windows tips

Harden Windows 10: 11 Important Things You Need (Right Now)

Harden Windows 10: 11 Important Things You Need (Right Now)

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What Is Windows 10 Hardening and Why Should I Care?

In this day and age, cyber-security is an ever-present issue—and one not to be taken lightly. Accordingly, you would be wise to harden your Windows 10 computer against security vulnerabilities.CCTV Camera

(Of those running older versions of Windows, I ask the majority to move on and “get with the times.”)

You may be asking, however:

“But wait! I’m sure Microsoft is a big company and they know how to deal with them cyber-space threats, no?”

While Microsoft does go to plenty of effort to keep the latest version of Windows 10 secure, it’s not perfect. For example, the built-in security application—Windows Defender—is good, albeit substantially better alternatives can be found for free.

In fact, there is ample free software available on the Internet that will help with your Windows 10 hardening efforts. Boasting (not necessarily all of the time) better security, paid solutions also exist.

The Consequences of a “Soft” System

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Naughty Windows 10 Bloatware: How to Protect Yourself

Naughty Windows 10 Bloatware: How to Protect Yourself

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What is Bloatware?

The Windows 10 bloatware issue is, to put it descriptively, an issue.

To exemplify, it has been tearing apart innocent yet fragile families for decades, with no foreseeable end to the madness. Furthermore, it strikes precisely when the end-user isn’t expecting it.

Bloatware is causing upset throughout the world

Why does life have to be this way?

To clarify, when I say ‘bloatware’, think of any software that you do not want to be installed on your PC. Perhaps this is because it is dramatically decreasing your computer’s performance or maybe it’s entirely unnecessary.

Or, even worse—whilst performing potentially unwanted operations—a program could computer to a point of being unusable.

Before you get too overwhelmed, though, remember that not all bloatware deserves to cease its existence; stuff like the Weather app may be useful to some people but utter ‘Windows 10 bloatware’ to most others.

Where Do We Receive This Unholy Blessing of The Demons?

Like all matter, bloatware doesn’t just materialise from thin air (although Microsoft would like to object).

Windows 10 bloatware, as a matter of fact, has three primary sources from which it comes.

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Your Taskbar Is Wrong: How to Fix Auto-Hide (For Good)

Your Taskbar Is Wrong: How to Fix Auto-Hide (For Good)

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More Screen Real Estate = More Productivity

In a frantic search for utmost productivity—as we all are—once may encounter a complication on their Windows computer. This problem is none other than the thieving taskbar (and auto-hide can’t solve it).

But what does it mean when we talk about ‘maximising our screen real estate’? To be concise, we mean increasing the proportional area of the desktop that can be used for useful tasks.

Multitasking on a monitorMaking more room for all of our windows, as well as their content, in other words.

Typically, this consists of hiding elements from the view such as a toolbar. To exemplify, hiding the ribbon in Microsoft Word (which I am typing into now), so you can see more page.

However, we don’t always miss out on features and functionality, mainly because we can get stuff back into view. (Keyboard shortcuts can be a great alternative for visual elements, too.)

Embracing a maximum-screen-space-little-compromise world, auto-hide is present in various controls across computer software.

In Microsoft Word, to continue that example, the ribbon can be set to ‘auto-hide’ which brings it out of view entirely; one must click at the top of the window in order to resurrect it.

And then, when you click anywhere other than the ribbon area, it auto-hides—useful, right?

That is until we look at the taskbar’s auto-hide.

Get productive: How to Navigate Windows 10: 123 Most Valuable Shortcuts

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9 Effective Windows 10 Productivity Features for Beginners

9 Effective Windows 10 Productivity Features for Beginners

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How to Use Windows 10 Productively, Effectively

Perhaps you’re a beginner to the productive wonders of your Windows 10 computer. Then this is the place to be: there are plenty of Windows 10 productivity features for all of the family to enjoy.

In my eyes, there are two ways one could approach work on a computer of any operating system. That is to say, not exclusively Windows 10.

Increase Your Windows 10 Productivity
  1. Sit down at your computer and use what you know to get stuff done. It doesn’t matter how (even if the method is inefficient), as long as it works.
  2. On the other hand, you could first invest the time learning Windows 10’s productivity features beforehand. As a result, you’ll save time in the long-term, and be happier and more confident in using Windows 10.

