7 Features I Wish Windows 10 Had (Done Right)

Joe Keeley 03-02-2016

Windows 10 is a great operating system, but there’s no doubt that it’s imperfect. Whether it’s features that are missing entirely, or existing ones which need improving, there’s still work for Microsoft to do on this ever-evolving platform.


From forced updates to a confusing user interface, parental controls to data mining, these are all the things that we wish Windows 10 had done right.

Please be sure to share what features you wish Windows 10 had done right in the comments section below.

1. Update Flexibility

One of the most controversial things about Windows 10 is that it forces you to receive all Windows updates automatically Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Updates will change in Windows 10. Right now you can pick and choose. Windows 10, however, will force updates onto you. It has advantages, like improved security, but it can also go wrong. What's more... Read More , whether you want them or not. You also don’t even get to decide when you want the updates downloaded, which has been a pain for those with limited bandwidth.

Microsoft wants to have everyone running a unified version of Windows The Latest Windows 10 Version Won't Be the Last One What is the latest Windows 10 version? How long is it supported? And why did Microsoft switch to a service model? Answers within! Read More and forcing updates is one way to ensure that. It makes sense from a security and ease of development viewpoint, but reduces flexibility for the end user.



Windows Insiders test the updates first before they get rolled onto Home users, but this isn’t foolproof. There have been instances on previous operating systems where Microsoft has released a botched update that did more harm than good for some users.

Removing the ability to select which updates you want and when is a definite step back, but it might not be something we ever see changed. Even including notes with the updates, so you actually know what has been changed, would be a reasonable step in the right direction.

2. Virtual Desktop

Windows 10 finally saw the introduction of virtual desktops How to Increase Your Virtual Desktop Space Feeling overwhelmed by all the windows you need open for various tasks or jobs? If this windows clutter causes you stress, virtual desktops are for you. Read More , a feature which power users have been after for a long time, especially since it’s available on Mac and Linux.

While it was always available through third-party applications, it’s great to have virtual desktops built in to the operating system. Press Win Key + Tab to bring up Task View, then select New desktop to create your additional desktops. For example, you could have one desktop for all your work-related windows and another for your entertainment. But there’s room for improvement.


virtual desktops

It would be good to be able to rename the desktops (currently they’re just Desktop 1, Desktop 2, and so on) and also re-order them. Another nice to have feature would be to be able to give each virtual desktop a unique wallpaper; this is possible with a multiple monitor setup, which virtual desktops essentially replicate without the hardware. Even something small like a consistent, optional indicator icon to show what desktop you’re currently using would be handy. These aren’t major enhancements, but they’d all add value to make the feature even better.

3. Unified Settings

The Control Panel has long been the central base for all settings options in Windows, but this started to change in Windows 8 with the introduction of PC Settings. In Windows 10, this became the Settings app The Windows 10 Settings Guide: How to Do Anything and Everything Do you know your way around the Settings app in Windows 10? Here's everything you need to know. Read More .

Microsoft has said it eventually plans to do away with the Control Panel Why Microsoft Is Killing the Windows Control Panel The Control Panel is being decommissioned. In Windows 10, the Settings app has adopted most of its features in a more stylish and mobile-friendly interface. Is that really necessary? Read More , but Windows 10 still offers both in unison and it’s not clear why. There are some things which can only be done in the Control Panel Unlock Windows Potential: Control Panel Demystified If you want to be the master of your Windows experience, the Control Panel is where it's at. We untangle the complexity of this power tool. Read More , others only in Settings. There’s even stuff that is available on both, like program management and network setup, which is confusing.


Windows 10 Settings panel

It’s clear from design elements, like the spacing, font size and sliders that Settings was designed with portable device users in mind. That’s fine, but for desktop users it’s a lot of wasted screen estate and reduced control. Even something basic like changing your wallpaper is less powerful than it used to be; you used to be able to put them on a time rotation, select folder paths from a dropdown, and see more thumbnails than your six most recent wallpapers.

Personally, I don’t think the Control Panel can be beat and Settings in Windows 10 is a step back.

