Windows Can Do THIS? 15 Surprising Features You Had No Clue About

Guy McDowell 27-01-2016

Ever found yourself thinking, “There should be more to Windows.”


Well, Windows can do a lot more than you may think. Some things are alien even to respectable computer technicians. Some of these advanced features have been around for years, decades even. Some are brand new in Windows 10, or may need a free Windows app downloaded.

Let’s take a look at 15 of them and see what they can do for you.

1. Get Computer Help From Anywhere

This one is known to most veteran Windows users. The Remote Assistance feature allows you to send an invitation to your favorite computer person. Then they can log on to your computer remotely, to help you solve a problem.


It’s safe, don’t worry. Their ability to connect is temporary. You can even decide whether they just see your desktop or can interact with it.


All this time you’ve been relying on TeamViewer 11 Tips For Using Team Viewer - The Best Free Remote Desktop Connection Manager Whenever you're in need of a free remote desktop client with advanced features, TeamViewer should be your first choice. Let us highlight its unique features. Read More or LogMeIn. If you do ask your favorite IT person for help, make sure you take good care of them in return. You can turn on Remote Assistance in Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Remote.

2. All In One Calculator

You know there’s a calculator app 6 Underappreciated Features of the Windows Operating System There are plenty of Windows features you use every day, but some you might not have ever seen. Let's give these underrated tools some credit. Read More in Windows. But did you know that it’s really several calculators? It’s your basic calculator, but it’s also scientific, programmer, and statistics calculators. Seriously. And like any good multi-tool…wait, there’s more!


You can do unit conversion like inches to centimeters. You can figure out how many days you’ve been alive with date calculation. It’d be a bargain if we stopped there, but we won’t!


Did you know that it can do things you thought only spreadsheets like Excel 15 Excel Formulas That Will Help You Solve Real Life Problems Excel isn't only for business. Here are several Microsoft Excel formulas that will help you solve complex daily problems. Read More could? How about mortgage and leasing calculation worksheets? Use it to figure out how fuel efficient your car is – in miles per gallon AND liters per 100 kilometers. Whatever a liter is, pfft.

3. Clean Bloatware and Fix Windows Quickly

Deployment Imaging Service and Management (DISM) is a very powerful utility. We’ve covered how you can use DISM to quickly get rid of bloat and crap ware in Windows 10 How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 Windows 10 comes with its own set of pre-installed apps. Let's look at the methods you can use to remove the bloatware on your PC and debloat Windows 10. Read More , but it can do so much more.

You can use it to capture an image of a hard drive partition How to Create an ISO Image of Your Windows System Need to backup and restore Windows without backup tools? It's time to learn how to make an ISO image of your Windows PC. Read More , maybe to back up your computer. You can even use it to repair your Windows, without the recovery disks Prepare For The Worst: Disaster Recovery Tips You Need To Use Now Your biggest enemy is simply putting it off. Read More .



Just look above  at the help file on it. This may look like a foreign language to you, but if you’re willing to take the time to learn it, you might surprise yourself. You might find you can use this tool for things you never thought possible.

DISM is accessed by opening an elevated command prompt window 7 Common Tasks The Windows Command Prompt Makes Quick & Easy Don't let the command prompt intimidate you. It's simpler and more useful than you expect. You might be surprised by what you can accomplish with just a few keystrokes. Read More  (with Admin rights) and using the DISM command.

4. Move Everything From Your Old to New Computer

When you get a new computer Getting a New Computer, Part 1: How to Transition From Your Old PC to Your New One Ahhh! The joy of a new computer! An opportunity to start fresh and leave all the worries of your slow, dusty, old computer in the past. However, whether you've just purchased a new computer or... Read More , the most tedious job is transferring all your files and Windows settings Upgrading Hardware? Tips For Moving Your Windows Installation Without Having To Reinstall Cringe at the thought of having to re-install Windows? Upgrading PC hardware is exciting, but dealing with your Windows installation can become an issue. Here are your options for keeping your current Windows setup. Read More . That’s where Windows Easy Transfer makes your life, well, easier.



Easy Transfer will move all your files and folders from the Pictures, Music, Documents, and Shared Documents folders. You can also select files and folders from other locations. It can transfer your e-mail settings, messages and contacts. It will even preserve all your special settings that make Windows just the way you like it.

