Microsoft Windows isn't any one thing; it's an interwoven patchwork of tools built atop features that trace back to the beginning of the time-tested operating system.
With such a complex piece of software, it makes sense that there are little tricks and UI flourishes most people don't even know about. Maybe you haven't poked around Windows 10 too much after coming over from Windows 7, or perhaps you recently made the switch from a Mac. Well, it's time to understand all the secret Windows 10 has to offer.
We have compiled a list of useful tips that will help you get more out of your Windows 10 experience. Or, at least, teach you some things you may not have known about. Some have been available in Windows for a number of generations, while others are native to Windows 10.
Microsoft's most recent update for the OS arrived in May, introducing a bunch of new features with Windows 10 version 2004. So there are plenty of ways to make the most of a constantly evolving Windows experience.
Secret Start Menu
If you're a fan of that old-school (i.e. non-tiled) Start menu experience, you can still (sort of) have it. Right-click on the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner to prompt a textual jump menu with a number of familiar destinations, including Apps and Features, Search, and Run. All these options are available through the standard menu interface, but you'll be able to access them quicker here.
Similarly, there's a lot you can do with the Windows 10 taskbar. Right-click on the taskbar for a handy menu that will allow you to quickly access a number of presets for the toolbars, Cortana, and window schemes.
Want to personalize those Start menu tiles? Right-click on them to prompt a pop-up menu. This menu will give you various options, like the ability to un-pin from the Start menu, resize the windows, or turn that live tile off.
Show Desktop Button
Dating back to Windows 7, the Show Desktop button is a handy little feature. On the bottom-right corner of the desktop is a secret button. Don't see it? Look all the way to the bottom and right, beyond the date and time. There you'll find a small little sliver of an invisible button. Click it to minimize all your open windows at once.
There's also the option to have windows minimize when you hover over this button versus clicking. Select your preference in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar, then flip the switch under "Use peek to preview the desktop."
Enhanced Windows Search
If searches are taking too long in Windows, you can narrow things down a bit thanks to the May 2020 Update. Under Settings > Search > Searching Windows set search to Classic, which only applies to Libraries and Desktop, or choose Enhanced indexing to search the whole computer. A new algorithm also helps Windows adjust when it's working, using less resources while gaming or when disk usage is over 80 percent.