Top 10 Hidden Windows Features (You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner) – Howtoshtab – how to, lifehacks, tips and tricks

Hey what’s up guys I’m ThioJoe and for months I’ve been searching in my computer for 10 cool hidden Windows features you might not know about. Some of these I’ve talked about before, and others even I didn’t know about until recently. Now these are all in Windows 10 at least, but many will also be in earlier version as well. And if you guys end up enjoying this video, give it a thumbs up so I know to make more like this.

So enough chit chat, let’s go. Number one, the “secret” start menu. _Now it’s not exactly a secret, but somehow I didn’t know about this one until a few days ago. Everyone knows that ever since Windows 8, the start menu generally sucks and is hard to navigate, and usually takes a while to get to where you want. But, if you right click on the Start Menu button, it brings up a different context menu with lots of quick access shortcuts. You can go directly to the task manager, command prompt, or command prompt as admin, device manager, network connections, and even the control panel. No, not the new stupid “Windows Settings” window, but the good old familiar control panel we’ve known since Windows XP. Now of course you could get to all these without this secret start menu by searching or creating your own shortcut, but with this, it’s all one click away. Number two, Storage Manager, which I believe is Windows 10 only.

For this one you do have to go to the “Windows Settings” window through the start menu, then click the Storage tab. This shows you some basic info about all your Drives, but if you click on one of these, you can get some interesting data. _It will show you which types of files are taking up how much space, so you can get a better idea of where all your free space went, -and if you click on one of these again, it will show you specifically what is taking up the most space. So here I can see that in Apps and Games on my C drive, that I’ve got a few games that are probably responsible for most of the space on there. You an also see system files like virtual memory, the Hibernation file, and system restore points, or even temporary files as well. Not a bad place to start if you’re running low on space. Onto number three, the so called “God Mode” menu.

It’s also been referred to as the “Windows Master Control Panel” or “All Tasks Folder”. This one has been around since Vista I think, but still pretty neat. This is basically a list of shortcuts to almost every settings menu in Windows. To get to it, you simple create a new folder anywhere, and then rename it to the following string. Now most of the time you see instructions that say to rename it GodMode, period, and then all those characters, but really you can replace “GodMode” with anything you want, as long as the rest is the same. So I’m going to call mine “Everything”. In any case, the icon will change to the same one as Control Panel, and inside you will get a huge list of organized shortcuts to every Windows setting you can imagine. Also, if there’s one of these you need often, you can right click it and hit Create Shortcut to put a link right on your desktop, so you don’t have to search every time.

Next up, number four, Snipping Tool! This is probably one lots of you know about but if not, you’re gonna like it. Snipping Tool is a built in Windows program that simply lets you highlight and screenshot things on the screen. You can get to it just by going to the start menu and searching Snipping Tool, and I have a shortcut for it pinned as well. To use it you just hit New, and highlight whatever you want, and then you can draw on it, or just save the screenshot right away. Also, it doesn’t have to just be a rectangle. If you click the dropdown, you can snip a specific window, the entire screen, or even free hand it. So this is definitely something I use all the time, and it saves me from having to screenshot the whole screen and then crop it down like you used to have to do in the XP days. Really convenient. Moving on, number five is Sticky Notes. This one is really simple so I won’t spend much time on it. It’s another built in app you can find by searching or looking in the programs list, and it’s just a way to write notes and stick them on your desktop. It’s extremely basic, the only real options are to change the size and color of the notes, but not the font or text size.

But if you’re on a tablet, you can use Windows Ink to hand write on them. However one cool feature is if you choose to enable “insights” by clicking the three dots at the top, then the gear. With insights, it will look at the content of the notes, and use Cortana to show more info based on context. Like if you type what looks like a reminder, it can let you make an actual reminder. Or if you type in a stock symbol it will show you info about that, and all sorts of other stuff. Ok, number six, Windows Remote assistance. Here’s another simple one, and the idea is it makes it easy to either get assistance, or give assistance to someone remotely. To get to it, search for “Remote Assistance” in the start menu, and depending on your version of windows you might see something different, but here we’ll click “Invite someone to connect to your PC to help, or offer to help”. Then the next window you choose whether you’re the one that needs help or not, and it guides you through it. You can connect a few ways, including emailing someone a file, manually typing in the IP address, or using “Easy “Connect” if it works. Then you just control the person’s desktop and do whatever you gotta do, pretty simple.

