5 Windows 10 tips to help you maximise your investment

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Just under 700 million people run Windows 10 worldwide. However, as with most innovative technology, not everyone is getting the same benefits.

While there’s no doubt that Windows 10 is the most powerful operating system Microsoft has ever developed, it’s also the most complex, forming an integral part of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.

Accessible as a Windows-as-a-service subscription and available on multiple devices, Windows 10 offers growing businesses the perfect platform for building a secure, modern workplace. But, to truly make the most of Windows 10, you need a bit of ‘know how’.

Here are our top five Windows 10 tips to help you maximise your investment.

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Windows 10 tip #1: Take control of updates

Windows 10 updates have proved a stumbling block for busy businesses. With automated updates, Microsoft takes the effort out of updating your apps. However, computers will want to restart at the most inconvenient times, leading to an increased risk of lost work. Fortunately, there is a way to reduce the frequency of these updates and choose the times they’re applied:

  • - Open Settings and go to ‘Network and Internet’
  • - In Wi-Fi, click ‘Advanced Options’
  • - Under ‘Metered Connection’, toggle the ‘Set as metered connection’ switch on
  • - Go back to Settings and select ‘Update & Security’
    • - Choose ‘Advanced Options’, then use the dropdown menu to select ‘Notify to schedule          restart’ instead of Automatic.

You will now receive notifications when Windows 10 is about to restart. If the chosen time is inconvenient, simply delay the update until the system is no longer in use.

Windows 10 tip #2: Set up fingerprint and facial recognition

If your business wants to get serious about cybersecurity, you need two-factor authentication. This all but guarantees that the person signing in is who they say they are. Even if a hacker gains access to an employee password, they won’t be able to unlock the machine.

Here is how to set up fingerprint and facial recognition in Windows 10.

Fingerprint recognition

Ensure your device has a fingerprint reader built in so you can set it up access in Windows Hello. You will also need a PIN to set this up.

  • - Open ‘Settings’ then ‘Accounts’
  • - Scroll to Windows Hello and click ‘Set Up’ in the Fingerprint section
  • - Click ‘Get started’
  • - Enter your PIN
  • - Scan your finger on the fingerprint reader. You will need to repeat this process multiple  times to provide a good picture of your prints.
  • - Repeat the process for another finger or close the program.

Facial Recognition

Ensure your device has either an inbuilt camera or an external webcam connected. Again, you will need a PIN to carry out this process.

  • - Open ‘Settings’, then ‘Accounts’
  • - Click ‘Sign-in options’ and scroll to Windows Hello.
  • - Click ‘Set up’ under ‘Face’
  • - Click ‘Get started’
  • - Enter your PIN
  • - Stare into the webcam while Windows Hello scans your face.
  • - Click ‘Improve Recognition’ for additional scans, or close the program

If you wear glasses or a hat, we recommend you scan your face with and without them on. This will help the software recognise your profile. The next time you log in, the camera will search for your face.

Windows 10 tip #3: back up files with File History

Windows File History is the easiest way to automatically back up your data files. It allows you to ‘go back in time’ and retrieve earlier versions. This doesn’t mean that you don’t need endpoint backup and anti-virus protection. File History is just another layer of protection meaning you will never lose important files again. Usually, however, this feature is turned off by default.

To use File History, you need a secondary storage device or network location. It will back up all your files to that location.

Here’s how to set up Windows File History:

  • - Search for ‘File History’ in the taskbar
  • - Click ‘File History settings’
  • - Click ‘Add a drive’ in the ‘Settings’ app
  • - Select your drive or network location

You can then click ‘More options’ to change things like back-up frequency and file retention time, or to switch your drive and network location.

To restore files, search ‘restore files’ in the taskbar and click ‘Restore your files with File History’. Then, simply select the files or folders you want to restore.

 

Windows 10 tip #4: Blacklist Apps not included in the Windows Store

Shadow IT is a major risk to any business. In fact, Gartner has predicted it will cause a third of all successful cyberattacks by 2020. Often, employees will install apps or software on their device without approval from IT, increasing the chances of malware entering the network. At best, the removal of this malware will cause unwanted downtime; at worst, it can seriously damage your business reputation.

Thankfully, Windows 10 can blacklist apps that are not on the Windows Store, reducing the chances of malicious software crippling your business. Since Microsoft verifies all these apps, they shouldn’t present a threat to your network. Here’s how to do it:

  • - Right click the Window icon to open ‘Settings’
  • - Choose ‘Apps’
  • - Under ‘Installing Apps’, select ‘Allow apps from the Store only’
  • - To allow a blacklisted app, repeat the steps and select ‘Allow apps from anywhere’.

 

Windows 10 tip #5: Password protect important files

Even if someone has access rights to your desktop, you probably still have folders containing sensitive, business critical information that you want to keep secure.

To keep these files locked down, you can password protect a folder in Windows 10. We recommend testing this process on a blank file first to ensure you don’t lock yourself out for good. Here’s how it’s done:

  • - Open the folder where your sensitive files are located
  • - Right click within the folder
  • - When the menu appears, select ‘New’ and then ‘Text Document’
  • - Double click on the text file to open it
  • - Paste the text below into the new document:

cls

@ECHO OFF

title Folder Locker

if EXIST "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}" goto UNLOCK

if NOT EXIST Locker goto MDLOCKER

:CONFIRM

echo Are you sure u want to Lock the folder(Y/N)

set/p "cho=>"

if %cho%==Y goto LOCK

if %cho%==y goto LOCK

if %cho%==n goto END

if %cho%==N goto END

echo Invalid choice.

goto CONFIRM

:LOCK

ren Locker "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}"

attrib +h +s "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}"

echo Folder locked

goto End

:UNLOCK

echo Enter password to Unlock folder

set/p "pass=>"

if NOT %pass%==Your-Password-Here goto FAIL

attrib -h -s "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}"

ren "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}" Locker

echo Folder Unlocked successfully

goto End

:FAIL

echo Invalid password

goto end

:MDLOCKER

md Locker

echo Locker created successfully

goto End

:End

 

  • - Replace the highlighted section with your chosen password
  • - Click ‘Save as…’, then save as type ‘All Files’
  • - Change the file name to ‘FolderLocker.bat’ and save
  • - Double-click ‘FolderLocker’ to generate your locked folder
  • - Fill the new folder with the items you want to protect
  • - Reopen the ‘FolderLocker’ file to lock the folder
  • - It should ask ‘Are you sure you want to Lock the folder(Y/N)’
  • - Type ‘Y’ into the screen and press ‘Enter’ the window will disappear along with the locked folder itself.

To unlock the folder and access the files you simply need to reopen the ‘FolderLocker’ file and enter your chosen password. The folder will reappear with your files.

Modernise your entire workspace

Hopefully, these Windows 10 tips will help you get more from your desktop experience. However, upgrading your operating system is only the first step.

To fully embrace the modern workplace, you need tools that work together to provide a secure, productive and collaborative environment. With Microsoft 365, you can use the entire Office suite within Windows 10 Pro to empower new ways of connecting and creating.

If you’d like to know how we can help you achieve a truly integrated, effective and modern workplace, check out our free guide to perfecting your Microsoft 365 deployment.

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TOPICS: windows 10, Microsoft 365

Written By: Doherty

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