In this article, I’ve compiled a number of effective yet simple tricks that you can use. All of which are designed to make your computing experience that much better. Nowadays computers, laptops, smart phones and other devices are used, constantly and consistently in our day to day lives, to make work and life in general, easier.
These Top 8 Computer Tips and Tricks tips outlined in this article, should help you be that more efficient employee or student or maybe you work from home, on your computer. These are things that you can implement, right away.
Our computers, along with its operating system, is home to an infinite number of tips and tricks that most end users are unaware of. So, for this article, we’ll be going through just Top 8 Computer Tips and Tricks that you can, and should use, if you’d like to get the most out of your system.
Table of Contents
Grab The Top 8 Computer Tips and Tricks
1. Encrypting Your Files and Folders
If your computer hosts confidential data that you would like to hide, maybe it’s on a work computer. But you’re against copying the data to another external device, such as a HDD or USB stick, then you have the option of encrypting this data.
When you opt to encrypt your data, it means, you’ll only be able to access the file(s) from the system it was encrypted on. Even if someone were to take this data, copy it to an external drive and attempt to access it from their own system, they’d be unsuccessful. When you encrypt your data, it eliminates the need to actually hide your files, as the data is inaccessible, anyway.
To encrypt a file, all you have to do is right-click on it, then select Properties. This will bring up the Properties applet for the file. From here, click on Advanced. You should be able to find an option for Encryption.
Just click on that, then click on OK. After that, it will encrypt the file. Now, even if your data was taken without your authorisation, the individual that took it, will not be able to access it.
2. Clear the Temp Folder
Whenever you open a program, install a program or perform, just about any task on your system, there is a chance that it could generate data files. These files are typically stored in the temporary folder and are used, while the program is active. The unfortunate reality is that, oftentimes the data that is stored in the temp folder and used, temporarily, is not erased, after it is no longer of use. This leads to the folder becoming cluttered with old outdated files.
Fortunately, it is possible to clear out this folder. To do that, you will need to open the Run command box, by pressing Windows Key + R. Once the applet box appears, type %temp% into it and click on OK. This will open up your Windows Temporary folder, which should contain a lot of files and folders, depending on the last time it was cleared.
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Now, all you need to do, is highlight all the files in the folder and delete them. One thing to keep in mind is that, the system will not allow you to erase any files that are currently in use. So if you have any running programs, be sure to close them first. Before attempting to clear the contents of this folder.
3. Finding the IP Address of a Website
Ever wanted to know the IP address of a website? If so, then you can do it, by using this one simple trick. There are a number of things you can do, once you discover the IP address of a site.
To carry out this trick, you will need to open Command Prompt. This can be done by pressing Windows Key + R. This should bring up the Run command box, simply type cmd into it, and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter. When Command Prompt successfully loads up, simply type ping yahoo.com and press Enter. This will give you the IP address of Yahoo. Simply replace yahoo.com with the website of your choosing.
4. Instant System Lock
Do you work from home? Do you work within an office environment, where anyone can get up and approach your system and see whatever you’re doing, on it? Did you know it’s possible to conceal whatever you’re doing, simply by locking the screen?
Well it is possible. Just press Windows Key + L, and the screen will instantly lock. A trick that should be most useful for those who like their privacy.
5. Be Careful When Clicking Around
One basic rule you should adhere to, is the refrainment from visiting websites from dodgy neighbourhoods and downloading programs from untrusted sources. Those are the places where most end users have their systems compromised by malware; which is able to silently infiltrate a system, and wreak havoc before you even know what’s happening.
There are some plug-in tools that you can use like NoScript and Click-to-Play that will protect your system from threats linked to reckless clicking. So I suggest you give them a look in.
6. Unblocking a Website
Another very helpful trick that many end users are unaware of, is how to unblock a website. If you work on a computer that is connected to a network that has blocked a wide range of websites, whether it be a work system or a school system, then there are things that you can do, to unblock those sites.
In order to do this, you will need to use a proxy, which you’ll open up in your web browser. From the proxy, you should be able to connect to the internet via an unblocked server. This will, in turn, allow you to access websites, that would otherwise be unblocked to you. Another tool you can use is a VPN, which works the same way. Just download and install that, and you should be good to go.
7. Use Google Chrome Task Manager
The vast majority of computer users are aware that their Windows operating system has its own Task Manager. A built-in Windows tool that shows you all the programs and processes running on your system, at any time.
However, what a lot of people do not know, is that Google Chrome has its own Task Manager tool that you can access.
To open this tool, the end user need only press Shift + Esc while in the Chrome browser, and this should bring up the Task Manager.
8. Permanently Delete File(s)
If you’ve ever deleted a file on your system, then you will know that it isn’t completely removed. In fact, files deleted are sent to the recycle bin. The end user is thus, required to empty the Recycle Bin, to permanently remove a file from their computer.
However one little tip that is known, to a vast majority of PC users, is that it’s possible to delete a file, without having to send it to the Recycle Bin.
To do that, simply select the file, then press Shift + Del, then click on OK to the dialog box that appears, and the file will be gone.
A very useful tip for people who deal with a lot of files, installing, uninstallation and creating documentation.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website – https://www.compuchenna.co.uk/