Only last month, Microsoft was offering a free upgrade for users to move to Windows 10. If you are like most and took advantage of this offer, you might be finding yourself frustrated today because of it. What doesn’t come with a free upgrade offer is a warning label of any type. So users that might not be IT experts or have an IT expert on speed-dial might be running into issues and not know what to do. Here are some common areas you might be running into and some tricks to help increase your user experience.
- Decreased Storage Space. What Microsoft hyped as a benefit of upgrading to Windows 10 was the ability to revert back to your older version if you tried Windows 10 and weren’t happy with it. Unfortunately for users, what this means is that the old version of Windows isn’t deleted but is kept in the C:/ drive by the name of windows.old. Having 2 versions installed on your drive is eating up crazy amounts of storage space, which not only limits what else you can store, but could be making your system run sluggishly. If you have decide to keep Windows 10, you should take the following steps to permanently delete your previous version. Click the Windows Start button and search for the Disk Cleanup app by typing “cleanup”. The drive selection box will appear, choose the drive your OS is installed on (the default drive is C:/drive), then wait for Windows to scan your system. Afterward, a box will pop up. At this point, the system might present you with a list of files to delete, but if that’s not visible, select the “Clean up system files” option on the bottom left of the window. Windows will then present you with another box with the option to delete “Previous Windows Installation(s)”. Check this option and click OK, then click Delete Files to confirm your decision.
- System Restore is not enabled. In Windows 10, the System Restore is not enabled by default. To turn it on, go to the Start Menu and search for “Create a restore point””. When the System Properties box appears, choose the system drive and click the Configure button, then select “Turn on system protection”. Use the slider to set an appropriate amount of maximum disk space. Anytime in the future you upgrade your Windows, you will need to check your system restore and repeat these steps if necessary.
- Fix Privacy and Data Defaults. You might not be a fan of the data-sharing defaults in Windows 10. All users should review them periodically. Use the Start Menu to search for and run the Settings app, then click Privacy. In the left-hand pane, you’ll see many areas where your computer might be sharing data. It’s worth spending time checking that you’re comfortable with allowing apps to use your computer’s camera, microphone, account information and so on, and where you are, checking that no surprise apps appear in the lists. Note, too, that the default Feedback & diagnostics setting is to send enhanced data to Microsoft. If you use Windows Defender, click the back arrow and select Update & Security, then Windows Defender. Check that you’re happy with the default behavior, which is to enable Cloud-based detection and Automatic sample submission. If you are running a device with Wi-Fi, click the back arrow, select Network & Internet, click Wi-Fi and select Manage Wi-Fi Settings. You open yourself up to risks by connecting or sharing with other networks, hotspots, and devices.
- Fix Slow Boot Times. Windows 10 uses a hybrid boot to enable fast boot times. When you shut the system down, apps and app processes are terminated, but the Windows kernel itself is hibernated to allow for a faster restart. This might seem good in theory, but it seems to still be very slow for some Windows 10 users. Disable it by searching for Power Options in the Start Menu and running the matching Control Panel applet, then in the left-hand pane click Choose what the power buttons do. Click Change settings that are currently unavailable, scroll down and un-check Turn on fast start-up, then click Save changes. This should prevent very slow starts on affected PCs. Some users report that if they subsequently reboot, re-trace their steps and re-enable fast start-up the problem remains cured.
- Windows 10 uses all your 4G Data. Windows 10 uses your internet bandwidth in the background and consumes all your cellular data without you knowing. Go to Settings and then Network & Internet, select Wi-Fi and then Advanced Options, turn on Set as metered connection. Note that this tip won’t work if your PC connects to the internet via Ethernet.
- Can’t Play a DVD. Windows 10 shipped without an app to play DVDs on. Which is a problem if you like to watch movies on your PC. Luckily, Microsoft has released an app as a download. Trouble is it costs money for some and it also has garnered an overall rating of just two stars. Alternatively, you can download VLC Media Player, which is free and works just as well if not better.
This is just a short list of tips and tricks to help you navigate your way through Microsoft’s newest operating system. There are many more tips and tricks to help increase your user satisfaction with Windows 10. If you are in need of help with installing Windows 10 or have questions or concerns with its performance, give us a call today. 2W Tech is a Silver Microsoft Certified Partner and is happy to help.