7 We recommend Windows settings
Windows is full of settings you might not know about, surprising hidden features that make it easy to do basic things like a log on to your computer or find the right emoticon. While none of these settings are essential to using your computer, they can all make it a much friendlier environment for a minute or two before you change them.
By default, Windows has several of these settings disabled and doesn’t prompt you much to change them. I’ve picked out seven useful Windows settings to change and a few bonuses features you might not have known existed.
Speed up the way you log on to your computer
Despite what Windows suggests when you initially set up your PC or laptop, you don’t need to use a password to log on. Windows offers several options that make the sign-in process much easier at the cost of some security. If you don’t mind, you can skip the part where you have to enter your Outlook or Microsoft password every time you want to go back to the desktop.
I would recommend using a pin or a set of four numbers for a quick tap before going back to Windows.
To do this, go to Windows Settings by clicking on the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen and selecting the gear icon for Settings.
Once you’re in settings, click on Accounts, then click on Sign-in Options in the left panel.
There are several options here, but you want to choose Windows Hello PIN. Click Add, then Create a PIN and follow the settings. If you need to change it in the future, you can do so using the login options.
Turn off Sticky Keys
If you’re an experienced computer gamer, you’ve probably come across Sticky Keys before. It’s a Windows feature that’s made for people who can’t hold Ctrl or Shift and press something else. It’s a useful feature, but it can get in the way if you don’t need it. To prevent this prompt from appearing at all, scroll down and click on the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen and select the gear icon for Settings.
On the main page, select Ease of Access, and on the next page, tap Keyboard on the left panel.
Under Use Sticky Keys, toggle the switch to the left to turn off the feature.
Turn on dark mode
Dark modes mean apps and websites are darker and are essential these days, especially if you’re in a dark room where the light from a white screen can be blinding.
By default, Windows uses light mode. Any time you can change it so that everything on your PC obeys the dark mode code and protect your precious eyes.
Click on the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen and then select the gear icon for Settings.
On the Settings page, select Personalization and then Colors on the left.
Once on the Colors page, change the drop-down list under Choose a color to Dark.
Show hidden files and extensions
Windows don’t want you to see some important folders on your computer. There are times when you need it, especially if you get into modding. The AppData folder is crucial; it’s where a lot of game data is stored and where you often need to dig into to fix problems with your programs.
To download a sheet of these files and extensions, select the Windows icon in the lower left, then click the paper icon to open Documents in File Explorer.
At the top of File Explorer, select the View tab, then check File name extensions and Hidden items.
You can now enter your C: drive, select a user, then your Windows account name, and see the AppData folder.
Enable clipboard history
Normally, when you copy and paste things like text and links, Windows only lets you paste the most recent. There’s actually a name for where the things you copy are saved: the clipboard. In Windows 10 and 11, you can enable clipboard history to display a window of the last few things you’ve copied to make copy/pasting extra convenient.
To enable clipboard history, tap the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of the screen and select the gear icon for Settings.
On the main page, click System, then select Mailbox in the left panel.
Flip the clipboard history and bring up its window by pressing the Windows key and V.
Turn off suggestions in the tar menu
Windows likes to put app suggestions in the Start menu. It can clutter up your preferred apps list and make it tedious to get to what you want—especially if you’re someone who doesn’t press the Windows key and type the name of the program you want.
To turn off Start menu suggestions, select the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of the desktop, then select the gear icon to open Settings.
On the Settings page, click Personalization, and then click Run in the left panel.
In the list of switches, find the option Show suggestions occasionally under Start and Flip