Author Archives: Gaurav Kale

About Gaurav Kale

Gaurav is a software enthusiast from India and Classic Shell tester & UX consultant. He started with Windows 95 and is good at software usability testing. He firmly believes that user experience is just as important as software code quality and architecture for software to be successful.

Make active window more visible on Windows taskbar with pressed button look

In older versions of Windows like Windows XP and Vista, going all the way back to Windows 95, the button of the active window was always shown in a pushed-in state on the Taskbar. This was essential to make it easy for the user to figure out which was the foreground window. In Windows 7 and later versions, the active window is shown with a very subtle white glow which is not so effective in visually differentiating the active window from the inactive ones. Let's see how to fix this issue for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
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How to make an updated ISO with Windows 7 SP2 Convenience Rollup so Windows Update works

Although Microsoft released a convenience rollup for Windows 7 which is like Service Pack 2, that includes most of the post-SP1 security updates, non-security updates and hotfixes by request, they gave no instructions on how to make Windows Update work properly after the rollup has been integrated using DISM. Let's see what you need to do to create up-to-date ISO of Windows 7 with updates up to April 2016 so Windows Update works after you install it.
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Open Windows notification area tray applets faster with keyboard hotkey shortcuts

A number of Control Panel applets and features in Windows have direct hotkeys to do tasks. If you haven't taken a look at the Win key shortcuts in Windows 10 and earlier versions of Windows, you should learn them now. Recently, Windows 10 build 14361 added a hotkey to directly open the Date/Time tray flyout. That gave me an idea - why not try to open all tray applets with keyboard shortcuts?
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15 reasons to use Classic Shell’s Start Menu in Windows 10

Classic Shell as almost everyone using Windows knows is the gold standard of Start menus. It firmly entrenched itself at the top place by bundling an amazing level of customization and features. Although Microsoft returned the Start Menu in Windows 10, they have been generally taking out functionality, simplifying things instead of keeping them powerful. Let's see today why a free app like Classic Shell is still worth using in Windows 10, Windows 8.1 or even Windows 7. Continue reading

Automatically mute inactive tabs in Google Chrome

When you are browsing the web, you may be opening multiple tabs and it is very annoying when a tab which is in the background starts playing audio suddenly without even it being focused. While you can either completely mute your system volume, it is not convenient to do so and unmute it every time you need to listen to something. While you can mute only the tab playing the audio, you still have to locate it and then mute it. A Chrome extension instead handles this automatically muting all background tabs and keeping the active tab's audio unmuted.
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How to fix apps that look small on high DPI and high resolution displays

Today, many PCs ship with very high resolution displays even if the PC form factor is smaller for example, an Ultrabook or a tablet. Or you may have a desktop monitor with 4K resolution. At such resolutions, Windows automatically turns on DPI scaling so everything on your screen becomes larger. However, there are some third party apps, which don't render properly on high DPI screens. They look too small for the screen resolution. Let us see how to fix them if Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 does not scale them properly.
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MouseMonitorEscapeSpeed (Mouse pointer stickiness) fix for Windows 10

In Windows 8.1 Update 1, Microsoft introduced a behavior where if you happen to have multiple displays and move the mouse pointer over to the other monitor while dragging a window for example, it blocks them at the corners. You have to move it fast in order for the mouse to not stick. This stickiness of the mouse pointer was a Windows 8 feature which could be disabled by a Registry tweak. Unfortunately it doesn't work in Windows 10. However I found a workaround for this.

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Keyboard Opener automatically opens and closes the Windows touch keyboard in Windows 8

I know of many users who use Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 with a Start Menu replacement because of the changes they don't like in Windows 10 such as forced updates, removal of many settings and customization, privacy-intruding data collection or nothing much of value in Windows 10. However there is one improvement in Windows 10 for those of you who use programs and apps with a touchscreen: the touch keyboard automatically pops up when you tap inside a text field. With a simple free app, you can do this on Windows 8 too.
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Which browser is best for touchscreen in Windows?

If you have a Windows tablet or detachable / convertible PC with a touchscreen, then you might be using it for browsing the web even though for content creation and more serious productivity work, you need a keyboard and mouse attached. The good thing about Windows tablets is that they offer the best user experience for browsing the web compared to Android tablets or iPad because of how versatile the Windows multitasking desktop environment is. There are plenty of web browsers on Windows, optimized for touchscreens and the mainstream ones, Internet Explorer (on Windows 8), Microsoft Edge (on Windows 10), Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome all support browsing with touch. Continue reading

How to search network shares or mapped drives in Windows 10

When Microsoft introduced the Windows Search indexer in Windows XP, they provided an add-in for it to index network shares. It worked for 32-bit Windows XP and Vista but starting with Windows 7, they discontinued this feature. You can't index network shares, nor can you include them in a Library. But even if network shares or mapped drives cannot be indexed,  you can still search them, if you use a simple trick. Read the rest of this article to see how.
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