While most of us are familiar with Windows, many don’t know that there’s functionality built into the operating system that you can use to become faster and more efficient with Windows.
Find files and applications faster by using search
Windows has contained integrated search for quite some time, but in Windows 10 search has been revamped to include applications, documents, cloud sources and other file types. Rather than clicking around your system for hours trying to locate an application or document, simply type what you’re looking for in the search bar.
Search will show you everything that it thinks is relevant to your criteria and separate it by type (settings, documents, applications, etc) to make it easier to locate exactly what you’re looking for. You can refine the results even further or take your search to the web by using the icons at the top of the search results as shown below.
Windows Power User menu
Windows 10 has a secret power user menu—really called the Quick Access menu—which provides handy access to advanced system tools like Device Manager, Disk Management, and Command Prompt. This is a feature all power users need to know about. You can access it by right-clicking the start button or by pressing the Windows Key + X.
Task view and virtual desktops
For many years Windows has supported using Alt-Tab to cycle between open applications and files, but in Windows 10 this gets a boost with task view.
By clicking the task view icon next to the search bar (or press the Windows Key + Tab) you can view all active windows at one time. From there you can quickly select an application to bring to the forefront or easily reposition items by right-clicking the application.
Another extension of task view is virtual desktops. With virtual desktops, Windows 10 lets you create multiple, separate desktops that each can display different open windows and apps. A simple use for this might be keeping work separate from personal stuff. You could also put all the items that relate to a specific task on one desktop, so that you can better focus on that task.
Simply bring up task view and then click new desktop. This will give you a second workspace and you can easily drag and drop applications into this new desktop. To switch between these workspaces, just bring up the task view and select that desktop.
Mastering keyboard shortcuts
Windows has contained numerous keyboard shortcuts since its inception, but many people don’t use them. They’re the most basic way to speed up your work in Windows. Every application has its own set of keyboard shortcuts, but many are universal to all applications. Below is just a sampling of what’s available.
Ctrl + A: Select all items in a window.
Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert: Copy selected or highlighted item (e.g. text, images and so on).
Ctrl + X: Cut selected or highlighted item.
Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert: Paste selected or highlighted item.
Ctrl + Z: Undo previous action.
Ctrl + Y: Redo action.
Ctrl + S: Save a document.
Ctrl + P: Print a document
Ctrl + N: When File Explorer is your current window, open a new File Explorer window with the same folder path as the current window.
Windows key + F1: Open “how to get help in Windows 10” Bing search in default browser.
Alt + F4: Close the current app or window.
This is just a sample of the built-in tools and functionality that Windows has available to improve your productivity, make navigating windows more efficient and help transform you into the Power User you were meant to be. We hope you find these tips helpful and as always Abel Solutions is here to help with all your IT support and infrastructure needs.
Written by Network Administrator, Stan Windhorst