How to use Windows 10: You have just purchased a new computer and, after the first power on, you have seen that the operating system installed on it is Windows 10. You have not replaced your old and trusted computer for several years and you are still left with the old versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, Windows Vista or, even, Windows XP.
How to use Windows 10
To tell the truth, you are a little confused in front of this new graphical interface and you are now trying to understand where all the tools you used to use are located. How do you say? Do you want to give it up? Don’t give up, because I’m here to help you. In my guide, in fact, I will explain how to use windows 10 so that you can understand the basics to orient yourself and learn how it works.
Are you curious to find out the tips I have prepared to solve your problem? Then don’t lose heart and sit comfortably in front of your brand new computer. You only need a few minutes of your time to devote myself, to read the tips I wrote in my tutorial, and I assure you that in the end you will be able to use Windows 10 to the fullest. Happy reading and enjoy!
Before going into this guide, I want to focus on some tips or features that can help you if you are a beginner with a computer with Windows 10. In the next few lines, I will help you take the first steps on this operating system.
Useful key combinations
Using the keyboard connected to your computer, you can use the key combinations which can facilitate you in carrying out some operations. Below, I’ll list a few that you can use on Windows 10.
- Ctrl + C, to copy one or more selected files.
- Ctrl + X, to cut one or more selected files.
- Ctrl + V, to paste one or more previously copied (or cut) files.
- Ctrl + Z, to cancel the last operation performed.
- Ctrl + A, to select each file present in a folder.
- Alt + F4, to close an active window of File Explorer or software.
- Alt + Tab, to switch from one active window to another.
- Ctrl + Shift + Esc, to start the Task Manager.
- Shift + Delete, to confirm the deletion of a file, without being transferred to the recycle bin.
- Windows + D, to show and hide open windows on the desktop.
- Windows + E, to open File Explorer.
- Windows + I, to open the Settings Windows.
- Windows +[.] (the punctuation mark “point“), Opens the keyboard Emoji.
Combinations that use the key Ctrl they can also be performed within software to use functions similar to those I have indicated to you. Just by way of example, the combination Ctrl + A on a text allows you to select it in full.
In the bottom taskbar, you can see the icon with the symbol of a folder, which is equivalent to the tool File Explorer Windows. This allows you to access the folders and files on your computer’s hard disk or on external drives.
When you access a folder, you can view the other folders or files inside it. If you click on the tab View at the top, you can choose how to display the file icons by selecting one of the items in the box Layout. For example, by pressing on the item Details, you can distribute the files on a list that shows you the date, the dimension and other information about the items in the folder.
If you right-click on an empty spot inside the folder, in the context menu that is shown to you, you can change the display of the files using the items View, Sort by is Group by.
In the tab Homeinstead, you can perform some operations on the files, using the buttons you see in the bar: you can copy and paste or move an object or delete it or rename it. To use these functions, select the file, just by clicking on it, and then press one of the buttons in the top bar, according to the operation you need to perform.
On the left sidebar, however, you can view some system and your account folders to quickly access them, while in the upper part you can view the section Quick access, which contains all the folders added by you for immediate access.
If you want to add a folder for quick access, the procedure is simple: open your favorite folder and, in the tab Home at the top, press the button Add quick access.
If your computer is used by multiple people, you can decide to create other accounts. To add one, what you need to do is open the Settings Windows, using the combination Windows +[i] or by pressing on the icongear found in the menu Start.
In the screen you see, press the button Account and then select the item Family and other people from the left sidebar. In the section Other people, press the button Add another user to this PC and, in the window that is shown to you, click on the wording first I don’t have this person’s login information and then on Add a user without a Microsoft account.
At this point, add the name of the person who will use the computer, through the text box Username, and possibly enter a login password. Then press the button Forward to confirm the creation of the local user.
If, on the other hand, you have some information about the person who will use the computer, such as his Outlook email, after pressing the button Add another user to this PC, fill in the text fields you see on the screen, so as to add a new user connected to theMicrosoft account you entered. By connecting a Microsoft account to the user account, you can synchronize all the information and preferences of the latter with the Microsoft servers and therefore with all your Windows devices.
If you want, you can also add restrictions for users with standard privileges, therefore not as an administrator, such as limits on the time of use of the PC: I told you more about it in my tutorial dedicated to the topic.
Changing the system language
When you installed and configured Windows 10, you’ve probably set that language as the language Italian. However, if you want to add a different one, perhaps because you want to practice learning a new one, just access the Settings Windows 10 by pressing the key combination Windows +[i] or by pressing on the icongear found in the menu Start.
At this point, in the newly opened screen, press on the item Date / time and language and select the wording Geographical area and language, from the left sidebar. Then locate the button Add a language and choose a language from the list that is shown to you. Then click on the button Forward and, in the next screen, remove the check mark on the elements you don’t want to add.
If you want the interface of Windows 10 to be changed in the new language you have selected, keep the box active Set as my Windows display language and then press the button Install. In this way, the necessary components for the installation of the new language of your choice will be downloaded.
