tricks for the Windows Power Users

Many crit­i­cize Win­dows as being not user-​friendly to power users – you can’t do things the fast way even when you’ve used it for a couple of years. Here’s some tricks I’ve accu­mu­lated over the years to make using Win­dows (hope­fully) as swift as a *nix guru.

Why should we use Win­dows when we want per­for­mance and speed? Well, I guess that’s we game play­ers have to live for

Customize your Run dialog

run

This is undoubt­edly the coolest and most pow­er­ful trick for Win­dows power users. To be able to type what­ever com­mand you want from the Win­dows com­mand prompt is like being able to place sym­bolic links in /usr/local/bin

  1. Create a direc­tory some­where con­ve­nient. A good place I used is %HOMEDRIVE%:%HOMEPATH%\Commands.
  2. Now you’ll want to add this direc­tory to your %PATH%. This is done by:
  3. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog
  4. Enter sysdm.cpl
  5. Append your Commands path to %PATH% in Advanced -> Envi­ron­ment Variables
  6. Now you can place short­cuts (*.lnk) and even BAT files there and they will be run when you type the com­mand in the Run dialog!

Useful commands for the Run dialog

Talk­ing about the Run dialog, there’s a hand­ful of useful com­mands you may want to mem­o­rize to speed things up a little bit:

notepad
calc
Cal­cu­la­tor
explorer
Opens Win­dows Explorer on path
con­trol netconnections
Opens the Net­work Con­nec­tions con­trol panel
sndvol / sndvol32
Opens the volume con­trol panel
sysdm.cpl
Opens System Properties
dxdiag
Opens DirectX Diagnostic
msinfo32
Opens System Information
msn­msgr
Opens Win­dows Live Messenger

Enhance your clipboard with ClipX

The clip­board is designed decades ago. Given today’s computers’ memory size, there’s no reason to jus­tify why we can only hold one value in the clip­board. Enhance it with this free­ware ClipX. You can store like 25 pre­vi­ous clip­board entries (includ­ing pic­tures, files) and recall them with one key com­bi­na­tion (default: Shift-Ctrl-V). Very handy for system admins and programmers

clipx-intray

Opening Task Manager directly on Vista

Microsoft changed the pop­u­lar key com­bi­na­tion Alt-Ctrl-Del to open a screen with a list of not very useful options instead of open­ing the task man­ager. Here’s the new key com­bi­na­tion to open the Task Man­ager directly:

Ctrl+Shift+Esc

Locking your computer from the command prompt

There are var­i­ous rea­sons you might want to do this instead of Win + L, such as from within a BAT script. Anyway here’s how to do it

rundll32 user32.dll, LockWorkStation

Putting files to the Recycle Bin from the command line

Oops, there’s no tricks to it. Down­load my recy­cle utility.

1 Response to “tricks for the Windows Power Users”


  • An inter­est­ing dis­cus­sion is worth com­ment. There’s no doubt that that you need to write more about this topic, it may not be a taboo matter but gen­er­ally people don’t speak about these sub­jects. To the next! Kind regards!!

Leave a Reply