Computer and Technology Tips and Tricks!

In today's always on digital world, with new technology being hurled at us non-stop, it is hard to stay on top of everything. Here we will keep an ongoing list of tips and tricks to get the most out of your computer systems and technology! Enjoy :)

Contributions by the Fuzzy Head Nerd @ Digital Dr Digital Dr on Facebook


Matt from:Open FOSS Training Open FOSS Training on Facebook

Important tips

NEVER access your bank through a VPN or a TOR enabled browser. Your account will get flagged because the transaction looks like it's coming from a different country!

If you don't know what those are, you probably don't have one on your system, in which case check out what other tips and tricks you're missing in the post below!

My personal philosophy, if anything is demanding attention, money ... whatever; if you didn't ask for it, it's a scam. Delete the email, close the pop-up window or hang up the phone!

Microsoft will never contact you about your computer. That zipped attachment in your email probably contains a cryptolocker trojan. That popup that says your system needs a tune up, will install more malware. Remember free programs often piggyback bad stuff that installs without you knowing. If you're not sure what it is and your curious, instead of clicking on it, open another tab in your browser and google it or ask someone, hell message me through my facebook page.

Most malware infections can be cleaned very quickly and easily, sparing you the expense of taking your system in to the shop. Head to this page on the Digital Dr website to find out how to rid yourself of the majority of malware and unwanted software!

Keyboard shortcuts

Many of the windows key shortcuts will work on a mac by replacing CTRL key with the COMMAND ⌘ key (the common ones are the same).

When in doubt Mac users can consult this handy list of shortcuts:

"Many keyboard shortcuts that will work on windows will also work on Linux systems with no change!"

Thanks for these tips Matt (gmail tip below too!) Open FOSS Training. If you've ever wanted to play with virtual machines, Matt has made some excellent videos and a website to walk people through running virtualbox! Go give his page a like! Open FOSS Training on Facebook!

Thank you very much for today's tip Matt!

If any of you are interested in finding out more about running virtual machines, Matt has made some excellent training videos, provides you with the links and instructions to get your own virtual box up and running in no time! Thanks Matt for sharing this excellent resource and sharing your expertise with us!

Functioning of function keys!

CTRL+c (copy); CTRL+v (paste); CTRL+x (cut); CTRL+z (undo); CTRL+SHIFT+z (redo) are common to most programs in windows. Use them to move stuff between most programs; backup a step or redo a step if you've made a mistake!

You can copy a block of text in pretty much any program by clicking at the beginning of the block and shift-clicking at the end of the block and hitting CTRL+c

Click+click+drag allows you to select words instead of characters. CTRL+arrow in word processors does the same ;)

CTRL+SHIFT+arrow does the same thing in word processors.

CTRL+SHIFT+T reopens the last closed tab in your browser.

You're welcome!

CTRL = (equals) Zoom in, CTRL - (minus) Zoom out, CTRL 0 (zero) Reset zoom! Works in most web browsers!

Some windows key shortcuts:

  • windows+L locks your screen
  • windows+D goes directly to desktop
  • windows+P launches the projector menu
  • windows+R launches run terminal.

Launch windows programs with your keyboard. Using your Windows + (number 1-9) will launch that app from your task bar. For example, Photoshop is number 5 on my task bar, so to launch it quickly, I use Windows Key + 5! Easy Peasy!

Scroll wheel (middle) click a link will open it in a new tab!

CTRL + Tab allows you to flip through your open browser pages!

General tips

When binge watching YouTube, set the video speed to 1.25, you will still be able to listen and understand! If you watch a ton of YouTube, this could save yourself much time (click the gear in the YouTube interface)!

In order to enable the "which tab is being noisy" feature in chrome, enter the following in the address bar:


Click enable under: Tab audio muting UI control.

After hitting restart chrome, a tab that has sound will have a little speaker which you can click to mute or you can completely close the page that is yelling at you.

Need to extract images or video from a powerpoint file? Just rename the file *.zip and open with winrar or winzip (careful this is packaged with malware piggybacking sometimes, read carefully and unselect any extra software.)

Preserve valuable screen real estate by using small icons on the taskbar. Right click taskbar and select properties.

Download, install and update all of your computer's applications from one known, trusted source. Head over to, select what you want, hit install and that's it. no popups, hidden software, toolbars or extra junk. Always pick up the latest software because the website's bots keep everything up to date!

