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Windows 7: The Complete Guide - Tips & Tricks

Updated on June 16, 2009

There are countless tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Windows 7. Here are some of the best!

  • Add A Font Easily - Adding fonts has always been a pain. Now you can just double click on the Font icon and see an Install button. Why wasn't this done in Windows 95 onwards?
  • Arrange Desktop Icons Fast - Just hold F5 down for a moment and your desktop icons will automatically arrange themselves.
  • Burn Images - You no longer need third party software. Just double click an ISO image and then go ahead and burn it to a CD or DVD.
  • Calibrate Your screen - You can optimize all your various display characteristics from screen to screen. Just press the Win key and type DCCW.
  • Change Your Wallpaper Regularly - Long before Windows 7 I've used utilities to change around the wallpaper, but now it's built into the operating system. Just right click on the desktop, choose Personalize, select the wallpapers you want to rotate, and then you'll see automatic rotation settings where you can choose how long each wallpaper stays visible and whether you want to follow the alphabetical order of the filenames or randomize it through a Shuffle.
  • Combine Your Taskbar Icons - Windows 7's Taskbar can get full real fast even on larger monitors. Just right click on the Start button and then select Properties -> Taskbar. Check Combine when taskbar is full and you're done.
  • Create A System Repair Disc - It's now very easy to create an emergency repair disc. Just have blank media in your drive, press the Win key and type System repair disc.
  • Fast Advanced Disk Defrag - This may be a throwback to the bad old command line days, but you can activate Windows 7's much advanced and improved (over Vista) Disk Defragmentation utility through pressing the Win key and typing CMD. You can do all sorts of complex defrags. For example defrag C: -w will defrag your entire boot drive.
  • Kill System Notifications - We all hate those darned popup boxes that ask if you're sure that you want to do this, that or the other thing. Double click on the Notification Area Icons in the Control Panel. Now you can easily modify the Action Center, Windows Explorer, Network, Volume, Media Center Tray Applet, Windows Update Automatic Updates, and more.
  • Kill UAC But Still Have Gadgets - When you turn off that much less bothersome but still present User Account Control (UAC) in Windows 7, your Gadgets go byebye. That is a wise security measure, but if you want to override that, just press the Win Key, type regedit, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Sidebar\Settings and create a DWORD value that you name AllowElevatedProcess and set the value to 1. Warning... more experienced computer users than you have irrevocably fried their system by messing around with regedit, so use with extreme caution.
  • Magnify Your Desktop - Press Win key and the + key to zoom in or the Win key and the - key to zoom out.
  • Minimize or Maximize Your Active Window - Press Win key and Down key to minimize, Win key and Up key to maximize.
  • Preview Your Photos Easily - From the desktop just press ALT key and P and you'll see a Preview.
  • Safeguard Your PC - You can set up PC Safeguard in the User Accounts, and then whenever anyone else uses then logs off your computer, all the settings and configurations will be reset to your preferences, no matter what they do. It will even delete any software they've installed!
  • Shake And Clear Your Desktop - Believe it or not, you can clear your desktop by shaking a window from side to side with your mouse!
  • Shrink The Taskbar - You can make the Taskbar icons smaller which is a big help especially on notebook and netbook screens. Just right click on the Start button and then select Properties > Taskbar and set to Use small icons.
  • Super-Calculator - The Windows 7 calculator looks a lot like the previous versions, but now you can set it to Standard, Scientific, Programmer, and Statistic functions.

Read The Entire Windows 7 Complete Guide!

Windows 7: The Complete Guide
Windows 7: The Complete Guide - Getting Started
Windows 7: The Complete Guide - Backup & Restore
Windows 7: The Complete Guide - Security & Privacy
Windows 7: The Complete Guide - Encryption
Windows 7: The Complete Guide - Aero & Libraries
Windows 7: The Complete Guide - HomeGroup
Windows 7: The Complete Guide - Tips & Tricks
Windows 7: The Complete Guide - Turn Off The Junk & Crank Up The Speed

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