Help and Tips
Tips and advice for Windows 7 users. Help topics include Explorer, security, the Windows 7 Start Menu and Taskbar, configuration, and networking.
#1: Send Files To Any Application via Right Click Menu
Modify Windows 7's "Send To" menu to send files to other applications including Notepad.
#2: Force Notepad or Other Applications to Always Run Full Screen
Tired of your Windows 7 applications not taking up the whole screen?
#3: The Explorer is Everywhere; Open a File While Saving Another One
When saving or opening a file in most every Windows 7 application, Explorer features can be used - sometimes with interesting effects.
#4: Find Recently Created or Modified Files
Don't remember what you named a recent file or what folder / location you placed it in? Use a date modified search.
#5: Help Text Too Small or Too Big
Make Help text easier to read in Windows 7, or fit more help on the screen.
#6: Drag a Folder or File Name to the DOS Prompt
Save some typing by dragging and dropping the name of a file or folder onto the DOS prompt.
#7: Show or Hide the Taskbar Clock, plus Volume, Network, Power, and Action Center Icons
Configure whether or not the clock or system icons should appear on the Windows 7 Taskbar.
#8: Access your Desktop Icons via Explorer
If you have a lot of Desktop icons and need to manage them, do so via an Explorer window.
#9: Hard Drive Space Used by Multiple Folders
Find out how much hard drive space is used by multiple folders in Windows 7.
#10: View All Numbers in a Calculator Equation in Scientific Notation
Force Windows 7's calculator to convert even smaller values to scientific notation.
#11: Need to Access Older Systems via Telnet?
Install the Windows 7 Telnet Client, or Better Yet, Try PuTTY.
#12: A Whole Bunch of Ways to Rename Icons
Several ways to rename files / icons in Windows 7, including keyboard shortcuts and menu bar navigation.
#13: View Your Dynamic IP Address, Other Network Details
Need access to your IP address, especially if your ISP / wi-fi hotspot offers a dynamic one? Here are a couple of ways to get this and other networking information.
#14: Keep Keys from Repeating too Quickly
Tired of keys repeating as you type documents in Windows 7, or setting up a machine for a disabled individual? Slow this keyboard feature down!
#15: A Bunch of Ways to Restore Files from the Recycle Bin
Restore Files from Windows 7's Recycle Bin via mouse clicks or keyboard shortcuts.
#16: Visit Websites from your "Start" Button
Stop hunting for your web browser in Windows 7 - you can access websites straight from the "Start" button.
#17: Enable Hexadecimal or Binary in the Calculator
Computer programmers can calculate in binary, hexadecimal, or octal in a variety of word sizes using Windows 7's calculator.
#18: Change the Size of Desktop Icons
Want smaller or larger icons on your Windows 7 Desktop?
#19: Starting Paint, Other Accessories from a Batch File
Windows 7 Paint cannot be run as "paint" from a batch file, and other Accessories are not as easy to run as it seems.
#20: Get Quick Access to Multiple Drives Via the Desktop
Instant access to your hard drives, network drives, and removable media in Windows 7.
#21: Double Click a Window or Application to Close
Quickly close down windows and applications in Windows 7 with two mouse clicks.
#22: Move the Taskbar
Move the Windows 7 Taskbar to the top, bottom or side of the screen.
#23: Title Bar Tricks and Tips Including Keyboard Shortcuts
Other ways to maximize windows and bring up window options in Windows 7.
#24: Resize Columns in Explorer's Details Mode
A couple of ways to make more information visible when viewing file details via Windows 7 Explorer.
#25: View or Print out a System Summary
View and print Windows 7 system and performance information, useful to compare computers or to provide to techies if you are having problems.
#26: Don't Like How Songs, Photos, Videos or Webpages are Opened?
Tired of webpages opening in a particular browser, or movies in an old multimedia player you no longer use? Change these associations in Windows 7.
#27: Right Mouse Click with the Keyboard
Simulate the right mouse-button click in Windows 7 with the keyboard.
#28: Test Animated Pointers Quicker
Save time when checking out new animated pointers in Windows 7.
#29: Right Click Drag and Drop
Using the right moust button to drag and drop files in Windows 7 Explorer offers a menu with more options.
#30: Dim a Laptop Screen Even More
Is your laptop screen too bright, even though you have the settings turned all the way down? Here's a general tip on how to dim your screen even more.
#31: Disable Automatic Docking, Resizing, and Maximizing of Windows
Prevent Windows 7 from automatically docking, resizing, and maximizing windows when you drag them to the screen edges.
#32: Drag and Drop Without Keeping the Mouse Button Held Down
Do you have difficulty dragging and dropping windows or selecting text in Windows 7? Try out a feature called ClickLock.
#33: Rotate Photos with the Keyboard
Stop switching between the mouse and keyboard in Windows 7 - adjust photo orientation using these keyboard shortcuts.
