When the siren songs of Facebook, Twitter, and [insert your favorite site here] are calling, it can be hard to focus on the task at hand. A popular way to enforce focus is to just turn off your Wi-Fi connection until that term paper, quarterly report, or data entry is done.
If that’s your go-to strategy, the Windows 10 Creators Update has a helpful new tool that will remember to restore your internet connection for you. That’s right, your Wi-Fi now has a snooze button.
To get started, click on the Wi-Fi icon in your taskbar, and when the panel listing all the available Wi-Fi connections appears, click the Wi-Fi tile in the lower-left corner.
Have you ever wanted the power button on your PC to do more than just turn off the PC? The Control Panel’s Power Options lets you change what the power button does, and there’s one power-button option in Windows 10 that I particularly like: that which lets you shut off all the displays in a multi-monitor setup without the PC going to sleep or logging out.
This process should work on all machines running the Anniversary Update and up.
If you’re on a laptop, get started by clicking the upward facing arrow in the system tray, and then right-click the battery icon. In the context menu that appears, select Power Options. On a desktop, open the Control Panel, make sure the category view (upper-right corner) is set to Large icons, and select Power Options.
If there’s one thing Microsoft loves to do, it’s play around with the Start menu in Windows 10. The Creators Update is no different with Microsoft adding an interesting new setting for the minimalists out there.
A year ago, we looked at a way to get a Windows 7-ish Start menu without using third-party software by dumping all the live tiles. This didn’t truly give you a Windows 7 replica, but what it did was simplify the Start menu into a single column.
Microsoft is making it easier to get a similar effect in the Creators Update without dumping the live tiles. What this new setting does is create a single view where you switch between your live tiles and your app list.
The Windows 10 Creators Update has a new feature that’s supposed to be easier on the eyes and help you fall asleep after a long night of web surfing. It’s called Night Light, and the feature restricts blue light emanating from your display by changing its hue.
Studies have shown that blue light at night suppresses melatonin production more than other colors and shifts the body’s circadian timing, thereby disrupting the sleep-wake cycle. Prior to Night Light, users had to turn to third-party software such as the always popular f.lux to address this issue.
Netflix is finally making it possible to watch shows offline on your Windows PC, but you won’t be using your browser to do it. The Netflix app in the Windows Store supports downloading select titles for offline viewing.
This is great news for PC users who want to watch titles on a laptop-sized screen during their next flight or an LTE coverage gap somewhere on the Great Plains. Even better, it gives you a reason to actually use Netflix’s Windows 10 app since it offers something the web app doesn’t.
If you haven’t fired up Netflix for Windows 10 in a while, make sure you’ve got the latest version by opening the Windows Store, clicking on your user profile picture, and selecting Downloads and Updates from the drop-down menu.
In February, we got our first look at a Creators Update feature that lets you block apps and programs from anywhere but the Windows Store. For most users that sounds like a terrible idea since traditional desktop programs offer far better and more flexible software options than the Windows Store. But for anyone managing a family computer with only one user account it could be a helpful feature to prevent unwanted programs sneaking onto the PC.
Plus, temporarily changing the settings to install a mission-critical program is painless. That, incidentally, is also the downside of the feature, since anyone in your home with even a sliver of technical know-how can change the settings to allowing installations from anywhere.
Nevertheless, this feature combined with a quick in-home IT training session informing everyone what they can and cannot do could help to restrict unwanted installations.
When I first started using the Mail app in Windows 10, I just left the default email signature in place. For a while, I got a kick out of seeing “Sent from Mail for Windows 10” at the bottom of my messages, but that didn’t last long.
Getting rid of the signature, or even adding your own, is really easy.