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power TIPS 472 killer tricks to help you maximise your PC's performance

Now includes

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

TTZ15 2017



Windows 10 Power Tips | Contents

get set up with windows 10

Install the OS and discover all the new features

Contents 10 46

Buy from the Windows Store How to buy and manage your Store purchases

Master the Facebook app Get to know Windows 10’s bespoke social networking app

■ Getting started

10 Get started with Windows 10 32 Windows 10 installation problems fixed

6 | Windows 10

■ Core Tools

32 Use TaskView 34 U  se the Edge browser 38 Use Windows Update 42 Do more with your PC’s files 46 Buy from the Windows Store 48 25 best apps for Windows 10


■ Customise

56 Get the best from the Windows 10 Lock screen 58 Stay notified in Windows 10 62 Save time getting stuff in Windows 10 64 Watch films and TV in Windows 10 66 Master the Facebook app

72 96

100 tips & tricks for Windows 10 Master every aspect of your Windows 10 PC

Make a Windows 10 media server


Go even deeper into your new Windows system!

Access all your precious media files anywhere


Make an emergency toolkit on a USB stick

Your easy rescue guide is here…

■ Improve

72 100 tips & tricks for Windows 10 88 Organise your media 91 Lock down Windows 10

■ Advanced tweaks

96 Make a Windows 10 media server 106 Share files, media and more with HomeGroups 108 Get more from a Windows tablet 112 Reclaim ownership of your PC 120 Windows 10 – Command Line tricks

■ Solutions

130 Your Windows 10 questions answered 140 Use an ad-blocker in the Edge browser 142 Make an emergency toolkit on a USB stick

Windows 10 | 7

Windows 10 Power Tips | Contents


Getting started | Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Get started with

Windows Since its release back in July 2015, Windows 10 has proved to be a hit with PC users across the globe, and now we have a great update over a year later… he fact that Windows 10 was offered as a free download (for the first year, anyway) has helped, but the response to new features such as the return of the Start menu and new Desktop, has also been very positive. If you have Windows 7 or Windows 8 then installing Windows 10 is pretty straightforward, as long as you have a broadband connection. Just look out for the icon to upgrade (it will appear in your system tray), and follow the instructions once you’ve clicked on it.


10 | Windows 10

Naturally, some people have been holding back, waiting to upgrade once the new system has clearly proved itself. Whether you’ve been waiting to see how others got on with it before you take the plunge, or whether you just took the plunge and bought yourself a Windows 10 PC, then this guide will give you everything you need. In August 2016 Windows 10 gained its first Anniversary Update, which introduced Start menu improvements, a beefed up taskbar, improvements and extensions to the Edge browser, Cortana on the lock screen and a new app called Windows Ink.

Getting started | Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 | 11

Getting started | Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Make a backup It’s always better to have more than one copy of your important files acking up your data is a good thing to do regularly. Electronics aren’t infallible, and you never know when you might find your PC dead one morning, all your precious work and photos trapped on its unresponsive hard drive. Luckily, Microsoft bundles a backup tool, File History, with Windows 10, and while it’s not as complex or fully featured as third-party alternatives, it’s good enough to save your data in the event of a disaster. Here’s how to get started with it…






In WIndows 10, open Settings from the Start menu, then choose Update and Security > Backup. If this is your first backup, then click on Add a Drive to turn on File History and follow the wizard that will guide you through the process. When asked to choose an external drive to receive the backup, make sure it’s not the one with the files already on.

An option named ‘Automatically back up my files’ will now appear, and will be switched on by default in Windows 10. It’s a good idea to leave it this way, so your files will be seamlessly and invisibly backed up to the drive every time you connect it to your computer. Hit the ‘More options’ link if you want to tinker with the way File History works on your account.

By default, Fire History will back up your Windows files every hour. If you would like the program to save data every ten minutes say, or wait longer and only do it once a day, you can set this under ‘More options’. You can also choose which system folders you would like to back up, if they’re not included in the default set, or any to exclude from the process.

If you particularly want to make a system image instead of an incremental backup, perhaps so you can save a snapshot of a computer’s state to restore later, the old Windows 7-style backup system is still present in Windows 10. You can find it listed under ‘Looking for an older backup?’ in the main Backup window. It’s good to take an image once a month.

