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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The digital pen on the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book is an indispensable tool for serious note-takers and artists alike.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Microsoft's new voice-enabled virtual assistant, Cortana, is a lot like a blend of Siri's personality and Google Now's predictive capabilities—but the best part is it's baked right into the taskbar in Windows 10.
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.
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.
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.
I know what you're thinking—taking a screenshot is super simple. While that is partly true, taking of a screenshot of the Start Screen in Windows 8 is little bit tricky, unless you're on your Surface.
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.
The concept of desktop gadgets has been around for quite some time, and Microsoft officially introduced them in Windows Vista to much fanfare. Desktop gadgets offered the ability to view various information at a glance, play mini-games, and more. Unfortunately, Microsoft decided to kill this beloved feature after Windows 7, citing security reasons.
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.
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.
There are a bunch of new and interesting features packed inside of Windows 10, but one of the most exciting ones is the Microsoft Edge web browser, the long-awaited replacement of Internet Explorer.
For those times when you can't get something done by clicking a few buttons with your mouse, the Windows command prompt has always been an indispensable tool. But as much as advanced users have relied on this useful utility, it hasn't seen a significant update since the Windows 95 days.
For the past three or four months, Microsoft has been pushing advertisements onto the lock screens of some Windows 10 users as part of its "Windows Spotlight" feature. This feature normally shows you scenic photographs and gives you the option to learn more about them by launching an Edge window once you log in. However, the aforementioned users have reported seeing the image below for the new Rise of the Tomb Raider game. Rather than taking you online in Edge to learn about it, you're given ...
How To: Share Your Windows 8 PC's Internet with a Phone or Tablet by Turning It into a Wi-Fi Hotspot
These days, there is hardly a place in America that doesn't have access to the internet. But with web usage fees and ridiculous cell phone provider contracts, sometimes it's still necessary to go a little DIY when it comes to staying connected.
Microsoft's most anticipated OS has finally arrived, and there's no doubt that all of you out there who snagged a copy of Windows 8 are excited to see what's new. But while Windows 8 has received plenty of rave reviews, some users are upset about one controversial change—the missing Start menu. The implementation of the new Metro interface has rendered the old Start menu unnecessary, but some folks just want what they're used to. If you're one of those users who wants the classic Start menu i...
Windows 10 universal apps are actually pretty awesome—regardless of if you're using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or convertible, the same app automatically scales up or down to suit your device. Definitely cool, but the Windows Store is pretty bare-bones as it stands, so the downside is that you can't always find a good universal app for every purpose.
A lot of computers come with a ton of pre-installed software from the manufacturer, some of which you need and some of which you could most certainly live without. And over time, you may have downloaded and installed a bunch of programs and apps that you probably can't even remember. Now, you could go ahead and uninstall everything that you don't think you need, but then you run the risk of removing something that could really mess up the system. When I open up my Programs folder, I feel like...
TouchDevelop is a browser-based programming tool that allows anyone to build your own Windows 8 apps directly from any touchscreen device, including iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone, Android, PC and Macs. Once the script is created and the app proves to work, it can be placed in the Windows Store for free or purchase.
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.
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.
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).
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.