Ten Windows Tips Worth Remembering


Windows tipsThere are hundreds of tips at Gizmo’s and it is hard to remember all of them. So it pays to revisit some of the previous offerings from time to time. Here are ten Windows tips from the earlier years of Gizmo’s Tech Tips that I think are worth a reminder. Choosing from hundreds of tips is somewhat arbitrary but all of those in the list below get high ratings from readers. In some cases, I have updated a tip to include the more recent operating systems Windows 8.1 and 10. The order is roughly chronological.

1. Perhaps the Most Under-Appreciated Tool in Windows: the Command Line
How to access a command prompt in all versions of Windows from XP through 10 is described.

2. The Easy Way to Check If Your Computer Is Connected to the Internet
How to use the command “ping” to check a network connection.

3. How to Create a Custom Hotkey for Your Favorite Application or Folder
A feature in Windows  that makes it possible to assign your own custom hotkeys to an application, folder, or file so that it can be opened with a minimum of effort.

4. How to Quickly Access and Use Windows System Restore or System Protection
Shortcuts to System Restore in all current versions of Windows from XP to 10 are described.

5. How to Quickly Shut Down a Hung or Unresponsive Application
How to use the command “taskkill” to close an unresponsive application.

6. How to Find Out What Is on Your Computer
If you want to know things such as how much RAM you have, what hardware and software are installed, and many other interesting details about your PC, you can use a built-in Windows utility called System Information.

7. Save Time and Typing with Windows Shortcuts That Use Environment Variables
Environment variables are shorthand expressions that stand for certain standard system properties and can save a lot of time.

8. How to Change the Name of the Registered Owner in Windows
How to edit the Windows Registry to make a change in the registered owner is described. Applies to Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10.

9. Quick and Easy Way to List All the Windows Updates Installed on Your System
Use the command line to list all the updates (hotfixes) on your computer.

10. Make Managing Windows Easier with This Very Useful Free Tool
One of my all-time favorite utilities is SendTo Toys. It makes the right-click “Send to” entry a powerhouse.

And there you have it – these tips may be old but they are as valid as ever.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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One of the best print screen programs I have found is HARD COPY. It is free with a nag screen every 5 usages or a contribution of your choosing will eliminate the nag screens.

The program allows the user to select from a group of pre-determined hot keys that can be assigned to select:
1. which printer, if you have more than one
2. screen or window
3. orientation: portrait or longitudinal
4. color, B & W, or gray scale, depending on the printer
plus some other features
Try it and see for yourself