One of the long-awaited features in Windows Vista was the ability to use symbolic links, the way you can in linux. Sadly, they don’t work quite as well as they could, but it’s a big upgrade from prior versions, and has solved a number of problems for me already.
In older versions of Windows, you had to use the Ctrl+Alt+Delete combination to login to the system. This was supposed to provide a higher security login, although I don’t know how. You also might be used to using that combination to login, and there’s a way to turn it back on.
If you are just running a home computer for gaming or something unimportant, you might not want to have to log in every single time you reboot your computer. There’s an easy tweak that will let you autologin.
Windows Vista is the first windows operating system to let you use a trial version for 30 days before buying. It’s a really great move for Microsoft, especially in light of how little benefit you get from upgrading to Vista in the first place. There’s a soon to be well known trick that can extend the trial period up to 120 days.
If you’ve used Windows Vista for 5 minutes, you’ll have seen the Favorite Links when browsing around your filesystem. What is annoying is that by default the favorite links doesn’t include enough useful links.
One of the nicer upgrades in Windows Vista is the ability to see the file name of a running process through the Task Manager. How many times have you seen a process in Task Manager but couldn’t figure out where on earth it was located? This ability isn’t turned on by default, but it’s simple enough to do.
Windows Vista Disk Cleanup wizard is really not all that bad, but I did find a small problem with it… It doesn’t fully empty your temp folder. It only allows you to delete temporary files that haven’t been modified in a week, as you can see in the screenshot.
Windows 7 or Vista automatically configures Disk Defrag to schedule defragment to run once a week, usually at 1am on Wednesday. I don’t know about you, but I’m usually awake at 1am on wednesday, and I’d rather schedule it for a different time.
The Windows Vista Aero Glass interface is one of the major changes in the newest version of windows. What is less clear for most people is what conditions have to be met for Aero to be enabled. If you are sure your system meets the requirements but it’s still not enabled, Here’s a list of conditions.
Everybody knows by now about the Windows Vista Aero Glass user interface, but what everybody does not know is that you can use this over a Remote Desktop connection if you’ve got the right settings enabled on the client and the server.
If you are running a dual-boot setup with more than one Windows operating system, It’s pretty easy to configure the default boot operating system with the GUI interface. Note that if you are using Windows 7 or Vista as one of the operating systems, you will need to make this change from 7/Vista, not XP.
If you are worried about privacy, you’ll probably be worried about 3rd party cookies. Those are the cookies placed on your computer by doubleclick and all those nefarious places. Internet Explorer makes it easy to block them.
The Windows 7 / Vista System Restore feature will make sure that software installations, drivers, and other updates can be rolled back. The only price to this feature is some disk usage. If you want to disable System restore, which is a bad idea, it’s really pretty simple.
If you are an overclocker, or are just suspecting a memory problem with your computer, you should probably run some memory tests. Rather than spending money, you can use the free tool included in Windows Vista.
If you want to speed up browsing around in explorer, you might think about disabling thumbnail previews in folders.
When you install Windows Vista as a dual-boot with your regular Windows XP partition, Vista is always set as the default OS. If you want to set XP as the default OS instead, there’s a quick command you can run to change it back.
I know what you are thinking. You want to open http://www.howtogeek.com, but it’s such a hassle to type in the http:// and the www and the .com. Here’s your shortcut method.
The Quick Launch menu is one of the most useful features in Windows, and Vista makes it even easier to add a program to the menu.
Windows Vista uses large icons by default in the start menu, and it hides the setting for small icons pretty well. No matter, we’ve located it. (Thankfully Windows 7 is a bit easier)
How often have you opened an Open dialog and wished you could just quickly paste in the path of the file you are already looking at in Windows Explorer? Well… now you can, in Windows Vista.
Remote Desktop is disabled by default in Windows 7, 8, or Vista, but it’s easy enough to turn it back on. If you need to access your Windows PC from another box, it’s an essential thing to turn on.
In Windows 7 or Vista, the screen goes dark when the User Account Control window comes up, which is extremely annoying. They call it the “Secure Desktop”, but I think it’s obnoxious.