Windows 10 Tips to Make Your Life Easier

Ever since Microsoft announced the end-of-support for Windows 7, numerous organizations and regular Windows 7 users have been updating their system to Windows 10. Remember, even if you have Windows 7 FixMeStick will still be compatible, but Microsoft will no longer release security updates for Windows 7 so you’ll want to use your FixMeStick regularly. Learn more about the change here. Keep reading for our best Windows 10 tips!

How To Tell If You Have Windows 10?

The easiest way to find out if your computer is on Windows 10 is to look at the bottom of your screen for a black bar. This is called the Taskbar. You can place, or “pin” commonly used programs like Microsoft Edge or File Explorer in here for easy access.

FixMeTip: To pin a program here, simply find the program under your applications list, then drag and drop it directly onto the Taskbar.

On the left-hand corner of this taskbar, you should see four squares colored in white. This is the Windows logo and it also serves as your Start Menu button. If your computer has four white squares here, then your computer is running on Windows 10.

This is a Windows 10 desktop screen.

If you’re not sure what version of Windows you have, click here to find out.

Comparison of Windows 7 and Windows 10

Compared to Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows 10 are more similar to each other. The main similarity is the distinctive ‘Start Menu’ button on the bottom left corner of the home screen which brings up a list of applications when you left-click once on it.

Next to the ‘Start Menu’ button on Windows 10 is a new additional feature called the Search Bar. Previously on Windows 7, the search bar was only able to look up programs and files, but on the Windows 10, the search bar can help you look for folders, applications, as well as files on your computer. It also works as a search engine that can search the web for answers to your questions!

Besides updating and adding programs (‘Paint’ is now called Paint 3D!), Windows 10 also has a built-in digital assistant called Cortana, which you can learn more about in the next section.

How To Use Cortana?

Cortana is a built-in assistant on Windows 10. You may recognize it when you click into the search bar at the bottom left-hand corner of your screen. It shows up as a blue circle asking you questions such as “Hi! How can I help you?”.

You can instruct Cortana to perform various tasks using voice commands. Some tasks it can do for you include sending email messages, managing your schedule, or looking up information.

Cortana, Windows 10’s built-in virtual assistant

Activating Cortana

To use Cortana, you must first activate it. By default, Cortana is activated every time you click into the search box at the bottom left corner of your screen. However, you can also change its settings so that it will wake up every time you say the words Hey Cortana”.

To do that, click into the search box on the bottom left-hand corner of your screen and type in the word “settings”. A “Settings” icon will appear, left click on it and a window will open up. Click on “Cortana” to open its settings, then under the section – Let Cortana respond to “Hey Cortana”, click on the circular dot to toggle this function on and follow the on-screen instructions to set it up.

Using Cortana

Cortana can do many things for you, including setting a reminder for your meetings and appointments, telling you the local weather, answering random questions you have, such as “What is the current price of gold?”, and more.

To illustrate, try setting up a reminder for yourself to get lunch in an hour by either typing into the search box or by saying out loud: “Hey Cortana, remind me to go get lunch in an hour”. Then, follow the instructions on your screen to set up this reminder accordingly.

What is the Difference Between Edge and Explorer?

The Microsoft Edge logo.

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer are internet browsers you can use to go on websites. Both were created by Microsoft and are recognizable by their distinctive blue lowercase ‘e’ logo, but Internet Explorer is the older browser whereas Microsoft Edge is a new and updated internet browser for Windows 10 computers.

If you were previously using Windows 7, you probably had Internet Explorer. If you have switched to Windows 10, you may still have Internet Explorer installed, but it is highly recommended that you switch to using Microsoft Edge to go on the internet. It is faster and more secure than Internet Explorer and will provide you with a better browsing experience.

File Explorer Tips

Image result for file explorer icon
The File Explorer Icon

The File Explorer is marked by a distinctive yellow folder icon and it is the place where your files, such as PDFs, word documents, and pictures are stored. If you have been using FixMeStick for some time, you may know that one way to open the FixMeStick application is via the File Explorer.

When you open your File Explorer, check the very top of the window where you should see four tabs – File, Home, Share, and View. Under the Home tab, you can change the properties on your files and perform simple tasks such as renaming, deleting, or opening a file. Under the Share tab, you can create ZIP versions of your files to share them with other people. Under the View tab, you can toggle how your files are displayed in your File Explorer.

