Windows Vista might be a flop to an extent, but some of the features present in you might not find any other OS. You can create symlinks, Use checkboxes to select folders, You can merge two folders into one ( Virtually ), copy the path of any file with just a right-click, and a lot more. Take these points as Vista Tips or Tweaks as it suits, but they sure can increase your performance. I got this laptop from my friend, which has Vista installed and tested around some and explored. Here is a list of features some you don’t know, some you might have known how to use them. Good Luck.
#1 Share Folders like you did in XP
You can share any folder by right-click and then click on the Share feature. This starts a wizard. However, this wizard does not allow you to give your desired share name. So if you have a folder called an iPhone, it might be shared as \computerusersusernamephonedata. So if you want to share like you used to do in XP, don’t use the share wizard. Instead
- Right-click on the folder and click Properties
- Then click Sharing > Advanced Sharing
- Share this folder and gives your desired name
- You can set the permission also
#2 How to add multiple clocks or time zones in Vista
If you want to keep track of different places or multiple time zones, Vista Clock has this kind of feature.
- Just double-click on the clock, and the time window will open.
- Click on the Additional Clocks tab, and you can select another time zone with your desired name.
- Now when you hover your mouse overclock, all of them will be displayed together.
#3 Enable Checkboxes to Select Folders and Files
Till now, we had been using CTRL or SHIFT keys to select multiple files. But the major problem is if you make a small mistake, all of them get un-selected. Now even Nokia phones have features like Mark / Unmark, which allows you to select and scroll through. Vista gives you this feature, and it’s the best for selecting a large number of files.
- Click on Organize Menu on the Left-hand bar and then choose Folders and Search Options.
- You will see many options. Scroll down and look for “Use Checkboxes to Select an Item. “
- Select and close. Now you will see a checkbox on the left top of every file.
#4 Add Encrypt / Decrypt to Right Click Menu
Vista comes with an inbuilt feature of encrypting and decrypting files. If you can add it to right-click menu (i.e., it appears whenever you select a folder and right-click on it ) will be much handy. Here is the way
- Open Run Dialog box, type regedit, and hit enter.
- Now navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced
- In the right pane, right-click and create a new 32 Bit DWORD with Value “EncryptionContextMenu” ( without quotes)
- Now when you right-click on a folder, you will see the “Encrypt” option
- When you do the same on an encrypted folder, you will “Decrypt” option instead.
PS: Sorry, I forgot to take a snapshot here, and My friend left.
#5 Resize your partition: Shrink or Expand Drives
Vista comes with an inbuilt Disk Management feature that allows you to resize your hard disk partitions ( increase or decrease) without losing data. So now, instead of using a third-party tool like Partition Manager, use this.
- Go to the control panel and look for administrative features.
- You should be able to find Disk Management or Type partition in the control panel and enter.
- Disk Management will show a list of all drives. Select a drive which you want to expand or shrink
- Go to Action > All Tasks, and You will see options shrink and expand.
- This feature is safe but still use it with caution.
#6 How to speed up SATA hard drives in Vista
Windows Vista, by default, does not enable the advanced write caching feature of SATA hard drives. Here are the steps you can do by enabling it.
- Open Run Dialog Box [Win + R] and type devmgmt.msc ( Device Management)
- Now open the disk drives section of the tree
- Right Click on your SATA hard drive and go to Properties
- Now go to the Policies tab, and Check the box next to Enable advanced performance.
#7 Copy File Paths directly
It’s not very pleasant every time you want to use the path of a file or folder, and you have to type it and append it with the path manually.
- Right-click on the file while pressing the SHIFT key
- You will see a new option, “Copy as path.”
- Click and path will be copied in memory. Use CTRL + V to paste.
#8 How to trim thick borders in Vista
All windows Vista themes have made the window borders thick, and if you are not using aero ( which gives transparency effects and others), it cannot be very reassuring. You can trim down the borders with these simple steps.
- Open the Classic Appearance settings dialog by right-clicking on the desktop and choose Personalize.
- Now Click on “Windows Color and Appearance“
- If Aero is enabled, you will need to click on “Open Classic appearances. “
- Click the advance button and select Border Padding in the dropdown
- Set the size to 1 or 0 ( Check the image )
#9 Use Hot Keys for Quick launch
The quick launch icons, which are right next to your START, Can be invoked using WIN + 1, WIN + 2, and so on. These keys are assigned in the order they are present in the quick launch
# 10 How to change the Deep Sleep to Shutdown
Power Down key is by default set to put your computer in sleep mode, which is not desired if you want to change it.
- Open the Run dialog box by hitting WIN + R
- Now type powercfg.cpl , 1 (Keep space between the command and 1)
- Now, if you press the power key, it will shutdown instead of going to standby.
- To revert it , type powercfg.cpl , 0
#11 Take Snapshot with Snipping Tool.
Vista comes with an inbuilt program called Snipping Tool, which is used to take pictures of the active window or is which you select.
- Click on All programs > Accessories
- Then look for the snipping tool.
Rest is simple. Just take snaps of whatever you want. However, with this tool, you won’t be able to take pictures along with the menu. Like right-click menu. It disappears as soon as you click it. I find the print screen still useful.
#12 Resize icons in a folder
You can quickly resize the icons in the folder by holding the CTRL key and scroll the mouse wheel back and forth.