Open Settings

Make it automatic

How often?

System image

Reinstall or Recover?

You have more than one option in case of disaster Alternatively, you can type ‘system restore’ into the ometimes the worst can happen and Start menu search function. A small window will you’re left with a PC that doesn’t open, and if you’ve got system protection turned on, operate as it really should. Whether you know the cause or not, restoring the you’ll be able to click a button marked System Restore. If it’s off, you’ll need to turn it on for each of system back to a point at which it worked, or the drives in your PC you want to protect. For most reinstalling the operating system altogether, can people, this will only be the boot drive, generally soon have your machine back to its old self. drive C, as any others are used for storing Windows 10 offers you a few options for how you reinstall your OS. If you suspect it’s a newly installed documents. System Restore is Windows’ oldest form of protection device or application that is against things going causing the problems, you can wrong, dating all the use System Restore to roll your way back to Windows PC back to a point before you 95, but Windows 10 installed the pesky peripheral has additional choices. or program. If, that is, you’ve They’re bundled under enabled it, because Microsoft an option called Reset turns this feature off by default. this PC. Resetting your Head to Control Panel rather PC gives you a shiny than Settings, then System and new installation of System Protection. The Start menu has reinstall options.


14 | Windows 10

Windows 10, with or without your files and personal data as detailed below, and does it by booting your PC into the WIndows Recovery Environment, a stripped down GUI that is separate from Windows itself, allowing it to overwrite files that would otherwise be in use when your PC is running. If your PC can’t boot, there’s an option to install a fresh copy of the OS on the boot menu, which appears automatically if it’s having trouble starting up. Access this menu even if you’re not having a problem, by restarting while holding down Shift. If you bought a PC from a vendor that likes to bundle certain apps with its machines, you may find that a PC reset will restore these too, so if you’d deleted them to save space or processor cycles, you may need to do it all over again once the reset is finished. You should also head over to Windows Update and download any important patches and security fixes too, as these may not be included in the fresh installation.

he Windows 10 installation process is designed to be quick – the whole OS was built to have as small an installation footprint as possible – and with a modern SSD-equipped PC can be a swift and relatively painless process. There are ways, however, of speeding the process up, useful if you need to install Windows on multiple machines. Products such as DriverEasy (www. will scan your hardware after the install process is complete, and find any missing drivers for your hardware automatically. While Windows has a large database of device drivers for peripherals, it’s not 100% perfect and obscure cameras, scanners or other external devices can fox its automatic detection. If you’ve got multiple machines with identical hardware to install Windows on, consider using an imaging program such as Macrium Reflect ( to take a drive image from the first machine after installation is complete, and copying it straight onto the hard drives of the others without going through all the processing involved in the install process. If you have a lot of applications to install, a tool such as Ninite can streamline your installation process by installing them all at once. It runs in the background, and won’t restart your PC even if the app demands it.


Keep my files

Remove everything

Restore point

This option will search for documents and settings on your PC, and will preserve them from the reset process, returning them to Windows once the newly refreshed operating system is up and running. This is the best option to choose if you’re only interested in refreshing your Windows system, and not removing sensitive or personal data.

Choose this option if you’re selling your PC to someone else or you want to completely obliterate your personal data for some other reason. Clicking this takes you to a further screen on which you’re given the option of cleaning your drive – overwriting the deleted data so it can’t be recovered at all. Be absolutely sure you want to do this!

Rolling back from a restore point in Windows 10, assuming you’ve got System Restore switched on as detailed above and have a recent point to return to, is a quick way of recovering from a fault without going to the trouble of completely reinstalling Windows. It’s a good option if it’s just one sudden change that’s caused a Windows upset.

Windows 10 | 15

Getting started | Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Speed up future Windows installs

Core Tools | TaskView

1 Switch apps

When you launch TaskView, you can see all your apps. Just click on anything to switch to that window.


