Windows Tips & Tricks
Windows Tips & Tricks
Learn a variety of tips, tricks, and ideas to get more from your Windows computer so that you and your students can be more productive.
1. Are you running the latest Windows 10 Creators' Update?
- Use the Microsoft Update Assistant to start the process on your Windows 10 computer
- Features of the Creators' Update include:
- 3D abilities to the Edge browser and PowerPoint
- Place 3D objects within a PowerPoint slide and other apps. It is also possible interact with those objects by zooming and revolving
- On Microsoft Edge, 3D can work with HoloLens to allow true 3D browsing
- Upgraded version of Paint 3D that allows users to draw a 3D sketch on one device, then view it on another Windows 10 device (e.g. mobile, HoloLens) as a hologram
- Paint 3D also integrates with Minecraft. Users can move their creations from the game into the app. From there, the creations can be edited and then 3D printed.
2. Protecting Your Windows Computer
- Keep your Windows computer up to date, using Windows Update and Patch My PC
- Eliminate 90% of security issues by not running your user account in administrator mode
- Malware Bytes* – Great to use when you think your computer has been infected with malware/spyware and you need your computer “cleaned out.”
- AntiRansomware – Although still in beta, Malware Bytes’ solution to ransomware offers real-time protection against ransomware, catching it before it can encrypt your files.
- Spyware Blaster*– An easy to use “inoculation” program against spyware/malware.
- Spybot Search and Destroy* – The best part of Spybot is the TeaTimer which protects your computer’s registry against contamination and immunizes your browsers (IE, Firefox) against malware.
3. Encryption Solutions for Protect Your Data
- Mac/Windows/Linux computer?
- Chromebook or use Google Chrome?
- Try Minilock for individual file encryption
- Android device?
- Get ParanoiaWorks' Secret Space Encryptor (SSE) for Android from Google Play store.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
"Virtual Private Networks provide an important element of privacy protection for users," Electronic Frontiers Association says. . .VPNs [are] one of the most effective tools for protecting privacy when using the Internet, due to the degree of anonymity they provide when accessing online services.
Free VPNs for Your Browser
VPNs that Protect All Internet Traffic from Your Windows Computer
Mobile VPN for Android and/or iOS
- All VPNs above have mobile versions
- OperaVPN (not to be confused with Opera browser) works great
4. Image Editing Tools
- Screenshot Tools: PicPick or Greenshot
- Paint.net (Free) – A simple paint program, but you can do some simple photo/image editing in it. Windows only.
- PaintBrush (Free) – A simple paint program, like Paint for Windows. Mac only.
- Pixlr.com (Free) - Provides an express editing, as well as a more detailed app you can work with! Also available as iOS app.
- Fotor Photo Editor Online (Free) - A great app to use for photo editing that works via your browser, Android or iOS device.
- IrfanView (Free) – A simple editor that allows you to resize images. Windows only.
- The Graphics Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) (Free) – A cross platform “Photoshop” like tool. Can be complicated for newbies.
- ON1 Effects 10 Free for Mac and Windows (Free)
- Blink Cliplets
5. Sound and Video Tools
6. Great Free Software for Windows
- Ninite.com: Install and Update All Your Programs at Once. Scroll down to see all the available apps. Get my favorite Ninite picks!
- Open Source Windows
- Compression Software (e.g. zip): 7-zip or PeaZIP
- File Copying/Moving or Management: TeraCopy and FreeCommander
- Text Editors: Notepad++, ConText
- Free Adobe Alternatives
- Scribus: Create great-looking, print-ready posters, newsletters and magazines
- GIMP: Refine your photos or create your own artwork from scratch, with support for Photoshop plugins
- LightZone: A digital darkroom for converting, editing and managing photos in batches or individually
- Inkscape: A versatile open source vector editor that's ideal for hobbyist illustrators and web designers
- Unsplash: Professional-quality stock photos in the public domain – totally free to download and use