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MORE Windows 10 Productivity Hacks

1. Open Taskbar Items With Keyboard Shortcuts

If programs are pinned to the Taskbar at the bottom of your screen, there’s an easy way to open them without clicking. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + [Number key], with the number key corresponding to the position of the program on the Taskbar.

For example, Windows key + 2 will open the second item on the Taskbar. 

This is especially useful if you're typing furiously and don't want to lift your fingers from the keyboard. It may feel more natural to reach for the Windows key.

2. Delete Space-Hogging Apps

Computers start running slower as they grow short on space. One quick way to speed them up is to remove unnecessary apps that take up more space than they should, especially if you don't regularly use them.

To determine how much space any application consumes, navigate to Settings > System > Storage. Click on the drive you want to search (likely the “System” drive, "This PC"), and click “Apps & features” to see the list of apps installed on your machine and how much space they use. You probably won't remove your default browser, but you might find games, outdated utilities or even software that was installed automatically that you didn’t realized was taking up space on your drive.

3. Remove Ads From The Start Menu

The Windows 10 default settings includes applications on the right side of your Start menu. Microsoft calls them "suggestions," but they are actually ads for Windows Store apps available for purchase. 

To remove the ads in your Windows 10 Start menu, go to Settings > Personalization > Start > Toggle the setting called ‘Show suggestions occasionally in Start’ to the off position. 

4. Use Background Scrolling

With Windows 10, you can scroll up and down on any window even if it's not the one you're directly working in. This is a useful tool when you need to reference more than one file to complete a task.

The feature is usually on by default, but if it isn't, go to Settings > Devices > Mouse, and toggle “Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them” to On. Then you can place your mouse over a window that's in the background and use the scroll wheel to scroll. 

5. Show File Extensions in File Explorer

Microsoft hides file extensions by default, which makes it difficult to keep track of files, especially those with the same name.  For example, 2020Budget.xls and 2020Budget.doc.

 To see file extensions in File Explorer, do the following: 

1. Go to the Search bar at the bottom of the screen, and type in File Explorer Options, and click it. 

2. In the window that pops up, click the View tab

3. Uncheck the box that says Hide extensions for known file types. Click Apply, and OK. You should now see file extensions for all files in the File Explorer. 

You can also use the File Explorer Options menu to choose to show empty drives, hidden files and folders, and more.

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