Windows 10 is one of the best and most versatile operating systems available today. However, even the best platforms can come with their share of irritating problems.
Windows 10 users have been complaining about annoying features for quite some time now. Untimely updates, automatic defaults to an unwanted search engine and annoying password logins are only a few examples.
If this is all sounding a little too familiar, keep reading. We have a few tips to help you fix the seven most irritating features and keep them from creating further annoyances. No need to take your whole system apart, just a few little tweaks in your settings menu should do the trick.
PC problems? We've got you covered with Kim's NEW weekly Windows Scoop free newsletter, designed to help you master your Windows gadgets. Click or tap to learn about the latest Windows updates, hidden tricks and security tips!
Stop inconvenient software update reboots
It's probably happened to you at least once, twice, or 10 times by now. There you are right in the middle of completing an important presentation for tomorrow or streaming your favorite series and it happens. Windows begins to automatically install a new update and suggests that you reboot your computer right then and there. How convenient.
Thankfully, there are a couple of ways for you to keep Windows 10 from updating on your precious time. First, if you go to your settings menu you can set time parameters with the 'active hours' feature for updates as they come in. That way your computer will not be able to automatically update itself during those busy hours.
Or, you can always pause them altogether. Yes, you can put a halt on these updates for up to 35 days if you so desire. Simply go to your settings menu, choose the Windows updates field and go to the advanced options. From there, you can toggle the Pause Updates option and switch it to On.
Cortana is compromising your security
The problem is Cortana is always listening and that can spell disaster if you're not careful. Unfortunately, a flaw has been found which can allow hackers to break into a Windows 10 computer using Cortana's voice commands, even while it's locked. This means that anyone can issue voice commands to Cortana and force it into downloading malicious malware.
You can stop Cortana from putting your personal data at risk by simply removing Cortana from your lock screen and teach it to only respond to your voice alone.
- Go to the talk to Cortana option found in your settings menu.
- Under Hey Cortana, turn the Let Cortana respond to Hey Cortana switch to on.
- Next, click the link labeled, learn how I say Hey Cortana. This will allow you to go through the voice recognition training.
- From here, click on the Cortana start button and repeat the six provided phrases. This will get Cortana familiar with your voice.
- After the training is complete you can now go back to talk to Cortana in the settings menu and enable the try to respond only to me option.
Change search from Bing to Google (or your preferred search engine)
Whether you prefer Bing, Google or Yahoo, Windows 10 has no right to choose your default search engine for you. Windows 10 has Bing set as the default search engine for Microsoft Edge, but that may not sit well with a majority of users who much rather have Google instead.
So, here's how you can change things up a bit.
- Simply start by searching Google.com.
- Click on the three dots at the top right corner to go to settings.
- Scroll to the bottom and choose View Advanced Settings.
- Go down the list until you find the search in the address bar option. Click it and select Add New.
- Click on Google and chose, Add as Default. Done.
If you prefer to keep your computer secure, but hate having to constantly type in a super long, secure password you have the ability to reset it to a simple PIN. Your PIN is only four digits long and doesn't require any complicated parameters such as special characters, or mixed case letters, just numerals. It may not sound too secure, but it certainly makes life easier.
Setting up your PIN is pretty simple. Go to Settings >> Accounts >> Sign in options. From there, click the Add button under PIN. Enter in any PIN of your choice and restart to give it a try.
The start menu is too small or too big
The start menu acts as the central hub for everything you do on Windows 10. You start with it and end with it. Because of that, it's default look can seem very stock. Users have often complained about the default size of the start menu being either too big or too small, but don't realize how easily they customize it to their liking.
You can simply drag it and it'll stay the size you set it as. How? Easy.
Click on the Start menu and move your cursor to the top edge of it until it shows as a two-sided arrow. Click, hold and drag to resize the menu to your preferred size and let go. Pretty easy, right?
Windows 10 won't let you watch DVDs
By now you've probably noticed that Windows 10 won't play DVDs and Windows media player has been removed as well. While Microsoft offers an official DVD playback option, the reviews don't seem favorable since it costs $15 and seems to have persistent problems.
Fortunately, there's a better option available that can have you watching DVDs easily and free of charge. Just simply download the VLC video player. Be sure to download the desktop app instead of the Windows Store version, which won't support DVDs or Blu-Ray discs.
Windows won't stay quiet
Windows has developed a habit of announcing everything you touch with an actual voice. It sounds like the plot of a weird horror movie. Windows will record and recite any text that you type into the Cortana Search Box. This can seem funny at first, but after a while, it can get pretty annoying.
People have complained about this over time but never thought there was anything they could do about it. Well, it turns out that there is. It's possible that you may have inadvertently turned on the Narrator feature, which is used by visually impaired users to better navigate the system without having to type, just talk.
To turn the Narrator off, you can either repeat the keyboard combination, CTRL + Windows Key + Enter or go to the Narrator settings app and tap exit. To keep the Narrator from accidentally coming on again, go back to the settings >> General and uncheck the Enable the shortcut to launch Narrator box. Problem solved.
Why just uninstalling apps isn't enough to keep your data safe
Despite how it looks, getting rid of an application from your device is only the beginning. The developers of these apps don't just benefit from the users they attract, but the data they provide as well — and purging an app without considering your data could put your private information at risk. That's why you won't want to miss our insider tips on how to cleanly break away from any app you delete — no matter how much data you may have shared with it.