7 Quick Tips & Hacks to Optimize Your Windows 10 Experience

Tina Sieber 12-03-2015

Windows 10 is more than an upgrade Windows 10: The Dream Of A Cross-Device Operating System Is Becoming Reality & It's Free Microsoft is boldly stepping into the future with innovative software and hardware. Windows as a service and mobility of experience were the major keywords from the recent Windows 10 briefing. Most importantly, Windows 10 will... Read More  from Windows 8, it’s an evolution. We’ve covered many of the big changes, including Cortana integration Cortana Arrives on the Desktop & Here's What She Can Do for You Is Microsoft's intelligent digital assistant as competent on the Windows 10 desktop as she is on Windows Phone? Cortana has a lot of expectation on her shoulders. Let's see how she holds up. Read More , the resurrected Start Menu 6 Ways to Hack & Customize the Windows 10 Start Menu The Windows 10 Start Menu combines classic elements with modern tiles. Tiles can add a lot of creative freedom. We'll give you tips and reveal tricks for customizing the entire Start Menu to your preferences. Read More , or new Gaming features Here's How Gaming Will Work With Windows 10 With Windows 10, Microsoft is bringing PC gaming and the Xbox One together in a big way. Find out what to expect once Windows 10 arrives. Read More . Lots of minor things changed, too and knowing them could significantly enhance your Windows 10 experience.


We’ve compiled the most useful small tips & hacks for Windows 10. Let’s see whether we can teach you a new trick.

Learn Essential Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are the best way to save lots of time inside Windows. Often, they’re much easier to remember, than the path to a specific feature.

Windows key + A to Launch the Action Center

This is a novel shortcut. It’s essential because not only does the Action Center hold notifications you might have missed, you’ll also find a number of handy shortcuts at its bottom. They provide a quick way to toggle tablet and airplane mode or manage display settings. The exact selection of tiles will depend on your device.

Windows 10 Notifications Menu

Windows Key + I to Launch Settings App

You will need this shortcut a lot! The Settings app increasingly replaces the Control Panel and it’s much more accessible, particularly if you’re using the touch interface.


Windows 10 Settings App

Sadly, some advanced features are missing. However, you can still access what remains of the Control Panel, either by searching in the Settings app or by clicking the Windows key and typing away.

Windows Key + X to Launch Power User Menu

This shortcut has been around for a while. In Windows 7, it opens the Windows Mobility Center One Windows Tool To Get Instant Access To All Your Hardware Controls Seeing how useful this tool is, it's shockingly fameless. I'm talking about the Windows Mobility Center. Say what? See what I mean! Read More . Since Windows 8, it launches the power user menu 8 Ways To Improve Windows 8 With Win+X Menu Editor Windows 8 contains an almost hidden feature you need to know about! Press Windows Key + X or right-click at the bottom-left corner of your screen to open a menu you can now customize. Read More , which contains access to all the advanced Windows features you’ll ever need, including the Mobility Center, Computer Management, elevated Command Prompt 15 Windows Command Prompt (CMD) Commands You Must Know The command prompt is still a powerful Windows tool. Here are the most useful CMD commands every Windows user needs to know. Read More , Control Panel, and shut down options. It’s not new, but with so many things changing, it’s good to know how to access the basics.

Windows 10 Power User Menu


To learn what else you can do with your keyboard in Windows, consult our Windows Shortcuts 101 guide Windows Keyboard Shortcuts 101: The Ultimate Guide Keyboard shortcuts can save you hours of time. Master the universal Windows keyboard shortcuts, keyboard tricks for specific programs, and a few other tips to speed up your work. Read More .

Extend Battery Life with Battery Saver

The Settings app contains a few new features, including Battery Saver. While it only limits background activity, which may not have a lot of potential to save battery life, it does have a small effect.

Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app, go to System > Battery saver > Battery saver settings, check the box to enable the feature, and pick a percentage at which you want it to kick in.

Windows 10 Battery Saver Settings


Under System > Battery saver > Battery usage you can check how much energy is wasted on background processes. If this number is large, you might want to examine what’s starting up with Windows 10 Startup Programs You Can Safely Disable to Speed Up Windows Computer booting slowly? You probably have too many programs running at startup. Here's how to disable startup programs on Windows. Read More and maybe enable Battery Saver at a higher percentage.

