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Customizing Windows XP & Vista

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How to Set Windows Vista to Reboot Overnight

Shutting a Windows Vista computer all the way down and then rebooting can cure many computer problems. When you reboot, Windows goes through several self-repair processes that really can make a difference [more…]

How to Pin Items to the Windows Vista Start Menu

Although you want the programs you constantly use on the Quick Launch toolbar, you don’t want to put too many icons there. Other programs that you use frequently or regularly can be [more…]

Understanding the All Programs Submenu in the Windows Vista Start Menu

To make the Windows Vista Start menu really work for you, you need to understand the All Programs submenu. This may come as a shock, but the All Programs submenu on your Start menu doesn't actually contain [more…]

How to Simplify the All Programs Submenu in the Windows Vista Start Menu

If you know how to rearrange the All Programs submenu, you can untangle and organize the mess in your Start menu. Every time you choose Start→All Programs, Windows reaches into four folders and assembles [more…]

How to Customize the Right Side of the Start Menu in Windows Vista

Windows Vista gives you the option to turn ten of the Start menu items into cascading fly-out menus: the User link, Documents, Pictures, Music, Games, Favorites, Recent Items [more…]

How to Change Your Mouse Pointer in Windows Vista

Windows Vista comes with a number of different sets of mouse pointers. Whether you need to change your pointers to make them easier to find or to see or you just want a change, the ability to alter what [more…]

How to Change the Mouse Behavior in Windows Vista

If you know how to change your mouse's behavior in Windows Vista, you can make sure that the mouse is set to work specifically with your needs. The mouse settings are great for customizing the computer [more…]

How to Modify How Your Keyboard Works in Windows Vista

Windows Vista allows you to modify how your keyboard works. You might think "a keyboard is just a keyboard," but it can be more if you know how to configure it. You can control things like the speed of [more…]

How to Customize Your Screen Saver in Windows Vista

You can set up a screen saver in Windows Vista to express your personality. Screen savers used to be required to keep your monitor from burning out when an image was held on your screen for too long. Newer [more…]

How to Change the Color Scheme in Windows Vista

If you know how to change the color scheme in Windows Vista, you can control the colors that Windows uses when displaying dialog boxes, menus, and windows. Changing the color scheme is a great way to reflect [more…]

How to Create a Desktop Shortcut in Windows Vista

To help you work more efficiently, you'll want to know how to create a desktop shortcut in Windows Vista. Think of your Windows desktop like your physical workspace. To keep your workflow efficient, you'll [more…]

Using Ease of Access Features for the Visually Impaired in Windows Vista

Windows comes stocked with ease-of-use features that let people with different levels of abilities use Windows. For example, you can optimize the visual display in Windows Vista to help visually challenged [more…]

How to Replace Sounds with Visual Cues in Windows Vista

If you're hard of hearing and don’t always recognize system sounds alerting you to error messages or a device disconnect, you might want to set Windows Vista to replace those system sounds with visual [more…]

How to Add Task Manager to the Windows Vista System Tray

The Task Manager is a handy tool that lets you monitor the way applications are using your computer's resources and close "frozen" programs. You can place the Task Manager in the Windows Vista system tray [more…]

How to Run the Task Manager at Startup in Windows Vista

Although you can use the Task Manager to monitor when things are going wrong with your system, this isn't very useful if the system is so locked up that you can't open it. One way to avoid this problem [more…]

How to Clean Up the Windows Vista Desktop

Windows XP had a program called the Desktop Cleanup Wizard that offered to clean the desktop for you, but it didn't work very well, so it was left out of Windows Vista. Never fear, you can still clean [more…]

How to Generate an E-Mail Shortcut in Windows Vista

Say you have to e-mail a status report to the same people every day. Instead of creating a new e-mail from scratch each time, you can generate an e-mail shortcut in Windows Vista that, when double-clicked [more…]

How to Arrange Multiple Windows Side by Side in Windows Vista

When you want to work with two files or programs, it's usually much more convenient to be able to see both files at the same time. You can arrange multiple windows side by side on your desktop in Windows [more…]

How to Create Hot Keys in Windows Vista to Get Anywhere Fast

Windows Vista gives you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to creating keyboard shortcuts (also called hot keys). You can use hot keys to open programs, files, and even Web pages. Creating a hot [more…]

How to Use the Windows Vista Quick Launch Toolbar

Are you tired of the Start→All Programs→Blah→Blah hunt-and-click routine in Vista? Do you have a small handful of programs you run every day? If so, learning to use Windows Vista's Quick Launch toolbar [more…]

How to Enlarge the Windows Vista Quick Launch Toolbar

There’s no need to settle for Windows’ bone-stock Quick Launch toolbar. Adding programs, files, or folders that you want to get at quickly is a great way to make the Quick Launch toolbar work for you. [more…]

How to Share Programs with Other Users in Windows Vista

Vista is nothing without programs. Sure, Windows is nice, but your work (and play!) gets done inside programs — word processors, e-mail programs, spreadsheets, Warcraft XIX: The Prequel . . . you get the [more…]

How to Make Windows Vista Show Filename Extensions

Windows Explorer provides the lens by which you see all the files and folders on your computer. To get the most out of Windows Explorer, you need to make Windows Vista show you the filename extensions [more…]

Tips and Tweaks for Getting the Most Out of Windows Explorer

Underneath Windows Explorer’s docile exterior beats the heart of a powerful, adroit assistant. You need to do a bit of tweaking, but if you spend a few minutes to apply these suggestions, you can emerge [more…]

How to Assign a Template to a Folder in Windows Vista

Typically, Vista looks at the contents of a folder and then decides what kind of template to apply to the folder. But did you know that you can tell Windows Explorer to assign a specific template to a [more…]

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