Cheat Sheet

Windows 10 For Seniors For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Windows 10 For Seniors For Dummies, 2nd Edition

By Peter Weverka

Here are some tips and tricks for making better use of the Windows 10 operating system. Discover how to choose which application files open in, handle app windows on the screen, open a second desktop to prevent onscreen clutter, and switch from a Microsoft password to a local password or vice versa.

How to Choose the Windows 10 Default Application for Opening Files

Some types of files can be opened with more than one application. Windows 10 opens files with the default application — the one that Windows 10 thinks you prefer. But what if the default application isn’t your first choice for opening files of a certain type?

If your computer is anywhere near typical, two or three different applications on your computer can open graphics files, for example. Sometimes when you open a file, it opens in the wrong application.

Follow these steps to tell Windows 10 which application to use to open files of a certain type:

  1. Open Control Panel.

  2. In Control Panel, choose Programs.

  3. In the Programs window, choose Default Programs.

  4. Click the Associate a File Type or Protocol with a Program link. The Set Associations window opens. This window lists the file extensions by which different file types are known.

  5. In the name column, scroll to and select the file type you are concerned with. For example, if you want to change the application with which Windows 10 opens JPEG files, scroll to and select the JPEG file extension.

  6. Click the Change Program button. A window appears with a list of applications on your computer that can open files of the type you selected.

  7. Select your first-choice application for opening files of this type and then select the OK button.

How to Manipulate App Windows in Windows 10

Applications and files open in windows. Windows are so important in Windows 10, they named the operating system after them. Here are some techniques for handling windows:

  • Moving: Drag the title bar — the area along the top of the window where the name of the file or application you are working on is listed.

  • Resizing: Move the pointer or your finger over a side or corner of the window. Then drag up or down (to change the window’s height) or left or right (to change the window’s width). By dragging the corner of a window, you can change the height and width simultaneously.

  • Switching: To go from one window to another:

    • Select the Task View button on the taskbar. Thumbnail versions of all open windows appear. Select a thumbnail. Besides selecting the Task View button to go to Task view, you can press the Windows key + Tab or swipe from the left edge of the screen.

    • Select an icon on the taskbar. If you’ve opened more than one file with an application, select the application’s icon and then select the file’s thumbnail (it appears above the application icon).

    • Press Alt+Tab and continue to hold down the Alt key. A screen showing thumbnails of all open windows appears. Still holding down the Alt key, press the left or right arrow key to select a thumbnail, and release the Alt key.

  • Snapping: Drag the window to a side or corner of the screen. The window “snaps” to the side or corner such that it occupies one side or one corner of the screen.

  • Closing: Click or tap the Close button (the X) in the upper-right corner of the screen, or press Alt+F4.

How to Open a Second (or Third) Desktop in Windows 10

Open a second (or third) desktop to keep the screen from getting crowded with too many open windows. Opening another desktop is like having another computer screen. You can open the files that pertain to one project on one desktop and open files that pertain to a second project on another desktop. This way, you can stay organized in your work and reduce clutter on the screen.

Follow these steps to open another desktop:

  1. Select the Task View button on the taskbar (or press the Windows key + Tab or swipe from the left edge of the screen.).

    Thumbnail versions of open windows appear. As well, the New Desktop button appears on the right side of the screen.

  2. Select the New Desktop button. Desktop tiles called “Desktop 1” and “Desktop 2” appear.

  3. Select the Desktop 2 tile. Desktop 2 opens. Now you can open applications and files on the second desktop.

  4. Select the Task View button again and choose the Desktop 1 tile when you want to return to the first desktop.

  5. To close a desktop, move the pointer or your finger onto the desktop tile, and when the Close button appears click or tap the Close button. When you close a desktop, all its open applications and files move to the desktop that is still open.

How to Manage Your Windows 10 Passwords

For home computers, passwords may be unnecessary in Windows 10 unless you need to keep someone else in the house out of your business. Laptop users should always create a password. Don’t make it easy for a thief to use your computer.

Windows 10 offers two types of passwords, and if you prefer not to enter a password when you turn on your computer, you can start Windows 10 without entering a password. The two types of passwords are

  • Microsoft Account password: You need this type of password to secure your computer and to take advantage of Windows 10 features such as the Microsoft Store for apps, OneDrive for online storage, and synchronizing settings between computers.

  • Local password: This type of password secures your computer against unwanted entry.

To tell Windows 10 how you want to handle passwords, go to the Start screen, select your name (at the top of the Start menu), and choose Change Account Settings from the drop-down menu that appears. The Accounts screen opens. From here, you can manage passwords:

  • Change your local account to a Microsoft Account: On the Your Info screen, select Sign In with a Microsoft Account Instead. On the following screen, Enter the email address and password of your Microsoft account and select the Sign In button. On the following screen, enter your current Windows password and select the Next button.

  • Convert your Microsoft Account to a Local account: On the Your Account screen, select Sign In with a Local Account Instead. (You may be asked to enter your Microsoft Account password. As well, Windows 10 may ask you to verify your identity to Microsoft by submitting a security code. Enter your e-mail address and click Next. Then go to your email account, get the security code, and enter it in the Enter the Code screen.) The Switch to a Local Account screen appears. Negotiate the screens that appear, entering your local account user name, password (twice), and password hint.

  • Start Windows 10 without entering a password: Convert your Microsoft Account to the Local account type, if necessary (see the instructions in the previous item in this list). Then, on the Accounts screen, select Sign-in Options. Under Password, select the Change button. The Change Your Password screen appears. Enter your password and select Next. In the following screen, leave all boxes blank and select Next. Then select Finish.