Windows Configuration and Use Notes

Last Updated:   12/24/22  00:58                 Jeffrey Knauth

This file contains some information which may be helpful to Windows users. It has been checked against the latest versions, Windows 10 Version 22H2 and Windows 11 Version 22H2. It reflects how I use Windows and likely does not cover facilities which are important to other people.

The deletion/modification of the desktop Start button (the Windows 7 style of the button) has been a problem for many Windows users. Some have then installed a third-party program, e.g., Stardock's Start10 or Start11, to get back the deleted functions. In the following I'll assume you may have installed Start10, Start11, or something similar; I won't specify the details where, for example, you take different steps than I do to configure the Stardock Start button vs. what you did in Windows 7 or how you might use the built-in Windows Start button to get a similar result.

This file describes how I set up my systems in some areas. Of course you may choose to do things a different way. It does not cover networking, printers, or the standard changes done thru Personalize and Control Panel, but instead points out some things that may be a little off the beaten path. The Overviews and Tutorials section, would be good to review if you are a new user of these systems.

Terminology:  In the following text I'll abbreviate things along the lines of "Win10 21H2" to mean "Windows 10 Version 21H2". Starting in Windows 8, Microsoft changed the term "Windows Explorer" to "File Explorer"; often here I'll just use the term "Explorer" instead of "File Explorer". Also, I'll frequently use the term "directory" to mean the same thing as the Windows term "folder".


(click topic to select)

Useful Key Combinations and Mouse Operations

Many useful key combinations are documented in the "Keyboard shortcuts in Windows" web page. Although the total set of shortcuts is pretty overwhelming, you can probably pick up a few good ideas the first time you go thru it. As you use Windows more and more, you can come back to the list and probably find other key combinations that are worthwhile remembering.

Double-clicking the title bar of a window will maximize the window size. Double-clicking the title bar of a maximized window will return it to the restore size. The Windows logo key used with the up or down arrow does the same thing. In the following text "Windows+" means to press the Windows logo key in conjunction with another key or keys.

For many programs, e.g., browsers, pressing Ctrl++ (Ctrl together with the + key) will magnify things. Ctrl+- (Ctrl with the - key) will reduce things. Ctrl+0 (Ctrl with the 0 key) will reset things to the normal sizes.

If you are used to seeing File, View, Edit, etc., near the top of certain windows and those menu items are now missing, try pressing the Alt key. Toggling the Alt key may display or hide these menu items, depending on the window's implementation.

Clicking Windows+D causes all the current windows to be minimized. Clicking Windows+D again causes all the windows to be restored. Note that when the windows are minimized, removing the clutter from the desktop, you can now click one or more items from the taskbar to start a new desktop arrangement. This causes the old desktop arrangement to be forgotten, although all the windows are still available on the taskbar for individual restoration if needed.

Right-clicking an object usually displays a context menu for that object, listing actions you can take with that object. In Win11, Microsoft has redesigned Explorer windows and context menus (not for the better in some cases). Many items in the Win10 context menus have been moved to a submenu in Win11, requiring an additional click. There is a registry hack to get back essentially the Win10 format of the context menu. For example, see The hack causes the submenu to be displayed immediately when the right click is done, avoiding the second click. In this file I will assume the old format of the context menu is being used.

In Win10 there are more context menu options available if you Shift + right-click an object, e.g., a file icon, instead of just right-clicking it. I frequently use "Copy as path" from that extended menu to put the fully-qualified name in the clipboard. I can then paste that text to a text file, or a shortcut Target field, or somewhere else. Note that quote marks are put around the copied name; you may need to delete the quotes or other parts of the path after you paste the information. In Win11 without the registry hack, "Copy as path" is in the main menu rather than the submenu. It is also in the menu displayed with the registry hack; Shift+right-click seems to do nothing in Win11, but is not needed since the main menu is fully populated with the registry hack.