Also, you’d be delighted to hear that these 9 Windows 10 productivity features will increase your work output—no doubt.

Even if you feel confident and experienced using Windows 10, I bet there’s something here you’re not exploiting.

After all, productivity is all about exploiting techniques. Thus, if you truly want utmost productivity, you’ll always be in the search for handy little tips and tricks.

The secret is going fast, and when you can go fast, you go productive.

Luis Thiam-Nye 2018

Having made my pitch that this article truly is relevant—for you—on Cryptic Butter, let’s dive in immediately. Starting with the basics…

Stay safe, protect yourself: How to Spot a Scam in 3 Simple Words

Enough of That, Let Us Commence the Operation!

(Info for absolute beginners. I never know how much knowledge the reader has, you see.)

Just in case, here is somewhat of an overview of the Windows 10 desktop. If you aren’t already, it would be an excellent idea to get yourself familiar with it.

An overview of the Windows 10 desktop

A few of the key components of the Windows 10 interface include:

  • The Taskbar: the bar displaying all open applications, the time, and the Start button (normally at the bottom of the screen).
  • The Start Menu: the resulting display after pressing the Start button (looks like four squares like a window) in the taskbar.
  • The desktop: indeed, it can become confusing when you use the word “desktop” in numerous, distinct ways. In this case, however, I’m referring to the area behind everything, displaying the background image with the icons on top.

1. Do More (Faster) with Keyboard Shortcuts

Hands down, this is one of, if not, the most powerful Windows 10 productivity feature you can leverage. Except it’s not a feature restricted to Windows 10—since shortcuts are used in Linux, macOS, and more!

If you aren’t aware of this already, keyboard shortcuts are quick ways of performing a certain function, using your keyboard. And your keyboard only.

Put simply, this entails pressing a combination of keys.

Typically, you would first press down keys that act as “modifiers”, then the key that finally triggers the desired action. For instance, take the Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut.

Keyboard Shortcuts

In this case, the control (Ctrl) and Alt (for alternate) keys act as modifiers, while pressing delete executes the action. Of course, shortcuts aren’t always 3-keys long, they could comprise 2 keys, 4 keys, and many more keys.

The first lot of shortcuts you’d want can be learned here—these are shortcuts specific to the Windows 10 OS. In other words, they perform functions related to the Windows 10 desktop environment, for more efficient use and navigation.

How to Navigate Windows 10: 123 Most Valuable Shortcuts (With bonus tips and info)

Immensely more efficient.

In fact, many of the upcoming productivity features in this article have corresponding shortcuts, so don’t miss them out!

Edit Text Quickly, and Contentedly

In addition to that, there is a separate batch of hot, steaming shortcuts that want your attention; they are the shortcuts to help you navigate and edit text more proficiently.

You’ve likely heard of the well-known, commonly used Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V, for example. But do you know about the hidden plethora of empowering text-editing shortcuts only a few people use?

Especially for the purpose of spreading the word, I’ve compiled the enjoyable, enlightening, relevant article.

Aid your typing skills further: Little-Known Ways to Quickly and Effortlessly Edit Text

2. Distribute Your Apps Across Virtual Desktops

Virtual desktops separate your applications into different virtual spaces

One of the most exciting features of Windows 10 when it was being announced, for me, was virtual desktops. But what are virtual desktops?

Virtual desktops are a nifty Windows 10 productivity feature that allows you to segregate your working environment. More specifically, you can divide your running applications between however many desktop spaces as you like.

To demonstrate, you can only view one virtual desktop at a time. In fact, if you’re using Windows 10 right now, all the open programmes are what you’d consider a virtual desktop.

This is where things get spicy—subsequently switching to another virtual desktop. The result of doing so?

  • Your currently open applications will no longer be visible, not even in the taskbar.
  • New applications can additionally be opened, which will stick to their own virtual desktop.

What’s more, the application windows can be moved, rather straightforwardly, between these virtual desktops.

So, how do we do it?

How You Can Operate Task View

Task view is one of the most powerful Windows 10 productivity features

Well, the secret lies in the Task View—a core Windows 10 productivity feature. In order to enter this view, click on the icon which (by default) sits to the right of the search bar/icon.

