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Windows 10

Windows 10 is built for touch.  There are a variety of touch gestures. In addition, there is an introductory video and a more advanced video you can watch that will help you with using these touch gestures.

Many new laptops now have Precision Touchpads.  Follow the directions in this article to learn if your laptop has a Precision Touchpad.  These touchpads are more capable than older models, and there are special swipe gestures that only work with Precision Touchpads.  Beginning with the Windows Creators Update issued in April 2017, additional settings are offered for Precision Touchpads.

If you have upgraded from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Win 10, and you want to return to Windows 7 or 8.1, you are allowed to do so, as long as it has been 30 days or less since you performed the upgrade.  Here are directions for returning to your old operating system.

You can learn about the Win 10 Start menu here or here.  The Start menu is similar to the Win 7 Start menu, but not identical.  A Start menu much closer to the Win 7 Start menu is available.

Here are directions for filling your screen with 4 separate windows.

MS Edge is the default browser in Windows 10 and by default it uses Bing to search the internet.  You can change MS Edge to use Google for searching the internet.  MS Edge allows you to markup web pages and save them with your annotations.  Follow these directions to change the home page to which MS Edge defaults.  If you have too many tabs open in Edge, you can reduce clutter by choosing:  Set these tabs aside.  You can learn more about MS Edge.

You can change the default Win 10 browser from Edge to Internet Explorer.  You can also change to Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Cortana allows you to ask her questions, and she will respond with answers.  You can learn more about using Cortana here or here or here.  Cortana works better if she knows information about you such as where you live and work, etc.  You can control what Cortana knows about you.

File Explorer is used to search for files in Windows 10.  It offers a default view called Quick Access.  This differs from previous versions of Windows.  You can add or delete folders from Quick Access.   You can see a more traditional view in File Explorer.  You can learn more about Quick Access here.  You can learn more about File Explorer at this site or this one.

You can change the types of notifications you receive.  You can learn more about the Action Center.  If you don't like the Action Center you can turn it off.

You can learn how to setup a POP 3 mailbox.

Here's a site that reviews all the apps that come with Windows 10.

OneDrive allows you to store files in the Cloud.  You can learn more about OneDrive.

System Restore should be turned on.  You can learn more about System Restore.

Continuum tries to determine automatically whether you are using a tablet without a traditional keyboard, or a computer.  If it makes a mistake, you can correct it.  You can learn more about Continuum.

A Recovery Drive can save you if you are unable to boot to Windows 10.  Here are directions for creating a Recovery Drive.   This site provides you with additional information about Recovery Drives and how you can use them.  Here are more detailed directions that describe how to create and use a Recovery Drive at this site but this is a paid web site.

There are 5  methods available for resetting your computer if you have a problem.

Beginning with the Anniversary Update, Windows Defender can scan your computer for viruses, in addition to your "regular" anti-virus program scanning your computer.  These scans are called Limited Periodic Scanning.  However, they are turned off by default.  You can learn how to turn on Limited Periodic Scanning.   If you use Windows Defender, you may wish to turn off the frequent notices that it sends you.

Win 10 doesn't allow you to play DVDs.  You can solve this problem by downloading the free VLC player.


File History is an easy way to backup your Win 10 computer.  You can read more about File History.  In addition to File History, a second type of backup is called an image backup.  This article provides background information about both File History and image backups.  Here are explicit instructions for setting up and using both File History and Image backup.  There are a total of 3 backup methods available.  Directions are available for creating and restoring an image backup, or you can use these directions.


If you have a touch screen, Windows Ink is a new feature that allows you to handwrite text in Apps that are compatible with Ink.  You can learn more about Windows Ink.

Microsoft has consolidated all the privacy settings in one location.

Windows 10 collects a lot of information about you.  There are numerous sites that can help you reduce or eliminate the amount of data that is gathered. 

Even if you turn off this data collection, it appears that it is turned back on during the November 2015 update.

There is a free program that offers to disable 50 methods Microsoft 10 snoops on you.  It is not downloaded from the App store, but rather from this site.

Windows 10 can find your lost/stolen laptop if you have turned on the feature ahead of time.

There are 40+ training courses for Windows 10 available at Lynda.com.  These are free if you access them through the Washington DC Public library web site.