Category Archives: Microsoft Windows

Windows 8 – Create a short cut on the desktop

In Windows 8, you can find programs or apps like Word by going to the Start screen, using the Down Arrow, and then browsing your list of Apps.  When you find the app you want, you can right click on it and choose to Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.

If you would like an icon on your desktop, then right click on the app, and choose Open file location.  This opens an explorer window on the desktop. Now right click on your chosen app and choose Send to then choose Desktop (create shortcut).  You wlill now have an icon on your desktop for your chosen app.

To find which programs run at Startup

To find out which programs run when you start up your PC:

Click on Start, and type msconfig into the search box.  Then click on msconfig.exe.

The window which opens lists all the programs which run at start up; you can choose to disable individual programs, which may make startup quicker.

On Windows 8, open the Task Manager by holding down the Ctrl key, and the Alt key, and press the delete key.  Choose Task Manager. Choose the Start-up tab.

Do a Virus scan

This is a link to a page by Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert, which gives a list of free programmes which will scan your computer for viruses.  The programmes are from safe sources, and are free to download and run.  I tried the microsoft one, and it found no errors on my PC.
If you have anti-virus software on your PC which is up to date, you should be fine.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/free-anti-virus-software#virus

You may need to know what version of Windows you have on your PC in order to download the right version of the virus scan program.  To find out what version of windows you have, click on Start,  then right click on Computer, and click on Properties.

(For Windows 8, on the Start screen type “windows version” then choose “See if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit version of windows”

Magnifier – Windows 8

Sometimes you can change the size of things on your screen by changing the screen resolution: On the Start screen, type screen resolution. When the search panel appears, click on Change the screen resolution, and if your device allows you, you can change the settings.  This doesn’t always help though when you open an application that is not affected by changes to the screen resolution, and the text can still be very small and hard to read.

In cases like this, sometimes holding down the Ctrl key and scrolling with the center wheel of the mouse (if you use one)  will zoom in or out, allowing you to see things better.  If this doesn’t work, you can turn on Magnifier.

On the Start screen type magnifier.  When the search panel appearsclick on Turn magnifier on or off.  When the Settings window opens, click on the slider under Magnifier to turn the Magnifier on.

Everything will now be bigger!

Click on the Magnifying glass symbol to change the settings, or click on the red X to close.

If you want to pin this application to Start for easy access, on the Start screen, type magnifier.  When the search panel appears, press and hold Magnifier, and then tap Pin to Start. If you are using a mouse, right click Magnifier and then click Pin to Start.

You can also get to Magnifier by going to the Control Panel, and then choose Ease of Access, and then choose Ease of Access Center.  There are other features there that may be useful.

Magnifier – Windows 7

You can change the size of things on your screen by changing the screen resolution ( see Screen appearance – make things bigger/smaller for how to do this).  This doesn’t always help though when you open an application, like Skype for instance, and the list of contacts down the left is in a very small font and quite hard to read (and is not affected by the screen resolution change).

In cases like this, sometimes holding down the Ctrl key and scrolling with the center wheel of the mouse will zoom in or out, allowing you to see things better.  If this doesn’t work, you can turn on Magnifier.

Click on the Start button/logo at the bottom of the screen; type magnifier into the search box, and then choose Turn magnifier on or off.  This will open a new window – Click on Start Magnifier.  A window opens which shows you a magnified image of where your mouse cursor is, so by moving your mouse over a section of the screen, you get to see a magnified image.

If you want to pin this application to the start bar for easy access, right click with the mouse on the magnify symbol in the task bar and click on Pin this program to task bar.

To close the magnifier, click on the X in the top right of the magnifier window.

You can also get to Magnifier by going to the Control Panel, and then choose Ease of Access, and then choose Ease of Access Center.  There are other features there that may be useful.

File and Folder options – to Click or Double Click, Use check boxes

Did you know you can change your computer set up and decide if you want to click or double click to open a file?

Click on Start then Control Panel

Choose Appearance and Personalization

Choose Folder Options – a new window will open.

There are all sorts of options in here – you can choose to single click or double click to open an item. If you click on the View tab,  there is a whole list of things you can change – for example you could “Use check boxes to select items” – this is a particularly useful one, because it makes it a lot easier to see what items you have selected, for instance when you are copying or moving photos around.

How to tell what version of Windows your PC is running

If you need to know what version of Windows is running on your PC,  here’s what you do:

Click on the Start button
Right click on My Computer, then click Properties.

A window will open which tells you what version of Windows is running, and if you are using Windows 7, it will tell you whether it is 32 bit or 64 bit.