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Change these settings!

Windows 10 is finally here - and you're probably pumped to start playing around with it. Before you go too crazy, here are a few settings and features to tweak for smooth sailing.

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Always schedule restarts

I don't know about you, but I hate when Windows Update restarts my computer automatically. Luckily, in Windows 10 you can force your PC to always prompt you to schedule a specific restart time by going to Settings > Update & recovery > Windows Update > Advanced options. Under Choose how updates are installed, pick Notify to schedule restart from the drop-down menu.

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Ditch notifications

Who wants constant smartphone-like notifications on their PC? What? Nobody? How strange. If you're not a fan of getting pop-ups every time someone tweets at you, go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions and turn off the various notifications -- tips about Windows, app notifications, and lock screen notifications. You get enough notifications on your phone, thank you very much.

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Reclaim the Start menu

If you're using a PC, Windows 10 should automatically put you in PC mode -- with a Start menu instead of a Start screen, and windows instead of full-screen apps. But if you're using a tablet or a 2-in-1 device and you want the Start menu back for good, you can have it! Go to Settings > System > Tablet mode and turn Tablet mode to off.

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Set up Cortana

If you like the idea of a voice-activated personal search assistant, you'll get more use out of her if you set things up first. First, turn on 'Hey, Cortana,' so you can activate Cortana with a phrase. Then go to Search > Settings and under Respond best: choose To me and help Cortana learn your voice by repeating six phrases to her.

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Customize Edge

A browser is only useful if you can make it your own. First, download a second browser so you can import your bookmarks (you can't import bookmarks from a file into Edge). Next, use these tips to change the theme, set your home page, set up how new tabs work, and reclaim the home button.

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Set up default apps and programs

Further personalize your Windows 10 PC by setting up your default apps and programs -- you can choose what app/program opens for email, your calendar, maps, music, photos, videos, and your Web browser by going to Settings > System > Default apps.

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Stop the sync party

I don't know if you've heard, but Windows 10 is all about syncing. If you don't curb its enthusiasm, Windows 10 will sync all of your settings, themes, passwords, and other preferences (not to mention your notifications and, like, everything else). Maybe you want all of your PCs to be exactly the same. Or maybe not. If not, you can turn off setting syncing by going to Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings. Toggle off the various sync settings tied to your Microsoft Live account so you can play with your new Windows 10 machine without messing up your other PCs.

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Declutter your taskbar

Windows 10 comes with several new taskbar buttons, but I like my taskbar clutter-free. To get rid of these extra icons, right-click the taskbar and uncheck Show Task View button and Show touch keyboard button. If you don't need to perform Cortana searches from the desktop, you can also hover over Search and check Hidden to hide the search button.

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