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Windows 7 Tips and Tricks That You May Not Have Come Across Before

written by: tanik•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 8/17/2011

With many Windows users trying out Windows 7, it is time for some tips & tricks to help them with using Windows 7. Here is my list of Win 7 tips and tricks that you can apply immediately and easily.

  • slide 1 of 9

    Get the Quick Launch Toolbar Back

    Windows 7 has done away with the quick launch toolbar. Well almost, so by default you can’t see the quick launch toolbar on your taskbar. But there’s a way to bring it back if you want it.

    Right click on the taskbar and navigate to Toolbars → New Toolbar. The folder selection dialog should appear asking you to select the new toolbar folder. Enter the following string as the folder path and click OK.

    %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

    The quick launch toolbar should appear on the taskbar. If you’d like to change its default position, right click on the taskbar and uncheck ‘Lock the taskbar' and then drag it to the position you desire.

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    Start Windows Explorer From ‘My Computer’

    By default the Windows Explorer in Windows 7 starts in the ‘Libraries’ folder. If you’d like to start it from 'My Computer' like the good old Explorer here’s how to do it.

    Click start, navigate to All Programs → Accessories → Windows Explorer or type "windows explorer" in the search box to locate the Windows Explorer icon. Bring up the properties dialog of Windows Explorer by right clicking on it and choosing 'Properties.' In the dialog box, replace the string

    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe

    in the target box with

    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

    Click Apply and OK. Now, when you start explorer it should start in the ‘My Computer’ folder.

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    Run as Another User

    Right clicking on any executable or shortcut gives you the option to run the program as Administrator. However, if you want to run a program as a different user (other than Administrator), press and hold the ‘Shift’ key while you right click on the shortcut. The context menu provides you one more option ‘Run as different user’

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    Windows 7 Jump List

    You may have noticed that a list pops up when you right click on any icon in the taskbar. This is whwindows 7 jump list at Microsoft calls a jump list. The Jump lists provide easy and quick access to various features of an application. Like listing the recent used list of that application etc. The jump list of Windows media player also includes options to control playback. The jump list of windows explorer provides quick access to special folders like Documents, Pictures, and Music, etc.

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    Run Command in Start Menu

    Unlike Windows XP and similar to Windows Vista, the Windows 7 start menu doesn’t have the Run Commanenable windows 7 run command d. Well, actually you can get the job done with the search box itself but if for some reason you want your Run command back, here’s how to do it.

    Right Click on any free area on the Start Menu and click on Properties. In the 'Properties' window, select the Start Menu tab and click on 'Customize'. In the customize window that pops up, check the box against 'Run Command' (you may have to scroll down a little to find it) and click OK. Click OK on the start menu properties window to close it. Now you should see the Run Command on your start menu.

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    Create a System Repair Disk

    You can create a system repair disc which you can use to fix your system if anything goes wrong. Click ‘Start’ and in the search box type in 'system repair'. You should see a shortcut called 'Create a system repair Disc'.

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    Extending Windows 7 Trial By 30 days

    You can use Windows 7 without activating for 30 days. However there's a way to extend the trial period by another 30 days. Actually this trick is supposed to work three times and so you can actually extend your trial to 120 days in total. As this trick would reset your trial period to another 30 days from the time it is performed, it is better to do this near the end of your trial period, this way you get the maximum possible time. So let's first check how many days you have left.

    In the start menu right click on 'Computer' and click ‘Properties’ to bring up the properties window. Scroll down and at the bottom you should see the current product key and how many days are left to activate windows.

    Now, here's how to extend the trial period. Click on ‘Start’, go to All Programs->Accessories. Right click on 'Command Prompt' and choose 'Run as administrator'.

    In the command prompt enter the command 'slmgr -rearm' and hit enter. A message dialog should pop up saying the command has completed successfully. Restart your system and your windows 7 trial should be extended by another 30 days.

  • slide 8 of 9

    Some Keyboard Shortcuts

    Windows + [Number]

    This is a shortcut to launch an application pinned to the taskbar. Windows+1 will launch the first application, Windows+2 will launch the second application, and so on.

    Windows + T

    Similar to the Alt+Tab, but it cycles through the open programs through the Taskbar’s peek menu.

    Alt+P

    In windows explorer, this key combination activates a file preview pane on the right side of the window.

    Ctrl + Shift + Click

    Holding down the Ctrl and Shift keys when launching a program by clicking an icon on start menu or the taskbar, will launch the application with full administrative privileges.

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    Your Win 7 Tips, Tricks

    These were Windows 7 tips and tricks which you might not've come across before. These Win 7 tips and tricks will help you with using your operating system. If you know any other Windows 7 tips, tricks you can share them with us in the comments section below. (Comments are moderated and may take some time to appear.)

References

  • Images taken by author
  • Author's own experience with Windows 7