Must-Know Tips for Using Microsoft Windows
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Must-Know Tips for Using Microsoft Windows

If you're a Windows 10 user, you will want to browse these tips from CBT Nuggets trainer Simona Millham. Our resident Microsoft Windows and Office pro put together an extensive list of Windows tricks and tips that can make your life easier. Want more Microsoft training? Check out all of Simona's training at CBT Nuggets.

Microsoft Windows Tech Tips

  • Don't like the File Explorer defaulting to the "Quick Access" section? Change it by going File, Change Folder and Search Options, General.
  • Add other column headings in File Explorer such as length. Right-click on the column headings area, choose "More" and select which additional headings you'd like to display.
  • If you like to click and drag to move files around and find it annoying that the default MOVE action changes to COPY when you click and drag between drives, use right-click and drag instead.
  • Maybe it's just me, but when I use multiple monitors I often lose my mouse pointer. If this happens to you, click the "Show location of pointer when you press the CTRL key" option on the Pointer Options tab of the Mouse Properties dialog box.


  • If you like to use Tablet Mode, press and hold on the Tablet Mode button in the Action Center to quickly get to Tablet Mode Settings.
  • Use the Convert feature on the Clock tab of Windows 10's Alarms & Clock app to see the time in all the different time zones you've added.

  • If you want to add 120 days onto February 13th then you might be tempted to use an Excel date calculation. But actually, the Windows Date Calculator can do that for you.
  • I realize you're perfectly capable of using the internet to calculate weights and measures conversions, but did you know Windows Calculator can do that too? Oh, and that it works offline?

  • Pin time zones to your Start Menu for easy reference.
  • If you're stuck at home struggling to brainstorm remotely with your team, try Microsoft Whiteboard for collaborative whiteboarding. It's an app included with Windows 10.
  • There are almost 101 different ways of showing your desktop in Windows, but if you're a touchpad user you might find this method useful. Use three fingers to swipe down on your touchpad, and up again to restore.
  • You know that the Print Screen button will capture what's on your screen(s) and put it onto your clipboard. Because I use three screens this is rarely useful to me, so I like this option to make this button a shortcut to open the screen snipping tool. Find the option in Keyboard Settings.
  • I think this might just be a Windows 10 thing, but I've noticed that the Snipping Tool has the option to add a delay. This is perfect if you want to have time to click to display a menu before the screen capturing begins. HOW did we manage without it?!?

Keyboard & Mouse Shortcuts

  • Right-click on a picture in File Explorer to rotate it without needing to open up the file and edit it.
  • Right-click on your Start button for some jolly useful options. This works for Windows 8.1 as well.
  • You'll already know that you can right-click on something in File Explorer to see options. But did you know that you get a couple of extra options if you hold down SHIFT while you right-click? That tube of Smarties is up for grabs again if you can convince me you already knew that!
  • If you're an old school Windows user,  you probably use ALT+Tab to switch between open windows. But do you ever use ALT+SHIFT+Tab to go backward if you overshoot?
  • Snap allows you to drag windows to the edge of the screen to tile them. If you use multiple monitors you might find this just moves the window onto the other monitor instead! Here is the keyboard shortcut to do the same thing: Windows+left/right arrow.
  • "Walk" your windows around the screen by holding down the Windows key and pressing the arrow keys one at a time. I find this useful because I'm sometimes a bit sloppy with my clicking and dragging, and end up plonking windows on the wrong screen, especially when trying to tile a window in each corner.
  • If you have applications pinned to your taskbar, you can press Windows+1 to start or switch to the first one, Windows+2 to start the second one and so on. There's a tube of Smarties available for anyone who can convince me that they already knew that one.
  • Do you like the new Windows 10 "desktop" feature? Well, here are the keyboard shortcuts: Windows+CTRL+D creates a new one. Windows+CTRL+Left or Windows+CTRL+Right switches between them.
  • It's an oldie but a goodie: Press Windows+P to project to a second monitor.
  • Press Windows+SHIFT+S to snip part of your screen and plonk it straight onto your clipboard for use elsewhere. This is fabulous for grabbing screen snips when somebody is presenting slides on a video call.  Don't forget that OneNote can read the text in your pictures, making those slides you just snipped searchable.

Learn more

For more tips like this, follow Simona on LinkedIn. Start a free week with CBT Nuggets to check out Simona's training for popular tools like Microsoft Word and Skype for Business.



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