Windows 10: A cheat sheet

This complete information covers must-know Home windows 10 particulars together with options, system necessities, improve choices and Microsoft’s Home windows-as-a-service technique.

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Like a Swiss Military Knife, Home windows 10 was designed to do nearly every part for everybody…or a minimum of that is Microsoft’s hope. It is constructed to offer a unified working system that may run throughout a number of platforms, equivalent to PCs, tablets and smartphones. It is also designed to offer PC customers with a extra conventional Home windows expertise in comparison with Home windows 8’s touch-centric UI, one thing Microsoft hopes will win over long-time Home windows customers and plenty of IT departments that skipped Home windows 8. Lastly, Home windows 10 marks the start of Microsoft’s Home windows-as-a-service technique, which may sign the top of numbered Home windows releases.

To assist IT leaders stand up to hurry on Home windows 10, we compiled a very powerful particulars and associated sources on Microsoft’s newest working system into this information, which we’ll periodically replace as new data turns into out there. This text can be out there as a obtain, Cheat sheet: Home windows 10 (free PDF).

SEE: Home windows 10 energy suggestions: Secret shortcuts to your favourite settings (TechRepublic Premium)

Home windows 11 launched

As of October 5, 2021, Microsoft Home windows 11 is obtainable as a common launch to the general public. Assuming it’s October 5 or later and assuming your private laptop meets the prerequisite necessities together with set up of Home windows 10 1909 or later, you possibly can improve to Home windows 11 by navigating to the Replace & Safety settings display screen.

Customers can also reap the benefits of the Home windows 11 Set up Assistant to bypass the Home windows 10 Replace & Safety display screen and improve to Home windows 11 straight.

SEE: Home windows 11: Recommendations on set up, safety and extra (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Home windows 10 October 2020 Replace

The Home windows 10 October 2020 Replace, also called Home windows 10 model 20H2, launched to the general public on Oct. 20, 2020. This launch fixes a number of bugs within the working system and provides just a few notable quality-of-life options. For instance, model 20H2 contains the Chromium-based model of the Microsoft Edge internet browser, making it the official default browser for Home windows 10. Model 20H2 additionally streamlines the Begin Menu and makes extra adjustments to the Settings Management Panel.

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Home windows 10 Might 2020 Replace

As of Might 27, 2020, Home windows 10, Model 2004, turned out there to mainstream customers. The 20H1 replace of Home windows 10 included a number of new user-friendly options, quite a few bug fixes, and new instruments for builders. 

On the developer’s facet, an up to date model of the Home windows Subsystem for Linux will convert the system from a translation layer to a digital machine operating Microsoft’s Linux kernel. As well as, admins now have higher and extra feature-rich replace optimization instruments.

Customers will discover an enchancment in Bluetooth and different wi-fi connectivity, in addition to enhancements to GPU monitoring and administration. The Cortana digital assistant is not an integral a part of the working system–it’s now a separate app.

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Home windows 10 November 2019 Replace

The Home windows 10 November 2019 Replace was made “… out there to the Launch Preview ring of the Home windows Insider Program on October 14, 2019,” states ZDNet contributing author Ed Bott. Home windows 10 Model 1909 was launched to most people on November 12, 2019.

The Home windows 10 November 2019 Replace is listed as an optionally available replace on the Home windows 10 Replace display screen, granting customers the chance to decide on if and once they wish to set up it. This marked a significant change in the way in which Microsoft deploys Home windows 10 replace packages—one main replace within the Spring of every yr and one smaller upkeep replace within the Fall of every yr.

Most of the new options within the Home windows 10 November 2019 Replace are behind-the-scenes enhancements to common efficiency and battery utilization effectivity. There are additionally a number of function enhancements included for OEMs, utility builders and enterprise directors. With the discharge of Home windows 10 Model 1909, customers of voice-activated digital assistants can converse with related gadgets from the Home windows 10 lock display screen.

