I've been running Windows 7 RC for a little over a week now and can't imagine going back to Vista at this point. I decided to start with a fresh install of Windows 7, so I've been in the process of reinstalling all of my applications and cleaning up my disk drives.
In the process, I went searching to see if there are any interesting Windows 7 power toys or tricks available. While I didn't find any power toys, I did discover that all of the Windows Vista tricks are still available on Windows 7.
Tim Sneath has an excellent blog post that covers 30 Windows 7 “secrets” and another series that talks about some Vista “secrets”. Not everything in those posts qualifies as a Trick (some are simply tips), but many of them do.
Here is a quick summary of what I've found so far for Windows 7:
- Win+Left Arrow and Win+Right Arrow: Dock a window to the left or right half of the screen.
- Win+Shift+Left Arrow and Win+Shift+Right Arrow: Move a window from one monitor to another, keeping them in the same relative location to the monitor’s top-left origin.
- Win+Up Arrow and Win+Down Arrow: Maximizes and restores/minimizes a window.
- Win+Shift+Up Arrow and Win+Shift+Down Arrow: Maximizes and restores the vertical size of a window.
- Win+Home: Minimize all the non-active background windows, keeping the window you're using in its current position. (Press Win+Home again to restore the windows to their original locations.)
- Win+(plus key) and Win+(minus key): Zoom in or out using Windows Magnifier.
- Win+E: Opens Windows Explorer.
- Win+U: Opens the Ease of Access Center.
- Win+D: Show/hide the desktop.
- Win+F: Opens the Search Results window.
- Win+L: Locks the computer.
- Win+B: Sets focus to the “Show hidden icons” button on the task bar.
- Win+M: Minimizes all windows.
- Win+Ctrl+F: Opens the Active Directory Find Computers dialog.
- Win+Space: Use “Aero Peek” to see any gadgets or icons you've got on your desktop.
- Win+R: Opens the Run dialog.
- Win+T: Move the focus to the first taskbar. (Pressing again will cycle through them.)
- Win+Shift+T: Move the focus to the last taskbar. (Pressing again will cycle through them.)
- Ctrl+(mouse click on a single application icon in the task bar): Toggle through each of the open windows in order. The best example of this is Internet Explorer. If you have five tabs open in a single Internet Explorer instance, holding the Ctrl key while repeatedly clicking on the single IE icon in the task bar will toggle through each of the five tabs in order.
- Ctrl+Shift+(mouse click on an application icon in the task bar): Launch that application with full administrative rights. You can also use Ctrl+Shift+Enter for commands from the search bar for the same action.
- Shift+(mouse click on an application icon in the task bar): Launch a new instance of the application rather than switching to the existing application. (You can also middle-click with the third mouse button or scroll wheel.)
- Win+1 .. Win+5: Launch a new instance of any of the first five icons on the task bar. (By the way, the icons can be reordered to suit your needs by simply dragging them around and can be pinned shortcuts or running applications.)
- Shift+(right mouse click on an application icon in the task bar): Show the Window menu. (You get different menus depending on whether the application is running or has multiple instances open.
- Win+P: Display the project options, which you can then use the arrow keys (or keep hitting Win+P) to switch to the different options.
- Win+X: Open the Windows Mobility Center.
- Win+G: Bring gadgets to the top of the Z-order (Sets the focus to a gadget).
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Scott is a C# MVP
who has been involved with computers in one way or another for as long as he can remember, but started professionally in 1993. He has worked at Fortune 500 companies and privately held start-ups focused on IT consulting where he gained experience in embedded systems design and software development to systems administration and database programming, and everything in between.
After spending 6 years as a systems administrator, Scott started developing eCommerce store fronts. Since 2001, he has worked on many different projects using .NET and C#. Although his primary focus right now is commercial software applications, he prefers building infrastructure components, reusable shared libraries and helping companies define, develop and automate process standards and guidelines.
Scott runs a software architecture-focused user group
, speaks extensively
, and contributes regularly to online communities such as The Code Project
, and is the Community Manager and Senior Editor for DotNetKicks