Top 20 Windows 7 Tips

Every computer user tries to make his computer as customized as possible. Newer software releases are always a hot favorite among the computer freaks and each one tries to acquire them. Each requires a certain level of intelligence to invest and then can they be suitable to yield outputs according to your expectations. The newest invention in the field is the all new Windows & Operating System by Microsoft. The company has claimed to have delivered its best technology for the development of it. If you want to own one, you may know beforehand the tips to get rid of unwanted features and to personalize it accordingly. These tips will help you at dealing with Windows 7.

First we will be starting with some basic tips to make your computer more power efficient and also to incorporate interesting features to your desktop.

  1. Usage of global hidden themes and wallpapers: The OS after its installation asks for your location, time and currency. According to it, it unlocks some customized wallpapers and themes. e.g. If you give your location as United States then the wallpapers will be of the scenery background of Maine or Southwest. The other themes of English Speaking countries are hidden. You can not normally see or use them,  but you can unlock them by following the instructions as under:
    • Go to Search box and type “C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT” Use the name of any other drive in place of C if Windows 7 is installed in some other drive.
    • The Explorer will display a number of subfolders as MCT-CA, MCT-AU, MCT-GB, MCT-ZA, MCT-US etc. These have wallpapers for different countries such as AU for Australia, ZA for South Africa etc.
    • For the usage of different themes, for example, go to C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT\MCT-ZA\Theme for South Africa Theme. Doing this, you can access these themes through a shortcut in the control panel under the name of Personalization Section.
  1. Remove the cluttering on desktop: Most of the people use desktop to save all sorts of shortcuts and documents. It’s annoying while working on a program and trying to use the other. The previous Windows versions required a minimize action, but in Windows 7, you can go in for “Shaking”. You can minimize all other windows except the active one. All you need to do it is Click the title bar and hold it, for the window you expect to remain active, for a while. Shake the bar quickly, to and fro to minimize all other windows. If you want them to return, shake the bar again.
  1. Power Efficiency Report: The OS has an inbuilt tool to inform you about the battery life of your laptop left and also the ways in which you can save the energy. To do this, in the RUN box, type CMD to open um command prompt. Choose the option of “RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR” by right clicking the cmd icon. Now, when the command prompt opens, type “powercfg -energy -output \Folder\Energy_Report.html”. The “folder” is the location of the folder where you expect the report to be saved. The OS will analyze and send a report in an HTML format at the specified folder. Open it and reed the suggestions.
  1. UAC Modification: The other operating system (OS) by Microsoft, Vista had a flaw that it constantly asked for “User Account Control” security attribute. This was a nuisance as for every application to run, the user needs to give a customized permission. Windows 7 has improved the feature and you can work it out by “Control Panel” and then to “User Accounts and Family Safety”. Choose the “User Accounts” and then go to “User Account Control Settings”. From the four levels of security, select the one that suits you best.
    • The “Always Notify Me” feature is the same as was in Vista. The feature prompts you every time the system registry is undergoing any change-be it due to new program installation, or anyone making changes to the computer structure.
    • “Default” is the default setting that lets the controls into your hands, completely. While a new software installation, the computer prompts you, goes dark and dim and allows it to work on its own.
    • The third UAC phase has similar functionality to the default setting, but with one difference that the desktop does not dim out. The UAC prompts you and seeks permission. This is an advanced function over the default setting as the no UAC prompt will allow malicious processes to enter your registry.
    • The “Never notify me when” feature totally turn off the UAC. And does not provide any support to your settings. This is the least security setting and in my views, this should not be enabled.

After working on these settings, your computer will expect a RESTART. Do that accordingly.

After some tips on desktop on Desktop personalization, here are some tips related to “Start Menu”.

  1. Searching the Internet through “Start Menu”:  The “search box” is an effective way to search out your computer for required files. It also serves as a good alternative to start up the “Internet Explorer” web browser. Go to “Start Menu” and in “search box” type “GPEDIT. MSC”. This helps you to edit the “GROUP POLICY EDITOR”. Now go to “User Configuration” and then to “Administrative Templates. Now go to “Start Menu and Taskbar”. Now open the “Add Search Internet link to Start Menu”. On the new pop up window, click on “Enabled” and then “OK” to exit the editor. Thereafter, whatever you type in the “search box”, the “Search the Internet” will automatically search the desired text on the net, too.
  1. Customization of the “Shut Down” Tab: The “shut down” button is to turn your system down. If you want it to perform another action when pressed, such as Hibernation, choose the arrow on the right side of the “Shut down” tab. Then select the option of your choice from the drop-down menu. If you seldom shut down your PC and often deal with restarting it again, use the “Log Off”, “Lock” or “Sleep” actions. To set the action to the “default” mode, right-choose “Start Menu” and go to “Properties”. There you can select the default action according to your choice.
  1. Adding Vide Links to the Start Menu: The “Start Menu” is one place that gives you an initial link to every possible resource on the computer. It also has links to the “Picture and Music” Folders, but normally, a link to the “Videos” folder is absent. In order to install that link to the “Start Menu”, you need to Right-Click it and select the “Properties” tab. Now, go to “Start Menu” and click on “Customize”. Scroll down to the “Videos” Section and select the tab that reads “Display as a Link”. Click “OK” before exiting from the settings. Your “Videos” link will instantly appear on the “Start Menu”. If you want it to be displayed as a menu setting, follow the same process and instead, click on “Display as Menu”

The most important process of any Operating System is its Explorer, which works as an interface between you and the database and settings. Same is the case with the Windows 7 Explorer. Here are some tips to make it work better.

