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Check These 5 Settings After Installing Windows 10

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You’ve taken the plunge and got Microsoft’s brand new operating system up and running on your machine—now what? Before you start familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs of the software, take a tour around these five settings and make sure Windows 10 is working the way you want.

Activate (or deactivate) Cortana


Microsoft’s digital assistant makes the leap from smartphone to desktop with Windows 10, but Cortana won’t necessarily be enabled straight away (she wasn’t when we upgraded). Click the Start button, choose Cortana, then open the Notebook (third icon down)—you can turn Cortana on and off as well as enable or disable the “hey Cortana!” voice command.

Check your default app associations


Some of the Gizmodo team have been testing Windows 10 all week, and one of the upgrade issues we noticed was that all of our default file associations disappeared (controlling which files open in which apps). Setting these links works the same as ever: right-click on a file, choose Open with then Choose another app; be sure to tick the Always open... box, too.

Schedule restarts

It makes sense for Windows 10 to install updates without asking (on the Home edition of the OS). It’s safer for everyone, but you don’t necessarily want your PC rebooting unexpectedly. Search for “advanced update” from the taskbar, choose Advanced Windows Update options and then change the top setting to Notify to schedule restart.

Stop sharing your wifi


You may have heard about Wi-Fi Sense, a new Windows 10 feature that automatically shares access to your wifi with contacts on Skype, Facebook and Outlook. It can be helpful in certain scenarios but if you’d rather not use it, search for “wi-fi settings” on the taskbar, choose Change Wi-Fi settings, then click Manage Wi-Fi settings.

Tweak notifications


Windows 10 has a far more OS X-style notifications system, taking the place of the old Windows 8 charms on the right-hand side of the screen. Click the notifications icon in the system tray to view it, and change how these alerts appear—choose All settings, System, Notifications & actions and you can customize how alerts appear.