Do you use Windows 10 or 11 on your PC? It seems highly likely, as it is one of the most popular and successful operating systems in the world today. Unlike Apple’s macOS, which is only useful for their products, Windows is supported by most laptop and desktop PCs that are made, and so it is usually the first choice of operating system for most people, whether they need it for work, school, or personal use.
But the fact is that a lot of people aren’t using Windows to its fullest potential, and could be saving a lot of time and effort with a few tweaks in practice. For more information on this, we asked TechQuarters, the managed IT services company London businesses have been working with for well over a decade now, and who are also a long-time partner of Microsoft. Their engineers have lots of experience working with Windows PCs, and they know a few things about how anyone can start using their Windows PC like the pros do.
One of the best ways to cut down on time trying to perform different functions is by using hotkeys. When most of us try and do even a simple task on our PCs, we automatically use the mouse to navigate the digital environment, which is the least efficient way of doing things. For IT support companies like TechQuarters, the answer is to use hotkeys – which are simply specific combinations of keys that you press to execute a function. With hotkeys, you can do things like opening an app, or locking your PC, in just 2 keystrokes; much quicker and easier than using the mouse. Hotkeys may take a little while to learn, so having reminders by your desk is helpful. Once you learn them, though, it’ll almost feel like you’re controlling your PC with your mind.
2. Custom Hotkeys
Taking this idea one step further, you can even create custom hotkeys. The great thing about this is that if you happen to use third-party apps a lot, you can make things easier for yourself – for example, you can create hotkeys to open an app instantly, and carry out certain functions in the app that you do regularly, thus allowing you to work quicker.
3. Windows Snap Functions
In Windows, the Snap function works by snapping individual windows from programs into quadrants on your screen – this way, you can fit multiple app windows into that space, allowing you to look at them simultaneously. This is a fantastic tool for multi-taskers, or anyone that needs to have several apps open, and wants to access them easily. Snap functions in Windows 11 allow you to use pre-built arrangements to organise your apps, which get remembered so that if you minimise them, you can bring them back up from the taskbar.
4. Focus Assist
If you’re the type of person that often gets distracted by incoming notifications on your PC, these is the function for you. Windows’ Focus Assist was introduced in Windows 10, and has been carried over to Windows 11. Essentially, it is a way of blocking all notifications for as long as the function is enabled – you can even schedule Focus Assist to turn on and off every day at certain times.
5. Start-up Programs
Most people use a variety of apps every day, whether it be for work, school, or free time. A lot of people use apps so regularly, that they don’t bother closing them, and just leave their PC on sleep overnight. This is something that TechQuarters – with many years’ experience providing IT support North London businesses have relied on – are adamant that you should not be doing. PC users ought to shut their PC down every day when they are done using it. If you don’t like the idea of having to manually restart every app you use, you can add apps to your start-up programs – these are programs that are opened automatically when you turn your PC on. Doing this means you have less work when you start-up your PC.
6. Customized Start & Taskbar
If you want quick access to some apps, but don’t need them to be opened automatically, a good idea is to pin them to your Start menu, or your Taskbar. Some people choose to have their most frequently used apps pinned to the taskbar, so that they are always in view, and then pin other useful apps to the Start menu, so that they’re just a few keystrokes away from being opened.