Learn how to…

Use TaskView

Add multiple desktops and move between apps with Windows 10’s new switcher tool Time taken minutes



ask View is one of the key new features within Windows 10, helping you to switch between apps and, for the first time in Windows, virtual desktops. Virtual desktops enable you to have completely different workspaces for different types of apps. So, for example, you might have one desktop for your email and instant messaging at work and another for Office apps, enabling you to get things done without interruption from your email. Task View is also the place in Windows 10 that you go to switch between apps. If you’ve heard of a ‘switcher’ before, that’s because there’s been one in each recent version of Windows. However, Microsoft has a habit of changing how it works each time. You can still use Alt+Tab to switch between apps if you like, though this only works for the desktop you’re currently in.

4 Launch TaskView

The TaskView icon resides on the taskbar between your search bar and your normal app icons.


Switch between desktops

or close 1 Switch Task View is launched using an icon on the taskbar – it’s

the one that looks like three screens arranged behind each other next to the search bar. As you can see, you’re shown all your open Windows at once. You can switch to them or hover over them and click the X icon that appears to close them.

32 | Windows 10

plus one 2 Desktop Clicking the big + icon in the bottom right of the Task View

window opens up a second desktop. As you can see here it’s completely blank. To view your original desktop you need to switch back to it using Task View. This can seem draconian, but it keeps a nice separation between your workspaces.

Apps Short for applications, there are two types of ‘apps’ in Windows 10. Windows Store apps come from the built-in app store, while desktop apps are traditional software programs like Microsoft Word or a web browser like Firefox or Google Chrome.

to 2 Drag new


When you’ve more than one desktop, you can drag windows between the desktops – here we’re moving this PDF to Desktop 2.


a 5 Add desktop

To add a virtual desktop, click the + icon in the bottom right.



Taskbar The taskbar is the classic bar along the bottom of the screen in Windows 10. It was used in previous versions of Windows, but now it has extra features including the search bar and helpful Action Center. Virtual desktop A virtual desktop exists outside of your normal screen area. It’s basically any area that isn’t your main desktop.

3 Different spaces

All your desktops are shown here at the bottom of the TaskView screen. Hovering over any will display a red X icon so you can close the desktop.

apps 3 Open Opening applications only opens them in your current

desktop – in other words, apps can only exist in one screen. Here we’ve opened Microsoft Edge in our second desktop. So if we now go and open it in our first desktop it will switch us automatically back to the second.

desktops 4 Many You can have lots of desktops open if you want to – while it’s

unclear just how many you can have, our anecdotal evidence suggests the number is ‘lots’. If you want to close any desktop, just hover over it and an X icon will appear. If you close a desktop, the apps remain open and moves to your main desktop.

Windows 10 | 33

Core Tools | TaskView

Jargon buster!

Core Tools | 25 best apps


of the

best Windows 10 2017

apps for

We scoured the Windows Store to find the best apps that will improve the way you use your Windows 10 PC 48 | Windows 10


1 Zen Coloring Book for Adults

Free Colouring books aren’t just for kids, as this app proves. Zen: Coloring Book for Adults is designed to help the older folks relax and unwind in a creative and stress-free way. The 40 designs included in the book are more intricate and involved than what you’d find in a children’s colouring collection, and the tools include pencil shading, brush size and a darkness meter. You can also undo strokes, share images, and zoom with ease.

2 Netflix

Free Netflix has become a staple of the TV series binge-watching generation, and for good reason – it’s the internet’s top digital TV and film service by a mile. With the Netflix app you can instantly watch as many TV episodes and movies as you want, and there’s plenty of quality original content to choose from. You can search for titles and watch them immediately on your Windows 10 devices. There’s a free trial for a month included, and then it’s £5.99 per month.


3 Spotify

Free Spotify is the most popular streaming music service. It’s £9.99 a month ad-free, and this allows you to download music and listen to it offline, but there’s also a free ad-supported option, so you can continue to enjoy the music without paying. You can also access local music files on your PC through its intuitive interface, which lets you create playlists of your favourite genres, tracks and artists.

4 Amazon

Free If you love shopping online with Amazon then forget accessing the website through a browser - use this app instead. It allows you to quickly make purchases, search departments, compare prices, read reviews, create wishlists, and share product and gift ideas with friends using a simple, elegant interface. You can access any of Amazon’s sites around the world using the app, simply by choosing your desired regional store.

