These are tips for increasing YOUR productivity using Windows.
Also see the
HOT keys page for productive methods on using the keyboard.

What a Drag (Win95/NT using IE4 and higher, and Win98)
If you drag an object and hold it over the taskbar button of the program you want to drag it to and hold the drag icon there for about 2 seconds that window will be moved to the top, allowing you to continue without rearranging the open windows.

Group Selection
To select a group of files, folders, etc..., hold the SHIFT key while clicking on the file or folder at the beginning and end of the desired selection group.
To select multiple files in a folder that are scattered use the Ctrl key when selecting the files.

The Right Drag
When dragging and dropping files in Windows try using the right mouse button. This method will give you options so you can move, copy, create a shortcut, or cancel the operation.

Send To
There's a folder under the Windows directory called Send To. By creating shortcuts in this folder to your favorite applications and file folders, you can right click on objects, go to the Send To pullout, and send the file to any of the shortcuts on the list. This is a great way to send unknown file types to a default text editor, like Notepad, to your printer, or to other disk drive locations.

If you have a lot of destinations in your Send To folder, you may want to organize them into cascading menus. Open the Send To folder (under the Windows directory) and select New=>Folder, then place your shortcuts in the new folder(s).

Installing TweakUI for Win98 (Win98 only)
For you few Win98 users out there, Tweak UI is included on the Windows 98 CD-ROM but it's not installed automatically. To install it, open the Windows 98 CD-ROM and browse to the x:/Tools/ResKit/Powertoy folder. Right-click on the tweakui.inf file and select Install from the pop-up menu. To use the program, select the Tweak UI icon in the Control Panel.

If you're using Win95 you can visit the download page to download TweakUI for Win95.

Unconfirm Delete
Tired of answering the age-old quesion of "Are you sure you want the send these
*#&@ items to the Recycle Bin"?
Here's how to get rid of that pesky message.

  1. Right-click the Recycle Bin icon on your Desktop and select Properties.
  2. Click on the Global tab and uncheck the Display delete confirmation dialog box.
  3. Click on OK.

You will still be prompted for confirmation when deleting files from a removeable disk drive or a network drive.
Emptying the Recycle Bin will still produce a confirmation dialog box.

To bypass the Recycle Bin when deleting a file hold down the Shift key while deleting.

A New Taskbar (Win95/NT using IE4 and higher, and Win98)
You can create more toolbars that act like the Windows taskbar. Click on the My Computer icon and drag it as far to the top of the screen as possible. When you release the icon it will create a toolbar at the top of your screen. You can click and drag to move the new taskbar to any edge of the screen except to where your Windows taskbar resides (you did know you can move that too, right?). From there you can right-click on the new toolbar and select "Toolbars" and click on any other toolbar you would like to add. Right-click on the toolbar and select Always on Top and then click on Auto Hide. Now you've got another taskbar that you can access at anytime without minimizing your applications.

Warp Speed to a File Near You (Win95/98/NT with IE5 and higher)
This is an excellent way to quickly find, open, and manipulate files and folders without having to launch Windows Explorer.
  1. Right-click on the Taskbar and select Toolbars=>New Toolbar.
  2. Click on My Computer and click OK.
  3. A new toolbar titled My Computer will appear on your taskbar.
  4. Collapse the new toolbar all the way to one end of your taskbar so that all it is showing is the title My Computer with two little arrows next to it.

Now to browse your computer just click on the little arrows and your off to the races. You can also open, cut, copy, paste, delete, rename, and view the properties of any file and folder by right-clicking on the item. Double-clicking on a folder opens that folder in it's own window.

You can create other Toolbars to suit your needs by selecting any folder you wish to start from in step 2.


Cascading Menus
To put a cascading Control Panel menu in your Start Menu, right-click the Start Menu, select Open, right-click in the new window and create a new folder named:
Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}

To put a cascading Printers Folder menu in your Start Menu, right-click the Start Menu, select Open, right-click in the new window and create a new folder named:

Shut Down at Warp Speed (Win95/98)
Usually when you want to shut down Windows you have to click on the Start button, click on Shut Down, make sure Shut Down is selected, and then click on OK.
Don't you hate long good-byes? Here's how you can set things up to reduce these steps to only one click.

  1. Right-click on your Desktop and select New=>Shortcut.
  2. In the dialog box that appears, type the command line C:\windows\rundll.exe user.exe,exitWindows (This assumes that Windows is located at C:\Windows on your computer. If not, substitute C:\Windows for the real Windows directory name for your system). Example: C:\win95\rundll.exe user.exe,exitWindows
  3. Click on Next and type in Shut Down for the new name of the shortcut.
  4. Click on Finish.

A Shut Down icon appears on your Desktop. All you have to do is click on it to quickly exit Windows.

Note: some users find they get better results if they use rundll32.exe in the command line instead of rundll.exe

The Quickest Reboot Yet
Ok, now you've got your system shutting down at warp speed (see above) and now you're wishing you could have a similar icon for simply rebooting your computer.
Why, yes you can!

  1. First you have to create what's called a batch file. Open Notepad and type @exit and save the file on your hard drive as Restart.bat
  2. Locate the Restart.bat file on your computer, right-click on the file and select Properties=>Program tab=>Advanced button.
  3. Check the MS-DOS Mode and Use Current MS-DOS Configuration boxes.
  4. Click on OK until you exit the Properties window..
  5. Right-click on the Restart.bat file and select Create Shortcut to create a shortcut.
  6. Move the new shortcut to your Desktop to make it easily accessible.

All you have to do is click on the new shortcut to quickly reboot Windows.

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[ {min. html rev.: } Sept. 2005  pcd ]