Tips, Tricks, and Answers

The following articles are available for the 'General' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.

    Adding Apps using Microsoft Store
Finding apps to help you with your work or relaxation has never been easier thanks to the Microsoft Store. Quickly look for and install apps to quickly get up and running.

    Adjusting Speaker Volume
Adjusting your computer's speaker volume is a quick process. Windows gives you simple access to the overall volume level as well as access to a mixer that gives you individual control over your audio applications.

    Allowing Remote Desktop
Remote Desktop allows you to access other systems and operate them from your own system. If you want to use this capability of Windows, you'll need to follow the steps in this tip.

    Arranging Desktop Windows
Being able to effectively manage multiple windows is an important skill. This includes tiling and cascading them so you have immediate access to each window when you need it.

    Better Sound with Windows Sonic
Windows 10 allows for better sound through the use of Windows Sonic. Windows Sonic is Microsoft's solution for better spatial sound. Enabling Windows Sonic is quick and easy.

    Changing the Default Desktop Icons
When you first install Windows, it places only a limited number of icons on your desktop. You can, however, tell Windows to add some additional standard icons, as discussed in this tip.

    Changing the Desktop Background
You can change the image that is displayed for your desktop background to a more aesthetically pleasing picture. There are hundreds of background images to choose from, or you can even create your own. Whatever picture you use, though, changing the desktop background is a simple process.

    Changing the Size of Icons Used by Windows
Microsoft Windows can be highly personalized to suit your needs. This personalization includes the ability to change the size of your icons. If they're too hard to see, you can make them larger. If they take up too much room on your desktop, you can make them smaller.

    Clearing Your Jump Lists
Ever since their introduction in Windows 7, I've found Jump lists to be great timesavers. Some people have privacy concerns with them, though, so you may want to clear them. This tip tells you how.

    Clipboard History
Windows has had cut and paste functionality for years. Windows 10 improves the Clipboard functionality by including a new Clipboard History function.

    Creating a New Desktop
One of the big new features of Windows 10 is the ability to create new virtual desktops. This tip tells you about them.

    Creating a Selection Set
You may often need to work with many files at the same time. For example, you may wish to copy or delete a set of files. You don't have to operate on one file at a time if you create a selection set. This tip tells you how.

    Creating a System Restore Point
System restore points are created automatically at strategic times in the operation of your computer. You can also manually create restore points, either on demand or on a schedule. This tip shows you how.

    Currency Conversions
The need for currency conversions is an increasing need in a more connected world. The calculator found within Windows 10 offers more than just simple calculations.

    Deferring Windows Updates
Are you bothered by when Windows decides to do its updates? If you want some control over when Windows downloads and installs updates, you'll want to read the information in this tip.

    Deleting All Restore Points
If a hard drive is temporarily short on space, you may choose to delete its restore points to free up some room. This tip tells you how.

    Determining if You Have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows
There are occasions when you may want to know whether you're running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. This tip shows how you can find out.

    Differences between Hibernate and Sleep
If you want to conserve energy or preserve your laptop's battery life, you should know about hibernate and sleep. There is a difference between the two states, as described in this tip.

    Disabling Startup Apps
As your computer starts up, certain apps may be causing your system to run or startup slowly. A quick check of your computer's startup apps can speed things up.

    Displaying the PC Settings Screen
Need to customize how your Windows interface looks? If so, you'll want to use the PC Settings screen. This tip explains the many ways you can display this helpful screen.

    Drag to Install Fonts
Installing fonts within Windows 10 is now quicker and easier. By using the new drag-and-drop install method, your fonts are installed as soon as you drop them.

    Draw Where You Want to Go
When you need directions to just get to a certain general area, you can quickly use the Map app to get you there without entering an address. Simply draw a line to where you want to go, and the Map app will show you the possible route options.

    Ending a Frozen Program
Sometimes a program can get "stuck," meaning it is no longer responsive and appears to be doing nothing at all. You can end such a frozen program by one of the methods mentioned in this tip.

