Windows 7

Takes Long to Find Files

  • Use the Search Box:
    To find one file in a packed folder, you don't have to scroll through the entire list. Either enter its name in the Search box, or just click in the blank area to the right of the list of files and begin typing its name here. Every time you hit a key, Explorer will jump to the first matching file. When the right one appears, you can press [Enter] to open it.

  • Adding search Filters:
    Search filters are a new feature in Windows 7 that make searching for files by their properties (such as by author or by file size) much easier.
    To add a search filter to your search.
    1. Open the folder, library, or drive that you want to search.
    2. Click in the search box, and then click a search filter (for example, Date taken: in the Pictures library).
    3. Click one of the available options. (For example, if you clicked Date taken:, choose a date or a date range.)

    You can add multiple search filters to a search, or even mix search filters with regular search terms to further refine your search.
    Depending on where you're searching, only certain search filters are available. For example, if you're searching the Documents library, you'll see different search filters than you would in the Pictures library. You can't specify which search filters you'll see, but you can change the type of file that a library is optimized for. This will, in turn, change which search filters are available when searching that library.

  • Choose Which File Extensions Can Be Searched By Content:
    You can search by the contents of your files, you've probably found that a few of them still aren't searchable-most notably file types Windows doesn't think you want to search, like .conf or .sh files. To search the contents of a file Windows doesn't know, go to the Start Menu and search for "Indexing Options". Choose the top result that comes up and then click the Advanced button. Under the File Types tab, you can add a new extension to the list, or edit any extension on the list to index the contents of the file. You can also uncheck any file extension to stop search from indexing that file type.

Trouble with the Start Menu

  • Configuration Settings:
    If the Start menu is missing some feature you're familiar with, perhaps from another PC, then click 'Start', right-click the 'Shut down' button and click 'Properties → Customise' to see a host of useful configuration settings (you can add the Run box to the menu, for instance). Tweak these settings to suit your needs, or click 'Use default settings' to restore the standard Windows behaviour if you prefer.

  • Administrative Tools on the Windows 7 Start Menu:
    You can add the Administrative Tools menu to either the Start menu or to the Start menu and the All Programs submenu of the Start menu by completing the following steps:
    1. Right-click Start, and then click Properties.The Taskbar And Start Menu Properties dialog box is displayed with the Start Menu tab selected by default.
    2. Click Customize.Scroll down the list until you can see the System Administrative Tools heading.
    3. At this point, you have two options:
      • If you want to display the Administrative Tools menu as a submenu of the All Programs menu, select Display On The All Programs Menu.
      • If you want to display the Administrative Tools menu directly on the Start menu and as a submenu of the All Programs menu, select Display On The All Programs Menu And The Start Menu.
    4. Click OK twice.

  • Pin Items from the Left Side of the Start Menu Windows 10:
    You can pin shortcuts, files and folders to Start Menu. Just right-click on desired item and select "Pin to Start" option. It'll immediately pin the item to the right-side of Start Menu.
    Now you can right-click on the pinned item and change its size according to your requirements. You can also drag-n-drop pinned items to move or change their location.
    If you want to pin items to left-side of Start Menu, just drag-n-drop the desired item from right-side to the left-side of Start Menu. It'll be added immediately to the left-side. Now you can remove it from right-side by right-clicking on it and selecting "Unpin from Start" option. You can drag-n-drop shortcuts from anywhere else to the left-side of Start Menu using the same way.
    The newer Windows 10 builds allow you to directly pin any item to left-side of Start Menu. Press and hold SHIFT key and then right-click on any item, you'll get a new option "Pin to Start List" in context menu. Click on it and it'll directly pin the selected item to left part of Start Menu.

  • Resize the Start Menu Windows 10:
    You can quickly resize the Start Menu by simply moving your mouse to the top edge of the Start Menu and resizing down. It'll make the Start Menu wider if you have live tiles pinned.

  • Change Windows 10 Start Menu Color
    1. Right click/long tap the empty space on the Desktop then select Personalize.
    2. In the Personalization window, select Color option at the bottom.
    3. Now you will see there are some default colors to choose from. Just a note that this color selection also affect the window title bar color.
    4. If you like to mix your own colors, just hit "Show color mixer" then you'll have all the ability to adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness.

  • Add "My Dropbox":
    There is a way to get quick and easy access to it on your Start menu. The following article describes how to hack the Libraries feature to rename the Recorded TV library to a different name.

  • Create a Windows Start Menu Toolbar:
    The Start Menu can be made into a toolbar, which allows you access to all the programs you would normally see in All Programs. To do this, follow the steps below. Make sure show hidden files has been enabled.
    1. Right-click on the Taskbar and click Toolbars and then New toolbar.
    2. Browse to C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows and select Start Menu and choose Select Folder.
    Once these steps have been completed, there will be a new Start Menu folder that contains all of the programs traditionally located in the Programs folder.