Personalize the desktop
Whether you are an adult or a boy, one of the first things you do after logging in to Windows 10 for the first time is to customize the desktop according to your personal tastes. In the next few lines, I will tell you how to change the desktop background and its resolution, as well as showing you some features to customize other tools of the Windows interface.
Change the screen resolution
For change the screen resolution, right click on any empty spot on the desktop and, from the context menu that you see, press the item Screen settings. From the screen that is shown to you, select the resolution from the drop-down menu below the wording Resolution.
If the resolution you set does not suit your needs, press the button Restore, that you see in the center of the screen. Otherwise, instead, press the button Keep changes, to save the resolution of your choice.
You can also change the size of the texts and icons, in case they are too small for you to display them well. Also from this panel, then choose the percentage of resizing from the drop-down menu that you find under the wording Change the size of text, apps and other items. I talked to you in detail about how to change the Windows 10 desktop resolution in this my guide.
Up Windows 10 integrated on notification center, which shows messages from the system and third-party software. If you are not interested in this feature or do not want to receive specific notifications, you can disable them from the panel Settings Windows 10.
To do this, press the key combination Windows +[i], click on the item System, in the screen you see, and then presses on Notifications and actions, in the left sidebar. Moving on OFF the levers you see, you can disable different types of notifications: for example, if you do not want to receive notifications from the app, move up OFF the lever near the wording Get notifications of apps and other senders.
In the section Get notifications from these senders, you can view all the applications and software that interact with the Notification Center. By moving the lever adjacent to them on OFF, you will no longer be shown real-time notifications for that specific Windows app or service. In any case, you can deepen the topic by consulting my guide on how to delete Windows 10 notifications.
Change theme and background
If you want change the theme and desktop wallpaper on your computer, open the panel Settings Windows 10, via the key combination Windows +[i] (or by pressing on the icon ofgear found in the menu Start) and press on the item Customization present in the window that opens.
At this point, in the left bar, select the item Background and then choose an image among those you see on the screen or use the button Browse, to import one saved on the computer. Then use the drop-down menu that you find under the wording Choose a location, to set the method used by Windows to distribute the image on the desktop.
In Windows 10, you can also edit the theme used on the desktop. You don’t know what it is? It is a set of settings that modify the desktop background, the colors used for windows, the sounds of Windows and the mouse cursor. If you want to change the theme, in the Settings Windows, choose the item Customization and, in the left sidebar, press on the wording Themes.
Now, choose a theme from the ones you see below, or press the button Get other themes in the Microsoft Store to download more. If you want to know where to download other themes, including unofficial ones, I suggest you read the my guide dedicated to the topic.
Change Start menu and taskbar
There taskbar Windows, which you see in the bottom edge of the screen, can be customized by moving it to other locations or by changing the way windows are combined.
To do this, open them Settings Windows, using the key combination Windows +[i] or by pressing on the icongear found in the menu Start and press on the item Customization. In the left sidebar, select the wording Application bar, so as to display all the parameters to customize this tool.
To change the position of the taskbar, use the drop-down menu below the wording Location of the taskbar on the screen; to view the active windows on the taskbar differently, use the options available under the wording instead Combine the taskbar buttons.
For example, you can decide to hide this bar. This is possible by moving the lever up ON to the voice Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode.
The menu Start Windows 10 shows you the installed software and applications. However, you can customize it from Settings Windows (accessible with the combination Windows +[i] or by pressing on the icongear found in the menu Start): then go to the section Customization and then press on the item Start contained in the left sidebar.
From the right screen, you can set some customization options, such as the full screen mode reminiscent of Windows 8, which can be activated by moving the lever to ON at the wording Use full screen mode for Start. I told you in detail about how to edit this tool, in my guide on how to change the Start menu on Windows 10.
Application and software management
On Windows 10, in addition to the programs, you can install the applications available on the Microsoft Store. If you need to know the tools that this operating system provides you to manage the installed software, I advise you to read the next lines carefully.
Uninstall apps and software
As I already mentioned in the previous paragraph, all the software and applications installed in Windows 10 are accessible through the menu Start. In case, however, you want to perform the uninstall of one of these, you will have to access the section App, which you find in Settings Windows 10 (accessible through combination Windows +[i] or by pressing on the icongear found in the menu Start).
Then select the item Apps and features from the left sidebar and scroll through the list of programs and applications that you see on the screen. Then click on the one you want to remove and press the button Uninstall. Some programs may require you to follow additional steps to confirm uninstallation, the instructions of which are shown on the screen.
Set default apps
If multiple software are installed on your computer that perform the same function, such as browsers for Web browsing, you can choose which of these to use when performing an automatic action (for example, opening a link).
By accessing the panel of Settings Windows (Windows +[i]), go to the section App and then choose the item Default apps from the left sidebar. On each category that is shown to you, by clicking on the current program used, you can display a context menu from which to select other similar programs installed by you on your computer.
In the example I gave you in this paragraph, under the heading Web browserby clicking on Google Chrome, I am offered to choose from other installed browsers, such as Microsoft Edge, Firefox or Internet Explorer.
