Windows 10 - part 1|
by Alan Zisman
Polish translation by Marek Murawski ~ Spanish translation by Laura Mancini ~ Czech translation by Catherine Desroches ~ Georgian translation by Ana Mirilashvili ~ Croatian translation by Milica Novak
last updated 2023-01-21
|Contents:||This is part one of a two-part
introduction to working with Windows 10. You can find Part
Part 1 introduces you to the Windows 10 user interface - to ways it is similar and different from earlier versions of Windows, in particular to Windows 7. Part 2 focuses on customizing Windows 10 and making it work for you.
This workshop assumes that you have some basic skills and comfort with your computer - if you are not comfortable working with the computer clipboard (cut/copy/paste) or working with files, folders, and drives, you may want to look at my notes on Getting more comfortable with your computer (and consider attending that workshop at Brock House).
A Bit of History
Windows 10 was released in July 2015 and made available as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users until the end of July 2016. It was Microsoft's follow-up to the unpopular Windows 8 (2012), and is an attempt to combine features of both Windows 8 and Windows 7.
|Further to the right you'll
find a set of small white icons for
important hardware features: a battery icon shows (sort of) how much
battery life remains. Hover your mouse over it to get a more accurate
report - in this case, 50% charge remaining, an estimated 4 hr 31
minutes. Beside that is the 'fan' icon commonly used for WiFi (wireless
networking). The stronger the WiFi strength, the more of the fan is
coloured white. Hovering the mouse shows the name of the connected WiFi
network. Beside that is a speaker icon - indicating volume level. The
letters ENG/US indicates my keyboard is set for English Language/US.
Beside that is the date and time.|
With each of these icons, you can (Left) Click or Right-click for more information and options.
Note that there are 'hidden' icons in this section. Click the ^ symbol (to the left of the battery icon) to view these. If you plug in a USB memory stick, external drive, or camera or phone, you may want to check here before removing the device - check for an icon that lets you safely remove the device!
Finally, there's an icon in the far right-corner - on the Taskbar image above, it's a white square with lines on it, and the number 3. This is a new Windows 10 feature - the Notification and Action Centre.
The number '3' indicates that I have 3 notifications.
Notice in the image to the left, that after I've clicked to open it, the icon is now an empty voice bubble-like square. No lines, no number '3'. Instead, it's opened up to show two sections:
On the top I've got a couple of notifications - two unread Mail messages. Other times, there might be notifications from Windows, saying there are updates to install, for instance. Or from my security software suggesting I haven't scanned for malware in a while. (Yet again, you can customize what sends notifications. I turn off Facebook notifications, for instance). See: How to use the notifications from the Action Center
Down below is a set of rectangles - Quick Actions. Quick ways to get to things you might want to adjust in a hurry - Airplane Mode, shifted colours for night reading. What happens when you click on one depends on the item - Night Light turns on or off. Clicking the screen brightness item raises the brightness by 10% with each click. Click the Network item, though and a list of nearby WiFi hotspots opens up.
Clicking Tablet Mode changes your Desktop and Start Menu from the standard mode for laptops and desktops to the standard mode for tablets - Windows 8 style. Don't worry if you choose something you don't like - another click puts it back.
Yet again, the rectangles that show here are customizable. You can rearrange the order and choose which ones you want to see - or hide. (See: How to access, use and customize quick actions and How to use the notifications from the Action Center).
Note that the Taskbar can be set to 'automatically hide'. If you don't see the Taskbar, move your mouse pointer down to the bottom of the screen. It should pop back up. Doing that gives you more screen space for your program windows - but it can be annoying. You decide!