7 Windows 7 Tips & Tricks

7 Windows 7 Tips & Tricks

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The Connect team brings you seven useful tips and tricks that will make Windows 7 even more user-friendly.

1. Sticky Notes
If you like writing notes on paper and sticking them to your PC, you’ll love Windows 7’s StickyNotes function. Hit Windows key + R, type STIKYNOT and press Enter. This launches the StickyNote application, allowing you to leave notes all over your PC without the gluey mess. Click the + for additional notes.

2. Automatically arrange your desktop icons
If you’re a messy Windows user and there are lots of icons placed randomly around your desktop, you can make everything neat again by simply pressing and holding the F5 key. This does the same as right clicking your desktop and choosing View->Auto Arrange Icons.

3. Switch displays
Do you have multiple monitors hooked up to your Windows 7 computer? A projector, maybe? By pressing the Windows key and P, you can now easily choose which device you’d like to use, and how you’d like your screen split (if at all). Alternatively, press Windows key + R and type DISPLAYSWITCH and press Enter to bring up the same menu.

4. Desktop background slideshow
Personalising your desktop wallpaper is as easy as right-clicking on an empty area of your Desktop, choosing Personalise then Desktop Background, then holding down Control while you select your favourite images. Now set how often you’d like your desktop wallpaper to change and save your settings. Voila, instant and personalised Windows 7 customisation!

5. Change the taskbar size
The Windows 7 taskbar has undergone some changes which some users may not like due to the space it takes up. To change the size of the icons on the taskbar, right click the Start button, choose Properties, Taskbar, and select ‘Use small icons’ and click on Apply. All your icons are now much smaller, and you’ve recovered some screen space.

6. Hiding the Windows Live Messenger icon
Fans of the Windows Live Messenger Instant Messaging client will notice that the program now does not leave your Windows 7 task bar, when before it sat quite happily in the system tray. To move it back there, right click on its icon on the taskbar, choose Properties and then click Compatibility Mode. Choose Windows Vista SP2, click Apply and then OK. The next time the program runs, it will remain in the system tray.

7. Understand System Restore
Windows’ System Restore function has proven to be somewhat confusing in the past. It would not reveal which applications or drivers would be affected by a restore point, making it a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. Now, Windows 7 lets you see what a System Restore Point will change – just right click Computer, then Properties->System Protection->System Restore->Next. Choose the restore point you’re interested in, and click on ‘Scan for affected programs’ to bring up a list of what will be affected by using that particular restore point.

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