It's about a month since Windows 10 launched and the early reviews are mostly positive. On my site, Komando.com, I've had readers report everything from smooth sailing to minor annoyances to serious problems that made them go back to Windows 7 or 8.1. With major new software that's to be expected.
I've also been getting a flood of questions from Windows 10 users try to get the hang of the new system, and have also heard from non-users trying to decide if they should upgrade. You probably have similar questions, so I'm going to answer some of the most pressing ones here.
1. Does Windows 10 really share my Wi-Fi automatically?
Windows 10 has a feature called Wi-Fi Sense that makes it easier for friends and family to get on your encrypted Wi-Fi networks. They don't have to type a password; Microsoft will log them in automatically.
There's a lot of confusion around this feature that makes it sound scarier than it is. To start, it doesn't actually give anyone your Wi-Fi password. Plus, you have a lot of control over how it works, and you can even disable it completely.
For example, someone only gets logged in automatically if they're a contact of yours in Outlook, Outlook.com/Hotmail, Skype, or Facebook. If you remove someone from your contacts, they can't connect.
You can also choose which of the above services to pull contacts from. Simply go to Network & Internet>>Wi-Fi>>Manage Wi-Fi Settings (only available on computers that support Wi-Fi). Uncheck the services you don't want to allow under "For networks I select, share them with my contacts."
You might have noticed it says "for networks I select." The first time you connect to a Wi-Fi network, Microsoft will ask if you want to share it. Simply say no and Wi-Fi Sense won't log anyone in to that network. You can also disable these later in your network settings.
Of course, there is more to know about Wi-Fi Sense. Learn more about this controversial feature, how it works and how to disable it permanently.
2. How can I tell if there are potential compatibility problems BEFORE I install Windows 10?
Some people are (correctly) worried about upgrading to Windows 10 and then finding out that a critical program or piece of hardware doesn't work. Fortunately, you can get the scoop on potential problems before you hit the Upgrade button.
Find the Get Windows 10 app icon in the notification tray at the bottom-right corner of your screen (it's the white Windows logo). Right-click on it and select "Check your upgrade status."
Then in the screen that appears, click the icon with the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner. From the menu that drops down, click "Check your PC."
The app will bring up an overall "yea" or "nay" on installing Windows 10, and then list some items on the computer that might not be fully compatible. There might be things it misses, but it should give you a general idea of whether or not an upgrade is going to be smooth for you.
Did you request an upgrade and haven't gotten it yet? Here's why Microsoft is rolling out Windows 10 upgrades in stages.
3. Are there any critical features in older versions of Windows that Windows 10 doesn't have?
It depends on your definition of "critical," but yes, Windows 10 has dropped some features that some people rely on. The one most people seem to be upset about is Windows Media Center (don't confuse this with Windows Media Player, which is still installed).
Media Center is a Windows program that lets you watch and record TV using third-party TV tuner cards in your computer. It's also a nice way to manage and interact with your videos, music and other media.
You can replace this with a free program like Kodi, but test it out before you upgrade to make sure it does everything you want. Some of my readers have tried it and say they prefer Media Center.
There are six more features Windows 10 dropped. Find out what they are, if there are alternatives you can use.
4. Is it true I can't refuse updates?
With Windows 10, Microsoft decided that all security and program updates would install automatically the day they're released. This makes sense for security, since millions of Windows users worldwide don't install updates and leave their computers open to attack.
Unfortunately, it also means that you can't avoid problematic updates, as some Windows 10 users found out recently. Microsoft released a cumulative update that put some machines into an endless reboot, and there was no way to tell Windows to ignore the update. Microsoft is probably going to keep tweaking the system to minimize situations like that in the future, but it's still a bit of control you no longer have.
If you're using Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, there is an option to defer updates for a little while. If you're running Windows 10 Home, however, you're out of luck.
Also, the way Windows 10 gets updates has changed. By default, it is downloading update files from other users, and other users get to download update files from your computer. Learn why Microsoft is doing this and the setting you can change to stop it.
That isn't the only privacy concern that comes with Windows 10. Here are three more you need to know about, from ad tracking to learning everything about your life it can.
5. If I upgrade and don't like Windows 10, can I undo it?
For 30 days after you upgrade, you can go back to the version of Windows you upgraded from.
Go to Start>>Settings and choose the Update & Security icon. Then go to the Recovery section and under "Go back to Windows 8.1" or "Go back to Windows 7," click "Get Started."
Windows will ask why you're going back, give you some warnings and then do its thing. It's relatively simple, although the process will take a while.
Unfortunately, it isn't a completely foolproof feature. Find out what might not get put back correctly and what it takes to fix it.
On the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com. Kim also posts breaking tech news 24/7 at News.Komando.com.