4. Consistent User Interface

An operating system is more than just functionality. The design matters a lot too, both in terms of accessibility and aesthetics. Besides, it’s something you probably see every day, you want it to look good.


Sadly, Windows 10 is all over the place when it comes to the user interface, opting for a variety of different designs that don’t work together for a unified style. We’ve even found a number of traces of Windows XP within 10 5 Traces of Windows XP Inside Windows 10 Revealed Windows 10 wasn't created from scratch. If you look closely, You will find traces of past Windows versions. We'll show you remnants of Windows XP, which survived 14 years of Windows evolution. Read More .

windows 10 context menus

Just take the context menus, for example. Right click a program on the taskbar and then right click empty space on the taskbar – two different menu designs right next to each other. There’s stark differences when it comes to classic and modern apps, but even the latter isn’t consistent between itself. For example, hamburger menus can behave differently between apps. Elsewhere, the icon set is incomplete; one arrow even has misaligned pixels.

It’s all sloppy and should have been rectified before release to create a singular look and feel for Windows 10.

5. Tighter Privacy

Perhaps it’s not surprising in the modern world, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating that Windows 10 is more invasive on our privacy by default.

Microsoft rejected concerns over privacy Microsoft Rejects Windows 10 Privacy Concerns, Project Spark Goes Free... [Tech News Digest] Microsoft counters Windows 10 criticism, Project Spark will soon be completely free, the iPhone 6s may actually be waterproof, Facebook suffers another major outage, Coca-Cola pays for emoji, and The X-Files is back. Read More , but without a doubt, a lot of data is being shared in Windows 10. Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, says that information about you is being collected so that the product will work better for your needs. Cynics, or maybe just realists, will say that this data is being collected to be mined and used for advertisement targeting How to Ban Windows 10 Ads & NSFW Content from Your Desktop Windows 10 may be crossing a line with desktop ads and NSFW content. Microsoft and third-party developers can push promotional material directly onto your desktop. We show you how you can defend yourself. Read More .

While some have to be opted into, many Windows 10 settings are automatically running 7 Default Windows 10 Settings You Should Check Immediately Microsoft made some questionable decisions with Windows 10. Some of its default settings should not be left alone. We show you how to improve privacy, conserve bandwidth, reduce distraction, and lots more. Read More from day one.

Windows 10 Privacy Personalized Ads

We’ve previously published everything to know about Windows 10’s privacy Everything You Need to Know About Windows 10's Privacy Issues While Windows 10 has some issues that users need to be aware of, many claims have been blown out of proportion. Here's our guide to everything you need to know about Windows 10's privacy issues. Read More , which summarizes some of the security claims and how to get control over it. The best way is to press Win Key + I to bring up Settings, then click Privacy and navigate through all the different categories, turning each feature on and off as you desire. But for an average user, one who is likely to use the Express OS installation, they’ll probably never come across these settings and won’t be aware of the data that is being collected.

Privacy is something to worry about Windows 10 Is Watching: Should You Be Worried? Since its release, Windows 10 has been dogged by rumors concerning user privacy. Some of these are accurate, whereas others are myths. But where does Windows 10 stand on privacy, really? Read More and it would have been better to see these data collection features things you had to actively opt into, rather than the other way around.

6. Greater Local Market Support

Before Windows 10 was released, Microsoft was crowd sourcing ideas for features Microsoft Are Crowd Sourcing Ideas - Top Requests For Windows 10 Microsoft have been taking requests from users on what they want to see in Windows 10 and we've compiled some of the top suggestions they've received. Read More that people wanted to see. By a long mile, those suggestions with the most votes were those which gave support to the local markets. For example, the desire for a Persian calendar garnered tens of thousands of votes, and Microsoft obliged. However, where Windows 10 falls down is in the regions in which Cortana can be used.


Currently, Cortana can only be used in specific countries, like the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Italy. With only 11 countries supported by Cortana, that’s a drop in the ocean compared to Windows 10’s global availability. To Microsoft’s credit, it does aim to continue adding more countries to the list. For example, Australia and India have been added since launch.