Otherwise, simply press Windows Key + Tab such that you see an overview of your open applications. This is, by the way, a powerful Windows 10 productivity feature in itself—for painlessly switching to the application you want.

It even enables you to quickly close applications in this view, too.

Utilising virtual desktops, however, click on the “New Desktop” button at the top of the task view. (If you’re using an older version of Windows 10—which is unideal—this will be at the bottom-right.)

Now, feel free to create as many virtual desktops as you want; there’s no harm in surplus, as it turns out.

Using this fancy Task View feature massively boosts your productivity, and here’s how:

  • Switch between virtual desktops by clicking on the target desktop in the Task View. Also, take advantage of the corresponding shortcuts: Ctrl + Windows Key + /
  • In the Task View, see the programmes of a specific desktop by hovering over it with your mouse. Therefore, there’s no need to leave the Task View—saving precious units of time.
  • Move applications between virtual desktops by dragging them in the Task View to the intended desktop.

Using Task View to Your Advantage

To exemplify a case where Task View would be of tremendous assistance, imagine you’re working on a project; you’re researching the chemical composition of butter in order to write up an insightful document for your manager.

Prior to Task View, there were two ways of going about this: you could either set up the browser and word processor (for writing the document) side-by-side or overlap them.

Speedy Cyclists
The secret is going fast, and when you can go fast, you go productive.

In the latter case, you’d have the inconvenience of switching between each application. Granted, this can be done pretty fast.

Or, better yet, you could have your browser in one virtual desktop, and the word processor in the other. Accordingly, you’ll get a full-screen view of each programme and an uncomplicated way to switch between them (exploiting shortcuts).

Furthermore, virtual desktops provide a convenient way to have all of your windows laid out how you want. These layouts can subsequently be put out or back into view.

For example, your virtual desktop for research could have 4 browser windows laid out perfectly. Each one could potentially present a different information source.

Evidently, the opportunities are endless.

Just give it a whirl!

What It Isn’t

What the virtual desktops productivity feature isn’t, however, is a way to effortlessly switch between different looks and feels. Rather, think of virtual desktops merely as a way to compartmentalise all of your applications into discrete workflows.

It divides your windows, and nothing else. While this is a bit unfortunate, it is a worthy productivity tool nonetheless.

(Unique background images per virtual desktop would have been nice, though.)

3. Organise Your Apps Using Windows Snap

Keeping to one virtual desktop, how do you lay out your windows in the most productive way possible?

I think you’ll find the answer in Windows Snap—another beautiful Windows 10 productivity feature. As with virtual desktops, I got tremendously enthusiastic over this!

Windows Snap allows you to easily arrange windows next to each other

To explain, Windows Snap does precisely what it sounds like, that is, snaps your windows; it essentially provides the most trouble-free way of organising your windows on your desktop.

As a result of dragging a window to various sides of your screen, your window will snap accordingly:

  • Drag the window to the top to maximise it.
  • Shove it to the left/right in order to occupy half of the screen.
  • Push it towards any of the four corners to extend the window over a quarter of the screen.
  • If appropriate, Windows will allow you to choose another window to snap next to your snapped window. To refuse this offer, click basically anywhere else.
  • More cleverness comes into play with regards to filling all the available space, too.

So, you could use this technique and have up to four windows arranged nicely for you, the productivity addict.

Windows covering each quarter of the screen
Windows Snap adapts the window in accordance with other windows
Windows Snap will automatically adapt your window to fill the available space as it makes sense.

Furthermore, in a half-half configuration, you can drag the edges of both windows in the middle of the screen at once

But—as we all know—there is no productivity addict without the appropriate shortcuts.

Expansive stuff, like a balloon: These 15 Computer Shortcuts Explained Will Make Your Day

Don’t forget, too, that you can still resize these windows by dragging the window borders.

Speaking of resizing windows, experiment with dragging the top/bottom border of a window to the top/bottom of the screen: that window will automatically—and quite cleverly—adjust to take up the entire height of the desktop!

4. Pin Your Favourite Apps for Swift Access

Indeed, being able to organise apps that are already open is indisputably advantageous. But what about before even opening the applications—how can productivity increase there!

Well then, let’s go back to a straightforward Windows 10 productivity—or rather, convenience—feature that’s certainly not new.

And you guessed correctly (perhaps from the heading) that you can pin commonly-used apps to quickly-accessible places.

