Windows 10 features

Windows 10 is the latest and most advanced operating system from Microsoft. It offers a range of features that enhance the user experience, productivity, security, and performance of your PC. Whether you are a casual user, a gamer, a professional, or an enthusiast, Windows 10 has something for you. In this article, we will explore the Top 10 features of Windows 10 that make it stand out from other operating systems.

New features on Windows 10

One of the reasons why Windows 10 is so popular is that it constantly updates and introduces new features that improve its performance and functionality. Some of the new features on Windows 10 that you may not be aware of are:

Windows Start Menu: The Hub of Productivity

The Start Menu is back in Windows 10 after being absent in Windows 8. The Start Menu combines the traditional list of programs and settings with the live tiles of Windows 8.  You can access your apps, settings, files, and more from the Start Menu. You can also customize it with tiles, folders, and colors to suit your preferences.

  • To open the Start Menu, click on the Windows logo in the lower-left corner of the screen or press the Windows key on your keyboard.
  • To pin an app to the Start Menu, right-click on it and select Pin to Start.
  • To create a folder of apps, drag one tile over another.
  • To change the color of the Start Menu, go to Settings > Personalization > Colors and choose your accent color.

Microsoft brought back the Start Menu in a revamped form, combining the familiarity of Windows 7 with the modern interface of Windows 8.

windows 10 start menu

Cortana: Your Digital Assistant

Cortana is a virtual assistant that can help you with various tasks, such as searching the web, setting reminders, sending emails, playing music, and more. You can use voice commands, text input, or the Cortana button on your taskbar to interact with Cortana. You can also adjust Cortana’s settings and permissions in the Settings app.

rom setting reminders to answering queries, Cortana enhances the user experience.

Note: Microsoft replaced Cortana with Copilot (AI assistant) read more about it here.

  • To use voice commands, say “Hey Cortana” or press the microphone icon on the Cortana button.
  • To use text input, type in the search box on the taskbar or press Windows + S on your keyboard.
  • To access Cortana’s settings, go to Settings > Cortana and choose what you want Cortana to do.

Windows 10 Cortana

Action Center: Centralized Notifications and Quick Settings

The Action Center is where you can see your notifications and quick actions. You can access the Action Center by clicking on the icon in the lower-right corner of the taskbar or swiping from the right edge of the screen. You can also customize the Action Center by choosing which notifications and quick actions you want to see.

  • To manage your notifications, click on the gear icon in the Action Center and select which apps you want to receive notifications from.
  • To manage your quick actions, click on the Edit button in the Action Center and drag and drop the icons you want to see.

Task View and Snap – Multitasking Made Easy

Task View and Snap are features that help you manage your Windows and desktops. Task View lets you see all your open windows and switch between them easily. You can also create multiple virtual desktops to organize your work and activities.

  • To access Task View, click on the icon next to the search box on the taskbar or press Windows + Tab on your keyboard.
  • To create a new desktop, click on the New Desktop button in Task View or press Windows + Ctrl + D on your keyboard.
  • To switch between desktops, click on the thumbnails in Task View or press Windows + Ctrl + Left/Right arrow keys on your keyboard.
  • Snap lets you arrange your windows side by side or in corners by dragging them to the edges of the screen or using keyboard shortcuts.

Task View on windows 10

Microsoft Edge – A Faster and More Secure Web Experience

Microsoft Edge, the default web browser in Windows 10, offers a faster and more secure browsing experience. With features like improved performance and built-in security, Edge has become a compelling choice for users. It also has features like Collections, Reading Mode, Web Capture, Immersive Reader, and more that can enhance your browsing experience. You can also sync your bookmarks, history, passwords, and settings across your devices using a Microsoft account.

  • To use Collections, click on the icon in the toolbar and create a new collection or add items to an existing one.
  • To use Reading Mode, click on the book icon in the address bar and enjoy a distraction-free reading experience.
  • To use Web Capture, click on the scissors icon in the toolbar and select an area of a web page to capture or share.
  • To use Immersive Reader, click on the speaker icon in the address bar and listen to a web page read aloud or adjust its appearance.

