Fixes For Top Windows 10 Annoyances
As Windows 10 enters its second year, the operating system is accumulating its share of user complaints, just like every previous version. Here are some of the most frequently cited Win 10 annoyances and solutions to them…
How to Fix Windows 10's Most Common Annoyances
On July 29th, Microsoft's flagship operating system Windows 10 turned one year old. Along with that milestone, Microsoft release a major update known as the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It seems to have been rushed out the door, because many people are reporting problems after having this update applied to their system.
In my article Postpone The Windows 10 Anniversary Update you'll find some of the most common issues people are seeing. I've also provided instructions on how to delay that update, and the steps to undo it if it's already been applied and you have a related problem.
“I DON’T WANT A MICROSOFT ACCOUNT!”
Win 10’s Setup utility tells first-timers to create a Microsoft account and use it to log into Windows 10. You can create a local account like those used on earlier versions, but Microsoft does its best to obscure that option. On the Setup page that tells you to use a Microsoft account, you’ll find itsy-bitsy text down in the lower-left corner saying, “Skip this step.” Click that and you’ll be asked to create a local account. Who would have guessed?
If you need to create a new account on a Win10 machine, you should choose the option, “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information” to skip the Microsoft account and create a new local user account the old-fashioned way.
If you already fell for the Microsoft account “requirement” and would like to get out of that trap, open Settings and click “Accounts,” then “Your email and Accounts,” then choose, “sign in with a local account instead.”
“NO TELEMETRY FOR ME, PLEASE”
Win 10 collects and sends to Microsoft a lot of data about your computer and what you do with it. Some of this telemetry is necessary to keep Windows running and secure, but Microsoft overreaches by default. Then the company provides a “user choice” that is deceptive. But you can get past the smokescreen and minimize the amount of data sent to Microsoft.
During Setup, Win10 presents you with the options shown below. If you slide the last control to “off” it should stop all telemetry, right? Wrong; it only decreases the amount of data sent from “Full” to “Enhanced.” The setting minimalists want is called “Basic” and it’s not offered during Setup.
To minimize telemetry, open Settings and click Privacy > Feedback & Diagnostics. Click “Send your device data to Microsoft” and then select “Basic” from the pulldown menu.
“YES, I’M SURE I DON’T WANT TO USE EDGE”
You may have set Google Chrome as your default Web browser, but Microsoft isn’t done pushing its new Edge browser at you. For instance, if you try to open an HTML file that’s stored on your hard drive, Win 10 will ask if you want to continue using Chrome for this type of file or if you want to use Edge. This annoyance can be fixed via old-fashioned Control Panel.
Open Control Panel and enter “set default” in its search box (upper right corner). Select “Set your default programs” and you will see a list of installed programs. You can tell Windows to use any program for all types of files it can handle, or specify individual file types that should be handled by that program
“GO AWAY, CORTANA”
Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri, is in your face from the moment you install Win 10. Cortana needs your permission to be “helpful,” and she’s infuriatingly persistent about trying to get it. Cortana can be shut up, but it's difficult to make her go away entirely, especially if you have installed the new Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
If you failed to click “No, thanks” during Setup to prevent Cortana’s awakening, you can disable her Bing-searching ability. Then local searches will turn up only files and settings on your local machine, and Cortana will not make suggestions. But like every other change to defaults that Microsoft wants you to use, Cortana’s settings are not easily found. Here are the steps:
Click in the search box on the taskbar to open the Cortana window pane. Click the three-line “hamburger” icon in the pane’s upper-left corner. Click on “Notebook” and then the gear icon (Cortana Settings). At the top of the settings menu is a switch labeled, “Cortana can give you suggestions…” Slide that switch to “off.”
If you want to completely disable Cortana after installing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you'll have to fiddle with the Windows registry. That's a bit geeky, but if you want to try, follow these instructions. Click Start, type REGEDIT and then press Enter. Find the key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search". (If that key doesn't exist, you'll need to create it.) Next create a DWORD value named "AllowCortana" and set it to 0. After logging back into Windows, you'll see the search box has changed from "Ask me anything" to "Search Windows."
Note that this option has nothing to do with telemetry settings; see the tip above for minimizing the amount of data that Microsoft gets about your device and what you do with it.
DO WINDOWS UPDATES ON *MY* SCHEDULE”
Windows 10 downloads and installs updates without giving users the opportunity to reject any updates or postpone their installation. The result can be a huge cumulative update that ties up your device at an inconvenient time and ends with a forced restart. The solution is to pick a convenient time.
Open Settings, click “Updates & Security,” and on the Windows Update page click “Advanced Options.” Under “Choose how updates are installed” use the pulldown menu to switch from “Automatic” to “Notify to schedule restart.”
The next time Win 10 updates, you will see a notification and have the opportunity to schedule installation and restart to a later time, up to five days in the future.
Have you applied any of these tweaks to your system? Are there other Windows 10 annoyances you've encountered? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 26 Aug 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Fixes For Top Windows 10 Annoyances (Posted: 26 Aug 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved