What we need to know about Windows 10

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Millions of users have upgraded to Windows 10, and now the challenge is figuring out how to use it. Microsoft’s flagship operating system combines elements of both Windows 7 and 8.1 but adds a few new places and interfaces as well. To check your network connections, for example, or to see a list of installed programs, the route may be unfamiliar. So if you’re lost in Windows 10 right now, let us draw you a map.

Navigate the new Start menu and Cortana

Windows 10’s Start menu uses elements from both Windows 7 and Windows 8. The biggest change from Windows 7 is the pane of tiles on the right-hand side. If you don’t like these, just right-click them and select Unpin From Start.

You can also “Turn live tile off.” The Twitter app, installed by default, will display a constantly updated feed that you can toggle off using “Turn live tile off.” If you want to turn off an app that is not a system app like the calendar or the Windows Store, you can uninstall it from here. If you want to use the app but you don’t want it in your Start menu, click and drag it to the desktop or taskbar.

However, you can’t create a taskbar shortcut for Cortana (Microsoft’s Siri-like search assistant). Instead, begin a search and click the circle to the left of My Stuff to access Cortana. Or just say “Hey Cortana” if you have a microphone hooked up. Soon there will be Windows 10 PCs with Intel processors that can use “Hey Cortana” to wake up from sleep mode. If you don’t want to use Cortana, it’s disabled by default, so you need take no action.

Locate programs and the Control Panel

In Windows 7, you go to Add & Remove Programs to uninstall software or to see how much space an app takes up or when you last used it. With Windows 8, Microsoft started calling this area Programs & Features, and you could search for either name to find the tool.

That’s no longer the case in Windows 10. Now you search for Apps & Features (press the Windows key and type your search query). The tool is in the System section of Windows 10’s Settings app. Right-click Apps & Features in the left-hand pane, and you get the option to create a tile with that name in Windows 10’s Start menu.

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