11 little-known Windows 10 features that make you look like a pro

February 15, 2021

Fonctionnalités cachées de Windows 10

Reading time: 5 minutes

Although it was released in 2015, the Windows 10 operating system contains many features that most users have yet to learn about. While these nifty shortcuts and tools have flown under the radar for years, they undoubtedly can speed up quite a few of your daily tasks. Discover a few unexpected Windows features that any PC user can benefit from.


Access the “secret” Start menu

Everyone is familiar with the Start menu, but did you know there's a more advanced version too? This pop-up menu displays various administrative tools, saving you from navigating through countless configuration pages to find them. Quickly locate Settings, Task Manager, Device Manager, and much more.

How to find it:

Right-click on the Start menu button.


Nearby Sharing

Many companies prohibit the use of flash drives due to the security risks they pose. Fortunately, Nearby Sharing is here to replace those once-popular gadgets.

Use the Nearby Sharing app to share URLs and files with any Windows 10 device within range. The tool automatically selects the available channel—either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth—and sends recipients a notification.

How to find it:

Enable Nearby Sharing by going to Start> Settings> System> Shared Experiences. Then click "Share" in Microsoft Edge or Windows Explorer.


Cloud Clipboard

Microsoft 10 brings clipboard functionality to the Cloud. Cloud Clipboard lets multitasking mavens share images and text with other Windows 10 devices by copying the content to the Cloud. The handy Pin function also allows you to pin items to the clipboard for later use.

How to find it:

Go to Start> Settings> System> Clipboard> Sync across devices.


Snip & Sketch

Take screenshots of any part of your screen using the Snip & Sketch tool. The screenshot will be copied automatically to the Clipboard and made available to share with other Windows 10 devices through Cloud Clipboard.

How to find it:

On your keyboard, hold down the Windows button + Shift + S.


Minimize all windows except the active window

Did you know that you can minimize all open programs except for the active window with a single click? Simply click and hold the title bar of the window you want to keep and shake it for a few seconds. All other windows will be automatically minimized to the taskbar.


Access the desktop rapidly

To minimize all open windows, including the active window, use the Windows + D keyboard shortcut.

Achieve the same result by clicking the narrow strip at the taskbar's far right, next to the clock and notification area. One click displays the desktop, and another brings all your windows back again.


Windows Sandbox

Windows Sandbox creates a lightweight desktop environment that you can use to download and test software and files you don't trust. Based on Windows Containers technology, it functions as a window inside a window, letting you run Windows just as you usually would, but in a secure environment separate from your operating system.

How to find it:

In the Windows 10 search box, search for "Features." The result "Turn Windows features on or off" will appear.

the next window, check the box next to "Windows Sandbox" and click "OK." Restart your computer. After restarting, search for "Sandbox" and the Windows Sandbox app will appear!

* Note that the Sandbox is not compatible with Windows 10 Home.


Your Phone app

Strengthen the link between your smartphone and your Windows 10 PC with the Your Phone application. It lets you view and manage smartphone notifications, text messages, and images from your PC.

How to find it:

Visit the Microsoft Store.


Touchpad shortcuts

Use the touchpad to perform a slew of useful shortcuts:

  • Place two fingers on the touchpad and pinch or stretch them to zoom in or out
  • Slide two fingers horizontally or vertically to scroll
  • Swipe up with three fingers to view all windows
  • Swipe left or right with three fingers to toggle between applications (similar to the Alt + Tab shortcut)
  • Swipe down with three fingers to view the desktop
  • Three-finger tap to launch the Windows search engine
  • Four-finger tap to open the action centre


Pivot your screen vertically

Need to display a long page or vertical image on your screen? Start by physically rotating your screen, then use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + D + directional arrows to reorient the display correctly.


Launch "God Mode"

Experienced Windows 10 users can activate "God Mode," which groups many advanced settings together in a single window.

To activate God Mode, create a new folder on the desktop and name it:

GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Your background will instantly change. Double-click on the folder icon, and you have access to more than 200 advanced settings.


Conclusion

While the average Windows user might have never heard of these tools and shortcuts, these features unlock a host of advanced configurations that optimize your time and performance.

Want to increase your IT equipment's performance even further? Our Quebec-wide network of experts is here to help you configure and optimize your business's IT infrastructure. Discover our IT management and support services.

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11 little-known Windows 10 features that make you look like a pro

Although it was released in 2015, the Windows 10 operating system contains many features that most users have yet to learn about. While these nifty shortcuts and tools have flown under the radar for years, they undoubtedly can speed up quite a few of your daily tasks. Discover a few unexpected Windows features that any PC user can benefit from.

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