System tools: 20 small Windows tricks with a big impact

Windows appears immediately after installation with the specifications and settings that Microsoft considers useful for most users. As a result, however, many functions of the operating system are idle because Microsoft has hidden or deactivated the associated options. This happens in the very good will to provide more clarity and to keep inexperienced users from certain settings.

Anyone who works intensively with Windows finds the restrictions rather annoying and first changes some settings in Windows Explorer, for example, to really see all relevant folders and files. Further optimizations usually concern the Windows start menu and quick access to frequently used programs.

Some Windows settings are useful for everyone, but only work with certain hardware. Additional internal hard drives in the PC as well as several USB sticks and external hard drives with extensive audio and video collections, for example, are not uncommon. With an optimized configuration, additional drives can be better integrated and searched faster.

The article refers to the current Windows 10 version 1903. Some of the tips also work with older versions of Windows, but the names may differ.

Windows Explorer is one of the most important pre-installed tools as a file manager. Copying, moving, renaming files and creating folders are standard tasks for every PC user. However, you have to know that Windows Explorer does not show the actual conditions on the hard disk. By default, certain elements are hidden, primarily to increase clarity. For many users, that’s okay if it’s just about handling personal files. However, if you need access to certain system folders or files, you won’t see them at first.

This can be changed quickly by opening the “C:” drive in Windows Explorer, then clicking on the “View” tab in the ribbon and ticking “Hidden items”. If the window of the Windows Explorer is too narrow, you will see the “Show / Hide” button and only after clicking on it the “Hidden elements” option.

You will now see the previously hidden folders, for example “ProgrammData”, in which many applications save the system-wide configuration. The “AppData” folder now appears in your profile directory under “C: User Username”. This contains the user’s configuration files.

But even now Windows Explorer doesn’t show everything. This only happens if you go to “View” in the ribbon and then to “Options -› Change folder and search options “and the” View “tab and remove the checkmark from” Hide protected system files (recommended) “. Files like “pagefile.sys” (swap file) and “swapfile.sys” (swap file for apps) as well as folders like “$ Recycle.Bin” (trash) now appear on drive “C:”.

By the way: Windows Explorer partially shows the German translations for folder names. “C: Users” actually means “C: Users” and the name of “C: Programs” on the hard disk is “C: Program Files”. You can see the actual name if you open one of these folders and then click in the address bar of Windows Explorer. The names are usually not relevant for working in Windows Explorer, but they are in the command prompt.