Pinning to the Start Menu

Starting with the Start Menu in Windows 10, I’ll draw your attention to the big application tiles (rectangles). Firstly, right- (secondary-) clicking each tile will give you the options to unpin and resize the tile.

Customising tiles with the context menu

As well as that, there are plenty more functions that may appeal to your tender ear, child.

For anything that you don’t really use as often, I’d recommend unpinning it. Therefore, you won’t see it there and it’ll clean up the Start Menu for more important things.

After all, anything that isn’t pinned to the Start Menu can always be accessed from the app list there.

Right-click on your commonly-used applications in that app list, while you’re there. Then you will be given the option to pin those to your Start Menu.

Pinning applications to the Start Menu as tiles

(Bear in mind, though, that there are other ways of pinning these items, like right-clicking desktop icons and Windows Search results.)

Pinning items through Windows Search by right clicking or pressing the menu key
Pinning desktop icons to the taskbar and Start Menu
Pin desktop items to the Start or taskbar.

Then they are yours to move around, resize and even group. (For achieving the latter, simply drag a tile onto another one, as you would on an iPhone).

Pinning to the Taskbar

Equally, you could pin apps that you frequent, as much as that one pub, to the taskbar, using right-click. These items will never leave your taskbar, so you can quickly open them whenever.

Pinned items on the taskbar allow you to quickly open an application
Pinned items remain on the taskbar when the corresponding application is not running.

Right click on them again, in the taskbar, to unpin them. I suggest pinning your browser to the taskbar since that generally gets substantial usage.

Using similar techniques discussed here, you can hide the Task View button, Search, and Peoples button from the taskbar. Hence, you’ll profit from the bonus space for all the more programmes.

5. Find Almost Everything Using Windows Search

Yet another method for rapidly opening programmes is using the wonderful Windows Search. In truth, I use this Windows 10 feature way too often—because productivity is key!

See if you’ve kept the Windows Search/Cortana icon or search box next to the Start button. In the event that this is present, it’s as plain-sailing as clicking on it and typing your query.

However, my preferred method—the faster method—is to straightforwardly open the Start Menu and start typing. Even though there is no text box, pressing a letter will immediately deploy Windows Search/Cortana.

Why QWERTY is wrong: Typing Proficiency: How to Boost Your Productivity

Life becomes fairly easy, accordingly, as this is all you need to do to search:

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard
  2. Type your query directly after
  3. If necessary, use the arrow keys to navigate and select the relevant item
  4. Press enter to open the selected item

Find things quickly and easily with Windows Search

You’ll profit from Windows Search’s ability to search a multitude of items in your computer, including:

  • Applications
  • Settings
  • Your files i.e. music, documents, photos, and videos, as well as folders

6. Care for the Desktop like It’s a Cuddly Little Kitten

Whenever I glance at some desktops—full to the brim—I become a rotting banana, shrivelling up in every direction.

What Are Desktop Icons?

The icons on your desktop basically represent the files in your “Desktop” folder, in your user folder. To clarify, the desktop is a mirror of that folder.

Also, that icon you press to open your application is not actually the application. Typically, this is a mere shortcut, as shown by the miniature arrow in the bottom-left of the icon.

As such, the real application file (the executable) is buried somewhere within Windows 10’s filesystem. So, in order to save you the time finding it, you can create a shortcut.

Installing applications normally creates the shortcut and puts it on your desktop for you.

Upon clicking on this shortcut, you will open the referenced application—which is somewhere else. Therefore, deleting shortcuts from your desktop does not uninstall the application from your computer.

Similar things can be said about pinned items on the Start Menu or taskbar etc.

For some, a generous serving of desktop shortcuts on their desktop is strangely utilitarian. Me, though, I don’t favour using the desktop in this way.

By contrast, I believe desktop shortcuts are madness; putting endless heaps of files on the desktop only creates a mess.

Not to mention, you end up obstructing your exquisite desktop background.

I personally do not use the desktop for temporarily storing files, too—there are better ways.

On top of that, desktop icons are covered by windows, unlike the Start Menu, which is more rapidly accessed. That is, most of the time. And most of the time is more vital than some of the time.

With that in mind, my solution is to right-click on the desktop background, go to “View”, then untick “Show desktop icons”.

