Nothing against Windows 10, but if you want to simplify it a bit by giving it the Chromebook treatment — tweaking various settings and UI elements to make them a bit easier to deal with, or simply integrating some of a Chromebook’s more useful features directly into Windows 10 itself — nobody is going to give you any grief. It’s your PC, you can do whatever you want with it.
Michael Perrigo over at Chrome Unboxed has an excellent guide for bringing the best of the Chrome OS experience into Windows 10. I won’t steal his thunder by rehashing all of it, but I did want to call your attention to a handful of apps that you might want to consider installing, regardless of your feelings towards Google’s operating system. Some of these are Michael’s suggestions, and others are ones that I’ve stumbled across.
You’ll want to grab this combination of a Chrome extension and a Windows 10 app in order to redirect your Start Menu searches to Google instead of Bing. (Nothing against Microsoft’s search engine; we’ve just always had a better experience with Google, despite a whopping zero rewards for using it.)
Use the extension to redirect all Bing and Cortana searches to Google (in the browser). You can then install EdgeDeflector to redirect Windows 10 any time it tries to open a website in Edge or Edge Chromium instead of Chrome. Really, it deflects these requests to whatever you’ve set as your default browser in Windows 10, so make sure you’ve adjusted that correctly.
Finally, you can make sure that you’re opening Windows Searches in EdgeDeflector, rather than a browser. You should see a pop-up the next time you click on a web result from a Start Menu search.
If you’d rather redirect these searches to Mozilla’s Firefox browser, you’ll want to use the similarly named Foxtana Pro extension instead of Chrometana Pro.
I previously used a clever hack to block Bing from appearing in Windows 10’s built-in search results, but reinstalling the OS and patching it with the May 2020 update brought Bing back. I’m not against anyone who wants this experience baked into their operating system, but for those that don’t,...Read more
This one’s easy: Install this little utility from the Windows Store and you’ll be able to control the brightness level of any DDC/CI-compatible monitor directly from an icon in your tray. You’ll never have to fuss with your monitor’s annoying buttons ever again.
Second verse, same as the first: This app takes all your left-aligned taskbar icons and centres them, and you can then make the entire taskbar transparent to give it more of a Chrome OS look and feel. (And if that’s all you want, with no centered icons, give TranslucentTB a try.)
Both of these apps basically do the same thing: They give you the (sorely needed) option of scheduling times for light and dark mode on your Windows 10 system. I suppose you could also do this via the Task Scheduler, but it’s a lot more work.
Despite its browser beginnings, Chrome OS is a bonafide desktop platform, complete with snapping windows, a file system, and keyboard shortcuts. As a new Chromebook user, you can also take advantage of the vast majority of Chrome extensions, Android apps, and Linux apps. (With a bit of finagling, you can...Read more
This useful utility borrows a page from macOS, not Chrome OS, to give you the ability to set up dynamic wallpapers that change based on the time of day. Perhaps you want something a little darker in the morning, followed by a brighter wallpaper around lunchtime. Whatever your preference, having a little extra pizzazz for your Windows wallpaper never hurt.