100% perfect Windows: tips and tricks for Win98, Win 2000 and WinMe

Windows User magazine has put together a definitive list of the latest tips and tricks to help you maximise the potential of your present Windows operating system.

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By  Robin Duff Published  February 27, 2001

WINDOWS 2000 TIPS|~||~||~|Add HTML Wallpaper
Under Win2K, Win98 or Internet Explorer 4.0, you can make your to-do list or any text-based document part of your wallpaper.

Simply open Notepad and type whatever you want to appear on your desktop, then save the file with an .HTM extension.

Right-click on the desktop, select Properties and click on the Web tab.

Click on the New button, select "Web site" and click OK. Use the browse button to find your new file.

Click OK, then OK again.

Note that this is a real HTML document, because you gave it an .HTM extension. If you know how to create HTML documents by typing commands or using an authoring tool, you can spice it up with colors, sound, graphics, video, live links, ActiveX, Java or anything you choose.

Add Users from Command Line.
If you want to add or delete a user from the command line, you can do it through the NET USER command, like so:
net user [username [password] ] [/domain] adds a new user with the indicated username and password, and an optional domain. net user username [/delete] [/domain] removes the indicated user, with an optional domain reference.

Video wallpaper.
Add live, seamless video directly to your desktop using Microsoft Word.

First, you'll need a free Word add-on called Internet Assistant for Microsoft Word, an .AVI file to display and, of course, Internet Explorer.

After installing Internet Assistant, open Notepad and save the blank file as VIDEO.HTM. Open Word, then open the new VIDEO.HTM file.

Select Picture from the Insert menu and select the "Video" tab.

Use the browse button to select your .AVI file. Click OK and close Word. Right-click on the desktop, select Properties and click on the Desktop tab.

Click on the New button, select "Web site" and click OK. Use the browse button to find VIDEO.HTM.

Click OK, then OK again. Now you've got a live video on your desktop you can resize and move.

Always use a PS/2 or USB Mouse with Windows 2000.
Never install a Serial mouse in Windows 2000 because a serial mouse is not supported if the operating system is started in the Safe Modes.

Before you defrag, make sure you mop up.
Don't run a defrag without first emptying the Recycle Bin and removing Win2K-specific temp files.

These include anything that matches the wildcards *.TMP, *.DMP, and ~*.*. (*.LOG files can also be removed, but if you're running Win2K Server, it may be better to archive them and move them off-system instead of deleting them entirely).

Boot me.
If your Windows 2000 machine gives you problems— o the point where you are unable to boot— don't panic. You can get a simple, command-line version of Windows 2000 (named the Recovery Console) by booting the Win2K CD-ROM, choosing Repair, and then selecting Recovery Console.

You'll have access to most removable and fixed devices, including CD-ROMs and floppies.

Change Win 2000 components.
You can get Windows 2000 to allow you to add/remove components that it doesn't allow you to choose during setup, such as calculator, WordPad, and so on.

Open the SYSOC.INF file from the WindowsInf folder, and delete the word HIDE everywhere you see it. The Add/Remove Programs applet will then allow to choose Windows components.

Change network settings.
You may have noticed that Windows 2000 has moved some of the familiar network settings.

To change the Computer Name, Workgroup or Domain settings, click Start/Settings/Control Panel and select System.

To change other network settings click Start/Settings/Control Panel and select "Network and Dial-up Connections". Right-click on Local Area Connection and select Properties.

This area is similar to the Network Neighborhood Properties found in Windows 98 and Windows NT.

Don't bother looking for Remote Access Services, however, since it is embedded within Windows 2000.

Convert to NTFS.
Convert your FAT/FAT32 disks to NTFS in a "pure" Windows 2000 installation (not a dual-boot configuration) without reformatting.

To do this use the Command Line utility "convert". For example, convert d: /fs:ntfs.

Converting to NTFS does not destroy data but it is still wise to back up just in case something goes wrong.

Don't spool if you don't have to.
The Print Spooler service in Windows 2000 doesn't need to be left running if you don't print anything.

From the Control Panel, select Administrative Tools, then Services.

Select the Print Spooler Service, right-click on it, and hit Stop.

You can also edit the service's Properties page so that it has to be started manually (or is disabled entirely.

