Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Archive for the ‘Desktop Enhancement’ Category

Download: Logon Loader

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

I like bringing you programs that can spruce up your Windows XP, making it more personal. One area that could really use some shaping up is that boring Blue logon screen. I couldn’t just leave this out.

Let’s’ put it this way: if you have incorporated all the Windows alterations that I have showcased in the past couple of weeks, trying to totally change every aspect of your Windows environment… Continue reading

Vanishing Taskbar Buttons

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

I keep several windows open at the same time and a little button appears for each one in my taskbar. Why do some disappear as I add more?

They didn’t really go anywhere. When the task bar fills up it scrolls up to make room for more buttons.

You’ll notice that arrows will appear next to the open window area of the taskbar. Click up and… Continue reading

ScreenSwift 5.0

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

What ScreenSwift does is allow you to create flash desktop wallpapers that actually behave just exactly like a flash file. This isn’t some stagnant image. You can either store the entire flash movie as a wallpaper and when you want to see the movie action select the “Play” button and get some popcorn.

There is nothing to the set up. All you need are some .swf files—which… Continue reading

Make Your Own Wallpaper

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

Would you like to have one of your pictures as a desktop background? It’s easier than you think!

1. Figure out your screen resolution. Before you begin, you’ll need to figure out what size the final image needs to be. Fortunately, this is really easy. Just right-click a blank area on your desktop and select Properties from the resulting menu. Then, click the Settings tab on the resulting… Continue reading

Recover a Lost Window

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

I’m sure this has happened to you: a window strays outside of the visible desktop area and you can’t seem to grab it with your pointer.

All is not lost.

Click the button for it down in the toolbar to bring it into focus. Hit Alt+Spacebar and it will bring up a System menu (Restore, Move, Size, etc.) Usually this shows up in the upper left hand corner… Continue reading

Change Icons for a File Type

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Are you tired of the icon associated with your Word docs? Maybe you want all JPEGs to have a unique icon. Well, it can be done. Yes, you can give custom icons to all files of a certain type.

First, if you don’t have any custom icons yet, check out Leo’s IconArchive for over 10,000 free ones to choose from…

Save them to a folder, maybe… Continue reading

Missing Show Desktop Icon in Windows XP

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

In Windows XP, my “Show Desktop” icon down in the taskbar disappeared. How do I get it back?

I get questions on this all the time. it even happened to someone here at WorldStart HQ. “Show Desktop” is not a normal program and you can’t just make a shortcut or reactivate it in a normal way.

What you’ll need to do is… Continue reading

What’s on Your Desktop?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

When I got my new computer it didn’t have a “My Computer” icon on the desktop. Maybe the manufacturer didn’t want the average person messing around in there, but how else could I access the CD drives and such? Well, fortunately it was an easy fix.

Not only did I find “My Computer” there, but there were other things that could be turned on and off. Let’s take a look… Continue reading

The Invisible Character

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Do you have something that requires a name but you don’t want anything in it? You could just throw nonsense in there, but a blank space would be best. Well, guess what? There is an invisible character! This special character is the equivalent of a space.

Hold down ALT then type 0160 (Alt+0160) on the number keypad at the right side of your keyboard.… Continue reading

Program List

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

In Windows XP, when I go to my programs it takes up my whole screen. Is there a way to make them into a list or something?

This has always been a pretty annoying feature in XP, but I discovered a remedy.

Right-click the Start Button and choose Properties.

Bigger Desktop Icons

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

Is there a way to make my Desktop icons bigger?

You can use this tip to make them bigger or smaller. I’ll also show you how to change the label font and its size.

Windows XP:

Right-click the desktop and choose “Properties” Select the “Appearance” tab then click the “Advanced” button.

Under “Item”, pick “Icon” from the drop down list. Under “Size” use the arrow… Continue reading

Clear Shortcut Labels

Thursday, February 24th, 2005

My desktop shortcuts have a solid color behind the names and it blocks my wallpaper. Isn’t there a way to make it clear?

The solid box behind a shortcut label can be very annoying, especially if you have dozens of icons on your desktop.

It doesn’t take much to change this if you have Windows XP.

Right-click “My Computer” and choose Properties (or hold down… Continue reading

Add Items to the Start Menu

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

How do I add items to my Start Menu?

As you know, the Start Menu is the control center of your PC accessed by clicking the “Start” button down in the lower left-hand corner or by typing the Window key. Adding items to it isn’t that difficult.

Since there are two sides to the Start Menu, let’s start with the left…

If the item you want… Continue reading

Matching Processes to Programs

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

When you do Ctrl+Alt+Delete in Windows XP you should get the Windows Task Manager. There you’ll see a list of running applications (programs). There is also a tab for “Processes” with a bunch of cryptic names like “SynTPEnh.exe” and such.

