Windows 7 is a good operating system right out of the box, but tweaking some of the settings and using keyboard shortcuts can enhance the Windows experience.
Here are seven useful Windows tips and tricks to help you get more out of Windows 7:
1. Bypass the Recycle Bin
The Windows Recycle Bin is a good safeguard against accidental file deletions. However, when you know you want to permanently delete a file, you can bypass it. Instead of pressing the Del key, press Shift+Del, then Shift+Enter to confirm.
If you prefer, you can also permanently disable the Recycle Bin. First, right-click on the Recycle Bin, then choose Properties. Click on the drive you want to disable the Recycle Bin for, then select "Don't move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted." Click the OK or Apply button to save the changes.
Disable Recycle Bin (Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee)
2. Open Windows Explorer faster
Are you still mousing over to a Windows Explorer icon or double-clicking on My Computer to browse your files? Try pressing Windows Logo+E instead, to instantly launch Windows Explorer.
3. Enable underlining of keyboard shortcuts
Windows has many menu shortcut keys, but they're hidden by default. To enable the underlining of the shortcuts, go to Control Panel > Ease of Access Center > Change how your keyboard works. Click on the box next to "Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys," then hit the OK or Apply button to save.
Enable underline shortcuts (Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee)
On the left, underlining is disabled. On the right, underlining is enabled.
(Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee)
4. Bypass the Windows splash screen
Disabling the Windows splash screen can shave a couple seconds from your total boot time. Launch the Windows Run command (Windows Logo+R), then type msconfig. Under the Boot tab, check the box next to "No GUI boot." Hit the OK or Apply button to save the changes.
Bypass Windows splash screen (Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee)
5. Lock Windows quickly
Whether you're at the office, library, or cafe, it's always a good idea to lock Windows before you step away. To lock Windows quickly, press Windows Logo+L.
6. Show hidden files, folders, and drives
To view files, folders, and drives that Windows hides, open the Windows search box (Windows Logo) and type folder. Next, select Folder Options from the search list and navigate to the View tab. Under Hidden files and folders, check the box next to "Show hidden files, folders, and drives."
Show hidden files (Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee)
7. Rename multiples files
To rename multiple files in Windows, highlight the files you want to rename, then hit the F2 key. Rename the first file, then hit Enter. All your files will be renamed and a number in parenthesis will be added to the end of the name. If you change your mind, you can hit Ctrl+Z to undo the rename.