There’s definitely demand for further support, but Microsoft wants to adjust Cortana for each language and culture before rolling it out further. Nevertheless, it would have been good to see a greater local market support at launch.

7. Parental Controls

Computers, tablets and mobiles are all common devices nowadays and children will often be given access to them from an early age. However, not everything out there is appropriate for children, so it’s understandable that some parents will want to use parental controls to limit what content is accessible.

Windows 8 handled it well with Family Safety Internet Safety For Your Kids: Enable Parental Control on Windows 8 The Internet opens great possibilities and countless risks, especially for children. Windows 8 has a built-in parental control called Family Safety. It enables the system administrator to monitor the activity of other users. Read More , but there was still room for improvement. Sadly, it seems to have taken a step back with Windows 10.


Firstly, every account added to Family Safety now needs to have an email address associated with it, which seems pointless for young ones and an unnecessary extra step. Secondly, if you want to block apps or games on their age rating, you can’t do that with a blanket rule — you have the same rating restriction across all of them and then specifically allow or block others. Thirdly, the time filtering functionality has been negatively simplified, allowing you to only select one time span per time for which a device can be used. Previously, you could specify ranges within the same day; from 8-9 am and then 3-5 pm on a Monday, for example.

Something which is still the same from Windows 8 is that the reporting and controls can be accessed online. This is useful, but it would have been good to see all of these options also available within the operating system itself. For more information, see our guide on Windows 10’s parental controls Check Out The New Windows 10 Parental Control Options Windows 10 parental control reports offer details of your child's online behaviour and activity. Some parents are horrified, whilst others welcome it. Let's look at how to use these settings to secure your computer. Read More .

Share Your Feedback

If there’s a feature you think is missing or needs improving, Microsoft wants to hear from you. If you’re running Windows 10, just do a system search for Windows Feedback and select the relevant result. Here you can submit your feedback and also vote on the ideas of others. Please note you’ll need a Microsoft account The Pros and Cons of Using a Microsoft Account with Windows A single Microsoft Account allows you to log into a wide range of Microsoft services and apps. We show you the pros and cons of using a Microsoft Account with Windows. Read More to be able to participate.

While it’s uncertain how much attention Microsoft pays to this specific app, with Windows 10 being a constantly evolving operating system, it’s still possible that we will see some features added or improved upon in the future.

Is there a feature missing from Windows 10 that you’d love to see added? Or an existing feature that needs improving? Let’s hear!

Related topics: Computer Privacy, Microsoft Cortana, Parental Control, Virtual Desktop, Windows 10, Windows Upgrade.

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  1. Rick
    February 9, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    sfmitch, just right click on the tiles and remove them if they bug you

  2. Aaron
    February 5, 2016 at 4:59 am

    I hate the changes to One Drive. Make them linked folders. What is the point of cloud storage if you can only see the folders that have been downloaded. Bring back the placeholders please.

    Heading back to Dropbox.

  3. Col_Panek
    February 4, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    5 of the 7 problems above are better in Linux on various desktops. (The parental controls, I'm not sure about...)

    1. Most distros update your OS when you want to. They ask nicely; give you a reason for each update; give you the name and email of the maintainer. Or, you can just make it automatic and you're up to date. They also update all your applications, from trusted repositories.

    2. Virtual desktops have been in Linux for many years. It's handy to name them and have separate wallpaper so you know where things are, like having 4 monitors. and, cool transitions between them.

    3. That looks like a settings screen in KDE.

    4. Nice menus in Linux, not like the clutter in Windows.

    5. Privacy? "Nothing to see here, Citizen. Move on."
    To Google, Microsoft, and Apple, you're the product.

    6. Cortana? Gee, there's no Cortana in Linux. Do you use it a lot??

    7. Microsoft's Family Safety requires you to give them your email address? What do you suppose they do with that?

    I've been using Linux for several years now (Mint, several Ubuntus, openSUSE, Zorin, Manjaro, ...couple others I guess) and I've done everything I need to do. If I was a gamer I'd have 4000 games on Steam to play. But I edit photos (Gimp) and web pages (Seamonkey), write music (MuseScore), do genealogy (Gramps), edit movies (OpenShot, AviDemux).

