Many hardcore computer users might consider themselves above learning new tricks, but there are always new ways to sharpen your skills on the PC and we bet that you will find at least one useful thing here that you didn’t know before.
We’ve compiled some of the most handy computer tricks you should be taking advantage of. The ultimate goal is to help you become more productive by shaving valuable seconds off your workflow. Of course, you can always pass along these tips to your not-so-savvy friends and family members to help them become better PC users as well.
The original tips & tricks guide was published back in 2013. We’ve since revised the article, pulled some tips that are no longer relevant, and added many more that we find to be must-haves on this list. The original guide was also very Windows-centric, and it continues to be however we’ve added a lot of macOS equivalents and information relating to shortcuts generally used by desktop power users.
Bring back a closed tab We have dedicated a section to web browsing further down below, but this one is too useful to be missed. Accidentally closed a tab? Simply press Ctrl + Shift + T to reopen the most recently closed tab and get back to what you were doing (Cmd + Shift + T on Macs).
Window snapping and multiple monitor control Pressing the Windows Key + Arrow Keys will cause a window to quickly snap to each side of either monitor. Alternatively, hitting Shift + Windows Key + Arrows will cause the window to jump to the other monitor. While pressing Windows + P will allow you to quickly set up a second display or projector.
As mentioned before, in macOS we favor leveraging the power of Mission Control to handle virtual desktops, switching between apps, and peaking at your desktop beautifully. Though Macs don’t support window snapping out of the box, a $0.99 app called Magnet comes highly recommended.
Password-protect files A simple way to lock down access to certain files is to create an encrypted archive. Odds are you already have installed a copy of 7-Zip, WinRAR, or The Unarchiver (Mac) or some equivalent. Create a new archive, select to encrypt its contents and password protect them.
Undo everywhere to fix those little mistakes Did you know you can undo almost any action? Ctrl + Z is the ultimate hot key, and for sure you knew about it already, however note that undo doesn’t just apply to typing. If you accidentally delete or move a file, you can hit Ctrl + Z to bring it right back to where it was (Ctrl + Y will redo whatever you undid).
YouTube keyboard shortcuts If you thought using the spacebar to pause a YouTube video was effective (except when focus is elsewhere and it doesn’t work), instead try using K for pausing, while J and L will step backward/forward 10 seconds. M works for mute. Super handy.
Find your Wi-Fi password In Windows, go to the “Network and Sharing Center.” Right click on the Wi-Fi network connection icon > Wireless Properties. Click on Show Characters box to show your Wi-Fi password.