On Windows 7 or 8.1, just click on your Start button and search for “easy transfer”. Windows 10 users can use features available through the native Settings app The Windows 10 Settings Guide: How to Do Anything and Everything Do you know your way around the Settings app in Windows 10? Here's everything you need to know. Read More  and OneDrive to sync data How to Substitute OneDrive Smart Files in Windows 10 Microsoft broke OneDrive on Windows 10 for power users. The removal of placeholders, also known as smart files, has disappointed many users who upgraded from Windows 8.1. We have compiled several workarounds. Read More  or use third party tools to move Windows settings and apps How to Upgrade to Windows 10 & Take Settings and Apps with You Windows 10 is coming and you have a choice to make. Either you upgrade your existing Windows installation, or you can install Windows 10 from scratch. We show you how to migrate to Windows 10... Read More  or backup and sync files 5 Online File Backup Services that Sync with Your Windows Device Backups can be easy. Start with synchronizing your files to a cloud storage service. This provides off-site copies and automatic backups. We have highlighted the best online file backup services for Windows users. Read More .

5. Send and Receive Faxes Without a Fax Machine

Faxing may seem a little old fashioned to you. But faxes still have a place in this world No Fax Machine? No Problem -- Easily Sign And Send Faxes From Your Computer Till the day we can finally kill off this antiquated machine of the past, you might need to send a fax every once in a while but find yourself without a fax machine. Try HelloFax. Read More , and the Windows Fax and Scan utility can help. It can let you use your computer to send and receive faxes. You can also use it to print, e-mail, and save and organize faxes.


Now keep in mind, you do need a fax modem for this to work. You might have to break into a museum to get one, though. It’s odd, but it is there, and you might need it, but not know about it.

Windows Fax and Scan can be found by going to your Start menu and searching on “fax and scan”; even in Windows 10!

6. Test Drive Other Operating Systems

You can create a virtual computer, or virtual machine Testing A New Operating System? Stay Secure With A Virtual Machine Read More as they’re called, on your Windows computer. On that virtual machine you can install different operating systems. In Windows, the tool for this is Hyper-V.


Want to test drive Linux Test Drive Linux Operating Systems with VirtualBox Read More ? Hyper-V. Want to try Windows 10 You Can't Download Windows 10 ISOs Anymore... Or Can You? Want to install Windows 10? The ISOs are no longer available on the download page, but you can still get them. Read More ? Hyper-V. Everything that happens on your virtual machine never affects your physical computer. It’s your computer playground.

To install Hyper-V go to Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off. You’ll find it in there.

7. Set Up a Web Server

All the web sites you know and love reside on web servers The Best Web Hosting Services: Shared, VPS, and Dedicated Looking for the best web hosting service for your needs? Here are our best recommendations for your blog or website. Read More . Did you know Windows comes with one built in. It’s called Internet Information Services (IIS).

Now, you might not want to use your home computer to host your business’ website, but if you want to play around, learn some web programming, and see what makes web sites and servers tick, IIS is a powerful, and free, tool in Windows.


IIS also comes with a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server. If you don’t know what an FTP server The Definition Of A Client Server Network [Technology Explained] Read More does, it can be used as a place to host pretty much any kind of file. Then, using an FTP client FileZilla - Why This FTP Client Triumphs Over Its Competitors Portable apps make you independent. Stored on a USB stick or in your Dropbox folder, all your essential tools will be at your fingertips wherever you go. You won't have to install anything either. Read More you can connect to your FTP server from any where in the world and down load your files. You could even use it to host files for family near and far. Think of hosting family photo albums or videos, maybe useful documents or programs.

IIS is also installed from  Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off.

8. Make That Weird Character

Ever been typing an e-mail or a school report The 20 Best Apps for Students to Get Through a Day of School Whether you're in high school or college, these awesome apps should be at the top of your back-to-school to-do list! Read More and you need to make a character that isn’t on the keyboard? Maybe you want to make the copyright sign, or a subscript 1 on a footnote. Maybe you need some astrological or electrical symbols. How about a dipthong or an umlaut? What are those, even? Who knows?

Well you do, and Windows Character Map is a good way to get them. To open it up, go to your Start menu and search for charmap or character map.


Once it’s open, scroll through it, change to many other fonts even. Then just copy and paste. Or look at the bottom of the window for the Alt code.

