As of today, Windows 10 is considered as the most powerful and versatile PC operating system around. However, as great as it seems, it also has it flaws. From automatic Windows updates that reboot your computer at the worst possible time, to a search box that forces you to using Bing instead of Google search. Luckily, with a few simple tweaks, these issues can be resolved.

Windows Suddenly Starts Talking

 

You’re not sure why but for some reason, Windows 10 suddenly starts announcing everything you touch via voice. When you click on the taskbar, it’ll say “Cortana search box.” And when you start typing and the voice reads every character you type aloud.

What happened is that, probably pressing [CTRL] + Windows key + [Enter] by accident, you launched Narrator, which is a feature that reads text on the screen aloud so that visually-impaired users can navigate more easily. To turn Narrator off, you can either hit the keyboard combination again or open the Narrator settings app that appears on your taskbar, and then click Exit. To stop accidental launches permanently, open the Narrator Settings app, click General, and then uncheck Enable the shortcut to launch Narrator.

Edge is the Default Browser

Edge provides fast browsing experience and a clean, simple interface, but it just doesn’t offer the same level of functionality as with Chrome or Firefox. Unfortunately, by default, Edge launches on every link you click in the OS or when you conduct a search from the Cortana box.

To switch to Chrome, Firefox or another browser of your choice, navigate to Settings, then go to Apps & Features, then Default apps, and then click the Edge icon under Web browser. Here you’ll see a list of all the other browsers you have installed and be able to change the default.

Cortana Searches Bing Instead of Google

No offense to Bing, but Google search is far better. Of course, it goes without saying that Microsoft loves its own search engine and launches it every time you enter a web search in the Cortana box.

In order to search Google (or another search engine) from the Cortana box, you need to change first your default browser to Chrome, and then install an extension called Chrometana. This will redirect all Bing queries to Google.com. Finally, you need to install a utility called Edge Deflector, which will make Cortana use the default browser for searches instead of Edge.

File Extensions are Hidden by Default

 

By default, Windows 10 won’t show you the three or four letter extension that comes at the end of common file names. For example, an image called “mypicture.JPG” will appear in the File Explorer as just “mypicture.” While you can look at the file details to find out exactly what type it is, you shouldn’t have to.

To force Windows to show you all file extensions, navigate to the Windows control panel (search for “control panel” in the Cortana box) and open File Explorer options. Next, click on the View tab, and then uncheck the box next to Hide extensions for known file types.

The System is Pre-Loaded with Crapware

New Windows 10 computers come loaded with crapware and unfortunately, most of it comes courtesy of Microsoft, not the computer manufacturer. Most Windows laptops packs some combination of a Sling TV trial, Candy Crush Soda Saga, and a few other casual games like Age of Empires. Many laptop makers also include a 30- or 60-day trial of security software, which you might not want. It almost goes without saying that, if you really wanted any of this trialware, you could have downloaded it on your own.

To get rid of any apps you don’t want or need, go to your computer’s Settings, then go to Apps. Select the programs you want to erase, then click the Uninstall button.

Your Screen Accidentally Flipped on Its Side

 

You’re not sure how it happened, but suddenly your desktop has been rotated 90 degrees onto its side and you have no idea how to get its right-side up again. This problem occurs most often if you’ve accidentally hit [CTRL] + [ALT] + an arrow key.

The solution is also pretty simple: hit [CTRL] + [ALT] + up arrow to put your screen back to normal.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 6:29:10 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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