10 time-saving Windows tips and tricks that help you get stuff done faster


Time may not necessarily be money, but it still matters. Every second you spend wading through context menus or clunkily navigating Windows is a second you could be doing something you love instead. And with so much of modern life tied up in technology, those wasted seconds can add up fast.

Now it’s time to reclaim those lost seconds, minutes, and hours. These simple Windows 10 tips and tricks aren’t glamorous and most aren’t even new, to be honest, but when deployed together they can seriously streamline your workflow.

Once you’ve mastered these methods, be sure to check out our guides to 10 helpful Windows 10 tools you might not know about and the best Windows 10 tips, tricks, and tweaks. Optimizing your setup gets awfully addictive, awfully fast.  

Adjust your startup programs

Let’s start where it all begins: When your computer boots up. Seemingly every program you install worms its way into activating alongside your PC. Some software, such as your keyboard’s management app or your antivirus, deserves that lofty status. Others don’t. (I’m looking at you, game launchers.) And every program that leaps to life when Windows does delays your ability to use your system, especially if you haven’t upgraded to an SSD yet.

Brad Chacos/IDG

Fortunately, it’s easy to seize control over which programs launch with Windows. Simply press Ctrl + Shift + Esc or search for “Task Manager” to open the Windows 10 Task Manager, then click on the Startup tab at the top. There, you’ll see all the programs clamoring for a spot in the startup limelight, complete with an estimated impact rating from Low to High. If you want to turn any off, simply click its listing and select Disable. Obviously, doing so means you’ll need to open the program manually to activate it from now on.

Customize your task bar

Now let’s start organizing things a bit better. Launching a program that’s pinned to your Windows 10 taskbar is always faster than hunting it down in the Start menu or on your desktop. So you’ll want to populate yours with the software and files you use the most.

To pin a program to your taskbar, simply right-click it and select the Pin to taskbar option in the context menu that appears. You can also do this to a program’s icon when it appears in your taskbar after opening it. You can pin frequently visited webpages to your taskbar by saving it as a shortcut via your browser’s setting menu, then right-clicking that shortcut on your desktop and selecting Pin to taskbar.

Folders can only be pinned to the Start menu, alas. You can pin specific files to your taskbar, kinda-sorta, but the process is slightly different, and brings us to our next tip…





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