5 Plex

Free Plex is a media streaming server that allows you to organise your video, music and photo libraries and access them on all of your devices using a beautiful interface. Your media will never have looked so good,

because Plex imports rich descriptions, artwork, trailers, and other related information to augment the specific content of your collection. With a premium Plex Pass subscription, you can sync vides, music and photos to your smartphones and tablets to enjoy offline, and even share your media with friends and family.

Windows 10 | 49

Core Tools | 25 best apps

indows 10 has come a long way since its launch back in July 2015, and for good reason. Microsoft described it as the first “operating system as a service” that would receive ongoing updates to its features and functionality, with the recent and much-welcomed Anniversary Update, Windows 10 has extended its install base to more than 400 million active devices, or a quarter of all PCs. The Anniversary Update brought enhancements like a desktop ‘dark mode’, better intelligence to personal assistant Cortana, and a new version of Skype. These features make life generally more easy using Windows, but at some point you’ll probably need to look elsewhere for an app that performs a particular function not covered by Windows 10. That’s where third-party apps come in. Thanks to the Windows Store, additional apps are just a couple of clicks away - and many of them are free to download. Even those that do have a price ask for just a few pounds, which is a far cry from traditional boxed software, and you can be sure of their quality, too, since the Store is a hand-picked collection curated by Microsoft itself. So read on and discover what our top picks are from the Windows Store for 2017 and beyond.

Lifestyle & Entertainment

Customise | Saving time

Learn how to…

Save time getting stuff done in Windows 10

This collection of simple Windows 10 hacks will turn your machine from good to great, with no effort whatsoever! Time taken minutes



or anyone who is new to Windows 10, you might be happy with the way things are working, and won’t want to change a thing. And we understand because the operating system is set up well from the factory. But over time you might find certain things start to grate, such as prompts that frequently remind you of something you don’t care about, or not being able to open files the way you’re used to. While it’s easy to ignore such things, it’s also easy to make some simple tweaks and have a better version of Windows 10 at your fingertips. That’s just what we’ll show you how to do. We have eight ‘hacks’ that will make your PC experience a much smoother one. Don’t let the word ‘hack’ scare you – these are just simple tricks that anybody can try, and if you don’t like the result, just put it back how it was before.

The ultimate Windows 10 hacks

PDFs your way 1 Open We like opening PDFs the old-fashioned way in a dedicated

PDF reader. You can do this by typing default app settings into the Taskbar search, then clicking on ‘choose default applications by file type’. Scroll down until you see a .pdf file type. You’ll see Microsoft Edge is the default app. Change this to another default by clicking on it and choosing it from the list that appears.

62 | Windows 10

Google search 2 Use When you click on the search box in the Taskbar and type

something in, Cortana will also search online using Microsoft’s search engine Bing. If you prefer to use Google, go to ‘Settings > System > Default apps > Web browser’ and set this as ‘Google Chrome’. Now open Chrome and install Chrometana Chrome from and choose Google in the page that opens.

power on long excursions. Windows 10 also comes with a Battery Saver feature, which kicks in when your power drops below a certain amount and turns off battery-draining features. To get to this feature, type battery saver into the Taskbar search, and click on the result. Then toggle the switch to ‘On’.

your life organised! 5 Get To use your calendar, type calendar into the Taskbar search,

up Windows with gestures 4 Speed Boost your productivity levels through speedy shortcuts, such

as dragging two fingers up or down to scroll on your touchpad. See which gestures are available by typing Mouse and touchpad into the Taskbar search and clicking the result. In here you can toggle gestures on or off, and you can also change what Windows does when you do a three-finger tap or drag and slide.

Autoplay work for you 6 Make Insert a USB drive, or other type of media device, into your

open the result and click ‘Get started’. If you have an email account set up, you’ll see it under ‘Accounts’. Hit ‘Ready to go’ to open ‘Calendar’, then click ‘+ New Event’. If you use other calendars, you can sync events. Hit ‘Settings > Manage accounts > Add account’, and choose your email you’ll now see all events.

machine and you’ll see Windows 10 recognises it and asks what you want to do with it each time. If you want to avoid this prompt, turn it off. Head to the Taskbar search and type Autoplay settings. Switch ‘Use Autoplay for all media devices’ to ‘Off’, or choose an action that occurs only when you insert specific media.