    Ending a Process Using the Task Manager
One of the many functions of the Windows Task Manager is to allow you to control processes running on your system. If you find that a process is misbehaving, you can use Task Manager to kill it.

    Evaluating System Performance Using the Task Manager
One of the many functions of the Windows Task Manager is to allow you to see how your system is performing. If necessary, you can use this performance information to make some changes.

    Finding the Mouse Pointer
Tired of losing the mouse pointer on the screen? I was too, until I discovered this nifty trick for finding that elusive pointer.

    Finding Your Wi-Fi Password
Connecting devices to your wireless network is generally easy, you select the network and enter the password. But, what can you do if you forgot the password? If you have another Windows computer connected to the network, it's easy.

    Folder Size Limits
Windows 10 allows for items to be organized into folders and subfolders. What size restrictions does Windows 10 place on the size of those folders?

    Getting the Steps Down
Often when we are using our computers, we need to remember certain steps that we take, either for ourselves or to show someone else. With Steps Recorder in Windows 10 it is a simple process that your computer takes care of for you.

    How to Choose between 32- and 64-bit Windows
Windows currently comes in two flavors: 32-bit and 64-bit. While there are typically some performance advantages associated with 64-bit Windows, there are also some things to be aware of. This tip sheds some light on the subject.

    How To Enable Jump Lists
Jump lists are handy time savers. Some consider them a privacy issue, though. Whichever way you see it, this tip shows how to enable and disable jump lists.

    How to Find Apps Faster
This tip reveals a little-known trick that enables you to move around your Start menu a little faster. The result is getting to your apps in record time!

    How to Find Your Windows 10 OEM Product Key
Your OEM product key is assigned by your Original Equipment Manufacturer to your version of Windows. Using the Command Prompt, you can find this number quickly when needed.

    Increasing the Number of Restore Points
You may feel constrained by the low number of restore points your system is keeping. You can increase the disk space allocated to restore points by following the instructions in this tip.

    Introducing Microsoft Garage
Microsoft Garage is a way to test out new innovative programs or features that help developers looking to expand or test functionality. It's worth it to check out the Garage to see what is going on.

    Introducing Power Automate
Microsoft's Power Automate is a powerful feature that can reduce the tedium involved with performing repetitive tasks. How much time could you save by automating the repetitious tasks from your day?

    Locking Icons on the Desktop
Your desktop is supposed to be place where you can put your most-often-used program and file icons. You can spend hours getting them situated just right, only to have Windows rearrange them with no warning. Here are some ideas on how to lock them in place.

    Maximizing a Window to Fill the Entire Screen
Windows provides a variety of ways to manipulate your windows, and maximizing a window to fill the entire screen is no exception.

    Minimizing All Open Windows in One Step
There may be times when you need to minimize all of your open windows in one quick step. Windows provides a few methods for doing this with a simple click or keyboard shortcut.

    Modifying the Number of Jump List Items
Jump lists can be a helpful tool to quickly access common files and commands. If you'd prefer to display a different number of jump list items other than the default of ten, this tip explains how to make the change.

    Modifying the Size of Items in Windows
Having trouble seeing everything in Windows? Is the type or other objects simply too small? Here are some cool ways to adjust the size at which Windows displays items on your screen.

    More Powerful Notes
Sticky Notes in Windows 10 is a helpful app. When you go beyond just a note, it's even more helpful.

    Moving and Resizing Windows
The ability to work on multiple things simultaneously is a hallmark of Windows. If you have many windows up at once, though, you may find it difficult to navigate among them. Knowing how to move and resize windows, therefore, can be quite helpful in increasing your efficiency.

    Moving and Sizing Windows Using the Keyboard
Moving and sizing windows is a normal part of using the Windows operating system. There are times when you may want to do this using the keyboard instead of the mouse. This tip explains how.

    Notes that Stick Around
Throughout your day it can be necessary to quickly write things down to quickly remember later. Unfortunately, a Post-It or scratch paper isn't always available. With sticky notes in Windows 10 you always have access a place to jot things down.

    Over a Hundred Free Windows E-Books
The Internet always provides a huge amount of information, some of it actually of value. Here's a link to a resource that provides free e-books related to Windows and Windows services so you can add to your own resources.

