[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Friday, 2015-07-31

Windows 10 tips

Filed under: Windows — bblackmoor @ 15:56

These are notes for my own purposes, but they might be useful to others, as well. Note that it might be helpful for you to download the Windows 10 installation media yourself, rather than waiting for Microsoft to send it to you

  1. Re-install video drivers and mouse drivers
    I had weird problems until I did this. Make sure you get the newest drivers.
  2. Enable Privacy
  3. Turn on System Protection
    1. Open a File Explorer window
    2. Right-click This PC and choose Properties
    3. Select System Protection in the left pane
    4. Select C: drive in the dialog box that opens
    5. Click the Configure button
    6. Select “Turn on system protection” option
    7. Set disk space usage to around 1.5 GB.
  4. Move the Taskbar
    Move the Taskbar to the left side of the screen. With a widescreen monitor (which any new computer will have), it makes much more sense to waste a small strip on the left than a strip that runs all the way across the bottom of the screen, making a narrow display area even narrower.
  5. Modify Start Menu
    1. Open the Start Menu, right click each pane, and select “Unpin from Start” (optionally, keep the Weather pane, but open it up and set the correct location)
    2. Unpin the Edge and Store icons from the taskbar
    3. Right-click the taskbar and hide the Search and Task View icons from the taskbar
  6. Clean Up Programs
    1. Open the Start Menu, click Settings >> System >> Apps & Features
    2. Sort by name
    3. Uninstall…
      • Get Office
      • Get Skype
      • Microsoft Solitaire Collection
  7. Install KeyTweak and remap the Caps Lock key to Left Shift
  8. Install Ditto clipboard manager
  9. Install Search Everything
  10. Customize Windows Explorer
    1. Customize Quick Access Toolbar
      This is a small drop-down arrow at the top of Windows Explorer.
      Select “Show below the Ribbon”
    2. Customize Options
      Click “View” button on the Ribbon, click the “Options” button, and select “Change folder and search options”. I am only noting changes from the default settings.

      1. General
        • Open File Explorer to: This PC
        • Show recently used files in Quick Access: unchecked
        • Show recently used folders in Quick Access: unchecked
      2. View
        • Always show menus: checked
        • Display the full path in the title bar: checked
        • Hidden files and folders: Show hidden files, folders, and drives
        • Hide empty drives: not checked
        • Hide extensions for known file types: not checked (this is the most idiotic option ever)
        • Hide folder merge conflicts: not checked
        • Hide protected operating system files: not checked
        • Restore previous folder windows at logon: checked
        • Expand to open folder: checked
        • Show libraries: checked
        • Click the “Apply To Folders” button, and click OK
    3. Show Libraries in Navigation Pane
    4. Add a Take Ownership context menu
    5. Remove Homegroup link from the Explorer navigation pane (may cause a hard-to-fix file/folder rename bug)
    6. Remove the user folder from the Explorer navigation pane. (may cause a hard-to-fix file/folder rename bug)
  11. Install AquaSnap
  12. Install Winaero Tweaker
    The settings below are only the changes from the default.

    1. Behavior
      • Disable AeroShake: Checked
      • Disable AeroSnap: Checked
      • Disable App Lookup In Store: Checked
    2. File Explorer
      • Customize This PC Folders: remove all
      • Disable “- Shortcut” Text: checked
      • Drive Letters: Drive Letters Before Labels
  13. Install Bins
    It lets you group pinned icons on the Windows 10 taskbar.
  14. If you use Photoshop, install SageThumbs
    It’s an open source Windows shell extension allowing you to see thumbnails of Photoshop files.
  15. Disable and remove OneDrive
  16. If you use DropBox, remove DropBox link from the Explorer navigation pane
  17. If you use DropBox, pin the DropBox folder to Quick Access
  18. Install Q-Dir
    Despite the changes I made above, I still found the default Windows File Explorer frustrating. I tried a number of alternate file managers, including Explorer++, FreeCommander, and XYplorer. Q-Dir met my needs better than anything else I tried.

Now that you have done all of that, there are a few essential applications you should consider installing:

  1. 7-Zip
  2. Bins (it costs $5.00, but I think it’s worth it
  3. Bulk Rename Utility
  4. Firefox You might also consider these addons:
  5. FontExpert (It costs money, but if you work with fonts a great deal, it is worth it.) When you put fonts into groups, make sure you create shortcuts, rather than copying the font files. (Note: FontExpert 2016 has removed a crucial font group feature. Stay with FontExpert 2015 until that feature is restored.)
  6. Irfanview and the Irfanview plugins (see the note below about file associations)
  7. Ninite Updater
  8. Notepad++
  9. SmartDefrag
  10. Start10 (it costs $5.00, but I think it’s worth it
  11. VLC media player (see the note below about file associations)

So about those file associations…

As of January 2018, Microsoft has made changing file associations in Windows 10 ridiculously difficult — Apple levels of difficult (“Apple: we make simple things complicated, and complicated things impossible”). This article at Tech For Luddites goes into more detail, but the short version is that you need to run a command prompt window as “administrator”, then run this command:

control /name Microsoft.DefaultPrograms /page pageFileAssoc

Then go down the list and laboriously change each individual extension one by one.

Yes, it’s fucking ridiculous.