Understanding Windows 10 – A Guide to Help Get You Started

2 weeks and counting…

Following a cursory perusal of Windows 10 I recently voiced the opinion that Microsoft has included a lot of changes merely for the sake of change – presumably to help expand the gap between Windows 8 and Windows 10. After spending more time working with the new operating system I now realize that initial statement was incorrect, and here’s why.

Settings – The Windows 10 Nerve Center

windows 10 - settings interface

At the very heart of Windows 10 is the “Settings” menu which provides the interface for managing how the operating system displays and behaves. Consequently, a number of previously easily accessible settings/options have been moved into the Settings menus for the sake of centralization. While this may well now force users to dig a little deeper in order to locate a particular setting, I can appreciate the logic behind it – everything in one place, no fragmentation.

Finding “Screen Resolution” in Windows 10

For example: Accessing “Screen Resolution” settings has long been a simple matter of selecting the option from the desktop right click menu. Now, in Windows 10, one needs to take a rather more convoluted path:

  1. Click Start and then Settings
  2. Click System, then click Display (the Display tab should open by default)
  3. Click “Advanced display settings”

windows 10 - advanced display settings

There it is!

windows 10 - screen resolution

Adding Desktop Shortcuts to System Locations in Windows 10

This is another setting location that has changed and has now similarly been integrated into the all encompassing Settings menu. Frankly, with the extensive WinX menu, customizable Start Menu, and ability to pin items to the Taskbar, I believe desktop shortcuts are pretty much redundant in Windows 10. However, if you are used to desktop shortcuts and prefer that method, here’s how to add them:

  1. Click Start and then Settings
  2. Click Personalization and then click Themes (on the left)
  3. Click Desktop icon settings

windows10-desktop icon settings

From there, simply enable any shortcuts that you want to appear on the desktop:

windows10-select desktop shortcuts

Bottom line: if you’re looking for a particular setting, head on over to the Settings menu and start digging, it’ll be in there somewhere!

Windows 10 Settings On and Off Switches

I couldn’t leave the Settings section without mentioning the On and Off switches which are used to enable and disable pretty much everything:

windows10-on and off switches

Look familiar? Who’s copying who?

Windows 10 Automatic Updates

Forced automatic updates remains a major bone of contention among a vast number of users (and potential users). In fact, checking through the Windows 10 feedback in the Insider Hub app shows that this issue has attracted by far and away the most complaints. Why Microsoft assumes the right to force third party updates on its users, specifically driver updates, is beyond me. Surely we, as end users, should retain the right to decide whether to install these updates or not?

Of course, there is still a chance that Microsoft may change its tune on forcing automatic driver updates prior to delivery of the final version, and, if the volume of negative feedback holds any sway at all, perhaps they will. We live in hope!

*All included settings pertain to Windows 10 Insider Preview, Build 10162


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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

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