Exploring Windows 7

AppLocker

Using the AppLocker tool, you have a few options to block other users to access Executables, Windows Installers, Scripts, a specific publisher or path. You can simply do this by pressing the Windows key then typing Gpedit.msc.

Then go to Computer Navigation -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Application Control Policies -> AppLocker. Right click on one of the options ( Executables, Installers, or Script ) and create a new rule. That should save you from a lot of headaches.

Desktop Magnifier

 Press the Windows Key and the Plus Key to zoom in or Windows Key and the Minus Key to zoom out. You can zoom anywhere on the desktop and you can even configure your magnifier.

 You can choose to invert colors, follow the mouse pointer, follow the keyboard focus, or the text insertion point.

Shift The Window From One Monitor To Another

 If you are using two or more monitors, then you might want to move the Windows from one to another.

 All you have to do is press the Windows Key + Shift Key + Left or Right Key, depending on what monitor you want to move it to.

Windows Action Center

 Windows Action Center offers you important information about your PC, like the Antivirus Status, updates, troubleshooting and provides a backup scheduling feature.

 To access it, go to Control Panel -> System And Security -> Action Center.

Windows Troubleshooting Platform

 This platform can help you solve a lot of issues you may encounter, like the internet connection, hardware devices, poor system performance and more.

 You can choose what to troubleshoot and it will come with some possible explanations for the problem that might really help you.

There are a lot of options, guidance and information available there, so give it a try by typing “troubleshoot” or “fix” after pressing the Windows Key.

Open A Folder In A New Process

 Windows 7 opens all folders in the same process in order to save resources, but this means if one folder crashes, they all crash.

 So if you feel like that’s a risk you don’t have to take, then you have to open them all in their own processes.

To do this, hold down Shift, right-click the drive and “Open in New Process”. Now you will be safe.

Problem Step Recorder

 The Problem Step Recorder is a great tool that can be used in more circumstances.

 You can turn it on by pressing the Windows Key, then typing “PSR.exe” and click Record. Now it will record all your moves and save them as a HTML document that you can view or write descriptions to it.

This can help you with troubleshooting or when writing a guidance or tutorial.

Turn Off Recent Search Queries Display

 Windows 7 holds and displays the recent search queries by default. This can often prove to be irritating.

 Press the Windows Key, type gpedit.msc, then go to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Explorer and double click on “Turn off display of recent search entries”.

Advanced Disk Defragmentation

 Windows 7 offers much better defragmentation and also lets you configure it a bit from the command line.

 To do it, press the Windows Key and then type CMD.

You can defragment your hard disk from the command line by typing “defrag” and you have the following options:

/r will defrag multiple drives simultaneously,

-a performs a defrag analysis,

-v prints the report,

-r treats files with at least 64 Mb of fragments like are not fragmented,

-w will defrag everything.

An example is “defrag C: -v -w” to defrag the whole drive C.

Make Internet Explorer 8 Load Faster

 If you want Internet Explorer 8 to load faster, you need to disable the add-ons that slow it down, so go to Tools -> Manage Add-ons and check the load time for each one.

 You can choose for yourself the ones you can live without and ones that would increase the load speed.

Use Virtual Hard Disk Files

 You can now create and manage virtual hard disks files in Windows 7 as if they were real disks.

 This can allow you to use a live Windows installation on the virtual disk without the need to boot the virtual Computer.

To create a virtual disk you have to press the Windows Key, right-click on Computer, then go to Manage -> Disk Management -> Action ->
Create VHD.

There you can specify the location and size of your virtual hard disk file.

To attach the virtual disk file, press the Windows Key, right-click Computer, then go to Manage -> Disk Management -> Action -> Attach VHD and you have to specify the location and if it’s read only or not.

To initialize a virtual hard disk, press the Windows Key, right-click on Computer, go to Manage -> Disk Management -> Action -> Attach VHD, specify the location, click Ok, then right click on the virtual disk and click on Initialize Disk.

Select the partition style you want to use and then right-click on the unallocated space and click “New Simple Volume” and follow the instructions wizard.

Now, a new hard drive appears in Windows Explorer and you can use it as a real partition.

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