There are dozens of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Windows. These range from handy shortcuts to hidden features that can help you become the Windows professional you’ve always wanted to be.
In this article, we’ll cover 10 of the best Windows hacks. From making your PC look exactly the way you want it to to increasing your productivity, this list has something for everyone.
1. Shake It Away
You have just entered another Wikipedia rabbit hole and you have dozens of tabs and windows open. We’ve all been there. Here’s a great little tip that can save you a few seconds by minimizing each tab.
All you need to do is hold down the title bar of the window you want to keep open and shake it a bit. Every other window is minimized and your desktop is free of clutter.
Another helpful tip to help you save time while you’re at work is to minimize everything quickly. Just press the Windows key † m to minimize each tab.
2. Improve Your Boot Speed
Getting top performance from your Microsoft PC is important, especially if you use it for work or games. There are plenty of ways to Speed up Windowsbut how can you speed up the boot time?
The best thing you can do is install Windows on an SSD, which will drastically reduce the time it takes to turn on your computer compared to an HDD.
It is best to disable unnecessary startup programs. To do this:
- Press CTRL + ALT + DEL and select task management†
- Select the To start tab.
- Click Status to display each program by whether it is enabled or disabled.
- Right click on any app you don’t need on startup and select Turn of†
3. Task Manager Shortcut
Once upon a time, CTRL + ALT + Delete immediately opened Task Manager. But in the most recent versions of Windows, it opens a submenu that allows you to select Task Manager (as well as lock screen options).
Try pressing next time CTRL + Shift + Esc† This opens the Task Manager directly, meaning you don’t have to waste a few seconds on an intermediate menu.
Another way to open the Task Manager is to right-click on the Taskbar and select task management from the pop-up menu.
4. Quickly Lock Your Computer
This trick is especially useful if you have kids or roommates who tend to play pranks. Whenever you get up from your PC, just press WIN + L† This will return your computer to the lock screen so that no one can access it without the password.
5. Improve your internet performance
Do you have a slow internet connection? There could be several reasons for this and there are a few things you can do to get the most out of your network.
The main reason for a sudden drop in Internet performance is malware. Check out our tutorials on how to remove malware from Windows.
If you have a decent ISP and plan, one thing that will cut your bandwidth is unnecessary apps on your connected devices. Try the following tips to avoid this:
Unplug any unnecessary or unused devices.
Sometimes an old phone or laptop still connected to the network can use up your precious bandwidth. To see which devices are connected to your network, you need to go to your router’s settings page.
- Type 192.168.1.1 in your web browser (as if it were a web page) and log in. Usually the username and password are: administrator unless you changed it.
- Once you are in you should see an option like network card, which shows you all the devices connected to your network. This is also a great way to see if someone else is hijacking your connection.
If you see something that no longer needs to be (or shouldn’t be) connected, change your Wi-Fi password to remove all devices from the network. To do this, select Wireless or wireless internet settings, depending on your router. Change the password for both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and select Save†
6. Secret Start Menu
Right-clicking the Start Menu icon opens a menu with a list of many important Windows applications, including Apps and Features, Task Manager, and Windows Powershell.
You can also access this great shortcut menu by pressing the Windows key † X†
7. Stop annoying notifications
Windows has a handy feature called Focus Assist that is designed to help you focus by minimizing system glitches, including annoying notifications.
Adjust Focus Assist:
- press the Windows key † l to open Settings.
- Select System†
- Click Focus help†
- Tick the dot next to Priority only then select Customize your priority list†
- Scroll down and check the notifications you want to allow. Unchecked items will go to the action center instead of appearing on your screen.
- Under apps, you can uninstall individual programs by clicking the app and select remove†
8. View file extensions
By default, Windows hides file extensions, which means that to see what it is, right-click on the file and see its properties. While this is fine for many users, some require file extensions to be visible.
To enable file extensions:
- Open a folder with Explorer†
- Click on the Vision tab and check the box next to File name extensions†
9. Snap Windows
One of the best Windows features that people don’t seem to know is the ability to quickly snap windows to either side or corner of the screen. This is a handy trick if you need to have a few windows open at once and don’t want to manually resize them.
To snap windows to a specific area of the screen, click and drag on the title bar to the side of the screen where you want to snap it. If you’re happy, let go and wallah! You can align windows to full, half, or quarter screen sizes.
Alternatively, you can snap windows into place using keyboard shortcuts. To align a window to the right or left, click the title bar and press To win † left arrow or right arrow† Press the same arrow again to divide the window into quarters and press it again to move it to other connected displays.
Continue pressing the To win † down arrow to minimize the window, and the Win † arrow up will make it full screen.
10. Customize your look
Windows offers several ways to personalize your display for the best experience. To personalize your desktop, right click on the desktop and select Personalization†
Here you can change the following settings by navigating through the categories in the left menu:
- Your desktop background image
- Font style
- Menu and app colors
- Transparency effects menu
- Lock Screenshot & Effects
- Windows theme
- Cursor type:
- Windows sound effects.
You can also personalize your Start menu:
- To move a tile, drag and drop the tile.
- To resize a tile, right-click it and select Resize†
- To disable an animated tile, right click on it and select More † Disable Live Tile†
- To remove a tile, right click on it and select Untie from start†
- To decide what appears in your start menu, right-click on your desktop and select Personalization† Click Get started in the left menu and toggle each item on or off, regardless of whether you want it to appear in your Start menu.
Time to start
Microsoft Windows is versatile if you know how to use it. From deep customization to operating system optimization, there’s an easier way to do it. Hopefully, the ten hacks we’ve covered in this article will help you get the most out of your PC.
Let us know which Windows hacks you couldn’t live without in the comments below.