Tech Talk #78 – May 26, 2018


Setting up Windows 10


Whether you have a shiny new computer or you’ve recently upgraded to the April 2018 Update (version 1803), Windows 10 (Win10) is designed to run on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and phones. If you’re running it on a desktop or a laptop, here’s how you can setup Win10 to make sense on your hardware.



Clean up your start menu


You can right-click and remove any of the tiles from the right side of your Start menu. Any programs you do want on there you can right click from the main list and choose Pin to Start. If you decide to keep the Weather app on there, set it to where you live. I’m assuming you care more about your local weather than the weather in Washington DC. Tehachapi, Golden Hills, Stallion Springs, and Bear Valley Springs all seem to work here.



Make Windows less annoying and much more private


Click on Start > Settings (the icon that looks like a gear) > System


If you don’t want Win10 sending you notifications for every little thing going on, click Notifications & actions and turn everything off.


If you don’t have a touchscreen and never want Win10 to run as a tablet, and then click on Tablet mode about halfway down the list. Under When I sign in change the drop-down box to Go to the desktop and change the next drop-down box to Don’t ask me and don’t switch.


To get to the next section of Settings, click Home at the top of the page.


If you travel with your laptop, click on Network & Internet > Wi-Fi settings and turn off Let me use Online Sign-Up to get connected.


To get to the next section of Settings, click Home at the top of the page.


To turn on your user and computer desktop icons, click on Personalization. Now click on Themes and scroll down to Related Settings. Click on Desktop icon settings and put checkmarks next to Computer and User’s Files. Recycle Bin should already be checked. Now click OK. Also in Personalization, click on Start and turn off the awkwardly worded Show suggestions occasionally in Start to get rid of ads on your Start screen.


To get to the next section of Settings, click Home at the top of the page.


Privacy is next. Click on Privacy. Under General, turn off everything except Let Windows track app launches. Click on Speech, inking, and typing and make sure it’s turned off. Now click on Diagnostics and feedback and make sure the Basic button is selected. Also turn off Improve inking and typing recognition while you’re here.


Under Activity history, make sure both boxes are unchecked.


Now, on to App permissions. Turn everything off. It won’t hurt and may make your computer run a bit faster. The only exceptions are: if you’re using Skype or another video conferencing tool, leave the camera and microphone settings alone. And if you’re using the built-in Mail app, then leave the Mail and Calendar and People settings alone.


Go all the way down the menu and click on Background apps. Use the switch at the top of the list to turn them all off. Really.


A few of these settings are new in Win10 1803, so if you haven’t updated yet, don’t worry. Most of the settings are there no matter which version of Win10 you have.



Clean up the games


Windows comes with quite a few games. If you don’t want to play Candy Crush Soda Saga, Bubble Witch Saga 3, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, or any of the other games you may find in your Start menu, just right-click on a game and choose Uninstall.



Get all the updates and don’t forget your printer


Get your printer driver from your printer manufacturer instead of from Microsoft. Win10 has basic drivers for most printers and will install them automatically. If you need to do some double-sided printing or use your scanner, you’ll need to go to your printer manufacturer’s site and download the full install package for your printer.


Once your Win10 settings are to your liking, check for Windows updates by clicking Start > Settings (that gear icon thing again) > System > Update & Security and click the Check for updates button.



Social media explained:

Facebook: I like drinking coffee

Twitter:       I’m drinking #coffee

YouTube:  Watch me drink coffee

Instagram: Artsy photos of coffee

Pinterest:   Pictures of people drinking coffee

LinkedIn:    Skills: I can make coffee




Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at

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