do is download the Your Phone Companion app for Android.


12. Minimize open windows with Shake

When you have a bunch of windows open and would like to minimize all but one, grab the top of the window you’d like to keep and shake it (using your mouse of course). All the other windows will automatically minimize. Bring them all back again with another shake. (This feature came with Windows 7 but few people know about it.)    


13. Enable System Restore

The System Restore function, which allows you to undo undesired changes by reverting your computer to a previous point in time, is not automatically enabled in Windows 10. If this function has saved you from losing hours worth of work in the past, enable it by going to the Start menu and searching ‘Create a restore point.’ Next, highlight the system drive, click Configure and turn on system protection. We suggest setting the maximum disk space to 5GB—that’s enough to save previous versions of your work without using too much space on your hard drive.  


14. Get Easy Access to Troubleshooting

Still having trouble with window snapping, managing notifications, or accessing OneDrive? Head on over to Home → Update & Security →  Troubleshoot for easy access to all troubleshooting questions and answers.


Is there a Windows 10 feature you’re curious about that we didn’t cover? Or a Windows 10 issue that’s been giving you trouble? Reach out through our support form or send us your questions on Twitter @PagodaTech.


Related Posts:


How to Care For Your Laptop: 6 Bad Habits You Need to Break

G Suite versus Office 365: Finding the Best Solution for Your Business

Are Macs Really More Secure than PCs?

9 Useful Apps Every Business Owner Should Know About


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