In Win10 another way to get this "Copy as path" function is thru "Copy path" under the Home tab in the Clipboard section of an Explorer window's ribbon (the stuff near the top of the window); the path copied would be for the item now selected in the Explorer window. However in Win11 the ribbon has been deleted from Explorer windows, so no more Home tab, etc., as described for Win10. However if you click the "..." in the Win11 Explorer menu bar, "Copy path" is a menu item.

In the Navigator pane of an Explorer Window, Ctrl+Shift+E will expand the tree to show the folder being examined (the way old Windows used to show it). Left-clicking some expanded folder in the Navigation pane and then pressing the left arrow collapses the expansion. Unfortunately, I have found no simple keystroke to just say "Collapse All". I think there used to be a way to do that in old Windows (numeric "/" key or something like that; however numeric "*" still does an "Expand All" -- use with care).

For taskbar icons:

Pressing Windows+X displays a popup menu for some key system facilities. Many of these were available via the Win7 Start button, which was deleted in Win8.

Some other useful key shortcuts are described in Vertical Snap and Horizontal Snap of Windows.

Taking Screenshots

You can take a snapshot of the whole screen, or of the active window, or of some user-selected rectangular or irregularly shaped part of the screen. The snapshot is either an image copied to the Clipboard or is a file put in a specific directory.

Some of these facilities require a PrtScrn key on the PC's keyboard. If the key exists, its spelling may be slightly different than "PrtScrn". However some keyboards do not have the key at all. For some PCs without this key there may be workarounds which will not be covered here (try a google search).

Here are screenshot techniques that work on many PCs:

KeysCapturedImage Is Sent To
PrtScrnFull screenClipboard
Alt+PrtScrnActive windowClipboard
Windows+Shift+SPartial screenClipboard (after region is selected)
Windows+PrtScrnFull screen%username%/Pictures/Screenshots

The images sent to the Clipboard can then be pasted elsewhere, e.g., retrieved and edited by Paint. The Windows+PrtScrn key combination creates a PNG image file, which is stored in the Pictures/Screenshots directory in the user's personal directory.

Snapshots of user-selected portions of the screen (rectangular or other shapes) can be made using the Snip & Sketch app built into Windows. It can be found by searching for "snip". There is also an older "Snipping Tool", which does similar things; it is still present in 22H2 in both Win10 and Win11, but will likely disappear at some point.

The easiest way to access Snip & Sketch is to press Windows+Shift+S. Before doing this you set up the image you want to capture.

Other screenshot tools may be installed on your PC. For example, with the current Firefox browser if you right-click a page and select "Take Screenshot", you can copy to the clipboard a selected part of the displayed page.

Creating a Command Window

Sometimes you need to run Windows commands. To open a command window, click "Run" in the menu displayed by the Windows+X key combination. If you have tailored your Start menu to include Run, you can instead click that item.

Note that in Win10's Settings > Personalization > Taskbar, there is an item to specify whether Command Prompt or Windows Powershell will be invoked if you click the "Command Prompt" entry in the Win+X menu. Windows Powershell is a powerful replacement of Command Prompt, but uses an entirely different syntax. Be sure this setting will give you the type of command window you desire. In Win11 there is no such Settings option; Powershell is what you get if click the "Terminal" (renamed from "Command Prompt") entry in the Win+X menu.

If you run Command Prompt commands often and want to be able to easily open a tailored command window, you can create a desktop shortcut to do that. Right-click an open area of the desktop and select New > Shortcut. In the location field enter "%SystemRoot%\System32\cmd.exe" (the path to this program depends on your system configuration). Click Next and enter a name to appear below the shortcut, e.g., CMD. Click Finish. Now when you double-click the shortcut icon, a command window will open. The properties of the window (e.g., font, colors, size, and position) can be tailored by right-clicking the shortcut icon and selecting Properties. (There seems to be a bug in Win11 that prevents such tailoring.) A similar shortcut can be set up for powershell.exe, although that file is in a different (version dependent) system directory than cmd.exe.

