Hints and tips - Windows 10

When installing or upgrading to Windows 10, there are a few gotchas as follows...

Backup all the data you value

First, backup everything you value. Windows 10 should upgrade safely from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 but there are no guarantees.

Copy your documents and photos etc to a USB memory stick (eg £7 for 32GB from Staples).

Contacts and emails collected with POP3 also need to be backed up, which can be awkward. Emails stored in the cloud with IMAP (eg Gmail, Hotmail) are there whenever you need them.

Keep your identity private

Do not tell Windows 10 your email address or anything about you, at installation or later.

Hunt for and click 'Sign in without a Microsoft account' and do the same or similar when creating new users. See Windows10 without MS account.

Insist on your privacy

After installation, turn off all the privacy-busting options.

Click Start / Settings / Privacy and untick most stuff. Especially note the setting under Feedback & Diagnostics: set Diagnostic & Usage Data to 'Basic'.

Avoid apps if you can

Click Start (or press the Windows key) to switch between apps and the desktop. The desktop is more familiar.

Avoid downloading apps from the Store.

Normal software is generally available free to do what you want, for example VLC instead of Media Player, GIMP for PhotoShop.
For these and other examples see AlternativeTo Windows software.

Restore the F8 safe mode function

On earlier editions of Windows, you can tap F8 while the PC is starting up to go into 'Safe Mode' for repair and recovery purposes.
Not so on Windows 10. You need to tell it in advance that you might need to recover from Windows failures, like this:

Right-click Start, choose Command Prompt (Admin) and in the black screen enter:

     bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

Free Windows updates for life

Windows 10 works like Windows 7 but slightly better, and Microsoft has promised free updates 'for the supported lifetime of the device.'

Note that Microsoft by default decides when to update your PC, and Microsoft alone decides when your PC's life is over! See The next generation of Windows - Windows 10.