Microsoft continues to change the Windows 10 Settings with each release, eventually aiming to phase out Control Panel. With the Creators Update, we’re going to take a look to see what new Settings features are available.
From the night light, easier troubleshooting, and the gaming section, Settings has seen some great improvements, alongside all the other exciting enhancements the Creators Update brings.
If we’ve missed anything that you think is worth pointing out, head to the comments section and let us know.
Quick Tip: You can easily access Settings at any time by pressing Windows key + I. Below we’ve listed some new features of the Creators Update, along with where to find them on the Settings overview page.
1. Night Light
Third-party apps like F.lux have been around for a while, claiming to help improve your sleep habits.
Now Microsoft has integrated the feature into Windows 10. Accessible via System > Display > Night light settings, the Night Light functionality will change the color temperature of your screen.
Click Turn on now and use the slider to adjust to your liking. You can set your own levels or schedule it to your local sunset by sliding Schedule night light to On.
2. Storage Sense
If you find yourself often struggling for free storage space, or just want to keep things tidy, you’ll like the new Storage Sense feature.
Find it in System > Storage.
Beneath Storage sense, slide to On to enable the feature. Then click Change how we free up space. Here you can choose to enable and disable particular functions. At the moment it only deletes temporary files that apps aren’t using and files in the recycle bin for more than 30 days, but let’s hope it expands in a future update.
3. Shared Experiences
This feature launched with the Anniversary Update; you could begin a task on one device and continue on another. It originally only supported Microsoft devices but has now been extended to Android too, though the number of developers supporting it is minimal at the moment.
It’s enabled by default on System > Shared experiences and here you can also choose who you share or receive from. My devices only is more limited, while Everyone nearby will allow those in the vicinity to connect to your computer.
This isn’t an entirely new feature per se, but the Creators Update has given it an improved interface and the nice ability to easily save your theme and switch between custom ones.
To get started, head to Personalization > Themes. Here you can click elements like Background and Sounds to customize them. Once satisfied, click Save theme to do exactly that. You can also click Get more themes in the Store to browse the growing collection of downloadable themes.
5. Installing Apps
You can now choose where you download apps from. Microsoft claims that installing only apps from their official Windows Store will keep it running smoothly. This feature is likely most useful for those of you with multiple people using your computer.
To adjust this setting, go to Apps > Apps & features and use the Installing apps dropdown. Allow apps from anywhere is the default, but you can also switch to Warn me before installing apps from outside the Store and Allow apps from the Store only.
6. Dynamic Lock
Dynamic Lock is a feature that will automatically lock your computer when it detects that your phone has moved away from it.
To get started, go to Devices > Bluetooth & other devices and then click Add Bluetooth or other device to pair your phone. When done, go back to Settings and go to Accounts > Sign-in options and tick Allow Windows to detect when you’re away and automatically lock the device.
The Gaming section is brand new and has a whole host of customizable features. Some of this was available in the Xbox app previously, but now it’s more easily accessible via Settings.
Game Bar allows you to enable the in-game overlay, along with changing the keyboard shortcuts to perform certain actions like taking a screenshot or turning your microphone on and off. Note, however, that the Game Bar can slow down your system. If you’re struggling with performance issues, try to disable this feature.
Game DVR lets you turn on background recording so that you never miss a great gaming moment, along with the ability to change how long this runs for and the capture quality.
Finally, Game Mode lets you enable the self-titled feature, which supposedly helps improve your game performance.
We’ve tested Game Mode to analyze those claims, so check that out to decide if you want to use it.
8. Windows Update
Accessible via Update & security, some of the functionality here has been tweaked. If you use active hours, which stops your system restarting during a specific time period, you can now specify a range of up to 18 hours.
If you click Restart options you can also choose to Show more notifications so you get a warning that the system is about to restart.
Finally, there’s a great new Troubleshoot section which will help you resolve all sorts of issues that you might be having with your system, like blue screens or network problems. Click the relevant troubleshooter and it’ll launch to try and automatically fix any issues.
Evolution of Windows 10 Settings
Windows 10 is an ever-evolving operating system and the Settings pages are going to keep changing. It’s a good idea to check in after every big update to see what new stuff is available.
For more information, check out our ultimate guide to controlling Windows 10 via Settings, which goes into full detail on every section.
What is your favorite new Settings feature? Is there something you’d like to see Microsoft add?
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