In Win10 "Open Windows PowerShell" is under the File tab of an Explorer window's ribbon (the stuff near the top of the window). This opens a PowerShell window already set to the directory of the item selected in the Explorer window. You can choose whether or not to run PowerShell with administrator privilege. This facility seems to have been deleted in Win11; there is no ribbon anymore.

Saving Sizes and Positions of Windows

Windows does not do a very good job remembering the sizes and positions for windows when they are closed. You would like to have some control to have a window put back in the same place when it is reopened. ShellFolderFix is a free, user-written program which provides this missing function. ShellFolderFix is described here. Although originally written for Win7, it still seems to work in Win10 and Win11.

Elevating Your Privilege Level

Even when logged on with an administrator ID, you are usually running with standard user privileges. Some things cannot be done, e.g., modifying certain files, when running with standard user privileges. This is intended to prevent you from accidentally altering system files or otherwise corrupting the system. There are several ways to temporarily elevate your privilege level to the administrator level, thus allowing the restricted functions to be performed. Of course you must be very careful when running with the elevated privileges.

In Win10 you can select "Open Windows PowerShell" in the File tab of an Explorer window's ribbon and then select to run PowerShell with administrator privilege. See above.

If you want to run some program with an elevated privilege level, you can request the elevation for it by right-clicking the program (or a shortcut to it) and selecting "Run as administrator" from the context menu. Of course you should do that only when necessary. In fact, if you have created a shortcut to open a command window, you can use this procedure on that shortcut to elevate the privilege level for the command prompt.

Turning Off Hibernate

The hibernate facility allows you to turn off your PC but have Windows first record the contents of RAM memory to a file on your hard drive. When the PC is restarted, RAM contents are restored from the hard drive file. This makes the boot process go faster. The file is typically very large in order to hold all of your RAM, e.g., 2 GB if you have 2 GB of RAM. If hibernate is enabled, Windows reserves this amount of hard drive space for the file. If you do not plan to use hibernate, this is just wasted space and can also make system backups less efficient. You can turn off hibernate, thus freeing the file space, by opening an elevated privilege Command Prompt window and then running "powercfg -h off".

Toolbars in the Taskbar To Emulate QuickLaunch

In old versions of Windows, the QuickLaunch facility provided a convenient way to click a chevron and pop up a list of selectable programs. In Win10 (but very unfortunately NOT in Win11) you can get the same function by creating a toolbar in the taskbar. First create a folder, e.g., C:\X. Put shortcuts in that folder for the programs you want to access. Now right-click the taskbar and select Toolbars, then New toolbar. Specify the folder you created, e.g., C:\X. Now an "X" and a chevron will appear on the taskbar. You can click the chevron and select the program you want to execute. You can easily add or delete shortcuts in the folder to control what will appear in the popup. You can put subdirectories in the folder to create submenus. You can add multiple such toolbars. Not having this toolbar facility in Win11 is a big loss of function.

The contents of the folder used for the toolbar do not have to be shortcuts to executable programs. They can be executable files, text files, image files, directories, etc. -- whatever you want to be able to access quickly from the taskbar. It is a good idea to make the folder name short, e.g., "X", to reduce the taskbar space taken up by the folder name. The name and associated chevron to its right will appear beside the notification area at the right side of the taskbar.

Taskbar Icons (Buttons)

In addition to the default Explorer icon that Windows puts in the taskbar, I add an icon of my own. My Explorer icon has "C:\Windows\explorer.exe /n,/e,c:\" (without the quotes) in the Target field of the properties. Clicking that icon opens an Explorer window at C:\ instead of opening the "This PC" (formerly "Computer") window as the original icon does. I end up with two Explorer icons in the taskbar, each with a different view when clicked. Unfortunately the "Quick Access" jump list is attached to the original icon, not the new one I created to provide my preferred view. Therefore I do not delete the original icon, but keep it mainly for the jump list.

