Hidden Tricks in Windows 10
Windows is an operating system with many hidden features. Get the most out of Windows 10 with these expert tips.
Windows 10 is the most popular desktop operating system in the world, and while Windows 11’s popularity is waning, most of us will continue to use Microsoft’s current operating system for the foreseeable future. And even if you use it every day, there’s always more to learn.
Maybe you don’t consider yourself a power user, or maybe you jumped from macOS to Windows. Whatever your comfort level, these tips will help you get the most out of your Windows 10 experience. Some of these tricks originate from the old generation of Windows.
The hidden Start menu in Windows
If you’re a fan of that old Start Menu experience, you can still have it (sort of). Right-click the Windows icon in the lower-left corner to bring up a context menu with several familiar options, including Programs and Features, Search, and Run. All these options are available through the standard menu interface, but here you can access them faster.
Show Desktop Button
You don’t have to minimize all your open windows just to look at the desktop. There is a hidden button in the lower right corner of the taskbar. Don’t you see it? Look down and right, beyond the date and time. There, you will see a small piece of an invisible button. Click it to minimize all your open windows at once. Click it again to bring everything back.
There is also an option to minimize windows when you hover over this button instead of clicking it. Choose your preferences in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar, then flip the switch under Use peek to preview the desktop.
Enable Slide to Shut Down
Those with Windows 10 tablets or touchscreen PCs have a cool slide-to-power-off feature, but this functionality is hidden on any PC running the OS. There are a few different ways to run this feature as an executable, but creating a desktop shortcut probably makes the most sense here.
Right-click on the desktop and select New > Shortcut. In the next pop-up window, type SlideToShutDown as the file location. Rename the file and click Finish to create a clickable icon on your desktop. Now right-click on the file and select Properties. Enter a key in the Shortcut key box and click Apply.
You can then double-click the shortcut or enter your keyboard shortcut to bring up a drop-down shadow. Using the mouse, drag the shade to the bottom of the screen to shut down your computer. Note that this is a Shutdown, not a Sleep.
Enable ‘God Mode’ in Windows
This might be a bit much for most users, but if you’re a power user or IT expert and want to access all Windows Control Panels from a single folder, God Mode is for you. Right-click on the desktop and select New > Folder. Rename the new folder with this bit code:
Dark mode and light mode in Windows
Windows 10 gives you considerable control over color themes. Open Settings > Personalization > Colors and you can set the OS to dark or light mode. These themes change the color of the Start Menu, Taskbar, Action Center, File Explorer, Settings menus and any other compatible apps.
There’s also a custom option that lets you set one theme for Windows menus and another for apps. Want a little more color? There are examples of color themes that you can choose from that can give your menus and taskbar a nice look.
You can also apply these items inside Windows virtual servers.