Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
The Windows User Interface, or UI, is where we spend nearly all of our time, even when using other programs. We look at issues, tips and tricks relating to the Windows User Interface.
Hibernate and standby vs. rebooting to start your computer is pretty much equal. It all has a slight wear and tear on your machine's hardware and software.
Putting files on your desktop isn't a good idea in general. While it can cause a few technical problems, there are certainly more efficient ways to organize your computer.
Windows Explorer is a fine tool, but there are still a few things you can't easily do with it. This calls for the Windows Command Prompt.
Managing files in libraries and/or folders can be done in a number of different ways. I explore a few.
Using your computer's Power button improperly or pulling the plug can lead to serious data loss. I'll look at the right way to turn your computer off.
Many desktops are completely cluttered with icons for various shortcuts. It doesn't affect the computer's performance, but it's still messy.
Your desktop is really just another directory in your computer. It's more a matter of organization than speed.
Windows 7 has some extra volume controls that are sort of "hidden." Adjusting those may help.
Desktop icons with shortcut arrows indicate that you are not acting on the program itself, but on a shortcut to the program. The arrow can be removed or made transparent.
Windows is not Unix. What you need to be is the administrator on the machine that you have these disks installed on.
Windows administrator accounts aren't intended for continual use and can be hard to find. We'll look at logging in as administrator, and alternatives.
You can change system fonts in Windows 7 using the Window Color and Appearance dialog - if you can find it, that is. I'll show you.
Creating a shortcut is easy and there's an interface for changing the icon. Though not obvious, there's a large selection of icons to choose from.
The Windows 7 taskbar notifications area can be arranged in several ways by right-clicking in the taskbar "Notification Area."
The Windows disk cleanup utility has an option to compress files that aren't used often. Windows also includes the tools needed to uncompress them.
You will not be able to determine the administrator password on your computer because it is encrypted. There is a possible hack to reset it.
Live preview shows a small version of a running application's window when you hover the mouse over its taskbar icon. I'll look at turning that off.
It's easy to forget, or never be told, exactly where a file is located on your hard drive. Fortunately, it's easy to search.
It's very easy to have Windows locate a file on your machine, but it's also easy to overlook a setting that will allow it to miss some as well.
Some webpages do not translate well through the numerous screen resolution settings available in Windows. If you are having problems, you may need to play around with several zoom features.
Windows Explorer defaults to a simple view of the files on your machine. In Windows 7, you can change that default to include details with a few steps.
Windows Explorer defaults to a simple view of the files on your machine. You can change that default to include all details by following a few steps.
Windows Explorer sort order can be set by clicking on the column headers. It works the same in application's Open and Save dialog boxes.
Programs cause Windows to wait on exit because they have something else to do. A clean shut-down requires that all documents on the computer be properly saved.
Some folks like to run programs maximized; taking up the entire screen. If a program doesn't do that automatically, here are some steps that may help.
Pinning something to the task bar in Windows 7 is convenient, but appears to hide the "run as administrator" option. We'll find it.
User Account Control or UAC asks when programs need special permissions to do something. I'll look at when those are, and are not appropriate.
Checkboxes should be pretty easy: check the box and save, but there are a few things that could be keeping the settings from being remembered by your computer.
Pop-up tooltip balloons can sometimes disappear before you have a chance to read them. There are a few ways to capture them before they go away and no need to stress over it.
It's easy to make the Windows taskbar smaller or larger - perhaps too easy since it can happen by accident. I'll show you how, and how to lock it.
Windows Vista included a Sidebar and Gadgets you could display on your desktop. If you've lost your Vista sidebar gadgets we'll get them back.
One of the ways to handle an off-screen window - particularly useful for Windows Media Center - has changed slightly in Windows 7.
Every so often, it's possible to end up with the Windows XP taskbar on the side, or even the top of your screen. It's a quick fix, as this video shows.
It's simple to recover an XP password using an available utility, but the security ramifications of this need to be explored.
Adobe Reader drop-down menus are actually a "recently viewed documents" list. There are a few ways to update the list.
Documents, or my Recent Documents, is Windows trying to be helpful by making it easy to access recent work. Sometimes it's a little too visible.
