What is a Computer?

A computer is a device that performs a sequence of arithmetic and logical operations instructed through a program. Generally, it takes an input, performs some tasks and gives output through a monitor. In modern days a computer is used for automating tasks, performing larger tasks in quick time. From the day of the invention, these have evolved in number and variety. After the smartphone, it is given the most priority in our daily life. Now we shall see some Computer tricks and hacks that can save time.

25 Best Computer tricks and secrets that you need to remember

Computer Tricks and Tips

1. Shortcuts when you are on the desktop:

Ctrl + ASelect all the icons on the desktop.
Ctrl + NOpen Desktop in File explorer
Ctrl + Shift + NCreate New Folder
Win + Q, Win + SOpen search (through Cortana).
Win + EOpen-File Explorer.
Win + ROpen file, folder, and program.
Win + TSwitch between the programs on the taskbar.
Win + UOpen the display tab in the setting.
Win + IOpen windows settings.
Win + POpen project screen with options.
Win + LLock the screen.
Win + KTo connect another device wirelessly.
Win + FTo give quick feedback in win 10.
Win + DTo refresh.
Win + ATo open the Notifications tab.
Win + WOpen workspace (screenshot, sketchpad, sticky notes, and recently used apps).
Win + XOpen menu Administrative tools and others. (power user)
Win + BSwitch between (tray icons) icons on taskbar (WiFi, Time, Lang, and Sound) use arrow keys to switch.
Win + PrintScreenTo take a screenshot
Win + +To magnify

One more important shortcut is Ctrl + Backspace. Unlike backspace, this is helpful in deleting words at once. Along with those, there are few others but I have mentioned only a few. All those shortcuts may not work in every situation and some of them vary with the windows version. Mac users can use the Command key in place of Win key.

2. Open applications on taskbar easily

An important shortcut for windows users is Win + Number( eg: 1 to 9). This shortcut is very useful to open applications on taskbar number-wise. For example Win + 1 open file explorer for me as it is the first icon on my taskbar. Similarly, you can use other numbers (i.e., Win + 2, Win + 3 ... etc) for opening a respective application on the taskbar. This is very helpful in saving time.

3. To open Command Prompt

There are various ways to open cmd.
1. Click on Win buttons, type cmd and hit enter.
2. Win + R, type cmd there and hit enter.
The above two opens basic cmd with a directory as a user of Windows. For opening cmd in a particular directory use below methods.

Method 1:
a. Go to the respective folder (directory) where you want to open the command prompt.
b. There press Shift and right click on the empty space in the respective directory.
c. A list of options will appear, from them select "Open Command Prompt / Open Powershell window here".
d. That opens cmd/PowerShell in that particular directory.

Method 2:
a. Go to the respective folder (directory) where you want to open the command prompt.
b. In the path shown like eg: " This PC > Local Disk (C) > Users > " hit on empty space and type cmd. (see below image)
c. Hit enter, cmd opens in that directory.

Method 3:
a. Go to the respective folder (directory) where you want to open the command prompt.
b. On top left-hand corner choose File option.
c. A dropdown appears, from them select " Open Windows PowerShell "
d. It gives two options, click the required one.

4. Daily used shortcuts

Ctrl + STo save a file/text.
Ctrl + XTo cut a file/text.
Ctrl + VTo paste a file/text.
Ctrl + ZTo undo last action (text/deleted file/moved file).
Ctrl + YTo repeat the last action (mainly works with text).
Ctrl + OTo open a file (text editors, file explorer, etc.).
Ctrl + NTo open a new Window (text editors, file explorer, etc.).
Ctrl + Alt + STo open Save As dialog (text editors, file explorer, etc.).
Ctrl + WTo close the present working window (text editors, file explorer, etc.).
Ctrl + HReplace (text editors).
F3Find Next.
Ctrl + Shift + WTo close every window used, open a new window.
Ctrl + Shift + T(very helpful)To open a recently closed window (works in text editors, file explorer, browsers, etc.).
Ctrl + PTo print.
Alt + F4To close the application being used.
Ctrl + FTo open find box.
Ctrl + ATo select all

5. Browsers shortcuts

Ctrl + TTo open a new tab.
Ctrl + NTo open a new window.
Ctrl + Shift + NTo open incognito window (private window) in Chrome.
Ctrl + Shift + PTo open incognito window (private window) in Firefox, Edge, IE.
Ctrl + JTo open downloads.
Ctrl + HTo see History of your browsing.
Ctrl + PTo take the print off a webpage.
Ctrl + FOpens Find box to search for a word or sentence (across the whole page being used). Use this shortcut in editors (like online code editors in browsers) to find a particular character/word in them.
Ctrl + DTo bookmark/add to favorite.
Ctrl + Shift + ITo inspect an element / open developer tool (except IE).
F12To inspect an element / open developer tool in Internet Explorer.
Ctrl + Shift + DelTo clear browsing data based on a range.
Shift + DelOpen task manager (in Chrome to see stats for each tab, can also close them here).
Ctrl + UTo open page source / debugger.
Ctrl + + (plus)To Zoom in.
Ctrl + - (minus)For Zooming out.
Ctrl + 0 (zero)To reset above two options (back to normal with 100% zoom)
Ctrl + Num(very helpful)To switch between the tabs number-wise..