Extra programs appear when Windows starts

  • Start by launching these programs, checking their settings for an option like 'Launch at startup' and turning that off. If that's no help, click 'Start → All programs', expand the Startup folder, right-click any applications you're sure you don't need and select 'Delete'. Alternatively, install and run CCleaner from your free disc or download free, click 'Tools → Startup → Windows', select any programs that are surplus to requirements and click 'Delete' to remove them.

  • Pin anything to Taskbar:
    One of the new features in Windows 10 is an option to pin the Recycle Bin to the taskbar. This isn't much, but when clean desktop from all the unnecessary files and shortcuts, I still find myself in need of the Recycle Bin, My PC and the Downloads shortcut. You can pin it to the Folders and they will be available through the RMB click, but that's not as convenient as simply clicking on it.
    Actually, you can pin virtually anything to Taskbar by creating a Quick Launch toolbar. Right-click on the Taskbar. Go to Toolbars and create a New Toolbar.
    Paste the following Folder path:
    %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
    This will create a new Quick Launch toolbar.
    It already has some programs there, so you'll need to drag-and-drop the ones you want there (This PC, Recycle Bin and Downloads in my case) and delete the ones you don't. Then right-click on your Quick Launch toolbar to configure it.
    • Disable Show Text and Show title.
    • Set Large icons
    Move the Quick Launch toolbar to the left (right next to the Start button) and Lock the Taskbar. After removing whatever you had on a Desktop, it'll become absolutely clean, with all the necessary programs available from the Taskbar. BTW, the Bin is fully functional, so you can recycle files as usual.

  • Disabling Startup Programs:
    1. On your keyboard, press the Windows key (the Apple key on Macs using Boot Camp) and R at the same time.
    2. In the Run window, type msconfig and then click OK.
    3. Click on Continue if a User Account Control window appears.
    4. The System Configuration window should now appear. Click on the Startup tab.
    5. You should now see a window. This is a list of every program that starts when Windows is loaded. To disable a program, simply un-check the box next to it.
    6. When you are done, click OK to apply the changes. After you click OK, click on Restart when asked about restarting your computer.
    7. After your computer has restarted and you have logged back in, check the box next to Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts and then click OK.

Explorer's file Icons are the wrong Size

  • Click in the folder window, hold down [Ctrl] and spin your mouse wheel to cycle through every possible file view. It's much quicker than having to choose the right option from Explorer's menus manually.

Explorer opens at the wrong Folder

  • By default, Explorer always opens at the Computer folder. To choose another location, right-click the Explorer shortcut, select 'Properties', click in the 'Target' box, press [Space] and enter your new path in quotes (it'll read something like %windir%\explorer.exe "d:\").

    Note: Note: Windows Explorer won't open into the folder you want it to open into, when you start Windows Explorer by right-clicking on the Start button. You will need to make any of these modifications to a shortcut to the Windows Explorer program (called EXPLORER.EXE) You can place such a shortcut on your desktop (or you can put it in the Start button) and then when you use this shortcut the path you specified will work.

A program window has Disappeared

  • If you can see a program's button on the Taskbar but clicking it doesn't display anything, this could mean that its window has been accidentally moved off the screen somehow. Press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Esc] to launch Task Manager, right-click your program in the Applications list, select 'Maximise' and it should reappear.

Explorer Showing the Wrong Icons

  • Close Explorer, launch Disk Cleanup, choose your drive, make sure 'Thumbnails' is checked and click 'OK'. This will delete the Explorer thumbnail cache, which may get your folders displayed properly.

Can't Find a Particular Setting

  • If you're tired of browsing through Control Panel to find a particular option, just click in the Search box, press [E], and you'll see all the settings in a single list that should be much easier to navigate.

Need more space on my Windows Desktop

  • Right-click your desktop, select 'Screen resolution' and make sure you're using the highest recommended setting. If you are, click 'Start', type personal and select 'Personalization'. Click 'Window Colour → Advanced appearance settings', choose 'Border padding' and select a size of zero. You can also cut the size of menus, scrollbars and more, but beware - this might stop some programs working properly.

Taskbar's system tray is Cluttered

  • Customize:
    Click the arrow to the left of the tray and select 'Customize' from the menu that appears. If there are any icons here that you're sure you don't need, set their behaviour to 'Only show notifications'. If you decide you don't need the clock or other standard items, click 'Turn system icons on or off' to disable them.

  • Make Taskbar Icons Smaller:
    Small things occupy less space which means that even though the size of your container remains same, it will be able to fit in more items. In the same way you may want to set the taskbar icons to appear smaller and occupy lesser space in the taskbar. That way the taskbar will have more capacity.
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In this tutorial:

  1. Windows Quick and Easy Solutions
  2. Takes Long to Find Files
  3. Search Slow
  4. Some Applications won't Play Sounds