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Make Windows 10 work the way you want it to

Whether you love or hate Microsoft's Windows 10, you have to live with it. The continually changing and improving operating system is on about half a billion computers.

So, odds are, you're using Windows 10 at least part of each day. There's an upside to that: Windows 10 is a lot faster and more secure than many previous versions of Windows.

There are plenty of downsides to Windows 10, though. (If you have examples you'd like to tell us about, post your story in the comments.)

You may know, for instance, that Windows 10 takes loads of your private information unless you actively tell it not to. Windows 10's internet browser, Edge, was also quite slow in adding extensions, which are popular in other browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

But did you know that Microsoft also got rid of some of your favorite features with Windows 10? That's something Microsoft has done for a long time. As it adds features and functions to Windows, it gets rid of older ones.

Keep reading. We'll tell you how to get some of your favorite, old Windows features back.

Bonus: Get Microsoft’s new cloud-based email features before everyone else!

Ad-Free Games

One of the great joys of earlier versions of Windows was its free games. After all, who hasn't briefly escaped from the stresses of the workday by playing a game of Solitaire?

Everyone has. You'd sit at your desk and discreetly open up the card game, where you match cards by numbers and face.

Of course, Solitaire is so addictive you can easily waste an entire day playing it. Still, when Microsoft ditched Solitaire and Mindsweeper a few years ago, a lot of people were in an uproar.

Fortunately, Microsoft brought back Solitaire with Windows 10, although it has ads. And you can find Mindsweeper in the Microsoft Store; it, too, has ads.

You can pay for the games and get rid of the ads. Or, better yet, try free, online alternatives like Solitaireforfree.com and Minesweeperforfree.com.

Bonus: Download 1,000 ad-free solitaire games for free

Note: Make sure you have a rock-solid internet security system installed before you download anything.

Libraries

Do you remember libraries in older versions of Windows? Maybe you loved using them.

Many people didn't. For many Windows users, libraries was just another confusing layer on top of files and folders where you could lose documents.

However, if you thrive on being organized, libraries was really useful. For example, say you're an administrative assistant for a coder, a marketing executive, and your company's social media expert.

You could save documents related to each of them in libraries called, Coding, Marketing and Social Media. Then, you can create folders and files, even if they are related to the same exact topic. For instance, you can save a document titled, "August 2017 Team Meeting." Each folder would be under each person's library.

Microsoft hasn't gotten rid of libraries, but you may think they did. You have to dig around a bit to find them.

Here's how to do it: Start >> File Explorer >> right-click on the left pane >> click on Show Libraries >> double click on Libraries.

Lost product keys

I'm sure you've realized this by now; keeping track of all your purchased software keys, codes and licenses can be a pain. These long and random set of characters can be printed on a sticker label, an old software CD case or stashed in an email somewhere.

Not having these activation keys can be a huge problem if you have to set up your computer again. You might have to search and rummage through your emails, documents, CD cases and manuals just to find them.

A program called Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder is a free download that finds the product key you used to install your Windows operating system.

It also has a community sourced database file that retrieves product keys for other software products and even unbootable Windows installs.

Although Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder has a paid version, the free version can retrieve keys from over 300 programs, Windows 7, Windows 8, even Windows 10 and Microsoft Office and unbootable Windows machines, which can help you install the programs you need on your computer.

More stories you can't miss:

Stop Windows 10 updates from crashing your PC

How to try Windows 10 S for free

3 free downloads for optimum Windows security

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