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New year, new shortcuts: Windows tips and tricks to save you clicks

by Christina Juarez

January 3, 2019

Looking for a New Year’s resolution that you’ll actually appreciate? Look no further than here! (We won't be sending you to the gym)

Whether it’s monotonous menu navigation, or descending into the abyss of desktop icons, folders and files to find a document you accidentally misfiled, we’re here to offer some simple solutions to get you some time back in the New Year.

2019 will be the year to optimize your use of Windows and make it work for you!

Here are 5 simple tricks that will save you clicks, compiled by the thoughtful folks at PCWorld.

1. Powering up the taskbar

It’s amazing how much time you can waste searching for an item on your desktop, especially if your background photo is from last year’s summer vacation.

You can do this via your taskbar by right-clicking the Start icon, choosing Properties and then opening the Toolbars tab. Choose Desktop, and you’ll have a taskbar item that gives you a full list of the items strewn around your desk. You may want to give Address a try, which powers up your taskbar with web browser capabilities.

And speaking of the taskbar, you can launch the programs illustrated there with a quick keyboard shortcut—holding down the Windows key, and then pressing the corresponding number (1 up to 10) that reflects its position starting from directly beside the Start icon.

2. Jump Lists? Jumpin’ Jiminy!

Right-click on any taskbar icon, and you’ll see a corresponding Jump List, a great time-saver showing links to the most recent files you accessed.

Make these even more convenient by pinning your more popular files to Jump Lists—either by dragging a file on top of the program’s taskbar icon, or clicking on the pin icon to the right of the item if it’s already on the Jump List.

3. Flex search muscle

Do you search for files through the Start icon? Windows has even more advanced and powerful search capabilities at your fingertips.

The search bar in the upper-right-hand corner of a Windows Explorer dialogue box allows you to add filters that include file type, date and Boolean commands.

4. Turn back time

The Ctrl-Z command (Undo) doesn’t just exist in Word or Excel.

It also works in the bigger world of Windows, which is a great little trick when you’ve saved a file who-knows-where or accidentally moved a folder within a folder.

Try it out—you’ll be glad you did.

5. Your ‘fave’ new shortcut

Are you fed up with digging for files? You can give them Favorite status to save time and repetition.

From a Windows Explorer dialogue box, drag the folder in question onto the Favorites icon in the top left-hand corner. Alternatively, navigate to the folder itself, right-click the Favorites icon, and choose Add Current Location to Favorites.