Taskbar icons can be rearranged by dragging them to the desired place on the left side of the taskbar. In Win10 (but NOT in Win11) the taskbar icon (button) size can be adjusted in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar. In Win11 I had to use Start11 to have small taskbar icons.

Pinning Items

I have found it very useful to pin frequently used things to the taskbar and/or the Start menu. In Win10 pinning can be done easily by right-clicking a file and selecting the desired location for the pin. (If you don't see the desired location in the context menu, try dragging the file to the Start or Explorer icon in the task bar and see if a pin popup appears.) Pinned folders show up at the top of the taskbar Explorer icon's jump list; right-click the Explorer icon in the taskbar to see its jump list. (See the section above about which taskbar Explorer icon gets the jump list.)

Win11 pinning seems to be broken in some areas. Drag a File Explorer folder to the taskbar and it says "Pin to Taskbar", yet the folder icon does not appear on the taskbar nor in the jump list nor in the quick access list. However clicking "Pin to Quick access" in the folder's context menu does put the folder in the quick access list and the jump list.

In addition to my browser (Firefox), mail program (Thunderbird), and text editor (KEDIT for Windows), I usually pin a clipboard viewer to the taskbar, e.g., Free Clipboard Viewer.

Icon Sizes and Spacing

You can change the desktop icon size and desktop icon spacing. However this requires some care and can involve registry patching. For details see Icons: Size and Spacing.

See Taskbar Icons (Buttons) for how to change the size of taskbar icons.

Win10 and Win11 provide some Start tailoring in Settings > Personalization > Start and elsewhere, but not to my liking.

"Send To" List

You can easily add items to your "Send to" list, which is accessed from the context (right-click) menu. Just drop a shortcut in the SendTo directory. That directory is pretty well buried; however it is easy to get to by typing "shell:sendto" (without the quotes) or just "sendto" (without the quotes) on an Explorer location bar. Once a shortcut is in the directory, you can rename it. The items are sorted alphabetically, so I put a "$_" in the front of those items that I want on top, e.g., my text editor SendTo shortcut is named $_KEDIT.

Organizing Programs Listed in Start

When you install a new program on your PC, Windows tends to add it to the list of programs displayed when you click Start. With a Win7 style of Start button (e.g., as provided by Start10 or Start11), you can open the two Start Menu directories, create subdirectories in them, and move the existing program shortcuts into the desired subdirectories. You can also add shortcuts of your own and place them where you want. This capability lets you neatly organize the programs listed in Start.

For that style of Start button you can easily open the Start Menu directories by clicking the Start button, right-clicking All Programs, and then selecting Open (for the individual user's Start Menu) or Open All Users (for the Start Menu items shared by all users).

Unfortunately you cannot do such a Start Menu organization with the Win10 or Win11 native Start buttons. They do their own organization of the listed programs by just alphabetically arranging them when you click "All apps". The user cannot override this to provide something more useful -- not good.

Libraries and Search

Win7 introduced the library concept and it still works in Win10 and Win11. This is very useful for organizing under one name a set of directories (folders) that can be widely scattered around your system or even across a network. So you could have a distributed music library, a distributed picture library, etc., recognized by your media player, photo editor, etc.

A very useful feature is that libraries are automatically included in a general Windows search, e.g., one done from the Start search box. This means you can create one or more libraries to include your user data directories, which can be in many locations. A general Windows search will then include those areas, in addition to the standard search areas such as your Documents folder. Also, when you open a specific library, the search box in the upper right part of the library window is automatically focused on that library. This gives you a way to do a quick search thru all those files, which may be widely scattered, but which are logically grouped by the library.

To create a library, open any folder and right-click the Libraries entry in the left pane of the Explorer window. (If the Libraries entry is not there, you may need to turn on "Show libraries" as described below.) Select New, then Library, and give it the desired name. If you later want to change the name, just right-click that entry and select Rename.