Each character has it’s own little code. Hold down your Alt key, type the plus sign on your number pad and then the code for the character. When you release the Alt key, your special character will appear. This works in most Windows-based programs.

9. Get Better Monitor Color

It’s not professional photographer grade monitor calibration What Is Monitor Calibration, and How Will It Make Your Photos Look Better? Calibrating a monitor ensures that colors are displayed accurately, as well as consistently across every display, even when printed. Read More , yet the Windows Calibrate Display Color utility can make your viewing experience much more pleasurable.


Maybe you’re a gamer and your character doesn’t look right. Maybe you like to edit family photos, but they don’t look the same on the screen as your originals. Maybe you just want to have great color represented on your display.

The Calibrate Display Color utility can help with that. And you already own it. It’s in your Control Panel under Display and you can find it when searching from the Start menu.

10. Talk to and Listen to Windows

If you read our article on making Windows easier to use if nearsighted or farsighted Are You Nearsighted or Farsighted? Tips to Make Windows More Accessible for Young & Old Computers use print that's too small, your eyesight changes, you get headaches, and the computer gets called a lot of dirty names. Consult this guide to Windows Accessibility tools for some stress relief! Read More , you know that you can make Windows talk to you.

Windows Narrator will read to you what’s on your screen. Using keyboard shortcuts, you can make Narrator read the entire selected window, an entire document, or even just a page, paragraph, line, or word.


This can be quite helpful for people with visual impairments. But you might use it if you’re suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome, or just sick of looking at a screen. To start Narrator, open your Start menu, search for narrator and open the correct result.

Of course, if Windows can talk to you, it should be able to listen, too. Windows 10 users will know all about Cortana How to Set Up Cortana & Remove Her in Windows 10 Cortana is Microsoft's greatest productivity tool since Office. We'll show you how to get started with Windows 10's digital assistant or how to turn Cortana off for improved privacy. Read More , but Windows has been able to hear you for a while now. Windows Speech Recognition goes way back to the Vista days.

It might not speak back to you like Cortana, but you can use Windows Speech Recognition to do just about anything. Setting it up is easy and takes less than a minute. The commands are simple, make sense, and are easy to remember. You can open and close programs, dictate letters, and find and open files. That’s just a very small look into what Windows Speech Recognition can do How to Type & Click When You Can't Use a Mouse or Keyboard How do you use a computer when you're unable to use a standard mouse or keyboard? Using specially-adapted software, of course! Read More . Open your Start menu and search for speech recognition (not available on Windows 10).

11. Hands Off!

This handy feature was buried in the Food and Drink app back in Windows 8.1. It was there for a good reason, though.

Let’s say you had your favorite recipe open on your laptop or tablet, making a feast. You needed to go to the next page but your hands were covered in butter or dough. Oh no! Don’t worry, just wave your hand in front of the webcam 10 Ways You Could Use Your Webcam That You Haven't Thought Of Yet There's a surprising amount you can do with that webcam, so let's take a look at some uses you might not have thought of. Read More and Windows would turn the page for you.


That’s a good thing. The bad thing is that the Food and Drink app was discontinued. But you can easily get an app like NPointer NPointer: Control Your Mouse Pointer Using Hand Gestures Read More , so you can control your computer like it’s a Jedi mind trick.

12. Instant Extra RAM

ReadyBoost was added back in Vista, and was a bit of a flop. Some folks had a hard time getting it working, but most people didn’t even know it existed. It has been refined and improved over time and now may be of great use to you. Simply, it allows you to use external memory Need A Memory Upgrade? Outsource RAM & Speed Up Your Computer With ReadyBoost If you're looking to give your computer a quick & free speed boost, try ReadyBoost. The Windows feature adds additional memory to your system. All you need is a compatible flash drive. Read More , like a USB flash drive or an SD card, as a sort of RAM.


As of Windows 10, it can use ALL the flash drives that are connected to your computer. So, if your computer only has 8 GB of RAM, you could pop in an 8 GB USB flash drive and double your RAM.

In Windows Explorer, right-click on the USB drive you’d like to use, select Properties, then click on the ReadyBoost tab and follow the instructions. Nice trick, Windows.