The last shortcut is very helpful for switching tabs quickly without using a mouse click. For eg: Ctrl + 1 takes us to tab 1 and Ctrl + 2 takes us to tab 2 and etc. With this shortcut switching from one tab to another becomes easy viz., from the 8th tab to the 1st tab, etc.

6. Easily install all basic software with this one application - Ninite

If you want to save time installing every software then this is the software that helps you. Ninite is a software that automates the installation of applications. It provides a different variety of software, can be installed in a stretch. Very useful for newcomers or to save time.

7. Lock your computer

To lock your computer simply press Ctrl + L. This is also helpful to switch from one account to another (switching user) in a computer. Also in urgent situations use this option for security purposes.

8. Browse in (search) a website quickly with this shortcut

If you want to search something in Google then simply enter the URL google.com and press tab. It then also to search for anything. Not only Google but every website can be searched directly without going into the website. Very helpful to find particular resources quickly. For other websites enter their URL and press Tab to start searching in that.

9. A Hidden Feature (God Mode)

Windows users are provided with the basic control panel to make changes to their system. But with that, there is also another control panel with huge no of options called God Mode. With this, you can find every option to change the system setting. To see this:
a. First, create an empty folder (wherever you want).
b. After creating rename that folder with this name God Mode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}.
c. Save it. d. Now the created folder changes to God Mode with an icon similar to the control panel.

Note: God Mode is not good if you are working with programming languages like Java. It interrupts some of the software's like Netbeans, Eclipse. I too used this mode but faced some problems with Netbeans and Eclipse in doing some operations.

10. To enter into BIOS / Troubleshoot PC

To do this there are various ways. But I am not going to tell all. Only one of them will be told. To enter that mode
1. Press shift key.
2. Click on the windows icon.
3. Now click on Power buttons. From the options click on the restart while holding the shift key.
4. Done you will be taken to a set of options where you can choose needed one.
You can go to BIOS or Troubleshoot PC or Use another OS or install another OS etc. This option is only for win 10 users and I do not know about win 7 and mac.

11. To clean temporary data and Windows.old folder.

For this, you can use Disk Cleanup. There are various ways to open this. But I am telling the basic one. Press windows buttons, type Disk Cleanup, hit enter and it opens. Now choose the directory viz., C. It opens a window. From that choose options to clean data. To delete windows.old folder choose the option Clean Up System Files, it then processes and opens another window. In that choose the required option.

12. To update/fix a driver

For this, you can use the Device Manager. Simply you search this in Administrative Tools or directly find in Power User menu (Win + X). On opening, it shows some options. In those options expand the driver/device and right click to update/uninstall them.

13. To open Task Manager/close application not responding

You can use two shortcuts for opening Task Manager. One open it directly and other is helpful in other cases.

Method 1:
Use Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager directly. From the running apps choose the one which is not responding. At the bottom right-hand corner you will see End Task and click on it to close that application.

Method 2:
Use Ctrl + Alt + Del. It then gives several options like Switch User, Lock computer, Power Off, Task Manager. Choose Task Manager to close the Not responding application.

14. Switch between applications.

For this, you can use Alt + Tab shortcut. This helps to move in a forward direction from one app to another. You can also use Alt + Shift + Tab. This goes in a backward direction. Mac users can use Command + tab.

15. Shutdown your PC with a Click + Drag

Do you want to Shutdown your PC with a simple Click and Drag option?

Yes, this shortcut is for you. Before that, you need to find a simple .exe file and place it either in the desktop or taskbar. Then onwards you can use it easily. For finding it check below process.

Method 1
1. Open file Explorer.
2. Go to this path C:\Windows\System32.
3. There find an exe file with the name SlideToShutDown.
4. Right click on it and choose Pin to taskbar/start/ add to Desktop, any of your choices.

I use it from the taskbar, easy to shut down.