the login screen 7 Disable If you have little need for a password it can be annoying to

a screenshot 8 Grab There are many instances where screenshots are handy, but

always have to enter one at the login screen. But there’s a trick that allows you to remove that process altogether. Go to your user accounts area by typing Run into the Taskbar search and then type netplwiz into the box and hit ‘Enter’. Where it says ‘Users must enter a password…’ uncheck the tick box, then restart.

how do you take one? The easiest way is by holding the Windows key and pressing the [PrtScn] button. Windows will capture your whole desktop and pop the resulting image into your ‘Pictures > Screenshots’ folder. To capture a specific part of your desktop, use the Snipping Tool (type snipping tool into the Taskbar search). n

Windows 10 | 63

Customise | Saving time

your battery 3 Manage Turning on Power Saver is a quick trick for hanging onto

Improve | 100 Windows 10 tips


tips &

tricks Windows 10


We reveal 100 essential hints, tips and secrets for getting more out of Windows 10


hether you’ve been using Windows for years or you are a newcomer to the PC, there’s always something new to learn – especially as Microsoft puts out frequent, free updates to improve, and occasionally completely change, the way its operating system works. There are plenty of hidden tricks in Windows 10’s Anniversary Update that will make your day-to-day computing life that bit easier. Some tools and options are easy to discover, but there are numerous other secrets that you

72 | Windows 10

can reveal by scratching beneath the surface of your PC. Over the coming pages, we’ll share some of the best Windows advice, including simple hints such as manipulating your Taskbar items, or locking your computer, to more complex tasks such as clearing storage space or creating an emergency boot disk. These tips are written for the latest release of Windows 10, but many will work with earlier versions too, as features are carried through the generations. So read on for a wealth of information on Windows 10.

Improve | 100 Windows 10 tips

Windows 10 | 73

Advanced tweaks | Media server

Make a Windows 10 media server Access movies, TV, music and photos from anywhere in your home with the aid of Emby Media Server

96 | Windows 10

without having to manually skip to the right place. Your server PC doesn’t need to be brand new – just make sure it either has a 2GHz dual-core processor or a graphics card or chip that supports hardwareaccelerated decoding – most recent chipsets from AMD, NVIDIA or Intel support this. We’d also recommend 4GB of RAM, and suggest your PC is connected directly to your router via Ethernet for the best possible network connection (if this isn’t possible, choose 802.11n Wi-Fi networking or invest in 500MBps HomePlugs). Basically, if it can run Windows 10 and is less than eight years old, it should be powerful enough – indeed, if you have an old PC that fits the bill, consider using that instead as a dedicated server to free up your main PC for other tasks. Which media server package should you choose? We’ve gone with a free, open-source package

Advanced tweaks | Media server


hese days, we consume our media – from music and photos to movies and TV – on a variety of devices in various locations. However, digital media is both liberating and yet constricting at the same time. If you’ve built up a huge library and want quick and easy access to it from any location, then you need a media server. A media server allows y ou to collect your media together in one location – your PC’s main storage, a USB-attached drive or even a network-attached drive – and access it from just about any smart device you own – other computers, your phone or tablet, even the set-top box or smart TV in your living room. It provides you with a consistent experience wherever you happen to be, and allows you to start watching on one device, then finish on another

called Emby, which is powerful, flexible and shows off your media in the best possible light. We’ll show you how to rename and organise your media in one central spot so it’s easy for Emby to recognise, get installed and set up your media libraries. You’ll discover how to stream your media to just about any device , plus we’ll reveal how to get more from your media server, from using it to watch and record live TV to setting up user profiles that provide filtered access to your library – useful if you have children in the house. One thing’s for certain: once you’ve experienced your media through your Windows-powered server, you’ll never consume it in the same way again. Read on to start the revolution…

Windows 10 | 97

Solutions | Windows 10 Q&A

“It’s not immediately apparent, but you can also search for files from Cortana” How do I search with cortana?


How do I use Cortana to find files on my PC rather than the web? And can I disable the web-search portion of it?


