When some application in Windows, which is not running from the tray, requires some action from you, or wishes to notify you, its taskbar button flashes (turns orange) to seek your attention. A good example of such apps are instant messengers such as Yahoo! Messenger or the open-source Miranda IM. Any application which is not focused (opened in the background) but requires your attention will flash its button. By default, the taskbar button for such an app flashes 7 times in Windows 7 and Windows 8. Here is how to change this value to reduce the number of times it flashes or make it flash until you click on it.
The Control Panel in Windows houses all the important settings. You can change the appearance of your Desktop, manage user accounts on the computer, maintain data backups, change the functionality of hardware and many-many other things. In this article, I would like to share a tip which can significantly speed up your access to recently used Control Panel settings. You can also pin them inside the jumplist to access them with just two clicks.
Since Windows 7, the operating system allows you to control the size and positioning of open windows better by dragging them to the edge of the screen. If you drag a window using its title bar to the top edge of the screen, it will be maximized. With the mouse pointer touching the left or right edges of the screen when dragging a window, it will be snapped to the left or right side of the screen respectively. However, this can trigger accidental resizing or repositioning of the window. If you don't like this snapping feature of the window manager, you might want to disable it completely.
One of the interesting features of all versions of Windows, including Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 is the ability to show detailed information about your previous logon. Every time you sign in, you will see an information screen with the date and time of the last successful logon. The same information will be displayed even if the previous logon was unsuccessful. This feature can be turned on with a simple Registry tweak.
If you have a local or network printer connected to your PC, you may need to open its queue or printing status window occasionally to remove print jobs which have got stuck or pause printing. I would like to share with you a tip which will allow you to access the printing queue directly with one click. It is possible with the help of a special rundll32 command. Let's see how it can be done.
In our previous article, we reviewed a trick which allows you to switch between File Explorer views quickly by holding down Ctrl key and scrolling with the mouse. Now I would like to share with you how to resize icons in the File Explorer window or on the Desktop with extra hotkeys. These hotkeys are used by default in all modern browsers for zooming in and out. Similarly, you will be able to zoom icons in Explorer windows quickly. The trick will work in Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1. Let's take a look.
In modern versions of Windows, File Explorer has the ability to show your files and folders at several different sizes and views. These sizes include Extra Large icons, Large icons, Medium icons, List, Details, Tiles and Content. To switch between views, you can use a set of hotkeys, or the appropriate Ribbon commands, or two tiny buttons on the Explorer status bar in the bottom right corner of the open window. In this article, we will review another method, which is very fancy and fast. What's great is that this same method also works on Windows 7 and Vista.
Windows 8, as everyone knows by now, comes with brand new user interface called "Modern UI". It features the Start screen, the Charms and the new PC Settings app which is designed for devices with touchscreens. In Windows 8.1 Update 1, Microsoft has improved some aspects of the Modern UI, made it more customizable and tweakable. However, some useful and interesting parameters are not accessible with the default set of options. My little freeware application, ModernUI Tuner, will allow you to control some mighty useful parameters. Let's take a closer look at the app.
In Windows 8, Windows 7 and earlier, you can choose from predefined power plans which are a group of several power-related settings. If you are running a laptop on battery, you can choose the "Power Saver" plan. If you are running a desktop PC which is on AC power, you can set the "High Performance" plan. To switch the power plan, Windows gives you only two options if you use the notification area power icon. One of them is always the "Balanced" plan. This is not ideal because you have to open the Control Panel and go to Control Panel\System and Security\Power Options to access all the available power plans. Today, we will show you how to save your time and switch the power plan directly from the command line or with a shortcut so you don't need to open Power Options Control Panel every time.
In Windows 8, a new screenshot feature was introduced for end users. If you press Win + Print Screen keys simultaneously on the keyboard, your screen will be dimmed for half a second, and a new screenshot will be captured to the This PC\Pictures\Screenshots folder. This is a nice visual indication that the screenshot was taken. However, if the screen dimming stops leaving you with no indication that the screenshot was captured, here is how you can fix it.