About a month ago, the October 2020 update rolled out to Windows 10. And Microsoft in all its wisdom decided that it was time to kill off a very useful feature from the operating system, the System Control Panel.
If you try to access it, you will be redirected to the Settings app instead. It's not just this, Windows isn't what it used to be, there have been many changes in the past few years that are counter-intuitive.
Open Explorer and try to find the Recycle Bin. This is perhaps one of the most used feature in Windows, but you don't have it on by default. You can add it back in a few simple steps if you know how to, but that doesn't fix other such annoyances in the OS.
Hidden Windows 10 Features is a freeware tool that brings together a bunch of useful options, and you can customize the settings per your requirements. You will need to run the application with administrator privileges because it has to modify system-level options.
The toolbar at the top of the program's interface has 6 gigantic buttons and each of the buttons leads to a tab with a lot of options for you to tweak.
This set of options adds shortcuts to various elements in Windows Explorer. This includes the Recycle Bin, All Control Panel Items, Run, Switch Between Windows, Administrative Tools, Network Connections, Printers.
You may also use it to hide default folders like 3D Objects, Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures and Videos. I don't recommend enabling this, but there is a shortcut to hide the C Drive (and other drives) too.
If you're unsure what an option in Hidden Windows 10 Features does, hit the preview button next to it to see a demo screenshot of the feature. That really adds to the user-friendliness of the program. Select an option by toggling the checkbox and hit the apply button in the bottom right-hand corner to confirm the changes. You don't have to restart your Computer, or even re-open Windows Explorer for the changes to be reflected. Don't like something? Uncheck the box, and click on Apply.
There are five options available in Hidden Windows 10 Features for customizing the Taskbar. The first one disables thumbnail preview (also called Aero Peek), which is displayed when you mouse over the taskbar icon of an opened program.
The second setting disables the system tray. You may modify the delay time of the Taskbar thumbnails and their live previews. The last option here lets the system tray clock to display the "seconds".
Enabling "Copy To" and "Move To" creates two new shortcuts in the Windows Explorer context menu.
Enable those and right-click on a file or folder and select the option that you'd like to use.
This opens a pop-up window that you can use to select the directory where you want to copy/move the file/folder to.
The 3rd setting in the in Hidden Windows 10 Features' Context Menu tab, adds a dedicated "Open with Notepad" option to Explorer's context menu. This is useful for opening readable/editable files (INI, LOG, NFO, etc) in the operating system's default text editor. If you're accessing files from a different account, you will find the Take Ownership option handy.
Gain access to the GodMode shortcuts and the legacy calculator from the System tab.
You can hide elements such as the Action Center, OneDrive (from Explorer). Ever wished that Windows would stop adding "shortcut" to the name of a shortcut that you created? Well, you can disable that behavior using Hidden Windows 10 Features.
The System tab also houses options to disable Aero Shake, Cortana, Lock Screen, and the annoying message that says "Look for an app in the Microsoft Store" when you try to open some files.
These options strengthen your computer's security. You can toggle autorun, secure log, disable the Windows Script Host, and set Windows to delete the page file when it shuts down.
This tab has just two options, and you can choose to disable Windows 10's compatibility telemetry and the Bing web-search from the Start Menu.
When you run the program for the first time, you will see a pop-up which informs you that Hidden Windows 10 Features is free for non-commercial usage. Hit the "Don't show again" option to dismiss it. You will need to log out and log back in for some of these changes to work, or restart the Explorer process.
Hidden Windows 10 Features isn't a must-have program by any means, it just make things a little easier to access for average users.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.