Windows 10 launched nearly four years ago now, and it’s still the latest, greatest, and likely the last version of Microsoft’s seminal operating system. But, while Windows 10 does genuinely improve on what made the previous versions so great, they serve as a foundation, making Windows 10 a fantastic OS with a variety of new features, along with a new interface.
But, even if you’re intimately familiar with these earlier versions of Windows, it’s possible to run into some Windows 10 problems. That’s why we here at TechRadar have put together this guide to all the best Windows 10 tips and tricks, so you can be a Windows 10 power user in no time.
But, now that the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is here, and the April 2019 Update is on the way, there are even more great features built into Windows 10. And, if you haven’t updated to this latest build, we’ll show you how to download and install the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
How to download and install Windows 10
Before learning how to use Windows 10, you’ll first need to download and install it, if your PC doesn’t already come with the software installed. But, don’t worry – we’ll show you how to use the Windows 10 installer.
However don’t go clicking that download button just yet – first check out our guide on how to prepare for your upgrade to Windows 10.
However, if you didn’t reserve your free upgrade to Windows 10 before it expired, you can simply go to the Microsoft Store, and you can purchase and download Windows 10 through there.
This takes you through the essential steps to make sure your PC is ready for the upgrade to Windows 10, including using the Windows 10 Upgrade Advisor, creating a recovery drive, backing up your important files and more.
This will ensure that your upgrade to Windows 10 goes as smoothly as possible. If you’re not sure about upgrading, then let us explain why you should download Windows 10 right now.
Now that your PC is ready to install Windows 10 it should be a relatively straightforward process.
Step one: Check the Get Windows 10 app
When your PC is ready to download and install Windows 10, the Get Windows 10 app should appear in the notification area of your taskbar (in the bottom-right corner of your screen). This app will allow you to reserve your copy of Windows 10, letting Microsoft know you’re interested in upgrading.
Step two: Download Windows 10 via Windows Update
Once reserved your Windows 10 download should be ready – if Windows doesn’t automatically download it open up Windows Update (you can do this by typing “Windows Update” into the Start Men of Windows 7 or the Start Screen of Windows 8), and you should find it there ready to be downloaded and installed.
For a more in depth guide, head over to How to install Windows 10 to find out the best way to prepare your PC for an upgrade to Windows 10, and what to do if you want to roll back to a previous version of Windows.
This will download and install Windows 10 as an upgrade over your previous Windows installation, keeping your files and settings intact. However if you want to perform a clean install of Windows 10 then check out our guide on how to install Windows 10 via USB or DVD.
How to download and install the Windows 10 October Update
The Windows 10 October 2018 Update brings a ton of exciting features to Windows 10 that make the already great OS even better. Features like the new Your Phone app are amazing for anyone with an Android phone, while features like the Cloud Clipboard will do wonders for anyone with multiple Windows 10 devices.
Windows 10 problems: how to fix them
If you’ve installed Windows 10, and you’re encountering any issues, then don’t worry as we are constantly updating our guide on how to fix Windows 10 problems.
If you don’t find a solution to your problem there, let us know and we’ll see if we can help.
How to get Windows 10 if it won’t install
If for some reason the Windows 10 update doesn’t show in Windows Update, don’t panic! Check out our guide on how to get Windows 10 if it won’t install.
How to dual boot Windows 10
If you’re not quite sold on Windows 10 and want to run it alongside another operating system such as Windows 8.1 or Linux, then you can multiboot Windows 10, allowing you to switch between systems when you turn on your PC.
It’s a good way of testing out Windows 10 before fully committing, or if you need to keep an older operating system on your PC so you can still use certain programs that won’t work in Windows 10.
If you’re interested in giving it a go, check out our comprehensive guide on how to multiboot Windows 10 with another operating system.
How to reinstall Windows 10
Normally, you’ll be able to use Windows 10 without any major problems. However, even if you know exactly how to use Windows 10, things can go wrong, so it’s worth knowing how to reinstall Windows 10.
This can also help speed up an ailing computer, and believe us when we say there’s nothing quite like using a PC with a fresh install of Windows 10. Many times, it’ll perform just like it did when you first built it or took it out of the box.