13. Project a Really Long Distance

Network Projection is a feature that allows you to connect to a projector over your network. Provided, of course, that your projector also connects to the network. It might not be something that you’ll use with your projector at home How to Choose the Perfect Home Theater LCD Projector LCD projectors deliver high-detail images, and are more energy efficient. There are some nuanced considerations to make before diving in and spending money on features and aspects that you may not even need. Read More , but this little trick might make you the star of the next board meeting.


Instead of having to plug a video cable into the projector and have it dangling down to your laptop, just plug in to the network, connect via Network Projection and be a presentation pro.

Unfortunately, this feature appears to have been removed for Windows 10, but is still available in Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. From your Start menu, search for Connect to a network projector to find it.

14. Make Your PC a Video Star

New for Windows 10 is the Game DVR (Digital Video Recorder) utility. This one does require you to have the Xbox app for Windows 10 Windows 10 Is for Gamers: 6 Features You Will Love You will want to use Windows 10 for gaming! Whether it's streaming your Xbox One games to your PC, using the Xbox app, or enjoying high performance gaming with DirectX 12, Windows 10 enhances your... Read More installed. Intended to be used by gamers to make video clips of their exploits, there’s no reason you can’t use it to record whatever you want.

xbox recording

Press the Windows key + G to launch the Game DVR. It will ask you if this is your gaming machine. Click yes, we won’t tell on you. Then you’ll see the controls to start recording. It’ll even allow you to do some minor editing, like trimming the video length.

15. Show Your IT Person What You Were Doing

This is the one that even good PC techs might not know about. Using Windows Steps Recorder, you can provide a detailed list of everything you did right up to, and including, the point where your problem began.


The Steps Recorder will pack the recorded steps up in a nice little zip file that you can email to your favorite tech. They can open it and try to pinpoint exactly where things went wrong. That will help them give you the best solution that they can.

To start Step Recorder, search for steps recorder from your Start menu. It should be the first result.

Note that it will NOT record your passwords. So if you have to open a file with a password, you can safely record the steps. Your tech will not be able to get your password from Windows Steps Recorder. This trusty tool could really make your life easier, especially if you’re the de facto IT person for the office or family.

Are We Missing Anything?

Windows contains lots of hidden gems and each version can have something a little different. Microsoft also provides some very useful apps to give you even more functionality.

For all the bashing Windows and Microsoft takes, they provide you with an operating system that can do things far beyond your emailing and tweeting. A computer running Windows is a very powerful tool and can take years to learn all of its ins and outs. So take the time. When you think, “I wonder if I can do that on my computer?”, dig into Windows a little deeper. Maybe it can.

We’ve only just scratched the surface of Windows apps. Are we missing any that you think we should all know about?

Image Credits: amazed man holding laptop by Dean Drobot via Shutterstock, Npointer Hand Gesture Control via

Related topics: Tech Support, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Norm Grande
    December 30, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    I use the built in "snipping tool" instead of screenshot all the time. Best trick I was shown by another user. Just do a search for snipping and you will find it!

  2. Norm Grande
    December 30, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I use the snipping tool all the time! just do a search for snipping and then put a shortcut in your tray! Much better than screenshots.

  3. Mike
    June 6, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    You can copy the migwiz folder from a W7 machine to W10 and execute the Transfer Wizard from there. It works perfectly.

    • Guy McDowell
      June 15, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      That's good to know! Thank you.

  4. Rob
    June 6, 2016 at 3:50 am

    The calculator, interesting but no worksheets in my calculator.....

  5. Mark Davies
    June 6, 2016 at 2:50 am

    Great article !

  6. Anonymous
    June 5, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Computers no longer come with a Fax Modem. They discontinued that years ago.

    Windows 10 dropped the calculator that came with Windows 7 and earlier and replaced with a Calculator app

    • Rob
      June 6, 2016 at 3:48 am

      I do have a fax modem :-) the windows fax app can not render PDF files and sends such low contrast images that the faxes are useless....

    • Guy McDowell
      June 15, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      They may not come with the fax modem hardware, but Windows has shipped with the utility up to now.

      If you like the old Windows Calculator, you can still put it on Windows 10. Check out 9 Neglected Windows Calculator Features to Save Your Day (and Money).

  7. Anonymous
    February 3, 2016 at 1:52 am

    I already tried to get the fax thing set up, but it just won't work.
    Not even with different applications. So I still need to rely on good old paper for some stuff.

