Windows 10 comes with a number of imponderables, some of which can spoil your experience. Here is a panel of 7 elements often reported by users, and tips to get rid of these inconveniences.
Technology is both a miracle and a nightmare. A series of annoyances, minor irritations, things that make you cringe. We can easily get too emotionally invested in the subject. Even if I fully understand that the accumulation of small technological frustrations can generally make you want to knock on a wall.
We are helping people find a way to be more productive with technology, and especially on Windows 10 and my readers communicate to me regularly the problems they encounter with tools that are supposed to help them.
That's why recently I rummaged through my inbox, and collected all of these absolutely annoying things that one can come across using a Windows 10 PC. For some, there are even solutions!
1. Unexpected updates and impromptu restarts
Five years after the start of the Windows 10 era, this is by far the most common complaint. This inconvenience can take two forms, either you step away from your PC for a while, and you find out when you return that it has restarted to install an update, taking with it the work you didn't have time to save. Either you find yourself staring at the update progress screen for what feels like hours (sometimes even really hours) without being able to complete a single task.
In the early days/months/years of Windows 10, Microsoft was very aggressive with updates - and the forced reboots that come with them. It wasn't helping that feature updates were coming at unexpected times, with significantly indeterminate update time estimates.
The good news is that the many and eloquent feedback from users inspired Windows 10 engineers, who decided to adopt a smoother update process. With the necessary monthly updates come multiple warnings about an impending restart, and feature updates are now optional (at least for a year and a half, or so).
The only way to really avoid unpleasant surprises when updating is to take charge of the process. .
2. Unwanted apps
While I was at the start of writing this article, I opened up Microsoft's Feedback Hub to check what issues were reported right now. And at the top of the list of trends was a suggested feedback topic called "STOP INSTALLING CRAPWARES".
Yes, the author of the feedback seems quite pissed off, but sometimes yelling in all caps lets off steam. "I don't want and haven't asked for games like Farmville or Candy Crush," he continued, without shouting this time. "I've uninstalled them before ... only to see them reinstalled as part of an update from Microsoft." "
The Disney Magic Kingdom app and the latest versions of Candy Crush, Farmville and company are still present in the new installation of Windows 10 Pro.
Ultimately, the safest way to work around this problem is to upgrade to an Enterprise version. Windows 10 customers who pay $ 7, $ 10, or $ 20 per month for an Enterprise license or Microsoft 365 Enterprise account are spared the spread of Candy Crush / Farmville-type apps. For others, you have to be prepared to have to uninstall this crapware until further notice.
3. Other applications
Windows 10, like every other operating system in our galaxy, comes with an assortment of apps designed to do the basic tasks you expect from a computer, such as browsing the web, checking e-mail, reading audio/video files, edit photos and, I don't know, check the weather?
But some users do not like that these applications take up space on their disk. The term most often associated with these built-in applications is "bloatware".
Regardless, most of these apps take up very little disk space and can be easily skipped if you prefer a third-party solution. Some, but not all, can be uninstalled. Others, like the Calendar app, can be surprisingly helpful to you.
4. The Start menu
The Windows 10 Start menu is an interesting combination of the Windows 7 Start menu, which listed programs alphabetically (on the left), and the Windows 8 Start screen, which featured a bunch of tiles of varying sizes ( to the right).
Either way, you can customize the right side of the menu by resizing the tiles one by one, organizing them into a named group, and grouping those groups into folders. On the other hand, the method is tedious. And, to add more, there's no easy way to duplicate that organization if you're setting up a new PC.
If you are an IT administrator, you can use PowerShell commands and management software to force a specific Start menu on all PCs in your organization. But, for those who manage their personal computers one by one, changing the Start menu will still have to be done by hand.
5. Programs at startup
For my part, I call them vampires. These are programs that will automatically fall into the automatic start category (often without your permission). They use resources every time they start, and continue to run in the background, although you would rather use those resources for something else.
To regain control, you will need to go to Windows Settings> Applications> Startup. You should see a complete and surprisingly long list of all the apps that launch automatically every time you turn on your PC.
Ironically, I have to keep doing this for Microsoft's own apps, Teams, and Skype.
6. The Cortana button
The space on your desk is very precious, and the places available on the taskbar are the most popular. So, seeing Cortana's icon squatting in one of those spaces next to your search bar, when you might never intend to talk to your PC, can be annoying.
This is all the more true now that Cortana has become a working tool. If your organization doesn't use Microsoft 365, it probably won't be of much use to you.
Fortunately, banning Cortana is relatively easy: follow the guide!
7. Strange Folder name
When you log in for the first time on a Windows 10 PC using a Microsoft account, Windows creates a new user profile folder (in C: \ Users). It names it automatically using the first five letters of your Microsoft account email address. If there is already a profile folder with this name, Windows appends an underscore and a suffix consisting of seven random letters.
Thus, on my test PC appears a profile folder named C: \ Users \ edbotveentcu.
If the idea that you’re PC has a folder with such a strange name, there is a workaround. When logging in for the first time, use a local account, and only then log in your Microsoft account. If you weren't able to use this trick during the initial setup, there is another, unsupported technique that involves a secondary administrator account and some registry changes, which you'll find in this article.
Again, business customers are not affected. If you're using an Azure AD account, like the one that came with your Microsoft 365 or Office 365, Business, or Enterprise subscription, there isn't a five-character truncated name. Hallelujah!