Do you have any cool tips you like to use when navigating Windows 10?

23 comments

  1. Anonymous - Reply

    Hi, thanks for enlightening my practically non-existent knowledge of my computer program… It is an eye-opener and a very practical help! Thanks,
    Judith/

  2. R. Fisher - Reply

    One problem I have with Windows 10 is, that I cannot run my PC games I have purchased previously, and have run on windows 7. The download of the games will not load in the Windows 10 program.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi there, sorry to see that you are experiencing this. Windows 10 should be able to run games as it’s the latest operating system from Microsoft. I don’t know why this is happening to your computer but I would contact the support line for the creators of the game to learn more about this issue.

    • Linda - Reply

      Thank you, Richard, for this tip. Learning some keyboard shortcuts on Windows computers will definitely simplify your life!

  3. Ruth P. Santiago - Reply

    what about my tablet and my cell phone what can I use to protect them?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Ruth, that’s a great question. We recommend using an anti-virus program like McAfee that runs on tablets and smartphones.

  4. Pamela - Reply

    Hi, I have been using the fixmestick and all seems well with it. But my problem is every-time there is a update with windows 10, it replaces my temporary folder and I am losing files that I need. I contacted microsoft about this problem and all they did was download another copy of the windows I already have on the computer. And that did not solve the problem at all. Who can help me with this ongoing issue? thank you.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Pamela, temporary files, like the name suggests, are only used to keep files that have a short lifespan. If you have an important file you need to keep permanently, consider moving them to a different location like your Desktop. To learn more about temporary files, click here.

  5. David Rowe - Reply

    I recently got a new computer which has Windows 10 built into it. When i try to run fix me stick a box always comes up saying ” You must be connected to an internet to run this” I AM connected to the interned when i try to run this. What is wrong? It worked with Windows 7.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi David, sorry to see that your FixMeStick was not able to find the internet. We’ve sent you an email from support@fixmestick.com to better help you troubleshoot this. You can learn more about this issue here.

  6. Jim Hicks - Reply

    Between now and December I will switch to a Mac. Microsoft makes changes for their own purpose which I might add is their prerogative. I have had the 10 and gave the laptop away. Tiles, for a two year old, allow you to access applications. Now that is an improvement? Why did so many stay with 7 ? And what did Microsoft do in response…

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Jim, thanks for sharing your experience with the Windows 10! You can definitely switch to a Mac if you find it works better for you. If you want, you can run your FixMeSticks on the Mac as well.

  7. John Baer - Reply

    Pamela, Linda is 100% correct , I keep all my files in desktop folders now, since I have lost very important data. Now when MICROSOFT updates I know anything erased was just that , temporary. Good Luck.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi John, it’s great to see that you are not keeping your files in a temporary folder, you will not run the risk of losing them!

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Mahmound, I’m not sure what you are referring to. To learn more about Windows 10, click here. To learn more about FixMeStick, click here.

  8. Ken court - Reply

    Hi I ran my fixit stick to clean up my computer the stick came up with a message saying the computer would be shut down which was fine until it tried to restart and windows was doing updates in the middle of the updates sequence it shut down just after the message do not switch off your computer when it restarted I just got a blue screen with a message your computer needs to be fixed. Any ideas on how I can get past this screen to do a recovery ? Any help would be appreciated.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Ken, sorry to see that you are experiencing this issue. We can definitely help you fix it. To better assist you, we’ve reached out to you via support@fixmestick.com. You can also start a chat with us if you would like to have an agent assist you in real time:

      If you would like to have a live agent answer you, please follow the instructions below:

      1. Go to FixMeStick.com during our operating hours (10 AM to 6 PM, EST, Mondays to Saturdays).
      2. Click on the orange ‘Chat’ button at the bottom right corner.
      3. Type in your name or email, followed by a brief message.
      3. Click on the “Start Chatting” button.

  9. Jenni Lynn Reis - Reply

    If i decide to use a security product like NORD VPN with all my devices, i understand it will protect my Windows laptop and Samsung tablet, but what about my Kindle tablet, what do you recommend to secure them?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Jenni, that’s a good question. You can actually use NordVPN on your Kindle tablet as well. You can learn how to do that here.

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