    The IIS is bascially never used by anyone. There are free alternatives that are much easier to install and manage .

    The color calibration is not bad in general, but can't compensate everything, there are way better solutions.

    ReadyBoost isn't extra RAM but more like adding extra disk cache.
    It works similar to superfetch which basically loads stuff from your hard disk into your RAM.
    ReadyBoost accounts for the slow transfer rate of USB and the small latencyof flash media by caching smaller files on your thumbrives.

    The GameDVR feature is something anyone who owns a gaming capable graphics card has already installed. The features are included in Geforce Experience and AMD Evolved. And there are other free apps that feature the same functions.

    The rest of the functions is between unimportand and niche functions.

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 1:58 am

      Hi Steffen. Thanks for reading!

  8. Anonymous
    February 1, 2016 at 8:53 am

    What about all of the things that come as standard on Linux desktops that Windows lack? It never fails to amaze me just how primitive a Microsoft interface is.
    - multiple desktops (I run 2 but I can run more)
    - the ability to log on to the machine more that once and with a different user id
    - more that one thing in the clipboard (I run 10 but I can run more)
    - automatic paste - I can highlight text, move the mouse, click left/right and the text is pasted in. No need to the messy ctrl/c - ctrl/v
    - automatic recognition - if I highlight a url, the web browser opens
    - I can turn everything off. My Linux system doesn't ask me "Are you sure you want to delete this file" if I've pressed the del key. It just deletes it.
    - Having a window always on top, without using an add-on
    - Log files that actually tell you something useful

    • nic
      February 2, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Congrats for opening a post about windows just to bash it. FYI though:

      – multiple desktops (I run 2 but I can run more)
      *windows 10 can do this

      – the ability to log on to the machine more that once and with a different user id
      *if you mean the switch user where you can login to a separate user whilst the other still being active in the background, then yes windows has been able to do that for a while.

      – more that one thing in the clipboard (I run 10 but I can run more)
      *microsoft office supports this. if you really want it pc wide there is a tool you can install

      – automatic paste – I can highlight text, move the mouse, click left/right and the text is pasted in. No need to the messy ctrl/c – ctrl/v
      *granted it doesnt have this, but doesnt really seem that useful? each to their own

      – automatic recognition – if I highlight a url, the web browser opens
      *same as the copy/paste comment

      – I can turn everything off. My Linux system doesn’t ask me “Are you sure you want to delete this file” if I’ve pressed the del key. It just deletes it.
      *you can do this

      – Having a window always on top, without using an add-on
      *granted, doesnt have without a free addon

      – Log files that actually tell you something useful
      *if you say so. you must have to dive into them more often than i do.

      • Guy McDowell
        February 3, 2016 at 1:28 am


        Whenever I hear someone complain about an operating system, I wonder if they've even really tried learning about it. Thanks for the break down on the things Linux has that Windows supposedly doesn't. :)

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 1:26 am

      Those things would be featured in our articles about Linux.

      We've done a few. :)

    January 31, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    The biggest advantage of OS X over Windows is the absence of registry which basically keeps your system fast as the first time you powered up your new computer. With windows, a year after it get's mega slow without constant boring maintenance and cleanups...

    • josh siddoway
      February 1, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      Have you never heard of plist files? this is kind of like a registry for Macs except they are in many different folder locations. This still cause Macs to slow down since uninstalling a program on a Mac does not remove the plist files.

      • Deezy
        February 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm

        Yes, but no. Once an App is removed, the small text plist file is never accessed again, except if you choose to manually. They do take up 4k to 20k of disk space if that bothers you....

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 1:30 am


      The biggest advantage of this article is that it's for Windows. We've probably got a few articles covering OS X too.

      You might like those! :D

    • Anonymous
      February 3, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Pfah. My company's accountant has been complaining about her MacBook slowing down for a year now.

  10. lott11
    January 31, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Ho Wow.
    Let see all applications that were listed, have been copied from other OS Systems.
    Let just take gesture control ho! where this came from?
    Yes that would be Ubuntu and SUSE applications like Easystroke & compiz & fusion .
    Now if you really want a text to speech that work and it is free and use full get TTS reader (no longer available)
    And like other have stated most application have been on most Unix OS for years.
    By default any Linux or Bsd or Unix system has all those application all but one.
    That lack of privacy that any windows OS has been epic, and more than ever.
    And you are promoting an OS that has not even come out of beta.