Microsoft edge Windows 10

Windows Hello – Biometric Security at Your Fingertips

Windows Hello is a feature that lets you sign in to your device using biometric authentication such as facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, or iris scanning. It is more secure and convenient than using a password or a PIN.

It ensures that your system is safeguarded against potential threats, providing peace of mind.

  • To use Windows Hello, you need a compatible device and a Microsoft account.
  • To set up Windows Hello, go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options and choose which method you want to use.

Setup Windows Hello

Windows Security (Defender) – Protect Your Digital World

Windows Security is the built-in security app that protects your device from viruses, malware, ransomware, phishing, and other threats. It also monitors your device performance and health, ensures that your system is safeguarded against potential threats, providing peace of mind.

Windows Security brings together various security features, including antivirus, firewall, and device health.

You can access Windows Security by clicking on the shield icon in the taskbar or searching for it in the Start Menu.

To scan your device for threats, click on Virus & Threat Protection and select Quick scan or Full Scan.

To protect your device from ransomware attacks, click on Ransomware protection and turn on Controlled folder access.

To check your device performance and health, click on Device Performance & health and see if there are any issues or recommendations.

Windows Security
Image credit: Microsoft

Windows Update – Keeping Your System Current and Secure

Windows Update is crucial for maintaining the health and security of your system. It delivers regular updates, including security patches and feature enhancements, ensuring that your device stays up to date. It also lets you pause updates, schedule restarts, and choose when to install updates.

  • You can access Windows Update by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.
  • To check for updates, click on Check for updates and wait for Windows to download and install them.
  • To pause updates, click on Pause updates for 7 days and choose how long you want to pause them.
  • To schedule restarts, click on Advanced options and turn on Schedule the restart.
  • To choose when to install updates, click on Change active hours and set the time range when you usually use your device.

Windows 10 update download

Phone Link (Your Phone): Seamless Integration with Mobile Devices

The official app lets you connect your Android or iOS smartphone to your Windows 10 device. You can access your photos, messages, notifications, calls, apps, and more from your PC without switching devices. You can also use features like Phone Screen, Link to Windows, and Continuum to enhance your productivity and mobility.

  • To use the Phone Link, you need to download the app on your PC and your smartphone and sign in with the same Microsoft account.
  • To access your photos, click on Photos in the app and see the photos from your smartphone.
  • To access your messages, click on Messages in the app and send or receive texts from your PC.
  • To access your notifications, click on Notifications in the app and see the notifications from your smartphone.
  • To access your calls, click on Calls in the app and make or receive calls from your PC.

Phone Link app windows 10

Microsoft Store – Access to a Variety of Apps

Microsoft Store is where you can find and download apps, games, movies, TV shows, music, books, and more for your Windows 10 device. You can also access services like Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft 365, OneDrive, Skype, and more from the Microsoft Store.

  • To use Microsoft Store, you need a Microsoft account and an internet connection.
  • To browse or search for content, click on the categories or the search box in the app.
  • To download or buy content, click on the Get or Buy button and follow the instructions.
  • To access your downloaded or purchased content, go to Library in the app and select what you want to use.

Microsoft store windows 10

Cloud Clipboard – Effortless Copy-Paste Across Devices

Cloud Clipboard is a feature that lets you sync your clipboard across your devices using a Microsoft account. You can copy and paste text, images, links, and more from one device to another. You can also access your clipboard history and pin items for later use.

  • To use Cloud Clipboard, you need to turn on Clipboard sync (Sync Across Device) in Settings > System > Clipboard on both devices.
  • To copy something, press Ctrl + C or right-click and select Copy on your device.
  • To paste something, press Ctrl + V or right-click and select Paste on your device.
  • To access your clipboard history, press Windows + V or click on the Clipboard icon in the taskbar.
  • To pin an item, click on the Pin icon next to it in the clipboard history.

enable Cloud Clipboard feature on windows 10

Shared Experiences – Streamlining Device Collaboration

shared experiences (Nearby Sharing) is a feature that lets you share files, photos, links, and more with nearby devices using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It is fast, easy, and secure. To use shared experiences, you need to turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on both devices and make sure they are within range.