Make taking and sharing screens a snap by installing sharex, free open source software! Take a screenshot or a screencast, have it uploaded and get the URL copied to your clipboard with a single hotkey.

You can use and interchangably, allowing you to sign up to the same site twice and only using one email!! How cool is that?

Another tip for Gmail users from Matt of Open FOSS Training: you can add +something to help you filter your gmail accounts. For example still goes to my inbox but allows me to filter on asus to find their emails that much easier!

Conserve much battery life on iOS smartphones by uninstalling Facebook and Messenger. iPhone 5s less than a day's charge with them. 76% battery remaining on day 2 without them installed. You do the math.

Format usb sticks NTFS in order to get the full space usage on any over 4 GB and to copy larger than 4GB files to it!

Never put your computer directly on the carpet. Always put up on a raised surface or it WILL look like this ... even 6 months after you brought it in for a cleaning the first time.

To download those youtube vids you LOVE! insert "gen" into the url like so:


Once you hit enter it will take you to a different page allowing you to choose the format and file density. Click on the one you want. Go check your downloads directory!

How to bypass most filters like iBoss and browse the net at school or work

USE AT YOUR OWN RISK, Digital Dr and employees are not responsible for any negative outcome of an action you undertake and know to be risky. Some employers take strong exception to this kind of behaviour. Use with discretion.

Step 1: Go to google translate.
Step 2: Type in the URL of the website you want to get to in the left box. Set the translation language to English, and the input language to Spanish.
Step 3: Click the link on the right. This will take you to that website inside of google translate, where you can freely browse without being detected.
When highlighting text to copy from a webpage, you don't have to select and drag your mouse from start to end. Just click the mouse at the starting point, then use SHIFT+CLICK at the end of the selection.

Backlit displays reduce melatonin levels which can affect falling asleep and quality of sleep. Things you can do:

  • Use dim red lights for night lights. Red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.

  • Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed.

  • If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses.

Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.

Recover 10% of your hard disk space!!

Unless you're really clumsy, delete and recover files from the recycle bin all the time, you don't really need it. It reserves 10% of the hard disk for recycled files. Right click, properties and select - Don't move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted. Yes that means when you delete something it's GONE. Unless you use some sort of undelete software right away ;)

Windows hidden "god mode" folder!

Windows offers a centralized Control Panel for all of the Operating System settings, which makes it easy for users to tweak everything from desktop background to setting up a VPN. To enter this mode, create a new folder with this exact name (copy and paste it):

God Mode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

The folder icon will change to a Control Panel-style icon, and you will be able to enter and change all kinds of settings.

Please Note: Don't try this on Windows Vista 64-bit as it's known to cause a boot loop. Also for new or novice users, please be careful of what you are changing. If you are not sure, then please cancel whatever you initiated and wait until you KNOW what a particular function is doing!

Are you the type that must try the free offers and toolbars that show up when you're surfing (not safe, but what the hell do I know eh?!?)?

Then get and install Unchecky so you don't get unwanted software with that install!

Here's a video of it in action!

Have a working folder that you send files to all the time? Make copying your files there easier by adding the folder to SendTo.

Here's how:
Make a shortcut of the folder. Image 1.

In a separate explorer window or run box enter: shell:sendto

(if you can't get this to work browse to: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo replace %username% with your profile name)

Drag folder shortcut into sendto folder that just opened. Image 2.

Now when you want to add a file, right click file(s) -> sendto -> your new folder!
Image 3.

Note: this leaves a copy of the image behind in the old directory, if you don't need this one you can delete it after you send to new folder!

I work with 1000's of image files for web and other things. When I start a project, I create a new folder and use this method to quickly fill it with only the material I need instead of having to browse through 1000's of images. Plus now I have an archive just for that project!




Joshua Hamlett of Hamlett Computer Services sent in the next tip for us! Thanks Josh! Hamlett Computer Services - Chicago Computer Repair and Services.

Install an adblocker to prevent popups and messages to install things like "Flash Player Pro" and other adware on free content sites!

Note: Blocking ads may prevent some websites from working properly, most notably and If a website is not behaving as expected, disable your adblocker or use another web browser like IE (or Edge) to view the site.