[TEN] Windows 10 Features You Didn't Know About

Category: Windows-10

Windows 10 has been on the market since July 29, 2015, and tens of millions of users have upgraded to it. Yet there are still many new and useful features in Windows 10 that most people don’t know about. Here are ten of the most useful, interesting, or at least amusing ones...

Ten Lesser-Known Features of Windows 10

(1) The "Contact Support" app is new in Windows 10. You can open a text chat session with a Microsoft "Answer Tech" if you need help. There's also an option to supply your phone number and have a tech support person call you at a time you specify.

(2) Scrolling in inactive windows: In past Windows versions, only the active (current) window could be scrolled using the mouse wheel. In Win 10, you can scroll in any open window. Just move the mouse cursor over the window, and you can scroll using the mouse wheel, without clicking inside the window first. On my Windows 7 system, scrolling in inactive windows does work. Perhaps that because I have a Logitech M510 mouse with that functionality built into the driver software. Or maybe I'm just special. But in Windows 10, all mice are equal, at least when it comes to scrolling.

(3) File Explorer now opens with a "Quick access" view, showing a list of commonly-used and frequently-visited folders, and a list of recently opened files. You can also navigate to a folder, then select the Home tab and click "Pin to Quick access" to make that folder appear in the Quick access list.

Windows 10 God Mode

(4) Print to PDF: a native printer driver that converts documents to PDF files has been added to Windows 10. When printing from any Windows app, select "Microsoft Print to PDF" as the printer name. Instead of committing your masterpiece to paper, it will be saved as a PDF file.

(5) The Command Prompt has been upgraded with new features in Win 10. The window can be dynamically resized, and copying and pasting to or from a Command Prompt is now much easier; the standard key combinations Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V actually work! Also, text can be made to wrap when a Command Prompt window is resized, instead of vanishing under an edge of the window. Many other Command Prompt enhancements are detailed in this Microsoft blog post.

Control and Customization

(6) Windows Update runs on auto-pilot in Windows 10, but you do have some new controls. The Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows 10 have an option called "Defer upgrades." When you defer upgrades, new Windows features won’t be downloaded or installed for several months. Security updates will still be applied. From the Start button, type "windows update settings" and press Enter. Then click the "Advanced options" link to see the Windows Update settings. (This feature is not available in the Windows 10 Home Edition.) You can also schedule a required restart for a time that's convenient for you.

(7) “Sideloading” apps: in Windows 8, Microsoft allowed only apps from its Windows Store to be installed. This move mimicked Apple, which allows only Apple Store apps on its devices. Security is the reason for this restriction, but the general population of Windows users doesn’t want to be deprived of all the good, perfectly safe apps written by third-parties. So in Win 10, you can “sideload” apps - that is, load them from a source other than the Windows Store. But you have to enable this feature. Go to Settings > Update & security > For developers. Then click the button next to “sideload apps.” A warning about dangers of sideloading will appear and you’ll be asked to confirm that you wish to enable sideloading; answer “yes” and it’s done. My advice is to turn this feature off again, after loading the desired app.

(8) Stylish Desktops: You can now customize the look of your desktop better than ever. Go to Start > Settings > Personalization > Colors. Choose “Show color on taskbar and Start Menu.” You can pick the color from a palette, or let Windows choose a color from your background photo to display under icons of open apps. You can also remove the translucent property of the Start Menu.

(9) Monitor Apps’ Disk Space Usage: Windows 10 will now tell and show you what apps are using the most disk space, a boon if you are short of free bytes and want to manage space carefully. Go to Settings > System > Storage. A list of drives connected to your computer will appear. Click on one of them to see how much space each app and its data are consuming on that drive. Note that you can also change the folders in which files of different kinds are saved.

One-Stop Shopping For Windows 10 Tweaks

(10) GodMode is not an official feature, and it doesn't give you super powers. But it is a useful hack put together by an overworked and underappreciated system administrator long, long ago. Yes, GodMode has been available in earlier versions of Windows, and its fans are delighted to see it still works in Windows 10. GodMode provides a unified, categorized view of all of Windows’ farflung features, commands, settings, and functions, all in one place that you can open with a single click.

