One thing that distinguishes most experienced computer users from beginners is the way things are done in the operating system. Experienced users often make use of shortcuts to speed up their workflow, while inexperienced users may go the extra mile simply because they do not know that there is a faster way of completing tasks. The following list contains several tips to speed up the workflow in Windows.
Fast way to open the user profile directory in Windows Explorer
It takes some navigating to open the user profile folder in Windows Explorer. It is possible to speed that up in several ways. Some users like to create a folder shortcut for the user profile folder and place it on the desktop, others are adding the folder to the Windows 7 taskbar or configuring Windows Explorer to always start with their user profile folder.
A quick way to open the user profile folder is to press Windows-R, type . and hit enter. Two dots instead of one will open the general users folder instead, that is listing all user profile folders on the operating system.
Display Hardware Information
One of the fastest ways of displaying hardware information, including the Bios model and manufacturer, processor, display and others is to use Windows-R to open the run dialog, enter msinfo32 and then return on the keyboard.
Quickly open programs in the Windows 7 taskbar
Windows 7 users can pin programs to the taskbar, which works exactly like desktop shortcuts on steroids. A fast way to open the first ten programs in the taskbar is to press Windows-[1-0] to do so. Windows-1 opens the leftmost item in the taskbar. There is also an option to use only the keyboard to open any item in the taskbar. Press Windows-t to mark the first item in the taskbar. It is now possible to navigate through the taskbar with successive uses of Windows-t, or the cursor keys. Hitting enter will open or select the active item.
Copy files faster in Windows 7
Copying files in Windows can take a long time, since Windows by default uses one thread (which means one file at a time) to copy the files. The tool Robocopy that ships with the operating system (and Windows Vista, Windows XP users need to install it separately) offers to copy multiple files at once. Here is how it is done:
robocopy "sourcefolder" "destinationfolder" /MT:XX
sourcefolder is the folder of the files that need to be copied, e.g. c:\windows\
destinationfolder is the folder the files need to be copied to
MT:XX defines the number of copy threads, e.g. MT:10 for ten threads.
Manage the start menu in Windows Explorer
The start menu gets filled with software links and folders over time. If you want to remove old folders, and consolidate the start menu you may want to access it directly in Windows Explorer, instead of working with the start menu directly.
Microsoft has moved the location of the Windows start menu in Windows 7 to another location. Windows 7 users find it now located at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
Make sure the option to see hidden folders is activated under Tools > Folder Options > View
Got another tip that you want to share with the rest of us? Let us know in the comments.
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