There are a number of options for reinstalling Windows 10, including a full reinstall, along with the more efficient restore and refresh methods.
To find out the best method for your needs check out our guide on how to reinstall Windows 10.
How to create a Microsoft account
Once you’ve installed Windows 10, to get the most out of it you should also create a Microsoft account. This not only allows you to log into Windows 10, but it also lets you buy and install apps from the Windows Store, as well as save your files and settings to the cloud.
How to delete Windows 7 or 8 after upgrading to Windows 10
When you install Windows 10, the previous version of Windows is saved in case you don’t like the new OS – or you encounter any problems. However, if you want to stick with Windows 10, then you can delete Windows 7 or Windows 8 to help free up some space.
How to run Windows 10 on a Mac
Are you a Mac user who’s not too keen on macOS 10.13 High Sierra and is looking enviously at all the new Windows 10 features? The good news is that it’s relatively simple to switch operating systems – just check out our guide to how to run Windows 10 on a Mac.
How to run Windows 10 on a virtual machine
You can also install Windows 10 on a virtual machine. This lets you run Windows 10 in a different operating system, letting you test it out without having to fully install it on your PC.
It’s pretty straightforward, all you need is a program like VMware Player and our guide to how to run Windows 10 on a virtual machine.
How to get more from Windows 10
Want to find out what else you can do with Windows 10? Our guide on getting more from Windows 10 takes you through some of the excellent hidden – and not so hidden – features of Microsoft’s new operating system.
How to uninstall Windows 10 and revert back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1
Windows 10 is a very good operating system, but you may find when you move from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 that Windows 10 isn’t for you.
Luckily moving back from Windows 10 to your previous version of Windows is relatively easy, and we show you how with our how to uninstall Windows 10 and revert back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 guide.
Now that it is installed we can look at how to use Windows 10 to its full potential. For example the Settings and Action Center in Windows 10 is a key part of the operating system, so knowing how to make the most of them can help transform your Windows 10 experience.
Windows 10 is now even easier and more secure to log into once you know how to use the new Windows Hello feature, which allows you to unlock your Windows 10 device with your fingerprint – or even using your face and a webcam!
Once you’ve installed Windows 10 and it’s running the way you want it to, it’s worth making a Windows 10 recovery disk, which will allow you to fix or reinstall Windows 10 should anything go wrong.
How to master File Explorer in Windows 10
The File Explorer is one of the most important tools in Windows 10, allowing you to view, browse and open the files stored on your hard drive.
Learning how to effectively use File Explorer will make using Windows 10 easier than ever, so check out our guide on how to master File Explorer in Windows 10.
How to use Microsoft Edge
Windows 10 comes with a brand new internet browser called Microsoft Edge. Edge is now the default way to get online, and it does quite a few things differently from Internet Explorer.
If you’re going to be using Edge as your main internet browser while using Windows 10, then make sure you check out our guide on how to use Microsoft Edge to get the most out of the new browser.
How to protect Windows 10 from viruses for free
The first thing you should do when you’re getting started with Windows 10 is make sure it’s protected from viruses.
Thankfully, Windows 10 comes with some pretty robust anti-virus and anti-malware software for free. To make sure your machine is secure, check out our how to protect Windows 10 from viruses for free guide.
How to manage Wi-Fi in Windows 10
Windows 10 comes with extensive Wi-Fi features – both old and new – so getting online wirelessly is easy and convenient.
However there are some new settings such as WiFi Sense which you should know about to make sure your wireless connection is as safe and secure as possible.
In our how to manage Wi-Fi in Windows 10 guide we look at all the settings you need to explore, as well as handy tips on managing your Wi-Fi network and recovering forgotten passwords.
How to use Family Safety in Windows 10
Windows 10 comes with a comprehensive set of parental control tools known as Microsoft Family Safety. These tools let you restrict children’s access to inappropriate websites and apps, as well as helping you control what times they use their Windows 10 device, as well as monitoring their behaviour.
Check out our how to use Family Safety in Windows 10 guide to find out how you can make sure using Windows 10 – and browsing the internet – is completely safe for the youngest members of your family.
How to use Cortana in Windows 10
Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, is one of the most exciting new features that Windows 10 offers, and it can revolutionise the way you interact with your computer.
Cortana will be able to respond to your voice, so as long as you have a device with a microphone, you can talk directly to Windows 10 to open programs, browse the web, change settings and a whole lot more.
You need to set Cortana up correctly before you start, though, so check out our guide on how to use Cortana to get started.
How to free up disk space in Windows
Keeping your hard drive free from clutter is a good way to ensure that Windows 10 continues to perform well.
In our how to free up disk space in Windows guide, we take you through a number of ways to easily free up disk space by removing unused files and programs.
How to use the Windows 10 touch keyboard
Windows 10 has been designed to work on touch screen devices as well as more conventional PCs, and the onscreen keyboard has been given an overhaul with improved autocorrect tools and new emojis. And, once Windows 10 Redstone 5 comes out, the keyboard will be beefed up by SwiftKey integration.
So if you’re running Windows 10 on a tablet PC, make sure you read our guide on how to make the most out of the Windows 10 touch keyboard.
How to use Windows 10’s Control Panel
As with previous versions of Windows, the Control Panel in Windows 10 is one of the most important – and powerful – tools that comes with the operating system. Getting to know the Control Panel is essential if you want full control over how your PC looks and behaves.
In Windows 10 the Control Panel has been given an overhaul, so check out our guide on how to use Windows 10’s Control Panel to find out what’s new.
How to customise the Windows 10 taskbar
The taskbar is an essential part of the Windows 10 desktop, and because you’ll be using it so often, it’s important that you customise it so it works just the way you want it to.
Check out our guide on how to customise the Windows 10 taskbar to find out the best ways to make the taskbar in Windows 10 work for you.
How to use Windows Update in Windows 10
Keeping Windows 10 up to date is essential to keeping it safe against security issues. The Windows Update tool in Windows 10 has been redesigned and improved, so to make sure the new operating system is updating when – and how – you want it to, make sure you check out our how to use Windows Update in Windows 10 guide.
How to use old programs in Windows 10
When you upgrade to a new computer, it can be incredibly frustrating when you find that older programs you’ve come to rely on don’t work right any more. If you keep running into this problem, don’t worry, you can fix it – you have the technology. Just follow our guide on how to run old programs on Windows 10.
How to use Twitter in Windows 10
If you’re a keen Twitter user then you’ll know that while the standard Twitter website does an OK job, if you’re serious about keeping up with all your followers and never missing a tweet, then you need something a bit more robust.
The official Twitter app for Windows 10 is an excellent tool for this, so check out our guide on how to use it to its full potential.
How to use Groove Music in Windows 10
Windows 10 comes with a new music playing app, which makes playing your tunes completely hassle-free. Best of all it means you can finally ditch that bloated iTunes once and for all!
To get the most out of this music playing app and turn your Windows 10 device into a digital jukebox, check out our guide on how to use Groove Music.
How to get gaming on Windows 10
All work and no play makes for a dull operating system and Windows 10 is no exception. Microsoft has baked in a ton of gaming features into Windows 10, making the best PC games even better. So, check out our how to get gaming on Windows 10 article to find out how your games collection can benefit.
How to play Xbox One games on a PC
If you’ve got an Xbox One, then a recent update to Windows 10 allows you to stream games from the console to your PC.
This is handy if you want to play a game but the TV your Xbox One is connected to is in use. Instead you can use your Windows 10 device to view and control your games from another room. It’s easy to do, as our how to play Xbox One games on a PC guide shows.
How to make Windows 10 awesome
Windows 10 is already pretty great, but as with previous versions of Windows there’s still plenty of scope for improvement. That’s why we’ve gathered together a range of tips on how to make Windows awesome – and the best thing is these tips can also be applied to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
100 Windows 10 tips and tricks
Do you really want to master Windows 10? If so then check out our 100 Windows 10 tips and tricks guide – we cover everything from tweaking the Start menu to more advanced hacks that can transform Windows 10.
Quick and easy Windows 10 tweaks
We’ve gathered together a selection of quick and easy tweaks for Windows 10 that can help improve your Windows 10 experience.
You don’t need to be a PC expert to try these tweaks out, as they are easy enough for anyone to try, but you’ll be amazed at what a difference they make.
With Windows 10 set up just the way you want it to, let’s look at ways to make using the operating system even easier.
