Clearing the cache on your computer is (usually) a quick and easy way to help speed it up. Deleting those temporary files frees up space, helping you computer run smoother, especially if you have not cleared the cache for a extended period. However, finding the different caches in Windows 8 is a little trickier than in previous Windows systems.
Slowly but surely, Microsoft seems to be steering Windows in the direction of Google's Android. First, they released Windows 10 as a free upgrade, mainly because they wanted to cash in on the revenue that they hoped would come when more users had access to the Windows Store. Then, they included tons of tracking "features" to help populate Bing with targeted ads, which has always been Google's primary method for monetizing Android.
Ah, the fabled dark mode. In the past, many users were delighted to find the existence of something called Royale Noir, a dark theme option that was available for Windows XP. Yet for reasons unknown, Microsoft had kept knowledge of Royale Noir a secret until some bright minds discovered its existence, and the rest is history.
OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive, is a free online storage solution developed by Microsoft. If you're a fan of using cloud-based storage systems, then OneDrive offers you plenty of benefits. It's also heavily integrated into Windows 10, including the new File Explorer, in an effort to make utilizing OneDrive easier for you.
Windows has always been pretty customizable, and there are a ton of ways to change up the way your PC looks—though, it hasn't always been easy. In the past, changing anything other than wallpapers, titlebars, and fonts involved long hours of switching out system files with modified versions and changing icons to no end, but that's not the case with SkinPacks.
Since the release of Windows 8, Microsoft has been heavily encouraging users to use Windows with a Microsoft account. According to Microsoft, the main benefit of using a Microsoft account is the ability to sign in and sync your information across various Microsoft devices and services. Furthermore, you have access to a singular cloud storage solution which can contain documents, pictures, settings, and more on whatever system you're using with the Microsoft account.
Windows has always had an "Administrator" account that allowed you to install programs and manage system files with elevated privileges. The difference between this account and a regular user account with administrator access was that you never got bothered by annoying User Account Control popups when you were logged in as Administrator.
More than likely, the first thing you noticed after booting up Windows 10 initially was a handful of new items in the taskbar across the bottom of your screen. Windows 8 users were probably glad to see the Start menu button back from the dead, but just to the right of that Windows logo are a pair of brand new entries.
Windows 10 runs on laptops, desktops, tablets, and even phones—but even though the operating system should scale accordingly, fonts and icons aren't always perfectly sized for every screen. Luckily, though, there's a handy new menu for adjusting the size of your screen's contents, which you can use to make everything bigger or smaller to match your preferences.
If your PC setup includes a mouse and keyboard, you'll be happy to know that most of the touchscreen-first features of Windows 8 have gone by the wayside in Windows 10. Where it once required awkward gestures to access key features, Windows now recognizes when you're using a traditional desktop or laptop, then responds by making sure that all features can be easily discovered with clickable buttons and menu entries.
Windows 10 is the most cloud-oriented version of Windows to date—yet, while this means you get some nifty new features, it also means some of your personal data is being shared with Microsoft's servers.
Windows 10 is officially here, and frankly, there's a ton of new features in Microsoft's latest operating system. From the return of the Start menu to the new Edge browser, Windows 10 can take some getting used to.
You're smashing your keyboard to increase your screen brightness, yet it won't go any higher, but you know you've been able to set it higher before. Angered by this, you get up and move your laptop, only to suddenly notice that the display does in fact get a lot brighter.
While Windows 10's new File Explorer is just as, if not more, useful as it was in previous iterations of Windows, it could definitely still be better. Two features that would greatly improve File Explorer are tabbed results and a customizable user interface, similar to how they are in Google Chrome.
In modern versions of Windows, Microsoft made quite a few changes to Windows Explorer, the first of which is a new name—File Explorer. Another huge change that most will notice is that File Explorer now has a new look sporting the Ribbon interface.
Microsoft has invested years and countless man-hours in an effort to get their cloud storage service on par with competitors like Dropbox and Google Drive, who have long resided at the top of this market. Their hard work has definitely paid off, as OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) has finally reached a point in its development where it can stand toe to toe with any comparable service in almost any measurable regard.
Modern versions of Windows have revamped the lock screen to make it a lot more useful. If you're coming from Windows 7 and older versions of the OS, this lock screen is both new and useful (though you can turn it off if you just don't want it).
Windows 10 makes it a cinch to change the lock screen background: simply go to Setting -> Personalization -> Lock screen, then change the background to whatever you'd like. But, trying to change the login screen background—the screen where you enter your password—was a long, complicated, and possibly dangerous process. Luckily, developer Krutonium has published a tool that automates the entire process, and it's very easy to use.
For reasons unknown, Microsoft decided to change the way the Guest account feature in the new Windows 10 operating system works. In previous versions, the Guest account feature allowed you to set up a limited account for other users so they don't have access to your important documents and settings. Now, the process requires assigning an email to a new account and configuring share settings.
