The easiest operating system Microsoft has ever released, Windows 7 gives you all sorts of slick and simple ways to open folders, navigate windows on the desktop, and launch applications — so many, it’s hard to remember them all.
Here’s our compendium of tips for working faster in Win7, none of which requires downloading or installing anything. Some are new, some recycled from XP and Vista.
Windows 7, like all powerful operating systems, can seem a bit overwhelming and give you the feeling you’ve lost control.
Fortunately, there are some great utilities for taming Windows 7.
A hard drive is like an attic. No matter how big it is, it fills up fast — and mostly with junk.
Much of that junk may be unneeded and difficult-to-find duplicate files, and the best way to locate and eradicate them is with software dedicated to the task.
It’s no exaggeration to say we keep our lives on our PCs — that career-making report, those plans for Fiji, a thousand kid photos — and you can lose it all in the blink of a hard-drive crash.
Windows comes with apps for backing up that data, but there’s free, third-party software that’s more flexible and easier to use.
Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook — these days it’s common for PC users to have multiple e-mail accounts on multiple e-mail systems.
With a bit of tuning, Microsoft Outlook can become Central Station for all those accounts.
Not so long ago, computers were for work and television was for entertainment — not so anymore.
Microsoft’s Windows Media Center transforms the PC into an easy-to-use, remote control–friendly entertainment center; a few tricks can make the experience even better.
The most daunting task for digital photographers of all types, from snapshooter to pro, is organizing the hundreds or thousands of images they’ve captured.
You can put your images into simple folders, but free or inexpensive photo organizers are a better way to wring order from chaos.
On most PCs, the Windows notification area, originally meant for small apps you always want running, is choked with all sorts of programs that shouldn’t be there.
Putting some order back into the notification area will remove app clutter, plus it might help your PC boot faster and possibly fix those previously unexplainable system problems.
Using Windows system rescue CDs isn’t practical if your machine isn’t equipped with an optical drive.
Fortunately, a clever solution may be sitting on your desk: take a flash drive you have at hand, add some software, and create a custom, USB-based, bootable Windows recovery toolkit!
Microsoft hid an interesting option on the Office 2010 DVD — a 64-bit version of the company’s new suite.
But before you go looking for it, understand why you’re better off with the 32-bit version — Microsoft hid Office x64 for a reason.