Basic Windows 10 Pro Tips.
Create a restore point
This occurs automatically when you install an update. However, if you want to create one
at any time then here are the steps:
Start “Run” and enter sysdm.cpl
Select “System Protection” tab
Click on “Create”
Type in a name for your restore point
When it’s done click “Create” and you’re done!!
You should do this if you are installing a driver that you are not sure of or you just want to
back up the system state in case you need to restore your system to a previous condition
Windows key keyboard shortcuts
Win key by itself
Win key + B
Win key + E
Win key + D
Win key + I
Win key + L
Win key + M
Minimize all Windows
Shift Win key + M
Undo minimize all Windows
Win key + R
Run Dialog Box
Win key + Pause
Shows system properties
Win key + Tab
Select Open Window
Win key + F1
Ctrl + Esc
When a window has focus
Alt + Space
Open window control menu
Alt + Space then m
Move the Window (With mouse or cursor keys)
Alt + Space then s
Resize the Window (With mouse or cursor keys)
Alt + Space then x
Maximize the Window
Printing Windows Screens
If you ever want to print or email a Windows dialog box. It's easy. Just follow these steps:
When the dialog box you wish to print or email is on the screen and active press ALT +
print Scrn at the same time. This places the dialog box graphic into the Windows
Open whatever program you want to use. (It must be able to import bitmaps)
Press CTRL + V. This will paste the image from the Windows Clipboard to your
You can print or email it from there.
Basic PC Tips
ADSL2+ and NBN service Tips
Instead of the USB port or WIFI, use the ethernet port to connect the computer to the
If you do have a wireless router then make sure you have turned on WPA2-PSK
security feature. If this is not done then anyone with a wireless card in their PC can
use your internet.
Use a fixed IP address instead of DHCP.
If you ever upgrade the firmware of the router, always do it via a wired connection, not
via a wireless. If possible, back up your settings before upgrading the firmware.
Look for a router that has the function to save your settings out to a file. But be careful
where you store this file. Your username and password may be visible in any text
Get a router with a built in SPI firewall.
Check your monitor extension cable
If you have an LCD monitor that has a DVI input and your Video card does as well - this
this is the one to use. You get much better picture quality. If you must use the older style
D15 plug then make sure you have a quality cable for this purpose. Otherwise your image
will be a little distorted. Another thing that can result from a poor quality monitor cable is
that you will not be able to set the resolution to that recommended by the manufacturer -
especially true of wide screen monitors. Wide screen monitors usually support non
This tip is only really valid if you have separate colour cartridges. If your printouts contain
horizontal straight lines then chances are you just need to perform several head cleans or
one on your cartridges need replacing. If cleaning the heads does not solve the problem
(see the manual that came with your printer) Then your next step is to work out which
cartridge(s) needs replacing. Print this simple document from either Wordpad or any
version of MS Word for Windows, you’ll be able to tell which colour cartridge is nearly
empty. If changing the cartridges doesn’t fix it then I’m afraid the only remedy is to take the
printer in for service.
Hunting for quality PC Systems.
Talk to computer technicians
One thing I can suggest is when you finally end up at a computer shop, (after scouting all
the computer magazines, etc) see if you are able to speak to a technician not a salesman,
after all the technicians know the brands of equipment that come in for repair most often.
For home users, go generic
For home systems don’t go for a system that requires you to go that vendor when you
want to upgrade the components (such as the motherboard for instance). Instead, go for a
system that is based on high quality standard components. This insures that the PC you
eventually get is easily upgradeable down the track.
For servers, go Teir 1
However, for business servers, you may want to go for a specific manufacturer. Servers
built by specific manufacturers (like Hewlett Packard, Dell IBM ) are built to a standard and
thus offer superior performance specifications making them more suitable for servers.
Also, with servers, take out a four hour (or even two hour if you can afford it) onsite
warranty - that will come in handy one day.
Don’t just go for the cheapest system
Don’t let the price alone of the system be the deciding factor. A cheap machine now could
mean you pay for expensive repairs later on. In other words be prepared to spend a little
bit more for a quality system - one that won’t cause you heartache down the track.
Check the vendor’s history
Make sure the shop you buy one from has been around a while..I mean if you buy a PC
with a 3 year warranty, make sure the shop is likely to be around in a few years to support
it.... otherwise that warranty could be next to useless. Although individual components -
like the hard drive or motherboard will be under the respective manufacturers warranty.
