Increase Productivity From Home with These Windows 10 Tricks

Robert Abraham
PD Account Manager / PD Specialist
News on July 06 2020

Working from home can be a stressful experience for many of us. Some are using work computers they are not familiar with while others are using home computers that don’t contain all of their work documents. Here are some tricks for Windows 10 computers that should help make your experience a little less stressful.

Take a Screenshot

This is a very basic task, but many forget how to do it on their Windows computers. There are many ways to actually accomplish this in Windows but the simple way is always the quickest. First, hold down the Windows key near the Spacebar and press the Print Screen key. This will take a screenshot of your entire screen and save it in the Pictures folder within a sub-folder called Screenshots on your hard drive. To take a picture of part of the screen, hold the Windows key AND the Shift key and press S. You can then click and drag to take a screenshot of an area. This will not be saved but instead copied to your Clipboard so you can paste it wherever needed.

Pin Items to Your Taskbar

Normally, there are a cluster of apps or programs on your computer, but some of them are used more often than others and you can access them quicker by pinning them to your taskbar on the bottom of your screen. To do this, right-click an app, then select More > Pin to Taskbar.

If the app is already open on the desktop, press and hold (or right-click) the app’s taskbar button and then select Pin to Taskbar.

To unpin it, right-click on the item on the taskbar and select Unpin.

Open Taskbar Items with Keyboard Shortcuts

Once you have items pinned to your taskbar, you can use a key combination to open them quicker than using the mouse. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + a #number, 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.

Speed Up Your Computer

If your computer is running slow, there’s a possibility that your hard drive is filling up from the added work you have been doing while working from home. One quick way to speed things up may be to get rid of apps that take up more space than they should, especially if you don’t regularly use them. To see how much space an app uses, navigate to Settings > System > Storage. Click on the drive you want to search and click Apps & Games to see a list of apps installed on your machine and how much space they are taking up. You can uninstall any apps or games you no longer need or use.

Open Multiple Windows Neatly

Multitasking is an import productivity tool and Windows 10 lets you do this by allowing you to open multiple windows and neatly arrange them. Open a window, click and hold on the title bar (top bar) of the window and drag it to the right or left side of the screen. It should snap into place. You can open another window and snap it to the other side to have both open at once. If you already have other windows open when you snap your first window, you will be given thumbnails of the other windows to choose which will snap to the other side. You can always maximize the window again by using the maximize button in the top right corner.

I hope these productivity tips help maximize the time you spend working on your computer from home. For more information on Windows 10, check out this great course on our PD platform, OTIS for educators: Organize and Effectively Use Your Computer: Windows 10.