Top 10 Windows 10 Features You May Not Have Noticed
One of the most popular PC operating systems in the world, Windows 10, is currently used on more than 800 million devices around the world. With the 2019 update, its feature-packed operating system features even more updates and customisation options.
However, with such a complex piece of software, it’s not surprising that there a number of UI flourishes that most people don’t even know about. Here are our top ten Windows 10 features you may not have discovered…
1 – Light Mode
Windows 10 already had a dark theme but with the 2019 version, Light Mode (along with a brighter default wallpaper) finally got a look-in. Interface elements like the start menu, taskbar and print dialog can be turned ‘light’, and the Settings app also now has separate options for ‘Default Windows mode’ and ‘Default app mode’. With Windows set to dark and app mode set to light, you’ll get the old default theme. But with both set to dark or light, you can choose a pure light or pure dark theme.
2 – Brightness Slider
Continuing on with the brightness theme, previously you had to click through options that included Darker, Brighter, Brightest, Suggested etc. for adjustments. Now, you can simply click on the slider in the Action Centre sidebar to easily adjust your screen. Hello efficiency!
3 – Pause Updates
Probably no software company has copped more flack about the delivery of its updates than Microsoft. Thankfully, the Windows 10 edition features include some changes, including the update options themselves. Basically, if Windows notifies you that there is an update downloaded and ready to install, you can veto it. You can also pause quality (reliability and security) updates for up to a month, feature updates for year, and can specify exactly when you want the update to take place.
4 – A Separate Cortana
Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-activated digital assistant, was ‘decoupled’ from the Search feature in the taskbar in 2019, allowing voice queries to be handled separately. Now when you tap the lovely lady’s icon, she’s ready and waiting to assist with weather forecast, reminders, emails, net searches and even jokes. You can also extend her power by connecting to your other accounts, including LinkedIn, Fitbit and even Netflix!
5 – A Better Screenshot Tool
Another one of the Windows 10 features you may not be aware of is using the Windows Key-S to screenshot a free rectangle, window or a full screen to share instantly from your clipboard. With the 2019 update, you can also add in an outline, adjust its colour and thickness, and annotate the screenshot and share it.
6 – OneDrive Backup Folders
Another one of the new features of Windows 10 is the OneDrive option that lets you designate your Desktop, Pictures and Documents for syncing and cloud backup. This can easily be done by saving them to a OneDrive subfolder initially, however this feature gives you extra protection if you use local default user folders.
7 – Updates to Task Manager
One of the other hidden features in Windows 10 is an update to the Task Manager. If you love being super-organised, you can now set a default tab for when you choose to open it. There’s also a ‘DPI Awareness option’ if you want to see whether an app supports DPI settings, which control the size of the text, apps, and icons.
8 – No-password Sign In
We all know passwords can be easily compromised, which is why two-factor authentication (via a text message or smartphone app) is often seen as more secure. With the 2019 update, you simply create a Microsoft account using your phone number. This will initiate a login, and you can then use Windows Hello to authenticate.
9 – Game Bar Updates
If you like using Windows for play not just work, the Game Bar was also updated in 2019. There is now a built-in gallery for videos and screenshots, and the ability to add text to create memes. There is also now Spotify integration (via the app) that easily allows you to control podcasts and music from the widget in the Game bar. Now you can select recommended playlists and play, pause and skip to your heart’s content!
10 – Kaimoji and Symbols
Finally, one of the Windows 10 features that’s just pure fun. With the update there is now fully-fledged support for emoticons and kaomoji (emoticons using Japanese characters) – so when you type Windows Key-Period(.), you get more than just smiley faces! These fancier emoticons are often tricky to type out (especially without a Japanese keyboard) so this makes accessing special characters and things like currency symbols and accents easy! Now we just need dedicated kaomoji buttons like this on our keyboards …. ಠ_ಠ