Download Microsoft’s Free Windows 10 Quick Start Guide


Windows 10 Quick Start Guide by Microsoft

This free guide to Windows 10 is very useful if you’ve migrated from Windows 7 or are new to Windows 10. It covers the essentials to get users up and running in a relatively painless way.

Microsoft’s free downloadable Quick Start Guide takes you through most of the features of Windows 10. The 32 page PDF file has a basic overview of Windows 10, but combined with links to videos, virtual assistants, and how-to articles it extends useful resources beyond the PDF file.

The guide contains seven sections:

1. Understanding your desktop
The Start Menu, the Taskbar, the Action Center, laptops and touchscreen devices.

2. Setup and personalization
Microsoft account and sign in, personalization, password free sign in, multiple accounts.

3. Apps and Programs
Adding apps, built-in applications like Snip and Sketch, Calculator, web browsing (Microsoft Edge).

4. Tips and Tricks
Switch between apps, Snap assist, emoji panel, productivity features, keyboard shortcuts.

5. Security, privacy and scam protection
Managing security and privacy, security apps, virus the threat protection, firewall and network protections, device health, prevent tech support scams, troubleshooting, back up.

6. Accessibility
Accessibility options: magnifier, narrator, ease of access dictation, text and mouse pointer visibility.

7. Windows updates and upgrades
Understanding Windows updates, Windows 7 end of support (system requirements for Windows 10, moving to a Windows PC.

Additional resources include links to Microsoft support, community, feedback hub, and social media links.

A few things to consider when installing or upgrading to Windows 10:

• Newer versions of Windows require a Microsoft account to install Windows 10. If you want to use a Local Account, installing/upgrading Windows 10 offline has been working.

• After installation it's good to create a recovery disk (Windows 10 should offer to help you create one, if not it can be accessed within inside Windows by typing Recovery into the Start menu search bar) and update drivers, including graphics, printer, audio and wireless drivers. IObit Driver Booster Free does a pretty good job, with a few caveats. It repeatedly offers to install PUP (potentially unwanted software) during installation. If you run it a handful of times it will update most drivers for free. I uninstalled it after use as it had persistent outgoing connections that took some effort to stop and created on screen pop up offers.

• Managing Windows Updates: if you weren't aware, Microsoft has reduced the ability to choose what updates you want to download and when you want to download them in Windows Update. It will also upgrade you to the latest feature update. Unless you're on a metered connection, it downloads the feature updates and the other updates in the background - they can run as large as 10-13 GB. In addition to not having much control over updates, if you have limited bandwidth or internet speed this can be a large issue.
I find that WAU Manager (Windows Automatic Updates Manager) does a great job of managing updates. It's free and has a super simple interface and is a full replacement for Windows Update. It gives you complete full control of Windows Updates, letting you check for updates and choose which ones you want to download and when you want to install them. It also has uninstall and maintenance support.

• Windows 10 is quite different from previous versions in several ways - ads are served up in parts of the operating system and there are some privacy and telemetry issues that concern many people. I find that Debotnet is easy to use, free, changes are easily reversed, and it gives you options to keep or block most of the parts of Windows 10 that concern privacy and security. Download links are at the bottom of the page.

For most other issues, annoyances or changes there's Winaero Tweaker. It's like the Swiss Army Knife/Multi tool for Windows (Win 10 / 8 / 7). If there's something you want to change you can probably find a setting in this excellent freeware program that will do what you want.

Download the Microsoft Quick Start Guide to Windows 10

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True, Open-Shell may still need some development (last release was in November 2019), but at least it is still being worked on. I swapped out Classic Shell for Open-Shell on 2 laptops early last year (1 Win 8.1 and 1 Win 10) and it's caused me no grief whatsoever, and I've received a couple of updates along the way.

That's good to know, thanks for mentioning it. I haven't tried it, it's good to hear from someone who has been using it.

I am obliged to you rhiannon - especially as I'm about to migrate from Win7.

You're most welcome. If you're moving from Windows 7 to 10, the Start Menu might be more than you want to adjust to at thte moment. I was looking at some free Start Menu replacements but there are fewer than there were, and some, like Classic Shell, are no longer developed. I didn't add any to the article for that reason.
There are two Start Menu replacements I think work well but they are both commercial (paid) software. Both are under $5 USD but are still commercial software. My favorite is made by Stardock and I've used their Windows 8 and Windows 10 versions since they were released (Start8 and Start10). StartIsBack is another one that performs well and has quite a few options.
The Windows 10 default menu isn't bad but it does take some getting used to if you're migrating from Windows 7.
I work better with a Start Menu that's closer to Windows 7, and, at the moment don't have the patience to learn the Windows 10 Start Menu since Windows 10 itself is putting me through my paces. And, I use the keyboard for much of what the Start Menu does. Windows 10 latest issue is corrupting my user profile and that's been.....a learning experience. ¯\(º_o)/¯

Actually Classic Shell lives on under the Open-Shell banner, and it can be found at ""

I saw that when I was looking into replacement start menus. From what I read at various sites/forums it still needs some development. If you like Classic Shell it looks like it would be worth a try. I haven't used either program.

Thanks. this looks good and I have found a couple of area that I want to go over

You're most welcome.