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Friday, November 25, 2011

70 Powerful Tips About Windows 7

Windows 7 is currently only a beta version, but it’s better than the latest version of Windows Vista and it comes with a lot of new features. Unfortunately, some of them aren’t so easy to figure out, so we created a list of the most important tips and tricks and a step-by-step guide.
1.       PC Safeguard
I rarely let anyone use my PC because I’m afraid he will mess it up, but it seems Microsoft has been thinking at me and came with a solution. The PC Safeguard doesn’t let anyone mess your PC settings, because after the user logs off, the configurations are reset back to normal. Of course it will not restore the configurations changed by you, but only the ones done by other users you define.[ad#social]
To use PC Safeguard, go to Control Panel -> User Accounts and create a new account, then select “Set Up Pc Safeguard” and switch it on. Then you can stay relaxed when others use your computer, because you won’t find anything changed, including configurations, downloaded software, installed programs.
2.       Screen Calibration
Fortunately, Windows 7 comes with a display calibration wizard that lets you set up the screen brightness properly, so you won’t have any problems viewing photos or text. The problem was that on one PC a photo could look sharp and bright and on another it looks awful. Now the problem can be fixed by pressing the Win key and then typing “DCCW”.
3.       AppLocker
If you are usually sharing your computer with someone else, then you might want to restrict their access to your applications, files or documents. Using the AppLocker tool, you have a few options to do this by blocking other users to access Executables, Windows Installers, Scripts, a specific publisher or path. You can simply do this by pressing the Windows key then typing Gpedit.msc. Then go to Computer Navigation -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Application Control Policies -> AppLocker. Right click on one of the options ( Executables, Installers, or Script ) and create a new rule. That should save you from a lot of headaches.
4.       Burn Images
We all had trouble with image burning in Windows, because it couldn’t do it itself, a standalone software being needed. With Windows 7 this will not be a problem anymore. All you have to do is double-click the ISO image and burn it on the CD or DVD that’s inserted in the drive.
5.       Display Empty Removable Drives
Windows 7 will not show empty drives by default, so if you connect an empty drive to your PC, don’t worry, just go to Tools -> Folder Options -> View and uncheck “Hide empty drives in the computer folder”. This doesn’t seem like a good idea and it should not be default setting, because it will be hard for inexperienced users to figure it out. I bet a lot of users will return their newly bought drive thinking it’s broken.
6.       Dock The Current Windows To The Left Side Of The Screen
This new feature seems useful because sometimes it’s disturbing that windows seems to float like crazy on the screen and it’s hard to attach them to one side of it. Now this can easily be done using a keyboard shortcut. Press the Windows key + Left key to dock it to the left side of the screen.
7.       Dock The Current Windows To The Right Side Of The ScreenPress the Windows key + Right key to dock it to the right side of the screen.
8.       Display Or Hide The Explorer Preview Panel
Press ALT + P to hide it then once again to display it.
9.       Display Gadgets On Top Of Other Windows
Press ALT + G
10.   Background Photo Slideshow
If you are like me, lazy and bored, then you will want to change the background from time to time, wasting a lot of time. Now you don’t have to do this anymore, because you can set up a slideshow. Right click on the desktop then go to Personalize -> Desktop Background and hold the CTRL key while choosing the images. Then you can choose the time intervals between images and opt to display them randomly or in a row.
11.   Make The Taskbar Smaller
If you feel like the taskbar is using too much of your screen space, you can choose to make the icons smaller. To do this, right-click on the Start button, then go to Properties -> Taskbar and set it to “Use small icons”
12.   Combine Taskbar Icons
When you have more windows or applications opened, the taskbar’s space might not be enough for them all, so you need to combine them, just like you would in Windows XP or Vista. To do this, right-click the Start button, then go to Properties -> Taskbar and check “Combine when taskbar is full”.
13.         Multi-threaded File Copy
If you are a more advanced user, you’ve heard already about Robocopy. Now it’s included in Windows 7 and lets you perform multi-threaded copies from the command line. You can choose the number of threads like this “/MT[:n], which can be from 1 to 128.
14.   Maximize Or Restore The Foreground Window
Press Windows Key + Up Key.
15.   Minimize The Active Window
Press Windows Key + Down Key
16.   Activate The Quick Launch Toolbar
The Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows XP in Vista seems a very good idea that you might miss when using Windows 7. Fortunately though, you can get it back in a quick few steps. Right click the taskbar, go to Toolbar -> New Toolbar and type “%UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch” into the folder box, then click Select Folder. To make it look like it would in Windows Vista, right click the taskbar, uncheck “Lock the Taskbar”, then right click the divider and uncheck “Show Title” and “Show Text”. Then right click the taskbar and check “Show Small Icons” and you should be done.
17.   Preview Photos In Windows Explorer
While in Windows Explorer, Press ALT + P and a preview should appear on the right.
18.         Desktop Magnifier
Press the Windows Key and the Plus Key to zoom in or Windows Key and the Minus Key to zoom out. You can zoom anywhere on the desktop and you can even configure your magnifier. You can choose to invert colors, follow the mouse pointer, follow the keyboard focus, or the text insertion point.
19.         Minimize Everything Except The Current Window
Press the Windows Key + Home Key.
20.   TroubleShoot Power Management
Windows7 can tell you how much power your system uses or provide detailed information about the power usage and issues caused by each application and device. This way you can optimize the way your battery is used, making It last longer. Press the Windows Key and type “POWERCFG –ENERGY –OUTPUT <path\filename>”, and it will create a file called energy-report.html in the folder specified by you, after observing your PC for 60 seconds.
21.   Web Searches From Your Desktop
Windows7 lets you search for online resources, by adding a connector that be downloaded for free. For instance, go to http://www.bizzntech.com/flickrsearch and download the Flickr connector. After that, you should see the Flickr Search in your searches folder and you will be able to do it directly from your desktop, without needing to visit their website.
22.   Add Videos To Your Start Menu
If you were looking for a faster way to access your videos, then Windows 7 has the right answer for you. Right click the Start button, then go to Properties -> Start Menu -> Customize and set the Videos to “Display as a link” and you’re done, you will now find them in the Start Menu.
23.   Shift The Window From One Monitor To Another
If you are using two or more monitors, then you might want to move the Windows from one to another. There is a very simple way to do it. All you have to do is press the Windows Key + Shift Key + Left or Right Key, depending on what monitor you want to move it to.
24.   Custom Power Button
There is an option to replace the “Shut Down” button with another action, if you rarely shut down the computer, but you more often restart it or put it on sleep. Right click the Start Button, go to Properties and choose the ‘Power Boot Action” to do whatever you want, from the given options.
25.   Easily Add A New Font
Adding a new font it’s now easier than ever. Just download the font you want, double click it and you should see the install button.
26.   Stretch The Window Vertically
You can stretch the active window vertically to the maximum display height by pressing the Windows + Shift + Up Keys. Press Windows + Down Keys if you want to restore it.
27.   Open Windows Explorer
Press The Windows + E Keys to open a new instance of Windows Explorer.
28.   Create A New Instance Of The First Icon In The Taskbar
Press Windows + 1 Keys to open a new instance of the first icon in the taskbar. This could prove really useful in some circumstances.
29.   Windows Action Center
Windows Action Center
offers you important information about your PC, like the Antivirus Status, updates, troubleshooting and provides a backup scheduling feature. To access it, go to Control Panel -> System And Security -> Action Center.
30.   Windows Troubleshooting Platform
This platform can help you solve a lot of issues you may encounter, like the internet connection, hardware devices, poor system performance and more. You can choose what to troubleshoot and it will come with some possible explanations for the problem that might really help you. There are a lot of options, guidance and information available there, so give it a try by typing “troubleshoot” or “fix” after pressing the Windows Key.
31.   Turn Off System Notifications
System notifications are usually disturbing and aren’t always useful, so you might want to turn some of them off and. This can be done in Windows 7 by double clicking the Notification Area Icons in Control panel. There you can change notifications and icons for the Action Center, Network, Volume, Windows Explorer, Media Center Tray Applet, Windows Update Automatic Updates.
