5 Ways To Quickly Launch Programs On Windows

September 27, 2012 at 9:35 PM | Posted in Windows | 3 Comments


Do you still launch programs on Windows by hunting down a desktop shortcut and double-clicking it? There are better ways – Windows has several built-in tricks for quickly launching applications.

Even if you know all the built-in tricks, you may want to try out Launchy or another third-party launcher – some people swear by them. They offer more features than the Start menu search built into Windows.

Taskbar Keyboard Shortcuts

On Windows 7, you can press the Windows key along with a number to quickly launch the corresponding application on your taskbar.

For example, WinKey+1 launches the first application pinned to your taskbar, while WinKey+2 launches the second one.

If the program is already open, pressing this shortcut will switch to it. If the program has multiple windows open, pressing this shortcut will switch between them – it behaves just like clicking the taskbar icon.

Start Menu Search

You can use the Start menu’s search feature to launch a program with just a few key presses. First, press the Windows key on your keyboard.

Next, start typing part of a program’s name – you can start typing immediately after pressing the Windows key. Typing a program’s full name, such as Mozilla Firefox will work, but you can also type part of a program’s name to launch it even faster.

For example, you can press the Windows key, type fir, and press Enter to quickly launch Firefox. (This may not work if you have another application installed with fir in its name.)

You can also use this trick to quickly open files on your computer – just type part of their name.

Custom Shortcut Key

If you launch an application frequently, you can assign a custom keyboard shortcut to it.

First, locate the application in your start menu or on your desktop, right-click its shortcut, and select Properties.

Click the Shortcut key box and type your desired keyboard shortcut. Press the keyboard shortcut you define here to launch the application from anywhere in Windows.

Run Dialog

You can also use the Run dialog to quickly launch applications. Open it by pressing WinKey+R.

In the Run dialog, type the name of a program’s .exe file and press Enter to launch it. For example, type firefox and press Enter to launch Firefox or type chrome and press Enter to launch Chrome.

Launchy and Other Third-Party Launchers

Launchy is one of the most popular launcher applications for Windows, and it’s free.

After installing it, press Alt+Space anywhere in Windows and the Launchy window will appear (you can change this shortcut in Launchy’s preferences, if you like.)

Type a search and press Enter to launch an application, open a file, or visit a website. It’s smarter than the Start menu in several ways – for example, typing ffx into Launchy will match Firefox.

It also includes other features, such as a quick calculator and plug-ins for searching your bookmarks.

Launchy also works on Windows XP, where it’s even more useful – it brings the quick application search feature found in Windows Vista and Windows 7’s Start menu to Windows XP users.

Find and Delete Empty Folders on your Computer Easily

August 20, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Posted in Windows | 68 Comments
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We have lots of data in our system which comprises of files and folders. A folder hierarchy can go upto many levels thereby making difficult for us to scan them for data. We also tend of have lot of empty folders in our machines, although unwillingly but we do have it.

Say for instance, you have moved some data or a file from a folder to a new location but it can happen that you forget to delete the parent folder thereby creating an empty folder adding to the system clutter. Although empty folder does not affect us but it degrades the system performance by creating disk fragmentation and adding the file clutter.

Therefore we advise you to scan your system for empty folders and delete them but if you plan to do this process manually then you are going to end up wasting lot of precious time of yours. Here is a simple tool called Fast Empty Folder Finder (FEFF) that is specifically designed for this purpose of scanning the system for empty folders up to any level of hierarchy and presenting you with a choice to delete them in one go.

FEFF is very simple to use too, you just need to download this executable file and run it to get the interface. Now you can either drag and drop the folder or specify a location to search for the empty folders. After scanning your system, it will present a list of all the empty folders before you, clicking which you can have a preview and selecting which you can either delete them temporarily or permanently.

Moreover you can also export this list as .csv or as .feff and also import the same to have a track of the folders that you have in your computer. You can stop the scan in between and also start a new scan with new set of filters to search for the empty folders.

The tool is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. You can download it from the link below.

Download Fast Empty Folder Finder

Re-enable Services and Windows Features Disabled by Virus Instantly

August 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM | Posted in Windows | 44 Comments

If you have been working on a Windows machine for some time now, you must have come across many computer virus attacks till now. Also you might be knowing what the system status is, after each attack. There are many different kind of computer virus and malware, each having their own type of adverse effect on the computer. Even if you have successfully removed the virus from your system, your computer might be struggling.

Most of these viruses affects computer and disables many Windows programs like Folder Options, Registry Editor, cmd and other features. Even if you have removed the virus from your system, these features are disabled and need to be re-enabled back before they can be used again. But a normal computer user can’t re-enable them back as these involve complex registry operations, even there is no surety that it would get fixed.

I came across one tool that can help you in this regard called Tangosoft’s Re-Enable II (or Re-Enable 2.0). As the name of the tool suggests, this tool can re-enable many windows functionalities and services in just one single click. You just need to make sure that the virus has been removed else the changes might not take effect. Also it is worth noting that, if the changes are undone then your system still have some traces of virus left.

