by John Anthony
25 tips for Windows XP, 7 and 10 to help you get the most from your PC!
------- Press Cntl + S while viewing this file to save it on your PC ------
The terms program and application are used interchangeably in this file.
The -> symbol between terms such as A -> B -> C indicates to the successive selection of A then B then C.
Wherever the term 'click' appears, use the left mouse button unless the directions indicate the right button with right-click.
Notepad and Wordpad - Use them to create documents
Notepad is a very basic word processor.
Wordpad is more advanced and operates like a subset of Word.
Both area available in Windows XP, 7 and 10.
Sleep, Reset or Shutdown a PC
Sleep puts your PC in a low power state. Laptops routinely enter this state when on battery power.
Restart reboots the PC without completely powering it off.
Shutdown shuts down the PC and then powers it off.
To get the menu from which you can pick Sleep, Restart or Shutdown
Click Start and a pop up window appears.
In Windows XP Click 'Turn Off Computer' and then select the action you want from the pop up window.
In Windows 7 select Shutdown or for other actions click the right side arrow.
In Windows 10 click Power and then select the action you want from the pop up window.
Disk Cleanup - Use it to delete unneeded files on your PC
As you visit Internet sites and work with applications on your PC many files you never see are create.
Most of these files once used at the time they are created hang around and do nothing but take up space.
Running Disk Cleanup deletes them.
Using the Recycle bin
Any time you delete an item (folder, file or icon) it isn't immediately deleted but instead goes into the Recycle Bin where the file remains until you restore it or permanently delete it.
Bypassing the Recycle Bin
If you are sure that you do not want a folder or file, you can bypass the Recycle Bin and permanently delete it.
Select the item you want to delete. Hold the Shift key down then press the Delete key.
The item bypasses the Recycle Bin and is permanently deleted.
What is Windows Explorer
The program provides a way for you to manage all the folders and files on your PC.
Windows Explorer has been included with every Windows OS since Windows 95.
(In Windows 10 it is called File Explorer.)
How to view Folders and Files
Open Windows Explorer by right-clicking Start and then clicking on the Windows Explorer.
(File Explorer in Windows 10).
On the left side of Windows Explorer you will see by default labeled sections that vary in each operating system version.
Locate and click on My computer in Windows XP, Computer in Windows 7 and This PC in Windows 10 and all the drives on the PC are shown.
The C: drive is the drive that displays all the folders and files on your PC.
Folders are shown in the left pane of Windows Explorer.
Select any folder in the left pane by clicking it and all the folders and files in it are displayed in the right pane.
Selecting any file displayed in the right pane causes the program associated with the filetype of the file to open it.
Selecting Text within a File
Place the mouse cursor at one end of the text of interest and hold down the left mouse button as you drag the cursor across the text.
Release the button and the selected text is highlighted.
To unselect an item just move your cursor to a clear area and left click the mouse.
Moving Files and Folders in Windows Explorer
Select the file or folder you wish to move, and continue holding down the left mouse button.
Drag the selected item until it is over the destination folder.
Release the button and the item is moved to the destination folder.
NOTE: When you move a folder all folders and files under it are also moved.
Copying Files and Folders in Windows Explorer
Place the cursor over the file or folder you want to copy, and right-click your mouse.
Select copy from the menu that appears.
Place your cursor over the destination folder and again right-click your mouse.
Select paste from the menu and the item is copied to the destination folder.
NOTE: When you copy a folder all folders and files under it are also copied.
How to add a new folder in Windows Explorer
Select the folder in the left pane that you want to add a new folder to.
Then right click an open area in the right pane and select New from the drop down menu.
Click New and select Folder form the options shown.
A new folder with the name 'New Folder' in high lighted text appears in the right pane.
Type in the name you want to give this new folder and hit the enter key, or left click the mouse.
How to delete a file or folder in Windows Explorer
Right click the file or folder you want to delete.
Select Delete form the drop down list and a pop up asks you to conform the deletions.
