Computers or Laptops have transformed the way we navigate our daily lives, from work and communication to shopping and entertainment. But did you know that your trusty laptop or PC can also help you work distraction-free and reduce eye strain.
We’ve highlighted some lesser-known laptop and PC features that can greatly enhance your computing experience. These tips and tricks will make your life easier for sure.
1. Activate Dark Mode
Prolonged exposure to bright screens can take a toll on your well-being, causing eye strain and interfering with your sleep patterns due to blue light emissions. The remedy? Switch to Dark Mode, which alters the screen’s color scheme by darkening bright areas, easing the strain on your eyes. Dark Mode can even extend your laptop’s battery life. Here’s how to enable it:
-Open your Settings menu.
– Navigate to Personalization > Colors.
-Locate the section labeled “Choose your color” (on Windows 11, it might say “Choose your mode”).
-Select Dark, and Dark Mode will be activated.
Whether you’re immersed in work, gaming, or studying, enabling Dark Mode is a simple yet effective way to ensure your eyes remain comfortable and rested.
2. Personalize Your Start Menu
Remember the classic “Start” button? Well, it’s evolved, now featuring vibrant tiles and an expanded menu. Here’s how to tailor your Start menu to your liking:
For Windows 10:
– Go to Settings > Personalization > Start > Choose which folders appear on Start.
– Here, you can toggle the icons for File Explorer, Settings, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos, Network, and Personal folder on or off.
– Experiment with these settings to decide which recently installed and frequently used apps you want to display or hide.
– To switch to the full-screen Start menu, head to Settings > Personalization > Start and enable “Use Start full screen.”
– For a personalized touch, change your Start menu’s color by navigating to Settings > Personalization > Colors. Under “Show accent color on the following surfaces,” choose Start, taskbar, and action center, then select your preferred color.
For Windows 11:
– While Windows 11’s Start menu is less customizable than its predecessor, you can still make it your own. To modify the default layout:
– Click Settings > Personalization > Start.
– You can choose to hide frequently used apps, recently installed apps, and recently opened items, although disabling all three will leave you with an empty Start menu.
– To add folders at the bottom of the Start menu, click Settings > Personalization > Start > Folders, then activate the switch next to the desired folders.
– To remove pinned apps from the Start menu, simply right-click the icon of the app and select “Unpin from Start” (it will still appear in the App List). To add a pinned app, right-click an app not on the Start menu and choose “Pin to Start.” Adjust the order by dragging and dropping the pinned apps.
– If you prefer the traditional location of the Start button in the lower-left corner (as in Windows 10), navigate to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviors, and use the dropdown menu to switch the location from center to left.
3. Effortless PC Shutdown
This one’s a nifty trick: create a shortcut for swift computer shutdown with just a single swipe. It involves a bit of coding, but it’s a straightforward process. Follow these steps for both Windows 10 and 11:
– Right-click on an empty area of your desktop and select New > Shortcut.
– Copy and paste this code into the text box: %windir%\System32\SlideToShutDown.exe
– Click Next.
– Name the file something like “Slide To Shut Down” and click Finish.
– You’ll now see an icon on your home screen. Right-click it and choose Properties.
– Under the Shortcut tab, select “Change Icon” > OK.
– Pick an icon that suits this shortcut, then click OK > Apply > OK.
With this shortcut in place, initiating the swipe shutdown feature is a breeze.
4. Streamline File Sharing with Nearby Sharing
Windows offers its own version of Apple’s AirDrop® called Nearby Sharing, which simplifies file transfers between devices. Here’s how to set it up:
For Windows 10:
– Click on the action center icon at the right end of the taskbar, then select Nearby sharing and ensure it’s activated.
– There are different methods for sharing files, photos, and links:
– To share a file, open File Explorer, locate the file you wish to send, click the Share tab, select Share, and pick the target device.
– For sharing photos, open the Photos app, choose the image, select Share, and designate the recipient device.
– To share a webpage link, open Microsoft Edge™, navigate to the desired page, click “Settings and more” > Share, and choose the target device.
– Once the recipient accepts your invitation, they can opt to save the file on their own device.
For Windows 11:
– Go to Start, then select Settings > System > Nearby sharing. Choose the devices you want to share with, and review the services and apps with access permissions.
– File, photo, and link sharing follow slightly different steps:
– To share a document, use the search function and type “file explorer.” Locate the document in File Explorer, select Share from the toolbar, right-click the file, and select the target device.
– For sharing a picture, open Photos, select the image, then click Share. Choose the recipient’s device.
– To share a webpage link, launch Microsoft Edge, access the desired page, select “Settings and more” > Share, and pick the device you wish to share with.
– The recipient will receive a notification about the shared item on their device, giving them the option to save and open it.
5. Maintain Focus with Focus Assist
If social media, online shopping, or emails disrupt your workflow, consider using Focus Assist, Windows’ distraction-reducing feature. It lets you control which notifications you receive and from which apps, helping you stay on track during your workday. Here’s how to set it up:
For Windows 10:
– Click on Start > Settings > System > Focus assist.
– Choose between Off (receive all notifications), Priority only (see notifications from a customized list), or Alarms only (only receive alarms).
– Customize your priority list under the Priority only setting to specify which applications are deemed priorities or allowed through.
– Optionally, enable the notification that provides a summary of missed notifications once Focus assist ends.
For Windows 11:
– Navigate to Start > Settings > System > Focus assist.
– Select either Priority only or Alarms only to limit the notifications you receive.
– Fine-tune the allowed notifications by choosing Priority only > Customize priority list and adjusting the settings according to your preferences.
Boost your productivity by making the most of these helpful features.