How to use Windows 10

This guide will help you set up and use Windows 10.

How to use Windows 10

The Start menu is back, putting all your apps, settings, and files just a few keystrokes, clicks, or taps away.

The Start menu is enhanced with resizable tiles and new capabilities to help you be more productive. From the Start menu, you can:

  • Lock your computer, change your account settings, or sign out
  • Quickly access your apps, documents, pictures, and settings
  • Shut down your computer, restart it, or put it to sleep
  • Search for apps, settings, and files, and search across the web
  • Immediately launch advanced system tools such as Power Options and Disk Management.

Display the Start menu

Select 'Start' on the far left of the taskbar - OR - the Windows logo key on the keyboard.

Shut down, restart, or put your computer to sleep

  1. In the 'Start' menu, select 'Power'
  2. Select your option
    1. Sleep
    2. Shut down, or
    3. Restart.

Lock your computer, change your account picture, or sign out

  1. On the Start menu, select your user name in the upper-left corner.
  2. Choose your option
    1. Change account settings
    2. Lock, or
    3. Sign out.

In the left pane of the Start menu

Immediately below your user name are:

  • Links to your most-used and recently added apps.
  • Links to File Explorer and Settings.
  • The Power button.
  • The All apps button—select it to display a list of all your apps.
  • Select an app to launch it

Press and hold (or right-click) the app to choose from a broader range of options, such as:

  • Open
  • Pin to Start
  • Remove from this list

Start typing in the search box to the right of the Start button to search across the following locations:

  • Apps on your PC
  • Settings
  • Files—including your documents, pictures, music, and videos

When initial search results are displayed, you can:

  • Select 'My stuff' to find results for apps, settings, photos, videos, and music across your PC
  • Select 'Web' to go to the list of search results.

To move a tile, just drag it to another position. You can rearrange them within the pane. You can also drag apps between the tile view and the app list view.

Right-click a tile to display a menu for performing other actions with that tile, which may include:

  • Unpin from Start
  • Pin to taskbar

You can select 'Alt' and 'Tab' to switch between running apps. In Windows 10, we added a Task View button to the taskbar to make this feature more discoverable.

To select an app:

  1. Select 'Task View' on the taskbar.
  2. Select the app

Windows 10 adds support for virtual desktops, so you can keep your open apps better organised.

For example, if you need to carry out some research while completing some classwork, you could create a second virtual desktop that contains the apps you’re using to research.

Create a new virtual desktop

  1. Select 'Task View' on the taskbar.
  2. Select 'New Desktop' near the lower-right corner of the screen.

Switch between virtual desktops

  1. Select 'Task View' on the taskbar.
  2. Select the thumbnail for the virtual desktop you want.

Close a virtual desktop

  1. Select the 'Task View' button on the taskbar.
  2. Select 'Close' in the thumbnail for the virtual desktop you want to close.

Move an app from one virtual desktop to another

  1. Select 'Task View' on the taskbar.
  2. Point to the virtual desktop thumbnail that contains the app you want to move.  This action displays thumbnails for all open apps within that virtual desktop.
  3. Right-click the thumbnail for the app you want to move.
  4. Select 'Move to', then select the virtual desktop where you want to move the app.

Windows 10 includes several enhancements to Snap, making it easier to manipulate the layout of open windows on your desktop and consistent Snap behaviour across all apps.

Snap Assist

Makes it easy to snap additional windows after the first one. When you snap an app to the left or right, Snap Assist displays thumbnails of your other open apps.

  • Select a thumbnail to snap that app to the other half of your screen.

Four-quadrant Snap

Fill your screen with four apps in a two-by-two configuration. To arrange four windows in a two-by-two configuration on your screen:

  1. Drag the title bar of the first window to the left or right side of the screen near a corner, until a quarter-screen outline of the window appears.
  2. Release the mouse (or lift your finger) to snap the window into position.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the other three windows, using the other corners of the screen.

The Quick Access menu provides access to advanced system tools such as Power Options, Task Manager, and Control Panel.

Display the Quick Access menu

Right-click 'Start' button on the far left of the taskbar.


Hold the Windows logo key and X on the keyboard.

Internet Explorer 11 is the default browser in the Windows 10 operating environment.

Microsoft Edge, the new browser in Windows 10, is available via the Start menu and the tiles.

When you want to search for something, there’s no need to go to a website.

Enter your search in the Edge address bar, and you’ll get search suggestions and results from the web, your browsing history, and your favourites.

Microsoft Edge uses a new rendering engine to help you get the most out of modern webpages. If a page doesn’t look quite right in Microsoft Edge, just open it with Internet Explorer.

  1. Select the More actions button.
  2. Select Open with Internet Explorer.

Microsoft Edge and the Hub

The Hub is the place where Microsoft Edge keeps the things you collect on the web— including your favourites, reading list, browsing history, and current downloads.

To open the hub

Select the Hub button.

To change views

Select a button at the top of the Hub:

  • Favorites
  • Reading List
  • Browsing History
  • Download

Microsoft Edge and Web Notes

Microsoft Edge is the only browser that lets you take notes, write, doodle, and highlight directly on webpages—and then save your “Web Notes” for later or share them with others. Web Notes are collected on the Hub and can be shared to other programs, such as Microsoft OneNote.

Within Web Notes

Select Make a Web Note to display the Web Note toolbar, where you can:

  • Draw on the page
  • Highlight content
  • Erase everything you’ve added to the page
  • Comment on something
  • Clip part of the page

When you finish creating a Web Note

  • Save the Web Note to Favorites or Reading List.
  • Share the Web Note via OneNote or to Reading List.
  • Exit the Web Note toolbar to close it and return to the normal view.

Microsoft Edge and Reading List

Reading List gives you a place to save content you want to read later.

To save content to Reading List:

  • Select the Reading List button > Reading List > Add.
  • When you’re ready to read what you’ve saved, go to the Hub button, and then select the Reading List button.

Add or change your account picture

  1. Go to Start, and then select Settings > Accounts > Your account.
  2. Under Your picture, select Browse.
  3. Find the picture you want to use, select it, and then select Choose picture.

Tip: Windows remembers the last three pictures you’ve used, so you can easily switch back to a recent favourite.

If you prefer to take a new account picture, select the Camera button

Using Microsoft Office 365 with Windows 10

Refer to NSW DoE Office 365 User Guides for all you need to know to get started and use Office 365.


Go to Start > Settings. Browse the categories, search to find something in one of your files or on the web, and check out the advanced options in Control Panel. Most apps have their own settings—look for the Settings icon in the app.

Tip: You can change common settings (such as airplane mode and Wi-Fi) on the fly from the Action Centre on the taskbar.

Customize your lock screen

  1. Go to Start, and then select Settings > Personalization > Lock screen.
  2. Change your device background and choose any combination of detailed and quick status notifications.

Set a theme

  1. Go to Start, and then select Settings > Personalization > Themes.
  2. Select Theme settings.
  3. Choose from one of the default themes, or select Get more themes online.

Change desktop background and colors

  1. Go to Start, and then select Settings > Personalization.
  2. Select Background to select a picture or a solid colour, or create a slide show of pictures.
  3. Select Colours to let Windows pull an accent colour from your background, or choose your own colour adventure.

Apps and the action center

To open the action centre, select the Action Centre icon in the notifications area at the far right of the taskbar. Within the action centre, you’ll find:

  • A persistent list of notifications, so that you can view and address them at times of your choosing.
  • Links for performing quick actions, such as turning Wi-Fi on or off.
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