10 Tips for Productive PC Users

Posted on | Tech Tips

10 Tips for Productive PC Users

Your computer can be a wonderful tool.

Regardless of the type of work or activities you do, you’ve probably learned some tricks along the way to make tasks more efficient. After all, isn’t your PC supposed to make life easier?

At some point, you’ve likely asked yourself “how can I make my computer more productive?”

How Do I make the Best Use of Windows 10?

There are many features baked into Windows 10. Some are more intuitive than others. It helps to know how to maneuver around your operating system – or find more efficient ways to access the tools and features you use. While there’s no shortage of advice, start with these 10 tips.

1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

You likely already use keyboard shortcuts. There is plenty to learn, but here are a few suggestions to make life easier.
· CTRL+ALT+DEL: Brings up items such as the Task Manager, the option to lock your computer, and a quick way to sign out.
· ALT + TAB: Allows you to change focus between open windows/applications.
· Windows Key + PrtScn: Takes a screenshot and saves it to the Pictures folder.
· Windows Key + D: Minimizes all open windows. Hitting this again will restore them.
· Windows Key + Tab: Opens the Task View.
· Ctrl + C: Copies a file or highlighted text.
· Ctrl + X: Cuts a file or highlighted text.
· Ctrl + V: Pastes a file or highlighted text.

2. Keep Frequently Used Apps on the Taskbar
You typically use certain applications more than others. Why not have these within reach every time you log into Windows?

task bar for windows

An easy way to do so (while the app is open) is to find it on the taskbar, right-click on it, and choose ‘Pin to taskbar’.

3. Customize the Start Menu to Fit Your Needs
The Windows 10 Start menu is an easy way to navigate to items you use often. To make it a more productive tool, you’ll want to customize it – what appears (and doesn’t), rearrange items, resize tiles, and so on.

pc menu

By clicking the Windows (start) button, you can bring up this view. By right-clicking an item, you can choose how to manipulate it.

4. Let Windows Do the Cleaning
You tend to gather more unused files on your computer than you may realize. Unused files that take up space – such as the recycle bin – should be cleaned up from time to time.

windows storage screen

Windows can take care of this for you. Use the search box on the taskbar to find the ‘Storage’ service and click on it. From here, you can turn on ‘Storage Sense’ – which can be scheduled to remove unneeded temporary files.

5. Quickly Find Items with the Taskbar’s Search Box

Windows 10 has an easy-to-reach method of finding things.

windows file explorer

Sitting right in the taskbar is the search box. Just type something in and Windows will find it – or the closest match.

6. Avoid a Cluttered Desktop
Keeping an organized desktop can make it easier finding item – plus allow you to see the background image you placed there for aesthetics.

pc desktop cleanup

You can start by removing icons and shortcuts you don’t use. Follow up by placing like-items into folders.

7. Utilize Cortana as Your Personal Assistant
Cortana is a personal and search assistant built into Windows 10. You can activate the service by clicking on the microphone icon in the taskbar – next to the search box. You can also use the phrase “Hey Cortana” to get attention (once the feature is turned on).

cortana assistant

Cortana can search for items, set appointments, check the weather, spit out mathematical answers, look up facts, and more.
You can modify Cortana’s settings by going into Settings and then select Cortana.

8. Expand Your Desktop with Multiple Monitors
Sometimes you just need more area to work. Windows allows you to utilize more than one monitor – expanding your workspace.

windows display options

After adding at least one other monitor, right-click on the desktop, choose ‘Display’ settings and then select ‘Display’. From here, you can detect the new monitor or changes settings – such as manipulating the horizontal/vertical order and change how items are dragged from one screen to another.

9. See Several Windows at Once with Snap View
If you would like to view multiple windows at a time – but only have one monitor – you can use Snap View.

pc snap view

By dragging a window (by its title bar) into any of four corners on the screen, you can drop it into that view. You can display up to four windows at once, albeit a smaller view of each.

Navigation between the windows is accomplished by clicking with the cursor or using a keyboard combination (press the Windows key plus one of the arrow keys).

10. Keep Your Device Drivers Up to Date
You’ve arrived at the last, but not least, tip.

Every device on your computer requires a software driver to interact with Windows. These drivers need to be updated as the environment changes, new features are added, or they become corrupt.

windows device manager

You can update these drivers by searching for and clicking on ‘Device Manager’. From the list, you can right-click a device and choose ‘Update driver’. From there, you’ll have choices on how to proceed.

Let Driver Support Help

You can let Windows try to find the best drivers or search for them yourself – the former having mixed results and the latter requiring your time.

Another option is to allow a dedicated service to handle the burden. Driver Support software will inventory your computer for all supported hardware types.

Once fully registered, the service will update any device drivers that are missing or in need of updating.The time you save can be re purposed elsewhere – providing another way to be more productive.

Driver Support has been trusted since 1996 to assist in keeping device drivers up to date.