X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

10 features that will make you fall in love with Windows 10

Still on Windows 8.1 and still wondering if upgrading to Windows 10 is worth it? 10 contains some great features that are sure to make you want to take the plunge. Plus, Windows 10 has a big update coming out this summer, with improvements to touch features, better voice control and a Windows subsystem for Linux, so there will be even more goodness to enjoy.

alina-bradford.jpg
alina-bradford.jpg

Alina Bradford

See full bio
windows-menu.png
1 of 10 Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

Everything in one place

Unlike Windows 8.1, there's no need to toggle between the menu screen and desktop. Now all you need to do is click on the Start menu icon and everything, and I mean everything, is displayed in a customizable menu.

Simply pin all of your most used programs and apps to the Start menu and you'll never need to clutter your desktop with icons again.

preview.png
2 of 10 Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

​View tasks at a glance

Ever forget what you were working on in a particular app or program? Just hover over its icon in the task bar and a small preview window will appear.

windows-10-app-store.png
3 of 10 Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

​Apps aplenty

Is your phone chock-full of apps? Now the app lover in you can totally geek out with your laptop or desktop. Just click on the Windows Store icon in the Start menu and start browsing. Like Netflix, the app store tries to find apps that you might like and serves them up like an app smorgasbord.

windows-10-cortana.png
4 of 10 Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

​Just say, 'Hey, Cortana'

Named after the sassy sidekick from the Halo video game series, Cortana is your own personal assistant. You can ask her anything and she'll serve up the answers via Bing (or you can force Cortana to use Google). She also can provide you with the weather report, traffic updates, current news, set alarms and even send emails or search for files on your computer with voice commands.

In the summer update, Cortana is getting a major overhaul to improve usability. She will also be available at the lock screen and in apps, such as Skype, to do your bidding.

visual-password.png
5 of 10 Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

​Top login security

Windows 10 is on the cutting edge of security when it comes to protecting your computer. You can set up your Windows' login screen so that it uses facial recognition, a PIN or fingerprints instead of a password to log in. You can even create a visual password using your favorite photo and a three-motion gesture.

microsoft-signin.png
6 of 10 Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

​Microsoft everything

The last thing you need is another password. If facial recognition and fingerprint login just isn't your thing, you can log in using your Microsoft account information. It will also sync all of your other Microsoft programs to your account, as well.

windows-10-photo-app.png
7 of 10 Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

​Organize photos without lifting a finger

Like any great love, Windows 10 will do little things for you without you nagging at it. One great example is the photo app. The photo app grabs photos and videos from all of your devices, automatically enhances them and organizes them for you in albums.

windows-10-action-center.png
8 of 10 Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

​Take action

Windows 10's action center is like a sweet text from your significant other. Click on the icon in the task bar and the action center pops up with messages your computer would like you to read, such as system update information. You can also use it to quickly turn on airplane mode, adjust screen brightness, connect to Bluetooth devices and Wi-Fi or many other handy features.

windows-10-xbox-app.png
9 of 10 Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

​Xbox on your device

If you're a gamer, you'll love the Xbox app. With it you can stream whatever you're doing on your Xbox to your computer. You can also see what your gaming buddies are up to and send messages even when you're not using your console.

windows-10-quick-access.png
10 of 10 Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

​Find files quickly

If you have certain folders you access on the regular, then you'll adore the Quick Access feature. You can pin all of your most used files to the Quick Access area and then they're front and center when you're saving a document or uploading from a file. No searching required!

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More
John Cena attends Warner Bros. premiere of The Suicide Squad, in costume as Peacemaker.

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
The Best Games on Nintendo Switch in 2022
zelda-cnet-2.jpg

The Best Games on Nintendo Switch in 2022

36 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games
astro-bot-rescue-mission-screen-02-ps4-us-18may18

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More
thor4

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

85 Photos
Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope Images Compared: See the Difference
james-webb-seq-00-14-05-10-still002

Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope Images Compared: See the Difference

12 Photos
2023 Toyota Highlander Adds Turbo Power to Lower Emissions
2023 Toyota Highlander

2023 Toyota Highlander Adds Turbo Power to Lower Emissions

25 Photos
DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths
img9412.jpg

DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

10 Photos