How to fix six Windows 10 headaches

Microsoft's latest OS is a lot better than its predecessor, but it still has some annoying quirks. We help you solve them.

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Microsoft Windows 10 has gone a long way towards fixing the problems that were endemic with earlier versions of Windows — notably Windows 8. But it's still far from a perfect operating system and has its share of headaches.

Looking through various user discussions (and tapping our own experiences) we've identified six problems that a lot of people are complaining about: forced Windows 10 updates; the Cortana digital assistant (which some users want to get rid of and can't); lost disk space; sluggish boot times; annoying notifications; and problems with the Start menu.

But don't worry — help is on the way. We've researched ways to take care of these issues (or at least make them a little less irritating). Here are some solutions that will make Windows 10 more pleasant to use.

Note that we have updated this story for the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, version 1803. If you haven’t made the move to that version of Windows 10, things might look or work a bit differently for you.

1. Get around forced Windows 10 updates

We're going to start with a biggie: Forced updates. For many people, this is the biggest Windows 10 headache of all. Unlike earlier Windows versions, Windows 10 doesn't let you pick and choose which updates to install. Now when Microsoft issues an update, your machine installs it. Case closed.

Well, almost. Windows Update does give you some control over when updates will be installled, so they won't interrupt your work. And Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise and Education users can defer updates. Those techniques are covered in our story "How to handle Windows 10 updates."

There are also a few workarounds that let anyone, even Windows 10 Home users, stop the updating process. One note, though: As a general rule, it's a good idea to keep Windows 10 current, because many updates don't just fix bugs or add new features, but also contain security patches.

However, it's your machine, your operating system, and your life. So if you want to halt forced Windows 10 updates, here are two ways to do it. I'll also show you how you can uninstall an already installed update, and keep it uninstalled.

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