Windows recently pushed out the 1903 upgrade, andwhile I was getting it installed, I took a bit of a dive into the Windows 10settings to see if there was anything I wasn’t yet aware of.

I found a few interesting tidbits which I had no ideaexisted, which just goes to show you should always check the settings on aregular basis to see what’s hiding under the hood.

To access your settings, bring up the Windows menu andclick the cog icon.

RansomWare Protection

For those who have been lucky enough to avoid ransomware up till now, this is when a cyber-criminal sends a virus to someone’s computer system (perhaps in the form of an infected email attachment). The virus then locks down the computer system completely and the owner is unable to get back in until they pay the criminal a ransom (usually in the form of BitCoin).

Windows 10 has an interesting feature where you canswitch on what they call “Controlled folder access”. You need to enable WindowsDefender for it to work so this mightclash with another antivirus you have running on your system. The feature letsyou lock down folders so apps cannot access areas where they are not supposedto go and save files to those areas.

You can find the ransomware protection at Updates & Security–>Windows Security–>Virus & Threat Protection.

Storage Sense

I am always on a deleting binge to create as much space as possible on my PC. But little did I know that Windows can also do this for you automatically. The feature is called Storage Sense, located at System–>Storage.

You don’t have to worry about it deleting importantfiles like photos and work documents. It focuses instead on crap like temporaryinternet files, cookies, cache, that sort of thing. The usual gunk that clogsup the Windows pipes.

Interestingly, it will also offer to get rid of“previous versions of Windows” on your PC. Depending on your situation, thatcould add up to quite some space – in my case, nearly 20GB!

Sync Clipboard History

Regular users of a computer will likely copy and pastetext all the time (CTRL + C) but did you know that if you are signed into twoor more Windows machines under the same Windows email, you can sync yourclipboard history across those PC’s?

You can set this up at System–>Clipboard.

You can also view the last few items to be copied andpasted to your clipboard by pressing the Windows key and V.

Link Your Smartphone

These days, it is very common for people to usemultiple devices. To jump from a PC to a laptop to a smartphone. So what if youare reading something on one Windows device and you want to see it on say yoursmartphone?

You can link your smartphone to your PC, via your Windows account, under the “Phone” section.

This works for both iPhones and Android phones. Youneed to install the Edge browser on your phone for it to work and do yourbrowsing on Edge on your other devices.

To push a link to your phone, just open the sharingmenu in Edge and choose your phone.

Sync Your Settings

Provided you use the same login details on all of yourWindows devices, you can sync many other things to streamline your userexperience.

From themes to passwords to language preferences and more, all you have to do is log in under the same Microsoft account, and switch on the sync function under “Accounts–>Sync Your Settings”.

Searching Windows

When you are searching for a file in the search box in Windows Explorer, what it will come back with will depend entirely on your settings in this option at Search–>Searching Windows”.

The “Classic” option will return results from only your libraries and desktop. But this potentially excludes a lot of other areas. So you may choose instead to go for “Enhanced” which indexes the whole PC. Bear in mind though that you may end up with search results full of crud if you go down this route.

You can reduce the chances of getting garbage in your search results by adding folders to “Excluded Folders” so they are missed out. So your Windows operating system for example….

Delivery Optimisation

This is a really smart feature which can helpenormously if you have a wonky internet connection and are frustrated in tryingto get Windows updates installed.

Other computers on your local network or on theInternet can send parts of Windows updates to your PC so they can bedownloaded. You can limit the amount of bandwidth so it doesn’t chew up yourdata plan and you can decide whether the other computer has to be on your localnetwork or if it can come from the Internet.

You can switch this on at Update & Security–>Delivery Optimisation

Troubleshoot Problems

Finally, a Windows PC wouldn’t be a true Windows PCwithout something going wrong on a regular basis. Am I right?

That’s why the troubleshooting section in Settings at Update & Security–>Troubleshoot is really useful. This gives you a list of all the different Windows tools you can use to figure out why something is happening. Basically, if there is a potential disaster waiting to happen on your PC, there is an automated troubleshooter for it.

Although the last couple of times I used atroubleshooting tool to figure out how to fix a problem, it told me there wasno problem!