Cortana aims to be your one-stop shop for finding everything from files on your PC to getting information about upcoming events from the internet. Just start typing your question into the ‘Ask me anything’ box next to the Start button and Cortana will return with a list of suggestions – just click one to access the relevant app, setting or to view the results of a web search. It’s not immediately apparent, but you can

also search for files directly from Cortana. Type your search terms and either click the Documents icon at the top of the search window or click ‘More’ to select from a wider choice – there’s Music, Photos and Videos, plus a Folders option, which performs a general file search. Cortana’s web searches will open in Edge using the Bing search engine regardless of which default browser you set. If you’d like to turn it into a simple search tool for your files, apps and settings, you’ll need to edit the Registry. Click ‘Start > Run’, type regedit and hit [Enter]. Now browse to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\ Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search. With Windows Search selected, choose ‘Edit > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value’. Name it ‘AllowCortana’ and verify it’s value is ‘0’. Restart your PC and you

GET STARTED The first step is actually getting Windows 10.

should find the web search portion of Cortana has been disabled.

How do I add extensions to edge?


I understand that Microsoft Edge now supports browser extensions. What’s available and how do I install them?


One of Edge’s biggest shortcomings – lack of extension support – has finally been addressed with the Anniversary Edition. Extensions are exclusively available through the Microsoft Store to allow them to be thoroughly vetted for security, and the simplest way to get them is through Edge itself: click the ‘…’ button and choose ‘Extensions’ to view existing

Import photos from your phone


Can you tell me the various ways I can get photos from my phone over to my PC?


In an ideal world you’d just plug your phone in, and your photos would be whisked off onto your PC. That works in some cases, but not others, so here’s our guide to choosing the best free way of transferring photos to your PC. 132 | Windows 10


The wireless option

By far the simplest and most hasslefree version is to install the OneDrive app on your phone. Be sure to set up the camera upload option in Settings – photos will automatically upload to your ‘OneDrive > Pictures > Camera Roll’ folder.


Use iCloud Drive

An alternative for iPad and iPhone users is iCloud for Windows (https://support. Tick the ‘Photos’ option and all photos from your Apple devices will be transferred wirelessly to your PC over the internet.


The quickest and simplest way to do this is to right-click the file in question and choose ‘Open With…’ If your chosen app isn’t listed, click ‘More apps’ to browse through a list. If it’s not there, scroll down and choose ‘Look for another app on this PC’ to manually find it. Make sure you tick ‘Always use this app to open…’ before clicking ‘OK’.

extensions and access a convenient link to the Store where you’ll find a complete list – install one from here and it’ll appear in Edge. At time of writing, only 13 extensions have been released, but more will follow. Existing highlights include clipper tools for Evernote and OneNote, LastPass (password manager) and AdBlock Plus. Also look out for Office Online, a handy extension that allows you to edit Office documents on your PC or in the cloud through Edge itself.


If the new Action Centre is too intrusive, click ‘Start > Settings > System > Notifications & actions’. Scroll down to the ‘Get notifications from these senders’ section where you can disable notifications from specific apps and services – alternatively, tap the app to reveal more options, allowing you to keep notifications while making them less intrusive, for example.

Restrict Cortana Tweak the Registry to use Cortana exclusively to search your PC.

should I use How do I stop a Microsoft Account to unwanted notifications? log onto my pc? I keep getting



I was prompted notifications from to log into my apps I don’t really care Microsoft Account about. How do I stop them during the Windows 10 bothering me?



Plug your Windows or Android phone into your PC’s USB port. Make sure your phone’s USB connection is set for file transfer as opposed to merely charging. Open File Explorer, right-click the device and choose ‘Import photos and videos’.


How do I open a Word file without installing Office on my PC?


Windows 10 ships with an updated version of WordPad that can read .doc and .docx files, albeit with some limitations when it comes to advanced features. If you’re looking for a fullblown alternative to Office try Kingsoft Office Free ( office-free.html) or LibreOffice (

How do I access the Folder and Search Options dialogue box from File Explorer?


Open a File Explorer window, switch to the ‘View’ tab and click the ‘Options’ button on the far right of the ribbon to access it.

Import via Photos

Photos will automatically search your phone and import any photos it finds across to your PC. You can also click the ‘Import’ button and select your phone to manually choose exactly which photos to transfer across. Windows 10 | 133

Solutions | Windows 10 Q&A

QUICK QUESTIONS How do I change the default program for opening a particular file?

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