Talk to knowledgeable friends
Do you have good friends that build PC’s for a living, ask them for their help.....they are
usually only too willing to help, but don’t over do it!.
Check out this site
If you need more detailed technical information on various pieces of hardware then I
suggest you head over to Tom’s Hardware guide. It does get heavy going in parts - but it
does give an objective look at hardware components.
Get (and keep) those original disks and manuals
Make sure the vendor gives you the original disks and manuals of any commercial
software preloaded on your new PC. Not only is this a legal requirement, but can save
frustration if you ever need to reinstall your software. You should also get the manuals and
drivers for all of your components as well, especially the motherboard manual. Even if you
don’t fully understand the manual at least you can take it with the PC if it ever needs to go
in for repair. One small thing to note here is that some vendors (especially big department
stores) have a special arrangement with Microsoft that allows them to sell you a machine
with the operating system preinstalled on the computer but don’t have to give you the
original CD. Even here, insist on getting the original Microsoft Windows CD (not just a
recovery CD either) . If they don’t - then buy your machine from someone else who will.
Buying that printer
Here are some things to look out for when buying that printer with your system:
If you are buying a colour printer then make sure it has separate colour cartridges
(preferably four colour - cyan, magenta, yellow and black). The reason for this is
because if you are running low on one colour and your cartridges are combined then
you would have to replace the lot!
Check the cost of the consumables - remember the purchase price is not the total cost
of ownership. It's the on-going running costs that need to be taken into consideration
Most printers do not come with a USB cable in the box - so don't leave this item off
your shopping list.
Mobile Phone Tips (geared towards Android)
Backup your Phone
With the amount of data stored on mobile phones these days, it would be a shame if you
lost it all. Get yourself an app that lets you backup your phone to your PC. If you own an
Android device, then one piece of software available for the PC is MyPhoneExplorer. This
application also lets you sync your phone contents to Outlook
Keep applications up to date
It’s possible that this setting is enabled on your phone by default. Authors release updates
for their application on a regular basis to improve features, to maybe fix bugs that they
have discovered. Always make sure that these are installed.
Install Antivirus Software
This item is left off most mobile phones yet it is the most vital. After all, your phone is just
a phone, right, Actually, your phone is basically a computer. It browses the internet, runs
applications, has memory, etc, just like a PC. There are some free ones available on
Google Play and also some Anti virus apps that cost money.
Here is a list of the more popular vendors (links to Google Play)
Webroot Security & Antivirus
Mobile Security & Antivirus - Trend Micro
Bitdefender Antivirus Free
Norton Security antivirus
McAfee Antivirus & Security
Sophos Security & Antivirus
Antivirus Security - FREE - AVG
Mobile Security & Antivirus - Avast
Search for other vendors on Google Play
Switch on Security locks
Make sure you enable any security or lock functions available in your phone. A password
is better than a swipe pattern as the oil residue left behind from your fingers can eventually
show the pattern required to unlock your phone.
Use WIFI where possible
A lot of apps do download data in the background. For many apps you can configure them
only to use WIFI for this. Doing this will save on your mobile data allowance. One thing to
be particularity wary of is how your phone gets its GPS location data. Configure this only
to get GPS location data fro the GPS satellites only and not from using your mobile data.
Configure mobile data limits
If you are not on an unlimited mobile data plan, then configure your mobile to notify you
when you have nearly reached your limit and to prevent further use of mobile data when
you have gone over your limit. If available for your phone, download an app that lets you
monitor your mobile data use - preferably by use of a widget. Also, if you take your phone
over seas, then switch off roaming data. Otherwise you are heading for bill shock -
sometimes costing your more than the original trip.
Update the firmware
It is important to keep your phone’s firmware up to date. This is because vulnerabilities
that may exist in older firmware could be used as an attack vector for malware and
viruses. For an android device this can be done over wireless. Make sure you have done
a full back up before doing this. To do a firmware update on an android device, make sure
your sim card is installed and then go to settings|About device|Software update|update
and follow the prompts.
Non standard Characters.
Use correct characters
I know this may be trivial but correct characters do look more professional on a web page
(or any document for that matter). For example, enter quotes as “” instead of " (shift ' ). So
just how does one create these correct symbols while creating pages. Here’s a list
showing you how to enter the most common characters.(incidentally these work in most
windows programs as well).
Open Double Quote
Close Double Quote