Wayne Williams

How to activate Windows 10's secret God Modes

Hand of God

Windows 7 introduced a useful hidden God Mode that displays all of the admin tools and control options on a single screen. This feature was carried over to Windows 8.x, and the good news is, because Microsoft has yet to phase out Control Panel, it also works just fine in Windows 10.

It’s very easy to action God Mode -- you just need to create a folder and give it a special name -- and there’s actually quite a few alternative God Modes available. Here’s what you need to do.

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Windows 10 will be a great operating system -- when it's finished

work in progress

It could be said, with Windows now a service, Windows 10 will never truly be finished, but the truth is the version of the new operating system that’s out now is a long way from being polished enough for prime time. It’s like an Insider Preview build that’s been released entirely in error.

In an effort to wash away the stench of Windows 8, Microsoft has chosen to rush release Windows 10, and the result is an operating system that is clearly still very much a work in progress. The new OS isn’t anywhere near as half-baked as Windows 8 was when that launched, but there are still far too many issues to be ignored. Put bluntly, it's a bit of a mess in places.

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Free up space in Windows 10 by removing unwanted core apps

Clean Win 10

Windows 10, like previous versions of Microsoft’s operating system, comes with a selection of bundled programs -- or apps these days -- which you probably have no need for.

Uninstalling apps is a pretty straightforward process, you can do this through the Start menu, but removing core applications isn’t as easy. The uninstall option is not available, meaning you’re stuck with a bunch of apps you don’t want. You can however, remove these using PowerShell.

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Windows 10 doubles its usage share in a couple of days

Surprised girl with Windows 10

NetMarketShare has released its monthly desktop operating system usage share figures, showing the fluctuations of the various iterations of Windows. All versions of Microsoft’s operating system registered drops in July, except of course Windows 10 which was launched at the tail end of the month.

Only being available for a few days meant the new OS was never going to shift the needle significantly, but there were enough upgraders (Microsoft says 14 million in the first 24 hours) to double the operating system’s share.

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The essential collection of Windows 10 guides -- everything you need to get started, fix annoyances, and more

Win10 Thumbs-up

Here on BetaNews we’ve posted a wealth of how-to guides designed to help you master Windows 10. While the new OS isn’t difficult to get to grips with, certain elements are far from intuitive.

With all the news that’s been happening, you may have missed some of these guides -- especially ones from before Windows 10 launched -- so we've put together this one-stop shop for all the helpful information posted so far. Below you'll find out how to download Windows 10, get the ISO, create installation media, install Windows 10 on Mac or in a virtual environment, change the default browser or the default search engine, block automatic updates, and much, much more. As new guides are added, so this article will be expanded to include the latest content.

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HP ProBook 455 G2: A low-cost business notebook for Ubuntu lovers [Review]

HP 455

Most of the laptops you can buy come with Windows pre-installed. Obviously the latest batch have Windows 10 on them, with more being announced daily. If you prefer Linux you can either replace Microsoft's operating system with your distro of choice, or set up a dual boot configuration.

Online retailer Ebuyer, however, offers Linux-minded consumers a third option with its range of HP ProBook notebooks that come with Ubuntu pre-installed. There are three models on offer: HP 255, HP 355, and HP 455.

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Remove 'Quick Access' from File Explorer in Windows 10

magician magic

When you go into File Explorer in Windows 10 you’ll see a selection of your most frequently accessed folders, and 20 of the most recently opened files.

This is useful if you want quick access to content you’ve been using recently, but if you don’t want all of these links cluttering up File Explorer you can hide the view, or disable it entirely.

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The best alternative Start menus for Windows 10

classic shell Start

Windows 10 is here, and with it is the Start menu missing from Windows 8.x. The world rejoices. Except not everyone likes the new Start menu which blends the functionality of the Windows 7 menu with the Metro/Modern tiles from Windows 8.

If you’re not a fan of Windows 10’s Start menu (and some people are avoiding the free upgrade purely for this reason), the good news is there are a number of decent replacements available.

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How to import iTunes playlists into Groove Music in Windows 10

Music

If you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 you’ll likely have discovered an app called Groove Music. This is the new name for Xbox Music which was included in Windows 8.x.

When you first open the app there’s not much to see. Groove Music is a rather bland looking affair with lots of white space. The app will automatically import music from your PC, although if you’re anything like me, you’ll need to change the location it looks in to get all of your songs and albums added. To do this, and also import iTunes playlists into Groove Music, just follow these instructions:

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How to disable Bing Search from Windows 10's Start menu

No Bing

The Windows 10 Search box next to the Start button lets you search through Windows and the web. Type in a query, and the results will appear in your default browser. The first time you do this you’ll see it’s Bing producing the results.

If you don’t mind that, then great. Move along, there’s nothing to see here. But if you’re not a fan of Microsoft’s search engine, you can easily disable this feature. There is one downside however, and that’s you’ll also lose Cortana as well as Bing. If you don’t mind that, here’s what you need to do.

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All the Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts you'll need (and a few more)

nerd geek keyboard

Forget touch screens, and moving your mouse, if you want to really want to speed through using Windows 10, keyboard shortcuts are where it’s at.

With the right key presses you can snap windows to where you want them, manage virtual desktops, awaken Cortana, and navigate seamlessly through the new OS like a seasoned professional. Just got Windows 10 today? Learn the following shortcuts, and it will be like you’ve been using it your whole life.

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What's your view on Windows 10?

Shouting Screaming Man Suit Businessman Megaphone

So now that a good number of you have installed Windows 10 (obviously a fair few of you will have been Windows Insiders for a while as well), we’d like to hear what you think of it.

The BetaNews audience has never shied away from passing comment on all manner of stories (it’s what we love about you guys) and Windows 10 has divided opinion pretty much from day one. It’s easy to pick holes in a work-in-progress OS, but now that Microsoft has released the completed version, has it changed your view at all? Do you love it, hate it, or sit somewhere in-between?

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How to manage notifications in Windows 10

Notifcations

The new Action Center keeps you informed about what’s going on in Windows 10, providing a single place for all of the notifications from Windows and installed apps, and also informing you about new emails, instant messages, Facebook updates, and much more.

Notifications flash up on screen and come from all sorts of places, and if you’re not careful, you can easily find yourself bombarded with alerts. Fortunately it’s easy to trim down which notifications you see.

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How to customize the Windows 10 Start menu

Start menu

Hooray, Windows 10 has a Start menu. It may not be the Start menu you were hoping for (Windows 7 users I’m looking at you), but it’s there, and easily customized.

You can change the colors, transparency effect, and size and position of the tiles. If you don’t want the tiled interface you can turn this off, and just have a straightforward Windows 7-style menu. Here’s what you can do.

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How to make Firefox or Chrome the default browser in Windows 10

Default web browser

Obviously Microsoft’s Edge browser is the new default choice in Windows 10, and it’s definitely worth giving it a try. I’ve found it to be speedy and surprisingly good. Persevere long enough and you might grow to like it as I have.

That said, if you prefer to use Chrome or Firefox, with all the add-ons and customizations in place, I really couldn’t blame you. Edge isn’t (yet) as flexible, and if you already use Google or Mozilla’s browser for syncing content between devices, then it makes sense to use the same browser in Windows 10. Here’s how to setup a rival browser as the default option.

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