How to hide your desktop icons

What was thought to be a brilliant productivity feature is, in my opinion, completely useless…

7. Enhance Your Concentration with Focus Assist

More clearly a Windows 10 productivity feature—Focus Assist—because it wants you to succeed.

To the surprise of no one, distractions are the primary killer of productivity, hence the breeding ground for procrastination.

In this modern age, though, these distractions often manifest themselves as notifications—namely on your phone. For example, these consist of emails, text messages, critical security alerts, and other info-nuggets from your apps.

While handy for staying in-the-know, these are far from critical when you actually want to get stuff done.

Take a bite out of my system: How to Be Productive with This Powerful Tool—Guaranteed

For that reason, you may easily disable these lethal notifications by enabling Focus Assist in the Action Centre. (The Action Centre is found at the end of the taskbar, otherwise, press Windows Key + A)

Focus Assist will probably be one of those rectangular buttons towards the bottom of the Action Centre Pane. If not, you may have to press “Expand”, or, you’ve hidden the button yourself.

Great! Now you’re being productive!

In addition, don’t miss out on the host of settings relating to Focus Assist; so, right-click the button, and press “Go to Settings”.

Focus Assist settings
Go to Settings, System, Focus Assist.

For instance, you can set the feature to enable itself automatically during specific times. This can be exceedingly helpful when you have allocated work hours.

8. Use Night Light for the Best Night’s Sleep (Equals Productivity)

Similar to use, Night Light, a Windows 10 feature, can genuinely aid your productivity. Albeit, even if this one does so in a slightly unique way.

Thus far, we have covered Windows 10 productivity features that help productivity in the current moment. These make doing things faster for you, whereas Night Light aims to make you faster at doing things.

Essentially, the feature causes your screen to display warmer colours at night, thus reducing the blue light emitted. Your screen will begin to take on a tint of orange, in other words.

Like before, you can enable this feature on-demand from the Action Centre, or it can be scheduled. For the second-mentioned, just access Night Light’s settings—it’s exactly the same process as with Focus Assist.

Configure Night Light for the best night's sleep
Go to Settings, System, Display, Night light settings.

Next, you can choose the colour temperature Night Light uses, as well as the hours for which it comes on. What’s more, Night Light can use your current location to automatically come on from sunset to sunrise!

What is the Point of Night Light?

“That enters my ear warm, Big Joe, but what is the purpose of reducing my blue-light consumption?”

Well asked. Exposure to blue light, put simply, prevents falling asleep with ease.

Makes sense, right? The sky is blue during the day and humans don’t sleep during the day (well, most of us, that is).

Night School: The Life-Changing Science of Sleep
All you need to know about sleep, and sleeping better.

However, if you’re using electronic devices with a screen in the evenings, you’re exposing yourself to blue light. Hence, you are going to have more difficulty falling asleep.

Night Light—coming to the rescue—wants to make the process of falling asleep far more effortless.

For you see, sleep is immensely important, especially for your productivity. Likewise, sleeping less and working more doesn’t necessarily mean more work gets done; it may, in fact, mean less work gets done.

If you want to learn more about this topic, I highly advise that you read this book.

9. Conveniently Clean up Clutter with Aero Shake

Why do I mention this last on my list of 9 Windows 10 productivity features? To be concise, the reason is that this feature doesn’t get a whole lot of use from me.

Nevertheless, I thought it would be a marvellous idea to outline it here—then we get an odd-numbered list.

We love odd numbers—and so do you—but Microsoft and Apple do not.

Without any further hubbub, introducing “Aero Shake”, a feature that you might find invaluable for productivity. The entirety of the real deal consists of shaking a window. That’s it.

Grab onto a window, as if you’re going to move it, then wobble your mouse/cursor; shake the window back and forth in any direction, that is to say.

Wobble your window to minimise all others

As a matter of fact, you may have done this accidentally in the past (like me): the result minimises all other windows but the one you shook.

Therefore, it’s safe to say this is an effective way to clear your workspace once in a while—free yourself from distractions.

Afterwards, you can shake the window again to restore the other applications. On the other hand, it’s fine to open each app individually using the task manager, Task View, alt + tab, etc.

These Are Merely a Few Tips

Of course, I have to end this somewhere—using Windows 10 productively entails far more than what a single article’s worth.

