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20 great Windows 7 tips and tricks

Our favourite tweaks for Microsoft's latest OS

Getting to know Windows 7? Here are 20 ways to get around the interface and make it act the way you want.

 

Windows Explorer tips

Windows Explorer is the heart and soul of the Windows interface, and overall it works quite well. But you can make it better.

New: Use check boxes to select multiple files
In order to select multiple files for an operation such as copying, moving or deleting in Windows Explorer, you generally use the keyboard and the mouse, Ctrl-clicking every file you want to select.

But if you're mouse-centric, there's a way to select multiple files in Windows 7 using only your mouse, via check boxes. To do it:

  1. In Windows Explorer, click Organise, and then select 'Folder and search options'.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. In Advanced Settings, scroll down and check the box next to 'Use check boxes to select items'. Click ok.
  4. From now on, when you hover your mouse over a file in Windows Explorer, a check box will appear next to it; click it to select the file. Once a file is selected, the checked box remains next to it; if you uncheck it, the box will disappear when you move your mouse away.

New: Open a command prompt at any folder
Command prompt fans will welcome this tip. With it, when you're in Windows Explorer, you can open a command prompt to any folder.

This tip does exactly what the Windows XP PowerToy 'Open Command Window Here' does.

To use it, hold down the Shift key and right-click a folder, then choose 'Open command window here' from the context menu that appears. (Note that this tip doesn't work in the Documents folder.)

Protect the privacy of your Explorer searches
When you search through your PC from Windows Explorer, you can see the most recent searches that have been performed.

If you share a PC and don't want others to see what you've searched for, you can turn off the recent searches feature:

  1. In the Start menu's Search box, type GPEDIT.MSC and press Enter to launch the Group Policy Editor.
  2. Go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer.
  3. Double-click 'Turn off display of recent search entries in the Windows Explorer search box' and select Enabled from the screen that appears.
  4. Then click OK. The recent searches feature will now be turned off.

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NEXT PAGE: More Windows Explorer tips

  1. Our favourite tweaks for Microsoft's latest OS
  2. Shake your desktop free of clutter
  3. Modify UAC
  4. Start Menu tips
  5. Windows Explorer tips
  6. More Windows Explorer tips
  7. Build your own internet search connector
  8. Taskbar tips
  9. See taskbar thumbnails without a mouse
  10. Get back the Quick Launch bar


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