    Try it. Don't get mad, get even.

    • Joe Keeley
      February 4, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      Glad to hear that Linux does what you need it to!

  4. Kevin
    February 4, 2016 at 12:00 am

    So far, my first complaint is that the video card built into my HP Pavilion notebook crashes, and restarts, nearly constantly on Win 10. It USED to do that on Win7, but for the life of me, I cannot remember how I fixed it. Reading the GEforce forums, there is supposedly no fix. I've attempted disabling and separately, removing the driver, but it re-installs itself, and secondly, the system halts when I remove the driver... With the driver installed, it still halts, but sometimes, I get erratic behavior before the halt happens. Thats my new bumper sticker, by the way: "HALT HAPPENS"

    My second complaint is that due to my machine being an HP Pavilion, the automatic update to win 10 has consistently been unsuccesful. So, I used the Win10ISO and loaded from scratch. (The vid problems started occuring at install. Within minutes of booting into win10.)

    Other than those 2 issues, I'd be completely happy w/Win10


    • Joe Keeley
      February 4, 2016 at 6:30 pm

      Kevin, I've found the exact same problem with a Dell laptop with the integrated Intel graphics card. Constant driver crashes which there doesn't seem to be any solution to. In fact, Dell wanted to charge me £119 for them to troubleshoot the issue. Obviously I declined! Let me know if you figure out a solution.

      • Kevin
        February 5, 2016 at 1:45 am

        I've posted my problem on several forums, esp HP and GEForce related, and on several articles on MUO, relating to Win 10, just hoping someone who had a solution would see and offer great , working advice!!

    • Col_Panek
      February 4, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      My "new" laptop is a 5 year old cheap HP G62. It all works on every Linux distro I've tried. Try one on a flash drive.

      • Joe Keeley
        February 4, 2016 at 7:09 pm

        Switching to Linux isn't a solution, Col_Panek. This was purchased as a Windows laptop because I wanted it to have Windows on it. But thanks anyway.

      • Kevin
        February 5, 2016 at 1:47 am

        Yes, Col_Panek, I have loaded Ubuntu Studio to my laptop, but there are a couple of Windows programs that I have that I really want to use. There are some Linux equivalents, but sadly, they are not "Linux Equals" Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. sfmitch
    February 3, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    All of my Windows 10 complaints are based on the 'tile' side of the OS. I don't like it, don't want and it detracts mightily from what otherwise would be a good (desktop / laptop) OS. Microsoft should offer a 'I'm old and cranky and I don't want any of this new crap' option and I would be quite satisfied. Microsoft's quest to bolster their phone and tablet market by heaping unwanted junk on their desktop OS monopoly is not kind to the majority of its' customers.

  6. Anonymous
    February 3, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Totally agree on Parental controls. I appreciated the finer control in 8.x. The simplification may make sense, but it's definitely not nearly as useful/powerful as it was. Also waiting on better Edge support. The first version wouldn't let you right-click and "save as" and still has no add-in support. Without those, it's harder to justify letting my kids use over browsers that do offer that. Sadly, the web filtering and tracking controls only work with Edge. Still using the controls, but hoping a future update makes a big difference.

    • Joe Keeley
      February 4, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Yup, I'm not sure why they dumbed the parental controls down to lose features. You might want to explore some third-party solutions, Peter, like Net Nanny or something similar. Not free, but they've got more features on offer.

  7. Anonymous
    February 3, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    "One of the most controversial things about Windows 10 is that it forces you to receive all Windows updates automatically..."
    This is only true of security ("recommended") updates, IIRC.

    • salamiboy
      February 4, 2016 at 10:49 am

      they have to add an option to disable the forceful driver updates already!!
      the OS needs a lot of work...

      • Anonymous
        February 4, 2016 at 3:41 pm

        Agreed. The one thing I truly hate (besides the flat, ugly theme) is that the OS seems in a complete disarray; half the Settings app is still Control Panel applets; the Modern UI is utterly irrelevant (as was .NET, IMHO).