Encrypt files.
Windows 2000 lets you encrypt files and folders. Just open NT Explorer and right-click on the file or folder you'd like to encrypt.

File enhancements.
If you have a "pure" Windows 2000 installation (not a dual-boot configuration), consider upgrading your hard drive(s) to a dynamic disk configuration.

Click on Start/Settings/Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management and open the Disk Management folder under the Storage tree.

Right-click on the gray disk summary box, and select the "Upgrade to dynamic disk'" option.

Converting any disk into a dynamic disk results in better performance under Windows 2000, but if you have two or more hard disks you can create Spanned Volumes (volumes span multiple physical hard drives).

This becomes very important if a volume becomes full and you need to increase its size without creating another logical drive.

You can also create Striped Volumes that place half of a volume on each of two physical disks and write data in alternate stripes. This is the most efficient and highest performing volume type in the Windows 2000 environment.

Note: before trying any of the above, backup your data. Creating or deleting volumes wipes out all your data.

Get your CD titles.
The CD player included with Windows 2000 can connect to the Internet and download the titles of your discs and songs. When a music CD is inserted, CD Player launches and attempts to contact Tunes.Com and Music Boulevard to get the names of your tracks. Note that not all CDs are listed in their databases.

It's only me: log in automatically.
If you're the only person using a given Windows 2000 PC, you can set Windows 2000 to automatically log you in at boot time.

Open the Control Panel, then the Users and Passwords icon. Select a user from the list there, then uncheck the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" box.

Migrate from Windows 95.
Perhaps Microsoft is listening to its critics. Windows 2000 includes a migration path from Win95, which means most Win32 applications won't require reinstallation when you move from Win95 to Windows 2000.

Move that swap file.
Got more than one drive in your system? Put your swap file on a drive or partition separate from your WINNT directory for better performance.

Right-click on My Computer, then select Advanced, Performance Options, and Change. Select the drive you want your swap file to go on, type in the Initial and Maximum sizes, then click Set. (Be sure to set the swap file on your system drive as well, although don't remove it completely unless you want to disable crash logging).

The Shadow knows.
In 15-bit color or better, the cursor leaves a shadow on the desktop. Some people like this feature; it helps the cursor stand out more.

If you don't like it, you can turn it off: open the Mouse icon in Control Panel, click on Pointers, and uncheck the "Enable Pointer Shadow" box.

Tighten up: use Ctrl-Alt-Del for Password security.
By default, Windows 2000 lets you log in without having to press Ctrl-Alt-Del to obtain the login screen.

You can change this by opening the Control Panel and looking in Users and Passwords.

In the Advanced tab, check "Require users to press Ctrl-Alt-Delete before logging on."

Totally terminal.
If you've got Windows 2000 Server and don't have the cash to shell out for a remote-control program, consider using Terminal Services in remote-administration mode.

Click on Add/Remove Windows Components in the Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs icon, and select Terminal Services (but not Terminal Services Licensing).

Install Terminal Services in Remote Administration mode, then use the installed client-creation program to create disks to install the client access program on the computer(s) you'll be administering Win2K Server from.

Turn off Front Page Authoring for sites that don't use it.
If you're using IIS to serve your web pages, but you're not using FrontPage to do authoring, turn off FP authoring in your sites to get additional security.

Right-click on the website in question in the IIS console, select Properties, and click the Server Extensions tab.

Uncheck "Enable authoring" to turn off FrontPage extensions for that site.

Turn off the Start Button's personalised menus.
If you're not fond of Windows 2000 using the Personalised Menu system in the Start button menus, you can turn it off.

Right-click on the Taskbar, select Properties, and then deselect the "Use Personalized Menus" checkbox.

Start the DOS command prompt with a click.
By installing a free Power Toy from Microsoft, you can open a DOS command prompt from any folder with a mouse click. With the proper commands, this allows you to perform a variety of power tasks, such as an instant memory check of your machine.

To use the command prompt:

a. Create a folder by right clicking on the desktop, clicking New, and then clicking Folder. Choose a name for the folder.

b. Browse to http://www.microsoft.com /ntworkstation/downloads/ page and scroll to the Command Prompt Here 1.1 link beneath the Power toys heading.

c. Click to the Download Now button on the Command Prompt Here page. In the File download dialogue box which appears on your screen, click Save Program to Disk.

d. In the Save As dialogue box, choose to save the file in the folder you have just created, and then click Save.

e. Open the folder and double-click the downloaded file. This may create several new files in your folder. Among these, look for "Read Me" or "INF" files.

f. The "Read Me" file will contain any additional download information you need to know. To install the file, right click the .INF file and click Install.

||**||WINDOWS 98 TIPS|~||~||~|Add your printer to send to.
Print documents without opening them by adding your printer to the Win9x SendTo menu (accessed when you highlight and right-click on any file in a Windows Explorer or My Computer window).

Open C:WINDOWSSENDTO and create a shortcut there for your printer. Your printer will now appear the next time you access the SendTo menu.

Adding links by drag and drop.
To add new links to the Links toolbar, drag and drop from any of these sources: the icon in the address bar, the icon in the upper left corner of the browser window, an entry in the Favorites menu or a hyperlink on a page.

Aggregate your bandwidth.
If you have more than one telephone line, and an extra modem, you can potentially double your connection speed when using Windows 98 Dial-Up Networking by adding the second modem to your original connection.

Once the second modem is installed, open the Properties dialog of the desired Windows Dial-Up Networking connection profile, click the tab that says Multilink and add the second modem to the connection. (Your ISP or dial-up server must support Multilink PPP.) You can use both modems to support one connection at an aggregated bandwidth.

Your modems do not have to be from the same vendor or even connect at the same speed.

Always show me attributes.
You can display file attributes in the Details view for folders and dual-paned Explorer windows.

Select View/Folder Options and click on the View tab. In the Advanced Settings box, select "Show file attributes in detail view”, then click OK.

Another One Minute Life Saver.
A simple way to back up key system files. The OMLS batch file was written so it can run on either Win95 or Win98, but we recommend minor changes for Win98 users.

The lines below should be included in the OMLS batch file to specifically tailor it for Win98.

Remember to replace each instance of e:vault with whatever drive, path and folder name that points to the destination folder you created.

copy c:autoexec.bat e:vault
copy c:autoexec.dos e:vault
copy c:config.sys e:vault
copy c:config.dos e:vault
copy c:windowscontrol.ini e:vault
copy c:windowssystem.ini e:vault
copy c:windowswin.ini e:vault
attrib -r -h -s c:msdos.sys attrib -r -h c:windowsuser.dat attrib -r -h c:windowssystem.dat
copy c:msdos.sys e:vault
copy c:windowssystem.dat e:vault
copy c:windowsuser.dat e:vault
attrib +r +h +s c:msdos.sys attrib +r +h c:windowsuser.dat
attrib +r +h c:windowssystem.dat

Assign keyboard shortcuts to your favourite applications.
You can assign keyboard shortcuts to any applications that you use frequently, thereby avoiding a return to the desktop or the Start Menu to find the app's icon.

For instance, to assign a shortcut to Outlook, click Start/Programs and then right-click on Microsoft Outlook. Select Properties and go to the Shortcut tab. Near the bottom of the dialog box is a field for Shortcut key.

Tab to this field, press a letter and click OK. Windows will assign the shortcut to that application. For instance, if you press O and click OK, you can now use the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+O to launch Outlook at any time, regardless of what else is open.

AutoComplete everywhere.
You probably already know about the AutoComplete feature in the IE4 browser's Address box, but did you know it works for local folders as well? Start to type the pathname to the folder you want to open, and AutoComplete will guess. Once it guesses the right one, stop typing and press Enter.

AutoComplete for local folders.
You probably know about the AutoComplete feature in the browser Address box, but did you know it also works for local folders? Start typing a pathname, and AutoComplete will guess. Once it guesses right, stop typing and press Enter.

Autolaunch DOS.
Keep the MS-DOS Prompt readily available. Right-click on the Start button and select Open.

Double-click on the Programs icon, then drag the MS-DOS Prompt shortcut and drop it on the StartUp icon.

Now double-click on the StartUp icon, right-click on the MS-DOS Prompt shortcut and select Properties.

Select Minimized, then click once in the Shortcut Key box and type in the hotkey of your choice (say, Ctrl+D). From now on, a minimized MS-DOS Prompt will launch at start-up. Whenever you want to enter a quick command, press your shortcut key to bring up the prompt.

Automate disk maintenance.
The Win98 Maintenance Wizard (Start/Programs/Accessories/Systems Tools) will make your programs run faster, check your hard disk for problems and free up hard disk space by auto-running Disk Defragmenter, ScanDisk and DiskCleanup according to a schedule you set.

If you leave your computer on, you can schedule maintenance at off-hours (such as midnight to 3 a.m.) to minimize downtime during work hours.

Automate Windows Log On.
Here is a tip for those readers who have two (or more) computers networked together at home and are bothered by the Log On box that comes up whenever the computer is started.

To cause the Windows Log On box to automatically proceed after a few seconds, you need to make some changes to your system registry.

Click Start/Run, enter RegEdit in the "Open:" field, and click OK.

Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Winlogon and add 3 new string values.

To do so, right click in the open area and add a new string value named AutoAdminLogon.

Right-click on its icon and modify the value to 1. Repeat the same process, making another string value named DefaultUserName .

Modify it by typing in the default users name.

Make one more string value named DontDisplayLastUserName and modify the value to 1. Close the Registry and reboot.

[Note: This does not work if your user name requires a password.]

Auto back-up critical files.
To increase the scope of the automatic backups created by Windows 98, add these two lines to the bottom of "scanreg.ini" in the C:Windows folder:
Periodically copy the most recent back up file (rb001.cab through rb005.cab) from the C:Windowssysbckup folder to another location.

The .CAB file will contain the eight files listed above plus the system.dat and user.dat registry files.

Back up to your network.
The new Seagate-based BACKUP.EXE utility included with Windows 98 can back up Win98 drives to network disks faster than any other device or method.

You can choose the network location to back up to, and locate the backup data easily.

You can choose the verification option for a backup to a network, but it will add 50 percent or more time to the process; but because of the reliability of network media, verification shouldn't be necessary with disk-based backups.

Keep in mind that a backup operation can clog network lines and affect performance for other users.

Back your backup.
The first time Win98 boots each day, it runs the Registry Checker utility to look for errors, then backs up your Registry and SYSTEM.DAT, SYSTEM.INI, USER.DAT and WIN.INI files.

The backups are stored in CAB files in C:WINDOWSSYSBCKUP and named RB000.CAB, RB001.CAB and so on.

You can't see them unless you set Explorer to Show All Files in My Computer/View/Folder Options/View.

If you don't frequently back up your system, you should at least put a recent backup on a diskette before making Registry changes or installing new software.

Backup selected files on bootup.
An undocumented SCANREG.INI file entry automatically backs up the files of your choice along with the other Registry Checker files, but only if those files reside in your root, C:WINDOWS or C:WINDOWSSYSTEM directories.

To specify the files to back up, open SCANREG.INI in Notepad and add the line Files= followed by the folder code (enter 30 for the root directory, 10 for the Windows directory or 11 for the System directory) and the filename, separated by a comma.

You can also add multiple files within a folder; simply separate them with commas. For example, if you wanted to add the SCANDISK.LOG and CONFIG.SYS files (located in your root directory) to your Registry Checker backup, add the following line to your SCANREG.INI file: Files=30, scandisk.log,config.sys.

Bail out of setup
Cancel your Win98 installation at any time by pressing F3. If the file copy phase started, use the Win98 Uninstall utility to recover your previous Windows version.

Before you reinstall Windows 98
Here's what to do if you've saved your Win95 configuration and want to reinstall Win98-and retain the option of uninstalling it and returning to Win95.

Search for WINUNDO.* using the Find utility; you should see the two files that store your Win95 configuration: WINUNDO.DAT and WINUNDO.INI.

Note their folder, then close Find and reboot your PC. When Windows first boots, hold down the Ctrl key to open the Startup menu.

Select Command Prompt Only. At the prompt, navigate to the directory for the WINUNDO files, then create a folder named UNDO on your drive using the MD command.

Type attrib -r -s -h WINUNDO.* at the prompt to remove the attributes of the WINUNDO files.

Use the DOS MOVE command to move the WINUNDO.* files into the UNDO folder.

Restart and reinstall Win98.

Now the Win98 installation program won't know where to find your Win95 undo files, and they'll be safe.

Big (or small) help.
To change the size of text in Win98 Help, you need to modify your Internet browsing settings, because the new Help is based on HTML.

Launch the Internet Control Panel applet, click on the Accessibility button and then on the "Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages" item. Click on OK.

