Hidden Windows features you need to know

Even if you’ve been using Windows for decades, it’s so complex we’re sure there will be helpful and obscure features which you don’t yet know about.

 

In our latest blog, get ready for life-changing computer hacks (yes, we’re that confident) that will improve your efficiency, your comfort and possibly even the fun of using your PC.  By the way, these should work on both Windows 10 and 11.

 

Mouse hover window activation

This setting allows you to activate a window simply by moving your mouse cursor over it, instead of requiring an extra click before interacting with the program. It’s a tiny change, but one that makes a huge difference, especially on a laptop trackpad.

To change this setting, go to Control Panel, then click the Ease of Access Center. Click “Make the mouse easier to use.” Under “Make it easier to manage windows,” select “Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse.” Click Okay to enable the setting.

 

Easy window arrangement

With newer versions of Windows, it’s easy to move windows around your screen. Hold down the Windows key on your keyboard, then press the arrow keys. Pressing left or right will instantly move the window to the corresponding half of the screen. Pressing up or down will alternate between halving the window in the upper or lower portion of the screen, maximizing it, or minimizing it to the toolbar.

These shortcuts even work across multiple monitors. It’s a great way to quickly arrange your windows across screens and monitors with minimal effort.

Instantly bring up Task Manager

This is an old trick, but with the expanded functions of the Task Manager in Windows 10 and 11, it’s become more useful. From any screen in any program, press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to open the Task Manager. From here you can manually close programs, quickly access the Run command, or click the Startup tab to track down programs that are sneakily starting with Windows.

 

Quickly adjust icon sizes in Explorer 

If you need to see icons better in an Explorer window specifically, try this quick trick. Hold down the Ctrl button and scroll your mouse wheel up and down. Thumbnail images will get bigger or smaller in response. Scroll far enough and the view will actually change from thumbnails to lists with mini-icons. This works even on the Windows desktop, with no Explorer window in use.

 

Emoji Picker

If you’re a big fan of emoji (come on, who isn’t!), there’s an easy way to insert emoji into any document. To do so, press Windows+Full Stop (“.”) on your keyboard. In the small menu that pops up, you can scroll through the complete list of available emoji in Windows. When you find the one you want, click it, and Windows will insert it into whatever text field you’re working on.

 

Focus Assist

If you need a break from notifications, Focus Assist can help. While on, you won’t get any notification pop-ups in the corner of the screen. To enable it, click the Action Center icon (which looks like a word bubble) on the far-right side of your taskbar. Next, click the “Focus Assist” button. If you don’t see a “Focus Assist” button, click “Expand” at the bottom of the Action Center. In Settings > System > Focus Assist, you can choose to enable Focus Assist automatically at specific times or customize which notifications you want to see while Focus Assist is enabled. Toggle it off at any time using the same Action Center button.

 

Clipboard History

Don’t you hate it when you try to paste something and you realize you’ve already cleared the clipboard by copying something else? Luckily, Windows 10 has a built-in feature called Clipboard History, which you can enable in Settings > System > Clipboard by switching “Clipboard History” to the “On” position. Once you do that, seeing your clipboard history is as easy as pressing Windows+V at any time. If you toggle “Sync Across Devices,” you can share your clipboard history with other Windows computers that you’ve signed in to with the same Microsoft Account.

 

We hope our tips and tricks have brough peace, calm and a sense of enjoyment to your working life, for more life-changing IT support, get in touch with our team, they’ve been likened to the Dalai Lama of IT.

 

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