Wendy's career in tech started with support and teaching, fueling a life-long love of helping empower users and help them feel confident in their technology skills. She loves helping someone have their "A-HA moment."
We get it, you are busy! But you know security best practices say that you should not ever leave your computer screen unlocked when you walk away. But when you are in a rush, it can feel so arduous to click here, press that! Who has the time?! But with this quick trick, you’ll keep yourself secure and look like a PC pro!
Windows Key + L
Clicking between different applications and screens is a D-R-A-G drag... especially if you work with a lot of keyboard shortcuts. Here’s a handy one you might not know!
Alt + Tab – press Alt and then tap Tab and release both quickly to swap back to the previous window/application you were working in. Do it again to swap back! If you need to move through several different windows, press Alt and tap Tab but keep Alt pressed down instead of releasing and you can select the window you need by pressing Tab until the one you want is highlighted.
We’ve all been working away only to have our computer grind to a halt. Most Windows users are familiar with CTRL + ALT + DEL to ‘End Task’ on a crashed program, but here is a handy tip to take task management to the next level!
CTRL + ALT + DEL and select Task Manager.
Make sure More Details is expanded at the bottom left of the window (you’ll know it already is if it says Fewer details instead).
Click the CPU column to see which applications are using the most processor time – this can be an easy way to identify a crashed program.
Click the Memory column to see what is using up for RAM (short term application memory) – this can be helpful to see if a program is using more memory than it should be. Quit unnecessary applications to get things moving again.
It can be helpful to check this right after a fresh restart, to see how much memory is in use right off the bat – if more than 30% is in use at boot, see the next tip!
We all know the drill, when your computer is brand new it boots in seconds but after awhile it starts taking minutes and everything seems to just run slower. The likely cause is too many programs starting up when you first boot into Windows.
We get to this Startup list from the Task Manager (see previous tip) and selecting the ‘Startup’ tab.
Look through the list and see if there are any applications you know you do not need to have running when you first boot. To turn off, Right-click > Disable. You can always return here and re-enable items if you change your mind or find a needed application isn’t working properly.
Everyone has their own personal preferences for how their application shortcuts should be organized. Windows 10 gives you several ways to visually customize the Start menu so that you can easily access what you need.
• Change tile size: Right-click on any pinned tile > Resize and select Small, Medium, Wide, or Large (the sizing options you see may depend on what Windows 10 update version you are using)
• Create tile groups: Click and drag a program to a blank area of your Start menu – a darker grey rectangle should appear, indicating a new group will be created. You can either move an existing tile or drag an application from the complete list on the left. Once your group is created, you can name the group by hover above the tile and clicking ‘Name Group’.
• Create a tile ‘folder’ group: Drag an existing tile or application on top of another tile to create a folder. To ungroup from a folder, drag each tile back out to the Start menu and arrange. The folder will automatically disappear when no more tiles are inside.
• To remove any tile you don’t want or need, Right-click > Unpin from Start.
As a kid, I recall enjoying getting "under the hood" with my old Apple II as much as I did playing games like Lemonade Stand (remember that one?).
I’ve always enjoyed technology and very early in my career discovered a deep love for teaching and training users. That moment when a novice user, distraught with frustration, finds their "A-HA!" moment and everything clicks – that moment is my joy.
My tech career has taken me down many roads but I’m always happiest when I can work with people and help improve their day. So often, in our technology-saturated lives, a bad day can quickly emerge due to frustrations with the very stuff that is supposed to be making our lives better and easier! I’m drawn again and again to my passion for acts of service that can help ease those frustrations.
I got my start over 20 years ago in Tucson, AZ working for America Online to help novice users get online for the very first time. I moved on to software testing and then web development, before packing up and moving to Seattle. After working for a number of large tech companies, I realized my passion was not being stoked because I was cut off from my true love – the love of guiding and teaching users! Now I spend my days assisting small businesses and home users who need a helping hand with their technology.
When I’m not working, I’m gardening, tending my chickens, walking my dog, or snuggling my cat (or maybe tinkering with a new tech toy).
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(360) 712-0445 (Press 3)