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Home windows 10 Might 2019 Replace

The Home windows 10 Might 2019 Replace was made “… out there to the Launch Preview ring of the Home windows Insider Program on April 8, 2019,” states ZDNet contributing author Ed Bott. ZDNet contributor Mary Jo Foley reported that on April 18, 2019 Home windows 10 was made out there on MSDN, in addition to its Home windows Server 1903 element. The Home windows 10 Might 2019 Replace turned extensively out there to customers on Might 21, 2019.

Home windows 10 October 2018 Replace

The Home windows 10 October 2018 Replace is taken into account an evolution of the unique Home windows 10 launch. With editions for residence customers, enterprise professionals, and for enterprise, it provided a mixture of options for each consumer working throughout PCs and tablets.

Microsoft had slowly been evolving the Home windows consumer interface to reap the benefits of extra pure methods of working with a pc. The mouse and keyboard are nonetheless there, however screens are extra touch-friendly, with a robust on-screen keyboard powered by the identical underlying machine studying system because the acquainted cellular SwiftKey. There’s additionally assist for eye monitoring, for Microsoft’s personal rotary Dial, and for on-screen pens.

Every new launch provides new interplay fashions, as Microsoft takes benefit of its Home windows-as-a-Service mannequin to push out common small adjustments that over time add as much as a brand new Home windows. The previous numbered and named releases have gone away, as have the themed semi-annual updates. Now Home windows will get its title from the month it is launched, identical to the Xbox gaming platform.

SEE: Home windows-as-a-service fail: Microsoft retains prospects at nighttime (ZDNet)

1809 is the final of the Redstone collection of Home windows 10 releases. Initially codenamed RS5, it added new darkish mode UI components, in addition to a wider implementation of Microsoft’s Fluent design type, throughout each the OS and Home windows 10’s built-in functions. Different new options embody deeper integration with Android telephones through the Your Cellphone app, improved display screen seize instruments, a cloud-hosted clipboard, plus adjustments to the Begin menu search expertise and the Cortana digital assistant.

This launch additionally launched a business-friendly assist mannequin, with assist for the September/October releases prolonged to 30 months, with 18 months assist for the March/April releases. It is a change that can make it simpler for companies and customers that wish to replace Home windows each one or two years, with out having to go to the feature-limited Lengthy Time period Servicing (LTS) launch. Different Enterprise updates embody new sign-in and safety tooling, and the insurance policies to make sure they are often managed and deployed to all customers.

Government abstract

  • What’s Home windows 10? Home windows 10 is the newest main launch of Microsoft’s Home windows working system and is the successor to Home windows 7 and Home windows 8/8.1. Home windows 10 contains assist for tablets and Web of Issues (IoT) gadgets. It stays backwards suitable with software program written for many earlier variations of Home windows and DOS, and has added assist for Linux functions and for Arm processors in addition to Intel and AMD x86 {hardware}.
  • Why does Home windows 10 matter? Home windows 10 incorporates a number of recent options, safety updates and a platform-unifying design geared toward each enterprise customers and customers. Home windows stays Microsoft’s flagship product, and continues to be the dominant PC working system. By switching to a semi-annual launch schedule, it is in a position so as to add options and assist new companies constructing on a well-recognized platform and consumer interface. Microsoft calls this supply mannequin Home windows-as-a-Service.
  • Who does Home windows 10 have an effect on? Home windows 10 is obtainable from the Microsoft Retailer and from different retailers, and will probably be the default working system of many newly bought computer systems and digital gadgets. Home windows 10 is now put in on round 1 billion gadgets. With an accelerated supply mannequin, Microsoft is aiming to deliver as many customers as attainable to the brand new launch as rapidly as attainable.
  • When was Home windows 10 launched? Microsoft made Home windows 10 Residence and Home windows 10 Professional usually out there on July 29, 2015 via a staggered launch schedule. Home windows 10 Enterprise and Home windows 10 Training editions have been made out there starting on August 1, 2015. Microsoft launched the Home windows 10 April 2018 Replace on Might 30, 2018 and started rolling it out to prospects on a staggered foundation. The Home windows 10 October 2018 Replace started rolling out in October 2018 however was delayed on account of extreme bugs; as of December 2018, the rollout was again on observe. The Home windows 10 Might 2019 Replace turned usually out there on Might 21, 2019. The Home windows 10 November 2019 Replace turned usually out there on Nov. 12, 2019. On Might 27, 2020, the Home windows 10 Might 2020 Replace turned out there to mainstream customers. The Home windows 10 October 2020 Replace turned usually out there on Oct. 20, 2020.
  • How can I get Home windows 10? Home windows 10 is obtainable to buy via the Microsoft Retailer and via different retailers, with downloads from the Home windows 10 web site through Microsoft’s media creation device. This may set up Home windows 10 on PCs straight or create bootable USB set up drives. ISO information are additionally out there for DVD set up. Upgrades to 1809 from earlier Home windows 10 releases will come through Home windows’ built-in replace device.

