Secret Tricks from the IT Professionals
PART THREE: Keyboard Shortcuts
Many computer users might consider themselves above learning new tricks, but there are always new ways to sharpen your skills on the PC and I’d bet that you will find at least one useful thing here that you didn’t know before.
I asked the Supreme Systems engineers for some handy computer tricks that you can take advantage of and compiled them here, we hope you find them helpful.
Please note that these tricks are for Windows operating systems, though some can be used elsewhere too.
Interrupt all processes
[Ctrl + Alt + Delete] used to be a common PC shortcut, and one almost all power users are familiar with. The important thing to note is that it interrupts all processes, including the one that is bogging down your system, which can mean the difference between needing to restart or not.
Open the task manager directly
If you want to bypass the interrupt that happens when pressing [Ctrl + Alt + Del] and jump right to the task manager, hitting [Ctrl + Shift + Esc] will launch it directly.
Cycle through open windows
Pressing [Alt + Tab] allows you to cycle through currently open windows in one direction, while [Alt + Shift + Tab] will cycle the other way. This makes switching back and forth between applications quick and painless.
Launch programs with your own hotkeys
Right click the shortcut to any application in Windows, head into the properties and in the shortcut tab you should see a “shortcut key” field where you can type your preferred launch combo. Also, if you click the “advanced” options in the shortcut tab, you can set it to run as an Administrator.
Close the current program
Typing [Alt + F4] will close the program that is running. This is useful as it saves you from moving the mouse over the “X” and clicking. People will often use this as a joke, telling you to press [Alt + F4] to fix a problem. Don’t fall for it.
Minimize all windows
Sometimes you have a bunch of stuff running, and you want it all to go away so you can get to the desktop. Simply pressing [Windows Key + D] will minimize everything you have open.
Close the current window/tab
Stick of moving all the way to that X button? Press [Ctrl + W] and the current window will close. Don’t do it now though, or you will miss the rest of our tricks!
Bring up the system information window
This is so much quicker than digging this out the traditional way. Just press [Windows + Pause/Break] and the System Information panel will be ready to go. This might be the only use for the Pause/Break key you will ever find, so enjoy it!
Use your keyboard to launch programs on the Windows taskbar
Tapping the [Windows Key + the number that corresponds to the position of the program] is a quick way to open them. For instance, if Outlook were the second icon on your taskbar and that’s what you wanted to open, you’d hit [Windows Key + 2].
Use your keyboard to navigate system tray
Tapping the [Windows Key + B] will automatically select the system tray area at which point you just have to highlight something with the [Arrow Keys] and hit [Enter] to open it.
Want more advice? If you would like advice on IT for your small business or start-up, get in touch.