Windows 10 For Dummies
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In the Spring of 2020, Microsoft released an update to Windows 10, sometimes called the May 2020 Update. The update subtly changes Windows 10 by adding new features, as well as removing some old ones. These tips help you work with Windows 10 and its latest update.

Windows 10 onscreen Although Windows 10 looks different on different PCs, it usually looks much like this.

The biggest changes in Windows 10

Microsoft changed Windows completely with Windows 8, alienating many longtime Windows owners. Windows 8.1 tried to make amends, and with Windows 10, Microsoft finally brought back the familiar desktop and the Start button. Although Microsoft refers to Windows 10 as the “last version” of Windows, that’s not really true. Microsoft updates Windows 10 twice a year, and this book is up-to-date with the changes Microsoft added in the Spring of 2020.

Some people call this latest batch of changes the May 2020 Update; others call it Windows 10 version 2004 or simply the 20H1 update. But no matter what you call it, this update brings these changes to your PC:

  • Service. Microsoft continues to treat Windows 10 as a service rather than a product. And, just like any other service, Windows 10 changes constantly. Don’t be surprised if Windows unexpectedly changes its look or features.
  • Apps. Microsoft updates some of Windows 10’s apps on a daily or weekly basis, adding new features, removing unpopular ones, and fixing problems. The latest update brought many new icons to Windows’ built-in apps. The updates arrive automatically through the Microsoft Store app.
  • Cortana. Once baked directly into the Windows 10 Start menu, Microsoft has detached Cortana from Windows. If you don’t like Cortana, this will be welcome news. Cortana — Microsoft’s digital personal assistant designed to compete against Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s “Google Assistant,” — can still be launched by clicking its circle-shaped icon next to the Start menu.
  • Privacy. Technology companies love collecting your personal information, but they hate returning what they’ve gathered. In a welcome change, the Settings app’s Privacy section now includes a Diagnostic & Feedback section. There, the app gives you more control over the data Microsoft has grabbed, and it even lets you delete portions.
  • Edge. Microsoft Edge has been replaced with a new, rebuilt Microsoft Edge, complete with a new icon. Other than the new icon, the new Edge behaves much like its predecessor.
  • Bug fixes. Windows 10 runs more smoothly across a wider variety of computers and tablets. The update fixes many of the most irksome bugs, and it tries to make it easier than ever for you to find information on your computer and put it to work.

Your version of Windows 10 will update automatically through Windows Update, probably in May or June, 2020.

Keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10

For many years, it’s been easy to place two windows side-by-side on the desktop. Windows 10 expands on that concept, letting you easily place four windows side-by-side. With all your windows visible on the desktop, it’s much easier to copy and paste information between them.

Windows 10 also includes virtual desktops, a way of creating several separate desktops. You can align one project’s windows and programs on one desktop, for example, then switch to a second desktop to place windows for a separate project.

Snapping Windows
To Do This. . . . . . Press These Keys
Snap window to upper-right corner Win+→, then Win+↑
Snap window to upper-left corner Win+←, then Win+↑
Snap window to lower-right corner Win+→, then Win+↓
Snap window to lower-left corner Win+←, then Win+↓


Virtual Desktops
To Do This. . . . . . Press These Keys
Create new virtual desktop Win+Ctrl+D
Close current virtual desktop Win+Ctrl+F4
View current virtual desktops Win+Tab (The desktops appear as thumbnails along the screen’s bottom edge.)
Switch between virtual desktops Win+Ctrl+Left or Win+Ctrl+Right

Windows 10 touch commands

Windows 10 works well on touchscreens, whether they’re built into tablets, laptops, or even desktop monitors. When faced with a touchscreen device, these commands will help you maneuver through Windows 10. (The term swipe simply means to slide your finger along the screen.)

  • Swipe from the right edge to see the Action center: Swiping from the right side of the screen reveals the Action center. The Action center lists all of your notifications: subjects from incoming mail, upcoming appointments, and notices from other programs. Along the bottom, the pane shows buttons for four commonly used Settings. (Tap the Tablet mode button, for example, to toggle Tablet mode on and off.)

Mouse equivalent: Click the taskbar’s Action center icon, which resembles a thought balloon used by cartoon characters.

  • Swipe from the left edge: Swiping from the left shows all of your open windows, letting you return to one with a quick tap. Any virtual desktops you’ve created appear as thumbnails along the screen’s bottom edge; a quick tap summons one of them to the forefront, as well. (You can also create a new virtual desktop by tapping the plus sign icon in the screen’s lower-right corner.)

Keyboard equivalent: Press Win+Tab.

  • Press and hold: You can see detailed information without having to commit to an action. In some cases, pressing and holding opens a menu with more options.

Mouse equivalent: Hover over an item to see more options; if that doesn’t work, click the mouse’s right button.

  • Tap to perform an action: Tapping something causes an action, such as launching an app, following a link, or performing a command.

Mouse equivalent: Click an item to perform an action.

  • Slide to drag: Your fingertip can drag items across a tablet’s screen just like sliding a piece of paper across your desktop. Sliding is mostly used to pan or scroll through lists and pages, but you can use it for other interactions, too, such as moving an object or for drawing and writing.

Mouse equivalent: Click, hold, and drag the item. A scroll bar often appears at a screen’s edge, letting you shift your view by dragging the box embedded in the scroll bar.

  • Pinch or stretch: Place two fingers on the screen and then move them as if you were pinching or stretching a sheet of paper. The onscreen image expands or shrinks accordingly.

Mouse and keyboard equivalent: Hold down the control key on the keyboard while using the mouse wheel to grow or shrink an item on the screen.

  • Rotate to turn: Hold down two fingers onscreen and rotate them, just as if you were moving a sheet of paper on your desktop. As your fingers move, so does the onscreen object.

Mouse equivalent: None.

  • Swipe from the bottom or top edge for app commands: App commands are revealed by swiping inward about an inch from the bottom or top edge. Swiping from the very top to the very bottom of the screen lets you close the current app.

Mouse equivalent: Right-click a blank portion of the app to see the apps commands.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Andy Rathbone's computer books, which include Windows? 2000 Professional For Dummies? and Upgrading and Fixing PCs For Dummies?, have sold more than 11 million copies.

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