This is merely scratching the surface.

As that being the final note, stay tuned for more computer-proficiency tips and insights (you won’t regret it).

The productive person is always learning, productively.

Read Next: Ultimate Checklist for the Best Initial Windows 10 Setup 2018

 
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How to Use Your Old Laptop as a Second Monitor (5 Ways)

How to Use Your Old Laptop as a Second Monitor (5 Ways)

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Disclosure: Cryptic Butter uses referral and affiliate links to earn commissions from featured products and services. Think of it as giving me a tip and supporting the website. Learn more


Don’t Waste Your Old Laptop

So, you’re sitting in front of that snazzy, latest-and-greatest desktop (or laptop) computer. Meanwhile, your old laptop, lurking in the wardrobe, feels neglected and sad that you’ve excluded it from the fun-house.

That’s truly shameful—Lucius—that you would do such a thing!

Neglected Old Laptop

Especially so, once you think of the sheer volume of cash you sacrificed solely for that one laptop.

“Now it’s an old laptop, and nobody cares, yo, because I have dat bank pushing what it worth, brother.”

Incorrect, son (grammatically and conceptually). You’re putting a potential extra monitor to waste.

It’s highly important that we make our money go as far as the rainbows, hence today’s fun activity.

Today, I’ll teach you to revive your old laptop and finally make productive use out of it once again; we’re going to make your old laptop great again, that is to say.

In fact, I’ve been in this situation myself, when I essentially replaced my laptop with a more powerful, relevant desktop. Allow me to illustrate this picture a little better for you:

rescue your laptop now →
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Complete Windows 10 Privacy Guide: How to Protect Your Data

Complete Windows 10 Privacy Guide: How to Protect Your Data

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Disclosure: Cryptic Butter uses referral and affiliate links to earn commissions from featured products and services. Think of it as giving me a tip and supporting the website. Learn more


Your Privacy: It’s Progressively Diminishing

Technology increasing as privacy decreases

This privacy guide is brought to you as a necessity for those who dislike the idea of being constantly watched. After all, why shouldn’t we have the right to protect our data?

Alas, the trend over recent times shows an inevitable decline in privacy. The Internet, smart home devices, the rise of cameras, and wearable technology are all indicators of this trend.

Development of technology, besides an exciting, convenient future, results in the reduction of privacy.

Indeed, we could all forget about this privacy guide, accepting the inescapable reality yet to come. There is, in fact, an insightful article about the declining privacy trend here, if you’re interested in learning more.

Sometimes, however, we don’t need to be providing data to such an extent—why a privacy guide is useful.

To iterate, the reality is that we are slowly losing our privacy everywhere with technology. That doesn’t mean we can’t secure certain aspects of our lives, though.

If you’re the hero, hacking scammers’ computers, you’re most likely against being tracked.

The ultimate purpose of today’s privacy guide is to provide you with the resources to:

  • Reclaim your online privacy
  • Become more anonymous online
  • Make sure your data is secure
  • Stop Windows 10 from spying on you

Pay with privacy: How to Use Bitcoin: Truths You Need to Know

Continue reading →
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Ultimate Checklist for the Best Initial Windows 10 Setup 2018

Ultimate Checklist for the Best Initial Windows 10 Setup 2018

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Disclosure: Cryptic Butter uses referral and affiliate links to earn commissions from featured products and services. Think of it as giving me a tip and supporting the website. Learn more


Windows 10 is notorious for poor privacy.

Your Computer Has Just Finished Installing Windows 10…

Okay, so you’ve waited and waited, and finally, you are at the stage of Windows 10 setup. That is to say, you’re probably looking at a bright blue screen with Cortana shouting down your ear.

However, you might already have Windows 10 setup, in which case, you can follow the later steps. We will cover what you can do after the initial Windows 10 setup wizard has completed, so don’t worry.

Ultimately, this is a guide for configuring your Windows 10 computer in the best way—for privacy and security. Therefore, even if you don’t think there’s work to be done, there’s likely something you need to do right now.

Zucking Your Data
Microsoft will Zuck many more datas when someone new has Windows 10 setup

But why is it important to have a Windows 10 checklist to abide by? Well, this makes it super-easy to get up and running as soon as possible.

On top of that, these steps will guide you through the ways of giving Windows 10 some privacy and security. Unfortunately, Windows 10 is notorious for collecting swathes of potentially personally-identifying data.

