8 Hidden Tools In Windows 7 You Still Might Not Know About

image102   8 Hidden Tools In Windows 7 You Still Might Not Know AboutWindows 7 is by no means a new operating system. If fact, Windows 8 is already out there and available for those who wish to try it. This why I was doubly surprised to realize that there are still some hidden tools in Windows 7 I did not know about.

If you’re a serious Windows fan, you probably know about these hidden gems already, but if you’re just a regular person who’s been using Windows 7, you might be surprised at some of the things that are built into Windows 7 and require no further download.

Snipping Tool

There are tons of simple screenshot tools out there, but did you know there’s a rather good one built into Windows? Simply start typing the word “snipping”  in the Windows search to find the snipping tool. With it, you can take 4 kinds of screenshots – full-screen, window, rectangular or free-form.

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The snipping tool comes complete with a simple image editor where you can highlight things, mark things with different color pens and e-mail your screenshot to friends.

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You can save your creation as HTML, JPG, PNG or GIF.

Sticky Notes

Another hidden Windows surprise – built-in sticky notes. To access this (very) basic feature, start typing “sticky notes” in the Windows search.

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It might not be a full-featured and sophisticated solution like Stickies (which is my sticky note app of choice), but it sure provides the necessary basics. You can create multiple sticky notes in different colors and use almost any keyboard shortcut you’d use in Word, including CTRL+ALT+L for lists, CTRL+1,2,5 for line spacing, and more.

Magnifier

This is a very useful tool for those who find common font sizes too small to comfortably read. One solution is to increase resolution, which makes everything look bad, and the other is to use Magnifier. Start typing “Magnifier” in Windows search to find this tool. Using it, you will be able to choose between magnifying your whole screen, using a lens for specific areas or using the docked version in which the top part of your screen becomes the magnified portion of the bottom part.

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You can choose the amount of magnification you get and how it changes when you click + or –. You can also use Magnifier to invert all your monitor colors, for a relaxed white-on-black experience.

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Sound Recorder

There are many tools our there that can record, edit and convert audio to multiple formats. Sound Recorder is not one of them. Start typing “record” in Windows search to find this tool, which you can use to record simple WMA files, and that’s it.

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If you have nothing installed and you just need to make a simple recording, you can launch this tiny tool and be done within seconds. Click “Start Recording” and record your sound. When you click “Stop Recording”, it will automatically open a saving dialogue and allow you to save your creation as WMA. If you wish, you can later convert this file to other formats using a different program.

Remote Assistance

Do you often need to help someone else using a remote control program? Or do you sometimes need some help yourself? There are some very popular programs that do this, and do it well, but there is also a built-in remote assistance solution in Windows 7. Start typing “remote” in Windows search and launch “Windows Remote Assistance”. You will be prompted to choose whether you’re giving or receiving help.

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If you require assistance, you’ll be able to choose between creating an invitation file which you can send to your helper along with a password, or using Easy Connect, which is just exchanging passwords but it doesn’t always work.
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You can also chat with your helper/helpee, and configure how much bandwidth the program will use, among other things.

Problem Steps Recorder

If remote assistance is not enough, you can use Windows’ problem steps recorder. This tool records everything you do, and creates an MHT file complete with screenshots (even of multiple monitors) and a description of every step you made. You can also add comments to every step. To run it, type “psr” in Windows search.

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When you’re done recording the steps, the program will automatically save the output as a ZIP file containing an MHT file.

Malicious Software Removal Tool

This one is somewhat more known, and is a good tool to use in addition to other anti-virus programs. If your regular program doesn’t detect something, or if you happen to have nothing else installed, Windows provides its own malicious software removal tool. Type “mrt” in Windows search to find it.

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You can choose between a quick scan, a full scan and a customized scan, and MRT will scan your computer and give you a report on its findings.

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The tool only scans for a somewhat limited list of malicious software, so it cannot replace an anti-virus, but you can use it for extra security, and it also provides links to further reading on each malware on the list.

Disc Image Burner

This is more of a bonus than a hidden tool, but it can still be pretty useful. If you have ISO files you need to burn, and you don’t happen to have any other burning software installed, double clicking it will open the Windows Disc Image Burner.

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You can use this simple tool to burn the disc image, and that’s pretty much it. If you’ve associated ISO files with another program, you can access the disc image burning by right-clicking the file, choosing “Open with…” and clicking on Windows Disc Image Burner.

Conclusion

If you already knew about all these tools, don’t be put off, even a reminder of something you already know can be quite useful at times. Some of these tools can be quite useful, especially on a new machine where you still have nothing installed, but not only then. If some of these were new to you – welcome to the secret Windows 7 tools club!

Know of some more interesting hidden tools in Windows 7? Share them in the comments!

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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71 Comments -

0 votes

Mr Rage

WINDOWS 7 HAVE SOME OF THAT LOL!

0 votes

BillP

SOME OF THAT LOL…  Huh?
Can we have some of it too, please?