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 1:32 am

      Hi lott11,

      Thanks for reading! I do appreciate it.

      I'm not really promoting Windows, any version. Just sharing what can be done with it. Fact is, lots of people have Windows and may find these features helpful.

      If not, like you say, there's many other operating systems to choose from. Cheers!

  11. ShortHawl
    January 29, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    The "use DISM to quickly get rid of bloat and crap ware in Windows 10" link in item number 3 is bad. I would like to read that article. Please fix the link or point us to the correct url.

    • Tina Sieber
      February 3, 2016 at 10:45 am

      Thank you for the heads-up! Link has been fixed.

      • Guy McDowell
        February 3, 2016 at 12:22 pm

        ShortHawl, thank you for picking up on that. You're going to love DISM.

        Tina, thank you for the quick edit. You're the best.

  12. Mike
    January 29, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Will remote assistance work outside of my network past my firewall? I support my children's computers in various locations using Teamviewer.

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 1:40 am

      It should as long as you allow it through your firewall.

  13. Paul
    January 29, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    I 've used Linux for years,but I have been curious about Windows.I don't think I could ever use an OS where you have to use CLI,though.

    • Bob
      January 30, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      It's more likely to need a command line on Linux...the Windows command line is worthless compared to bash. Most Windows users don't even know that there is a command line at all.

      • Anonymous
        January 30, 2016 at 4:30 pm

        And the Windows command line has been superseded by PowerShell. Windows power users know all about CMD and PowerShell, btw...regular users don't need to know about it, just like Ubuntu has GUI replacements for all the major BASH commands that are likely to be needed.

  14. imac1957
    January 29, 2016 at 8:17 am

    It is a litre and the rest of the world uses it.

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 1:42 am

      You're not wrong...but not completely right.

      As usual, there is an American spelling of an international word. Litre, as I know it here in Canada, is spelled liter in the U.S. Our style guide requires us to use the American spelling of all words. Just being neighbourly. ;)

  15. Kim Rubin
    January 29, 2016 at 4:13 am

    Amazing ! Windows add features that have been on a Mac for decade. Who would have thought of doing that??

    • Trent Doering
      January 29, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      And most of these have been in Windows for decades.

      • Guy McDowell
        February 3, 2016 at 1:43 am

        Too true, Trent.

  16. carnufex
    January 29, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Hyper-V is only available for the "pro" and higher versions of Win10.

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 1:44 am

      You are correct. I recommend Oracle Virtual Box for other versions of Windows.

  17. Joe Lavery
    January 28, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    #15 Step Recorder - great for creating instruction / training slide deck. At work, I follow along & record on my PC as a instructor performs an app demonstration.
    NOTE: The Step Recorder has a default of storing 25 'steps' (i.e.: screen changes). Up the quantity or else the resulting zip will have only the last 25 steps of the recording.

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 1:44 am

      Joe! Excellent idea!

      It could be a great tool for putting together instructions. I hadn't thought of that.

    • David
      December 9, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      I've not heard of that feature until now.

    • David
      December 9, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Paint is well-known but did you know you can use it to:
      Resize images (handy)
      Press PrtScn and paste in Paint for a quick fullscreen screenshot
      You can convert image file types (Windows 7 and up I think) but opening them in paint and saving them to other formats
      Cropping images/photos
      Set opened image as desktop wallpaper

      I have Photoshop but Paint is faster to load up.

      Win10: Press Windows Key + PrtScn to save a fullscreen screenshot to Pictures-> Screenshots

  18. Rusty
    January 28, 2016 at 4:36 am

    You don't type the + on the keyboard.
    That's just how they write it out, it's hold alt key -numbers- release

    • gmnelson
      January 29, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      also alt+(number) commands only work with a numeric keypad not the keyboard numbers. for laptop users use the 'numbers lock' function and the imitation keypad.

    • gmnelson2009
      January 29, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      also you have to enter the numbers from the numeric keypad not the main keyboard. for laptop users you have to use the 'numbers lock' function and the simulated numbers keypad.

    • gmnelson2009
      January 29, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      this feature has been available since windows 3 (sorry i posted this to the next comment instead of this one).

