Wayne Williams

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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How to change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge

edge logo

Windows 10's new modern web browser comes with Bing as its default search engine. This will, of course, surprise absolutely no one. Some people will be more than happy with that choice, but others will prefer to switch to using something different. Like Google.

The process isn’t especially intuitive but it is very straightforward and won’t take more than a few seconds of your time. Here’s how to do it.

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How to install Windows 10 on Oracle VirtualBox -- no Windows key required

virtualbox

Now that Windows 10 is officially available, there’s a good chance you’ll be updating your existing PCs to the new OS. There are reasons for and against doing this of course.

If you’re not quite ready to jump aboard Windows 10, you might want to install it in a virtualized environment instead. This way you’ll be able to try it out -- no Windows key required -- without risking your current setup, and see whether you like it or not. It’s certainly worth playing around with.

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How to manually trigger your reserved Windows 10 upgrade

Happy PC user

If you reserved a Windows 10 upgrade, you were probably expecting it to appear this morning. For many people that was the case, but not for all. There are ways around this problem of course -- you can use the free tool Microsoft released today in order to update your PC whenever you like.

However, if you reserved the update, then you probably just want to get your upgrade through that. And rightly so. Fortunately, there’s a simple little trick you can use.

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Automate login and bypass the lock screen in Windows 10

bypass login

Like Windows 8.x, Windows 10 has been designed with security in mind and requires you to log in before you can start using it. That’s fine, and sensible, but if you’re the only person using your PC, and you’re confident that no one will be able to use it without your permission, or break in to your home and steal it, you might want to skip this stage.

The process of doing so is the same as in Windows 8, and is very simple without the need for registry hacks or complicated trickery.

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How to download Windows 10 and create your own installation USB flash drive or DVD

Windows 10 installed

Windows 10 has launched in 190 countries, and if you reserved your copy you should be able to upgrade to it today, or soon afterwards. Microsoft will be notifying users in waves when their upgrade is ready to be installed.

However, for some people the wait may be long, and others have reported problems with the automatic installation. Fortunately, if you’re keen to get the upgrade started, Microsoft has released a tool that will let you download Windows 10 and create your own installation media on either a USB flash drive or DVD.

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Microsoft explains Windows 10 -- try to stay awake

Sleep

If you’re still undecided whether Windows 10 is for you or not, or you just want to find out a bit more about the forthcoming OS, Microsoft has a new video designed to walk you through the changes and new features.

The video is presented by Mohammed Samji of the Windows Team, and it’s about as laid back as you can imagine. Samji, dressed in pastel colors, talks in the sort of tone you tend to hear in apps designed to help insomniacs get to sleep, while a similarly relaxing tune burbles along in the background. Is Samji explaining Windows 10’s key principles, or attempting to hypnotize the viewers? Watch the video and decide for yourself.

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10 reasons NOT to upgrade to Windows 10

Thumbs down

So I’ve already listed reasons why people should switch to Windows 10, but here I am telling you why you shouldn’t. Contradictory, right? Except, not really. I will be upgrading to Windows 10 on July 29, because it’s my job to be running the latest version of Windows.

If it wasn’t I don’t know if I would be making the switch. at least not immediately. Windows 10 is a good OS, in my opinion. It’s much better than Windows 8.x, and the price (free!) is certainly attractive. But if you’re on the fence about making the upgrade, my honest advice is to stay there a while longer. Here are 10 reasons to wait.

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10 reasons to upgrade to Windows 10

Thumbs up

Microsoft has been listing the top reasons why you should upgrade to Windows 10, with familiarity cited as one of the main selling points, Cortana’s inclusion is another.

Maybe it’s just me (but I expect it isn’t), but I don’t think those are really the best reasons why anyone should switch to the new OS. So I figured I would come up with a list of reasons that genuinely do make the case for upgrading to Windows 10.

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What you need to know before installing Windows 10 (including you might be waiting MONTHS for the upgrade!)

Windows 10 desktop

Microsoft has started sending out emails to Windows users who have reserved their copy of Windows 10 in advance of the launch next week. As reported previously, you probably won’t get your copy on the big day -- Microsoft says "After July 29, when Windows 10 is ready for your device, it will download in the background. You’ll then get a notification to schedule your upgrade right away or at another time that’s convenient for you".

Before you do install it, you’ll want to make sure your PC or tablet is ready for the upgrade.

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