Windows 10 Help and Tips
Learn about the new Windows
Updated 3/24/2019

Windows 10 official accessibility upgrade offer expired on December 31, 2017.

That being said, under certain conditions, older PCs can still be upgraded to Windows 10 from a PC running a genuine copy of either Windows 8.1 or Windows 7. Go to to upgrade to Windows 10 or to create Windows 10 installation media on a bootable flash drive.
    This is also the place to go if you need to get media to clean-install an existing copy of Windows 10. The latest Windows update is also available for those already running Windows 10 using the Update Assistant.
(8GB or larger Flash Drive necessary)
How to perform a clean install of Windows 10 and why you want to do it.

WARNING! When you perform a clean install everything on your hard drive will be lost. You should not perform a clean install until you have saved all of your data (files, photos, and/or music) and made provision to re-install all of your necessary programs.

Where's the Control Panel?
    Since the introduction of Windows 8 Microsoft has moved some of the Control Panel items to Settings. This process has continued with Windows 10 moving Windows Update to the Update and Security section of Settings. Eventually, Microsoft tells us, it hopes to move all of the important Control Panel items to Settings with future updates to Windows 10.

    However, right now there are still quite a few of the original Control Panel items remaining, but since there is no longer a link in the new Windows 10 Start Menu to the Control Panel how do we get to them?

Get to the Control Panel
    Since Windows+X key combination no longer provides an easy link to the control panel we must now search for it. Simply click the Start Menu button then type control panel.

If you have not misspelled control panel you should see a search results window replace the start menu with a best match listed as Control Panel and labeled as Desktop App.

If you just click this listing the Control Panel will open.

However you can also right-click the Control Panel listing and choose either pin to start or pin to taskbar from the results. If you pick one of these choices a link to the Control Panel will be placed either in the start menu or in the Task Bar.

Note: If you don't find the item you are looking for in the Control Panel then it will have likely been moved to Settings. There should be a direct link to Settings in the Start Menu (and now as well in the Windows+X Quick Link Menu).

    In Windows 10 privacy has become a most talked-about issue because of the inquisitiveness of Cortana and also because of the default privacy settings. If you value your privacy and do not wish for Windows to always send your location and some of your telemetry info back to Microsoft you may wish to change some of the settings.

    Rather than listing all of the settings you can change to insure your privacy it might be easier to surf to this very informative page at PC World Magazine. The author lists all of the privacy settings you can change to ensure that your personal information remains personal on your PC rather than being sent to Microsoft.
    There is also another excellent Windows 10 privacy article from ZDNet that will help you protect your privacy as well as your peace of mind concerning Windows 10.

The fact is that Microsoft Cortana is no more dangerous to use than Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa. The privacy issue in Windows 10 has almost become a non-issue because of the manner on-going Windows 10 updates have addressed these problems.

    If you do not mind having your personal preferences and some personal information in the Microsoft servers then Cortana can become a helpful personal computer assistant. Go to this Microsoft page to learn more about Cortana works and decide whether or not you wish to enable and use it.
Note: You can learn even more about the pros and cons of Cortana in the tutorials from the online PC magazines - links below under Dig Deeper.

Windows 10 Start Menu
    There are those who feel that the Windows 7 Start Menu was nearly perfect for both a desktop and a laptop PC. They also feel that Windows 8 was a near-disaster for desktop PC users. Now Microsoft has re-introduced the Windows Start Menu in a slightly different form than some have been expecting. If you happen to like the new Start Menu you can go to this PC World Magazine page to learn how to make it more attractive and usable.

    But, if you're not so hot on the Windows 10 Start Menu with all of the live tiles then you can easily download and install a great third-party Start Menu called Classic Shell Start Menu that will give you back the Windows 7 Start Menu on Windows 10; or as close as you can get. Classic Shell is stable, highly customizable, and FREE! - You can even change the Start Button!
    Even though Classic Start Menu is no longer being actively developed it is still a great addition for Windows 10 for users who still like Windows 7.

Programs and Apps
    In the Programs and Features section of the Control Panel you were once able to uninstall any program on your PC. However in Windows 10 Programs and Features is not able to remove the new Apps that come with Windows 10.

    Most new Apps can be removed from the Start Menu by either unpinning them or uninstalling them by right-clicking on them on the Start Menu. However, if you want a one-stop place to uninstall any program or app from your PC you can go to Settings. Once there choose Apps.

    In Apps and Features section of Apps you can view a full list of all of your installed programs and Apps either by size or alphabetically. Sort by Size, Name, or by install date to easily find the program or app you are seeking. Simply click on the name of an App or Program to uninstall it.

    However you will notice that some Windows 10 Apps that are tied closely to the operating system are not able to be uninstalled. You can still unpin them from the Start Menu and disable their functions in the Privacy and/or Notification sections of Settings if you wish.

Get a third-party start menu
     Windows 10 is actually a pretty decent operating system. You can read the rest of this page for some specific help and user tips for Windows 10.

    If you upgraded from Windows 7 you will surely want to install a Start Menu program so that it looks and functions more like Windows 7. Get the free Classic Shell Start Menu or the low-cost version Start 10 from Stardock $5. If you upgraded from Windows 8.1 and you want Classic Start be sure to go to their site to get the latest version that will work with Windows 10. If you install Classic Start with Ninite you will get the latest version by default. BTW, using Ninite is the easiest way to get Classic Start installed on your PC.

Dig deeper
    To learn even more about Windows 10 you could simply Google it, but you can also take advantage of the excellent Windows 10 articles published on the popular online PC magazines. CNET, PC Magazine and PC World Magazine all have nice Windows 10 tutorials. Just click the links to choose your favorite.