Saturday, October 16, 2010

Windows 7 tips

Windows 7 is much better than the latest version of Windows Vista and it comes with a lot of new features.

1. Pick Your Edition. Most business users do not need the more expensive Ultimate Edition; stick with Professional unless you specifically need BitLocker.

2. Upgrading? Go 64-bit. As the second major Windows release to fully support 64-bit, the x64 architecture has definitely arrived on the desktop. Don't buy new 32-bit hardware unless it's a netbook.

3. 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. 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.

4. Use Windows XP Mode. Yes, it's only an embedded Virtual PC with a full copy of WinXP—but it's an embedded Virtual PC with a full copy of Windows XP! This is the first profoundly intelligent use of desktop virtualization we've seen—and a great way to move to Windows 7 without giving up full Windows XP compatibility.

5. Use Windows PowerShell v2. More than just a shell, this is the administration tool you've always wanted: Parallel, distributed processing for administrative tasks! Manage 100 machines literally as easily as you manage one with the new Remoting feature. Windows PowerShell v2 ships for the first time in Windows 7, and within six months will be available for older versions of Windows.

6. 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.

7. Prepare Those XP Machines. There's no in-place upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, so start planning to migrate user data now, in advance of a Windows 7 upgrade deployment.

8. Faster Installations. If your computer is capable of booting from USB, try this: XCopy the Windows 7 installation DVD to a sufficiently large USB drive, boot from that drive, and install Windows from there. It's faster than a spinning platter.

9. Burn Discs with a Click. Or two; double-click an ISO file to burn it to your CD or DVD writer.

10. Display Or Hide The Explorer Preview Panel Press ALT + P to hide it then once again to display it.

11. Restore Point Previews Many of us used to shut off System Restore because we were terrified to actually use it; under Windows 7, we can be much calmer. After selecting a Restore Point, Windows will now offer to show you which files and folders will be affected by restoring to that point.

12. Drag-and-Drop Notification Icons. The redesigned notification area displays only a minimum number of icons; all other notification icons are moved to a side window. Rather than using the Customize option to select icons for the main display, you can drag-and-drop icons from the side window to the notification area.

13. 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.

14. 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”.

15. 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”.

16. Snap That Aero. The Windows key is great for all your shortcuts. Now you can use it to work with the new AeroSnap feature in Windows 7. Select a window, hit the Windows key and a left or right arrow to snap the window to that half of the screen, or use the up arrow to snap it to the top of the screen.

17. Shortcut the Taskbar. The Windows key is great for shortcuts. You can select the Windows key and a number to correspond to items on your taskbar. So, if IE (for example) is the third icon on your taskbar (not counting the Start button), you can hit the Windows key and the number three to launch or open IE.

18. Go Live. Many applications installed on past versions of Windows have been removed. Starting with Windows 7, these applications (and a few others not typically installed with Windows) have been moved into the Live Essentials downloadable applications, at download.live.com. These applications include Messenger, Mail, Writer, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Family Safety and a few others.

19. Maximize Or Restore The Foreground Window Press Windows Key + Up Key.

20. Minimize The Active Window Press Windows Key + Down Key

21. 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.

22. Minimize Everything Except The Current Window Press the Windows Key + Home Key.

23. TroubleShoot Power Management Windows 7 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 ”, and it will create a file called energy-report.html in the folder specified by you, after observing your PC for 60 seconds.

24. 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.

25.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. Actually Use Help and Support. Much of Vista's clutter has been reduced in Windows 7. For instance, the Help and Support page has three links, a search window and a link back to Microsoft's Windows site. It's much less intimidating for end users, so make sure they know about it. Search is much improved as well, making for a better, faster experience.

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. Run A Program As An Administrator You can easily run a program as an administrator by pressing Ctrl + Shift while opening it.

34. 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.

35. 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.

36. Turn Off Smart Window Arrangement If you don’t like Windows 7’s 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.

37. Create A System Repair Disc Windows 7 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”.

38. Improved Calculator Windows 7 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.

39. Open A Folder In A New Process Windows 7 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.

40. 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.

41. 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.

42. 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.

43. 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 that you can download here.

44. Search Everything In Your Computer Windows 7 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.

45. 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.

46. 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.

47. 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.

48. 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.

49. 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.

50. 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”.

51. 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.

52. 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.

53. 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 wherever you want.

54. 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.

55. 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 ).

Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

The Windows key now performs a wide variety of functions. Here are a handful of the most useful ones:

01. Win+h - Move current window to full screen
02. Win+i - Restore current full screen window to normal size or minimize current window if not full screen
03. Win+Shift+arrow - Move current window to alternate screen
04. Win+D - Minimize all windows and show the desktop
05. Win+E - Launch Explorer with Computer as the focus
06. Win+F - Launch a search window
07. Win+G - Cycle through gadgets
08. Win+L - Lock the desktop
09. Win+M - Minimize the current window
10. Win+R - Open the Run window
11. Win+T - Cycle through task bar opening Aero Peek for each running item
12. Win+U - Open the Ease of Use center
13. Win+Space - Aero Peek the desktop
14. Ctrl+Win+Tab - Open persistent task selection window, roll mouse over each icon to preview item and minimize others.

No comments:

Post a Comment