32.   Turn Off Security Messages
To turn off security messages you have to go to Control Panel -> System and Security -> Action Center -> Change Action Center Settings and you can turn off the following notifications: Windows Update, Internet Security Settings, Network Firewall, Spyware and related protection, User Account Control, Virus Protection, Windows Backup, Windows Troubleshooting, Check for updates.
33.   Cycle Through The Open Programs Via The Taskbar’s Peek Menu
This works just like Alt + Tab, but opens the menu just above the sidebar, doesn’t seem very useful. Give it a try by pressing The Windows Key + T.
34.   Run A Program As An Administrator
You can easily run a program as an administrator by pressing Ctrl + Shift while opening it.
35.   Same Program Windows Switching
If you have more instances of a program running, simply hold Ctrl while clicking on its icon and it will cycle through all the instances.
36.   Auto Arrange Desktop Icons
You can now forget about the Right Click -> Auto arrange. All you have to do is hold F5 pressed for a bit and the icons will auto arrange.
37.   Encrypt Removable USB Drives
Encrypting an USB drive has never been easier. Now you can right click on the removable drive and then on the “Turn on Bitlocker”.
38.   Turn Off Smart Window Arrangement
If you don’t like Windows 7s new features that arrange your windows intelligently, there’s an easy way to turn it off. Press the Windows Key, type “regedit”, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop and set WindowArrangementActive to 0. After you reboot your system the smart arrangements will be turned off.
39.   Create A System Repair Disc
Windows7 features a tool that lets you create a bootable System Repair Disc that includes some system tools and the command prompt. To create it, press the Windows Key and type “system repair disc”.
40.   Hard-Link Migration Store
The Hard-Link Migration store is only available for new computers and can migrate files, settings, and user accounts. The new Hard-Link Migration Store uses more less disk spaces and takes less time.
41.   Turn Off ‘Send Feedback’
The current Beta version of Windows 7 is all about feedback from its testers, but if you feel disturbed by it, there is a way to turn it off. Press the Windows Key and type ‘regedit’, then go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop and set FeedbackToolEnabled to 0. After you restart the computer, it shouldn’t be there anymore. Also, if you want to turn it on again, set the FeedbackToolEnabled to 3.
42.   Improved Calculator
Windows7 features an improved calculator that can do unit conversion, date calculation, gas mileage, lease, and mortgage. Also you can choose between Standard, Scientific, Programmer, and Statistic calculator.
43.   Open A Folder In A New Process
Windows7 opens all folders in the same process in order to save resources, but this means if one folder crashes, they all crash. So if you feel like that’s a risk you don’t have to take, then you have to open them all in their own processes. To do this, hold down Shift, right-click the drive and “Open in New Process”. Now you will be safe.
44.   Problem Step Recorder
The Problem Step Recorder is a great tool that can be used in more circumstances. You can turn it on by pressing the Windows Key, then typing “PSR.exe” and click Record. Now it will record all your moves and save them as a HTML document that you can view or write descriptions to it. This can help you with troubleshooting or when writing a guidance or tutorial.
45.   Free Codecs Pack
Unfortunately, Windows Media Player still isn’t able to play many audio and video files, so you will still need some codecs. But with the free codecs pack you can download here you shouldn’t have any problems.
46.   Start Windows Explorer From My Computer
Windows Explorer opens in the Libraries directory by default. Most of us are used to see the My Computer page instead. To change it to My Computer, press the Windows Key, then type “explorer”, select Properties and in the Shortcut tab type “%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /root,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}”. Now you have to right-click the Explorer icon in the Taskbar and hit “Unpin this program from the taskbar” and then drag it back from the Start Menu.
47.   Clear The Desktop
If there are too many windows on the desktop, you can clear it by shaking a window from left to right and all others will minimize. To restore the other windows you have to shake the active one again.
48.   Use Gadgets With UAC Turned Off
Maybe you noticed that once you turn off UAC you can’t use the gadgets anymore, as a security measure. But if you want to risk using them, there a simple way to do it, even with UAC turned off. Press the Windows Key, type ‘regedit’, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Sidebar\Settings and create a DWORD value named AllowElevatedProcess and set its value to 1. Now you should be able to use your gadgets. If not, then reboot your PC and you should be done.