Method 2
If you did not find it. Then
1. Open-File Explorer.
2. Go to Partition C.
3. From right-hand top corner use search by typing Slide, hit enter.
4. In a few mins/secs (depends on your processes running) it will show results.
5. It either shows the .exe file directly or within a folder.
6. Go then and do step 4 in the above method.
Done. You can use that from now on to easily Shutdown your PC.
So how to use SlideToShutDown.exe?
You need not worry. Just click on that exe file once, then slide appears in the upper top. Hold and Bring that slide to bottom (use mouse) and your PC will shut down. There will be an image there. It will look very nice. If you do not want to Shutdown then pull that slide upwards.

16. Desktop without Icons

I like the way Windows 10 is updated. Though Windows 7 is the most widely used OS, I liked Windows 10 for frequent updates and new features are being added from time to time. We have different wallpapers and some of them want to see only that wallpaper without Icons on the Desktop. We have two options one is to remove every Icon and other is hide them temporarily. We will see the second one.

Hide your desktop icons

1. Right click on an empty space on the desktop.
2. Choose View.
3. In that uncheck Show Desktop Icons.


Your icons will be hidden and if you want to bring them back then do the same process except for check use uncheck.

17. Do you want to secure your file/folder?

With the way, technology is improving you have to find your own ways to protect your data.

So How to encrypt your file/folder?

Follow the below method to encrypt your files/folders.

1. Choose a file / folder.
2. Right click and go to properties.
3. In the General tab, go to Advanced.
4. Check the 4th option Encrypt contents to secure data.
5. Press OK.
6. Click Apply in the properties.
7. When you click on Apply it will open a box Confirm Attribute Changes there choose one of the two options.
8. The first option is for securing only that folder.
9. The second option is for securing all the files and folder inside the selected file/folder. Use 2nd and wait for few seconds for the encryption to complete. Now click OK.


You have done it. Now, what is the use of this Encryption that did not ask any password?

This encryption is helpful when you have multiple user accounts on the same PC. For example, I have 3 User Accounts on my Laptop say A, B, and C. Those 3 accounts are being used by 3 different persons. Using Account A I have enabled encryption for xyz folder (all subfolders too), then that folder cannot be seen by other Account users i.e., People using Accounts B and C cannot have access to that folder.

Isn't it useful for you?

How to decrypt that file/folder?

If you are a keen observer you can get it. See a separate option will appear when you right click on the encrypted folder. The option is File Ownership. In the select the one option provided and it will decrypt the file/folder.

18. Do you want to compress files and save disk space?

If your PC has storage issues like shortage of storage then this option is for you. The process is similar to the above one. There you have used the 4th option. Here you need to use 3rd option i.e., compress contents to save disk space.


Does it really compress your files without zipping them?

Yes, with smaller files you may not observe the change but on bigger files, you will definitely observe a change in storage. I personally used it as My SSD storage is only 215 GB.

19. Do you want to capture a part of the screen?

We all know Win + Print Screen takes a screenshot, all the time we do not want entire screen to capture but we need only a small portion to be captured. Then the below two methods will help you.

Method 1
1. Use shortcut Shift + Win + S.
2. Choose the screen which you want to capture.
3. Drag the pointer across the chosen screen and it will show a notification about the snip, open and edit it, save at your desired place.
4. You can also see Snip option in the Notification Center.

Method 2
1. Press Win button and type Snipping Tool (you need not type the entire word just Snip is enough) and click enter.
2. It will open the application and choose New, capture the screen which you want.
3. Edit and Save to a place.

20. Want to run more applications at a time?

In Android we have Multitasking but many of them do not use it. Their reasons for it are many. Two reasons are applications not supporting, small screen.

But in PC we have a bigger screen and we can run even 4 applications at a time side by side. But there are exceptions for this. Games cannot be used here (not all).

Now we have two methods one is using shortcuts and other is a drag of application. We will see both.

1. Multitasking through shortcuts.

a. Open any 4 applications of your choice (not every application can be used for this).
b. I will take File Explorer, Browser, Music app and Video app.
c. Choose one application and press Win + side arrow.
d. You can use the Up and Down arrow to place it above or below.
e. Like that use shortcut and arrange Windows as you like and in-between you can use Enter to select the application for Multitasking.

2. Multitasking through drag option.

a. Choose applications.
b. Go to the top of the application, Hold the empty space (for example in a browser there will be an empty space after tabs if opened in less number) and drag that application to either left or right-hand corner.
c. At corners, you will have two options. One goes deep below and other is try to go center of right or left ends.
d. Like that you can arrange 4 applications and Multi-Task.

You can multitask more than 4 applications at a time but 4 is the best option and above 4 will be difficult to manage. It is useful when you want to access more than 1 application at a time.