1 votes

mick register

I did happen to know of these. Might I point out one more?

Disc management:
This tool is more for advanced users, and lets you manage partitions on your hard disks.
I think it is quite a bit more hidden, as it is not listed in the start menu of every default boot like those mentioned above are.
All you do is type partition into the search bar.

0 votes

Yaara

Thank you! I did not include this one simply because I thought it might be useful to a smaller group of people, but it’s indeed hidden and indeed useful.

0 votes

Ye Olde Windows User

Magnifier; Sound Recorder and Disk Management are all carried-on from Windows XP. It’s time you knew your A-B-Cs. Or rather X-Ps.

0 votes

Yaara

I did not mean to imply that these tools are all brand new to Windows 7. Most Windows users use 7 these days, so I made the article about Windows 7.

Thanks for the input!

0 votes

Kaveh

Thanks Yaara, don’t be put-off by ” WE KNEW IT ALL” people, great article.

0 votes

Yaara

Thanks Kaveh!

0 votes

David Posh

The Magnifier operates much differently (and better in my opinion) than it does in XP-Pro.

0 votes

Ye Olde Windows User

In fact, Magnifier and Sound Recorder was there in the blessed old Windows 98 as well.

0 votes

Cell Travis

I used to see the Malicious Software Removal Tool while updating Windows but I never knew where i got installed or what it did. Thanks for the heads up. This should be useful.

0 votes

Yaara

Glad you found it useful!

0 votes

Seppe

That snipping tool is nice! Never knew about it, always used print screen and paint for my screenshots. Thanks a lot!

0 votes

Yaara

I was really excited when I first found this one too!

0 votes

Lizzi Thomp.Tremayne

me too! Thanks so much, Yaara! Have had little time to learn many tricks before now, but really need then now! Thanks!

0 votes

Staying

love the snipping tool, just wish it had a little text tool

0 votes

Rix

CORRECTION - The Problem Steps Recorder is launched by typing “psR” in Search, not “psT” as you mention in the article…

0 votes

Yaara

Oops, that’s a typo, you’re absolutely right. Thanks for the heads up!

0 votes

rainvibe

should have started with pssst! ;o)

0 votes

Arun

I can’t find mrt….

0 votes

Yaara

Maybe Start -> Run -> mrt.exe?

0 votes

JoeyDee

On my Win 7 SP1 Home Prem x64 searching “mrt” in the start menu search box gives me option to launch the MSRT.

Start>>Run>>mrt does the same.

What ver of Win 7 is installed on your pc?

0 votes

Suhel

hehe… knew em all ^^. (proud)

0 votes

Marshall

Thanks for the tips! 

One minor correction though.. To access the Problem Steps Recorder you should type “psr”, rather than “pst”. Thanks again!

0 votes

Yaara

Thank you! It’s typo. :) I will get it fixed.

0 votes

Gho5t

HOMICIDE_1.iso 
IMDB rating: not yet ratedPlot: In series one of this thriller, Ms. Lancet (Yaara Lancet) masquerades as a freelance writer, editor and tech blogger by day and a the vigilante crime fighter at night. Her MO, to solve homicide cases before the local police can find and arrest the perp. Her mission to rid the nights of evil. Her resistance, the public, curious about dodgy ISO’s being burnt to disc. Homicide_1 is now out on general release. Rated R for violence from the onset.

0 votes

Yaara

That’s pretty funny. :)

If you’re curious, it’s an image of a Homicide: Life on the Street DVD. :)

0 votes

Anonymous

I think the on-screen keyboard is a good addition to the list. It’s not new to 7, but is kin to the magnifier as to accessibility. Besides, it may add an extra layer of protection when typing in online forms. It can be launched by typing “osk” on the Start menu search box.

0 votes

Yaara

Good addition, thank you!

0 votes

Edertef

psr.exe is amazing !!

Thank you for saving my world !

0 votes

Jgl590

Found most of these the first week I had my Windows 7 computer; only thing different was instead of typing I just clicked down in the corner with my mouse and located most of these right away.  The Snipping Tool is right at the top.  Most of the rest are in Accessories or Ease of Access.  (Thought I would mention it for all the “mousers” like me.)  Thanks for describing everything for us though.  

0 votes

JoeyDee

I just about wear out the snipping tool on a daily basis, lol. The 7 Native disc burner along with the Win 7 USB/DVD Tool has rendered installed progs ImgBurn & Nero Burning Rom 11 (trial ver) rarely used on my pc.

0 votes

Jack Cola

I knew Windows 7 had the problem step recorder, but I completely forgot about it – thanks for jotting my memory back

0 votes

Henry Lahman

vista has snipper too

0 votes

JoeyDee

Spammers SUCK.

0 votes

JoeyDee

I see our “spammer” has left (been ejected from) the building…another one bites the dust lol.

