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Hacks to Windows 7: Top ways to tweak Windows-7

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Microsoft has been working on the much anticipated Windows 7 and the RC (Release Candidate) build is finally out. The initial reaction from online communities so far has been a lot better than it was for Vista. This OS is superior to XP and Vista in many ways. Vista wasn’t popular mainly because of the high system requirements.

Windows 7 feels like a more optimized version of Vista and it has many well thought of features. It’s so light that you can just manage to run with 512 or 768 MB of RAM with some of the visual effects turned off.

One can download the ISO file from official Microsoft website of Windows 7 and burn it to a DVD to make it a bootable one. And when you are ready get a license key from the same site.

The hacks presented here are mainly tips and tricks on Windows-7. Find them and apply on your system.

Fixing the Clutter:
Remove all background windows while running a document file by simply pressing WIN+HOME keeping the window while you are in the current position, back to restore the background windows press WIN+HOME again.

Moving order of applications in the taskbar:

There are more changes done to the taskbar in Windows 7 than just the thickness. It lets you change the sequence of applications running in the taskbar. Changing the order is as simple as moving tabs in browsers such as Firefox, Opera or Google Chrome.

Simply lift-click and drag the icon in the taskbar, and watch it slide into place. Another interesting feature is when you try moving the icon upwards, it opens the right-click menu.

Grouping of active applications:

Vista already had this feature- multiple instances of applications were grouped into a single icon to save taskbar space. In Windows 7, the icons are more distinguishable.

One no longer have to click; simply move your mouse over the icon and a real-time preview of each of the instances will appear. The window can be closed by middle-clicking on the preview. If you like to have the application name appear along with the icon, right-click on the taskbar and click on Properties. Choose the Never combine options from the menu.

Shortcuts for window operations:

Managing windows got much simpler with Windows 7. One no longer have to use the window controls such as minimize or maximize on the top right. Windows can be minimized using the Windows key + Down arrow and maximized by Windows key + Up arrow.

Windows key + left/right arrow keys fit the expanded window to the left or right side of the screen. This is particularly useful for widescreen users. It lets one to fit two windows side by side accurately without having to use the Tile horizontally features from the taskbar.

If you try resizing a window using the corner right up to the bottom of the screen, Windows 7 lets you scale it vertically by drawing a faint outline. Dragging the window by the title bar and moving it towards either end of the screen will automatically resize to take up half the screen and leave the other half for another application.

Really Useful Keyboard shortcuts for Windows-7:
Windows 7 has several useful new keyboard shortcuts. Explore few of them for general categories here.

Alt+P ->Display/ hide the Explorer preview pane

Windows Logo+G ->Display gadgets in front of other windows

Windows Logo++ (plus key) ->Zoom in, where appropriate

Windows Logo+- (minus key) ->Zoom out, where appropriate

Windows Logo+Up ->Maximise the current window

Windows Logo+Down ->Minimise the current window

Windows Logo+Left ->Snap to the left hand side of the screen

Windows Logo+Right ->Snap to the right hand side of the screen

Windows Logo+Home ->Minimise/ restore everything except the current window

Shift + Click on icon ->Open a new instance

Middle click on icon ->Open a new instance

Ctrl + Shift + Click on icon ->Open a new instance with Admin privileges

Shift + Right-click on icon ->Show window menu (Restore / Minimize / Move / etc) Note: Normally you can just right-click on the window thumbnail to get this menu

Shift + Right-click on grouped icon ->Menu with Restore All / Minimize All / Close All, etc.

Ctrl + Click on grouped icon ->Cycle between the windows (or tabs) in the group

Hide or Display your drives:

folder-options-hide-drives-in-windows7 My Computer in Windows 7 hides drives like memory card readers, hard disk partitions and so on.

This is the best reply from inbuilt feature of Windows-7 to How do I hide my drive from Computer? if they’re empty. This will eliminate the need for third party tweaking softwares to work you us.

Burn ISO images got lot easier:

It seems like Win7 is attempting to eliminate need for simple third party tweaking softwares. Again, another such application. ISO images can be burned into CD/DVD Drives in windows 7.

To burn an ISO Just double-click the ISO image, choose the drive with the blank disc, click Burn and watch as your disc is created.

Quick access to frequently used folders:

Windows 7 monitors the folders that we frequently access- a sort of AI (Artificial Intelligence). This list can be accessed by right-clicking on the Windows Explorer icon in the taskbar.

If you want a specific folder to be placed permanently in this list, you can do this by moving the mouse pointer to the right end of the location till a Pin to this list icon appears.

Dynamic desktop & Constantly changing wallpapers:

Again, Windows 7 eliminates the need of third party softwares. Now, users can change themes, aero effects, sound effects, windows colors and desktop wallpapers almost instantly. Win7 is really thankful to this.

Simply, right-click on desktop and point your mouse cursor to Personalize. I don’t think I should tell you more than this. And this couldn’t simpler than this. Do whatever you like- change theme, associated wallpapers, sounds and so on. Did I not say that we can use our own folder for wallpapers or sounds? Choose a frequency for the wallpaper change by changing minutes and check shuffle if you like.

Quick preview mode in Windows Explorer:

Quick preview is a feature found only in few file managers. Windows 7 has incorporated a similar feature that lets Windows Explorer to display a preview of a file on the side.

The shortcut to enable the quick preview pane is [Alt] + [P]. Pressing this key again will disable the preview. This feature only works with the formats supported by Windows 7. Browse to your libraries or documents to test this feature.

Sticky Notes in Windows 7: what we’ve been longed for:

The Sticky notes feature helps the user keep track of tasks that he needs to do. The Sticky Notes application is hidden away under the Accessories sub-menu.

Notes are left on your desktop and added by clicking plus + icon on the top left of the stick note window and closed using the close icon, of course.

2 Comments
  1. Yash says

    Nice tips and tricks, huh
    Quite excited to use Win7
    I am also one of the early adapters of Win7 as you!!!

  2. Yash says

    Nice tips and tricks, huh
    Quite excited to use Win7
    I am also one of the early adapters of Win7 as you!!!

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