Miscellaneous Software Help and Tips

Tips regarding other software products for Windows.

#1: Automate Windows via Customizable Hotkeys
AutoHotkey is an open-source tool where you can set up hotkeys for complex automations.

#2: Freeware to Create Backups as .7z or .ZIP Files at Two in the Morning
Simple Data Backup is a freeware backup application for Windows that can be configured to turn on your machine automatically to run backups at off-hours.

#3: Prevent Maximized Programs From Taking Up the Whole Screen
Stop hiding parts of the Desktop when maximizing applications by using the freeware MaxMax.

#4: Remove Empty Folders
FMS Empty Folder Remover gets rid of useless empty folders on your system.

#5: Rotate your Desktop Background from Internet Photos and More
John's Background Switcher lets you swap your Desktop background automatically with photos found from Flickr, Google, Bing, and more.

#6: Get Rid of Temp Files, Junk, Web Browsing Cache, Search History, More
Wise Disk Cleaner Free can remove usage histories, temp files, and other junk from your Windows hard drive and registry.

#7: Freeware to Copy Files and Verify
TeraCopy integrates with Windows Explorer to perform file copying with a verify option, and you can pause and resume large copies.

#8: Open Source Freeware to Encrypt Files
AxCrypt integrates with Windows Explorer, allowing you to encrypt and decrypt files that need to remain private.

#9: View Local Times Around the World
EarthTime offers a graphical display of local times around the world.

#10: Freeware to Monitor Disk Activity
DiskPulse displays a list of accessed and modified files on your hard drive, with filters available to hide extraneous information.

#11: Free Software to Jiggle the Mouse to Stop the Screensaver
Help prevent the screensaver from starting or the computer from going to sleep with the freeware Mouse Jiggler.

#12: Monitor Network Activity with NBMonitor to Help Stay Under an ISP Cap
NBMonitor displays Windows network activity, filterable by process or remote host.

#13: Freeware to Unrar Files, Supports Password Protected RAR Archives
Handle RAR files with the Freeware RarZilla Free Unrar.

#14: Open Source Folder Synchronization Software
FreeFileSync can synchronize files and folders on Windows and Ubuntu Linux systems, and administrators can generate batch jobs for frequent re-syncing.

#15: Freeware to Restart, Turn Off, Shut Down Computer at Given Time
Switch Off can help save energy by shutting down your Windows computer after a desired time period, or only after a period of computer or user inactivity.

#16: Disable Aero, Gadgets, Services, and Switch Plans When on Battery Power
BatteryCare can turn off Windows Aero and Sidebar/Gadgets, plus switch power plans and disable some services to save power when running on a battery.

#17: Keep the Screensaver from Running or the Computer from Hibernating
Prevent the screensaver or Windows power management from interrupting a video, download, or other long task with Don't Sleep.

#18: Freeware to Monitor Windows TCP/IP, UDP Ports
CurrPorts can help show what applications are accessing TCP/IP and UDP ports, and allows you to kill possibly-suspicious connections.

#19: Freeware Project Based File Synchronization
Carbon Folder is a freeware utility for Windows supporting unidirectional and bidirectional file synchronization.

#20: Freeware Windows Timer with Configurable Alert Sound
Orzeszek Timer is a freeware Windows timer that can notify you with a configurable sound, flash in the Taskbar, or pop-up.

#21: View DNS Records for Multiple Websites Simultaneously
DNSDataView is a freeware DNS lookup tool for Windows, allowing you to filter by DNS record type.

#22: Freeware Typing Tutor with Aquarium Animation
The freeware Rapid Typing Tutor displays animation while taking users through a succession of keyboarding drills.

#23: Extract Icons from Files
Obtain icons stored in executables or other files with Icons from File. The software supports command-line extraction.

#24: priPrinter for a Universal Print Preview and More
priPrinter lets you preview printouts as well as alter previews, allowing for the addition of page numbers, watermarks, text, and more.

#25: Convert Text Files to PDFs for Distribution
TipCase provides an application to convert text files to PDFs with just enough options so as not to overwhelm the user.

#26: Mute Your Computer When You Lock It
Mute on Lock automatically mutes your computer when it is locked. Plus, it provides a keyboard shortcut to toggle muting the machine.

#27: Synchronize Your Folders with Bart
Use the tiny yet powerful "Bart" freeware to synchronize files and folders.

#28: Keep the Windows Screensaver from Running
If you don't want the Windows screensaver interrupting a task, keep the computer pepped up with Caffeine.

#29: Keep Two Folders Synchronized, Even Via FTP
Twin Folders helps you perform folder synchronizations and backups, with FTP support.

#30: Free Alternative to the Windows Start Menu
Vista Start Menu offers features such as zooming, keyboard shortcuts, and the ability to memorize locations of non-moving menu items.

