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All hail the return of the start menu! Windows can be an amazing place if you know what you’re doing. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to master it! Here’s a few insightful tips that will make researching those complicated essays (possibly with a hangover) so much smoother.

1. Get a sleek looking Start Menu, without any of the clutter.

Unpin all the unwanted stuff from your Start Menu. You can even drag the corners to make it smaller or larger depending on how you want to set it up. Doing this gets rid of any unwanted apps and allows you to design a simple, uncluttered list of your programmes, apps and the things that matter most to you.

2. A 3 fingered tap on the touchpad opens the Cortana search bar

Now you don’t even have to scroll across.

3. See which apps are draining your battery

Go to settings > battery saver and then turn that baby up high to make your juice last longer.

4. Windows key + i opens settings

We all gotta set stuff.

5. Keep all your tabs and work open, but have a completely clean desktop.

Finished working for the evening but don’t want to shut down all your tabs? Click on ‘task view’ on the right of the search bar, then in the bottom right corner of the screen click ‘+ New desktop’. You can now do whatever you like, free from the million tabs and programmes you have open. but you can switch back to it whenever you want.

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6. Pin your favourite programme to all your desktops

Open the task view as per #5 and right-click on the app you want to have on all your desktops, then select ‘show this window on all desktops’

7. Minimise everything except the window you’re on

Click on the top of the window you’re working on (such as this webpage) and wiggle it from side to side. Ta daa! Everything else is minimised. If you want to get rid of everything then there is a secret button in the far far bottom right hand side of the screen, next to that little line.

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8. Snap

Snap screen to the left, right, top or bottom halves of the screen by pressing the Windows key with one of the arrows.

9. Write yourself virtual Sticky Notes with Windows Ink

Sick of all your florescent notes getting fluffy and falling off everything all the time? With Windows Ink you can scribble down those thoughts on your desktop and have a virtual reminder appear.

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10. There’s a find my device setting! Hurrah!

By default, it’s switched off so go to Settings, Update & Security, Find My Device and switch that baby on.

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11. Use ‘smart look up’ in Word

Now you can look things up right in Word, without having to leave your work and open up a browser tab. Perfect for speedy fact-checking as you power through that essay.

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12. Sign in to windows through face recognition

Not all laptops support this, so check if yours does by going to settings > accounts > sign-in options & following the instructions. Then you can literally sign in WITH YOUR FACE!

13. Get Cortana to help you out

It’s hard to remember to submit your essays on time, especially when you’re distracted by binge-watching daytime TV, so why not get Cortana to remind you? Simply say “Hey Cortana, remind me to submit my essay by 4pm”, and you’ll never submit something late again!

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If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love 12 Ways to Hack Microsoft Office - our pro tricks for how to get the most out of Microsoft Office and leave more time for drinking. #Winning.

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