With one click Re-enable will repair the following windows features:

  • Safe Mode
  • Registry Editor
  • Command console “cmd”
  • System restore
  • Start menu Run command
  • Task manager
  • Task scheduler
  • Safe mode
  • Right click context menu
  • My computer properties
  • Folder options
  • Windows explorer search
  • start menu search
  • Reset file and folder attributes
  • Ms Config
  • Restore explorer registry key
  • Re-enable will also edit hosts file
  • Scan and delete Autorun.inf files

The tool is free to use for personal use and requires .Net Framework 3.5 or above. You can also try the portable version of Re-Enable 2 but it would be of larger size as it already contains the required .Net Framework.

Download Re-Enable 2.0

How to Update Windows or Office Offline without Internet [Silent Installation]

August 1, 2012 at 2:45 PM | Posted in Windows | 17 Comments
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Updating your computer to the latest definition and patches is always a good habit but you can’t always monitor the updates and be present with the system. Also what if you have more than one computer which requires to be updated? You would definitely not download all the updates in all of them. With the help of offline Windows Updaters, you can download the updates in one computer and install them in many computers easily.

There are many offline Windows Updater tools available online but what I found better than the rest are the two tools listed below:

1. AutoPatcher

AutoPatcher is a simple utility that can be used to download the required updates for your computer and install them in as many computers you want. What you all need to do is just download this tool, extract the package and run this exe called apup.exe. Run the AutoPatcher Engine and install it as per your system requirements (also select which updates to download Windows or Office).

When you run this tool you will see the list of updates in the window. You can select the appropriate updates to download and install. When the download is completed, run AutoPatcher.exe. What is interesting about this tool is that all the updates will be placed in some folder by AutoPatcher which can be moved to other system easily for installation.

Works well on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Win 7.

2. WSUS Offline Update

The other great tool is called the WSUS Offline Update. This tool is also capable of downloading the selected updates and installing in any system. You just need to extract the package after downloading it, and then run the UpdateGenerator.exe for the program interface window. Now select the updates that you need to download and install.

Using this tool you can update Windows as well as Office along with Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender. After the tool has finished downloading files, you can move the files to another system by creating an ISO image of it. Then when you run UpdateInstaller.exe, it will install all the updates. Works great on XP, Vista and 7.

How to Make Your PC Wake From Sleep Automatically

July 31, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Posted in Windows | 11 Comments
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When you put your PC into sleep mode, it normally waits until you press a button before it wakes from sleep – but you can have your PC automatically wake from sleep at a specific time.

This can be particularly useful if you want your PC to wake and perform downloads in off-peak hours or start other actions before you wake up in the morning — without running all night.

Setting a Wake Time

To have the computer automatically wake up, we’ll create a scheduled task. To do so, open the Task Scheduler by typing Task Scheduler into the Start menu and pressing Enter.

In the Task Scheduler window, click the Create Task link to create a new task.

Name the task something like “Wake From Sleep.” You may also want to tell it to run whether a user is logged on or not and set it to run with highest privileges.

On the Triggers tab, create a new trigger that runs the task at your desired time. This can be a repeating schedule or a single time.

On the conditions tab, enable the Wake the computer to run this task option.

On the actions tab, you must specify at least one action for the task – for example, you could have the task launch a file-downloading program. If you want to wake the system without running a program, you can tell the task to run cmd.exe with the /c “exit” arguments – this will launch a Command Prompt window and immediately close it, effectively doing nothing.

Save your new task after configuring it.

Putting The Computer to Sleep

Put the computer to sleep using the Sleep option instead of shutting it down. The computer won’t wake up if it’s not in sleep mode. You can also change Windows’ power saving options to have the PC automatically sleep after it hasn’t been used for a while or when you press specific buttons.

You can also create a scheduled task that puts the PC to sleep. See: Make Your PC Shut Down at Night (But Only When You’re Not Using It)

Block Programs accessing Internet with Firewall App Blocker

July 27, 2012 at 9:09 PM | Posted in Windows | 12 Comments
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One of the great features that Windows have is the Firewall which helps us in not only blocking the functionalities of the programs but also prevent them from connecting to the internet. This helps us in many ways as preventing a program from connecting to internet helps in saving internet data, helps in securing the system, preventing the program to download some unwanted stuffs and other things.

Any user can make use of the default Windows Firewall and block any program but the process of doing this is not that easy. It involves some complex steps like visiting the Control panel, opening up System Security and adding the program as an exception. Although you may find this process simple but it can’t get simpler than just dragging and dropping the tool to enable all the restrictions.

Yes with the help of this tool called Firewall App Blocker, you just need to do this only. Just download the app from the link below, run it to open the interface and drag drop the program to add to the block list. The tool contains only two main buttons, Add and Delete which works in a simple manner. You can also browse for the executable file of the program and click the Add button to add it to the block list. Clicking the Delete button will remove it from the list.

The program not only improves the Windows Firewall functionality but also enables you to block any program accessing internet at the backend. The program is free and simple to use and since it do not require any installation it can be run directly from the USB drive portably.