  1. Selection of Multiple Files by the usage of Check Boxes: The Windows XP users are comfortable selecting multiple files by pressing the “CTRL” button on the keyboard and clicking each file to be selected. Windows 7 offers you a better way to select multiple files, without pressing any key. All you have to do is to go on the Explorer and select “Organize”, from the bar at the top. From it, select “Folder and search options”. Select “View” and then go to its “Advanced Settings”. Now go down to “Use check boxes to select items” option and click to select it. Here after, when you move your mouse over any file, a partially visible check box will appear over it. If you want to select it, tick the check box or else, it will go on its own when the mouse moves to another file.
  2. How to open “command prompt” at a folder: The option works in the same manner as the Windows XP PowerToy “Open Command Window Here” function. In order to operate it, you need to press the “Shift Key” and then right-click the folder of your choice. Scroll down to “Open command window here” option and you will see it work.
  3. Protecting the privacy of the Explorer Search: While using the Explorer, you can easily look the most recent searches that have been performed on the system. If you do not want these search results to become public, you can shut down this feature. Go to “Group Policy Editor” by writing “GPEDIT.MSC” in the box of the “Start Menu”. Go to the option “User Configuration”. Proceed to “Administrative Templates” and then to “Windows Components”. Click the “Windows Explorer” tab now. Double click feature “Turn off display of recent search entries” in the search tab. From the new pop up screen, select “Enable” and then “OK” to turn down search show results.
  4. Setting up a launch folder for Windows Explorer: I you have run Windows Explorer ever, you must be knowing that it always opens up in “Libraries”. The Microsoft’s Default organization allots each folder to the “Libraries” only. You can customize the Explorer to run in any other window. Right choose the folder resembling tab of “Windows Explorer” on the task bar. Now click the Explorer bar in the “context menu”. Go to properties and you will see a “Windows Explorer” drop down box. Change the “Target” area on the “Shortcut” box for changing the default location for explorer to open up. For letting “Windows Explorer” open up in a specific folder, type “%windir%\explorer.exe c:\Folder” where “Folder” is the name of the folder in which you want the explorer to open. For example, to open up explorer in the folder “My Settings”, type “%windir%\explorer.exe c:\My Settings”. In order to allow the “Windows Explorer” to open up in some specific folders, you can follow some specific commands illustrated by the paths. You can check them out for various folders such as My Computer, documents, networks and libraries.

After doing this, click on “OK” and the Explorer will open up in the folder                        you selected.

  1. Showing all the available drives in the “Windows Explorer”: The empty drives are not shown in the “Windows Explorer”. After Launching “Windows Explorer”, press the “ALT” to show the menu. In this menu, select “Tools”, go to “Folder Options” and then press the “View” button. Now go to the “Advanced Settings” and unclick box beside “Hide”. Exit the application after you click “OK”. You can see all your drives.
  2. Building up your own “Internet Search Connection”: The search connector is something that makes Windows 7 distinctly ahead of its time. You can create your own “Search Connector” with Windows 7. Using this, you can type a string in “Search Box” and ask the “Search Connector” to search it on any specified sit on the net. You will come to know of the changes, immediately. You can assign a search connector to each search site that you want to. In order to install and use the “Search Connector”, they have to comply with the “OpenSearch” standards. However, you can build up a search connector using the “Windows Live Search” option. All you need to do is to copy the code

“ <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>

<OpenSearchDescription xmlns=”http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/”       xmlns:ms-ose=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/opensearchext/2009/”>

<ShortName>NAME YOUR SEARCH</ShortName>

<Description>DESCRIPTION OF SEARCH</Description>

<Url type=”application/rss+xml”        template=”http://api.bing.com/rss.aspx?source=web&query={searchTerms     }

site:SITENAME.COM&web.count=50“/>

<Url             template=”http://www.bing.com/search?q={searchTerms}+site:SITENA

ME.COM“/>

</OpenSearchDescription>”

in to your notepad. You will need to correct the underlined items. In the place of “Name your search”, type the name of the service for which you want to build up a connector, for example, for Bing Search, type “BingSearch” in place of “Name your Search”. At the “Description of search” words, write down the description about your search. In our case, you will write “Search through Bing”. At the site of the 2 “Sitename.com”, enter the URL of the site for which you want to build up a connector. You need not use “htpp://”or “www”.  Write “Bing.com” in our case. At the right side of the word “Count”, enter the amount of results that you want to view. In th example we discussed the code will appear something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<OpenSearchDescription xmlns="http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/"     xmlns:ms-ose="http://schemas.microsoft.com/opensearchext/2009/">

<ShortName>BingSearch</ShortName>

<Description>Search through Bing</Description>

<Url type="application/rss+xml"     template="http://api.bing.com/rss.aspx?source=web&query={searchTerms}      site:Bing.com&web.count=50"/>

<Url type="text/html"   template="http://www.bing.com/search?q={searchTerms}+site:computerworld.c om"/>

</OpenSearchDescription>

In order to save your file, click the “UTF-8” option from “Encoding” box that appears beside the “Save as” screen and save the file in “*.osdx” format. At the Explorer window, right select  this file and select “Create Search Connector”. Your connector will be created. You can reach the connector tab by going to “Windows Explorer” and go to “My Account”. Click on “Searches” and then to “Connector” and use it according to your convenience.

The most impressive change that Microsoft Corporations did was to make the Windows 7 taskbar more attractive and convenient. It has made it almost identical to the MAC OS X Dock bar. For incorporating more changes, read the following.

  1. How to speed up the Thumbnail display?: On moving your mouse over the minimized windows, you can see a “Thumbnail” view of all those windows. This appears with a bit of delay. You can remove the time lapse by hacking your registry. MAKE SURE THAT YOU RESTORE YOUR COMPUTER BEFORE MAKING ANY CHNAGES TO THE REGISTRY. YOU CAN GO TO “START MENU” AND THEN CLICK ON “ALL PROGRAMS”. CLICK THE TAB OF “ACCESSORIES”. THERE AFTER, CLICK BUTTON OF “SYSTEM TOOLS”. GO TO “SYSTEM RESTORE”. CLICK ON “CREATE A RESTORE POINT” AND CLICK ON “OK”.                You can launch the registry editor by typing “REGEDIT” in the Search menu bar and pressing enter. Now go to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse” and double click tab “MouseHoverTime”. Microsoft has kept the delay time to be 400 milliseconds. Insert a smaller number and then click “OK” to exit the editor. Log off or restart to see it working.
  2. Rearrangement of Taskbar Icons: You can easily do this by dragging the icon from its initial position to the final one. Taskbars icons can also be added by pulling them from any application and placing on the Taskbar.
  3. Controlling the Taskbar Notification Area: The notification area is a small tab on the rightmost corner of the task bar. It shows the updates, messages, alerts and some hidden processes that go on in the background. You can control the entire task bar and its functionality. You can do this by following the instructions as under:
  • After right clicking task bar, go to “Properties” and then to the “Customize” tab.
  • You can thus, select the display mode for each application. You can ask the settings to always show them or show them when active. Leave the page by tapping the button “OK”.
  • The other features such as sound adjustment, clock settings and power settings can be customized. While looking into the previous setting, click on “Turn system icons on or off” at the bottom of the screen. If you intend to show them or to turn them off.
  1. View Taskbar Thumbnails without the use of Mouse: You can look into the thumbnail view of all the active or minimized windows by traversing through different windows with the keys. You can press the “Windows” button along with the key “T”. This will target the attention to the leftmost icon. You can progress the same way by pressing the combination of “Windows key and T” to go to the next window.
  2. How to launch Taskbar Applications without using Mouse?: As discussed above, you can use the Windows key and the number corresponding to the number of the window on the taskbar to launch the application. For example, to launch the 3rd application on the screen, press Windows key and 3 together.
  3. How to run multiple copies of an application from your taskbar?”: The Windows 7 taskbar is the best example of multi tasking. It launches a program and also swaps between the active ones. You can thus start a program just ticking on its icon, while can revert back to it by clicking on the minimized icon of the application. But expecting to launch another copy of the application, what can you do? For example, if you want to launch two PDF readers for two different files, you have no option. If you click again on the “Reader” tab, the minimized window pops up. The Windows 7 task bar facilitates this service. You can press the “Shift” key and then select the icon whose multiple copies you want to launch. This instantly launches a new instance of the application.
  4. Methods to get back your Quick launch Buttons: As said before, the Windows & taskbar works as a task swapper & a program launcher. For this purpose, the Microsoft Corporation has hidden the “Quick Launch Bar” at left most face of the task bar. But, if you want it to be back, you can easily unhide the feature. You need to first right click taskbar and scroll down to “Toolbars” option. There after, you will be required to click on “New Toolbar”. The explorer will ask you the destination to the new tool bar that you are about to create. Enter the following text in place of the name at the box that appears:-

“%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\Quick         Launch”.

After this, you will be required to select the “Select Folder” tab.     This will introduce a link of the “Quick Launch” bar on the right of the     taskbar, beside the “Notification Area”.

It is not advisable to get your task bar full of icons till the rightmost end. If it does not display any application tabs, then its even worst. All you can do is unlock the taskbar, by right clicking on the task bar and then deselecting “Lock the Taskbar”. Right select “Quick Launch” and eliminate any checks on the next of “ Show Text” and “Show Title”. After doing this, bring the vertical 3 dot line beside the “Quick Launch” and keep dragging it till you see the icons. In order to prevent this from re happening, again right click taskbar and select the option “Lock the Taskbar”. You can use the same “Quick launch” now as you have been using in the Windows XP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.