Think of it as Control Panel, Unlimited. To activate GodMode, right-click on your desktop, select New > Folder to create a new empty folder on your desktop. Then copy this string of characters below to your clipboard: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} Right-click on the new folder and select “Rename.” Paste the string into the space for the folder’s name and press Enter. Now, whenever you open that folder, up will pop the monster menu of options that is GodMode. You can change “GodMode” to whatever you like; one person uses “JediMode.” Just don’t lose that period that follows the name and precedes the cryptic string of characters!

Do some of these features sound useful to you? Do you have any Windows 10 features, tweaks or hacks to share? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "[TEN] Windows 10 Features You Didn't Know About"

(See all 21 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Brigitte Robertson
20 May 2016

Thank you so much for this list - I've had Windows 10 since last year, but didn't know about "GodMode" - what a brilliant idea!

Posted by:

20 May 2016

Item#5) If the new features of the CommandPrompt (>>run>>cmd)do not provide enough steroids for the advanced user: S/he may wish to try the "PowerShell", instead. (http://windowsreport.com/powershell-windows-10/) NOTE: NOT for the timid!

Item#10) A recent GodMode vulnerability has been announced, which can allow the Dynamer malware to penetrate user machine. (https://securityintelligence.com/news/windows-god-mode-may-be-the-answer-to-malwares-prayers/)

Posted by:

20 May 2016

Thanks for the God Mode....

New Computer, lost the cut and paste for God Mode and I was having a real 'lost sulk'.

Bob, are you sure you aren't psychic? Saved by Bob yet again!

I may rename it 'Bob Mode' :)

All the nest from wet Wales,


Posted by:

20 May 2016

Where do I find The "Contact Support" app?

Posted by:

Denis Pettitt
20 May 2016

Kudos on the God Mode article. It is a God Send. Thanks

Posted by:

20 May 2016

(10) I call my shortcut HiggsMode

Posted by:

20 May 2016

Bob, you're the best.

Posted by:

20 May 2016

I just read this in Firefox on my new PCLinuxOS FM 64 and it sure has some nice features which I'm learning more about every day. I still have Windows 7 but it's on another drive and doesn't see the outside world.

Posted by:

Dave Fox
21 May 2016

Hi Bob,
Thank you very much for the GodMode info, that is so cool, I didn't think windows was capable of anything that useful. As always, your work is above and beyond !

Posted by:

Renee M Zelickson
21 May 2016

I found this article very informative; although I use an Apple computer, I would like to know more information about accessibility for the Blind and if the features you mention above work with it. Most blind users that have fusion use other screen readers - They find David hard to use. I haven't tried adding Windows on my computer, as I get easily frustrated with Microsoft.

Posted by:

Bruce Lamb
22 May 2016

Love God Mode, so much easier with every command in one place. Thank you

Posted by:

22 May 2016

Thanks for the info on "Godmode". Tried it out on Win 7 and it works really slick. Thanks again Ralph

Posted by:

Betty Lucas
22 May 2016

I read the article and was very impressed with the positive side of "10". There are others in our group from USF who subscribe to you and your daily good features.

In fact, I got a notice from them to read this article as it was information. They will probably discuss it at our next User Group Meetings.
I do feel more comfortable about 10 at the moment.

Posted by:

23 May 2016

Well, Bob. If anyone could make sense of W10, I knew you could. Thank you. I think it maybe time to pull the trigger on 10. Keep the good words coming in, and, THANK YOU, BOB!!

Posted by:

24 May 2016

Wow. After using (and supporting no less) Windows since 3.11 I discovered something really cool about it today: Godmode. Thanks Bob, this is most awesome!

Posted by:

24 May 2016

If people are having trouble using the "Contact Support" app (it opens, but just shows a blank windows) you must be signed into your Windows 10 computer with a Microsoft Account.

Posted by:

27 May 2016

I wouid like to sign up for your nawsletters

Posted by:

28 May 2016

"This move mimicked Apple, which allows only Apple Store apps on its devices." Any other Mac users you have as readers perhaps know that this can be overridden in System preferences :-)

Posted by:

John Mc Nally
28 May 2016

Fantastic.!. You have just gained a New Fan in Ireland.Slainte

Posted by:

Juan Figueroa
28 May 2016

I try to open Contact Support, but it close itself, what an irony.

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