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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.

 


See taskbar thumbnails without a mouse
If you're a fan of using the keyboard rather than your mouse whenever possible, you can move your cursor from icon to icon in the taskbar without a mouse - and still see thumbnail previews.

Press Windows key-T, and you'll move the focus to the leftmost icon on the taskbar.

Then, while still pressing the Windows key, press T again to change the focus to the next icon to the right. You can keep doing this as long as you like.

Launch taskbar apps without a mouse
Likewise, you can launch any program on the taskbar without the mouse.

Press the Windows key and the number that corresponds to the position of the application on the taskbar - for example, Windows key-1 to launch the left-most application on the taskbar, Windows key-2 to launch the second left-most application and so on.

Run multiple copies of applications from the taskbar
The Windows 7 taskbar serves a dual purpose, which can get confusing at times. It's used to launch programs, and also to switch between programs that are running.

So you launch a program by clicking its icon, and also switch to that program after it's running by clicking its icon.

But what if you want to launch a second instance of the program?

Once the program is running, it seems there's no way to launch a second instance, because when you click its icon, you only switch to the running instance.

There's a simple fix: If a program is already running and you want to launch a second instance from the taskbar, hold down the Shift key and click the icon.

A second instance will launch. You can keep launching new instances this way.

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NEXT PAGE: Get back the Quick Launch bar

  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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