How to quickly minimize all open windows

For various reasons we often need to minimize all the open windows in order to see the Desktop. Instead of clicking the minimize button for each window one by one we can minimize all the windows at once with a single mouse click or keystroke – your choice. Here’s how:

show-desktop-icon1 – Click the “Show Desktop” icon located in the Quick Launch toolbar in the lower left corner of the screen. In the screenshot at right the “Show Desktop” icon is the first icon to the right of the “Start” orb. It might be in a different position on your screen. To restore the windows back onto the screen, simply click the icon again. Note: Windows 7 doesn’t display the Quick Launch toolbar by default so you’ll need to use option 2 below…

windows-key2 – Hold down the “Windows” key and press the “D” key. You’ll typically find the “Windows” key at the lower left corner of the keyboard between the “CTRL” and “ALT” keys. (Refer to the image at right.) Pressing Windows-D again will restore all the windows back onto the screen.


Beware of installing unwanted software and toolbars


One of the great things about the Internet age is the availability of thousands of useful programs, tools and apps just waiting for you to download and use free of charge. I use a number of these freebies on a daily basis, and most of them work just as well (and in some cases better) than their commercial counterparts. If you aren’t careful however you can easily install “extras” such as browser toolbars and additional apps that can slow down your system or even steal your personal information.

These “extras” are usually downloaded with your permission whenever you install a “free” program. The reason many of these programs are free is because the companies behind the toolbars and “extra” apps pay the maker of the free software to help them distribute it. This is how it works…[Continue Reading]

Should you connect to your router via Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet?

wifi-or-ethernetA friend asked me the other day whether it’s best to connect his computer to his router via Wi-Fi or over a wired Ethernet connection. My answer: It depends.

First of all, is the computer in question sitting near the router or is it located in another room in the house? If it’s located within 10 feet of the router, a wired connection offers a number of benefits. As far as connection speed is concerned, unless you are blessed with Fiber to the home both Wi-Fi and Ethernet are likely to be faster than the connection to your ISP so speed shouldn’t really be a factor in your decision.[Continue Reading]

How to capture a screenshot in Windows


From time to time we need to capture an image of the items currently being displayed on the computer screen.  This is called a “screenshot”, and it can display the contents of the entire screen or just a portion of it. Windows makes it easy to create a screenshot of the entire screen. Here’s how:[Continue Reading]

How to create a System Repair Disc and Backup Image in Windows 7

backupIf your PC came with Windows 7 pre-installed, chances are you didn’t receive a System Repair Disc or Windows installation DVD along with it.

The problem is you’re eventually going to need a way to repair or re-install Windows because your computer WILL fail to start up properly at some point due to a bad hard drive, a virus, or some other problem.

Trust me, a damaged file system or hard drive failure WILL happen sooner or later, and if you don’t have a System Repair Disc and a recent backup on hand your computer will become about as useful as a broken glass.

Luckily, the tasks of creating a System Repair Disc and backing up your hard drive are quite easy to accomplish with Windows 7. Here are step-by-step instructions:[Continue Reading]

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