100 Ways To Speed Up Windows (Part 3)

11/28/2012 5:12:15 PM

Windows offers many tricks to help you work more efficiently

29.  Instant PC Folder

Hold down the Windows key, press R to launch the Run box, type . and hit Return.

30.  Access Your Users Folder

Launch the Run box, type .. and press Return to launch the Users folder.

31.  Access the Shell

To open your Startup folder, for example, click Start, startup and press Return.

32.  Faster Searching

When you want to search for something in an Explorer window, just press F3.

Description: Faster searching

33.  See Recent Folders

Press F4 and you can choose recent folders from the History List much more quickly.

34.  Refresh now

If an Explorer window seems to be missing a file, folder, or drive, hit F5 to refresh the window.

35.  Full-screen View

You’re examining an enormous list press F11 to toggle full-screen view.

36.  Open a Folder Tree

Press+ on the numeric keypad expand the currently selected folder.

37.  Expand All Folders

Pressing * on the numeric keypad expands alt folders below the current one.

38.  Collapse all Folders

Press - on the numeric keypad to collapse the current folder.

39.  Copy as path

If you've ever found yourself hunting down a file in Explorer that you want to upload online only to have to retrace your steps once you've opened your browser, you need to know about Copy as Path. When you first locate the file in question, press Shift while right clicking and choose the Copy as Path option. Now the location of your file is saved to the clipboard for easy deployment in your browser dialog.

40.  browse menus at speed

A registry edit can shorten the pause before Windows menus expand, speeding up navigation. Launch regedit from the Start menu, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop, double-click Menu Show Delay, and select Decimal. Change the default 200, which is 0.2 seconds, works for us. The result is a noticeably more instant browsing experience, which is highly addictive. Once you’ve enjoyed Windows opening like lightning, going back to the normal setting will feel like watching a slow-motion replay.

41.  Solve slow starts

If Windows 7 is taking a long time to launch, or shut down, the Event Viewer may tell you which program or driver is responsible. Click Start, type Eventvwr.msc, and press Return. Expand the Applications and Services Logs section and browse to Microsoft\Windows\Diagnostic Performance\Operational. Scroll the events list on your PC to see if Windows knows who to blame for your performance issues.

42.  Fix the boot bug

Is your Windows 7 desktop background a solid color? Then it may mean your PC takes 30 seconds longer than usual to boot. One solution is to change your background to an image, which will restore normal startup performance and make your desktop look better, as well. But if you're set on solid colors, then install a hotfix from Microsoft ( that will return your system to normal.

Description: Solid Color Desktop Background.

Solid Color Desktop Background.

43.  Search the web from your start menu

Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate users are able to set up the Start Search option to search the web. In Start Search type gpedit and open the app. Then navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar. Then double-click ''Add Search Internet link to Start Menu.” When you type a search into the Start menu, there will be the option to make it a web search, so you can more quickly get the information you need.

44.  Save space by dumping crash data

Run Regedit

Windows 7 keeps files on your last 50 crashes. However, if you'll never look at this data it's a waste of hard drive space, so you're better off getting rid of it. Type regedit into the Start menu and launch the executable.

Description: a) Run regedit

Make the change

Browse to HKEY_L0CAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl. Double click the entry called MiniDumpsCount and change the Value data according to how many crash files you want saved five is enough.

Description: Registry editor

Enjoy a faster machine

When you restart your PC, you'll have reclaimed some free space on your hard drive, which is useful for both older machines with small hard drives or newer SSD laptops, which have equally tiny disks.

Description: c) Enjoy a faster machine

45.  Restore run

If you miss the Windows XP Run option, which was used by many to launch programs quickly, right-click the Start orb, select Properties > Customize, check the Run Command box, click OK, and a Run option now appears on the Start menu. Many of our tips feature the Run command and if you love sneaky shortcuts, this is a very easy way to start using Windows more quickly.

46.  Launch applets fast

Don’t waste time browsing to the Control Panel for the right toot for making changes to your computer when you can launch it directly. To run Device Manager, for example, click Start, type Device in the search box and Windows should display a Device Manager link for you. Windows also responds to vague searches, so if you type partition, the disk management tool will be listed.

You can also type the applet's executable file name, such as: devmgmt.msc (Device Manager], services.msc (Services), dfrg.msc (Disk Defragmenter), compmgmt.msc (Computer Management], diskmgmt.msc (Disk Management), and compmgmt.msc (Computer Management Console).

47.  0pen websites with a key press

In Internet Explorer, click Favorites, right-click a particular Favorite site, and select Properties. In the Shortcut Key box, press the key combination you’d like to launch the site Ctrl + Alt + G for Google, say.

Close your browser, press your shortcut key, and your default browser opens to display the site. This also works for any Windows programs.

48.  Access network files faster

To work on network files even when your PC isn't connected (in Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise) there's an easy fix. When the network computer is available, browse to the file or folder you need, right-click it, select Always Available Offline so that it’s checked and Windows makes a local copy available for you.

49.  Find the right file

If you occasionally need to search the contents of files that haven't been indexed, just start your search with content:. This will tell Windows to go looking inside your files for the right information, even if Windows Search hasn't gone through and done it already. As this happens only a couple of times a day, new files might not be indexed, so it's well worth doing. Typing content: zebra into any search box locates files that have "zebra" in their contents, for instance.

50.  Save time on swapping printers

To have Windows switch your default printer as you change networks, click Start, type Devices, and click Devices and Printers. Choose a printer and click Manage Default Printers. Select "Change my default printer when I change networks,” choose a network and a default printer, and click Add. Repeat for other networks and pick a default printer. Now when you connect to a network, Windows will set a defined printer.

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