10 ways to optimise your copy of Windows 10
Windows 10 has loads of productivity options, so your first port of call should be our list of 10 ways to optimise your copy of Windows 10 – it will transform Microsoft’s latest operating system and get it running the way you want it to.
How to speed up Windows 10
While Windows 10 is a fantastic, well optimized operating system, it can still slow down from time to time. Fortunately, you don’t need to throw up your arms in frustration and go out and buy a new computer when this happens – we went ahead and created a guide, showing you how to speed up Windows 10.
How to work with PDFs in Windows 10
The humble PDF is one of the most widely used file types in the World, so if you have spent any time on a computer then you’ve probably encountered one.
There are a ton of new features in Windows 10 that makes opening, editing and creating PDFs easier than ever before. For instance, in Windows 10 you can create PDFs from, well, anything by using the Microsoft Print to PDF option as a printer.
For more tips on how to use the new feature check out our how to work with PDFs in Windows 10 guide.
How to use virtual desktops in Windows 10
One of the best new features of Windows 10 is the ability to create virtual desktops and easily switch between them.
It can help keep your Windows 10 desktop from becoming too cluttered, and by placing shortcuts, apps and programs on other virtual desktops you can easily organise your workspace.
It’s easy to set it up, just check out our guide to using virtual desktops in Windows 10.
How to recover files in Windows 10 with File History
Windows 10 has a fantastic feature that saves multiple versions of your files, so if something goes wrong, you can easily revert back to an older version.
This feature, known as File History, is powerful, yet it’s not enabled by default. Our how to recover files in Windows 10 with File History guide will show you how to enable it, as well as everything you need to know to make the most out of this handy tool.
And, thanks to the new Timeline feature in the Windows 10 April Update, recovering files is easier than ever before. Just hit Win-key + Tab and you’ll be able to go back in time.
How to use the improved Action Center in Windows 10 Anniversary update
Notifications got a big overhaul in Windows 10, and since the Windows 10 Anniversary update they’ve been refined once again.
Notifications, and the Action Center they appear in, is now better than ever, so to see how to make the most out of the new changes, check out our guide on how to use the improved Action Center in Windows 10 Anniversary update.
How to disable Windows 10 notifications
Windows 10 notifications are useful – they can keep you up to date on what your apps are doing, when you receive new emails, upcoming birthdays events and much more.
However, they can get very annoying , which isn’t great if you’re trying to get some work done. Check out our guide on how to disable Windows 10 notifications to find out the best ways to tame those pop-ups when you’re working.
How to connect your phone to Windows 10
Connecting your smartphone up to your Windows 10 PC can be as simple as plugging in its USB lead, but you’re actually missing out on a lot of cool new features.
That’s because the new Windows Phone Companion tool gives you the power to synchronise your files, music and much more when you connect your phone.
It also allows Cortana to access your phone as well, and best of all you don’t need a Windows Phone device to use it – Android and iPhones are also supported.
How to use OneDrive in Windows 10
OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud computing service, has been given a huge overhaul in Windows 10, making it a key component of the new operating system.
This means it’s easier than ever to save your files to OneDrive and have them synchronised with all of your internet-connected devices.
Check out our guide on how to use OneDrive to find out how this service can change the way you work with documents in Windows 10.
How to safely clean Windows 10’s registry
Keeping the Windows 10 registry clean and optimized is a good way to keep your PC in tip-top shape, but it can get complicated – and it’s risky, too.
The registry is crucial to Windows 10 working correctly, so you should only mess around with it if you know what you’re doing. That’s why you should check out our guide on how to safely clean Windows 10’s registry, which will show you how to fix registry issues without putting your PC at risk.
Windows 10 command line tricks
The Windows Command Prompt is powerful yet often overlooked. It harks back to the days of DOS and the command-line, and continued to feature in early versions of Windows.
In our Windows 10 command line tricks guide, we show you have you can use the command prompt to unlock the full power of Windows 10.
How to install and use Linux Bash in Windows 10
A new feature of Windows 10 allows you to run certain Linux Bash commands and programs from inside Windows 10.
Not only does this make performing certain tasks faster, but it also allows you to run free, open source apps that were once only available in Linux distros.