Speed Up Application Launch at Boot

For Windows 8, Microsoft commissioned a dedicated team to reengineer the Windows boot experience. One of their strategies to make the boot time appear faster was to delay the launch of applications. This start-up delay persists in Windows 10. If you run Windows 10 on a high end machine and have experienced super fast boot times, but are annoyed by apps not being available immediately, you might benefit from disabling this startup delay.

Press Windows + R to launch the Run menu. Type regedit, hit Enter or click OK to launch the Windows Registry, then open the following Registry key:


If you can’t find the Serialize key, right click Explorer, select New > Key, and name it Serialize. Under this key, create a new DWORD value called StartupDelayInMSec and set it to 0.


In case you notice longer boot times after adding this key, you could increase the delay to 1 or 2 milliseconds or delete the Serialize key to restore default settings.

Disable Taskbar Search

The new search bar, which ties in Cortana, takes up a lot of space in the Windows Taskbar. If you don’t use the Taskbar search that often and would rather preserve that space for something else, here is an easy way to change it.

Windows 10 Taskbar Search

Right-click the Taskbar, select Search, and either select Show search icon, which will replace the bar with a much smaller magnifier icon, or Disabled, which will remove it from the Taskbar entirely. Note that in both cases, the search bar still pops up when you open the Start Menu, for example by pressing the Windows key.

Windows 10 Disable Search

Enable New Command Line Features

Windows 10 adds some overdue improvements to the command prompt The Quickest Way to Install Windows Software: The Command Prompt Installing apps on Windows takes up a lot of time. Install and update your apps through the command prompt with this method. Read More . For example, you’ll finally be able to resize the window horizontally and enjoy word wrap. Moreover, the command prompt will support keyboard shortcuts for copying, cutting, pasting, and selecting text. However, these features are considered experimental and are not enabled by default.

To try out the new command prompt features press Windows + R, type cmd and click OK to open the familiar white on black command prompt. Right-click the title bar, select Properties, switch to the Experimental tab, and check the box to generally enable experimental console features. From the list, check the specific features you’d like to enable.

Windows 10 Command Prompt

You can read more about these improvements on the Windows Blog or on the Windows Dev Feedback page.

Curious for more? Also check out these hidden Windows 10 features Under the Hood: 6 Hidden Windows 10 Features You Can Unlock Windows 10 is full of secrets and surprises. Some new features are just not very well known, yet. Here are six tips for customizing your Windows 10 experience. Read More .

Which new features and shortcuts do you most enjoy about Windows 10? Have you discovered anything that we haven’t mentioned yet? Please share in the comments!

Related topics: Keyboard Shortcuts, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows Taskbar.

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  1. Jaime
    December 12, 2015 at 3:53 am

    is there a way to hide the task bar except in the desktop. i want it hide in browser mode IE/Chrome

    • Brendan Engel
      February 20, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Right-click onto the task bar, click on properties, and under the Task Bar tab select Auto-hide the task bar.

  2. Anonymous
    October 30, 2015 at 6:32 am

    The experimental features for cmd are now enabled by default. If you go into the properties as described, but go to the options page instead of experimental, you'll notice at the bottom it says "Find out about new console features" and it links you to:

  3. Anonymous
    October 1, 2015 at 5:49 am

    My cmd not showing me experimental tab

  4. Anonymous
    August 9, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I updated a pc to win10 pro, and after a couple of days the disk failed (old age) and on the previous install I was able to change the icon of the start bar, now the option to do so has vanished any ideas?

  5. Anonymous
    July 31, 2015 at 10:37 am

    you can use the config screen the same as windows 7/8 what do you mean ''remains of the control panel'' ? What is missing?

  6. Sam
    March 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Tina, is that last screenshot (of the DOS prompt) from the latest build? The top right controls look utterly hideous so I'm really hoping they won't be in the final release.

    • Tina
      March 16, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Yes, that's the latest build.

    • Anonymous
      August 24, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      Sam, you mean the buttons "Minimize, Maximize and Close" ?
      If so, they are terrible...the whole style in windows 10 is made using the that same 2D paper/plastic/lowresolution look.
      It is obvious they wanted this to be used with tablets more often, hence the low resolution feel when you are viewing the new Settings screen, but on PC it looks disgusting.

      You can't see edges of some buttons, where they end, where you can click, where you can type (in new IE browser, the URL bar is a good example)... i hate it. I think i'm gonna switch back to win 7 soon