49.   Fix The Media Player & Media Center MP3 Bug
Both Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center come with a bug that can damage your MP3s by filling missing metadata automatically on imported MP3 files. This can cut a few seconds from the beginning of the tracks and can prove really disturbing. This problem was fixed by Microsoft using the fix located here.
50.   Search Everything In Your Computer
Windows7 offers the possibility to search all file types, including unknown ones and this could help you in some cases. Though it is not recommended, because it’s much slower than normal search, you can give it a try by doing the following: Launch Windows Explorer, go to Tools -> Folder Options -> View and check “Try to search the content of unknown file types”. If you don’t need it anymore, don’t forget to clear it for an increase in speed.
51.   Mouse Gestures
Windows 7 has not only brought gestures for those who use touchscreen devices, but for mouse users too. So, instead of right-clicking a Taskbar icon to access the jump list, you can hold left-click and drag upwards to smoothly call it up. In addition, clicking and dragging down the address bar in Internet Explorer will open the browsing history. There might be more gestures yet not discovered.
52.   Configure Your Music Favorites
If you’ve already fixed the Windows Media Center, now you might think of ways to improve your experience with it. The Media Center creates a list of favorite songs based on how often you play them, your ratings and date you’ve added them. If you aren’t comfortable with the way they thought it out, change the way it sorts your favorites by going to Tasks -> Settings -> Music -> Favorite Music.
53.   Turn Off Recent Search Queries Display
Windows 7 holds and displays the recent search queries by default. This can often prove to be irritating. No need to stress though because it can be disabled. Press the Windows Key, type gpedit.msc, then go to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Explorer and double click on “Turn off display of recent search entries”.
54.   Advanced Disk Defragmentation
Fortunately, Windows 7 offers much better defragmentation than Vista and also lets you configure it a bit from the command line. To do it, press the Windows Key and then type CMD. You can defragment your hard disk from the command line by typing “defrag” and you have the following options: /r will defrag multiple drives simultaneously, -a performs a defrag analysis, -v prints the report, -r treats files with at least 64 Mb of fragments like are not fragmented, -w will defrag everything. An example is “defrag C: -v -w” to defrag the whole drive C.
55.   Make Internet Explorer 8 Load Faster
If you want Internet Explorer 8 to load faster, you need to disable the add-ons that slow it down, so go to Tools -> Manage Add-ons and check the load time for each one. You can choose for yourself the ones you can live without and ones that would increase the load speed.
56.   Media Center Automatic Download
Windows Media Center
12 allows you to schedule data downloads, so it can be done without disturbing you. To do it, go to Tasks -> Settings -> General -> Automatic Download Options and you can configure it to start and stop the download whenever you want.
57.   Remove The Sidebar
Windows 7 doesn’t seem to feature the sidebar anymore, but it still exists and runs in the background, being launched automatically at startup. So if you want to get rid of it, there are two ways. The easier one is to press the Windows Key, type MSCONFIG.EXE, click the Startup tab and clear the Sidebar box. The hard way is to press the Windows key, type “regedit”, find and delete the registry key at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run. This can save you some RAM consumed with no use.
58.   Volume Tweaking
Don’t you like that Windows 7 automatically reduces the volume when it detects PC calls? You can turn off this feature by right-clicking the speaker icon in the taskbar, go to Sounds -> Communications and get rid of it.
59.   Run A Program As Another User
Windows 7 comes with the possibility to run a program both as an administrator or another user, by right clicking on the executable or shortcut while holding down the Shift key. Then you have to select “Run as another user”.
60.   Use Virtual Hard Disk Files
You can now create and manage virtual hard disks files in Windows 7 as if they were real disks. This can allow you to use a live Windows installation on the virtual disk without the need to boot the virtual Computer. To create a virtual disk you have to press the Windows Key, right-click on Computer, then go to Manage -> Disk Management -> Action -> Create VHD. There you can specify the location and size of your virtual hard disk file.
To attach the virtual disk file, press the Windows Key, right-click Computer, then go to Manage -> Disk Management -> Action -> Attach VHD and you have to specify the location and if it’s read only or not.