Number seven, another feature for fixing your computer, the “Problem Steps Recorder”. You can get to this by simply searching “Steps Recorder” and it should bring up a small and very simple window bar. The point of the steps recorder is really two-fold. First, if you are having a problem with your computer, like it’s showing some error or something, you can record exactly what you’re doing to reproduce the problem. After you start and finish the recording, it will generate a page with screenshots and description of what you did, such as what you clicked on at what time, that sort of thing. So for example if you’re helping someone, and all they say is “it’s not working” without actually describing the problem in any way, you can have them do this to figure out what they’re talking about.

Now the other possible use for this is if you need to show someone what they need to do to fix a problem. Sometimes it can be really difficult to walk someone through what they need to do, so with this you can just do it yourself and send them the file to show them. Makes things a lot easier. Alright next number eight, Sound Recorder, or Voice recorder depending on your Windows version. This one is DEAD simple. Just search Voice Recorder in the start menu, click it, and it will bring up the most simple program you can imagine. It’s literally just one button. You click it, and it starts recording through your microphone. During recording though you have a wide selection of options such as pause, unpause, and add marker, or stop recording. Once you stop recording it saves the file, and while you can’t choose where it goes, you can right click it and hit Open File Location to find it and move it wherever you want.

Or if you click on the recording it does let you trim the audio, but that’s the extent of the editing you can do. Very simple program, but if you need to make a quick recording for something, not a bad little feature. Coming near the end, number nine is the “Malicious Software Removal Tool”. You can get to it by searching for the whole name, or just typing in “mrt” and hitting enter. This one is kind of interesting, because unlike the name might suggest, this isn’t a full fledged antivirus program. It’s purpose is to search and scan for the most widespread viruses for Windows, and is periodically updated through Windows Update. As the program will tell you, it is not meant to replace your regular antivirus, and it doesn’t do automatic scheduled scans. It only runs when you manually run it. It’s definitely best used along side your current antivirus, and I’d say it’s a good starting point if you suspect you have a virus. If it happens to be one of the common ones detected by the tool, this is an easy way to get rid of it quickly.

So if for some reason you don’t currently have an an antivirus program, which you should!, this is just another thing you can try. However, I would think that any decent antivirus would already be able to handle anything this tool does, but who knows. And now finally, number 10, a tool that you hopefully never have to use, the Windows Memory Diagnostic program. Now wait, before you run this, keep in mind it will try to restart your computer if you click the wrong thing, so pay attention. To get to it you can search for “Memory Diagnostic” and click on it. But again, watch out because the first option is to “Restart Now” which you probably don’t want to do. You see the tool is actually run outside of Windows when your computer boots, so your computer needs to restart to use it. Once you do, it will check your computer’s memory, aka RAM for any issues you may be having.

And the reason I said I hope you never need it is because if your memory does have issues, probably the only solution is to buy new RAM, since it’s a hardware issue. And if you do have a bad stick of memory it can manifest itself in many strange ways that might not even suggest it’s a memory issue at all. It’s not like you’d get an error message saying “Memory Error”. Instead, you might randomly start noticing a lot of your files getting corrupted, or random restarts and blue screens, or even bizarre graphics problems in video games, like this screenshot I took years ago that was the result of a bad stick of memory. You can see objects in the games kept doing THAT, and who would’ve thought it was the RAM. So next time you have weird computer issues, your memory is something to check with that tool. So, there you have it. Ten features in Windows that you almost never hear about. I know some of you out there probably knew many of these, but hopefully you at least learned about one or two things.

So let me know what you think down in the comments section, maybe I missed something, or maybe you didn’t know about ANY of these. And if you guys liked this video be sure to give it a thumbs up so I know you liked it. If you want to keep watching I’ll put some other videos right here, you can click on these even if you’re on a phone. And if you want to subscribe, I make new videos every tuesday, thursday, saturday, and consider clicking the bell next to the subscribe button for notifications or else YouTube probably won’t show you the videos otherwise. Anyway, thanks again for watching guys, and as usual I’ll see you next time, have a good one..

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