Considerations for Windows 10

Installation

Most people who have Windows 8 or Windows Vista will probably want to upgrade to Windows 10. It hardly matters with Windows 7 it seems to me, but I did it anyway. I suggest upgrading your computer’s BIOS to the latest from your manufacturer’s web site first.

You can reverse the upgrade for a month afterward by going to Settings, Update and Security, Recovery. It uses the files saved in “C:\Windows.old” from the initial upgrade. To reverse it, type Recover in the Start box, and option to restore your previous version. After the restore, I find that many Windows Tasks don’t work. Here’s a program that will fix most of  the broken tasks.

To disable and remove the “Get Windows 10” icon, use Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del), download and run this program, then reboot. It will turn the notification on and off whenever you like.

If your Automatic Updates says “You need to restart your computer to begin the installation” of Windows 10, but you don’t want Windows 10, then go to the Control Panel, Programs and Features, View Installed Updates, click on the Installed On column to sort by descending date, scroll down to the Microsoft Windows section, find and remove the KB3035583 update, then reboot.

If you have any trouble with the “Get Windows 10” icon, you can download and run the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.  Don’t click “Upgrade Now.” Instead, go to “Need to create a USB, DVD or ISO” and click Download Tool Now. You don’t need to actually create media with it; it will ask you if you want to upgrade this computer now, either way. This works every time I’ve tried it.

It’s a good idea to make a note of whether your operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit, in case you need to reinstall the computer from scratch sometime. Go to System in the Control Panel and it was display the System type.

Reinstallation

If you must reinstall from scratch, reinstall the original operating system, patch it fully, then upgrade it again, as above.

Privacy

Windows 10 defaults are meant to share everything possible with Microsoft, like with Google or Facebook. Consequently, you will probably want to make some changes. Follow the instructions here. In summary:

Go to Settings, Privacy. Start with the General tab and turn off everything you don’t want turned on. Then go to Location and do the same. Then Camera and Microphone unless you actually use them. Continue down through the tabs and turn off anything that concerns you.

To turn off personal ad preferences on the Internet, in each of your browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, etc.) open this location. Then turn “Personalized ads in this browser” OFF. If you log in with a Microsoft Account, such as outlook.com, live.com or hotmail.com, then also turn off “Personalized ads wherever I use my Microsoft account.”

Turn off sharing your Wi-fi password with Facebook and Outlook contacts! Go to Settings, select
“Network & Internet” and then click on “Wi-Fi.” Select “Manage Wi-Fi Settings,” scroll to the Wi-Fi Sense section, and turn off each and every feature.

It’s more secure to log in with a “Local account” than a “Microsoft account.” You can review the advantages vs. disadvantages here. When you buy a new computer, it tries to get you to set up or use a Microsoft account (an email account at outlook.com, live.com or hotmail.com); but after the first screen, it gives you an option to use an “old-fashioned” Local account. If you already have a Microsoft account set up, you can switch to a local account: Go to Settings, Accounts, Your Account, and click “Sign in with a local account instead.”

Other Notes

If you don’t want Windows 10 always changing your default printer, go to Settings, Devices, Printers and Scanners, and turn off the selection “Let Windows manage my default printer.”

Check your System Restore settings – Windows 10 seems to nearly always turn that off, which is annoying when you go to restore your system to a previous Restore Point and can’t do it. So, run “rstrui” in the Start box. If you get a message that says that System Protection is turned off, then follow the prompts to turn it back on and create your first Restore Point.

Windows 10 usually switches your .pdf program to it’s own proprietary one. You can switch this back by right-clicking on a .pdf file, select Open With, select Choose Another App,  select your .pdf program, and click the box “Always use this app to open .pdf files.”

Windows 10 switches your default browser to it’s new one, called Edge. To switch it back, open the browser you usually use. It will probably prompt you that it is no longer the default browser. Follow the prompts to set it as the default.

Windows 10, like Windows 8, deletes the games everyone is used to having up through Windows 7. I have a link to a program to restore them here.