Windows

How To Use Windows 10: Your Burning Questions Answered

Whether you’ve only just upgraded to Windows 10 or you’ve already been using it for years, you probably have unanswered questions. Although Windows 10 continues to improve and add new features, the user experience still leaves much to be desired.

Windows 10 is far from the most straightforward operating system. The most basic settings can be elusive, and even the simplest of tasks can be confusing, to say the least. Here are some of the most common Windows 10 questions we’ve heard. Click to jump ahead:

How Do I Boot Into Safe Mode?

In order to reboot Windows 10 into Safe Mode, navigate to Advanced Startup Options:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for recovery and select Recovery options.
  3. Scroll down to the section labelled Advanced startup.
  4. Click the Restart now button.

boot into safe mode - windows 10 questions

A quicker way to do this is to open the Start Menu, click the Power icon, then click Restart while holding the Shift key.

Wait for your system to restart. It should boot into the special Advanced Startup Options menu, where you’ll find options to Continue, Use Another Operating System, Troubleshoot, or Turn Off Your PC:

  1. Select Troubleshoot.
  2. On the next menu, press the key for Enable Safe Mode.
  3. Wait for the system to restart again.

Now you should be in Safe Mode. Look at the bottom left of the screen and you’ll see the words “Safe Mode,” which confirms that it was successful.

How Do I System Restore in Windows 10?

To enable System Restore in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for restore and select Create a restore point.
  3. Under the System Protection tab, click Configure…
  4. Under Restore Settings, select Turn on system protection.
  5. Under Disk Space Usage, adjust how much disk space you want to dedicate for storing restore points. We recommend at least 1GB.

To revert Windows 10 to a previous restore point:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for restore and select Create a restore point.
  3. Under the System Protection tab, click System Restore…
  4. Follow the wizard, select the restore point you want to use when prompted, then keep going through the rest of the wizard.

Learn more in our guide to using System Restore in Windows 10.

How Do I Factory Reset in Windows 10?

To refresh or reset Windows 10:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for recovery and select Recovery options.
  3. Scroll down to the section labeled Reset this PC.
  4. Click the Get started button.
  5. To refresh Windows 10, click Keep my files. To reset Windows 10, click Remove everything. When prompted, review the list of apps that will be removed during this process, and if you’re okay with it, click Next.
  6. Click Reset.

factory reset - windows 10 questions

Learn more about the differences between Refresh and Reset in Windows 10. Not only are these options useful for troubleshooting issues and boosting performance, but they can help you eliminate clutter and reclaim disk space.

How Do I Change My Windows 10 Password?

To change your local user account password in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for password and select Change your password.
  3. Scroll down to the section labeled Password.
  4. Click the Change button.
  5. When prompted, confirm your current password.
  6. When prompted, enter your new desired password and hint.
  7. Click Finish.

change password - windows 10 questions

To change your Microsoft account password in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for password and select Change your password.
  3. Scroll down to the section labeled Password.
  4. Click the Change button.
  5. When prompted, confirm your current password.
  6. When prompted, confirm the last four digits of the phone number tied to your Microsoft account. Wait for the SMS code, then enter the code.
  7. When prompted, confirm your current password and then type in your new desired password twice.
  8. Click Finish.

How Do I Uninstall Programs in Windows 10?

To uninstall apps and programs in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for apps and select Apps & features.
  3. Scroll down and click on the app you want to uninstall.
  4. Click the Uninstall button.
  5. Repeat for all undesired apps and programs.

uninstall programs - windows 10 questions

How Do I Take a Screenshot in Windows 10?

Method 1: Print Screen

The Print Screen key (sometimes abbreviated as PrtScr) captures the entire screen and saves it to the clipboard. You can then paste it into an image editor like Paint, GIMP, or Photoshop and then save it as an actual image file. Use the Alt + Print Screen keyboard shortcut to only capture the currently focused window instead.

An alternative to this is the Windows key + Shift + S keyboard shortcut, which allows you to capture a specific region of the screen and save it to the clipboard.

take a screenshot - windows 10 questions

Method 2: Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool is a utility app that’s built into Windows. You can launch it by opening the Start Menu and searching for snipping tool. It’s fairly easy and straightforward to use, but you can learn all of its secrets in our article on making the most of the Snipping Tool.

