Here are some of out of the box windows 10 configuration that will boost your productivity instantly. All you need to apply the same steps as we have done this article.
Change the background to dark gray: Right click on desktop > Personalize. Select Solid color in Background; the color “gray dark” is a good one. No photos or vivid colors—gray is the perfect balance between brightness and density.
Remove all Desktop icons except Recycle bin. From now on, you don’t want to store files on the Desktop, ever. Desktop tends to be full of folders, files, apps, etc., and it gets messy pretty quickly. My recommendation is to always directly use Windows Explorer’s quick access features (see below: “Windows Explorer”).
Activate dark theme: Right click on Desktop > Personalize > Colors > Choose your color: Dark. This is very personal, but if you want to have a focused and distraction-free environment, dark theme is recommended.
Update scale and layout: This is very personal, but for laptops usually you should at least use 150% of scaling. Right click on desktop > Display settings > Scale and layout.
You can access almost all Control Panel functions using the Windows key and simply typing what you are looking for. Sometimes that doesn’t completely work so I will include the manual steps for these next items.
Notifications & Notifications Center
- Disable all notifications: Go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions > Uncheck everything.
- The Notifications center can be customized, but as you will rarely use it, you can keep it as is. Enable only and “Alarms only” in Focus Assist so you are not disturbed by useless notifications.
- For quick access to Notifications center, remember the shortcut: Windows + A.
Activate Windows Hello: This is the Windows biometric security feature. If you didn’t do set it up already, go to Settings > Home > Sign-in options and configure Windows Hello. This only works for newer laptops, and it may not work for your corporate computer, but in all other cases it’s a great feature that saves you some precious seconds every time you log in.
Activate clipboard history: Start > Settings > System > Clipboard and turn on Clipboard history. Use Windows + V to access the history of copied items. Very useful!
Turn on encryption: Settings > Update & Security > Device encryption. It will encrypt your hard drive in case the computer is lost, your data is safe. I consider this totally mandatory if you are using a laptop—although is not available for all computers. If you are using a corporate PC, you will probably have another pre-installed encryption software with similar functionalities.
Increase mouse sensitivity. This should be based on your personal preference, but I find it most efficient at about level 6 or more. Go to Settings > Home > Mouse > Additional mouse options > Pointer options > Motion.
If you are using a laptop, configure the trackpad. Settings > Devices > Touchpad:
- Cursor speed: usually six or more.
- Tap with a single finger to single-click (and all the following) should be checked.
- Activate three- and four-finger gestures. For three fingers, switch apps and show desktop (swipe left-right to change apps, swipe down to show desktop). For four fingers, switch desktops and show desktop (very useful for laptops).
Also for laptops, disable the fn key: Simply press the fn key. This allows you to use Function keys without the need to press fn before. To increase/decrease brightness or sound, you will need to press fn key, but you will be able to use Windows Function keys, a total must for productivity!