To put the first directory in the library, double-click the library and enter the name of the directory to be added. To add a directory, right-click the directory in some Explorer window, select "Include in library", and then select the desired library from the displayed list. Alternatively, in Win10, to add more directories, click the Library Tools tab at the top of an Explorer window in which you have opened the desired library; then click Manage > Manage Library > Add to add as many directories as you want.

A directory can be included in more than one library. The library just consists of pointers to the directories contained within it. Deleting directories from a library, or even deleting the whole library, just deletes the pointers, not the directories themselves.

Once you have a library, you can sort the included files in various ways using the standard Explorer technique of clicking the header of the column controlling the sort, e.g., "Name" or "Date modified". The sort is done within each directory separately. You can always change the sort depending on the needs of the moment.

When you open an Explorer window, there is a search box in the upper right section. A good trick to know is that you can specify *.* there and choose All Subfolders in the Search tab to display all the files in the directory subtree. You can then sort those as a combined group by Name, Size, etc., by selecting the appropriate option in the "Sort by" item in the "Current view" section of the View tab.

Win7-style Start and Win11 Start have an explicit search box where you type the item you are searching for. Win10 Start does not have an explicit search box; you just click Start and then type the item to be found.

For a general search from the Start button, by default Windows searches in only a limited number of directories. You can add more directories and do other search tailoring in Control Panel > Indexing Options. Indexing is a way for Windows to build tables that make searches go faster in the specified directories.

Caps Lock Sound

You can turn on a warning sound for Caps Lock (and the other toggle keys: ScrollLock and NumLock) by Control Panel > Ease of Access Center > Make the keyboard easier to use > Turn on Toggle Keys. Or in Win10 use Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard > Use Toggle or in Win11 use Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard > Toggle keys.

Multiple Monitors

If you have an extra monitor and your display adapter can handle multiple monitors, or you have multiple adapters, it is easy to set up an extended desktop on two monitors. I do that, with the secondary monitor usually turned off. However when I am doing something that requires a lot of screen space, e.g., HTML/CSS debugging, it's nice to be able to have everything visible at once. One caveat is that when the second monitor is off, sometimes things are directed to it, e.g., property windows for icons on the far left of the main monitor (which I have to the right of the secondary monitor). Then I have to turn on the secondary to see the missing window. In general, when something should be visible and isn't, see if it is hiding over there.

Vertical Snap and Horizontal Snap of Windows

The snap facility is tailored under Settings > System > Multitasking > Snap windows.

I use vertical snap to make some windows as large as possible vertically. Left-click and hold while dragging (double-ended arrow should appear) the top or bottom edge of the window to the desired location until you see an indication that snap has occurred. Then release the mouse button. Windows+Shift+Up arrow is another (sometimes easier) way to maximize a window vertically, but only if the snap facility is enabled.

If you accidentally do this snap (or any of the other snaps described below), just drag the window edge back. You can also undo an accidental snap by double-clicking the title bar.

Note that the snapped sizes will not be remembered by Windows or ShellFolderFix. If you want ShellFolderFix to remember the size, you will need to manually stretch the size by dragging the top and bottom edges to just short of the top and bottom edges of the desktop.

I use horizontal snap, particularly via the Windows+Left or Windows+Right arrow keys, for example to show two windows side-by-side, each automatically using half the screen. (See next paragraph.) I can change the text in one window and then see the consequences in the other, e.g., editing an HTML/CSS source file and then displaying the browser's rendering of that source file. Horizontal snap via these keys makes it easy to set up such a display configuration instead of having to drag window borders to get the half/half split. If you want something different than a 50-50 split, after the snap you can drag the vertical edge of either window to the desired "mid" location and both windows will be resized when the mouse button is released.

You can use Windows+Left or Windows+Right arrow keys to move a selected Window to the left or right side of the desktop, taking up half the desktop. Repeatedly pressing the key combination cycles thru putting the selected window on either side of the desktop or restoring the original size and position. If you have multiple displays, the cycle will take you thru all positions on the display combination, so you can get things exactly where you want them.

