How to master the Win­dows 10 desk­top

You’ll spend a lot of time there, so here are some great ways to make it work for you…

Windows 7 Help & Advice - - WINDOWS 10 -

When not ac­tu­ally us­ing ap­pli­ca­tions, the Win­dows desk­top is where you’ll spend much of your time, mov­ing files about, hunt­ing for that ob­scure ap­pli­ca­tion you in­stalled six months ago and sud­denly need, or lin­ing up your win­dows so that they fill the space per­fectly (a time-wast­ing pas­time that’s all but dead now thanks to win­dow snap­ping).

In Win­dows 10, the desk­top and the Taskbar get a few new tricks that make work­ing with files and fold­ers even eas­ier, and the new search bar means pulling up an ap­pli­ca­tion you don’t use of­ten is a breeze. Fol­low these tips to a happy start…

1 Show desk­top/peek

The Show Desk­top but­ton isn’t marked, and some peo­ple don’t even know it ex­ists. Press this anony­mous sec­tion at the ex­treme right of the Taskbar, and all your open win­dows will min­imise. Hover the mouse pointer over it, and you’ll get a preview ‘peek’ at the desk­top that re­verts when you move your mouse pointer away. It’s very use­ful when you’ve got a chaotic num­ber of win­dows open on your desk­top.

2 Vir­tual desk­tops

If you find your desk­top fre­quently get­ting over­crowded as you work, why not of­fload some of the mess onto an­other one? Click the Task View but­ton to the right of Cor­tana’s search box on the Taskbar, and you’ll be taken to a screen that shows your open apps, and also your desk­tops. Add a new one, or even more, and you’ll be able to flick be­tween them with dif­fer­ent apps open on each. It’s a great way to stay or­gan­ised on your PC.

3 Scroll in­ac­tive win­dows

An an­noy­ance for any­one who’s come to Win­dows from us­ing the Mac, the abil­ity to scroll the win­dow your pointer is cur­rently over – in­stead of the one that’s cur­rently ac­tive – is new in Win­dows 10. So, if you have a browser and a word pro­ces­sor open, and are read­ing one while typ­ing in the other, you can now scroll down in the browser with­out hav­ing to take your fo­cus away from your text doc­u­ment.

4 Win­dow snap­ping

A real god­send for those who used to tease their win­dow edges out un­til they ex­actly matched the edge of the screen, snap­ping in Win­dows 10 en­ables you to have two or more win­dows open that com­pletely fill their ar­eas of the screen. Pick up a win­dow and move it to the ex­treme left or right edge of the desk­top to try it (you’ll see it ‘snap’ to the new half screen for­mat). You can ad­just how much of the screen they take up too.

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