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6 Hidden Tricks inside Windows 10 pt. 2

By Greg McCallum


September 19, 2022

This week we’ve got 6 more very cool features of Windows 10 that most people don’t know about. We compiled this list to help you get a little bit more out of your Windows 10 experience. If you haven’t already seen our original article on 6 Hidden Tricks within Windows 10 be sure to also check those out after getting your teeth into the gems below. 

So let’s get straight in to these lesser-spotted Windows 10 tips and tricks:

1. Show Desktop Button

A lot of you will already know this one but just in case you don’t it’s a really handy feature. The desktop button actually dates back to Windows 7, but is a gem nonetheless. On the bottom-right corner of the desktop is a secret button. Don’t see it? Look allll the way to the bottom and right, beyond the date and time. There you’ll find a small little sliver of an invisible button. Click it to minimize all your open windows. There’s also the option to have windows minimize when you hover over this button versus clicking. Select your preference in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Use peek to preview the desktop.

2. Enable Slide to Shutdown

This trick is a real time saver for those always on the go… Right-click on the desktop > New > Shortcut. In the ensuing pop-up window, paste the following line of code: %windir%System32SlideToShutDown.exe. This creates a clickable icon on your desktop, which you can feel free to rename. To shut down via slide-down, double-click on the new icon to prompt a pull-down shade. Then use your mouse to drag it down to the bottom of the screen. Keep in mind, this isn’t sleep, this is a shutdown. There you have it, easy shutdowns when you’re in a hurry!

3. Drag to Pin Windows

This feature was available as far back as Windows 7, but has some extras in Windows 10. Grab any window and drag it to the side, where it will “fit” to half the screen. In Windows 10, you have the option of dragging the window to any corner to have the window take over a quarter of the screen instead of half. If you’re using multiple screens, drag to a border corner and wait for a prompt signal to let you know if the window will open in that corner. You can prompt similar behavior by using the Windows key plus any of the directional arrow buttons.

4. Nearby Sharing

A quick and easy one here, in an open document or photo, you can now share the file directly with nearby devices (similar to how same way Apple’s AirDrop works). Click the Share icon atop your doc or photo toolbar to open the panel, and then click Turn On Nearby Sharing to see what nearby recipients are in range. Bingo! Easy file shares on Windows. 

5. Mixed Reality Viewer

This one’s really cool, the Windows Fall Creators Update installed the Mixed Reality Viewer app on your Windows 10 machine, even if you didn’t know it was there. Do a quick Cortana search and open the app to play around with 3D models—either ones you’ve created in Paint 3D or downloaded from Microsoft’s library of thousands of models. If you own one of Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality partner headsets or want to start playing around with 3D and mixed reality development, this app is your way to start leveling up. Give it a go now, Dinosaur fans will be particularly excited by this one, you’ll see what I mean 🙂 

6. Control Your Smart Home

We’ve saved the best till last if your home is a Smart Home. Cortana can now control all your smart home devices through Windows 10. The setting is a little tough to find, because you can’t just search the Cortana bar for smart home or “connected home.” Instead, you have to search for Cortana Notebook, which brings up a list of to-do items, reminders, and suggested tasks for Cortana. However, to find the connected home function you’ll need to click on the Manage Skills tab at the top right of the pop-up window. From there, scroll down and click into Connected Home. First, toggle the option at the top to Enable Connected Home, after which you can log into all your smart home devices— including Nest, SmartThings, Ecobee, Honeywell, and Hue—and connect to Cortana. Once enabled, all you have to do is say “Hey Cortana, set the thermostat to 70 degrees”.

Want to know more about Windows 10?

We hope you agree that these 6 hidden tricks show that there’s a lot more to Windows 10 than meets the eye. If you would like to speak with a Windows 10 expert that understands how Windows 10 could benefit your business then please contact me on 020 3326 3900