Furthermore you can put a resized window at any of the four corners of the display. To do this you left-click and hold anywhere on the window's title bar while dragging the window to the selected corner until the cursor hits that corner; then release. The window then gets sized appropriately to take a quarter of the display.

Win11 adds some additional snap capabilities, e.g., to provide other snap window configurations, to easily display configuration possibilities and allow you to select one, and to select other windows to fill the remaining part of the screen.

Where Is It Now?!  (Meandering System Settings)

Windows does tend to move things around a great deal from version to version. If you don't know which window/popup/dialog/etc. is used to invoke some function or where a setting is made or information is displayed, but you can remember some relevant word or words, try entering that text in the Start search box. For example, entering "reliability" provides a link to the Reliability History function. Configuration information is usually in the numerous Settings or Control Panel items, but might be elsewhere.

Of course to use this search trick, first you have to find the Search box. Win7-style Start and Win11 Start have an explicit search box where you type the item you are searching for. Win10 Start does not have an explicit search box; you just click Start and then type the item to be found.

If you happen to already be in a Settings window, there is a "Find a setting" search box in every such window. This seems to do the same system-wide search for system controls as the Start button search does, i.e., it isn't limited to controls found only in Settings.

Explorer Ribbon

Microsoft now uses a ribbon instead of menus in many of its products, including Win10 File Explorer, but not Win11 File Explorer. In File Explorer the ribbon is usually placed along the top of the Explorer window right below the title bar. If the ribbon is not visible, click the tiny Win10-only "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" arrow near the top left corner of the window and uncheck "Minimize the Ribbon" in the menu. This customize menu also allows you to select several other things you can make easy to access at the top of this window.

Once the ribbon is visible, explore it. Click each tab to see the tools provided in that section. These facilities are often also located elsewhere, e.g., in some menu it might be difficult to find. The ribbon can make such things easier to access (if you can find them in the ribbon). Be aware that the ribbon content depends on what is being viewed by Explorer. For example, when viewing a library, there is a "Library Tools" tab which is not present unless you are exploring a library.

System Administrative Tools

The System Administrative Tools provide a great deal of information and useful functions: a task scheduler to start things at particular times, logs for system and application errors, a performance monitor, a tool to look at your hard disk structure and assign device letters, a way to get to the Device Manager, tools to display details about your computer's configuration and services, and more. To make this easily accessible, you can go to the Control Panel, right-click Administrative Tools in Win10 or Windows Tools in Win11, and select "Pin to Start". Also, many of these facilities are available in the menu displayed when Windows+X is pressed.

Task Manager

The Task Manager has been enhanced in recent versions. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc or select it from the Windows+X menu. Select "More details". Task Manager shows usage for a number of resources (CPU, memory, disk, network, GPU, and power), either per application or per process, and allows sorting by name or resource. It provides a performance summary and a link to the Resource Monitor, which provides much more detailed performance information. In addition to other system information about applications, startup, and services, it provides one of its most useful functions: the ability to kill a hung program -- the "End task" button.

In Win11, many more functions have been added to the Task Manager, e.g., some graphics displays and information about Startup items.

Adjusting Some Windows Default Settings

Windows has some default settings which I (and many others) always choose to change. Open any folder with Explorer, then in Win10 click View > Options dropdown (far right end of ribbon) > Change folder and search options. In Win11 click "..." in the menu bar > Options.

Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types". Unchecking this causes the .exe, .txt, .jpg, .htm, etc., extensions to appear at the end of file names instead of being hidden in the displayed file names. Truncated display of file names can lead to a great deal of confusion; it's better to see the full name of each file.

For future reference, keep in mind that this Folder Options area also has options allowing the display of hidden files, folders, and drives and the display of protected operating system files. By default these are not shown, lessening the possibility that you might accidentally damage them, or be confused by their appearance among the other files. However sometimes you may need to unhide them to do maintenance work.

