Windows Tips & Tricks (Part 3)

5/10/2012 3:35:07 PM


Set up the Recycle Bin in the notification tray so it is always within reach


Description: visible The handy tray icon

The handy tray icon is always visible and offers some information without any effort.

The Recycle Bin cannot easily be shifted into the taskbar, since trying this only pins it to the Windows Explorer icon, which is not all that helpful. However, with the free tool Mini Bin ( linking and functioning from there can be made possible. For installing, unzip the ZIP archive and click and start the EXE file. The option 'Start Mini-Bin at system boot' option must be activated so that the tool remains active on a permanent basis. You can directly start the program once the installation is complete. The tool is not a replacement for the Windows Recycle Bin but just an additional access method; the usual system Recycle Bin is always available and can be used even now. With this tool you can simply open the 'old Recycle Bin' directly by double-clicking, or empty it immediately using the context menu. Configuration is not really necessary: you must just adjust the icon in the info area in such a way that the small recycle bin is always visible. The tool tip message even shows the current filling status and informs about when the next automatic emptying cycle is expected. You can uninstall the tool at any time from the Software dialog in the Control Panel.



Use a picture of your choice as the folder preview You need to access the same folders fairly regularly, but waste lots of time scanning lists to find them.


Description: against a sea of similar yellow icons

Use a photo on your folder icon to make it stand out against a sea of similar yellow icons.

You can replace the images assigned at random by Windows Explorer to visualize various folders' contents with an appropriate association of your own. However, you can select only one image file and not many thumbnails at a time—and that too must be done manually. For this, right-click on the desired folder icon in the relevant view and select the context command 'Properties'. Go to the 'Customize' tab. Now, click on the 'Select file' option in the 'Folder picture' area. Mark the desired field and then click on 'Open'. Confirm this change using the 'Yes' button and then the 'OK' button. Windows saves these individual settings for the respective folder in a file called 'desktop.ini' located in the row beginning with 'Logo='. The change can even be cancelled in the same dialog by clicking on the 'Restore' option.

NOTE: Do not mistake this setting with the 'Folder icon' option. This will change the icon permanently and then will not allow any dynamic image for the folders.



Connect Microsoft SkyDrive as a network drive under Windows You use a SkyDrive account to back up your files and share them with friends, and the process be made even easier.


Description: Mount your SkyDrive account as a drive in your Windows Explorer for quick access

Mount your SkyDrive account as a drive in your Windows Explorer for quick access.

DB SkyDrive is offering all those who have registered themselves for Windows Live a free 25 GB online memory space as a part of Windows Live; you can simply call it up in the browser and can even manage it by yourself. It is even better if you connect the memory space as a network drive in the system. For this, all you need is the correct identification of your own account, which can be copied from the URL indicated in the browser. Open your SkyDrive account in the browser after getting yourself registered there. The URL in the address bar looks somewhat like ' com/?cid=1234567890abcdef'. Mark and copy the part after 'cid=' or make a note of the 16-digit 'cid'. Now, you can start the Windows Explorer. Right-click to the left of the structure on 'Computer' and select the context command 'Connect with the network' or 'Assign network'.

To begin with, define the desired alphabet for the SkyDrive like maybe 'Z:' in the list field. You should take any alphabet that comes later in the series of alphabets so as to avoid any conflicts with other drives or memory cards. Enter the 'Folder' in the form of '\Server\SharedFolder', where 'Wdocs. is the server and then the CID is the share name. Activate the option 'Restore connection in case of disconnection' for automatic access. You have to sign in again for Windows Live using your access data after clicking on 'Finish'. The new drive should now appear in the Explorer.

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