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…
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.