Tweaking Windows 10

As good as it is, it is easy to get turned off by some “features” of Windows 10. Being Microsoft’s long-term operating system, it is best if we can figure out how to get along with it. In this article, you will find common beefs, and fixes, for Windows 10.

Microsoft was very heavy-handed when it came to rolling out Windows 10 … many people were “introduced” to it in a rather forceful way (some successfully sued Microsoft for this). On the bright side, it was offered as a free upgrade for those of us with a valid Windows 7 or 8.x license, and it is still possible to take advantage of their offer, long after it was supposed to end.

The shock of being upgraded to Windows 10 was exacerbated by the sneaky way Microsoft introduced us to their new browser (Edge) and email tool (Mail) by making these inferior products our default programs for those two functions. However, it is easy to fix this by going to “Settings | Apps | Default Apps” and changing them to better alternatives (IE/Chrome/Firefox and Outlook/Thunderbird).

Microsoft didn’t stop there … they also forced games and other apps upon us. These apps are easily uninstalled with a few clicks each (right-click one, Uninstall, and confirm) … and for the most part, they don’t come back.

As a final poke to their customers, Microsoft automatically turns on “Occasionally show suggestions in the Start”. (What are they thinking?) This setting is easily turned off in “Settings | Personalization | Start”.

Then there are “Tiles” … an unwanted carry-over from the much-disliked Windows 8. It takes about a minute to right-click each tile and choose “Unpin from Start” … making your Start Menu clean and efficient again.

Drivers can be a problem in Windows 10. Beware of “Driver Updater” programs, because they are nearly all riddled with spyware. It is safer to update them manually (Microsoft Article 4028443).

Updates can also be a problem in Windows 10. Firstly, I suggest being patient … some can take an hour or two. If updates break, you can often fix them using “Settings | Update & security | Troubleshoot | Windows Update” or with judicious use of a tool like Sometimes updates happen right when we least want them … note that you can adjust your “Active hours” in “Settings | Windows Update”.

Finally, Microsoft seems to enjoy disabling our File sharing every time there is a major update. So far, you simply turn it back on again.

On the bright side, Windows 10 has been fairly fast, stable, and compatible with most PC hardware and software.