#34: Disable Automatic Error / Problem Reporting
Prevent Windows 7 from automatically contacting Microsoft or prompting you to contact Microsoft whenever a software / hardware / operating system error or problem is detected.
#35: "Remove" the Labels of Computer and Recycle Bin Desktop Icons
Clean up the display of icons on your Windows 7 Desktop - remove the labels of the easily-identifiable Computer and Recycle Bin icons.
#36: See Which Services Are Related to a Process
If a svchost.exe image is using a lot of memory or CPU time, view its related services to help diagnose problems.
#37: Display a Seemingly Hidden or Off Screen Window or Application
Several ways you can make a seemingly-hidden or off-screen Windows 7 application or window appear in view.
#38: Launch a Folder or All Folders as a Separate Process
To prevent a crash in one Explorer folder from taking down other folders and the Desktop, open folders in a separate process in Windows 7.
#39: Shake What Your Windows 7 Gave Ya
Quickly minimize all other open windows in Windows 7 by shaking the only one you want displayed.
#40: Change Process Priorities to Tune Your System
Determine which processes should get the most attention in your Windows 7 system.
#41: Prevent the System from Automatically Restarting after a Failure
If Windows 7 fails with a Blue Screen, prevent the system from automatically restarting so you can view debug information.
#42: Toggle Translucent Selection Rectangle on the Desktop
When creating selection rectangles on the Windows 7 Desktop, configure whether to show a dotted or translucent selection rectangle.
#43: Snappier Taskbar Thumbnail Previews by Disabling Animations
Prevent Windows 7 from animating the taskbar thumbnail previews. This will also disable other Start Menu and Taskbar animations.
#44: Expand the Windows Task Manager, Switch Between Tabs with Keyboard Shortcuts
Expand the Task Manager display in Windows 7 so the graphs or processes take up more of the window. Plus switch between tabs in the expanded display with keyboard shortcuts.
#45: Change What the Power and Sleep Buttons Do, or Prevent Them from Doing Anything
In Windows 7, you can make the power and sleep buttons on your keyboard / computer perform different actions instead of putting the computer to sleep. Or, make them do nothing at all.
#46: Show Menu Bar in Explorer Folders
If you are used to seeing a menu bar when working with Explorer folders, enable it in Windows 7.
#47: Toggle Navigating Menus in Start Menu via Mouse Hover
Toggle whether or not just hovering the mouse pointer over a menu in Windows 7's Start Menu opens its submenu.
#48: Stop Synchronizing the Time
For privacy reasons, prevent Windows 7 from synchronizing the system time with an Internet time server.
#49: Select a Window Just by Hovering Over it
Switch the focus from one window to another in Windows 7 just by hovering over it with the mouse pointer.
#50: Access Taskbar Button Jump List without Right-Click
Another way to access the Jump List of a button on the Windows 7 Taskbar without using the right mouse button.
#51: Change Window Borders, Start Menu, Taskbar Colors, and Toggle Transparency
Choose a base color for your Windows 7 theme, adjust its intensity, and toggle whether the Start Menu, Taskbar, and window borders should be transparent.
#52: Add Additional Clocks to the Taskbar
Have two clocks set to different time zones available by hovering over the time in the Windows 7 Taskbar.
#53: Add Favorites to Start Menu
Create a submenu from the Windows 7 Start Menu providing access to your Internet Explorer Favorites.
#54: Toggle Start Menu and Explorer Popups
Choose whether pop-up description text should appear when hovering over files, folders, Desktop icons, and Start Menu options.
#55: Display Link or Menu to Downloads on Start Menu
Easily access website downloads from the Windows 7 Start Menu.
#56: Mortgage Calculations
Calculate the monthly payment, down payment, purchase price, or years of a mortgage with Windows 7.
#57: Preview Files from Explorer Via the Preview Pane
Open the Preview Pane in Explorer windows to show the contents of graphics, text files, and more.
#58: Keep Multiple Folders Open in Explorer - Open Them in New Windows
When performing file management in Windows 7, open Explorer folders in new windows.
#59: Windows 98 Plus! Themes for Windows 7
Nostalgic for the look of Windows 98? Install Plus! themes for Windows 7.
#60: How to Toggle Showing Thumbnails or Icons in Explorer Folders
Configure Windows 7 to display icons in Explorer folders for speed, or thumbnails to show snapshots of images without opening or previewing them.
#61: Toggle Showing Drive Letters in Explorer
Configure whether or not you want drive letters appearing in Explorer folders in Windows 7.
#62: Why is My Computer Beeping When I Press Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock?
Stop the computer from beeping whenever the Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock Key is pressed.
#63: Hide Individual Libraries in Explorer Folder Navigation Pane
Collapse the entire list of libraries in the Navigation Pane of Explorer folders in Windows 7, or hide individual Libraries or all of them.
