Windows 10 tip: Startup and shutdown secrets. When is a shutdown not a shutdown?
That's not a Zen koan. Instead, it's a description of one of Windows 10's most fundamental features. In Windows 10, fast startup mode is enabled by default. This feature uses the hibernation file to restore a previously saved image of the Windows kernel and all necessary drivers for installed devices. This process that is significantly faster than a "cold" start, which has to load and link the Windows kernel, enumerate all connected devices, and then load drivers for each of those devices. To make this magic possible, the fast startup feature changes what happens when you choose the Shut Down option from Start.
To manage the fast startup feature, go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options and then click Choose what the power buttons do. Microsoft opens up more on data it's collecting with Windows 10. With the kick-off of its Windows 10 Creators Update rollout less than a week away, Microsoft is providing more details about the type of diagnostic data it is collecting with Windows 10.
On April 5, Microsoft published lists of the type of diagnostic data it collects when users opt for the "Basic" level and the "Full" level in choosing their privacy settings. Microsoft will provide a "detailed summary of the data we collect from users at both Basic and Full levels of diagnostics," company officials said in a blog post today. Update: This TechNet article has information on what's specifically collected when "Basic" is selected. "The Basic level gathers a limited set of information that is critical for understanding the device and its configuration including: basic device information, quality-related information, app compatibility, and Windows Store," the article states.
Coffee run? Windows 10: New privacy settings still leave users in dark on how Microsoft uses data. European Union data-protection authorities aren't satisfied with Microsoft's recently announced changes to Windows 10 privacy settings and data collection.
Microsoft's proposed Windows 10 privacy settings screen was enough for the Swiss data protection watchdog to drop its lawsuit over Microsoft's collection of telemetry data. However, a group of Europe's 28 data-protection watchdogs, known as the Article 29 Working Party, has now said it still wants Microsoft to clarify what personal data it's collecting and how it's used, including its role in advertising. "In light of the above, which are separate to the results of ongoing inquiries at a national level, even considering the proposed changes to Windows 10, the Working Party remains concerned about the level of protection of users' personal data," the group said in a statement to Reuters. The new privacy controls will roll out in the upcoming Creators Update, expected to become generally available in April.
Windows 10 tip: Create a recovery drive. The one immutable law of PCs is that stuff happens.
And when it does, there's usually a way to recover, if you had the foresight to create a recovery drive first. Windows 10 tip: Reclaim precious disk space with these storage tools. Sometimes it seems like modern computing is a constant battle to maintain enough free disk space for the data you need to stay productive.
Your adversaries are apps that chew up disk space when you install them and then continue gobbling up disk space with the data files they create. And then there's Windows itself, which uses disk space for its system files, for hibernation and paging files, and for System Restore points. To find out exactly where your storage space has gone, open the Windows 10 Settings app, click System, and then click Storage. (You can skip all that clicking by typing storage in the search box and then clicking the top item on the results list.) The overall view displays the capacity and used space for all available fixed drives.
Keep drilling and you'll find some extremely useful tools: System & reserved Clicking this entry shows how much space Windows itself is glomming for its own use. Previous tip: Hunt down battery-draining apps. Windows 10 tip: Access symbols, emojis, and other special characters. Entering special characters in Windows can be inconvenient if those characters aren't supported directly by your desktop or laptop keyboard.
In earlier versions of Windows, your only options are to memorize ANSI codes (which require a numeric keypad to enter) or to use a separate utility like Character Map (which is useful but clunky). With Windows 10, there's an easier option: Use the touch keyboard. Don't be fooled by that name. The touch keyboard responds just fine to mouse clicks. Windows 10 tip: Hunt down battery-draining apps. Is your laptop battery running down faster than you expected?
Windows 10 can help you track down the culprits and rein them in. Start in the Settings app. Click or tap System, then Battery saver to open an Overview page that tells you how much estimated battery life is left. But to get to the good stuff, tap Battery use, which opens a list showing battery use across all apps (including Windows desktop programs). The default view shows usage over the past 24 hours, but you can choose a different value from the drop-down list at the top to show the last 48 hours or the last week instead. Windows 10 tip: Find any setting in seconds. The Settings app in Windows 10 is filled with options, and with each major release it seems to get a few new entries.
Unfortunately, some of the settings you're likely to use on any given day haven't made the move and are still buried in the old Control Panel. Don't waste time poking through categories and scrolling through lists in the two separate places. Instead, master these two search secrets, which depend on a simple, little-known fact: The built-in search index includes every option in both locations. Windows 10 tip: Shut down OneDrive completely. Windows 10 and OneDrive are sewn together tightly.
So tightly, in fact, that OneDrive gets its own node in File Explorer, and the OneDrive sync client runs automatically at startup. Windows 10 tip: Defrag secrets for hard disks and SSDs. In the Dark Ages of computing, defragmenting a hard disk was something you had to do regularly to keep it running at peak efficiency.
Those defragmenter utilities typically included visualizations, allowing you to watch as the system painstakingly moved data sectors so that they were contiguous. Today, your Windows 10 PC is much more likely to include a solid-state drive (SSD) as its main storage. SSDs don't need defragmenting the same way that older hard disks do, but they require occasional maintenance, including the need to have the TRIM utility run occasionally to ensure that deleted blocks are properly marked for reuse.