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Short PC tips and tricks

The Automatic Windows 7 File Backup That You Didn’t Know You Had

Windows 7 and certain editions of Windows Vista come with an automatic file and folder backup feature called “Previous Versions” that many PC users don’t seem to know about. Individual data file and folder backups are created by System Restore or by Windows Backup. With the default setting for System Restore, this means monitored files are backed up once a day. To be more precise, records called “shadow copies” are created.

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Quick and Easy Way to List All the Windows Updates Installed on Your System

Every month there is another bunch of updates (also called hotfixes) for Windows. After a few months, they pile up to quite a collection. If you have to reinstall Windows or for some other reason you would like know which ones have been previously installed on your computer, a list of the hotfixes on your PC might be handy.

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How to Find Help at Microsoft for Your Computer Problems

If you want help with a Windows problem, the ultimate source is Microsoft. There is a vast accumulation of information on the Microsoft website. Unfortunately, the site is huge and keeps changing. Finding anything can be like the proverbial hunt for a needle in a haystack. To help find things on Microsoft, I have put together a short list of some Microsoft links that may make it easier to get answers when help is wanted.

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How & Why to switch from Yahoo! Mail to GMail

It's a hard fact that All new Yahoo! mail sucks. This may be just personal but Yahoo gave me tough times with server errors on numerous occasions. For me GMail edges out Yahoo! Mail because of its speed and spam blocking. Yahoo! has too much spam, including IM span. Also POP access and disposable addresses require paid account. I'm afraid a day might come in the future when Yahoo won't allow access to your account even if you enter the correct ID and password. Once my Yahoo mail got hacked, I had enough with it.

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Use This Undocumented Keyboard Shortcut for Faster Text Editing in Windows

There are many keyboard shortcuts in Windows, including some that are undocumented. One of these lesser-known shortcuts is Ctrl + Backspace. This keyboard combination deletes the previous word in many (but not all) Windows programs and can be a real time-saver. Place the cursor to the right of the word to be deleted, use the shortcut, and the word disappears.

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How to Add a Classic All Programs Fly-Out Menu to the Windows 7 Start Menu

The previous tip mentioned software for restoring the Classic Start menu to Windows 7. However, you might like to have a classic All Programs menu while keeping the good stuff that comes on the new Windows 7 Start menu. Here is a hack that will do just that.

But first please make a System Restore point or some other backup before you try to apply this tip. That way you can be sure you can get your original configuration back if something goes wrong

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How to Get a Classic Start Menu in Windows 7

Do you miss the fly-out menus from the old classic Windows 98 Start menu? Those were the menus that expanded across the screen to show all the sub-folders and sub-sub-folders, etc. Not everybody liked them but there are still many PC users who wish they were back. In Windows XP and Vista, Microsoft gave an alternative option called the “Classic Start menu” that provided the old display. That option is gone in Windows 7 but there are some tricks to restore some of the old features.

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How to Customize the Windows 7 Start Menu Your Way

Judging from the number of questions and comments I’ve seen, many PC users would like to modify their Windows 7 Start menu. For example, the default settings leave off some entries that people were used to in Windows XP and they want them back. Although many are unaware of it, there is an easy way to add or subtract an assortment of entries to the Start menu. You can also make a variety of configuration changes. Here’s how:

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