To initialize a virtual hard disk, press the Windows Key, right-click on Computer, go to Manage -> Disk Management -> Action -> Attach VHD, specify the location, click Ok, then right click on the virtual disk and click on Initialize Disk. Select the partition style you want to use and then right-click on the unallocated space and click “New Simple Volume” and follow the instructions wizard. Now, a new hard drive appears in Windows Explorer and you can use it as a real partition.
61.   Remove The Windows Live Messenger Tab In The Taskbar
To get rid of the Windows Live Messenger Tab and put it back in the system tray, where it belongs, go to C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger, right-click msnmsdgr.exe and set its compatibility mode to Windows Vista.
62.   Lock The Screen
There is no Lock Screen button in the Start Menu anymore, so you have to press the Windows Key + L to lock it, now. It seems easier, in case you don’t forget the shortkey.
63.   Create A Screen Lock Shortcut
In case you don’t like shortkeys or you keep forgetting them, there’s another option for screen lock. Simply create a new shortcut to C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation and place it whenever you want.
64.   Enable Run Command In Start Menu
If you miss the old Run Command button in XP, then there’s an option to get it back in Windows 7. Right-click an open area in Start Menu, go to Properties -> Start Menu -> Customize and check “Run Command. Now you should be done.
65.   Improve Desktop Window Manager For Nvidia Graphics
Sometimes the animations for Desktop Window Manager don’t look very well and aren’t smooth enough and this is cause because Desktop Window Manager renders effects with no transparency and blurring, but you can turn off animations for more pleasant graphics. Press the Windows Key, right-click on Computer, go to Properties -> Advanced System Settings -> Performance -> Settings and clear “Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing”. Click OK to finnish.
66.   Change Default Save Location For Files
Windows 7 is a bit different from Vista, because it saves Documents, Pictures, Videos and Music under the Public folder inside C:\Users. You might not want to save your documents, pictures, videos or music to this location, but create your own locations and you can do it quite easy. Press the Windows Key, Click your username and double-click on the folder you wish to change. Then you will see Includes: 2 library locations. Click on that text, right-click on the folder you wish to set like default and click “Set as default file location”, then click Ok.
67.   Make 64bit Windows Media Player Default ( only for X64 users )
Windows comes with the 32bit version of Media Player by default. If you are a x64 user, you can keep the system cleaner by only installing one set of codecs. To do this, press the Windows Key, type “command”, right-click on Command Prompt and hit “Run as administrator”, then type “unregmp2.exe /SwapTo:64. After that, press the Windows Key, type “regedit”, go to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\wmplayer.exe\, double click on value and change “%ProgramFiles(x86)” to “%ProgramFiles%”. Now you should be using the 64bit Windows Media Player.
68.   Open Multiple Instances Of Windows Explorer Via The Taskbar
If you want to run more instances of the Windows Explorer just by hitting the startbar, you can do it by following these steps: Unpin Windows Explorer from the Taskbar, then press the Windows Key, go to Accessories, right-click Windows Explorer, go to Properties and change the shortcut path to %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /root,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} ( if you want it to default to My Computer ) or %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /root,::{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5} ( if you want it to default to Libraries ). Now repin Windows Explorer to your Taskbar and you’re done. All that is required for opening more instances of it is just a click of the middle mouse button. If you aren’t pleased with what you’ve done, change the shortcut path back to %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe.
69.   Make The System Tray Clock Show The AM / PM Symbols
By default Windows 7 does show the time in 24 hour format, so if you want to get the AM / PM symbols, press the Windows Key, type intl.cpl to open Regional and Language Options, go to Addition Settings -> Time where Long Time is set to HH:mm and change it to HH:mm tt, for example, where tt is the AM or PM symbol ( 21:12 PM ). To change it to the 12 hour format, you need to type it like this hh::mm tt ( 9:12 PM ).
70.   Internet Explorer 8 Compatibility Mode
If your websites don’t render correctly, you might need to enable Internet Explorer 8 display them in compatibility view. This issue is because of the updated rendering engine, which causes a lot of trouble. To do it, open Internet Explorer, go to Tools -> Compatibility View Settings and check “Display all websites in compatibility view”, then click Ok.

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