Windows 10 Creators Update Hidden Features
By JamieKavanagh See all their Tutorials
If you have downloaded and installed the Windows 10 Creators Update, you may already be familiar with the update’s headline elements. But what about those that aren’t so high profile? Read Windows 10 Creators Update hidden features to see some neat new aspects of the update you may not know.
Cortana after the Windows 10 Creators Update
Cortana has really felt the love in the Windows 10 Creators Update. Not only does the digital assistant walk you through the update process, it also gets a little more intelligent overall.
As you install the Windows 10 Creators Update, Cortana talks to you and asks you questions. If you like, you can answer verbally or using the cursor. Once installed, Cortana looks and feels the same as before, except it seems more responsive somehow.
You can also now turn off, reboot or lock your PC using Cortana commands. More commands should follow in time as Microsoft have opened it up for third party developers to utilize as they see fit. If you have Netflix, say ‘Netflix’ to Cortana to access the app. More will follow in time.
Set Reminders With Cortana
One feature improved in the Windows 10 Creators Update is setting reminders with Cortana. Cortana has always been able to set calendar reminders but it had trouble with recurring ones. For example, I have a regular monthly teleconference but Cortana always had trouble configuring the repeat reminder. That has now changed.
Ask Cortana to set a reminder and you now have the option to select once or a recurrence.
1. Activate Cortana by selecting the microphone or however you have it set up to activate.
2. Say ‘Set reminder’. Answer Cortana’s questions. These will be the kind of reminder you want to set, when and what time.
3. Select the box that says ‘Only once’ and select a day or interval for the reminder. There are numerous options, scroll through them to see week, month and year at the very end of the list.
I have tried this for a weekly reminder and it works perfectly.
Windows 10 Creators Update Display Settings
The Windows 10 Creators Update has also revamped the Settings menu. Many settings are now easier to get to and require fewer clicks to configure your device to your liking. While Settings wasn’t exactly difficult, some settings were buried beneath others. That has changed.
The new Display Settings app offers many more options on the top level. Where before you would have just the ability to select the display, scaling, orientation and brightness, you now have much more.
You can now select those settings from before but also Night light, the resolution and even use custom scaling. Of those settings, the ability to change resolution from the top menu is a real benefit.
Night light is a neat feature for if you use your computer at night or in low light conditions. It takes out the blue hue from LED screens and adds a warmer tone to make it easier on the eyes. I have been using this for a couple days now and it does seem to make a difference. You can set it to switch on at a specific time or toggle it on and off manually.
Windows 10 Creators Update Touchpad and Surface Dial settings
Touchpad and Surface Dial settings have also seen improvements within Windows 10 Creators Update. Depending on what Touchpad and version of Windows 10 you have, you will see either a simple settings window or a more complex one.
In Windows 10 Home, you just have the option to change the sensitivity or modify the hardware through the manufacturer app. If you use Windows 10 Pro, you have a few more options for both Touchpad and Surface Dial.
The Touchpad window can enable you to modify the sensitivity, cursor speed, taps, gestures, two finger scroll and more. You can even configure three finger gestures if you like. I don’t have those options on my laptop so cannot comment much further.
Windows 10 Creators Update Theme Control
The Windows 10 Creators Update also brings with it improvements to theming. What was once a pretty barebones Personalization menu has now become much more fully featured.
1. Open the Settings menu and navigate to Personalization.
2. Select Themes. You should see a new style window with the opportunity to customize the theme directly from the top level. You should see Background, Sounds, Color and Mouse cursor. All the settings only previously available in the Control Panel.
3. Select each and configure as you wish.
4. Select Save theme once done.
If you don’t have the resources to create your own theme, you can visit the Windows Store to get more. Select ‘Get more themes in the Store’ to open the Windows Store.
To download and activate a new theme from the Store:
1. Select the ‘Get more themes in the Store’ text link in the Personalization menu. A new Store window will open with the themes.
2. Select a theme you like by clicking on it. You will be taken to the theme page displaying more images and information about the theme.
3. Select ‘Get’ to download and install the theme.
4. Go back to the Themes window and select your new theme from Apply a theme. The theme will now be activated. You can modify it if you like from the top of the Themes window.
There don’t seem to be many new standalone colors or other theme options available with the Windows 10 Creators Update but what there is can now be accessed from the top level menu. This improvement alone it worth downloading and installing the update.
Initial impressions of the Windows 10 Creators Update
Having had the Windows 10 Creators Update for a few days now, I must say I like it. Not for the features it brings because those are relatively meagre but for the usability improvements. Menus are easier to use, it is faster and simpler to make configuration changes to your device and privacy concerns have finally been taken seriously.
The improvements to theming and Cortana are an added benefit too!
What do you think of the Windows 10 Creators Update? Like it? Ambivalent? Tell us about it below.