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and good individual’s guides

What’s Home windows 10?

Formally unveiled on Sept. 30, 2014, Home windows 10 is the present main launch of Microsoft’s Home windows working system and is the successor to Home windows 7 and Home windows 8.1. 

Developed below the codename “Threshold” with later builds coming from the “Redstone” department, Microsoft’s aim with Home windows 10 is to offer a typical working system that may run throughout a number of platforms–together with PCs, tablets, smartphones, embedded programs and even Xbox One, Floor Hub and HoloLens. Every platform has a device-specific consumer interface (UI), however shares the identical Home windows 10 core.

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Home windows 10 contains a number of new options and vital adjustments, along with its platform-unifying design. Many new options are designed to enhance the desktop expertise and attract enterprise customers who have been turned off by Home windows 8’s tile-based UI and the preliminary elimination of the Begin menu. Key options embody:

  • Begin menu: Home windows 10’s Begin menu combines the Home windows 7-like utility checklist and the reside tiles interface from Home windows 8’s Begin display screen. Home windows-8 type “fashionable” apps (now referred to as Common Home windows Platform or UWP apps) can run inside a window on the desktop, like customary desktop packages. There may be additionally assist for apps developed with the Home windows 10 Desktop Bridge, which lets Home windows Win32 functions reap the benefits of Home windows 10 options together with Stay Tiles. A brand new wider utility launch view within the October 2018 Replace offers you entry to extra utility choices, and improves utility search.
  • Motion Middle: The Charms menu is changed with the Motion Middle, a sidebar that offers notifications and incorporates buttons for widespread duties.
  • Pill mode: A brand new pill mode is designed to make Home windows 10 simpler to function and not using a keyboard or a mouse. From the October 2018 Replace, the on-screen keyboard is powered by the identical know-how as Microsoft’s Android and iOS SwiftKey.
  • Improved safety: New security measures embody Home windows Hi there, an built-in biometric authentication system, and Home windows Defender Utility Guard, which runs the Edge browser in its personal Hyper-V remoted course of.
  • Microsoft Edge: Previously codenamed Venture Spartan, Edge is the default internet browser in Home windows 10. With the discharge of the Home windows 10 Anniversary Replace, the Edge browser now helps extensions, enormously rising the pliability of the browser. Web Explorer 11 is included with the OS, however is mainly unchanged from the model of IE11 present in Home windows 7 and eight.1. Edge can be Home windows’ built-in PDF viewer and ePub e-book reader. The underlying EdgeHTML engine is a contemporary HTML 5 browser, with assist for many fashionable internet requirements.
  • Cortana integration: Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-powered private assistant, makes its desktop debut in Home windows 10 and will be configured to take over the Search field. It now additionally works with Amazon’s Alexa and with a spread of residence automation {hardware}. The October 2018 Replace offers Cortana and Home windows Search a brand new, wider search look-and-feel with further search choices. Nonetheless, some options, like parcel monitoring, are being moved from Cortana into different Home windows functions.
  • Xbox Stay integration: Though not vital for a lot of enterprise customers, Xbox Stay is constructed into Home windows 10. Customers can stream video games from an Xbox One to a desktop, laptop computer or pill over Wi-Fi, play multiplayer video games with individuals on completely different platforms and extra. A built-in Sport Bar mode permits full-screen recording, which works with desktop apps in addition to video games.
  • Enhanced graphics: Home windows 10 contains new variations of DirectX and WDDM to enhance recreation efficiency. Workstation apps also can use these options to entry GPU {hardware} for extra compute efficiency.
  • Above the login display screen: The Home windows 10 Anniversary Replace (1607) permits customers to entry a number of functions, together with Cortana and the Calendar app, with out having to log in first.
  • 3D Paint app: The Home windows 10 Creators Replace (1703) added a brand new 3D Paint app, which permits customers to extra simply create and share 3D scenes and fashions.
