Microsoft Windows tips and tutorials


windows thumbnail previews

Change the Windows Thumbnail Preview Size

Well this is just a little registry hack that changes the size of the thumbnails of images that are displayed in windows explorer by default. The default size is relativly small and most people surely would like a bigger size for the thumbnails to get a better preview of the images. To do that you have to add a new entry called ThumbnailSize to the following registry key:


Resize any window to predefined size

Sizer is a great freeware application that lets you resize any window to a predefined size. It is only 30k unpacked and can be started from any location on your computer. Once started a icon appears in the system tray that allows you to configure sizer. You are free to add exact pixel sizes to the configuration which appear when you right click any window that is open. You may also opt to reposition the window while resizing it, sizer offers some default locations like top left or bottom right but has another option that makes it possible to enter the coordinates yourself.

x-mouse gizmo

Copy Paste with middle mouse button

I received an email some days ago from a reader who would like to know if there was a program for Microsoft windows that would replicate the middle mouse functionality of Linux systems, that is copy a text with the first click and paste the text with the second click. Lucky me had already a bookmark to the freeware true x-mouse gizmo for windows website so I send him that information and think it made him happy.

my computer taskbar

How to add My Computer to the Task Bar

This little tweak is really helpfull if you happen to have many windows open and would like to access a hard drive on your computer quickly. Sure, you could hit the left windows key and M and all windows become minimized but you still have to double click the my computer icon and the hard drive icon before you are there - that is if you have my computer on your desktop at all.

low disk space warning

Disable Low Disk Space Warnings in Windows

Windows popups a balloon tip with a "Low Disk Space - You are running out of Disk Space" warning everytime a hard drive goes below 200 megabytes of disk space. This can get pretty annoying if you have a lot of data on the drive and your disk spaces goes regulary below 200 megabytes on it. There is however a very easy way to turn this message off, it involves a registry setting.

subst virtual drives folders

Assign Drive Letters to Folders

This tip is really great if you have some folders on your computer that you are working very often with. Instead of navigating to the folder on the hard drive you assign a drive letter to that folder and can access it like it was a own partition or hard drive on your computer. It is very easy to assign a drive letter to a folder, do the following:

Get rid of unwanted files, cache and cookies

Panicwipe is a one click solution to delete unwanted files securely from your system. The freeware is able to delete programs, files, folders, registry entrys, IE cache, history and cookies with one simple click. You´ve got full control over the whole process of course: you select the data that you want to delete, everything else remains.

add ftp server windows

How to mount an ftp server as a drive in Windows

The following tip might be useful for all the webmasters out there and everyone else who is having access to a ftp drive on the internet. Instead of connecting to the ftp with your ftp software you can simply mount the ftp drive in windows and access it like every other hard drive you have installed. Here is how you do that:

windows explorer new menu

Remove Unnecessary Entries From The New File Menu

You see lots of file types when you right click and select new from the context menu. I will never need most of them and I think this is a common problem for most windows xp users. How many users would need the briefcase entry in that menu for instance ? I don´t know a single person who would use that entry on this machine.


How to enhance the Windows Registry

Accessing keys in the registry is a lot of work, because there is no way to enter the path to the key directly. You always have to either search for the key or navigate through the structure to the key in question. RegeditX enhances the display of your registry by adding a path form field to it. This makes it way easier to work with the registry, you can simply paste complete paths into that field and are taken directly to the specified key at the end of the chain.

How to remove past icons from the taskbar

You have uninstalled the program completly and are sure that no reference is left on your computer. What if there is still one left that you probably did not know about ? Every item that appears on the left side of the clock in the taskbar will be cached by windows which means that the icon of the program is still available on your system. Check this out by yourself by right-clicking the taskbar. Select properties from the menu and click on the customize button at the bottom of that screen. If customize is not active activated it by enabling Hide Inactive Icons.

Windows shut down takes ages? Try Profile Hive Cleanup Service

Are you experiencing long shut down times ? Is it taken some minutes after you click on shut down before windows finally shuts down your computer ? This problem could be caused by unloading the current user profile.

This can happen when third party, or even Microsoft applications have not properly cleaned up when exiting. Windows will keep trying to unload the profile until Windows finally decides that it can't and should shutdown. Even if you find the application causing the problem - it may be impossible to do anything about it.

check hard drive mode

How To fix slow hard drives

If you think that your IDE hard drives are slow you might want to check their transfer mode by going into Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager. Click on IDE ATA / ATAPI Controllers and right click the primary ide channel (and secondary ide channel if you have hard drives there too) and select properties from the menu. Select advanced setttings from the tab and check the setting under current transfer mode. If you see Pio or a low Ultra DMA mode you might want to try the following fix to increase the speed of your drive(s).

Clean your Registry

Every passing day makes it more likely that the registry file contains obsolete entries that might make your system unstable. They could also slow down your system. It is a good idea to check obsolete entries in your registry from time to time and remove them to keep the unnecessary entries to a minimum.

windows update reprompt for restart

How to Remove the Restart your Computer now dialog box

Updating your computer is almost complete. You must restart your computer for the updates to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?

This message pop ups at the end and immediatly gets the focus, even if you are in a game or watching a fullscreen movie. You have the option to restart now or later. The first would result in an immediate reboot while the second would nag you again in 10 minutes. This will be annoying if you can´t reboot your computer at that time.

How to fix the Cannot delete Avi Bug in Windows Xp

The avi bug which makes it impossible to delete avis in windows xp by chosing delete from the menu or hitting del at your keyboard is caused by Explorer reading the .avi file to determine file information as soon as you move the mouse over the file. This causes 'permission denied' errors when trying to simply move, copy or delete these files as they cannot be changed while Explorer has an open handle on them.

Windows Keyboard shortcuts

This little list might be helpful for some windows users. It is a detailed listing of windows keyboard shortcuts that most people don´t use because they simply don´t know about them. I´am not using many as well except maybe Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+V to paste the copied content and Alt+F4 to close a window. Shortcuts are a great way to work faster. The list is not complete but contains about 40 shortcuts.

How To Make Your Windows Faster Than Ever Before

I found a tutorial on the techarena forum that had some nice (standard) tips on how to speed up your windows operating system. You find tips that increase boot and shutdown speed, some that increase the overall performance by disabling certain services and features like indexing service and system restore. If you never tweaked your system before this article is for you.