Windows 7 changed one of the ways to create desktop shortcuts from IE. I'll look at what's changed and how to create shortcuts that can be modified.
If you're willing to take the risk, configuring Windows 7 to sign in automatically is pretty easy; I'll walk through the steps and show you in video.
By default, Windows hides certain files and folders. We'll look at the setting to change to display hidden files and folders in Windows Explorer.
Program file extensions can sometimes be in conflict. You can't change the programs, but you can still run them both on your machine with an easy work-around.
It turns out to be fairly easy to accidentally delete the desktop Recycle Bin in Vista. Getting the Recycle Bin back is easy, just not obvious.
It turns out that resetting an Windows account password is frighteningly easy, as long as you have access to the machine.
Hibernate is a fast way to turn a computer on and off. On many computers, it works reliably.
It's unlikely that custom features will be added to Windows Explorer, but there are other programs available.
Storing files in the Recycle Bin is not the proper way to organize a computer! It's better to create a system of folders and keep them there.
There used to be a software that provided this service, but it required administrative access. Your options may be limited.
Copy/paste vs. copy-to-folder are only two ways to move files around in Windows. But which is better?
Windows 7 doesn't have the 'Quick Launch Bar' that Windows XP did. I'll show you how I made my own.
The Windows Task Bar is a very flexible piece of screen realestate. There are many things about it you can change, or fix if they change unexpectedly.
If your bank is forcing the browser to a certain size, there isn't a lot that you can technically do about it. However, there is another course!
While there are many reasons as to why your Recycle Bin can disappear, there is a fairly easy way to get it back.
Occasionally a program will open up in a tiny window, too small to be useful. We'll look at a couple of approaches to dealing with tiny windows.
There is some truth to rumors about security vulnerabilities in Windows gadgets. Perhaps, it's time to start looking for something else.
The task bar can appear hidden if it's configured to auto-hide, or if the size has been configured to be too small.
The volume indicator allows you to control the sound output by your computer. It can disappear, and the option to enable it has moved around a little.
It's an application's job in Windows to draw what it wants to display in its window. A white window typically means that the application is unable to.
The Windows clipboard is a fundamental and exceptionally useful feature that many take for granted. I'll review what it is and what it's good for.
Microsoft has a list of helpful keyboard shortcuts in a knowledgebase article.
Several things are slightly different in Windows Vista, and the location of the File Associations dialog is just one.
Windows tries to manage the taskbar icons for you in a way that sometimes causes some to go missing.
Depending on your configuration and customization the Run command may not be visible on the Start menu. It's easy to make it show up.
Checking the file system means that Windows is not shutting down correctly. I look at the proper ways to shut down a computer and how to avoid this error.
Automatically compressed files may or may not slow down a computer. It depends on the speed of the disk and processor.
Hibernate and standby are difficult to get right because there is a lot involved in shutting down and recovering a computer system.
It is possible to create shortcuts to files, rather then move the files themselves. What to do if those shortcuts can't reference the files later?
Windows Explorer will display compressed files in blue. Files can be compressed to save disk space, but there are ramifications to consider.
Shut down messages can happen for a number of reasons. The solution might be as simple as waiting a minute.
In an effort to avoid confusion, Windows will hide certain files and folders by default. Naturally that often leads to more confusion.
Windows has several volume controls. Add to those a couple of additional volume controls and making things louder can quickly get confusing.
Copying a file requires that you have access to both the source file and the intended destination. There are several reasons you might not.
Sometimes quick launch shortcuts stop working after a software upgrade. The solution is kind of a hack.
A password not working could mean so many things. We look at passwords for the computer, for administrator access, and even for email accounts.
Accidentally dropping a file where you didn't intend to is easy in Windows Explorer. I'll look at how to recover it and why the error is so darned quick.
A folder can go missing only through some sort of direct action. Finding it again might be tricky.
Windows tries to help protect you from accidentally deleting files with the Recycle Bin. How the Recycle Bin appears on disk can be a little confusing.
The taskbar icon changing color means that it is trying to tell you something. If not, it shouldn't have changed color.