That said, let me tell you about a neat little trick to find out what processes match up with running applications…

Hit Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up Task Manager. Choose an… Continue reading

Turn Auto Desktop Cleanup Off

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

OK, call me crazy, but I like my messy desktop. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t seem to understand this and every now and then makes me run the Desktop Cleanup on my Windows XP machine. Sure, I click the little “X” on the reminder balloon to make it go away, but nooooooo—within seconds it’s back. No amount of screaming seems to help, so I’m forced to go though their stupid

Bit Quallity Problems

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

For some reason my desktop looks like it’s in safe mode or something. How do I fix it?

Sounds like a bit quality issue. You might notice after you’ve been in Safe Mode or played a game on your PC that the desktop looks strange–the icons are bigger, the colors are off, etc.

If you have an icon for your… Continue reading

Personalized Windows Color Scheme

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Personalized Windows Color Scheme

Windows 9.x (XP instructions are below)

Windows has a look and feel that’s all its own thanks to the default color scheme’s use of gray. But if gray isn’t your color, don’t stick with it. Change your color scheme to something that fits your personality.

To customize your display scheme, follow these directions:

1. Single-click the Start button, mouse-over Settings… Continue reading

Desktop Toolbars

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Have you ever had several windows open and needed to get to a shortcut on the desktop? I know I have. You have to minimize all three windows just to start the other program. But there is an easy way to fix this problem. Create a toolbar with your shortcuts in it!

Here’s how. First, right click on the windows toolbar on the bottom of your screen… Continue reading

Show Desktop

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

How can I quickly get back to my desktop if I have lots of open windows?

The best way is to hit the “Show Desktop” icon on your toolbar. One click and all your open windows will be minimized to your toolbar.

Now, one more little trick. If you want to get all the Windows back to their original size (restored) just click that “Show… Continue reading

Screen Saver Savvy

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Screen Saver Savvy

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to get your screen saver to run on *your* command and not after a certain amount of time has elapsed? Well, you guessed it, there is. You simply place a shortcut on your desktop for the screen saver(s) of your choice.

Now, before we start plopping little screen saver shortcuts all over your desktop… Continue reading

Hide Mouse Pointer When Typing

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Does your mouse pointer get in the way while you’re typing? Wish there was a way to just make it go away, then pop back up after the deluge of keystrokes subsides? Well, I have just the solution, my friends!

For Windows XP:

Click Start>Settings>Control Panel and then double click Mouse.

In the Mouse Properties window, click on the Pointer Options

Classic View for XP

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

I just installed Windows XP, but I really don’t like the new look. Is there a way to make XP look like my earlier versions of Windows or am I stuck?

Actually, you can switch it to the “classic” look with just a few strokes of your mouse.

Right-click a blank area on the desktop and select Properties from the resulting menu. Hit the Appearance tab… Continue reading

Must… Have… Control!

Friday, November 19th, 2004

(Picture note: I keep my taskbar at the top of my screen, so that’s why the screen shots look like they are coming from the wrong direction.)

Do you use your control panel in Windows XP a lot? Are you the kind of person who is constantly “adjusting” things? Well, if you are, then you and I have a lot in common. Here’s a tip that will save us… Continue reading

Must… Have… Even More… Control!

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Must… Have… Even More… Control!

Well, wow! Thanks to all of the faithful readers who wrote in with their favorite way to access their Control Panel.

(While my screen shots are taken from Windows XP, I’ve tried this on Windows 98 and it works the same way!)

1. This first idea involves creating another taskbar in which the Control Panel can live its happy life… Continue reading

Spunkier Menus

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Spunkier Menus

Are your menus a bit sluggish? Well, you’ll be happy to learn that you can speed up their display speed. This trick is most noticeable for sub menus (like on your Programs menu). I didn’t think I’d be that impressed with it when I first tried it, but these faster menus are better! It makes your computer seem a bit faster and more responsive.

Anyhow, in order… Continue reading

Change your desktop

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Help! I’ve been staring at the same boring Windows XP desktop image for months. How can I change it?

It’s really not that hard at all…

The fastest and easiest way I’ve found is to right-click on your desktop and select Properties . From the resulting window, choose the Display tab.

Scroll through the list of images… Continue reading

The “New” New

Friday, November 19th, 2004

You know how when you right-click inside a folder or on your Desktop , you get a menu with an item labeled ” New “? If you highlight it, you’ll get a sub menu that lets you create all kinds of new documents.

Well, it seems that every piece of software you install wants to stick an item on that

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive