Windows 8 has been out and available for nearly a year, but let’s face it: you’re probably still using Windows 7. I have had very few complaints with Microsoft’s most popular operating system, and whenever I try to use Windows 8 on a non-touch screen device, I feel like something is amiss.
For that reason, I’ve decided to share with you some of the best Windows 7 tips and tricks I’ve collected over the years on the best PC operating system ever made. Without further ado, here are some tips and tricks that will make your Windows 7 life easier than ever before:
6) Help friends fix their PC problems with the Problem Steps Recorder
I don’t know about you, but I’m the computer fixing guy in my family. If you’re reading a blog like Fix My PC Free, then you probably are too. If you’re sick and tired of listening to poorly-worded explanations of various Windows problems, then I’ve got a great solution for you called the Problem Steps Recorder (PSR).
If your friends are having trouble with their computer and you’re not standing right behind them, ask them to start up the Problem Steps Recorder by typing ‘PSR’ into the Start menu and then pressing Enter. This starts the recording process, which will then keep track of every click and keypress users make while also recording their screen. It’s the best way to troubleshoot any type of PC problems.
5) Restrict users to running certain programs with AppLocker
Windows 7 has a little-known feature called AppLocker designed to keep your misbehaving children away from programs that they really shouldn’t be messing with. If you want to make sure users aren’t running programs they shouldn’t be, then search for GPEDIT.MSC from your Start menu and change around settings to only allow certain programs to run.
4) Access the secret Windows 7 super-powered calculator
Windows 7 is home to its very own super-powered calculator. I’m not joking. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly intuitive to access. If you open up the default calendar application, it will look like a basic calculator. But wait, there’s more! If you go to the View menu you can choose a number of different calendar modes, including Scientific View and Programmer View.
But if you go to View > Worksheets, then the calculator becomes even more interesting. You can calculate a mortgage, for example, or a vehicle lease, and other useful real-world circumstances. If you’re struggling to balance the family budget, then this Calculator can help. Simply input data like the down payment, interest rate, and amortization period and Windows will tell you exactly how much your monthly payment could be.
3) Change your display mode with a single keypress
If you attached a projector to your PC, then Windows might not automatically share its screen onto that projector. Instead of searching for display settings deep within the system options, simply tap Windows Key + P and choose which display setup you would like. This is also a good way to go from dual monitors to a single monitor, but keep in mind – if you only have one monitor connected to your PC, then Win+P won’t work.
2) Create a Wi-Fi network with your Windows PC as the router
Windows 7 features something called Virtual Wi-Fi that allows users to effectively turn their PC into a wireless router. Other laptops and devices can connect to the PC just as they would connect to a wireless network.
Windows has this feature built-in, and all you need to do is install a small program called Virtual Router. That program is free and easy to use. Within a minute, you can start sharing your internet connection. And if you don’t trust that program, then Tech Radar wrote up a guide on how to turn your Windows 7 laptop/desktop PC into a wireless hotspot using command lines.
This tip won’t work on all Windows PCs. You will need a wireless network adapter that can support it, although many do. Here are a few reasons why it’s useful:
-You have a wired internet connection going into your PC but no wireless router to spread that internet to other devices in your home
-You want to add an extra layer of firewall protection between your devices and the outside world
-Your wireless router is bad, broken, or features a small range
1) Recover files from locked up apps
There’s nothing worse than writing a 100,000 word novel on Microsoft Word only to have the program fail on the 99,999th word. If that happened to you, then you should be able to recover your work even if a ‘Recovery’ menu doesn’t automatically appear.
When your program locks up, don’t close it immediately or smash your computer apart in frustration. Instead, go to your Start menu and type RESMON and choose RESMON.exe from the search that pops up. This will launch the Resource Monitor. From there, find your frozen process from the CPU pane (it will be highlighted in red) and then right click that process and choose Analyze Wait Chain.
If there are two processes in the Wait Chain list, then the lowest process is the one causing your program to freeze. If It doesn’t look like a vital Windows component or some critical function, then just check the box next to the process and click End Process to breathe new life into your software.