The latest Windows 10 ($ 158 on Amazon) The October 2020 update began rolling out to desktop, laptop, and two-in-one in late October and is likely available for download now. (Learn how to . If you haven’t upgraded from Windows 7 yet ($ 26 on Amazon), you may be able to do this , too.) Once you’ve updated your device, you’ll find some important new features that will help you get the most out of your new operating system.
Updating as soon as the update is available will make your computer life easier and safer. And at this point, as many of us spend more time at home on our computers for work or play, every little thing that can improve your experience is a win in our book.
Here are three of the best new features in the Windows 10 October 2020 Update (also known as version 20H2) and how to use them.
1. Microsoft Edge browser makes privacy improvements
Windows 10 version 20H2 is the first to come with the revamped Microsoft Edge browser installed by default. The browser is now based on Chromium, Google’s open source base for the Chrome browser, making it compatible with more websites than the old version.
There are other benefits as well. The new Edge browser includes a privacy feature that tries to block sites that track you online, similar to Mozilla’s Firefox browser. And a feature called Collections makes it easier for you to collect information from different websites when searching.
How to use the new Edge browser privacy settings: You will use the new Edge browser largely as you would any other browser. Switch to the logo on the taskbar or from the Start menu: it appears as a circular wave breaking in blue, green and aqua, similar to the old blue Internet Explorer icon “e”.
To configure your privacy features, go to Settings> Privacy and services. You’ll see three options for tracking prevention: Basic (allows most trackers), balanced (blocks trackers from sites you haven’t visited – Microsoft recommends this), and Strict (blocks most trackers from all sites) .
To check your privacy settings on the fly, when using the browser, click the lock icon to the left of the search bar. A box will appear informing you if your connection is secure, with options to check the site certificate, cookies in use and site permissions. You can also turn tracking prevention on or off and manage settings for all sites you visit. If it is activated, you will see the number of trackers the browser has blocked.
How to use the Collections feature of the Edge browser: After navigating to a page you want to save, click the icon that looks like “+“in a box to the right of the search bar. The Collections panel opens on the right of the screen. Click Start a new collectionand rename it as you like. You can click Add the current page to save the web page you are on. You can also click and drag an image from the page into the library, as well as select and drag text and add your own notes as well. To export your collection to Word or Excel, click on the three dots share and more icon at the top of the collection.
2. Personalize your new Start menu
The classic Windows Start Menu is updated in the October 2020 update. The new version features a more streamlined design and replaces the solid-colored back plates behind the logos in the app list with partially transparent backgrounds, so that the icons stand out more. The colors will also change depending on whether you are using the light or dark mode.
How to customize the new Start menu: If you want to add an accent color so your tiles match your desktop theme, you can go on Settings> Personalization> Color and enable accent color on Start, taskbar and notification center.
More information on TechRepublic: 20 Professional Tips to Make Windows 10 Work the Way You Want (Free PDF)
3. Open all your tabs at once
With the update, you’ll be able to open all your tabs in Edge with one simple command, instead of just the one that’s active in every browser window. This makes it easier to see each open window completely, rather than just one. You can also configure it to show only the last three or five tabs or turn it off completely. However, it only works with the Edge browser, at least for now.
How to customize your cards: To open all the tabs in Edge at the same time, press Alt + Tab. To configure the tab settings or disable the feature, go to Settings> System> Multitasking. You’ll see a drop-down menu with options for what Alt + Tab can do.
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