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Settings App Options Overview

In Windows 10, most configurations can be done via the new Settings app (Windows+I). This article attempts to document all available options.

Before we talk about options...

Here are some basic things to remember when configuring options in this app:

  • To open Settings, press Windows+I.
  • Press BACKSPACE to move to a previous screen.
  • Use the search box to locate settings quickly.
  • Not all settings (such as Cortana) are shown on Settings app, and some will require you to use Control Panel. Any settings changed via Settings app take effect immediately.
  • Press SPACE to activate buttons, press Alt+down arrow to interact with combo boxes (Alt+up arrow closes them).

The Settings app consists of categories list, a search box, and a screen where options are shown.

Below is a list of things you can customize in this app (based on Windows 10 Version 1511). Note that some option labels are not announced by screen readers (for those, a slash indicates actual label versus what screen readers say).

System

  • Display: Allows you to configure display settings.
    • Customize your display: Same as Control Panel/Display dialog.
    • Custom scale factor/Turn off custom scaling and sign out: Used to change display scaling settings.
    • Orientation: Changes the screen orientation. Options include landscape, landscape flipped, portrait, and portrait flipped. If orientation is changed, "apply" and "cancel" buttons will appear.
    • Advanced display settings: Opens a window to change settings such as screen resolution.
  • Notifications & actions: Changes how notifications are shown and customize items shown in Action Center.
    • Quick actions/Pinned quick actions: Allows you to define quick actions listed in Action Center. There are four item slots, and each can show one of the following: All settings, Connect, Project, VPN, Note (OneNote), Quiet hours, Location, and Tablet mode.
    • SELECT WHICH ICONS APPEAR ON THE TASKBAR: This button opens a screen that allows you to check or uncheck icons to be shown on the Taskbar.
    • TURN SYSTEM ICONS ON OR OFF: Similar to the button above, opens a screen where you can check or uncheck icons to be shown on the notification area (system tray).
    • Notifications: The next few toggle buttons allow you to show notifications in lock screen, show tips about Windows and so forth.
    • Show notifications from these apps: These toggle buttons allow you to control which apps can notify you if something happens.
  • Apps & features: Manages apps and optional features.
    • Manage optional features: This link opens a window wher you can search for and manage optional features such as speech languages.
    • App search and sorting: The next few controls allows you to search for an installed app, show apps installed on certain drives and sort apps list by date installed, name and so on. The list shows all installed aps. Pressing ENTER will present additional controls when TAB is pressed including a button to uninstall an app.
  • Multitasking: Controls virtual desktops, snap and more.
    • Snap: The first four toggle buttons allows you to control snap functionality, including arranging windows automatically when snapped, whether snapped windows fill the screen automatically, prompting which apps to snap (Snap Assist) and snapping adjacent windows automatically.
    • Virtual desktops: The next two combo boxes controls behavior of virtual desktops (Task View), including whether apps opened on all desktops should be shown on the Taskbar (by default, only apps running on the current workspace is shown) and Alt+TAB behavior (can switch among apps opened on the current desktop by default).
  • Tablet mode: Controls Tablet Mode behavior. See Tablet Mode article for details.
  • Battery saver (mobile computers only): Shows current battery percentage and allows you to adjust battery saver settings.
    • Battery use: This link opens a screen showing which which apps are using battery power the most for the past 24 hours, 48 hours or the past week.
      • Change battery saver settings: Opens a screen to adjust battery saver options, including when battery saver should be engaged (a slider), allowing background apps to run while battery saver is on and turning down display brightness.
  • Power & sleep: Controls various power settings, including when the computer will sleep or screen will be turned off. The "additional power settings" button opens Power Options screen in Control Panel.
  • Storage: Allows you to view how much storage is used and configure where items are saved.
    • Choose a drive to see what's taking up space: This list shows connected storage devices and items that are taking up space. Pressing ENTER will open a screen where you can view categories of items taking up your disk space.
    • Save locations: The next few combo boxes allows you to configure where items such as apps, documents, music and so on will be saved.
  • Offline maps: Allows you to download an offline map, check for map updates and more.
    • Storage location: Allows you to specify where the offline maps will be stored.
    • Metered connections: Allows you to download maps on metered connections.
    • Map updates/Automatically update maps: Select this toggle button to update offline maps automatically. An accompanying "check now" button allows you to check for map updates.
  • Default apps: Allows you to configure default apps for various tasks.
    • Choose default apps: These buttons allow you to configure which app will be used for specific activity. Press ENTER on each activity, then press TAB to move through list of apps, press SPACE to select one and the just selected app will become the default app for the chosen activity. A particular note is web browsing (Microsoft Edge is set as default).
    • Reset: resets activity to app associations.
    • Choose default apps by file type, protocol or set defaults by app: The next three links allow you to set default apps for file types, protocols or opens Control Panel's Set default programs screen to perform advanced customizations. For the first two links, it opens a screen where file types or protocols are shown. Use the method described above to change default apps for specific file types or protocols, respectively.
  • About: Shows basic information about your computer, such as computer name, edition of Windows, product ID and a link to change your product key or upgrade the edition of Windows you have. It also contains links to configure BitLocker, open Device Manager and other options. To move through basic information, use your screen reader's touch cursor or object navigation commands.

Devices

  • Printers & scanners
  • Connected devices
  • Bluetooth (if Bluetooth is available)
  • Mouse & touchpad
  • Typing
  • AutoPlay
  • USB

Network & Internet

  • Wi-Fi (if Wi-Fi radio is present)
  • Airplane mode (computers with wireless radios only)
  • Data usage
  • VPN
  • Dial-up
  • Ethernet
  • Proxy

Personalization

  • Background
  • Colors
  • Lock screen
  • Themes
  • Start

Accounts

  • Your email and accounts
  • Sign-in options
  • Work access
  • Family & other users
  • Sync your settings

Time & language

  • Date & time
  • Region & language
  • Speech

Ease of Access

  • Narrator
  • Magnifier
  • High contrast
  • Closed captions
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Other options

Privacy

  • General
  • Location
  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Speech, inking, & typing
  • Account info
  • Contacts
  • Calendar
  • Call history
  • Email
  • Messaging
  • Radios
  • Other devices
  • Feedback & diagnostics
  • Background apps

Update & security

  • Windows Update
  • Windows Defender
  • Backup
  • Recovery
  • Activation
  • Find My Device (mobile computers only)
  • For developers