  • Home windows Timeline and Shared Experiences: With the April 2018 Replace (1803), Home windows Timeline added cross-system assist for shared actions, displaying what Workplace paperwork you have labored on and which internet pages you have visited. You may resume work via Cortana, and decide up internet looking periods from one other PC–and additionally ship browser periods from cellular gadgets to the desktop. A brand new Your Cellphone app within the October 2018 Replace brings latest pictures and SMS messages out of your Android cellphone to your desktop. As of December 2018, the rollout was once more again on observe and the replace ought to have been utilized to all gadgets by early 2019. The official rollout started in late Might 2019.
  • Snip & Sketch: Microsoft used the October 2018 Replace to ship a brand new model of its display screen seize tooling. Use Shift+Win+S to launch a brand new display screen seize expertise, with a pen-enabled enhancing device to edit and annotate your captures.
  • Sticky Notes: Initially a part of the Home windows Ink Workspace, Sticky Notes is now an app in its personal proper, with a significant replace promised that can combine it with Home windows’ different note-taking and process administration instruments.
  • Cloud Clipboard: Home windows now affords a clipboard historical past that works throughout gadgets logged into the identical Microsoft account, utilizing the identical Microsoft Graph that powers the Timeline.
  • UI enhancements: Microsoft is transferring away from the flat look of Home windows 8 with a extra pure Fluent Design language. This provides translucency and new animations, and is slowly being rolled out throughout Home windows and its numerous core functions. Intently associated is a “darkish mode” for Home windows, with a brand new darkish model of Home windows Explorer.
  • Storage Sense: Microsoft has changed the previous Disk Cleanup utility with a brand new utility, Storage Sense. This new device mechanically deletes previous cached and non permanent information out of your storage gadgets to unlock house for brand spanking new information. The automated administration of laborious drive storage will enhance the general efficiency of a Home windows 10 system with out requiring interplay with customers.
  • Home windows Calendar: It has been a very long time coming, however with the October 2018 Replace, Microsoft lastly added a much-needed search function to the Home windows Calendar app. Customers can now kind in just a few key phrases to seek out their appointments, even when they have been added to the calendar by Cortana.
  • Home windows Sandbox: The Home windows 10 Might 2019 Replace added a brand new containerization function to the Professional and Enterprise variations that permits executable functions to be examined by operating them in a secure remoted model of Home windows 10. By configuration customers may even block the Sandbox from accessing networks and the web. Closing the Sandbox will take away the appliance and its remnants.
  • Reserved Storage: With the Might 2019 Replace, Home windows 10 now has the power to carry 7 GB of laborious disk storage in reserve to be used throughout system upkeep. Clear Home windows 10 installs after the Might 2019 Replace activate this function mechanically. Beforehand put in variations of Home windows 10 up to date to model 1903 are required to manually activate the function.
  • Cortana search separation: The Might 2019 Replace separated Cortana and the usual search field on the Taskbar. Cortana digital assistant interplay now has its personal icon, whereas the search field stays on the Taskbar as earlier than.
  • Improved Begin menu: The Might 2019 Replace and the Home windows 10 October 2020 Replace additional refined the appear and feel of the Home windows 10 Begin Menu. The brand new and improved Begin menu ought to have much less mechanically put in tiles, and the structure ought to appear a lot much less cluttered and extra streamlined.
  • Chromium-based Microsoft Edge: With the Home windows 10 Might 2019 Replace, the Microsoft Edge internet browser turned a Chromium-based open supply utility, opening Edge as much as extra third-party plugin improvement. The Home windows 10 October 2020 Replace made the Chromium-based Edge browser the official default browser of Home windows 10.
  • Linux file system: The Might 2019 Replace added assist for Linux information straight into the Home windows 10 File Explorer utility.
  • Personalised Taskbar: With the Home windows 10 October 2020 Replace, customers can personalize the pinning function of the Taskbar to higher swimsuit their priorities and consumer type.
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Picture: Mark Kaelin

