My laptop was showing its age after nearly five years so I got myself a new laptop, the Dell XPS15. I wrote about its little brother in the Dell XPS13 Touchscreen Ultrabook post a few months ago. As part of the new laptop, I knew that my only operating system choice was Windows 10. Loyal readers know that I’ve found no good reason to upgrade my other machines to Windows 10 and my feelings on those machines have not changed at all.
When the new laptop arrived, I knew I had plenty of software to install to prepare it for use. So I told myself that I would give all of the new features of Windows 10 at least a full day before I “fixed” them.
One of the features Microsoft has included in the last few versions of Windows is “snap” where dragging a window to the edge of the screen will make it go full screen. I’m sure there is a user out there who likes this, but it infuriates me ever time I get a new version of Windows. I have to go searching for the setting that will turn this abomination off!
It is found in the “Ease of Access” Control Panel app. Really, ease of access? Can’t they lump all of the dumb stuff into a “Dumb Settings” Control Panel app to make it easier? Of course Windows 10 makes it difficult to even get to Control Panel. More on that a bit later. Once you finally get to the Ease of Access Control Panel, choose “Make the mouse easier to use”. Easier to use, yeah right!
When there, you’ll see the following checkboxes:
Put a check (as I’ve done) in the bottom setting to turn off this awful feature!
Microsoft has also made a really big deal about bringing back the Start menu. So I was curious to see exactly what they included. Remember, I gave myself a full day of living with what they provided. It was a very long day! Launching programs was a royal pain. I knew the Start8 utility was a lifesaver for Windows 8/8.1 which didn’t even have a Start menu so I went looking for Start10 to see if it could give me a usable Start menu for Windows 10.
Yes, it costs $5. Yes, there are probably free alternatives. But for the amount of functionality it gives me, I have no problem at all paying $5 for something that gives me something I’ll use on a very regular basis.
The first choice is what type of Start menu you want as shown in the screenshot below:
Since I have no desire to have all the silly widgets in my Start menu, only the first two choices were something I would consider. I still feel that Windows 7 is the most usable Start menu and so that was my choice. You’ll notice some other settings on this screen and I left them unchanged for now.
One of the most important things the Windows 7 menu does is give me a link to Control Panel which is buried in Windows 10 (and 8). It also includes other quicklinks that I find useful. There are also groupings of my installed software that make sense instead of an incredibly long alphabetical list in the default Windows 10 Start menu. Ugh!
Then when you get to the Desktop tab (shown below), you have a few more choices:
Most of the settings on this tab are purely for visual appeal. I left mine with the default settings though I might decide later to make some changes for more visual appeal. I must give credit to the Start10 developers as they’ve given a functional Start menu that also is a great visual fit for Windows 10. It’s too bad Microsoft makes such awful design decisions and continues to try re-inventing the wheel.
Now that I got rid of the worst features of Windows 10, I can focus on getting work done!