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An Untenable Situation: Making Windows 10 more tolerable

Discussion in 'Computer Talk' started by aimeeandbeatles, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    Out of the box, Windows 10 kind of stinks, and on newer processors you're kind of stuck with it (unless you switch to Linux). But it doesn't have to. Here's a few things I've found that will make it better.

    • If you haven't installed it yet (or plan to reinstall), MSMG Toolkit or NTLite can both be used to make custom (aka no-bloatware) images. Unfortunately, it'll come back after an update, which leads to...
    • Windows10Debloater. This is a PowerShell script that removes a lot of the crap. You'll likely need to run it after every big update.
    • There's a number of privacy tools out there. gHacks lists a few. Personally, I use O&O ShutUp10.
    • Windows 10 Home only: GPE is disabled by default. If you're stuck using it, you can enable it with this batch file.
    • If you don't like the new start menu, there's plenty of software to put it back, such as Open-Shell and StartIsBack (paid).
    • If you do like the new start menu, TileIconifier can turn icons into nice-looking tiles.
    • Disabling the web-search in the start menu proved to be pretty tricky, though. The usual GPE and regedit tricks didn't work for me. Finally, I came across this Reddit post explaining how to block it with the built-in firewall.
    • Ultimate Windows Tweaker and Winaero Tweaker both make lots of options available.
    • Windows 10 automatically defrags hard drives (or does TRIM, which is a sort of non-destructive defrag, on SSDs) every week. If you don't want this, look for Optimize Drives under Administrative Tools in the start menu.
    • Setting your connection to a metered one (start menu > Network Status > Change Connection Properties) can supposedly indefinitely delay Windows Updates, though I've not tested this extensively.
    Miscellaneous useful software:
    • Windows System Control Center brings all the NirSoft and Sysinternals software together and keeps it updated. For someone who uses Process Explorer on a regular basis, this is helpful.
    • O&O RegEditor is far better than the built-in regedit.
    • Notepad Replacer lets you replace the Windows Notepad with whatever text editor of your choosing.
    • Link Shell Extension makes creating symbolic links and folder junctions very easy. (Tip: For anything relating to games, folder junctions are a better choice. Some can't handle symlinks very well.)
    • Alt-Tab Terminator (formerly known as VistaSwitcher) improves alt+tab quite a bit.
    • 4t Tray Minimizer adds minimize-to-tray and stay-on-top buttons to most windows.
    • Unchecky will automatically uncheck any toolbars or crapware piggybacked onto software installers. Not really needed if you're vigilant, use something like Ninite, or mostly use portable software, but it doesn't hurt to have it.
    • Microsoft Solitaire Collection is a piece of crap. Winaero makes the old Windows 7 games available. May need reinstallation after major updates.
    That's all I can think of for the moment. If I think of any more I'll edit this later.

    If you have anything else, post a reply.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    yung.carl.jung likes this.
  2. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Great idea Aimee. I'm afraid that Windows 10 is likely in all our futures.
     
  3. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    O&O does not look like a reputable tool... I would be extremely wary of installing any such software.

    I would not recommend users install anything from random websites, honestly. Only software that's available on a trusted platform, e.g. Ninite, Windows Store, Chocolatey, Steam, etc.

    The BingSearchEnabled registry entry absolutely works, and is the preferred method on the latest build of Windows.

    Yeah, don't touch this. MS engineers know better than you or me how to manage solid state drives.

    https://www.hanselman.com/blog/TheRealAndCompleteStoryDoesWindowsDefragmentYourSSD.aspx
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  4. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    Nah, everything I found about it says it's good. Just make a backup first.

    Didn't work for me, though.
     
  5. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    You have to log out or reboot for it to take effect. It works 100% of the time.
     
  6. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Also, I'm going to point out - telemetry is heavily relied upon to identify problems with software, and to identify which features and workflows to work on in future versions. If you entirely disable telemetry for a software product, then none of those decisions are going to take your problems or workflows into account, and will entirely rely upon the people who don't have telemetry disabled.
     
  7. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    What version of Windows 10 are you using? It didn't work for me on 10 Home.
     

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