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Top 10 Windows customisations for power users

A selection of the best tweaks to supercharge your Windows experience

You can’t be a geek and actually like windows the way it is. You have to change it and improve it. Let us look at some ways you can do just that.

Enable God Mode!

Name a folder “GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}” (without the double quotes) to make a one click solution for almost all of the settings available in Windows. Open the folder, and use the search bar to find a setting. You can rename the folder to whatever you want once it’s created.

God Mode

Geek Task Manager

The task manager is boring and for noobs. Real geeks use Process Hacker. You get granular access to all processes, which are all color coded for easier analysis, and also better graphs to show resource usage. It also offers an easy search for process details, can replace the default task manager and of course, the icing on the cake is that it looks awesomely geeks, making you want to show it off to friends.

Task manager

Context Menu addons

Dexpot used to be for people who wanted virtual desktops, but then Windows built it in. It still has a couple of tricks up its sleeve though, and giving you more context menus is one of them. Just right click on the Dexpot icon in the system tray, go to Settings > Controls > Title Bars and choose the area in which you want the context menu to appear, which button triggers it and modifiers (if any), target (active window) and action (stay on top). It also has more features to fiddle with.

Dexpot

Make Explorer great again

Windows Explorer now opens to Quick Access which is good for n00bs, but us geeks just want to get straight to business. Just show us our files already Explorer! Open up a new Explorer Window, go to File > Change folder and search options. Change the Open File Explorer to option to This PC. If you’re concerned about your privacy, uncheck the two boxes titled: Show recently used files in Quick Access and Show frequently used folders in Quick Access. Now Quick Access will work like the old Favourites list.

To sleep or not to

CaffeinatedYou’ve probably set your PC to its sleep settings after a lot of trial and error. Yet there are times you need to change that for a specific task, such as when downloading, or rendering, doing something important in the background, or just because you want it to stay awake. Get Caffeinated from http://dgit.in/Caffeintd and once installed you will get a coffee pot placed in your system tray. Want to keep your PC awake and bypass your power settings? Click the coffee pot and it will fill up. Want to return the PC to normal? Click the pot again and it empties of coffee. Simple.

Supersize your ClipboardDitto

For power users, the Windows default copy function just doesn’t cut it (pun intended). With Ditto everything you copy to the clipboard (text, images, code, whatever) you can manage better or past selectively. Just use the hotkey ([Ctrl] + [`]) to get further control over what goes where.

Disable ‘features’

Windows may be better, but it’s still filled with boatware. Here’s what you should turn off.

  1. P2P Windows Update Sharing: Windows uses your PC to send windows update files to other computers on the internet. This reduces your upload speeds and could be costing you bandwidth. Go to Windows Settings > Update and Security > Advanced Options > Choose how updates are delivered and turn it off.
  2. Disable the lock screen: You can’t disable this for when you boot into Windows, you can do it for wake ups from Sleep or manual Windows locks. Go to C:\Windows\SystemApps and look for a folder named Microsoft.LockApp_cw5n1h2txyewy. Just add a “.bak” to the end of the file name and voila! No more lock screen.
  3. Remove Old Windows files: You’re not seriously going to go back to Windows 8 or 7 are you? If you upgraded to Windows 10, you will have the old OS files on your PC, and with SSDs, every GB comes at a premium. Run Disk Cleanup (search for it in your taskbar), hit ‘Clean up system files’ and wait for it to calculate. Locate “Previous Windows Installations” in that list and click okay. You might free up to 25 GB of space like this!

Copy efficiently

What Ditto does for the clipboard, Teracopy does for copying of files – that is, it makes it a heck of a lot easier. Copying large queues of files is a pain with normal Windows Explorer, but not with Teracopy. It also offers file verification, queues up transfers smartly, and can skip past errors and finish the list instead of dying midway. It replaces the default Windows copier, which means no extra keys to remember or use.

Tera copy

Script like a pro

Using AutoHotKey you can script just about anything. And we do mean, pretty much anything! For example, if you spend a lot of time filling in forms online, all you have to do is script using AutoHotKey and you can automatically fill in your email address in any field using a chosen shortcut. Hate that stupid caps lock key? Change it to do something else. You can also set up mouse gestures to launch specific programs, and best of all, you don’t even need to know how to script, because of the large community that uses it, chances are the scripts you want have already been published online. Just download and enjoy!

Analyze disk usage

Windows 10 has a decent Storage Monitor (Windows Settings > System > Storage), but it doesn’t show where space is being taken up. Get Windirstat and put an end to that today. You get a nice colour-coded tree diagram of what exactly is taking up your space and shows you previews of the worst culprits. If you find yourself managing your disks often, this is a tool you cannot live without.

Windirstat

This article was first published in May 2017 issue of Digit magazine. To read Digit’s articles first, subscribe here or download the Digit app for Android and iOS. You could also buy Digit’s previous issues here.

Prithvi Sudhan

Prithvi Sudhan