It doesn’t matter which Windows OS you have, be it Windows 7, or may be Vista or even XP. There are many simple fixes that you can do in short span of time, but they keep your Windows OS in excellent condition to work better for you.
No More AutoPlays
You must have seen AutoPlay pop up like window appearing in front of you whenever you plug in camera, flash drive or smartphone into your system. Initially it may look useful but in the long run the likeness graph starts moving in downward direction rapidly.
It is not extremely difficult to disable of AutoPlay option, roughly takes about 2 minutes. For a particular device you need to bear the pop up for one and last time only. Install device into your machine. Upon inserting the device the pop will appear, click the red colored X.
For detailed settings you can pay a visit to Control Panel. Here you can govern and define the Auto play behavior of specific device or files. Plug in the device, and in the Auto play window press “View more AutoPlay options in Control Panel”. Now on the screen that device will start to appear. Select “Take no action” instead of currently selected “Choose a default” and Save it. This option needs the device to be connected at least one time. Then you need to attach it again to see the options.
Auto play can be turned off for good for any device too. In the same window you reached from Control Panel, “Use AutoPlay for all media and devices” needs to unchecked. Now AutoPlay window will never bother you.
Killing jammed Processes
Task Manager is a gauge showing different performance criteria of your system. Programs going into “Not responding” state hardly come back to normal state. Mostly they are either in deadlock or indefinite postponement states. If a process associated with a program stuck it can easily be kicked out from memory using Task Manager, within 30 seconds. Press Alt-Ctrl-Delete keys to go to Task Manager. Other way is to right-click on Task bar, you will see the Task Manager here as well.
Once in the Task Manager, just go to Processes tab appearing on top of the window. However for normal pinpointing the troubling process is not always easy. It can be accomplished in two ways, first you can go to Applications tab and by right clicking Not Responding program and selecting “Go to Process”. It will take you to the process and you can right-click again and chose “End Process” or “End Process Tree”. However sometimes stuck program does not appear in the Applications tab. In such cases in Processes tab, sort processes by Memory column in descending order. Usually the stuck process will appear on top and it could be killed similarly.
Even after uninstalling a program some files still left on the system. Removing every file of program could be done in 5 minutes.
From Control Panel move to ‘Programs & Features’. Now select that application and press Uninstall. Make sure you remove all the related components of the not desired application like toolbars, shortcuts, components etc. System might require to be restarted once the process is completed.
However if the application is still not eradicated completely from your system, try other options. Like you can use System Restore option to rollback your system to the time when you didn’t have that application. If the application was installed sometime back in past, and taking system back to a previous state is not a good option you may use a specialized Uninstaller like Revo Installer. It will cost you about $40, its free version with limited functionalities is also available. Remember if you are not an expert, don’t try to play with Registry yourself, as it may result in an unstable system or may require reinstallation of the Windows.
Allowing Unauthenticated Access
You could be the lone user of the system, so password for logging in to your system may not make much sense to you. Although it may not be the best option in the world but for some reason if you don’t want password protected access to your system it can also be done in Windows. In this 3 minutes process, you need to first remove the guest and other unused accounts. To accomplish this go to User Account page, and press Manage another account. Once you are in that very account pressing Delete will do. Make sure you also turn off the guest account.
Now to have no password authentication for only account you need to either mention no password while installation, or you can go to User Account page and press Change your password. You’ll need to provide the old password here along with setting the new one. Provide the old password and don’t type anything in new password and confirm password fields. Onward password screen will not come in the way, rather you will land on desktop
If you are not satisfied with your current keys arrangement, using an application like KeyTweak is created just for you. The whole process of remapping takes about 3 minutes and keytweak is able to work with all major Windows. Once installed, run the application. Now select Full Teach Mode and redefine any key you want by mentioning current and desired key serially. However not all keys could be remapped, for instance Function key replacement with another key is only possible from BIOS.
