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Windows 10 tips: 40+ tweaks that make Windows easier to use

Customize, optimize, and master Windows 10 with over 40 tips, tricks, and hacks for Windows novices and experts alike.

TechRepublic staff
3 min read

Windows 10 power users and novices alike can benefit from customizing the latest version of Microsoft's operating system to fit their unique needs. Whether it's removing an unwanted app, tweaking the Windows Taskbar, or swapping the Microsoft Edge browser for another browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, there are dozens of ways to make every Windows install more efficient and user-friendly.

With so many ways to optimize Windows 10, it can be difficult to know where to start, especially when the tweaks involve hidden features. That's why TechRepublic, CNET's sibling CBS Interactive website, has pulled together dozens of Windows tips, keyboard shortcuts, Start Button tricks, and more into several convenient PDF ebooks. You can access all of these Windows 10 customization guides by clicking the links below and signing up for a free TechRepublic account.

Read more: The best antivirus protection of 2020 for Windows 10  

This free PDF ebook walks through a number of Windows 10 tips and tricks that will let you tailor the OS to suit your specific needs. You'll learn how to hack the Windows 10 Taskbar, modify the Windows 10 Show Desktop button, modify the Start Menu and add a slide-to-shutdown feature for a Windows PC, add file or folder ownership to Windows Explorer with the Registry editor, improve the search box by adding the People app to your Taskbar, turn on verbose booting mode, activate new clipboard features, turn on speech recognition, and more.

The default configuration of Microsoft Windows 10 is adequate for most situations, but for many of us there is always some tweaking that can, and should, be done. Unfortunately, like with previous versions of Windows, the configuration settings for Windows 10 can be difficult to locate because they are often hidden on an obscure menu tab or buried on the control panel. This list of 20 Windows 10 tricks, tweaks, and simple hacks that will help you increase Windows 10 performance and personalize the experience. You'll learn how to speed up Windows by maximizing CPU performance, pin File Explorer searches, remove Windows.old, optimize OneDrive cloud storage, change were you install an app, create a custom shortcut to quickly open a file folder, disable the Microsoft Office install prompt, change notifications using the Windows 10 Action Center, protect your privacy when you say "Hey Cortana," and more.

This collection of Windows 10 tips by award-winning technology writer Ed Bott will help you get more from Windows 10 than previous versions and save time on a variety of every-day tasks. This PDF ebook contains 10 essential Windows keyboard shortcuts that give you quick access to the features like the Task Manager or File Explorer. You'll learn which Windows key combos eliminate the need to click the mouse when you want to open apps like Windows Settings or the Quick Link menu. Ed also shows you how to encrypt removable storage devices connected to the USB ports, like a USB flash drive or external hard drive, walks you through customizing the Send To drop-down menu, shows you how to free up disk space by doing more with Disk Cleanup than just emptying the recycle bin and deleting temporary files, manage your Windows licenses from the Command Prompt window, understand how your PC is managing power using the Command Prompt, take control of your passwords in Internet Explorer and Edge, and so much more.

Like older versions of Windows, Windows 10 comes with preinstalled software and if you've installed Windows 10 Pro, you may have been dismayed by the games and apps that appeared on your Start screen. Here are a couple of ways to keep Candy Crush, Soda Saga, Bubble Witch 3 Saga, March of Empires and similar apps being installed on your Windows devices whether they're a desktop, laptop, or tablet.

Whether you choose to upgrade to Windows 10 from an older version of Windows or it came installed on a new machine, every installation of Windows 10 includes a huge collection of built-in apps. Some are Universal apps that are updated from the Microsoft Store. Others are legacy apps that hang around because other programs expect them to be there. If you prefer a tidy system, many of these Windows apps can be uninstalled, especially if you prefer a third-party alternative. This ebook offers tips and tricks on how to uninstall unwanted programs from Windows 10.