You can also decide to select a specific program based on its extension. In this case, scroll down the screen and click on the wording Choose default apps by file type. You will be offered all the extensions known so far by the system, for each of which you can set up a software by pressing the button Choose a default setting or by clicking on the currently associated program.
Disable startup processes
If you want disable a program that starts automatically when you log into Windows 10, press the key combination Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager (Activity management).
Now, select the card Start and right-click on the process you see on the screen, labeled with the wording Qualified, in the column State. In the contextual menu that is shown to you, then choose the item Disable: in this way, the next time you restart your computer, the software you have disabled will no longer run automatically when you log in to Windows.
If your computer starts to run slower, it means that you probably have too many processes running when Windows starts. In this case, I recommend you read my guide on how to speed up your computer, in which I explain in detail, how to disable active processes when the operating system starts.
Close a process
If a software you have opened has crashed and no longer responds to commands, you can force it to close by terminating the process associated with it. To do this, open Activity management, via key combination Ctrl + Shift + Esc, and go to the card Processes.
At this point, scroll down the list you see and locate the currently blocked software, which you should find in the section Applications. Then right click on it and press on the item End activity, in the contextual menu that is shown to you. If you want to know more about this topic, I recommend you read the my guide dedicated.
Make Windows 10 secure
Up Windows 10, as well as in other operating systems, it is necessary to put into practice some precautions, to keep the computer protected from any threat. In the next few lines, I will show you some tips and some features that can help you do this.
Set a login password
If more family members have access to your computer and you want to protect your privacy, you can think of set a password to the PC account. To do this, press the button Start and right-click on the thumbnail for your Windows account. In the contextual menu you see, press on the item Change account settings.
In the newly opened panel, click on the item Access options present in the left sidebar. Now choose one of the suggested methods to add protection to your Windows account. First set one Password, via the button add, to then configure the other available protection systems, such as Windows Hello, to use your fingerprint or facial recognition to unlock access to your account.
You can also set a PIN or one Graphical password. In addition, you can set the Dynamic block, which works in a similar way to Smart lock Android, which unlocks access when a Bluetooth-connected device is nearby. For more information, I recommend you read my tutorial on how to put a password on your PC, in which I have indicated all the procedures to be carried out to achieve this aim.
A tip that I give you not to run into problems or bugs on your computer with Windows 10, is to keep it updated. Basically, the operating system is set to stay up to date.
You can, however, check if some updates are available by starting the panel Settings Windows (use the combination Windows +[i] to access it, or presses the icon of thegear found in the menu Start) and clicking on the section Update and security. Then choose the item Windows Update, in the left sidebar, and press the button Check for updates, to immediately search Microsoft servers. If updates are present, they will download and install automatically.
If, on the other hand, you do not wish to receive Windows updates, because perhaps they slow down your computer or your Internet connection, I suggest you consult my guide on how to disable automatic updates of Windows 10.
Windows Firewall and Defender
If you don’t have antivirus software, I’d be happy to know about that Windows 10 an integrated tool, called Windows Defender, which guarantees protection from viruses and other files that can compromise the functioning of the operating system itself. It is very effective and in the most recent comparative tests it has not disfigured in front of much more noble solutions, perhaps for a fee.
Inside there is also a firewall to monitor incoming and outgoing connections and a tool called SmartScreen, to defend the device while browsing with Microsoft Edge and block the execution of potentially harmful applications. Your intervention is not required to activate Windows Defender, but you can open its panel to perform some manual operations.
To do this, open the panel of Settings Windows 10 (using the key combination Windows +[i] or either by pressing on the icongear found in the menu Start), click the section Update and security and then choose the item Windows security, in the left sidebar. Then press the button Open Windows Defender Security Center, to access the main screen of this tool and proceed as you prefer.
All Defender functions are accessible via the icons in the left sidebar. For example, if you want to manually scan files on your computer, click the icon with the symbol of a shield and then press the button Start Analysis.
If you don’t want to rely on this integrated protection tool, then you can fall back on other software used for the purpose, which I told you about in this my guide. You can also decide to disable completely Windows Defender, topic I told you about in this my tutorial dedicated.
Backup and restore
Up Windows 10 you can back up the files on your computer and, in the event of operating system malfunctions, also restore them. These features are present within the section Update and security, in the Settings Windows 10. In the left bar, you can access them by clicking on the respective items Backup is Restoration.
The first tool allows you to backup your personal files on your computer by sending them to an external drive or another partition on the hard disk. By clicking the button Other optionsthen, you can indicate the frequency of the backup and the folders to be included or excluded from the process.
Through functionality Restorationinstead, by pressing the button It begins, you can choose two options: a recovery of the operating system keeping all personal files (Keep my files) or a full recovery that leads to loss of all data (Remove everything).
If you want to deepen the topic on backing up Windows 10 files, you just have to read my tutorial on how to backup on Windows 10. If, however, you are interested in a detailed guide to recovering Windows 10, I suggest you consult the my guide dedicated to the topic.
Other useful tips for using Windows 10
Tips for making the best use Windows 10 do not end there. There are many tools and features integrated in this operating system, so new ones are often introduced, through automatic updates.