You just installed Windows 10 on your Surface. It’s connected to your wireless network and it’s working fine…. now what?
Below are 5 things you should do, as quickly as possible, after the Windows 10 upgrade to make sure your Surface will run smoothly as you spend the next day or two exploring the new operating system.
Doing all 5 of these things should take you less than 10 minutes.
Windows 10 on Surface: Adjust Continuum Settings
First, since you have a Surface, which is definitely a hybrid device, you should configure the Continuum settings to automatically switch modes depending on whether or not a keyboard cover is attached. To do so, follow these steps:
- Bring up the Notification Center (swipe in from the right of the screen)
- Tap and Hold (right-click) the Tablet Mode button
- Select Go To Settings. When the settings window appears, set the When this device automatically switches tablet mode on and off setting to Don’t ask me and always switch
By making this setting change, your Surface will automatically switch between desktop and laptop mode depending on whether or not a keyboard cover is attached. By default, you’ll get a prompt asking you if you want to switch first. Personally, I found the prompt to be a bit annoying.
Also, you need to be aware that plugging your Surface into (or taking it out of) a docking station DOES NOT trigger the Continuum feature. It only works when a keyboard cover is attached or removed.
I consider it a bug and hope Microsoft changes it to work with docking stations (especially their own) soon.
Windows 10 on Surface: Kill The OneDrive Sync
When your Surface gets upgraded to Windows 10, there’s a pretty good chance OneDrive will start trying to re-sync your files (even if you made sure everything was synced before you started).
As you might expect, this can take quite a toll on your wireless network and slow other things you are trying to do. Unfortunately, unlike in Windows 8.1, there is no graceful way to pause the sync process.
That doesn’t mean that you have to suffer a slow network while it syncs all your files. If you follow the steps below, you can easily kill the OneDrive process and restart it at a more convenient time:
- Locate the OneDrive icon in the system tray
- Tap and Hold (right-click) it then select Exit from the menu
- You’ll receive the prompt below, click Close OneDrive to stop the sync process
Now your network bandwidth won’t be taken up by OneDrive trying to sync all of your files. When you’re ready to let it sync, simply restart your Surface and the process will restart where it left off. I recommend waiting until you’re ready to go to bed, then connect your Surface to its charger and set the power options to not sleep so it can sync while you are resting.
Windows 10 on Surface: Install Anti-Virus
Windows Defender comes as the default anti-virus on Windows 10. As discussed before, Windows Defender tends to do a poor job at detecting or cleaning virus infections. So, getting some decent anti-virus software in place should be high on your list of things to get done right away.
If you don’t already have a favorite anti-virus package, take a look at our Free Antivirus for Surface – 2015 Guide where we have a couple of options that should work well for you.
Windows 10 on Surface: Install Mobile Office
One of the cool extras that came with the Windows 10 is mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. These free applications are similar to the Metro version of OneNote in Windows 8.1 as they are designed to be used primarily with the touch interface.
They don’t quite offer the same functionality as full the version of Office365 but they offer 98% of what most people use on a day to day basis. Besides, they are free.
All you have to do is go to the Windows Store and Search for Office and you’ll be able to download them:
Once downloaded, there will be a short introduction animation, then you’ll be able to start using them. You can see screenshots of them below (Top to bottom – Excel, PowerPoint, Word):
Once they’re installed, you should plan on taking some time at some point to play with each; so that you have a good idea how to use them. They’re all pretty intuitive but, as with any new versions, some options have been moved around a bit.
Windows 10 on Surface: Re Configure Your Mail App
If you were using the metro mail application in Windows 8.1, you’ll find that you need to re-enter passwords for your mail accounts. Fortunately, this is pretty easy to do. Just tap on each account you have and you’ll get a prompt with two buttons like the one below:
Tap the Fix Account button and you’ll be prompted for your password as shown below:
Once you enter your password for that mail account, tap the Save button to finish. You’ll need to do this for each mail account you have configured in the app.
That’s it, after you run through these 5 processes, your Surface will:
- Automatically switch between desktop and tablet mode without prompting you every time
- Be more secure (at least you’ll have a better chance of not getting a virus)
- Be faster while you’re getting used to using Windows 10 (just remember to let the sync finish up overnight)
- Have touch friendly versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- And you’ll have your email configured
Not bad for 10 minutes worth of work, huh?
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.