Selecting yes deletes the folder and all folders and files under it.
How to rename a folder in Windows Explorer
Right click the folder name you want to change.
Select Rename from the drop down list and the folder name becomes high lighted.
Type in the new File name and hit the enter key or left click the mouse.
Control the view of running programs on the Desktop
Every running program in Windows runs in a window on the desktop.
In the upper right corner of each window are three small control boxes that enable you to
minimize, resize or close the window.
Minimize a Window
The left most window control is a minus [-] sign.
Click the minus sign and the application is minimized and placed on the Task Bar as a small icon.
To make the application active again, click the minimized icon for it and it expands and becomes the active program on your desktop.
Resize a Window
The center window control is two small squares, one behind the other.
Click the squares and the application is downsized but remains active on the desktop.
Clicking the squares again returns the window to full size.
Close a Window
The right most control is an [x].
Click the X and the window and application running in it are closed.
Add a shortcut on the Desktop
A shortcut is an icon on the desktop that you click to open an application.
To add a shortcut:
Right-click anywhere on the desktop and a pop-up menu appears.
Select New then the selection Shortcut and a Create Shortcut window opens.
Use the Browse button to find the path to the application or program.
Select the icon of the program you want and the path to it appears in the Command Line box.
Click Next and a Select a Title box appears where you are asked to enter a name for the shortcut.
Enter a name and then click Finish. The new shortcut appears on the desktop ready to use.
Using the Control Panel
The Control Panel is a utility that lets you configure just about everything in your PC.
To open the Control Panel:
Left Click Start (Right Click Start in Windows 10), then click on Control Panel.
The Control Panel Window opens with many icons each representing an accessible function on the PC.
Uninstall programs on your PC
In the Control Panel click the Programs and Features icon (the Add/Remove programs icon in Windows XP).
The Installed Program windows opens showing a list of all user installed programs on the PC.
To remove a program, right click it and an Uninstall button appears. Click and you will asked if you want to proceed.
Clicking 'yes' removes all the components of the selected program.
Set PC Power Options for your PC
In the Control Panel, left click the Power Options icon, (In Windows XP make sure the Power Schemes tab is selected.)
A Power Options Window opens with two power plans.
To the right of each plan is a 'Change plan Settings" link which will open up options to set running/on times of key components in your PC.
There will some variances in these options depending on which Windows operating system you have.
Power schemes is very useful, especially if you leave your PC on all the time or have a laptop with a battery.
Add program icons to TaskBar
In Windows 7 and 10 you can place program icons on the Taskbar where clicking the icon launches the program.
Any icon on the Desktop can be placed on the TaskBar by dragging it from the Desktop to the Taskbar and releasing it.
In Windows XP you cannot add program icons to the TaskBar.
Instead you can open the Quick Launch Toolbar on the TaskBar and add program icons to it.
Show the Desktop, when it is hidden behind many windows
In Windows 7 and 10 you can open the Desktop by clicking the small vertical bar at the right end of the Taskbar.
In Windows XP the bar is not present but you can add a 'Show Desktop' icon to the Quick Launch Toolbar which does the same thing.
How to Create the Show Desktop Icon.
Find the Show Desktop icon on the Quick Launch Toolbar.
How to determine the CPU and software OS installed on your PC
Protect Your PC with a Surge Protector
This is an area that is critical to the continued operation of your PC. Power surges and lightning strikes can sometimes get coupled onto your PC through the power or phone line.
These surges can damage your PC.
Surge protected power strips have snubber circuits that filter out these potentially dangerous power line transients.
In addition to AC line protection many surge protectors also have protected phone line connectors. Use these to protect your PC's modem:
Surge protectors with these features cost around $20 dollars and are well worth every penny of it!
Save your work often
When you are creating or modifying a file make sure to save your work often.
Every time I add a line or two I save it. You'd be amazed at how much work can be produced in just a few minutes and potentially lost if not saved.
Here are a few ways to do this.
Computer Help A to Z
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