Windows Vista: Top 10 tweaks - Part 1

The best ways to enhance performance and productivity on Windows systems are usually involve learning “how the basic building blocks of Windows work?” and then rearranging those components to cut steps out of the tasks you perform most often. Vista changed some of those building blocks, and many people are struggling because they’re trying to use the […]

The best ways to enhance performance and productivity on Windows systems are usually involve learning “how the basic building blocks of Windows work?” and then rearranging those components to cut steps out of the tasks you perform most often.

Vista changed some of those building blocks, and many people are struggling because they’re trying to use the new tools with the old techniques.

ED has put 10 Windows Vista tweaks, that covers, how to tweak the taskbar, the Start menu, the Quick Launch toolbar, and Windows Explorer. And also cover the most important time-saving technique for any user of any computer: how to create an automatic backup routine that works.

Here’s a quick list:

1. Get installed programs organized and up-to-date: The default format for the list of installed programs in Control Panel is a dull, gray list that matches its Windows XP predecessor. But with a few clicks, you can add a wealth of useful information (like current version numbers for every program in the list) and group entries in ways that are more useful.

2. Tweak the taskbar and desktop: The first thing I do with every new Windows system I set up is to make the task bar taller. I also make desktop clutter vanish completely without losing access to files and shortcuts on the desktop. Here’s how.

3. Set up a smart, automated backup system: How often should you have to reinstall Windows? The correct answer is “Never.” Using built-in backup tools that are included with some Vista editions, you can save a system image that can be restored from disk – complete with drivers and your installed programs - in a fraction of the time it would take to reinstall.

4. Get fast access to common tasks: I constantly hear that some tasks in Windows Vista take too long, especially those that have to do with networking. Want one-click access to network settings and other useful tasks, complete with automatic keyboard shortcuts? Follow the step-by-step instructions.

5. Fine-tune Windows Explorer: Vista’s version of Windows Explorer is a radical reworking of the XP-style Explorer you know and probably don’t love. With three tweaks and a slightly adjusted mindset (hint: think of a modern airline’s hub-and-spoke model), you’ll find most file-management tasks significantly easier.

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