Windows 10 tricks

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Windows 10 is the worst version of Windows I've seen as far as user interface and customization is concerned. The following tips will help you bypass some of its many, many shortcomings and make it at least partially usable again.


This is a list of shortcoming of the OS, and, in some cases, how to work around them.

Classic Start Menu

The start menu in Windows 10 is an absolute mess. It's full of advertisements, it can't easily be customized, and it takes up the entire screen. It's pretty much impossible to make it function in a useful manner, but you can get a decent replacement with Classic Shell.

Hide Windows Notifications

In previous versions of Windows, you could move the notifications icon into the hidden fold in the system tray, Windows 10 has removed this ability. Notifications are now also populated with desperate attempts at getting you to buy shitty Microsoft products. If anyone figures out a way to hide this, let me know.

Turn Off Updates

Windows 10 eliminates the ability to turn off or even pause updates, and, when they need to reboot your system, they do so often without your permission, often destroying unsaved data. This is particularly dangerous because Microsoft has a history of creating updates that damage or corrupt their system under certain circumstances. I haven't looked too deep into how to turn this off, but I have heard the laptop users can put their network into roaming mode which prevents Windows 10 from downloading updates automatically.

Set a Default Folder Style

In File Explorer -> Folder Options -> View -> Apply to Folder, Windows claims to allow you to set a default icon view (details, list, large icons, etc.) for all folders. As far as I can tell, the Apply to Folders and Reset Folders buttons hasn't worked since Windows XP, and every version since only partially processes these buttons or not at all. If anyone can find a way to get it to work properly, please let me know.

Setting a Custom Background Color

Windows 10 eliminated the ability to set a custom background color and instead forces you to pick from one of their approved colors, none of which are suitable for a background (a bright yellow background? Thanks, I hate it!). Luckily, they forgot to remove the Windows 7 dialog which can be opened with the following Run command:

control /name Microsoft.Personalization /page pageWallpaper

Re-Enable Volume Per Application

Windows 10 removed one of the few decent features of Windows 7, the ability to adjust volume per application from the taskbar volume interface. To re-enable it, do the following:

  1. Open RegEdit
  2. Navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
  3. If there isn't a key named MTCUVC, create one.
  4. Create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it EnableMTCUVC.
  5. Reboot.
  6. The taskbar volume control will allow you to change volume per application again.

Turn Off UAC (User Account Control)

Microsoft assumes that the default Windows user is incompetent (probably a safe bet) and pops an annoying nag message every time you try to do anything of substance on your computer. To turn this off:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Select Security and Maintenance.
  3. On the left side, click Change User Account Control settings.
  4. Drop the slider all the way to the bottom.
  5. Give a middle finger to Microsoft's "Not recommended" warning.

Turn Off Admin Nag Message For File Access

Even with UAC entirely off, Windows 10 feels it necessary to require a nag message every time you modify files anywhere on your boot drive, except for in your user folder. To turn this off entirely, do the following:

  1. Open RegEdit.
  2. Drill down to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
  3. In the right pane look for EnableLUA and modify its value to 0.
  4. Close RegEdit, reboot.

Dragging Programs Out of the Search Results

In Windows 7, you could search for a program and drag the result out to create a shortcut of the program. Windows 10 eliminated this feature. If anyone knows how to easily replicate this function, let me know.