In the current era of Terabyte hard drives, space does not look like a concern. However still you want space to be occupied by worthy content only. Windows in just 30 seconds allows to compress uncompressed content. Browse to folder containing such files, right-click on it and select Send to option, then press Compressed (zipped) folder option. Of course old files need deletion to get benefits of compression.
Removing Balloon Pop-Ups
Balloon notifications just like AutoPlay windows look useful initially but then it starts to irritate. In Start search box you just need write Action center. Once there, select or unselect areas for which you want to receive popups. You can uncheck all for no popups at all. Duration for this work is barely 30 seconds.
Halting Auto Reboots
If your computer is connected and left unattended for a while, there is a high chance of window update running on it automatically and hence the reboot. If the automatic Windows update setting is altered to manual, these restarts could be avoided.
You need to select Change setting from Control Panel of Windows Update. In dropdown chose Never check for updates (not recommended). Now windows update would become totally manual and only you will have the authority to update Windows. There are other setting available as well, like ‘Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them’ and ‘Enabled’ but they are roughly equivalent to Automatic updates.
By defining Group Policy you can also control Automatic Updates. In Start search menu type group policy and then press Edit group policy. On left side pane explore Local Computer Policy and other options till Windows Update Tree further. Right side of screen will give you options to stop automatic restarts by choosing ‘No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations’ upon right-click. Press Edit once done and alter by selecting Enabled. Now press OK. ‘Delay Restart for scheduled installations’ also needs to be treated similarly. However for this you can’t turn the automatic reboots off, rather delay could be enhanced to maximum value of 30 minutes instead of default value of 5.
Though you can turn off Automatic updates but it is vital to keep on updating your Windows.
Running Applications in Previous Windows Mode
Microsoft’s promise of compatibility of previous versions remains intact for Windows 7 too. Although very aged applications may not work correctly, but essentially Windows 7 can be made to work like older Windows easily.
Right-click icon of application that needs to be run in previous version say XP. Now press Troubleshoot compatibility and then select Troubleshoot program once prompted. Here select check I don’t see my problem listed by checking the box. Screen following will prompt you for version the application was working in earlier, mention XP here. You must be surprised to see the offer as old versions as Windows 95. Now check I don’t see my problem listed. Using Start Program button to make sure the program is working fine, and click Next. On next screen press Yes if program ran successfully, otherwise press No to keep trying your luck with other older versions.
Extremely quick fixes
These rapid fixes require only 10 seconds each.
1. Booting to Safe Mode: Keep on pressing F8 after starting or restarting the computer.
2. MS-Office Uppercase to Lowercase Conversion: Press Shift-F3 after selecting text.
3. Text Block Selection in Browser: In most of browsers like IE, Firefox, just click on first word of the entire text block. Click where the text is ended while Shift key remains pressed. Copy this selected text by either right clicking and choosing or simply Ctrl-C
4. Zooming in & Out Web Pages: Rotate the mouse scroll wheel front or back while holding Ctrl button to zoom in and zoom out respectively.
5. Opening Command Prompt in internal Folders: Open Windows Explorer, and select the desired folder. While pressing Shift button right-click folder and select Open command window here.
1. TweakUI: Download and install an application TweakUI to explore many options that do not appear normally.
2. Disabling Popups: In XP, in Start Run box type
regedit. Do the same in Vista’s search box. Once in Registry Editor, reach to Advanced folder by taking this path. In Registry Editor, click HKEY_CURRENT_USER then Software then Microsoft then Windows then Current Version then Explorer and eventually Advanced, Phew. Add a DWORD value, name should be
EnableBalloonTips and set value as Zero. After a reboot you will not see popups anymore.
3. Shuffle the Taskbar: To set order of applications as per your choice, download and install Taskbar Shuffle.
4. No More Error Reporting: If you don’t want to report errors, you need to press Advanced tab in Control Panel. Here press Error Reporting and disable the option.
5. Aero Snap for XP: Aero Snap has rapidly developed liking among Windows 7 user. Similar free add-on named AquaSnap for Windows XP is also available.