As with previous version of Windows, in Windows 10 there are plenty of tools and features for customising the operating system to make it look and perform just the way you want it to.
How to customise Windows 10
If you want to personalise Windows 10 so that it looks and works exactly the way you want it to, then make sure you check out our guide to how to customise Windows 10.
Share desktop backgrounds between PCs with Windows 10
You can give all of your Windows 10 devices a consistent look by sharing the desktop theme across any PC or tablet that you’re logged in to.
Check out our in-depth guide on how to share desktop backgrounds between PCs with Windows 10 to find out more.
Turn Windows 10 into Windows 98
If you’re nostalgic for the days of Windows past, you’ll be happy to know that with a few simple tweaks you can make Windows 10 look like Windows 98. While this guide will show you how to run legacy programs, you hopefully won’t run into as many BSODs as Windows 98 was notorious for.
So, crack your knuckles and prepare to relive your glory days in our guide of how to get the Windows 98 experience in Windows 10.
Having problems with Windows 10? Don’t worry, he have solutions to many of the most common Windows 10 complaints.
How to fix Windows 10 problems
For the most part, Windows 10 is a smooth and easy-to-use platform, and it’s easily the best version of Windows since Windows 7 – but it’s not perfect.
There are some problems you’re going to run into from time to time – most of them will be minor inconveniences, but there are some bigger problems as well. Luckily, we’ve gathered together 100 common Windows 10 problems and will show you how to solve them.
How to report Windows 10 problems
If you do run into problems or bugs then it’s always worth reporting them to Microsoft. By letting Microsoft what’s gone wrong with Windows 10 it can work on fixes to make the operating system even better.
Windows 10 comes with lots of useful error reporting tools, and all the information you provide is anonymous, so you don’t have to worry about Microsoft knowing too much. Check out our guide on how to report problems in Windows 10 for everything you need to know.
How to fix Windows 10 October 2018 Update problems
The Windows 10 October 2018 Update brings a wealth of improvements – from productivity features like cloud clipboard, to gaming-focused tools like DirectX ray tracing. It’s a brilliant update, but it’s not without issue.
If you’ve been running into problems with the October Update, you’re not alone. But, you can check out our guide on Windows 10 October 2018 Update problems and how to fix them.
How to fix Windows 10 April Update Problems
If you’ve upgraded to the Windows 10 April Update, and you’re experiencing problems, you’re not alone. The latest release of Windows 10 has seen a bevy of problems, from hardware incompatibility to users’ desktops disappearing.
If you’ve been experiencing problems with the latest update, you can check out our guide of Windows 10 April Update problems and how to fix them.
How to improve your Windows 10 laptop or tablet’s battery life
If you use Windows 10 on a laptop or tablet then you can eke out some much needed extra battery life thanks to Windows 10’s suite of power-saving options.
Check out our guide on how to improve your Windows 10 laptop or tablet’s battery life to find out how you can make your Windows 10 device last longer.
How to use Windows 10 privacy settings
There’s a lot to love about Windows 10, but it also has a very well known issues with privacy. From sharing your WiFi with other people, to passing on information to Microsoft, there’s plenty of ways to tighten up privacy in Windows 10.
That’s why our guide to how to use Windows 10 privacy settings is an essential read – we’ll show you how to make sure you’re only sharing the information you’re comfortable with.
How to fix Windows 10 privacy issues with O&O Shutup 10
If you’re still looking for ways to make sure your privacy is respected in Windows 10, then check out our guide to how to fix Windows 10 privacy issues with O&O Shutup 10.
This tutorial will take you through the steps to setting up the free O&O Shutup 10 service, which will help make sure your data remains private in Windows 10.
How to fix audio issues in Windows 10
Some people who have upgraded to Windows 10 have found that they are experiencing annoying audio issues.
If your PC is no longer playing sound properly, then check out our guide on how to fix audio issues in Windows 10 for a solution.
How to reinstall the Realtek HD Audio Manager
Out of all the drivers on your PC, one of the ones most likely to break is your audio driver. This could leave you sitting in the quiet as you frustratingly try to figure out what’s going on.
Luckily, we here at TechRadar created a guide showing you how to reinstall the Realtek HD Audio Manager.