Now click on the Fonts button and select anything from the Smallest to Largest option, using the Font Size drop-down menu.

Big, bold letters
Override the fonts used on a Web page by telling IE to always use the text style you prefer.

Select Tools/Internet Options.

Click on the Fonts button, then pick a font and size.

Click on OK, then on the Accessibility button.

Check the two buttons telling IE to ignore font styles and sizes specified on Web pages.

Boost CD-Rom performance.
In Control Panel/System/Performance, select File System and the CD-ROM tab.

Move the Supplemental Cache Size slider to the right to allocate more RAM for caching data from the CD-ROM drive, or to the left to allocate less. Multimedia programs perform better with a smaller cache because they seldom reuse data.

For reading continuous data, such as AVI files, use a higher setting for Optimize Access Pattern.

For reading random data, increase the Supplemental Cache Size and decrease the Optimize Access Pattern.

Bring order to shortcuts.
If you drag and drop a file onto the Start button, Win98 and the IE 4.0 Windows Desktop Update add a shortcut to the top of the Start menu. But if you just drag the file over the Start button without dropping it, the Start menu will open and you can position the new shortcut exactly where you want it. You can also hover over submenus to open them and then drop the shortcut.

Broken Windows Update.
If the Windows Update item on your Win98 Start menu stops working, here's how to fix it.

First, delete the Windows Update entry on the Start menu by right-clicking on it and choosing Delete.

Now replace it with a shortcut to C:WINDOWSWUPDMGR.EXE.

Name the shortcut Windows Update.

Build a better backup
Win98 comes with an improved Backup utility. If you want to use it for automatic backups launched by the Win98 Task Scheduler, you'll need to make a change.

Open the Backup utility (Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Backup) and click on the Open button.

Click on the Options button at the bottom of the window and open the Report tab.

Select the "Perform an unattended backup" option.

Bypass the Connect Button
Bypass Dial-Up Networking's Connect button when you dial your ISP.

Open Programs/Accessories/Dial-Up Networking from the Start menu and click on the Connections menu.

Under Settings, clear the "Prompt for information before dialing" box Be sure your browser's default dial-up connection saves and reuses your password automatically, so you can initiate a connection just by launching your browser.

Can't uninstall Win98?
If you reinstall Win98, make sure you do not choose Yes when the installation program asks if you want to save your Win95 system files.

Otherwise, the re-installation will wipe them out-if you chose the save option when you originally upgraded from Win95 to Win98.

In addition, you can't uninstall Win98 if you've compressed your disk or converted to FAT32.

What's more, if your disk was compressed before you installed Win98, you also won't be able to uninstall the operating system.

Cap Internet Temp Files
If your disk space is at a premium, limit space allotted to temporary Internet files.

In Internet Explorer, select View/Internet Options/General and click on Settings. A slider bar lets you decrease the percentage of your hard disk space that can be taken over by these files.

In Navigator, select Edit/Preferences, click on the plus sign next to the Advanced item in the left pane, then click on Cache. Adjust the settings for Memory Cache and Disk Cache to suit your needs.

Cascade submenus on Start Menu.
You can create a cascading folder for Control Panel and Printers (and for Dial-Up Networking under Win95).

Right-click on Start and select Open, right-click on the folder background and choose New/Folder and then enter one of the following lines: Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D} Printers.{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D} Dial-Up Net.{992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD010CCC48}

Change power settings.
Win98 will power down Energy Star-compliant monitors after 15 minutes of idle time, and hard drives after one hour. Change these settings by launching Power Management from Control Panel.

Change the default for REG files.
If you export a Registry key to disk or create a special RegEdit script, double-clicking the file automatically merges its content with the Registry.

You can prevent inadvertent merging of REG files by changing the default action to display a REG file in Notepad.

Select View/Options/Filetypes (Folder Options in Win98).

Then select Registration Entries from the Registered Filetype list and click Edit.

Choose Edit and Set Default.

||**||WINDOWS MILLENNIUM TIPS|~||~||~|Get back to the desktop quickly.
Ever tried to get back to the desktop when you have several windows open? It's quite a task minimizing all of those windows one by one.

That's why Windows Me has a Show Desktop button conveniently located on the taskbar. No matter how many windows are open, you can click just this button to minimize all windows at once.

