5 top tips and secrets for Windows 10

Become master of the Windows 10 universe.

cortana privacy
Credit: Preston Gralla

Trying out Windows 10 and want to get more out of it? Try out these top five tips and secrets for the new operating system.

Tell Cortana to keep her hands off your data

Cortana can be an exceptionally useful personal assistant -- but she can only be helpful if she has access to your data. And you may prefer less help from Cortana and more privacy.

To tell Cortana to keep her hands off of some of your data, click in the search bar in the taskbar, and then click the menu button at the top left of the screen that appears -- it looks like three horizontal lines. Select Settings and look for the setting "Delete tracking info such as flights and packages, in emails on my device." Move the slider to On.

Become a command line master of the universe

Remember the command line, that bare C: against a black, empty screen? If you're were willing to delve into its mysteries, it gives you quite a bit of power.

Windows 10 gives the command line new powers. But you'll need to turn them on. To do it, type cmd in the search bar, then click its icon that appears. That launches the command line. Now right-click its title bar and select Properties-->Experimental. You'll find all kinds of new tools, such as being able to copy and paste inside it with the usual Windows keyboard shortcuts Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V. You can do other things as well. Try them out.

Use the new keyboard shortcuts

Some people hate keyboard shortcuts, some people love them. I'm a big fan. If you are too, you'll be pleased to hear that Windows 10 has several new ones. To snap a window to the left or right of the screen, or re-center it if it's on the side of the screen, use the Windows Key-Left Arrow shortcut combo or Windows Key-Right Arrow shortcut combo. The Windows Key-Tab opens us Task View to show all of your running windows. There are also shortcuts for controlling virtual desktops. For a list of all the new ones, go to Brandon LeBlanc's Blogging Windows post. (Note: It's an official Microsoft blog.)

Move programs between virtual desktops

Virtual desktops are among my favorite new Windows 10 features. If you like them as well, you'll also like this tip: You can move programs between one virtual desktop and another. To do it, when you're running multiple desktops, go to Task View by pressing the Windows Key-Tab combo. Right-click the app that you want to move from one virtual desktop to another, select Move To, then move it to the desktop where you want it to go.

Turn off interactive feedback prompts

As you use Windows 10, every once in a while a prompt will appear, asking you to provide feedback about a feature you've been using. Microsoft uses this feedback from the more than 2 million people using the Windows 10 Technical Preview to determine what to change in future Windows 10 versions.

Don't like those prompts? You can turn them off completely, or have them bother you less frequently. To do it, select Settings from the Start menu, then select Privacy --> Feedback. Click the down button underneath "Microsoft should ask for my feedback" and select Never to turn feedback off completely, or choose another selection to change the frequency with which it asks you questions.

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