If you’re just now switching to Windows 10 (because of Windows 7 end-of-life), you might not yet have discovered some of its coolest features.
In fact, even if you’ve been on Windows 10 for a while, you might not be aware of every last thing this operating system has to offer. After all, Windows 10 is a work in progress. With every update, Microsoft enhances it just a bit.
It’s important that we, as traders, stay up-to-date on what’s available. You don’t want to miss out on what Microsoft is offering you (for free!) in terms of more options, more features, and new ways to get more out of your trading desktop or laptop.
Today we’ll look at 7 Windows 10 features of particular interest to traders. Some are just good to know about, but others will require you to change settings. Check them out and see which ones could make a difference in your trading day.
1. You Just Got a Free CPU Performance Boost!
The Spectre security vulnerability for Intel and AMD chips (a design flaw) caused a panic throughout the computer industry in 2018. Microsoft had to rush out a solution to help block attacks designed to exploit this vulnerability.
The bad news: their patches reduced CPU performance, especially on PCs from 2015 and earlier.
Recently, Microsoft came up with a better solution. It released a new Spectre patch as part of the May 2019 Windows 10 update.
This update practically eliminates the earlier performance penalties. So the good news is, your older PC should get faster. Yay!
2. Have You Tried Dark Mode?
Dark mode has been getting a lot of hype lately. The consensus seems to be that dark mode can relieve eye strain for some of the people, some of the time. And it may be important to you as a trader, depending on your screen-time habits.
There are third-party apps available, like f.lux, that can adapt your trading computer’s display to the time of day.
Windows 10 doesn’t go that far, but it has been expanding your ability to set dark mode all over the place.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update gave us the dark mode for apps. (Go to Settings > Personalizations > Colors to change your apps to dark mode.)
Since then, Microsoft has broadened its dark mode coverage to File Explorer. So now you can use dark mode for pretty much your whole system.
It’s worth a try if you’re experiencing a lot of eye strain while you’re trading or researching.
3. Are You Using an Android Phone?
For Android users, Microsoft has taken the first steps to make phone integration easier. You can use the Your Phone app to connect your Android phone to your trading computer.
The app lets you wirelessly share files between your mobile device and computer. You can send text messages directly from your trading laptop or desktop. Also, your phone’s notifications will show up on your computer.
Unfortunately, due to the closed nature of the iOS environment, Microsoft can’t provide the same level of integration for iPhones.
4. Who Doesn’t Want Faster Searches?
The file search option on Windows (in the taskbar) was never great. It was slow, inefficient, and limited. However, since the Windows 10 May 2019 update, the search feature has improved a lot.
Now you can turn on the Enhanced Indexing feature for Search. (Go to Settings > Search > Searching Windows and select Enhanced). This speeds up your searches and gives you better results.
Also, you now have the option to expand the search to your entire PC. Previously, Search only looked at files in your libraries and desktop.
5. Are You An Emoji Lover?
Over the years, Microsoft has expanded the number of available emojis. You have a lot of superheroes and animals to use in your emails and messages now.
Most users don’t realize you can grab just the right emoji more quickly using Windows 10’s emoji panel. Simply press Windows+. (Period) or Windows+; (Semicolon). Either key combination will pop up the emoji panel.
If you’re an emoji-holic, you just discovered nirvana.
6. Do You Use Symbols Frequently?
As a trader, you may not be a big emoji user. But you still might like the emoji panel because it also gives you quick access to special characters.
No more searching for the symbols for Pounds, Euro, or Yen. No more setting auto-correct to get you the copyright and trademark symbols.
Depending on how much you use symbols, this could be a game-changer.
7. Have You Been Frustrated with Clipboard?
We traders have been copy/pasting with Cntl+C and Cntl+V for years. But what if there are two things you are repeatedly copy/pasting. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a easy way to swap between them?
Previously, the clipboard held only one entry. So when you copied something new, it would overwrite the old entry.
Now clipboard has a history feature. It saves about the last 20 things you copied.
Instead of Ctnl+v to paste, use Windows+v to open the clipboard history. Click on an item from the list to select and paste it.
You don’t have to worry about overwriting a clip anymore. Even if you copy something new, you still have access to recent older entries.
Note: This feature is off by default. To enable it, go to Settings > System > Clipboard. Toggle Save Multiple Items to On.
You can also set the Clipboard to Sync across devices. This could be handy if you want to, for example, copy a screenshot from your laptop and then paste it into a document you’re editing on your desktop.
But Wait, There’s More!
Each Windows 10 update comes with a large number of improvements. We have only scratched the surface here.
Microsoft has made improvements to Windows 10 analytics, monitoring, security, and more. Find out more about Windows 10 improvements at What’s new in Windows 10 from Microsoft.
But don’t just read about these great new features. Be sure to try one or two of them right now, while you’re still thinking about it. Every little improvement in productivity can add up to a big difference in your trading results.
There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyer’s guide. Check out our How To Buy a Trading Computer e-book.
We hope today’s Quick Tip helped you. If you found this helpful, you’ll want to check out the other computer How-To’s I’ve created on this page. You can always call us if you have questions: 800-387-5250.
Image by Bruce Mars on pexels.