Try it out! If you change your mind and don't want to use the desktop, you can click the Show Desktop button again to restore all of your windows.

Note: If you don't see the Show Desktop button, right-click the taskbar, point to Toolbars, and make sure Quick Launch is checked.

Run programs from Address bar
Did you know that in Windows Me you can run programs from the Address bar in the browser?

The next time you are surfing the Web and want to run a program such as Microsoft Word, just type the program name (including its path) in the Address bar, and then press ENTER.

For example, you might type: C:Program FilesMicrosoftOfficeOfficewinword.exe.

Browse the Web and your files with one program.
Why use different programs to browse the Web, your hard disk, and a network? Internet Explorer provides a single place where you can browse anything!

That's right, you can switch back and forth between Web pages, files and folders on your computer, network drives, and pages on a corporate intranet-all from the same browser!

The buttons on the toolbar change to match the content that you are viewing, and you always have access to Back and Forward buttons so you can get back to where you started.

How does it work? If you're surfing the Web and you decide you want to look at a folder on your hard disk, just type the path in the Address bar.

Or, if you are looking at files in My Computer and you want to check out a Web page, type the address in the Address bar.

Close several programs at once
Ever get in a hurry and suddenly need to close multiple programs and windows all at once? Relax.

Choose the programs and documents you want to close by holding down the CTRL key while you click each item's button on the taskbar.

Right-click one of the selected buttons, and then click Close.

Set system date and time.
Wondering which clock has the correct time? Make your computer's clock agree with all the other clocks in your home or office.

On the right side of the taskbar, double-click the time.

To set the date, click the correct day, month, and year.

To set the time, enter the correct time into the box.

To set your time zone, select the correct zone from the drop-down menu.

Ways to delete a file or folder.
Folders and files starting to clutter up your hard disk? Windows Me gives you several ways to get rid of files and folders you don't want.

Within Windows Explorer, you can use any of these methods:
Right-click the file or folder, and then click Delete.
Select the file or folder, and then press the DELETE key.
Select the file or folder, click the File menu, and then click Delete.
Drag the file or folder to the Recycle Bin on the desktop.

Explore more with Explorer bars.
When you use Web view in a Windows Explorer window (including My Computer, My Documents, and Control Panel), you can add Internet Explorer capabilities. For example, you can use your favorite search engine, view your History list, or search your Favorites list.

On the View menu, point to Explorer Bars, and then click Search, Favorites, or History.

To return the window to its original state, click the View menu, point to Explorer Bars, and click Folders.

Undo actions in Windows.
Have you ever accidentally deleted, renamed, moved, or copied a file you didn't intend to? Windows Me has an Undo command in every window, and it works just like the Undo command in other Microsoft applications.

If you're viewing a window (for example, a Windows Explorer window) in Web view, just click Undo on the toolbar.

If you're not using Web view, click Undo on the Edit menu.

Turn on file name extensions
By default, Windows Me hides file name extensions for all known file types, which is fine if you're in Details view. But you many want to see extensions in other views-and some e-mail programs may even have difficulty recognizing attachments without them.

To turn on extensions: On the Tools menu in Windows Explorer, click Folder Options.

Click the View tab.

Clear the Hide file extensions for known file types check box.

Note that you can set or remove this option for individual folders by opening the folder and following the steps above.

Move or copy files to subfolders.
You can use Windows Explorer to move or copy a file by dragging the file icon to a folder. When you have All Folders displayed on the left side of the window, it's easy to drag a file to a different folder.

If the folder you want isn't visible because the folder it's in is not expanded, here's a trick that will save you time and frustration.

1. Drag the file icon to the collapsed (unexpanded) folder, and hold it there for a few seconds.
2. The folder automatically expands and you can drop the file into the folder you want.

Rearrange programs on the Start menu.
Is there a program on your Start menu that you always use? Would it be more convenient to have it at the top of the menu?

To easily rearrange the programs on your Start menu by dragging and dropping: Click the Start button, and then point to Programs.

To move a program, drag the icon to the place in the list where you want it. You can also move program group folders by dragging them in the list.

You can also see programs listed alphabetically:
Click the Start button, and then point to Programs.
Right-click the programs list, and then click Sort by Name.

Like to see lists of your files in a certain way-as large icons, for example, or with detailed information?

You can set your view options (Details, Thumbnails, List, and more) the way you want them for all your folders at once.

On the Tools menu in Windows Explorer, click Folder Options.

Click the View tab. Set the view for this folder the way you want it to be for all folders.

Click Like Current Folder, click Yes to confirm, and click OK.

Show hidden program files
Showing hidden files can come in handy-for example, say you've tried to delete everything from a floppy disk and the disk properties still indicate 100K of disk space is being used by hidden files.

To see hidden files, follow these steps in any folder window:
On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
Click the View tab.
Choose the Show hidden files and folders radio button.

Warning! Don't be tempted to delete system files that Windows needs-when in doubt, leave them as you found them!

Use single-click everywhere.
It's so easy to navigate the Web! Just click a link and the page opens. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just click an icon in Windows to open a program or document? Well, today is your lucky day.

Windows Me supports single-clicking for folders and icons.

In the Tools menu in an Explorer window, click Folder Options.

In the Click items as follows section, select Single-click to open an item (point to select).

If you want to have more control over the exact settings, click the View tab, and then choose your desired settings.

Open up a Web page from the Start menu.
With Windows Me, you can get to a Web page from anywhere-even from the Run command on the Start menu.

On the Start menu, click Run. In the Open: box, type the address of the Web page you want to open.

Clipboard viewing
Few people know that Windows has a Clipboard Viewer for reviewing images and text that have been cut from or pasted into any application.

That's because no version of Windows, including Windows Me, installs it by default.

To set Clipboard Viewer up, select Start, Select, Control Panel and choose Add/ Remove Programs.

Next, underthe Windows Setup tab select System Tools, and click Details.

Scroll to and select Clipboard Viewer, and then click OK until Windows installs the component. (To accomplish the is step, you may first have to put the Windows CD-ROM in its drive).

To view the contents of the clipboard, select Start, Programs Accessories, System Tools, and then click the Clipboard Viewer Item.

Surf your computer the same way you surf the Web.
You can surf the contents of your computer, similar to the way you surf the Web with your browser.

On your desktop, click My Computer to open a window. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.

On the General and View tabs, you can assign several types of Web-like behaviors to your folders.

Along the left side of the window, useful information about the item you click appears. For example, if you point to a disk drive, the disk size and free space are listed. If you point to a folder, a folder description appears.

If you point to a file, you can see document details and (in the case of graphics) a thumbnail image of the file.

Customise the taskbar.
Want to customize your taskbar so you can do everything from one place, including starting programs, viewing documents, and surfing the Web?

Wouldn't it be great if there were an Address bar or Links bar on the taskbar along with your program buttons? With Windows Me, you can customize the taskbar to meet your every need.

Right-click the background of the taskbar, point to Toolbars, and then click the toolbar you want to add: an Address bar, a Links bar, a toolbar containing all items on your desktop, or the Quick Launch bar.

You can also create your own toolbar from any folder. Right-click the background of the taskbar, point to Toolbars, and then click New Toolbar. Pick a folder from the list. A toolbar containing all items in that folder will be added to your taskbar. You can drag the new toolbar to any location on your desktop, and easily remove a toolbar from the taskbar by right-clicking the taskbar and then clicking the item again to remove the check mark.

Search the Web directly from the Taskbar.
Windows Me lets you search the Web right from your taskbar. That makes your access to the Internet even more handy.

To get started, you'll need to open an Address toolbar on your taskbar.

Right-click a blank area on the taskbar.

Point to Toolbars, and then click Address.

The Address toolbar appears on the taskbar.

To search the Web, begin typing a Web address (URL) in the text box.

The AutoComplete feature will suggest URLs based on sites you've visited. Or type go, find, or ? followed by a word or a phrase.

Change your user profile.
In Windows Me, when you want to change which items are personalized for your profile, you simply update your User Settings. On the Start menu, point to Settings, point to Control Panel, and then click the Users icon.

Select your name in the list of users, and then click Change Settings.

In the Personalized Items Settings dialog box, select which items you would like to personalize, and then click OK.

Remember that the more settings you save, the more disk space is used.

Adjust cursor settings
You can adjust the blink rate of your cursor and its width on the screen. These options can help make the cursor easier to see on your screen or less distracting if you want.

Follow these steps to adjust cursor settings.