This data is sufficiently bountiful such that it can reveal a scary and surprising amount about you. In fact, Microsoft is essentially building up their own, massive profile of you.

Do you really want this?

Also, it is a very good idea to configure Windows 10 for security. As a result, I promise you won’t have to worry nearly as much about being infected by malware; infections of any sort are astonishingly likely, no matter how careful you think you are online…

With that all in mind, let us subsequently, swiftly shuffle our way into the first step of many. This after Windows 10 has finished its installation, to clarify.

Make Windows 10 fast, secure, and private →
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These 15 Computer Shortcuts Explained Will Make Your Day

These 15 Computer Shortcuts Explained Will Make Your Day

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Disclosure: Cryptic Butter uses referral and affiliate links to earn commissions from featured products and services. Think of it as giving me a tip and supporting the website. Learn more


About This List of Computer Shortcuts in Windows

Because Windows 10 has such a vast quantity of computer shortcuts, it makes sense to compile a list of them. However, any standard, regular list is rather boring, to say the least; I certainly don’t feel “empowered to do great things” with regards to computer shortcuts…

It’s for this reason that, in my previous article about Windows 10’s computer shortcuts, I gave away a mind-map. I must say that mind-maps are an excellent method of visualising information for an easier absorption of such.

Related Read: How to Navigate Windows 10: 123 Most Valuable Shortcuts

Get productive with shortcuts now →
Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments
How to Navigate Windows 10: 123 Most Valuable Shortcuts

How to Navigate Windows 10: 123 Most Valuable Shortcuts

All external links open in a new tab. For more info on how I use links, see this page.

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The Secret to Ultimate Windows 10 ProficiencyIncrease Your Windows 10 Productivity

Do you want to learn the one thing that can accelerate your productivity when using Windows 10? In that case, you’ll need to know how to navigate Windows 10 proficiently, and keyboard shortcuts are the solution. This is because they allow rapid access to Windows 10 functions without moving the cursor.

For you see, solely using your mouse and neglecting keyboard shortcuts puts the brakes on your productivity: you consume an awful amount of time dragging that cursor from one end of the screen to the other. Not to mention, you mustn’t forget the time spent clicking buttons.

Keyboard shortcuts are essential to efficiently navigate Windows 10. Moreover, they are at the heart of proficiently using computers as a whole. Therefore, I have an article with a free downloadable infographic about editing text with shortcuts.

This time though, we will be focusing exclusively on how to navigate Windows 10; I will walk you through all the keyboard shortcuts you need to know in order to make the most of your Windows operating system.

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Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments
4 Incredible Taskbar Customisation Tricks You Need to Know

4 Incredible Taskbar Customisation Tricks You Need to Know

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Disclosure: Cryptic Butter uses referral and affiliate links to earn commissions from featured products and services. Think of it as giving me a tip and supporting the website. Learn more


Jazz Up Your Windows Desktop

Personally, I believe that the default Windows taskbar is not optimal. Fortunately for you, however, this is an issue that, to an extent, can be solved. In this article, I will highlight the taskbar customisation tricks that you can use to add a sprinkle of pizzazz to your Windows desktop.
Jazz
Don’t you sometimes get bored of the suboptimal, bog-standard taskbar? If you do, you’ll likely adjust the personalisation settings: the colour, tray icons, pinned items, labels, icon size, position, and so on.

Rather inconveniently, Windows does not offer boggling quantities of taskbar customisation built-in. It’s not like you can easily adjust the transparency of the taskbar, for example.

Equally, some taskbar customisation options compromise other features. An example of this would be using small taskbar buttons. This, in Windows 10, disallows the use of badges—such as the one on your Windows 10 Mail app showing how many unread items there are in your inbox.

For this reason, I feel that Windows is considerably limited in its customisability. By contrast, Linux provides you with far more control over how your desktop acts, looks, and feels. Disappointment—no?

In spite of Microsoft’s limitations, though, there are useful things you can do with your Windows desktop. Furthermore, third-parties decided to join in on the fun by providing us with tools to expand Windows; we are hence blessed with taskbar customisation options not available before.

These are the 5 taskbar customisation tricks that you can employ to enhance your experience and potentially increase productivity.

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Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments