I just upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10; any tips on getting up to speed?
This question was answered on February 20, 2020. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
Anyone upgrading from Windows 7 to 10 is likely to feel a bit lost, which isn’t unusual.
If it’s any solace, Microsoft claims that this is the last major upgrade to Windows. This should mean that once you get comfortable with Windows 10, you shouldn’t have to deal with the trauma of a major user interface change ever again.
One of the first things you’ll likely encounter is Microsoft forcing you to use or create a Microsoft account.
If you use more than one Windows 10 computer (e.g. work and home), having a Microsoft account makes it possible to sync settings and other content between them.
Look and Feel
The major difference is the addition of tiles to the right of the traditional navigation menu, which is referred to as the Metro User Interface.
If you absolutely can’t stand the new navigation system, you can revert to something that looks a lot like Windows 7, which I covered previously (Making Windows 10 More Like Windows 7 http://bit.ly/39X2OGK).
This is one of the biggest changes to Windows 10 as Microsoft shifted to the same user data collection approach that’s common with lots of other tech companies.
Make sure you review all of the privacy settings that include location tracking, activity history, targeted ads, camera/microphone access and much more.
Wired.com created a solid primer for Windows 10 privacy settings you should check: http://bit.ly/2RIScU9.
If your computer has a fingerprint reader or camera, you can use biometrics to log into your computer instead of a password or PIN. (If you choose to set facial recognition, you’ll have to allow access to your camera in the privacy setting.)
Windows Hello can also be used to access a few other services such as Dropbox and OneDrive: http://bit.ly/2Vcl8HK.
Microsoft’s voice recognition assistant is known as Cortana and if you’ve given permission to access your microphone, you can say ‘Hey Cortana’ to wake it up.
If you’d rather not use it, it can be turned off by typing ‘talk to Cortana’ in the search box near the bottom left corner and changing the setting.
Updated Utilities and Printer Drivers
A really important step to help make things operate smoothly is to make sure you have the latest versions of utilities and drivers that are designed to work with Windows 10.
A quick way to download all of the utilities you want all at once is by using the https://ninite.com website. Alternate browsers such as Chrome and Firefox can also be included in the download.
To make sure you have the proper printer driver, go to the support section of your printer manufacturer’s website to find your model’s driver download options and follow their instructions.
Change is hard, especially with something as familiar as an operating system, but if you just focus on learning a little bit at a time, you’ll get comfortable with Windows 10 in good time.
Remember, there are lots of YouTube videos that will show you how to do just about anything you want to learn in Windows 10.
About the author
Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on February 20, 2020