Five Windows 10 Configuration Tips for new or upgraded systems

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 20, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Millions of Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines will be upgraded to Windows 10 at the end of July 2015 thanks to Microsoft pushing upgrade offers as Windows updates to machines running those previous versions of Windows.

While the upgrade may retain some functionality and customization from the previous version, it is likely that at least some things need to be configured again.

This guide looks at a couple of improvements for Windows 10 that you may find useful. All improvements start with a general explanation first before the actual tweak or modification is listed.

Lets get started.

1. Automatic logon

windows 10 automatic log in

Windows 10 displays a log in prompt whenever you start the operating system. This is useful on multi-user systems to separate and protect data from each user, but also to protect the data from third-parties who may have access to the PC.

If you use the PC alone, and if there is no chance that someone else may access it, then you may want to enable an automatic log in instead.

This can also be useful if you have encrypted all of the storage devices of the machine as you are already entering a master password on start then before Windows gets loaded.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd and hit enter. This should open the command prompt.
  2. Type control userpasswords2 and hit enter.
  3. You may be asked for an administrator password at this point which you need to enter.
  4. Locate the "users must enter a user name and password to use this computer", remove the checkmark, and click on apply afterwards.
  5. Once you hit apply you are prompted to enter the account password of the user name displayed to you. You can modify the user name, for instance to sign in automatically with another account on the system.
  6. Restart the PC afterwards to make sure everything is configured correctly.

2. More details in Task Manager

windows task manager add information

The Windows Task Manager displays only apps and programs started by the user on launch. It is not really useful and you may want to expand the selection so that you get additional information and details about all running processes on the machine.

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Esc to open the Task Manager.
  2. Click on "More details" at the bottom of the screen to switch to the advanced view which you may know from previous versions of Windows.
  3. Windows 10 sorts processes into groups which you may disable under View if you dislike that.
  4. You may also click on the header to add information to the listing, for instance the process name.

3. Cleaning up the Start Menu

start menu pin

If you upgrade to Windows 10, you will notice that the Start Menu is not looking exactly like it used on Windows 7 or Windows 8.

You find listed there programs and apps you have installed, and on the right of that tiles that link to a selection of apps that come pre-installed with the operating system.

While you may find some of those useful, for instance the weather app as it displays weather information whenever you open the start menu, you may not use others.

In addition, you may want to add programs that you run regularly to the selection there to make them more accessible.

  1. Click or tap on the Start Menu button to display the menu on the screen.
  2. You manage apps and programs with a right-click on them, or via drag and drop.
  3. To delete an entry, right-click on it and select "unpin from start".
  4. There you also find options to resize it, turn live tiles on if supported, and to pin it to the taskbar.
  5. If you right-click on apps and programs on the left however, you get options to pin them to start as well.
  6. Last but not least, you may find the grouping feature useful. You may create or delete as many groups as you like to sort apps and programs into them.

4. Manage Quick Access in File Explorer

quick access

The favorites in File Explorer (former Windows Explorer) have been replaced by the new Quick Access menu. It is still possible to go back to displaying Favorites in File Explorer instead if you prefer that.

The main difference between Quick Access and Favorites is that Quick Access contents (files or folders) may get added dynamically based on use.

You may still pin some folders to have them displayed at all times though. This can be useful if you want to access specific folders quickly from the explorer sidebar.

  1. Open File Explorer with a click or tap on the icon in the taskbar.
  2. To pin a folder to Quick Access, right-click on it and select "pin to quick access" from the context menu.
  3. You may also remove folders from Quick Access by selecting "unpin from Quick access" instead.
  4. Folders that show a pin icon are permanent while all other folders are dynamic based on use.

5. Configure Notifications


Windows 10 throws more notifications at you than Windows 7, and probably also as Windows 8. These can be useful, for instance when you receive new emails but also annoying at times, for instance that new apps were installed or tips about Windows that Microsoft may display using the notification system.

You may disable some notifications on the system to bring the overall count down.

  1. Click or tap on the notification icon in the System Tray area of the operating system.
  2. Select All Settings, and switch to System > Notifications & actions.
  3. There you may turn off the following notification options:
  4. Show me tips about Windows.
  5. Show app notifications.
  6. Show notifications on the lock screen.
  7. Show alarms, reminders and incoming VOIP calls on the lock screen.
  8. In addition, you may configure quick actions displayed when you click on notifications in the System Tray area.
  9. Lastly, you find options to hide or show notifications for specific applications there as well.

Side Tip: If you open Ease of Access > Other Options, you may change for how long notifications are displayed on the screen (the default is 5 seconds).

5 Windows 10 Configuration Tips for new or upgraded systems
Article Name
5 Windows 10 Configuration Tips for new or upgraded systems
Five tips for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system to configure it initially after installing it or upgrading an existing system to it.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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