Check "Show libraries" if you will be using libraries.

If you do not see the options in the places described above or if you prefer working in Control Panel, go to Control Panel > File Explorer Options > View. You will see MANY options there, including those described above.

In Win10 the Explorer ribbon under View's Show/hide section provides checkboxes to easily turn on/off the "Hidden items" and "File name extensions" facilities. Thus you can avoid going thru the "Folder and search" procedure described above. In Win11 in the menu bar click View > Show to check/uncheck these items.

Also I usually enable the check box facility for selecting items in an Explorer window. Sometimes this way of selecting multiple items can be easier than using Ctrl + left mouse button. This can be enabled in either the "Folder and search" procedure described above ("Use check boxes to select items") or in the Win10 Explorer ribbon View Show/hide section ("Item check boxes"). In Win11 in the menu bar click View > Show to check/uncheck this item.

Some Miscellaneous Tailoring I Do

Below is a subset of some of the things I change or check when I upgrade to a new version of Windows. Actually I check all the Control Panel and Settings values vs. a file of them I have kept for the previous version. Since it has been a long time since I have installed a clean Windows version, I don't know what the current Windows defaults are. I can't tell from my current systems since my old settings (which I might have changed from the original defaults) seem to be migrated pretty successfully (but not always) when a new version is installed over an old one. There may be some bad defaults in the new version that should be changed by a user. Since I changed them long ago in some old version and have forgotten the original values, I may not have cautioned about them in this file.

File Associations

When you double-click a file entry in an Explorer window, an associated program may be executed. For example, double-clicking a .txt file may open a text editor. An association is not required to exist for an extension, e.g., .txt. If none exists when you double-click the file, you will be prompted to select a program to execute. You can choose to have the selected program executed for only this one time, or have the selected program run whenever a file with that extension is double-clicked.

You can modify the program setting as follows: Right-click a file with the target extension; then select "Open with". If the desired program is listed, select it; otherwise select "Choose another app" and browse for the desired program.

If the "Open with" does not appear in the file's context menu, no association currently exists and you should be prompted for your intention if you double-click the file.

Be sure to properly check or uncheck the "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" box to meet your objectives. For example, if you accidentally check (or leave checked) the box, you can unintentionally associate that program with all files of this kind instead of having the program run just this once for this specific file. If you check the box, that program will be executed whenever any file of this kind is double-clicked.

If you made a mistake by leaving the box checked, you can correct it easily by right-clicking any file of this kind. Then go thru the "Open with" procedure described above, now choosing the proper program for the association and checking the box to have the new association remembered.

Miscellaneous Additions/Deletions in Windows

In Win10 and Win11 you can have multiple desktops, called virtual desktops. This lets you have a number of open windows, some on each desktop, and not have to crowd them all onto one desktop. By default a Task View icon is displayed on the taskbar. If you click it, on the upper left of the current desktop in Win10 or at the bottom of the screen in Win11 you will see "+ New desktop". Click that to add a new desktop. In it you can open additional windows. Each desktop has its own set of windows. You can switch to a different desktop by selecting it from the list presented when you click the Task View icon in the taskbar. You close a desktop by clicking its X in the Task View list. When a desktop is closed, its open windows get moved to some other desktop; they are not closed just because the previous underlying desktop is closed.

Over the years Windows has kept moving the button to Lock the screen. In Win11 it may be gone completely. (I can't find it.) I just use Windows+L.

Other Considerations

Some other considerations (directory organization, system and data backups, anti-malware, useful programs, etc.) are listed in PC and Internet Notes. Additional tailoring I do is described in Windows Experiences. When setting up my LAN network, a key consideration is file sharing, as described in Windows File Sharing Notes.

Overviews and Tutorials

Here is a pretty random selection of overviews and tutorials provided by Microsoft and others. You can find many such pages by doing an Internet search.