0 votes

pedro parkero

The snipping tool  is my favorite new thing about Win7! I didn’t know about the Problem Steps Recorder. Could be quite handy in helping someone, as I just disable Remote Assistance in my computers (being it’s quite a security risk).
If I remember correctly, there used to be a duration limit in Sound Recorder in the older versions of Windows (1 min.?). Is there a similar limit in Win7?

0 votes

Yaara

As far as I know, there’s no time limit in Win7 (and wasn’t one in Vista either). If there is one, it’s definitely not 1 min.

0 votes

Babar

very helpful article for me. Thanks ‘Yaara’

0 votes

Yaara

Great, happy you can make use of it!

0 votes

Mark Schneider

virtual wifi and an advanced calculator might be of interest to some. 

0 votes

Yaara

I’m not familiar with virtual Wi-Fi, I’ll check it out. Advanced calculator is a good addition, thanks!

0 votes

Dane

thanks for your wonderful article. I found SnippingTool.exe through search function, but i cannot run it:(

0 votes

Yaara

Glad the article was useful for you. :)
What happens when you run the snipping tool?

0 votes

Anh Tao

Wow, I never knew we had something like PSR built-in in Windows 7. What a great tool it is. Thanks for the article!

0 votes

Yaara

It really is awesome!

0 votes

Adam

What about God mode?

0 votes

Yaara

Ah, now you’re talking true secrets! 

I don’t know, I find that aside from the “cheat” that lets you access it, God Mode is not actually that useful… I love the way you get to it though. :)

0 votes

captainsensible

most of these are already in Windows vista, which is my favourite OS. I use Win7 at work and Vista SP2 in the home.

0 votes

Ray

I love the Snipping Tool.   Used in conjunction with the Character Recognition in Microsoft Document Imaging (part of the Office package), I can convert almost any screen content to text

I especially liked being able to snip and convert details on lists of files in Windows explorer…

Very nice capacity…

0 votes

Browndavidc

Nice tips. Thank you

0 votes

Bill Hanson

Thanks.  I needed that!

0 votes

Rafael Oliveira De Santana

I was surprised by two applications:Snipping Tool and Sticky Notes. Begin to use them now! They are very useful!!!!Thanks for the tips!!!!

0 votes

Nkrumah Boakye

I like it than ohter o/s

0 votes

Bill Gates

These are old tips and everyone is acting like its something totaly awesome. It aint that great. I take it Win7 must be all your first OS!

0 votes

Charles Rachor

huh….i knew all of them except the Malicious Software Removal Tool…..nice to know about.

0 votes

Shayde716

To Rix & Yaara: Yaara, you did state to type “psr” in the search bar, and not “pst” as Rix “thought” they saw, so there was no typo involved!!!Up your visual magnification, Rix!!!!

0 votes

Yaara

Thank you for the comment Shayde. :)

They were actually right about the typo, I just got the editor to fix it when I found out about it. These things happen! :)

0 votes

K H

Hi, I use the starter edition of Win 7 and I can’t seem to find sticky note or the snipping tool, is it only offered in other versions of win 7?

0 votes

Jack Cola

Windows 7 Starter Edition doesn’t seem to have snipping tool :(

0 votes

Hazel

I use Snap all the time…is it not considered hidden? 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzQQcdw1qmY

0 votes

Yaara

AeroSnap is really convenient, but I think it’s more a feature than a tool. But AeroSnap, AeroShake and friends are definitely good things to know about. Thanks for the comment!

0 votes

Keith Larsen

Snipping tool does not have a built in Print function. Seems odd… The easiest way we have for printing in
Right-click – send to email recipient as attachment.  But don’t send it.
Just right click on the file to print it.

0 votes

Remedies For Insomnia

really very interesting to read your article. i have checked with my windows with your article. superb navigation.. thanks for sharing such a informative article 

0 votes

sai@dailyblogtools

thanks for the great tool “Sticky Note”.i donno about this tool.great share :)

0 votes

Randy

Did someone forget sfc , system file checker which checks the validity of the files in the operating system.  the command sfc /scannow is what you would use to start the process.

0 votes

Yaara

Thanks for the tip!

0 votes

Nahla A. Dimapunong

How about pressing Windows+S to launch OneNote’s Screen Clipping feature? I use it
often than the Snipping tool. It’s pretty nifty since it will automatically
transfer the clip to OneNote, which I constantly use. Try Windows+N too to launch OneNote in a smaller window.

 

To enable, open OneNote then go to Tools=>Options=>Other=>Check the
box “Place OneNote icon in the notification area of the taskbar” then press
OK and then you’re done! B)

0 votes

Yaara

Thanks for the tip! I never actually worked with OneNote. 

However, this post was meant to cover tools that are built into Windows, not ones you need to download, so I couldn’t mention OneNote in here.

0 votes

Tenderheart04

I cant find the image burner. I really needed it.

0 votes

Yaara

What version of Windows 7 are you using? What happens when you double click an ISO file?