Home windows 10 is available in 4 Editions (variations): Home windows 10 Residence, Home windows 10 Professional, Home windows 10 Enterprise and Home windows 10 Training. The Home windows 10 October 2020 Replace, also called Home windows 10 model 20H2, launched to the general public on Oct. 20, 2020. This launch fixes a number of bugs within the working system and provides just a few notable options. These seeking to manually set up the 20H2 Replace can use the Home windows 10 Replace Assistant.

Microsoft’s official system necessities for Home windows 10 are:

  • Processor: 1GHz or sooner processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 GB for 32-bit OS or 2 GB for 64-bit OS; really useful 4 GB
  • Onerous disk house: 16 GB for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Show: 800×600

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Why does Home windows 10 matter?

Home windows 10 is Microsoft’s effort to recapture many enterprise customers who balked at Home windows 8’s mobile-focused interface and to lastly transfer the final Home windows XP and Vista holdouts onto a more recent OS.

Home windows 10 builds on Home windows 7 and on Home windows 8, mixing a well-recognized consumer interface with cellular and touch-friendly consumer components. With Home windows XP and Vista not supported, and Home windows 7 near end-of-life, it is meant to be each an improve from older Home windows releases and the OS on new Home windows PCs. With new security measures and a built-in retailer, it additionally brings a brand new set of contemporary utility improvement APIs within the form of the cross-platform UWP.

Past the brand new options, safety updates, and its platform-unifying design, Home windows 10 marks a major shift in how Microsoft’s characterizes its flagship working system. Microsoft is encouraging individuals to think about Home windows 10 as a “service.” The Home windows as a Service supply mannequin permits Microsoft to recurrently ship new options as a part of a semi-annual supply mannequin.

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April/Might releases can be supported for 18 months, and September/October releases can be supported for 30 months. Alongside the recurrently up to date releases, Microsoft additionally affords a long-term servicing department that is meant for vital functions that require minimal updates, and which can be supported for 10 years.

Home windows 10 Residence customers solely get entry to the Present Department of Home windows, which is delivered through the Home windows Replace service. There is no method of straight delaying or disabling updates to Home windows Residence, as Microsoft intends for residence customers to have essentially the most safe model of Home windows attainable.

Equally, Home windows 10 Professional permits entry to Present Department releases and the Present Department for Enterprise. Utilizing the Present Department for Enterprise, you possibly can delay main updates till they have been examined and accredited. Nonetheless, safety updates can be put in mechanically. Training customers get the identical choices as Home windows 10 Professional.

Home windows 10 Enterprise provides assist for the Lengthy Time period Servicing Department, although with LTSB there isn’t any entry to the Home windows Retailer, Cortana, or Edge. A lot of the different Home windows 10 default functions aren’t included both, and are not supported even when sideloaded. New releases come each 2-3 years.

SEE: Past the fundamental Home windows 10 keyboard shortcuts: Intelligent issues you are able to do with keyboard settings (TechRepublic)

Microsoft modified the names used for the completely different Home windows 10 channels as a part of aligning Home windows 10 with each Workplace 365 and Microsoft 365. Present Department is now known as Semi-Annual Channel (Focused), Present Department for Enterprise is the Semi-Annual Channel, whereas the Lengthy Time period Servicing Department is now the Lengthy Time period Servicing Channel.