21. Open Multiple Virtual Desktops

We can open multiple virtual Desktops in Windows 10. There is some limit to that number and it is not known exactly. I once created 200 desktops but felt bored off doing it (because they are kept on coming). For this, you need to use Task View (available in the taskbar after Cortana).

1. Click on the Task View and click on Create New Desktop.
2. It will create a new desktop and switch to that.
3. Work there with some applications.
4. Again you can create another desktop this time by simply clicking on the + symbol.

Those desktops are virtually created.

For the same Task View, we can see the history of our Tasks. You can open or clear history there. You can close virtual desktops by clicking on the cross (X) button and appears when you hover on to a virtual desktop.

22. Create Partitions in your PC

This can be done in different ways and I will tell the simple method and this can be used for the next tip.

1. Click on Windows Button.
2. Now type partition and you will see Create and format hard disk partitions. and click on it or press Enter if it is selected. 3. Choose any partition, right click on it and check if Shrink Volume is available. If it is there then click on it and provide the amount of space to Shrink. For example, I will enter 5120.
4. After clicking on Shrink within few seconds it will create a new space (First it will be in an unallocated state) of 5 GB (provided above 5120).
5. Use that unallocated space for creating a new partition.

Why we should partition our hard disk?

There are many reasons for it. The main one is. For example, I only have a single partition and it is C, one day my PC stopped working and I have to install a new OS or have to reset it. Now as I only have single partition all my files will be deleted and I will lose every data. Remember installing a new OS means removing of old files and installing of New OS files. So it is a good idea to have some partitions. Another reason is it will be easy for you to go to a particular file if they are arranged in partitions. I always take 5 to 6 partitions. Each partition has its own use. For example, entertainment has one partition and like the same, I will create separate partitions for Softwares, Works, Personal files, etc.

So what will you do from now on?

Will you create partitions or leave your PC to a single partition?.

23. Do you want to encryption a partition from accessing?

This is the best option to secure files in your PC. Through this, you can lock files in a partition (Say D, E, etc).

Will it be secured?

Yes. Unlike the above one here you need to provide a Password. To use the locked partition password is must. Another thing is if you forgot your password then you can recover it only through the options provided there. You will know about them now.

1. Create a small partition (above trick) where you can store private files.
2. Right click on that partition and select BitLocker option
3. It will provide two options and you can use both or any. I will go with a password. Provide the password that meets the requirements given above (above text boxes in the window) and click Next. 4. Now it will ask for recovery key (useful when you forget the password), choose anyone. I will go with Save to a file. It will ask for the destination and provide it.
5. Now you will be given two options choose one of them and I will go for 2nd option (better one).
6. Now it will ask the method of encryption. If the partition is present PC choose 1st otherwise choose 2nd.
7. Select final option Start Encrypting.

Wait for few secs to mins to encrypt that drive. Whenever you want to open that partition use the password and if you forgot the password use the recovery file. Instructions will be clear.

24. Add more shortcuts in the start

Normally in the start menu, we will have Power options, User, Settings and File Explorer. Did you get what I am saying?

I am talking about Start Menu. Press the Windows button, on the complete left side you will see different icons arranged vertically (power button, account, etc). You can add a few more options there and can also remove unneeded ones.

Method 1
1. For that Right click on Settings / File Explorer / Downloads whichever is present. Then click on Personalize This List. You can also get this in the other way. Will be discussed below.
2. Choose the options which you want to display.
3. Check the ones which you want and uncheck the ones which you do not need.
4. Close Settings and check whether the changes have reflected.

Method 2
1. Open Settings.
2. Choose Personalize.
3. There select Start (left-hand screen).
4. On right-hand screen, you will see Choose which folders appear on Start at the bottom.
5. Click on it and check the required ones and uncheck the unneeded ones.

That's it enjoy the start menu customization. You can Customize the start menu by changing Tiles and some other things too. Will look attractive if done so. Try changing the appearance of your start menu from time to time.

25. Use of Win + T shortcut

Now we can open or switch apps from Taskbar easily with this shortcut. Just simply press Win + T to select an application and hit enter to open or switch to it. It will be useful to the people who are lazy with mouse or professionals with Keyboard.

What about you then?

Will you also use these shortcuts to save your time?

If I forgot any shortcuts or tricks then enlighten me with your comments.

These are a few computer tips and tricks that you can use every day. Only a few were listed and mostly shortcuts were given. Learning those is enough for a beginner or intermediate user. Advanced users may not find useful stuff here. Learning shortcuts is easy only by applying them daily. All the above shortcuts work well in Win 10 but for the later versions, one or two may not work. Mac users can use Command key in place of Ctrl or Win keys. That finishes some of the best secrets, tricks, and hacks of the computer you should know at the basic or intermediate level while using it.

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