Installing Windows 10 is nothing hard. The main work starts after installing the operating system. Most of us first install all the drivers and software that we need to use the system on a daily basis. Other than installing the software, there are a few Windows settings that you need to take a look at and manage for a better experience. Here are some of those settings.
1. Default Apps
Windows 10 uses its own apps as the default apps for various things like browsing, emails, music, etc. When compared to third-party applications like Chrome, Thunderbird, VLC, etc., the built-in apps are not that good.
The first thing you need to do is set the default apps manually. This eliminates the need to change default apps every time an application asks you to choose it as the default app.
To do that, open the Settings app, and go to “Apps -> Default Apps.” On the right panel, select a new default app under each category. If you are not seeing your favorite app, make sure it is installed.
2. Startup Apps
After installing Windows, we will need to install all the applications we need for our daily usage. Most applications add themselves to the startup list. Once added, these applications will automatically start with Windows. The more applications there are in the startup list, the longer the Windows startup time will be.
More often than not, you don’t need all the applications starting with Windows. Disabling applications you don’t need will decrease the Windows 10 startup time.
To remove an application from the startup list, open the Settings app, go to the “Apps -> Startup” page and toggle the switch next to the application to Off position.
3. Active Hours
One of the most common complaints about Windows 10 is that it automatically restarts the system to install updates. You can avoid this behavior by enabling and configuring the Active Hours feature.
To enable the Active Hours feature, open the Settings app, and go to “Update and Security -> Windows Update.” On the right panel, click on the “Change Active Hours” button.
Next, click on the “Change” link, and set the active hours. If you want Windows to manage the active hours based on your device usage, toggle the button under “Automatically adjust active hours for this device based on activity” section.
4. Delivery Optimization
To make app and Windows updates downloads faster, Windows 10 uses something called Delivery Optimization. Using this feature, Windows can download or upload updates from other local and Internet-connected PCs.
Windows automatically checks for the authenticity of the downloads and uploads via Delivery Optimization so that you don’t have to worry about corrupted downloads. If you don’t like this behavior, you can disable the Delivery Optimization feature.
To do that, open the Settings app, go to the “Update and Security -> Delivery Optimization” page and toggle the switch under “Allow Downloads from other PCs” to the Off position.
5. Find My Device
Just like with mobile phones, Windows 10 has a built-in device-tracking feature called “Find my Device.” If you are using a laptop, then enabling this feature will help you a lot when needed.
To enable the Find my Device feature, open the Settings app, and go to the “Update & Security -> Find my device” page. On the right panel, click on the Change button, and then toggle the switch to the On position.
If you are not seeing the option or if it is greyed out, make sure you are logged in with your Microsoft account.
6. Enhanced Search
In Windows 10 v1903, Microsoft introduced a new feature called Enhanced Search Mode. When enabled, Windows will crawl your entire system so that you can search and open almost any file or folder directly from the start menu.
To enable the Enhanced Mode, open the Settings app, and go to the “Search -> Searching Windows” page. On the right page, select the “Enhanced” option under the Find My Files section. If you don’t want a particular folder to be indexed or crawled, click on the “Add an excluded folder” button, and add that specific folder.
Do keep in mind that this feature, when first enabled, can increase CPU consumption and decrease battery life. This is particularly true if you have a bigger hard disk with a lot of files. Once the initial indexing is done, Windows will manage the crawl data by adding and removing changes.
7. Privacy Options
Windows 10 has a dedicated section for all your privacy settings. Once you install Windows 10, it is better to check all the privacy settings so that you know what you are sharing with Microsoft.
To manage privacy settings, open the Settings app and go to the “Privacy” section. The entire section is divided into two main categories, i.e. Windows Permissions and App Permissions. Go through each page and reject the permissions you think are unnecessary. Almost all the privacy settings show a brief explanation of what they do. Read them and make a decision.
Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about managing the above settings after installing Windows 10.