Insider channels give early entry to new options, however ought to solely be used for check machines or by fans. Skip Forward is for early entry to the subsequent main construct of Home windows, with Sluggish and Quick rings giving entry to the present improvement builds. A Launch Preview choice offers early entry to drivers and safety updates, permitting IT departments to qualify updates prematurely of wider availability. Microsoft actively means that IT departments preserve a collection of machines on the completely different Insider rings with a purpose to make sure that key functions are suitable and to set improvement targets for brand spanking new Home windows SDK releases.

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Who does Home windows 10 have an effect on?

Customers operating an eligible model of Home windows 7 (SP1) or Home windows 8/8.1 may have upgraded to Home windows 10 Residence or Home windows 10 Professional totally free till July 29, 2016. Nonetheless, the time for the free improve has handed and a duplicate of Home windows 10 from the Microsoft Retailer prices $119.99.

Customers operating Home windows XP or Home windows Vista should buy a duplicate of Home windows 10 from the Microsoft Retailer or different retailer. There is no such thing as a direct improve path from Home windows XP or Home windows Vista to Home windows 10. On these machines, Home windows 10 should be loaded as a “clear set up,” and customers ought to again up their knowledge previous to putting in the brand new working system.

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When was Home windows 10 launched?

Home windows 10 common availability (GA) started on July 29, 2015, with Microsoft adopting a staggered deployment schedule.

Home windows 10 Enterprise and Home windows 10 Training editions have been made out there starting on August 1, 2015 via Microsoft’s Quantity Licensing Middle (neither version was included within the first-year-free program).

The Home windows 10 Anniversary Replace was launched on August 2, 2016. The replace included new and higher security measures with enhancements to functions like Home windows Hi there, Home windows Defender, and Home windows Info Safety. The Anniversary Replace additionally augmented assist for digital pens with the addition of Home windows Ink, a built-in platform that may interpret enter past the normal mouse and keyboard. Microsoft Edge gained assist for extensions, together with AdBlock, Translator, and Workplace On-line. Extensions permit builders to create apps inside Edge and enormously improve the browser’s general capabilities.

SEE: TechRepublic’s Home windows 10 Flipboard journal

The Home windows 10 Creators Replace was launched on April 11, 2017, and included a brand new 3D Paint app, new security measures, adjustments to how Microsoft updates Home windows 10, and laid the foundational for brand spanking new {hardware} and content material based mostly on augmented and digital actuality.

The Home windows 10 Fall Creators Replace was launched on October 17, 2017, and its new options embody built-in ransomware safety, bandwidth controls, and extra. Discover out whether or not your machine will run the replace, and why IT admins ought to put together for the inevitable glitches and hiccups.

The Home windows 10 April 2018 Replace, launched on Might 8, 2018, added Timeline as a method of sharing paperwork and internet historical past between machines, permitting you to select up work the place you left off.

The Home windows 10 October 2018 Replace started rolling out in October 2018, as scheduled; nonetheless, there have been a number of extreme bugs related to the discharge at that early stage, and the rollout was delayed for roughly a month. As of December 2018, the rollout was once more again on observe and regardless of some further minor bugs, it needs to be put in on all Home windows 10 gadgets by early 2019.

ZDNet contributor Ed Bott writes, “Microsoft made Home windows 10 model 1903 (also called the Home windows 10 Might 2019 Replace) out there to the Launch Preview ring of the Home windows Insider Program on April 8, 2019.” The Home windows 10 Might 2019 Replace, in addition to its Home windows Server 1903 element, was launched on April 18, 2019 on MSDN. The official rollout continues to be anticipated to be in late Might 2019.

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How do I get Home windows 10?

For the primary yr of common availability, Home windows 10 Residence and Professional have been free when you have been operating a real copy of an eligible model of Home windows 7 (SP1) and Home windows 8/8.1. On eligible machines, an icon for the Get Home windows 10 app appeared within the taskbar and allowed customers to “reserve” a free copy of the working system.

As of July 29, 2016, the free improve is not an choice. Customers should buy Home windows 10 from the Microsoft Retailer for the retail worth of $139. Frugal customers might be able to discover Home windows 10 out there at a cheaper price.

Get Windows 10 app icon

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