    Performing a Factory Reset
Executing a factory reset is the final option if your computer is not working correctly. This tip shows you how to reset your computer.

    Pin Items to the Start Screen
You can improve your efficiency at launching applications by using the Start Screen. This tip shows you how to pin items to the Start Screen.

    Refreshing the Explorer Window
It's possible that the Windows Explorer window may occasionally get out of sync with the data it's displaying. You can effect a re-sync by refreshing the Explorer window.

    Regaining Control of Your System
The Windows Task Manager is a useful utility that provides information about what's running on your system. You can also use it to terminate applications that may be unresponsive.

    Removing Spyware with Windows Defender
Despite your best efforts, it's possible that your system might still get afflicted with spyware. If that happens, you can use Windows Defender to remove it.

    Renaming a Bluetooth Device
Having several Bluetooth devices can be hard to manage. You can manage Bluetooth devices better (and easier) by renaming them.

    Renaming A Printer
Windows 10 names new printers using default names assigned by manufacturers. Rename your printers to a name you choose.

    Renaming and Deleting Icons
Want to change the name of a desktop icon or get rid of it entirely? It's easier to do than you probably think!

    Renaming with Emoticons
Looking for new ways to rename your files or folders within Windows 10? Emoticons can be used to provide whimsy or extra personalization to your content.

    Restoring Your System from a Restore Point
Restore Points let you go "back in time" to a point before you made system changes that could prove harmful to your system. By effectively using Restore Points you can be comfortable about trying new drivers or software, knowing that you can recover your system to the condition it was in prior to installing the software.

    Running a Program as Administrator
Sometimes a program you're trying to run needs to run with elevated privileges. Assuming you have the authority to do this, Windows lets you run programs as if you were the system administrator.

    Searching From the Start Menu
You can be more efficient if you get used to using the search functionality from the Start menu. This tip discusses that.

    Selecting a Window
When you get a lot of windows open on your screen, it can sometimes be difficult to locate the one with which you need to work. Here's a great way to find just the window you need.

    Selecting Objects
Windows uses a graphical user interface that requires the manipulation of objects that appear on the screen. Understanding how to select those objects is integral to using the operating system.

    Setting a Restore Point
Restore Points let you go "back in time" to a point before you made system changes that could prove harmful to your system. By effectively using Restore Points you can be comfortable about trying new drivers or software, knowing that you can recover your system to the condition it was in prior to installing the software.

    Setting Process Affinity
When your computer has a multi-core processor or multiple processors you can control how tasks or processes take advantage of the processing power available to you. Process Affinity provides a way to manage how those tasks or processes utilize the processing power of your computer.

    Share with a Nearby Computer
Have you ever needed to quickly share something with another computer? With Nearby Sharing, part of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, you can now share documents, website links, photos, and more with a nearby computer using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

    Should I Leave My Computer On All the Time?
Do you turn your computer on and off all the time? Do you really know if this is good for your computer or not?

    Signs Your Computer has a Virus
Think your system might be infected with a virus? How would you know if it was? Here are some quick indicators that your computer may, indeed, be infected.

    Starting Programs Automatically at Startup
If you have programs that you want to automatically start when your system starts, this tip tells you how to set them up.

    Starting Windows 10 in Safe Mode
Hopefully you'll never find yourself in a situation where you need to restart your computer in Safe Mode. If you do, though, this tip tells you how to get there.

    Switching between Program Windows
It is not unusual for you to work with several (and sometimes many) programs at the same time. Each program is displayed in its own window. Fortunately, Windows provides several ways you can switch from one program window to another.

    Taking Control of Your Storage Space
Storage space on your computer is vitally important. New storage settings introduced in Windows 10 Version 1903 provides better management options.

    Tips for Using USB Drives
USB drives are very useful for storing and transferring data. This tip provides some useful guidance in dealing with USB drives.

    Understanding Jump Lists
Jump lists are great productivity enhancers to Windows 7. By using jump lists, you can easily access frequently used documents without having to navigate through various folders to find them.