Microsoft's Windows 10 has proven to be a solid release by Microsoft, with faster adoption rates than its predecessor builds. The seamless integration of cloud services and tweaks both major and minor make using Windows easier than ever now. And it's almost enough to forget you ever used Windows Vista... almost.
Windows 8 had an easy "Set for monitor" option that allowed you to use different wallpapers on a multi-monitor setup—an option that is seemingly absent from Windows 10. But with a quick command, you can easily restore this function on Windows 10, so that it behaves like Windows 8.
Every time Windows gets a significant update, the vast majority of existing tweaking utilities become obsolete. For every option that you fine-tuned with one of these tools on Windows 7 or 8, there's a change in the registry or system settings that cause your tweaks to now point to a dead end. This was definitely the case with Windows 10, since there were so many sweeping changes that very few existing options carried over.
The digital pen on the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book is an indispensable tool for serious note-takers and artists alike.
Microsoft did a wonderful thing in 2015: for the first time, it was offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 for all current Windows 7 and 8.1 users. And, if you were lucky, the upgrade process was relatively simple and painless. There were, however, some questions after the everything was said and done.
The Start menu is finally back in Windows 10, but a lot has changed since we last saw it in Windows 7. From a visual standpoint, the first difference you'll notice is the addition of live tiles, which occupy the right half of the Start menu and provide quick information from your "Universal" Windows apps.
As the Insider Preview builds of Windows 10 progressed, certain features were removed as new ones joined the fray. Some came back, while others disappeared, seemingly for good. One feature that seems to have been removed are the colored title bars on app windows.
The dock in Mac OS X is intuitive, customizable, and aesthetically pleasing, which is a stark difference from its clunky Windows alternative. In fact, in Windows, it takes both the Start menu and taskbar to accomplish what Apple's dock does—but it doesn't have to be like that. Below, I'll show you how to add an OS X-inspired dock on any PC running Windows XP or higher. Step 1: Install Aqua Dock
Up until now, if you wanted to record videos of the apps on your screen, you had to rely on a third-party option. However, Windows 10 changes this thanks in part to the new Xbox app. One of the new features of the Xbox app is the Game bar, which allows you to record footage of your gameplay.
One of the most played-up features of Windows 8 is that it's so much faster than previous versions. So fast, in fact, that Microsoft had to change the way that users access the BIOS because 200 milliseconds just isn't enough time to hit the right key. It may take some getting used to, but it's probably a welcome change for most people, considering that the "right" key is different depending on what type of computer you're running the OS on.
The Snap feature in Windows has been tweaked many times since it debuted alongside Windows 7, with productive additions like Snap Assist brought in along the way. It only makes sense that Microsoft would put so much effort into developing this feature when you consider how useful it is for multitasking with two or more windows side by side.
Google Play Music has been my go-to music service ever since its release. The free cloud storage for 50,000 songs and full access to Songza-powered radio stations make it a great music app, even without the $10/month streaming service.
If you've got more than one computer, it can be a huge pain to switch form one to the other. Between files, settings and apps, it can take a while to transfer everything—and if you're running different operating systems, it's even worse. Image by Onion
As familiar as it may look at first glance, there are still tons of subtle changes in Windows 10. Many options that existed in past versions have been moved, and virtually every system menu received at least a small visual makeover.
Just recently, I was experimenting with a dual-boot Windows setup, and somehow managed to wipe my primary Windows installation in the process. "Why," I asked myself, "Why didn't I make a backup before I started this?" Still to this day, I'm going through the painstaking process of installing and configuring all of my favorite programs, and I may not ever get things back exactly the way they were.
On the whole, Windows 10 is vastly different than its predecessors, but there's not any one big change that distinguishes it from Windows 7 or 8. On the contrary, it's a series of small tweaks and optimizations that makes this version such a departure from previous iterations.
Like most new things, the Start Screen in Windows 8 has its adorers and detractors, but either way you slice it—it's here to stay. I'm still getting used to the Start Screen, so I'm not sure if it's a love or hate feeling yet, but I do know one thing—I want my own background!
Cortana, Microsoft's voice-activated personal assistant, originally launch on Windows Phone, but is now built directly into Windows 10 complete with "Hey Cortana" voice search (take that, Apple). It can help you locate files, set up reminders, control music.
For all of the flak that Windows 8 received from desktop users, it certainly had some interesting and unique features. For instance, the "Charms" bar allowed you to easily access several key menus by simply hovering your mouse pointer in the top- or bottom-right corner of the screen.
The desktop Start menu is finally back! After receiving a lot of negative user feedback, Microsoft ditched the touchscreen-first approach of Windows 8 and went with a more traditional setup for mouse-and-keyboard users in Windows 10.
Whether you're upgrading to the Windows 10 Insider Preview or the official build of the operating system, you'll notice a significant hit on hard drive space—up to 20 GB taken away from you. For those with older or even solid-state hard drives (SSDs), this can be a substantial hit.