There’s nothing like a brand-new computer. It’s fast, it’s uncluttered and it’s a joy to use.
Fast forward a few months, and you’re looking at a bunch of junk on your desktop and folders loaded with trivial files. Tap or click here for a quick way to free up storage space and delete the mess.
While you’re cleaning things up, take a smart security step, too. Tap or click for steps to password-protect files and folders in Windows 10. Take this extra step with files such as tax documents or other files with sensitive info.
Now we can move onto the fun stuff. I’ve got five clever tricks to use with your PC.
1. See clipboard history
If you’re like me, you copy and paste text and images all day long. It’s annoying when you accidentally copy over your last selection. That’s where Clipboard history comes in. You can store up to 25 entries so you can go back and grab your recent selections.
To enable Clipboard history:
- Click Start > Settings (the gear icon) > System
- Click Clipboard, then toggle “Clipboard history” on
Once you’ve turned history on, hit Windows + V to bring up a list of items you’ve copied. A window will pop up, starting with the most recent item. You can click any of them to copy again.
Want to wipe out your Clipboard history? Use the steps above to navigate to your Clipboard settings, and choose Clear under “Clear clipboard data.”
To delete or pin a single item, click the three dots next to it in the Clipboard history pop-up.
FIX IT: Getting locked out in the time it takes you to grab a glass of water is annoying. You can adjust your screen’s lock settings. Get the steps here.
2. Easier web browsing
If you’re on a desktop, here’s a great trick you’ll use all the time. Hover over a URL with your mouse and tap your mouse wheel. This opens up the link in a new tab. You can also right-click and select “Open link in new tab,” but why do that when this way is so simple?
One more tab trick: If you accidentally close a tab, you can get it back with a few keystrokes instead of navigating your browser menu. Hit Ctrl + Shift + T.
Become a keyboard shortcut pro with this list of essential Windows 10 shortcuts.
3. Screen share without third-party apps
Do you have someone in your life who needs tech help from time to time? Or maybe you need a guide to help you update your broken drivers or fix some other issue.
Try Quick Assist. It’s super simple to use and you don’t need to download a thing. Type “quick assist” into your taskbar. You’ll see two options: Get assistance or Give assistance. Follow the on-screen instructions to remote in to help.
A word of warning: Only allow this type of access to someone you trust.
4. Upgrade your file manager
Let’s be honest. Navigating through files has never been very easy in Windows 10. Here’s a solution you may like: Files, a third-party file explorer you can download for free from the Microsoft Store.
Files is, well, what the built-in File Explorer should be. It looks fresh and modern, it’s easy to navigate and you can customize it to fit your needs. It syncs well with OneDrive, too.
5. Organize your windows the tech pro way
Have you heard of PowerToys? Think of this as Microsoft’s testing zone. PowerToys are utilities you can add on that extend what your PC can do. They’re not traditional download and install applications. Tap or click here for the instructions to install PowerToys.
There are a handful of great add-ons, but one I like most is FancyZones. If you’re someone who keeps multiple windows and programs open, it’s a must.
With FancyZones, you can set up a grid layout to your liking, and then your open Windows can quickly snap into place. Drag a window into one of your zones and it will be resized and repositioned automatically into place. To install it, follow the directions above to enable PowerToys, then follow these steps.
NEED A HAND WITH A SLOW PC, SMARTPHONE ISSUES OR A SOFTWARE PROBLEM YOU CAN’T CRACK? Post your tech questions for concrete answers from me and other tech pros. Visit my Q&A Forum and get tech help now.
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