    Understanding Notifications in the Windows 10 Action Center
The Action Center is essentially the old Notification Area. This tip helps you understand it.

    Understanding Processes in the Task Manager
Your computer is typically running scores of processes behind the scenes of the relatively few windows you may have open. By using the Task Manager you can see these processes and gain better control of your system.

    Understanding Properties
Most of the objects that Windows makes available in its interface possess properties. These properties allow you to configure and control how the object behaves within the Windows environment.

    Understanding System Protection
System Protection is an automatic feature of Windows. It uses restore points that can be a virtual lifesaver if an incompatible Windows update was automatically installed, or if you installed an application that did more harm than good. This tip introduces you to System Protection.

    Understanding the Start Menu Search Box
The Start Menu Search Box is a great addition to Windows. It can save you a great deal of time by putting frequently used files at your fingertips without ever having to go to the mouse.

    Understanding the Task Manager
The Windows Task Manager is a great utility for a variety of reasons. Understanding it will prove beneficial towards an effective use of your system.

    Understanding the Windows Experience Index
Sometimes it's good to know how powerful your system is. You may want to alleviate a hardware bottleneck or decide whether a piece of software will perform adequately given your current configuration. Whatever the case, understanding the Windows Experience Index will provide you with some good information.

    Understanding the WinX Menu
Windows provides a special menu that allows you to easily access many common tools in the operating system. Here's the overview of what the menu is and how to use it.

    Understanding USB Speeds
The primary method to connect external devices to computers today is USB. Learn about the types of USB and what makes them different.

    Understanding Virtual Memory
Computers can address far more locations than may exist in physical memory. The key to this feature is the use of virtual memory. This tip provides a very quick overview of what virtual memory is and how it works.

    Understanding Windows Aero
Windows Aero, first introduced with Windows Vista, provides a nice visual experience when working on your computer. And the fact that you can customize it to suit your taste makes your computer feel a bit more like home.

    Understanding Windows Defender
There are a myriad of computer viruses always looking for new systems to infect. You can mitigate your risk of being infected by using Windows Defender.

    Understanding Windows Update
It is important to keep your system updated with the latest software patches. This keeps your computer safer from attacks by hackers and also addresses issues that may exist in the various Microsoft products you have installed. Windows Update makes this essential maintenance task easy by allowing you to have the updates done automatically when you're not using your computer.

    Using Flip 3D
Flip 3D is an Aero feature that allows you to cycle through your active windows in three dimensions. Because they are "live" previews, it's easy to select the one you wish to work with.

    Using Folder Properties to Count the Number of Files or Folders
Would knowing the number of files inside a folder be helpful? You can use the Folder Properties to count the items within a folder.

    Using the Contact Support App
Windows 10 has a built-in Contact Support app that you can use to look up possible answers to issues you're having and even get free technical support. This tip explains how.

    Using the Device Manager
If you want granular control over all the devices on your system, getting familiar with the device manager is time well spent. (And it is easier than you think!)

    Using the System Configuration Utility
Want to change what happens when Windows is started? It's easy to make changes if you know how to use the System Configuration utility.

    Using Windows Defender Offline
Normally Windows Defender is used in an online environment. You can, if desired, also use it offline. This tip describes how to do that.

    Using Windows in Safe Mode
There may come a time when your system is no longer operating properly. This could be the result of Registry changes, a malware infection, a corrupted file, or any number of other reasons. If this happens, you can start your system in Safe Mode to help you diagnose the problem.

    What are Modern Apps?
The capabilities of apps changed with Windows 10. What, exactly, are modern apps and how are they different from earlier apps?

    What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a popular technology that frees you from dealing with wires and cables, and it makes you a bit more mobile. This tip explains what Bluetooth is about.

    Which Version of Windows am I Running?
With Windows it has always been helpful to know what version you are running. With Windows 10 knowing the version isn't enough, you also need to also know the build version.

    Wielding the Power
If you are done using Windows for a while, it is a good idea to shut down your system. Windows provides several different ways you can shut it down, and not all of them involve turning off the computer.

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