  • To share something, click on the Share icon in the app you are using and choose a nearby device.
  • To receive something, click on the notification that appears on your device and accept the sharing request.

Shared experiences

File Explorer Dark Mode – A Stylish and Comfortable Experience

File Explorer Dark Mode is a feature that lets you change the appearance of File Explorer to a dark theme. It can reduce eye strain, save battery life, and look cool. To enable File Explorer Dark Mode, go to Settings > Personalization > Colors and choose Dark under Choose your color.

Windows 10 Dark Theme for File Explorer

Snip & Sketch – Effortless Screen Capture and Annotation

Snip & Sketch is an app that lets you capture and annotate screenshots on your Windows 10 device. You can also edit and share your screenshots with others. To use Snip & Sketch, you can press Windows + Shift + S on your keyboard or click on the Screen snip icon in the Action Center. You can also launch the app from the Start Menu or the taskbar.

  • To capture a screenshot, choose a mode from the toolbar and select an area of the screen.
  • To annotate a screenshot, use the tools from the toolbar and draw or write on it.
  • To edit a screenshot, click on the Edit button and use the options from the menu.
  • To share a screenshot, click on the Share button and choose an app or a contact.

Snip & Sketch

Slide to Shutdown: A Stylish Way to Power Down
Experience a stylish and interactive way to power down your system with Slide to Shutdown. This feature combines functionality with elegance, allowing you to shut down your computer effortlessly by sliding your screen down using touch or mouse input.

Windows 10 new Light Theme – Illuminating Simplicity

With Windows 10 Update Microsoft has released a brand new Light Theme that brings lighter colors for the Start menu, Action Center, taskbar, touch keyboard, and other elements that didn’t have a true light color scheme when switching from the dark to light system theme.

The new Light theme color scheme is available in Settings > Personalization > Colors and selecting the Light option under “Choose your color” drop-down menu. After enabling light mode in Windows 10, you’ll notice the Taskbar, Action Center, Start menu and other elements in the light color scheme.

Windows 10 light theme

Windows Sandbox – A Secure Playground for Testing

Microsoft has released a new lightweight desktop environment feature called Windows Sandbox that lets you run files in a secure desktop environment, to protect your computer from malware. So that any changes made to the Windows Sandbox will be discarded when the Sandbox is closed and will have no effect on a user’s normal Windows install.

Windows sandbox feature uses hardware virtualization and the Microsoft Hypervisor technology to create a lightweight environment (using around 100MB of space) to install and run an untrusted application. It’s a virtualized environment, but you don’t need to create a virtual machine manually.

You can enable the Windows Sandbox, from Settings > Apps > Apps & Features > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features on or off, and then select Enable Windows Sandbox.

Enable Sandbox Feature

And you can start the Windows Sandbox environment, from the Start menu, enter Windows Sandbox and then select it.

Windows Sandbox environment on Windows 10

This is a great feature for those who want to run a program that they’re not so sure about, without putting their entire system at risk. Once you finish using the app, closing the session will delete everything automatically.

Game Mode: This feature is designed to optimize your PC for gaming. It improves your performance and stability by prioritizing your game’s resources and minimizing background processes. You can also use Game Mode to record and stream your gameplay with the Xbox app.

Reserved Storage: The purpose of reserved storage is to keep aside around 7GB of disk space for Windows Update and temporary files and help Microsoft ensure that all Windows 10 devices can seamlessly upgrade to the new release. To learn more about the technical details, make sure to read the company’s article here.

Slide to Shutdown: Experience a stylish and interactive way to power down your system with Slide to Shutdown. This feature combines functionality with elegance, allowing you to shut down your computer effortlessly by sliding your screen down using touch or mouse input.

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Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.