TechStarters Logo
Blog Home
How to Optimize Your Windows 10 Experience

How to Optimize Your Windows 10 Experience

Now that Windows 10 has been in full swing on various home and business computers for a little over a year, it’s no surprise that users have made a list of general annoyances that may become bothersome over the course of using an operating system. There’s always features an operating system might add that we the users just simply didn’t ask for.

Well, there’s no need to just deal with those features that you may dream of finding a workaround for, or wondering where the particular setting is to turn something off. Chances have it that one of the following listed features below might have become a bother to you over time. So without further explanation, here’re four features of Windows 10 you can push aside, reduce, or avoid entirely to optimize your Windows 10 experience.

1. Setting up the default browser you want.
This might be a no-brainer to the tech savvy, but all Windows 10 users start with the new Microsoft browser called Microsoft Edge. There is a way to set up your preferred browser to come up every time, without Microsoft Edge getting in the way. Windows 10 manages default applications slightly differently from its previous installments. When you install and set up your preferred browser and then select the option to set is the default browser, Microsoft Edge might still pop up even though you have disabled Edge.

So what can you do? The best method to avoid launching Edge is to modify the default file type associations, which can be done by going to the classic style Control Panel, then opening the Set All Defaults dialog box. Open Control Panel, click Programs, then click “Set your default programs” under the Default Programs header. Click “Set this program as default” to make your desired browser launch every time you want it to.

2. Reduce the number of telemetry settings.
Windows 10 happens to share a significant amount of telemetry information with Microsoft throughout your user session. Generally, this information is in regards to how well your PC operates, along with a plethora of information about how you use Windows 10. Although on Windows 10, by default, sends a maximum amount of information, such as crash reports which may or may not include sensitive information. There is an option to override the default settings and select Customize, but if you slide that particular switch, you’re only reducing the telemetry settings at a minimum.

So how do you reduce how much information Windows sends? Simply switch your settings to “Basic”. To navigate to “Basic”, you have to first open the settings app and then click Privacy, then click on Feedback & Diagnostics. Click on the arrow at the right of the “Send your device data to Microsoft” to see the full list. Lastly, just select the setting called “Basic” and close out your settings.

3. Organize your Windows updates.
Among the assorted new Windows 10 features, one of the largest changes is the way Windows manages its updates. Microsoft has now decided to send updates as whole packages which are installed automatically, without an option to reject any particular single update. A potential issue you might deal with is automatic updates installing when you simply cannot install them at the time. They can essentially get in the way and become very inconvenient.

So what’s the fix? Fortunately, Windows makes this issue an easy one. Open Settings, click Update & Security, then on the Windows Update page click “Advanced Options.” Under the heading “Choose how updates are installed,” adjust the setting from “Automatic” to “Notify to schedule restart.” With this setting selected, the next time Windows downloads a package of updates, you will see a notification for a time which you can select for the updates to be installed.

4. Have Cortana leave you alone.
Finally, if you don’t wish to utilize Microsoft’s new personal assistant Cortana when you access your search box, there’s a way to disable her. With disabling Cortana in the search box, your taskbar will stay focused on local files and settings.

How do you disable Cortana? If you happened to miss the “No, thanks” option and turned on Cortana from the beginning, you can actually change your mind at any time. Click in the search box on your taskbar to bring up Cortana. Click on the menu in the upper left corner, click Notebook, then click Settings. Slide the top switch to “Off” and Cortana is then disabled until you decide you need her again. A persistent annoyance to some but easy enough to resolve.

Managing your version of Windows 10 by configuring it the way you want it to work is the best way to optimize your operating system experience. Windows 10 wishes to make your experience the best possible, so with these few adjustments, you can optimize your productivity without the headaches of features you simply do not need.