Windows 7 Tips and Tweaks

Don Trauger – Kennett

I’ve collected many Windows 7 tips and tweaks that can be performed on a Windows 7 computer. In this article I’ve noted
a few of the easier ones that may interest you. Just remember, they won’t necessarily work on XP or Vista computers.

Minimize multiple windows on your Desktop screen
This tip is a fun one to try. If you frequently run multiple programs simultaneously, your desktop can get extremely cluttered.
This can get annoying if you’re working on one program and want to minimize all the other windows. In previous versions of Windows
you had to minimize them individually. With Windows 7’s “shake” feature, though, you can minimize every window except the one in
which you’re currently working in a single step. Click and hold the title bar of the window you want to keep on the desktop; while
still holding the title bar, shake it quickly back and forth until all of the other windows minimize to the taskbar. Then let go.
To make them return, shake the title bar again.

Add a video link to the Start Menu
The Windows 7 Start Menu includes links to your Pictures and Music folders, but not to your Videos folder. If you watch a lot
of videos and want a link to them on your Start Menu, here’s what you can do:
1. Right-click the Start button and select Properties.
2. On the screen that appears, go to the Start Menu tab and click Customize.
3. In the dialog box that appears, scroll to the bottom, look for the Videos section, select “Display as a link,” and click OK and then OK.

Show all your drives in Windows Explorer
Depending on your system settings, when you go to Computer in Windows Explorer, you may be in for a shock you may not see all your
drives such as memory card readers if those drives are empty. If this disconcerts you, there’s a simple way for you to see them
even if there’s nothing there:
1. Launch Windows Explorer and press the Alt button to reveal the top menu.
2. Select Tools –> Folder Options and click the View tab.
3. Under “Advanced settings,” uncheck the box next to “Hide empty drives in the Computer folder.” Click OK. The drives will now always be visible.

Take control of the taskbar notification area
The notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, shows system messages and alerts, and displays the icons of programs
and services that typically run in the background, such as Windows 7’s wireless service. But what determines when, how and which
icons show up there seems one of Windows’ great mysteries.
There’s a simple way to find out, and better yet, to customize it.
1. Right-click the taskbar, select Properties, and from the dialog box in the notification area section, click Customize.
2. For each application, select from the drop-down box whether you want the icon and notifications to always be displayed,
to never be displayed or to have an icon appear only when there’s a notification of some kind. Click OK when you’re done.

Rearrange taskbar icons
It’s easy to rearrange the icons across the bottom of the screen simply drag an icon to where you want it to live. You can also add icons to the taskbar by dragging them from an application, and delete the icons by highlighting them and pressing the Delete key.

To get answers to your questions about computers, please come to the PC Club meeting. The computer club
meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in Hershey’s Mill Community Center.