Tips & Tricks

Useful Tips & Tricks for Windows Vista, 7, 8 and Windows 10.

Want larger Quick Launch icons in the Taskbar?

In some of our previous articles we have shown you how to change the size of fonts or icons. Since then, many of our readers asked us how they could change the size of their Quick Launch icons and make them bigger. To answer their question, I did a little bit of testing and managed to write this tutorial. As you will see, making your Quick Launch icons larger is quite easy.

How to unlock the Taskbar

The 9 commandments for an enjoyable computing experience

Buying yourself a new computer or a new operating system is very easy. It is more 'difficult' to learn what to do so that you will have a pleasant and safe computing experience. In this article I will share with you a few tips that I have learned during my career. This tips are mostly for people who have just bought a new PC or have reinstalled their operating system. Following them will help you keep your system performance at good levels and have a lesser risk of losing your personal files and folders in case of system crashes. Also, you will be able to easily restore your system if any emergency happens.

Windows Explorer Tips & Tricks

Windows Vista introduced a big number of changes to many applications, including Windows Explorer. In this article I will show you a few cool trips & tricks that can help when working with a large number of files. If you know other useful tips and tricks don't hesitate to share it with us in a comment.

Move your user files and folders to another partition

One of the best tips i have learned since the beginning of my career in IT is to never keep my personal files and folders (such as My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, etc) in their default locations. In Windows Vista, all the personal folders are stored on the drive where the operating system is installed. For example, if your user is called "George" and you installed Windows Vista on the "C:" drive, your personal files and folders will be stored by default in "C:\Users\George\". By leaving them in their default location, each time you have problems with the operating system there is a risk that you might lose them. If something happens and you need to format the "C:" drive that means all your documents, music, pictures, etc will be lost.

To avoid such problems you can always move them and store everything on a separate partition. This way, you can format the "C:" drive and reinstall the operating system how many times you need without risking your data. As a general advice, it is always better to keep on your "C:" drive only the operating system and the applications you use. All of your data, including documents or saved games should be kept on a separate partition.

In this tutorial we will show you how to move your personal files and folders to other partitions.

How to configure the virtual memory in Windows Vista

In simple words, Virtual Memory is system memory that is simulated by the operating system and it is placed on your hard drive. It combines your computer's RAM with temporary space on your disk. When your PC runs low on RAM, virtual memory moves data from RAM to a space called the paging file or swap file. Moving the data frees up your RAM and your applications can continue to run without crashes.

If you don't have too much RAM installed on your system it can be a good a idea to increase the size of your virtual memory. If you are like me, you might still want to configure the size of the swap/paging file or it's location, even if your PC has plenty of RAM available.

As you will see, configuring the virtual memory in Windows Vista is easy. Just follow these steps:

Disable the System Beep

One of the small but annoying things in Windows Vista is the fact that the System Beep is enabled by default. Every time you encounter an error or you click through the menus of applications such as the AVG antivirus, you will hear a beep. In the beginning you might ignore it but after a while it becomes very annoying.

For those of you who want to get rid of the beep, in this tutorial we will show how to disable it.

Check your System Stability Index

On the internet you can find lots of information about the Windows Experience Index. You can find a lot of guides presenting this feature, how it works and how to increase your system ratings. Unfortunately, another similar feature has passed almost unnoticed. It is called the System Stability Index and it allows users to evaluate the stability of their systems and to make informed decisions about how to troubleshoot. The System Stability Index is a number from 1 (least stable) to 10 (most stable) and is a weighted measurement derived from the number of specified failures seen over a rolling historical period.

In this article we will show you how to access the System Stability Index of your Windows Vista PC and how to access the information you need regarding the failures that might take place.

Change the permissions and take ownership of your files and folders

When changing operating systems and migrating data, you might end up not being able to access some of your files or folders anymore. This can happen due to the fact that your user has lost ownership of those files & folders or it no longer has the required permissions. In this tutorial will try to address this type of issues and help our readers that reported having such problems.

Even though the procedure is a bit long, you will see that things are not very complicated.

Enable the "Copy To Folder" and "Move To Folder" options in your right click menu

Like most computer professionals, I always try to find tweaks that improve the speed of my system or, at least, some usability aspects. In Windows XP, one of my favorite tweaks is one that enables the "Copy To Folder" and "Move To Folder" options in the right click menu. After using Windows Vista for a few weeks I tried this "trick" and I was glad to see that it still working.

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