    • Anonymous
      January 30, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      Specifically, the ALT key -number pad- release; the top-row numbers don't work for this.

  19. Luana
    January 27, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    This article is written as if ALL windows versions can do all this stuff. Not serious and unprofessional. Please revise this and include info which Windows versions support each feature.

    • Guy McDowell
      January 27, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      Except those parts where I mention in which versions things are available, you are correct.

    • gmnelson2009
      January 29, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      this has been available at least since windows 3

  20. Mark Richardson
    January 27, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    ReadyBoost doesn't boost RAM. It's a hard drive cache. Your most popular files are mirrored in the flash drive which has no lead time to read the files back. This reduces load times of Windows and your favourite applications.

    You get the most benefit using it with traditional HDDs. With the rising popularity of SSDs, the benefits are less.

    If you remove theft ash drive, the cache resets. If you're short on USB ports, use an SD card instead.

    • Guy McDowell
      February 3, 2016 at 1:47 am

      Hi Mark,

      Of course, you are correct on how ReadyBoost works. The net effect is similar to adding RAM to the computer. That's what I was going for.

      Still, glad you shared that in case anyone was wondering how it worked, more precisely. Thank you!

  21. Anonymous
    January 27, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    "Each character has it’s own little code." ***its*** - "it's" always means "it is" or "it has."

    • Anonymous
      January 27, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      Grammar nazi. Pedant.

      • Anonymous
        January 28, 2016 at 5:31 pm

        Ignoramus. :)

    • Guy McDowell
      January 27, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      Oh Howard,

      I took you behind the woodshed once. Do I have to do it again?

      You must have meant to write, "It's is a contraction of it is or it has, whereas its is a possessive pronoun."

      • Anonymous
        January 28, 2016 at 5:32 pm

        Like Francois said, if you're going to be writing professionally, you need to get these things right...and if you took me behind the woodshed, why did you even make the mistake? Apparently I taught you nothing while you were there. :)

        • Guy McDowell
          February 3, 2016 at 1:48 am


          If you're going to be commenting as though you are an editor, I invite you to submit an application to We're always looking for sharp-eyed people.

        • Anonymous
          February 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm

          I've been an editor (edited two books professionally, including a rewrite of Chapter 1 of one of them).
          I also applied to be a MakeUseOf writer two years ago; was turned down. :(

    • Francois
      January 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Well done for pointing it out, Howard. Such basic grammar skills required to get this one, I can't understand how anybody can still make the mistake! <3 <3 Ignore the weaklings who think it's pedantic to get grammar and spelling correct.

      • Guy McDowell
        February 3, 2016 at 1:50 am

        I agree. How do you feel about correct grammar and spelling in comments?

        • Francois
          February 3, 2016 at 10:02 am

          We all make mistakes and that's not a mortal sin. Accepting corrections is the humble thing to do. I'm thankful to those who write and to those who find mistakes.

        • Guy McDowell
          February 3, 2016 at 12:21 pm

          I agree completely. :)

  22. Anonymous
    January 27, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Yeah, quit being lazy -- if a feature is ONLY available in Win 10 PRO -- say so!!!

  23. Anonymous
    January 27, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    But it can't make a tossed salad or take the dog foe a walk.

    • Anonymous
      January 28, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Why does your dog have a foe? Is he Snoopy, fighting his arch-enemy the Red Baron?

      • Anonymous
        January 28, 2016 at 5:52 pm


        • Guy McDowell
          February 3, 2016 at 1:51 am

          +1 for fcd76218.

  24. Steve
    January 27, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Only Windows 8 Pro and Windows 10 Pro have Hyper-V.

    • Guy McDowell
      January 27, 2016 at 11:39 pm

      It's also on Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter edition, Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter edition, and Windows 8.1.

  25. Anonymous
    January 27, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Nice tips. Did not know about the calculator, even though I use it daily.
    Hyper-V is not there.

    • Guy McDowell
      January 27, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      Might not be in the version of Windows you have. Sorry about that. As mentioned in the previous comment it's available in Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter edition, Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter edition, and Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8.1 Pro, and Windows 10 Pro.

      Although you can do the same thing with Oracle VirtualBox. It's free.

      I prefer it to Hyper-V. VirtualBox will run on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4, 2.6, 3.x and 4.x), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.