Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts in Windows…

Have you ever wanted an all-in-one Microsoft Windows tips, tricks, and shortcuts to make your experience much smoother and quicker? I will attempt to put together some of these tips, tricks, and shortcuts in this article and hope to cover the most important ones. Please do let me know if I miss something that you wish was made easier. I will not include the system registry edits that can really hurt your computer if not done properly.


Do you know what the desktop is on your computer? If you do not, then let me tell you. It is the screen with that little Start button on the lower left-hand corner; this screen will also have all your programs and shortcuts so you can start your applications quickly.


Minesweeper Cheat

Have you ever wanted to cheat at the game Minesweeper that comes with all Windows versions? Well, here is a cheat you can do to win every single game: Start Minesweeper then type “xyzzy” without the quotes then press the Shift and Enter keys at the same time then minimize all application windows except the game. When you move your mouse over a box that has a mine, the top left corner pixel of your screen with turn black and it will turn white if it is safe to click. This trick works on Windows 2000 and may work on all versions.

Reinstall Internet Explorer

Have you ever wanted to repair IE just because it was not working the way it should or the way it worked when you first started using it? Well, there is a little trick you can use to reinstall it. Click on the Start button, select Run, and type in the following exactly as it appears below and presses the Enter key on your keyboard (Note: You will need your Windows installation CD for this): rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 %windir%\Inf\ie.inf

Hibernation Option

For some reason, Hibernate is not available from the default Shut Down dialog in Windows XP. But you can enable it simply by holding down the SHIFT key while the dialog is visible.

The Quick Launch Bar

Have you ever installed a program that asks you if you want to create a shortcut in the Quick Launch bar and was left thinking where that bar is? Well here is how you can display it. Right-click an empty area on the taskbar (the bar on the bottom with the Start button), select Toolbars, and then click on Quick Launch. To add items to your Quick Launch toolbar manually, simply click the icon for the program you want to add and drag it to the Quick Launch portion of the taskbar.

Speed Up Searches

Windows can create an index of the files on your computer to speed up searching. To create this index, open Search, choose Change preferences, and then With Indexing Service (for faster local searches). So every time you search, it will cut down some time.


General Windows

F1Help (also available for most applications)
ALT+F4Quit program (a quick way to close any window)
ALT+PrintScreenTakes a snapshot of the active open window (use CTRL+V to paste)
ALT+TABSwitch between open programs (very useful when you have many open)
CTRL+ALT+DELOpens the task manager window (for advanced users only)
CTRL+ESCOpens the Start menu (helpful if you do not have the Window button)
F5Refresh whatever is selected
SHIFTPress and hold while you insert a CD or DVD to bypass the auto-run feature
SHIFT+DELDelete item permanently (does not send to recycle bin)
SHIFT+TABGo backwards through tab order items
TABSwitch through items in tab order

The following will also work with word processors

CTRL+ASelect all items
CTRL+CCopy (the selected item only)
CTRL+VPaste (the selected item only)
CTRL+XCut (the selected item only)
CTRL+ZUndo (the selected item only)

Word Processors

CTRL+BBold (the selected item only)
CTRL+IItalic (the selected item only)
CTRL+SSaves the document (pops up the Save As window if not saved)
CTRL+UUnderline (the selected item only)

Windows Explorer Controls

Left ArrowCollapses the current selection if it is expanded, otherwise selects the parent
Numeric Keypad *Expands everything under the current selection
Numeric Keypad +Expands the current selection
Numeric Keypad -Collapses the current selection
Right ArrowExpands the current selection if it not expanded, otherwise selects first child

For Keyboards with the Windows Key

WINKEY + CTRL + FDisplay the search for computers window
WINKEY + DBrings the desktop to the top of all other windows
WINKEY + EOpen Microsoft Explorer
WINKEY + FDisplay the Windows Search / Find feature
WINKEY + F1Display the Microsoft Windows help
WINKEY + LLock the computer (Windows XP and above only)
WINKEY + MMinimizes all windows
WINKEY + Pause|BreakOpen the system properties window
WINKEY + ROpen the run window
WINKEY + SHIFT + MUndo the minimize done by WINKEY + M or WINKEY + D
WINKEY + TabCycle through open programs through the taskbar
WINKEY + UOpen Utility Manager (also works at the login screen)


Have you just updated your Windows XP computer with SP2 and noticed that it runs slower? Well, that is the side effect of more security added to close those back doors on your computer. Although it protects your computer better, it also slows it down. So what I do is install SP2 and after that do not install any Security updates. I just install any critical updates only.

Well, I hope the information above is helpful and makes your computing experience much more pleasant. If you have any requests please do not hesitate to let me know so I can research it and add it here. Thank you for your time.