Windows 10 Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 operating system follows on from Windows 8.1. It was officially unveiled in September 2014, with the first version of the operating system entering a public beta testing process in October 2014, leading to the consumer release on July 29, 2015.
During the first year, until July 29th 2016, anyone using Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, or Windows 8.1, with a genuine license, are able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Your current Operating System must be 'activated' and before upgrading your computer will need to have the minimum system requirements for Windows 10 as below:
Processor - 1GHz or faster.
RAM - 1GB (32 bit), or 2GB (64bit)
Hard Drive: 16GB (32 bit), or 20GB (64 bit)
Graphics: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Display: 1024 x 600 or above
Upgrading from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10
You may see a small Windows icon in your system tray which allows you to get a free copy of Windows 10. This icon will have been installed through Windows Update and is called 'KB3035583'.
If you do not want to upgrade to Windows 10 and want to get rid of the Windows icon in your system tray then go to the Control Panel and select 'Programs and Features' then select 'View installed updates', then search for 'KB3035583' - Click on the 'KB3035583' update and you will be allowed to uninstall it.
If you want to upgrade to Windows 10 and you do not see a small Windows icon in your system tray then you also have the option to get Windows 10 by using the Media Creation Tool.
Windows 10 Features & Tips
Below are a list of some of the new features of the Windows 10 Operating System:
The 'Start Menu' has made a welcome return after it went missing in Windows 8 (It returned with Windows 8.1). The 'Start Menu' is similar to previous Windows Operating Systems but also includes tiles which you can customise with your own apps and programs.
Windows 10 comes with the new Microsoft 'Edge' browser which defaults to the 'Bing' search engine. You can of course download and use your own preferred browser and use another search engine.
Cortana is Microsoft's digital assistant and sits next to the Start Menu. It can be set up to respond to your voice commands by saying 'Hey Cortana' followed by your question.
Recording your games
Windows 10 includes a built-in tool for recording videos of PC games. You can upload gameplay footage to YouTube or any other video-sharing site or just keep the clip on your own PC and share it with your friends.
Print to PDF
With Windows 10 you can now create pdf files without additional software. From your document or browser select 'File', then 'Print', and then select 'Microsoft Print to PDF'. When you click on 'Print' then it will create a pdf file.
You can no longer switch off Windows Updates and so they will be downloaded to your computer automatically. This may not be a problem for you but if it is then there are a couple of things you can do. You can set your Wi-Fi settings to 'Metered Connection' (Start>Settings>Network & Internet>WiFi>advanced options) which stops Windows 10 automatically downloading Windows Updates but this only works if you are using a wireless connection to your router. Another way to disable Windows Updates is by typing 'Services' into the Cortana search box and pressing 'return' which will bring up a list of services - scroll down and right-click on 'Windows Updates' and select 'properties' - then in the 'startup type' box you can select 'Disabled'. Lastly select OK and Windows Update will now be switched off. You can always use this method to restore 'Automatic' updates.
You may find that the Windows tool 'System Restore' has been turned off by default. It is a good idea to turn it back on by typing 'Restore Point' in the Cortana search box and selecting 'Create a restore point' which will bring up a pop-up window, then select 'Configure' which allows you to 'Turn on system protection'. Select OK and 'System Restore' will now be activated.
Windows 10 Privacy Settings
Windows 10 does receive a lot of criticism because of the amount of data that is collected by Microsoft. This data is used to improve and personalize your experience according to Microsoft (Microsoft Privacy Statement
). Although this version of Windows collects more data about you then previous Windows Operating Systems, it is no worse then using an Android or iOS device.
However, if you are worried then you can access the Privacy settings and switch them off. To do this then click 'Start', then 'Settings', and then 'Privacy'. Make sure you are on the 'General' tab and you will then be able to see and switch off some settings. On the 'Location' tab you can switch off your location. Cortana also collects data about you to improve its service but if you don't want Cortana then you can switch it off by clicking on Cortana and selecting the little notebook icon on the left, then toggle the switch to off.
Shared WiFi Settings
Windows 10 has a Wi-Fi sharing tool called Wi-Fi sense. This allows your Facebook friends, Skype contacts, and Outlook.com contacts to share your Wi-Fi and it is turned on by default. To turn it off then click 'Start', then 'Settings', and then 'Network & Internet'. Select 'Manage Wi-Fi settings' and from here you can choose which contacts you share Wi-Fi settings with.
Windows 10 Product Key
If you buy a new computer with Windows 10 installed then you may notice that there isn't a product key printed on the case or bottom of a laptop. If you have upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8 you will also notice that you don't get a product key. Once Windows 10 is 'activated' then a digital entitlement for your computer's hardware is created in the Windows 10 activation service. This entitlement can be used by the same PC again for re-activation of the same edition of Windows 10 in the future. This means you no longer need to bother with a product key.