Tip o' the Week 303 – Windows 10 UI tips


clip_image001Windows 10 is, in some ways, the least WIMPy version of Windows to date. If you’re not familiar with that term, it once stood for Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer, in other words the same thing as a gooey.

Why so? Well, it’s got touch baked in for one, and that means the whole pointer bit is less relevant. And although windows (with a small “w”) are still there, even more so than in Windows 8, icons and menus might also be a bit different too.

That said, there are some good ol’ fashioned UI features in Windows 10 that might not be obvious to some users.

clip_image003Minimising everything – easily done; just press WindowsKey+D like in previous versions of Windows. Only works if you’re not in Tablet Mode, too. There’s another way, too, that was also present in Windows 8, but it’s even more relevant into Win10 – if you’re not in tablet mode, and click (or touch & hold) on the title bar of an open window then shake it from side-to-side using mouse or finger, it will minimise everything else except that window. Repeat the process on the same window to reverse the effect and restore everything else.

Jump to settings by pressing WindowsKey+I – especially handy if/when your PC decides not to show you search results like “windows update”. Launch settings (the new control panel) instead and try from there.

Task Bar icons can be activated quickly – either programs that are pinned there, or just apps that are running. Press WindowsKey+number, where number is the index of the icon along the menu, eg 4 would be Groove (and it’s already running, as indicated by clip_image005the line beneath), while 3 would launch OneNote (which isn’t already running).

Power User menu – another hangover from Windows 8 but still a lot of people don’t know about it – press WindowsKey+X to launch the pop-up menu from the bottom-left (as shown >>). Especially handy if you need to launch an elevated (ie Admin level) command prompt, though you could do the same by pressing WindowsKey, typing CMD then CTRL+SHIFT. It’s horses for courses.

Notifications / Action Center – to jump to the new notifications menu (or Action Center), press WindowsKey + A. Nothing more to see here, really. Move along.

Move Windows around – press WindowsKey and use the arrow keys to move your current window around. Press the SHIFT key as well to flick it between monitors if you have more than one. Simple.

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