I have been a Windows user ever since I can remember and it’s pretty much the only operating system I have used so far. I had to dabble with different Linux distributions, because it was required of me in college, but I ran back to Windows as soon as the opportunity presented itself. I even avoided getting an Android Phone and went with the Nokia Lumia instead, and I’ve never regretted it. I’m not trying to knock Linux or Android, they are fine platforms, but I simply prefer Windows over anything. So, seeing as I am its champion, I’ve decided to share some Windows tips and tricks with whoever is reading this.
Here are 3 quick tips – ones not most people have heard of – I think!
Let’s kick off with a this very quick article and take a look.
Problem Steps Recorder
A lot of my phone conversations with my family back home consists out of doling out advice to my parents on how to use their PC and how to fix various problems, which they will undoubtedly encounter, since their technical expertise doesn’t go beyond using Firefox to surf the internet. In order to reproduce problems, or create a tutorial of sorts for cases like the one I just described, you can use a Windows feature named the Problem Steps Recorder.
In order to use it, go to your Start menu and click “Record steps to reproduce a problem”, if you use Windows 7. On Windows 8, you will find the same features under the “Steps Recorder” moniker. You pretty much have only one option, which is “Start Record”. After you press it, your mouse movements, clicks, and keyboard strokes will be recorded and saved to a zipped HTML file, along with screenshots of every step. Loads of different ways you can use this feature – just have a look for yourself, it’s a nifty tool!
Shift-Click to Open Multiple Instances of the Same Application
On occasion, you might need to open two or more instances of the same application, and that used to entail accessing the Run window, and typing in various commands. But, in Windows 7 and 8, the entire process is much simpler. You just have to hold down Shift while you click on the application icon and that’s pretty much it. Also, by right-clinking the icon, you can do the same by choosing the third option from the bottom. Sometimes the simple things can really help.
Backup Your Files with File History
I am always too lazy to backup my files, but a Windows 8 feature called File History can do that for me, so I can put my brain on stand-by. All you need is an external hard drive, and the File History will save all the files to it. But, the reason why I absolutely love this feature is because it stores old versions of my files. I have been guilty of overwriting files by accident, so this one is a real lifesaver.
Have you heard of all these features before? Just talking to a few friends I realized that most people don’t really know or understand just how powerful Windows can be – and most have no clue about the range of features available. Looks like most only look for tools when something goes wrong. I plan to help change that – stay tuned for some more in my Windows Tools and Tips series.