It gets frustrating when you’re busy at the computer and have to keep stopping to search through menus for actions you need to perform on a file or folder.
Windows 10 has a few nifty tricks that can really streamline common computer tasks, and most of them take almost no learning so it’s easy to start using them.
Here are five of the best for everyday actions:
1/ Quickly Scroll Through Inactive Windows
By default in Windows 10, this option is on. Sometimes it’s handy to scroll up or down on a window that’s behind the one you’re working on. Obviously, you’ll need to be able to see what’s in the inactive window, but often you can if you don’t have your windows maximised.
To scroll up or down on an inactive window, just hover your mouse over that window and, without clicking, scroll with the mouse wheel.
2/ Access Settings and Action Centre with the Keyboard
Keyboard shortcuts seem to be something people either love or hate, but once you get used to using them you never go back.
Even people who claim not to like keyboard shortcuts will use ctrl/C and ctrl/V rather than highlighting text with a mouse then selecting copy or paste options from the edit menu. Here are a couple of handy Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts for commonly used menus:
Access the ‘settings’ menu: Win Key + I
Access the Action Centre: Win Key + A
Access the hidden Start menu: Win Key + X
Lock the PC: Win Key + L
3/ Quickly Minimise All Windows except the Active One
This is a neat trick, and quite satisfying to do.
When open windows are getting in the way of your workflow, but you don’t want to lose the information they contain, you can quickly minimise them all and only keep the one your currently working in open.
Click and hold the title bar of the window you want open, then give it a quick shake with the mouse. All the other windows will shrink down to the task bar, leaving your desktop clean and uncluttered. Your open windows are still there ready to spring into action as soon as you click on them.
4/ Snap Windows Side by Side or into Quadrants
Working equally on two windows at once? Researching and taking notes maybe, inputting data or updating spreadsheets, or maybe just following a set of tutorial instructions?
To snap the active window to the right of the screen: Windows Key + Right Arrow. Click the opposite arrow to snap to the left.
When one window is snapped on either side of the screen, the other open windows will appear as tiles on the desktop. Just click the one you want to snap into the opposite space and you have two fully working windows side by side.
To unsnap windows, just click and hold in the title bar, then move the window away from the edge of the screen.
You can have four windows snapped into the quarters of the screen in Windows 10 by first snapping a window to one side, then using the up and down arrow keys while still holding the Windows Key.
5/ Quickly Examine an Object’s Properties
There are times when you want to check on the properties of a file, folder or programme. Normally you’d navigate to File Explorer, locate the object of interest, right click to open a dialogue box then left click on properties.
In Windows 10, just open File Explorer, find the file you want, then hold the ALT Key and double click the object’s name.
Windows 10 is full of little helpers and tricks that are not openly publicised. Hopefully this short list of a few of them helps you get through your daily computer tasks that bit quicker, and with less frustration.
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