#64: Dock or Maximize Windows by Moving Them to Edges
Maximize or dock applications and other windows in Windows 7 by moving them to the screen edges.
#65: Adjust Size of Jump Lists on Windows 7 Taskbar
Adjust the number of files and other items accessible via Jump Lists on the Windows 7 Taskbar.
#66: Use Checkboxes to Select Items in Explorer
Add the ability to select multiple files in Windows 7 Explorer windows by checking and unchecking boxes.
#67: Opt In or Opt Out of the Help Experience Improvement Program
Choose whether or not your help browsing habits should be sent to Microsoft to improve content and search results.
#68: Dock, Maximize, Minimize Windows Via Keyboard Shortcuts
Maximize or minimize the current window, or dock it on the left or right side of the screen.
#69: View File Extensions
To help prevent against opening rogue files with double extensions, enable viewing file extensions from Explorer.
#70: Change What Windows Explorer Button on Taskbar Performs
Clicking the Windows Explorer button on the Windows 7 Taskbar opens the Libraries folder by default. Change this to a drive or folder of your choosing or Computer.
#71: Stop Highlighting Newly Installed Programs
The Windows 7 Start Menu highlights programs recently installed - learn how to disable this behavior.
#72: Enable the Onscreen Keyboard's Numeric Key Pad Display
To make numbers easier to enter with Windows 7's On-Screen Keyboard, display a virtual numeric keypad.
#73: Remove Shortcut Text When Creating Shortcuts
Remove the text "- Shortcut" on newly-created shortcuts in Windows 7.
#74: Perform Unit Conversion
Convert between units of area, energy, temperature, volume, and more in Windows 7.
#75: Toggle Displaying a Menu of Recent Items in the Start Menu
Configure whether Windows 7's Start Menu should contain a submenu of recently-opened items such as documents and images.
#76: Automatically Expand to the Current Folder in Navigation Pane of Explorer Windows
Force Windows 7 to expand the directory tree to the current folder when showing the Navigation Pane in Explorer folders.
#77: Automatically Hide the Windows 7 Taskbar
Hide Windows 7's Taskbar from the screen when not in use.
#78: Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives
Show items marked as hidden in Explorer for Windows 7.
#79: Show Program Labels on the Windows 7 Taskbar
Display the contents of window title bars on the Windows 7 Taskbar.
#80: Toggle Playing Sounds When Faxes Arrive
A quick tweak to configure whether or not the Windows Fax and Scan tool in Windows 7 should play a sound when messages arrive.
#81: Stop Going to Sleep When Closing the Laptop
Prevent Windows 7 from going to sleep when you close your laptop's lid.
#82: Taskbar Too Big? Shrink It!
If the Windows 7 Taskbar takes up too much room at the bottom of your screen, reduce its size.
#83: Change What Power Button Does from Start Menu
On the Windows 7 Start Menu choose what happens by default when you click the Power button.
#84: Change Your Account Name
Change the name Windows 7 displays on the Welcome Screen and Start Menu.
#85: Calculator - Add Dates or Find Difference Between Dates
Add or subtract dates, or calculate the difference between dates with the Windows 7 Calculator.
#86: Expand Control Panel in Start Menu
Access Control Panel applets directly from the Windows 7 Start Menu.
#87: Disable Taskbar Button to Preview the Desktop via Aero Peek
Disable the Aero Peek feature on the end of the Windows 7 Taskbar.
#88: Create Your Own Desktop Photo Slide Show
Automatically have Windows 7 switch the desktop background every few minutes.
#89: Configure or Prevent the Display Dimming or Turning Off
Prevent Windows 7 from dimming or turning off the display so quickly or at all.
#90: Disable Window Docking, Maximizing, Minimizing Animations
Prevent Windows 7 from displaying animations when docking, maximizing, and minimizing windows.
#91: Add Administrative Tools to Start Menu
Make Windows 7 Administrative Tools such as the Event Viewer, Services, and Task Scheduler easier to access from Windows 7's Start Menu.
#92: Calculate Fuel Economy
Calculate fuel economy, distance, and fuel used in gallons or liters in Windows 7.
#93: Disable Security or Maintenance Messages in the Action Center
Prevent Windows 7's Action Center from alerting you when it detects what it thinks is a potential problem.
#94: Change Your Account Picture
Change the picture that appears on the Start Menu and Welcome screen in Windows 7.
#95: Lock the Desktop from the Taskbar
Add an icon to the Windows 7 Taskbar that locks the Desktop.
#96: Access Web Sites or Folders via the Taskbar with an Address Toolbar
Visit a web site or navigate to a folder via the Windows 7 Taskbar by adding a Toolbar.
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About MalekTips and the Author
The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek 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. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download. < more >