Without wanting to start a platform war, we think there are some areas in which Windows could learn from OS X. One seemingly small, but delightfully useful feature enjoyed by Mac owners sees desktop icons created whenever removable disks are inserted. This can be added to Windows with TweakNow DriveShortcut.
On a Mac, plug in a USB drive or slide a CD or DVD into a drive, and an icon will instantly appear on the desktop. Remove the disk and the icon will vanish.
But if you’re a fan of Windows, you don’t need to consider making the jump to a Mac to take advantage of this feature – nor do you need to fudge it by having icons for all of your removable drives permanently on display.
A program called TweakNow DriveShortcut will create and delete shortcut icons as they are needed. Grab yourself a copy – it’s free of charge.
The first time you launch the program you can choose which types of drives it should be on the lookout for. As well as CD/DVD drives and USB drives, the tool can also be used to create shortcuts to regular hard drives, network disks and RAM drives; just tick the boxes next to those you are interested in.
By default, TweakNow DriveShortcut will use the first available area of your desktop to create icons when they are needed. With other shortcuts and files stored here you could find that you are hunting high and low for the icons.
To overcome this problem, you can opt to have the shortcuts created in the same place every time – just select Yes from the ‘Remember shortcut icon position on the desktop’ menu. While you are here, you should also select Yes from the bottom menu so the program starts every time you log into Windows.
Hit the Save button, close the program window and plug in a USB drive; a desktop shortcut will immediately be created. It’s a little thing, but it can make a big difference.
This is a great alternative to having permanent icons wasting valuable space, and allows for easier access to drive contents without the need to enable AutoPlay.
Mark Wilson is a software fiend and a fan of the new, shiny and intriguing. Never afraid to get his hands dirty with some full-scale geekery, he’s always trying out the latest apps, hacks and tweaks. He can be found on Twitter and Google+.
- Published 01/27/13