You don’t have to be a computer wizard or elite hacker to get the most out of your computer. The following list of incredibly useful computer tricks and hacks can be followed by any casual computer user.
Disable Startup Programs
Does your computer take forever to get going when you first boot it up? You probably have too many programs installed that boot up automatically when you turn your computer on.
To disable these programs, right click on an empty space in your toolbar. Select the Windows task manager and click on the startup tab. It will show you every program that launches at startup. All you have to do is right-click on each program and click Disable.
Utilize Command Prompts
You have probably run into the command prompt window accidentally before. It’s the black window with a white cursor and it allows you to perform various functions by typing in direct commands.
It looks intimidating at first, but it’s actually easy to use. Open it by typing “CMD” into your Windows search bar and hit the command prompt button. All you have to do is type in the command and hit enter.
Completely Wipe Your Trace From Any Machine
When you are getting rid of a computer, simply hitting the delete button for all of your files doesn’t permanently get rid of your sensitive data. Savvy data thieves can use software like Recuva to recover files deleted the standard way.
To make sure such tools can’t recover your data, open the command prompt window and type cipher/w:C. Change the C to the corresponding drive letter to wipe files from your other drives.
File shredding tools like Eraser also wipe your trace from your machine by overwriting the data several times with key patterns that make the original data indecipherable. This is similar to the process used by IT Asset disposition companies like All Green Electronics Recycling. Using professional guarantees all of your data is destroyed before the machine is refurbished or recycled.
Undo Any Mistake With Ctrl + Z
If you have used a word processing or spreadsheet program, you are probably familiar with the undo feature. Did you know that you can also undo any function within Windows?
All you have to do is press Ctrl + Z and the last function completed will be reversed. This comes in handy when you accidentally delete a file.
Encrypt Sensitive Files
In today’s age of rampant cyber theft, you want to encrypt your most sensitive files.
First, find the file or folder you want to encrypt by typing the name into the Windows Explorer search bar. Then, right-click and select properties. Click on the advanced button under the attributes section. Check the box that says “encrypt contents to secure data” and then click apply. Select yes when you are asked if you want to apply the encryption to all of the folder’s contents.
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Once you get to this stage, insert your USB drive. Click on the “backup your file encryption key” box when it pops up and back it up to your USB drive. At this point, the certificate creation wizard will pop up. All you have to do is follow the prompts to create your password, and your data will be encrypted.
These are only 5 of the near-infinite list of computer tricks and hacks, but they’re a good place to start for the casual computer user.