#31: BookCAT Helps Manage and Display your Book Collection
BookCAT allows you to store a wealth of book-related information and can generate reports of your collection.

#32: Keep Files and Folders from Prying Eyes with Folder Lock
Place sensitive files inside encrypted "lockers" and "shred" the originals with Folder Lock.

#33: Remove Non ASCII Characters, Other Text Replacements
Convert Unicode characters to HTML entities, letters to Morse Code, and perform other replacements in blocks of text with the freeware wReplace.

#34: View Installed Windows Search IFilters
SearchFilterView lets you display and export details of installed IFilters, disable unreliable filters, and configure new extensions for working filters.

#35: HTML Escape, Sort, and Remove Email Quotes from Text, Plus More
ZZEE Text Utility can search and replace inside a block of text with regular expression support, change text case, HTML escape text, and more.

#36: Manage Your Personal Library with bookTome
Keep track of the books you have read or those yet to read with bookTome, and create a miniature website based on your collection.

#37: Video / Audio Playback Problems? Examine Codec and Filter Details
InstalledCodec displays details on installed codecs and DirectShow filters, allowing you to disable individual items if needed.

#38: Weather Information a Click Away on the Taskbar
WeatherMate provides current weather information, a forecast, an animated radar, and can even speak the weather for you.

#39: Track Bandwidth Usage with the Open Source BitMeter OS
BitMeter OS tracks current, peak, and average bandwidth usage, and runs on a variety of computing platforms.

#40: Display Information on Previously Inserted USB Devices
USBDeview displays details on currently and previously-installed USB devices including descriptions, types, and driver filenames.

#41: Keep Your Desktop Icons the Way You Like with DesktopOK
Store your Desktop icon layout with DesktopOK so that if Windows changes it, you can fix the layout with ease.

#42: Install a Bunch of Applications Easily with Ninite
Tired of manually visiting web pages, clicking on application installers, and navigating through dialog boxes? Let Ninite install your choice of popular applications for you.

#43: See What is Running at Windows Startup with WhatInStartup
Just what is running at Windows startup to make your machine so sluggish? Find out with WhatInStartup.

#44: Annotate or Draw on an Application or Window for Technical Presentations
The ZoomIt utility lets you draw or write on an immediate snapshot of the current screen, useful when giving presentations.

#45: Become a Keyboard Power User with Global Hotkeys
HotKeyz lets you set up global hotkeys to run applications, access Control Panel entries, reboot the computer, and more.

#46: View and Register DLL, EXE, and OCX Files
System administrators can determine which DLL, EXE, and OCX files have been registered via COM with RegDllView.

#47: View Internet Explorer's Cache; Export Contents to Another Folder
See exactly what is contained inside Internet Explorer's cache and where the files came from with freeware IECacheView.

#48: Search the Windows Registry for Text and Display All Results Simultaneously or Export to HTML
RegScanner is a freeware utility that lets you scan the Windows Registry for text, allowing all results to be displayed or exported to a file.

#49: Associate Frequently Accessed Directories to Drive Letters via a GUI
Instead of navigating long directory paths, use Visual Subst to create new "drives" that point there.

#50: View Hidden Files, Install Fonts, Copy Filenames to Clipboard and More via Context Menu
Shell Tools adds a variety of functionality to the Windows Explorer context menu.

#51: View Caps / Num / Scroll Lock and Hard Drive Status on Taskbar
TrayStatus is a freeware application that displays status icons for your hard drive and Caps / Num / Scroll Lock keys.

#52: Ping Multiple Computers Simultaneously
Help determine the scope of network connection problems by pinging multiple IP addresses or host names simultaneously with PingInfoView.

#53: Disable the Windows Key, Make a Function Key Start the Calculator, and More
Disable problem keys and remap unused keys to potentially useful alternatives with this Windows freeware utility.

#54: View and Disable Options that Appear When Right Clicking on Files and Folders
ShellMenuView lets you remove extraneous entries when you right-click on files and folders in Windows Explorer.

#55: Remove Items from the "Open With" Dialog Box
Disable and re-enable programs as desired in the Windows "Open With" dialog box with OpenWithView.

#56: Calculate Hash Values for Files
Generate various types of file hashes and compare them with the HashTools application for Windows.

#57: Pixeur Color Picker for Windows
Pixeur is a color picker for Windows that displays chosen colors in HSB, RGB, CMYK, and hexadecimal formats.

#58: Display Whois Information for Multiple Domains and Export to HTML
Use WhoisThisDomain to display Whois information for multiple domains and export summary information to text or HTML files.

See Also:

Legacy Applications

Tips for older applications that officially may not be supported anymore ... but ones that some people love too much to let go.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.