Windows 7 Tricks

By | August 1, 2014

No matter what you do in life you’re always interested in shortcuts. They save time and energy eliminating many clicks to get results.  Each operating system has its secrets and I want to share a few that will make your computing life more efficient and productive.

I’m going to show you some Windows 7 tricks that you can link to an item, file, folder, application, website, or program. If you look at it the icons on your desktop are shortcuts in the form of little pictures.

This article will show you how to create and take alternative routes for quicker access to your applications, system files,  and favorite Internet sites. I frequently use shortcuts and forget they’re shortcuts (laughing). After all I’m here to increase your computing skills so I’m going to pick my brain and hope these in some way shape or form will be helpful to you.

Create Website Shortcuts
Configure Hidden Wallpaper and Themes
Reposition The Taskbar
Assign a Shortcut Key to Applications
Customize the Shutdown Button
Create Multiple Clocks on the Taskbar
On Screen Keyboard
Full Disclosure

However, once you learn how to create shortcuts don’t clutter your desktop with them.  You can create a folder on the desktop to put them keep them organized, delete the ones no longer useful, or if the program can be accessed via the taskbar or in the Start menu you might not need a shortcut.

Create shortcut to Control Panel items:

Right click the Start Orb > Left click Properties.

Click the Start Orb

Left click the Start Menu tab > Left click the Customize button.

Taskbar and Start Menu Properties

In the Customize Start Menu locate Control Panel.


Display as menu


Left click the radio dial next to Display as a Menu. Left click Ok.

Shortcut to Control Panel Success

Left click Apply then Ok. You’re Done!

Create Website Shortcuts:

Go to the site you want to create a shortcut.  Copy the URL a/k/a website address and then minimize the window.


Example of site  address

Open the desktop menu by a Right click in an empty space on the desktop > Scroll down to New > scroll to the word Shortcut and left click.


Create new shortcut

The create shortcut window opens. Paste the website URL into the “Type the location of the item” field.

website name entered

Left click Next and name the new shortcut anything you like so long as it’s something you’ll remember. You’re done!

name shortcut

Your new shortcut will automatically be placed on your desktop. It’s as easy as 1,2,3, right?

Configure Hidden Wallpaper and Themes:

Are you ever tired of viewing the same old wallpaper or theme? Well, fortunately you have alternatives. Windows hides those goodies from us, so we have to seek them out and I’m going to show you how. Let’s reveal the hidden international wallpapers and themes.

If you’ve installed Windows 7 manually you know it asks you the language, time, currency and based on your responses it will install the sets relative to your region. I’m in the U.S. therefore, I get scenes for Maine, and Southwest, etc. However, the hidden sets reveal Great Britain, South Africa, Canada, and last but not least Australia.

Within Windows Explorer you can launch subfolders under “C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT” Exclude the quotation marks:

Left click Start and then Computer.

Access Computer

Once the Computer window is open left click on Tools then Folder option.

Folder Options

Left click the View tab and scroll down to Hidden Files and Folders.Left click the radio dial Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives. Left click Apply and then OK.

Show hidden files option

Type in exactly what you see C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT and hit Enter.

Paste address in Address field

In the left pane you will now see all your hidden wallpaper and themes.

wallpaper and themes

Click on either and viola you’ve uncovered a hidden treasure chest. Apply them as usual.

Reposition The Taskbar

Windows taskbar


Quick launch icons display all currently open programs which you have the option of pinning it to the taskbar for quick access.

Taskbar menu


Above is the Taskbar which sits between Quick launch and Notification area. Right click the center of the horizontal bar and reveal the taskbar menu.


Taskbar pin option

Per se you’re working on program or playing a game an it suddenly stops working just left click Start Task Manager option seek out the program and end the process.The menu also reveals a Jump List of recently used files.

Notification Area a/k/a system tray it allows quick access to system functions, date , view important messages, time, audio, network, action center, and a whole lot more.

Show Desktop. It merely minimizes all your open windows and applications. When you move the mouse the applications return.

  1. Left click and hold > drag it to where you’d like it to land – right, left, or at the top.


Assign a Shortcut Key to Applications

In Windows 7 any application can be assigned a shortcut key. The application will launch when the combo keys are pressed.

Avira properties

1. Right click the application or game > left click properties. ( I chose Avira)

Add Avira shortcut key

2. Left click the Shortcut tab.
3. Choose the combo key from the keyboard. (I pressed CTRL and CTRL + ALT + appeared with the last space blank. I simply added the letter “A”)
4. Left click Ok. You’re done!


Customize the Shutdown Button

Windows 7 allows you to change the shutdown button to another action. This is used by users who rarely shutdown their systems. They may choose to restart or put it hibernation.

1. Left click the Start button > The Start Menu tab is automatically selected.

Start button menu


2. Left click the drop down menu next to Power Button Action:

Start button menu action

3. You’re presented with 6 other choices: Switch User – Log Off – Lock – Restart – Sleep, or Hibernate ( in this case I chose Restart)

Shutdown changed to Restart

4. Left click Apply then OK > You’re Done!

Create Multiple Clocks on the Taskbar

Instead of 1 clock you can configure and track  3 other time zones on your taskbar.
Time menu bar

1. Right click the time on the System tray > Left click Adjust Time/Date

Additional Clocks window

2. Left click the Additional Clocks tab.
3. Check the box  Show this clock to activate time options

Select time zones

4. Click the drop down menu and choose which time zone you want to track. Nice right! Do the same for Clock # 2 ( I chose Canada and Cairo)

5. Left click Apply and then OK. You’re done!  Now, let’s view the results:

Full visual of 3 time zones



On Screen Keyboard

There are different reasons why you may choose to use Windows 7 on screen keyboard. It’s possible you may be concerned about using the regular keyboard because you sense  there’s a key logger installed or a hacker may have infiltrated your system attempting to extract your passwords to your online banking institution or other sensitive communications. Well, the on screen keyboard is the answer.


On screen keyboard

Left click the Start button > All programs > Accessories > Ease of Access > On Screen keyboard. You’re done!

Full Disclosure:

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6 thoughts on “Windows 7 Tricks

  1. Russ

    The concept of your blog is refreshingly fresh, I’m certain that the people that visit your blogs surely like your content and thoughts.

    1. Wanda Post author

      I hope so, Russ. I try to make technical jargon as interesting as possible.



  2. Julliette

    Hello, Neat post. I’m happy I came across you site. I enjoy learning new things especially shortcuts.

    1. Wanda Post author

      I’ll try to find more. I enjoy them too.

      Thank you for commenting,



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