5 new Windows 10 features you should try right now


Few things in life are predictable. Unfortunately, there are buggy Windows updates. After every major update, you’ll see a slew of reports of broken drivers, features on the fritz, and the Blue Screen of Death.

These updates also bring vital security fixes, so ignoring them entirely is not your best bet. Updates can speed things up as well, although you might need some extra help if your PC is struggling through each task. Tap or click here to discover smart and easy ways to speed up your machine.

Speaking of smart advice, I love to share ways you can get the most out of your technology. If you have an iPhone, then don’t miss these 10 iPhone tips that you will use all the time.

Now that all of the issues have been fixed with the Big Fall Windows Update, it’s time to take the best new features for a test drive.

First of all, you need to update

Is Windows 10 October Update installed on your computer? Here’s a quick and easy way to check. Hit it Windows key + R, then type winver in the box that appears. To select Okay. The latest version is 2009, build number 19042.572.

If you haven’t already, you can update Windows 10 by going to Settings, click on Update and security, then click Windows Update. From there, you will be able to see if any new updates are available for download. Otherwise, just click Check for updates to force the process.

You are now ready to use these new features.

PRODUCTIVITY HACK: Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts you should know

1. Personalize your Start menu

The ability to choose an accent color to personalize Windows 10 isn’t new, but the update adds an extra twist. You will now be able to switch between Light or Dark as the default Windows mode and for the default application mode.

The default Windows mode changes the color of the taskbar and the Start menu. The default application mode changes the color of windows and folders.

To switch between light or dark mode:

  • To select Start in the lower left corner
  • Click on Settings (gear icon)
  • To select Customization, then click Colors in the left menu
  • Under Choose your color you can select either Light or dark mode, or a combination of both

From there, you can choose an accent color for all of your windows and colors.

Pro tip: get there even faster with your mouse. Right click on your desktop and select Personalize. Click on Colors and follow the last step above.

2. Show all your open windows and tabs

If you have a lot of open windows, the taskbar can be cluttered with shortcuts and apps. There is a much faster way to see which windows are open without having to search the taskbar.

This tip is a longtime favorite, but now Alt + Tab also shows you all open tabs of your browser. (Note: this only works for Microsoft Edge.)

To try it out, press and hold Alt button, then press the Tongue key. Windows will show you a snapshot of what is open.

While holding down the Alt key, you can select a window by pressing Tongue or by using your mouse cursor. To close a window, simply click on the X in the upper right corner of the preview.

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3. Switch to tablet mode if you have a Surface Pro or Surface Book

Your Surface Pro or Surface Book can magically transform from PC to tablet with just a few clicks. This setting is ideal when you need a device that is more user-friendly and very easy to navigate. It also makes better use of Windows apps designed for tablets.

Switching from tablet mode to PC mode is very easy:

  • Select the Action center in the taskbar. It’s the speech bubble icon in the far right corner, next to the clock.
  • Under Notifications, there are several options that include Wi-Fi connections, Airplane mode, and screenshot.
  • Look for Tablet mode. Press it to switch.
  • To switch back to PC mode, just follow the same steps.

Note: This feature only works if your device has a touchscreen.

WANT MORE WINDOWS TIPS? Get all of the best security and privacy tips delivered straight to your inbox, once a day. Tap or click here to try it out.

4. Change the refresh rate of your screen

The refresh rate of your monitor determines how smoothly you move on the screen. This is especially important when playing graphics-intensive video games, but you’ll also notice it when dragging open windows.

Monitors support different refresh rates, determined by manufacturer and model. Typically, a 60Hz monitor can display images at 60 frames per second.

If your graphics are lagging, verify that your screen is at its maximum refresh rate:

  • Click it Start button in the lower left corner, then select Settings (the gear icon).
  • Click on System, then Pin up. This should open automatically or choose it from the left menu.
  • Scroll to the penultimate option, Advanced display settings.
  • If you are using two monitors, select the monitor you want to change from the drop-down list.
  • in the Refresh rate drop-down menu, you will see some refresh rate options supported by your monitor.
  • Just click on the desired refresh rate and close the window.

SEE MORE CLEAR: Optimize your monitor settings with this free tool.

5. Pin tabs to the taskbar

Just like pinning Calculator, Capture Tool, or your favorite app to the taskbar, the latest update also lets you pin website tabs. The feature provides easy and immediate access to your most frequently visited websites without launching your browser.

Note: Again, this only works with Microsoft Edge.

To pin tabs:

  • Open Microsoft Edge and go to the website you want to pin.
  • In the upper right corner, click Settings (the three points).
  • Go to and hover More tools.
  • Click on Pin to taskbar and choose the title you want to appear when you hover over the Pin.

As an added bonus, you can follow the steps above, but instead of clicking Pin to taskbar, select Launch the pinning wizard from the taskbar. Edge will take a few seconds to analyze your browsing habits and make a few suggestions of websites to pin for you. Convenient!

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Check out all the latest tech on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s biggest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For his daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit his website at Komando.com.

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