Windows 10

Using Cortana

Windows 10 allows the user to access a “personal digitalized assistant” called Cortana.  Cortana can perform tasks such as set reminders, recognize natural voice without the requirement for keyboard input, and answer questions using information from Bing (search engine).

Cortana first shows up as a search box on the Windows 10 desktop screen, the “Ask me anything” bar that is one of the most visible new features to the Windows 10.

When the user first opens Windows 10, Cortana can be set to listen for the user to say “Hey Cortana.” To use Cortana with voice activation (computer must be equipped with a microphone):

  • Click on the Search Bar for Cortana by the Start menu



  • Click the menu icon in the upper right corner of Cortana’s window. It has three menu


  •  Select Notebook from the options
  • Select Notebook 

    Select Settings from the options

  • Select settings

    Switch “Let Cortana respond to ‘Hey Cortana.'” to On.

    toggle hey cortana to on

  • Now Cortana will respond to the user when prompted with “Hey Cortana”.




Customizing the Start Menu

Windows 10 allows you to customize and make the Start menu your own.

Customizing tiles is easy:

  • Click and drag tiles to rearrange them on your Start menu
  • Right-click tile to unpin the tile from the Start menu altogether
  • Drag a tile all the way to the bottom of the menu, it’ll create a new category, which you can rename

You can change the size of the tile:

  • Right-click a tile to pick from four sizes—small, medium, wide, and large—each of which will show different amounts of information.


If you decide you don’t want a tile to show live info, but want to keep the shortcut, you can right-click it and choose “turn live tile off”.

To add a new tile:

  • Find the tile in the All Apps section
  • Choose Pin to Start

Personalizing Your Desktop

Windows 10 allows for the user to personalize and customize their desktop.

To access the Personalization settings:

  • right-click anywhere on the desktop
  • select Personalize from the drop-down menu.
opening the Personalization settings
  • Click on Start menu
  • Choose Settings
  • Choose Personalization


In the Personalization menu, the user can change backgrounds, colors, themes, etc.




Utilizing Virtual Desktops

With Windows 10, the user can create an unlimited amount of Virtual Desktops.  Virtual Desktops allows the user to:

  • Group or organize multiple programs or group related windows
  • Locate and switch to any window or group of windows
  • Re-organize groups and move windows as tasks evolve
  • Control of the degree of separation between your grouped windows

The virtual desktops feature in Windows 10 is called Task View and is located on the Taskbar.  To add a virtual desktop:

  • Open up the new Task View pane by clicking the Task View button (two overlapping rectangles) on the taskbar,  TASKBAR
  • Click New desktop to add a virtual desktop.


  • Pressing the Windows Key + Tab



  • Press the Windows Key + Ctrl + D


Clicking the Task View button brings up the Task View interface, where you can see your open windows on virtual desktops you’ve added.


You can move programs among the different desktops you’ve set up.

To do so:

  • Switch to the desktop containing the program you want to move.
  • Click the Task View button on the Taskbar.
  • Right-click on the large thumbnail for the program you want to move
  • Select “Move to,” and then select the desktop number to which you want to move the program.


The program now displays on the other desktop.



Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

With Windows 10, Microsoft has added new keyboard shortcuts to give you easier access to the new Action Center, Cortana, Task View, and virtual desktops.

Listed below are a few of the most common Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts:

  • Press Windows key: Open/close the Start menu
  • Press Windows key + A: Open the Action Center
  • Press Windows key + C: Launch Cortana in listening mode (for voice commands)
  • Press Windows key + (Windows 7 and up): Launch File Explorer
  • Press Windows key + I: Open the Settings app
  • Press Windows key + S: Launch Cortana
  • Press Windows key + Tab: Open Task View
  • Press Windows key + Ctrl + D: Create a new virtual desktop
  • Press Windows key + Ctrl + F4: Close the current desktop
  • Press Windows key + Ctrl + left or right arrow: switch between virtual desktops



Battery Saver Settings

If you are utilizing a laptop and the battery is starting to run low, Windows 10 will begin to cut back on background services and other threads so you can squeeze more out of your battery life.

To enable Battery Saver:

  • Click on the Start menu
  • Click on Settings
  • Choose Systems
  • Choose Battery Saver

Battery Saver


The screen also shows how much battery life and estimated time you have remaining.