Steps using the keyboard:
Display the Start menu by pressing CTRL+ESC (or the Windows logo key).

Move to Settings by pressing S. Select Control Panel by pressing C.

In Control Panel:
Select the Accessibility Options icon by using the arrow keys.

Press ENTER.

Note that if all of the Control Panel icons are not displayed, press the TAB key until view all Control Panel options is selected, and then press ENTER.

In the Accessibility Properties dialog box: Move to the Display tab by pressing CTRL + TAB.

In the Cursor Settings area:
Move to Cursor Blink Rate by pressing ALT + R, then adjust the setting from slow to fast by using the LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW keys.

Move to Cursor Width by pressing ALT + W, then adjust the setting from narrow to wide by using the LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW keys.

Press ENTER twice to save your settings and close the dialog boxes.

To close Control Panel: Press ALT+F, C.

Steps using the mouse:
On the Start menu: Point to Settings.

Click Control Panel.

In Control Panel:
Click Accessibility Options.

In the Accessibility Properties dialog box: Select the Display tab.

In the Cursor Settings area: Adjust the Cursor Blink Rate by moving the slider left for slower, right for faster.

Adjust the Cursor Width by moving the slider left for narrower, right for wider.

Click OK twice to save your settings and close the dialog boxes.

To close Control Panel: On the File menu, click Close.

Adjust keyboard options.
Select the Keyboard icon in Control Panel to customize keyboard settings, such as adjusting the character repeat rate, repeat-delay speed, and the cursor blink rate.

Steps using the keyboard:
Display the Start menu by pressing CTRL+ESC (or the Windows logo key).
Move to Settings by pressing S.
Select Control Panel by pressing C.
In Control Panel: Select the Keyboard icon by using the arrow keys.
Press ENTER. Note that if all of the Control Panel icons are not displayed, press the TAB key until view all Control Panel options is selected, and then press ENTER.
In the Keyboard Properties dialog box, move to the appropriate tab by pressing CTRL+TAB (continue pressing TAB until you reach the desired tab): To adjust the character repeat rate, repeat-delay speed, and the cursor blink rate, select the Speed tab.
To specify the installed keyboard languages and layouts, select the Language tab.

Steps using the mouse:
On the Start menu: Point to Settings.
Click Control Panel.
In Control Panel: Click the Keyboard icon.
Note that if all of the Control Panel icons are not displayed, click view all Control Panel options.
In the Keyboard Properties dialog box, select the appropriate tab: To adjust the character repeat rate, repeat-delay speed, and the cursor blink rate, select the Speed tab.
To specify the installed keyboard languages and layouts, select the Language tab.

Change the DOS Window Font.
You can set the type size that appears in the DOS window from the MS-DOS Prompt Properties dialog box.

Click the Font tab and choose a set of font dimensions from the scrolling window. You set the font size for individual MS-DOS Prompt windows, so if you have two or more running, they can use different type sizes.

Change the Folder view fast.
You can change folder views— large icons, small icons, list or details--fast with Win98. To cycle through the views, click on the Views button. To select a view from a drop-down menu, click on the down arrow next to the button and choose a view.

Change the Help Fonts.
In the browser window, select View/Internet Options/General. Under Fonts, select the options you want. Then choose Accessibility the options you want under Formatting. (This changes the font only in the right pane of the Help window.)

Change the Printing Order
When you have a number of documents in your printing pipeline, you can rearrange the print queue (except for the document currently being printed).

Choose Start/Settings/Printers and double-click on the printer whose queue you want to manage

Create a printer shortcut.
You can give yourself drag-and-drop access to initiating a print job by creating a printer shortcut on your desktop.

Click the Start button, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

Click and drag the Printers icon to your desktop, and then click Yes.

When you want to print a file, drag it onto your new printer shortcut, and the print job will begin immediately.

Open a file with the application of your choice
Sometimes, when you click to open a file, the program that launches is not the one you wanted to open. For example, you might want to edit a picture with imaging software, but when you open the file your browser launches and displays the picture.

To set files to open with the application of your choice: While holding down the SHIFT key, right-click the file.

On the menu, click Open With, and then choose the application you want to use to open the file.

To change the application that's used by default to open a certain type of file, click Choose program, click the application you want used, and then select the Always use this program to open these files check box.||**||

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