Firewall App Blocker is tested to work on Windows 7 both 32 and 64 bits, however on Vista and Windows 8 it has not been tested to work.

Download Firewall App Blocker

Fix Windows is Not Genuine Message in Windows 7

July 25, 2012 at 8:36 PM | Posted in Windows | 3 Comments

We know how it feels when you are prompted by this “Windows is not Genuine” message every time you boot up your system. Though Windows is easily available today, not everyone wish to pay for this and thus uses the pirated copy of Windows OS.

Note: We do not encourage piracy and advise our viewers to use genuine software only.

Earlier we have also written about the “Windows Software Counterfeiting” problem and posted the solution using the RemoveWGA tool, which you can read here. “Windows is not genuine”, is a different problem than this and thus here is the solution below.


1. Solving this problem is very easy and can be done by using a simple tool called RemoveWAT.

2. What you all have to do is, just download this tool from the link below (in case this link is not working you can search the net for this tool with the same name).

3. Extract the archive and double click the tool to run it.

4. You will see couple of options listed, just click on the “Remove WAT” button and it will start working on the problem automatically.

When the problem has been fixed, your system will be required to reboot. You will see that after the reboot your problem has been fixed and you will no longer see the “Windows is not genuine” watermark at the bottom right of your screen.

Now you can use the system as original and also set the wallpaper and themes which you were not able to, earlier.

Download RemoveWAT

Download the Official How-To Geek Trivia App for Windows 8

July 3, 2012 at 9:11 PM | Posted in Windows | 29 Comments
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The new How-To Geek Trivia application has just been approved in the Windows 8 store, so if you’re already running the release preview you can go and download it right now for free. It’ll give you a daily dose of geeky trivia right on your Windows 8 desktop.

Click Here to Download Geek Trivia for Windows 8

Each trivia question will present you with the question, and then once you answer, will show you whether you picked the right one as well as the full description.

The application has a live tile that will update whenever there’s a new trivia question (once per day). After the first couple times you open it, the tile will revert back to normal.

There’s more to the application, including quizzes and a large amount of previous content, but what are you waiting for? It’s completely free, so go download it now!

Note: this is our very first release of the application, so there are bound to be a few bugs. You’re welcome to leave a comment letting us know about any you find.

Click Here to Download Geek Trivia for Windows 8

Disable USB Ports with USB Disabler to Protect your Computer

June 11, 2012 at 5:52 PM | Posted in Windows | 4 Comments
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Removable USB devices have a great significance in our lives. Almost all of us are dependent on these devices in order to store our data or to transfer the data from one computer to another because these devices are capable to hold large amount of data.

But have you ever thought that these devices may extract some confidential information or may transfer some malicious data to your computer. So if you want to be safe then you should prevent any third person to insert his/her USB in your system. But it is hardly possible to keep an eye on your system every time.

So for this you should use USB Disabler which is an appropriate solution for this problem. It has been specially designed to enable or disable USB storage access on your Windows computer. With this application the user can disable any USB storage / Pen Drive access to his laptop or PC. The user can set it to Read only mode, so that no one can copy the files from your system to any storage device.

To use USB disabler, follow these instructions:

• Go to the link given below and download the zipped folder, then extract the content of the folder and save it to a directory.

• Then double click on setup file in the folder and agree to the terms and conditions and then click next.

• The setup may ask you to check other option also and then it will install the app on your system

This app is really great to use and the file size is only 1 MB hence it won’t use up much of your download data. It is easy to use and is compatible with Windows Vista/ Windows 7 UAC feature. You will really like the app. You can download it for free from the link below.

Download USB Disabler

Lock/Unlock your Computer with USB Drive using Screen Lock

May 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM | Posted in Windows | Leave a comment
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We all have been using passwords for protecting our computers, don’t we? Some being too complex for anyone to guess and some being simple for anyone to find out like that of our car’s number.

But remembering passwords has always been difficult for most of us and the task becomes more difficult when we are supposed to remember the login credentials for many of our online accounts. Writing the passwords somewhere to remember is not at all a safe option.

Here is a cool tool called Password Booster Screen Lock that I came across recently, which will solve this problem. Using this tool we can turn our USB drive into a pass key which can both lock and unlock our computer for us. You can assume this drive similar to your “house key” plugging in which will unlock or lock your system.

How it works:

This tool called Password Booster Screen Lock quickly locks or unlocks your machine whenever you wither remove or plug in your enrolled USB drive. The USB drive can be enrolled using this tool installed in the machine.

After you login to your computer, Screen Lock quietly waits for you to insert your USB flash drive. Now, whenever you remove the device from the USB port, your computer login session is immediately locked. Only the device that was used to lock your computer can now be used to unlock you computer.

Any USB can be used as a locking device, as all you have to do is just connect one and select the “Enabled” option on the tool in the computer. Disabling the option will restore the drive and it won’t be further used as a locking device.

This is a great tool if you tend to forget your passwords and even when you don’t wish anyone to log in your computer at your back.

Download Password Booster Screen Lock

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