How Do I Enable Bluetooth in Windows 10?

The primary way to enable Bluetooth in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for bluetooth and select Bluetooth and other devices settings.
  3. At the top, find the Bluetooth option and toggle it to On.

enable bluetooth - windows 10 questions

You can also enable Bluetooth using the Action Center:

  1. Open the Action Center with the Windows key + A keyboard shortcut.
  2. Click the Bluetooth icon to toggle it on.

If you don’t see the Bluetooth icon, see our guide to customizing the Action Center so you can add the Bluetooth icon. You can also take this time to remove unnecessary Action Center shortcuts to relieve some of the clutter.

How Do I Find My Windows 10 Product Key?

Microsoft doesn’t make it easy to find your Windows 10 product key. Fortunately, there’s a free third-party app that will dig it up for you in no time. It’s called ProduKey.

  1. Download the ZIP version of ProduKey.
  2. Extract the ZIP file using 7-Zip, WinZip, or whatever other tool you use.
  3. Run the produkey.exe program.
  4. Look for Windows 10 (or a variant) in the Product Name column. The Product Key column next to it is your product key.
  5. Right-click and select Save Selected Items to save the product key to a text file. Otherwise, select Copy Product Key to save the product key to the clipboard.

find product key - windows 10 questions

Windows product keys have always been pretty confusing, but it’s gotten worse since the release of Windows 10. Learn what you need to know in our guide to Windows product keys.

How Do I Update Windows 10?

To apply updates in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for updates and select Check for updates.
  3. Under Update status, click the Check for updates button.
  4. If updates are available, Windows will automatically begin downloading them and applying them, and then prompt you to restart your computer when finished.

update windows 10

On rare occasions, Windows Update can cause your system to malfunction or lose personal data, so we highly recommend taking these steps before initiating a Windows update. Furthermore, if Windows Update isn’t working properly, see our tips for resolving Windows Update problems.

How Do I Speed Up Windows 10?

Windows 10 is optimized for the lowest common denominator, sacrificing absolute performance in favor of convenience features that most users will probably use. Unfortunately, the out-of-the-box configuration for Windows 10 can be pretty slow.

To boost speed and performance in Windows 10:

  • Switch disk drive from HDD to SSD
  • Switch to the High Performance power plan
  • Enable the Fast Startup feature
  • Disable unnecessary startup items
  • Disable unnecessary background tasks
  • Disable unnecessary visual effects
  • Delete bloatware and unnecessary apps
  • Increase virtual memory
  • Perform a Windows 10 Refresh

Individual instructions are beyond the scope of this article, but they are available in our articles on fixing slow startup in Windows 10, knowing what you can safely disable on startup, speeding up Windows 10’s overall performance. If you need better performance for gaming, check out our tips for boosting game performance in Windows 10.

How Do I Get Help in Windows 10?

If you’ve come this far and still have unanswered questions, your best bet is to consult Microsoft’s official source of help and support for Windows 10 users.

Using Cortana

If Cortana is enabled on your system, you can just type a question into the search box to get results from Microsoft, Cortana, and the overall web. Unfortunately, Cortana is only available in certain regions.

using cortana - windows 10 questions

Using the Virtual Agent

The Virtual Agent is like an online chat support that’s completely automated. It’ll feel like you’re speaking to someone on the other end, but it’s literally just a bot. You can ask for help on whatever topic you want as long as you phrase it as a question, and the Virtual Agent will reply with relevant Microsoft articles.

To access the Virtual Agent:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for help and select Get Help.

using virtual agent - windows 10 questions

Using the Tips App

The Tips App is an offline knowledgebase full of helpful tips and tricks that’ll introduce you to all kinds of nifty Windows 10 features you had no idea existed. Many consider it the “missing manual” that Windows has always needed but never had. And conveniently, every tip links you to relevant settings so you can change them as encountered with zero effort.

To access the Tips App:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for tips and select Tips.

How do you like using Windows 10? Do you have any unanswered questions you simply can’t find answers to? Let us know in the comments below!

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