No student can survive college without using a laptop or PC. You may need it to rewrite essay, do your research, or participate in Zoom conferences. That’s not even to mention leisure activities: watching Netflix, playing games, and some hobbies like video editing.
Like almost two-thirds of all devices in the USA, yours probably runs on Windows. And why would you open this post otherwise?
Also, you’re likely to be in the dark about these five hacks and tricks that may be real time- and life-savers for you.
Use Restore Points to Roll Back Changes
Got a feature update installed and what you’re used to isn’t there anymore? Or something went wrong and your computer starts acting out, throwing errors in your face, or freezing?
Fortunately, you can revert any unwanted changes to the system using a restore point. Restore points work like autosaving in a game but for your OS. There are three ways to access restore settings:
- Settings -> About -> System info (on the right) -> click System protection in the opened window (on the left);
- Open File Explorer -> Desktop -> right-click on This PC -> choose Properties in the menu -> click System protection in the opened window (on the left);
- Open Search in the taskbar and type in “Create a restore point”.
To enable automatic restore point creation:
- Choose the drive (if you have more than one drive, you need to repeat this for all of them).
- Click “Configure…”.
- Choose “Turn on system protection”.
- Allocate some disk space for restore points (10% maximum by default).
To roll back changes, open the same System protection window and click on the System Restore button.
Schedule a Shutdown
Do you prefer to fall asleep with YouTube or Netflix playing in the background? Leaving your computer or laptop to run all night isn’t the best idea. Luckily, you can schedule a shutdown in a number of ways:
- Run Command Prompt as administrator and type in “shutdown -s -t xxxx” without the quotes. There, xxxx is the number of seconds until shutdown (3600 equals an hour, 5400 – an hour and a half, 7200 – two hours);
- Type in the same thing, “shutdown -s -t xxxx”, in the Run dialog box (you can open it with the Windows key + R shortcut);
- Install apps like SleepTimer Ultimate to do the same thing within a graphic interface.
Set a Data Limit for a Metered Network
If you use a personal hotspot without an unlimited data plan, your laptop may burn through those gigabytes too fast. To avoid this, you can assign this Wi-Fi network the status of a metered one.
Metered connections allow you to set data limits and reduce data usage. For example, you can prohibit downloading system updates when using a metered network.
To make a connection metered:
- Open the Properties of the current network (you can do it from the list of available Wi-Fi networks).
- Switch the toggle for setting it as metered.
- To set a data limit, click on the link below the toggle to go to Network Status.
- Click on Data Usage and hit the “Enter limit” button on the opened page.
Avoid a Surprise Restart After an Update
Unexpected restarts are an infamous feature of this OS, and it’s understandably despised by most. To avoid them once and for all, go to Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update and click “Change active hours”.
Windows allows setting this period for up to 18 hours. During those active hours, no restarts will bother you.
Alternatively, you can go to Advanced options in the Windows Update settings and use the “Restart this device as soon as possible” toggle to turn off automatic restarts once and for all.
Bonus tip: If you’d like to install updates on your own terms, you can pause automatic updates for up to 35 days in the Advanced options.
Make Your Battery Last Longer
Sometimes, you may be informed by your laptop that the battery will last for another 40 minutes. If you need to stretch it into an hour, just turn on the battery saver mode!
This mode will optimize the use of resources to prioritize battery performance, adding up to twice as much time to the battery life. If you work on a text document and/or browse the internet, you won’t notice any differences in performance, apart from a slight decrease in screen brightness.
To enable the battery saver mode, click on the battery icon on the taskbar. There, you’ll see a scale from Best Battery Life to Best Performance. You’ll want to drag it all the way to the left.
4 Shortcuts to Make Your Life Easier
That’s not all! There are four more shortcuts that will come in handy in anyone’s life:
- Lock your laptop. Windows key + L. That’s all it takes to get your laptop or computer locked. Use it if you want to keep your laptop safe from prying eyes while you take a bathroom break or go to grab a snack.
- Return to desktop. Another convenient shortcut, Windows key + D, will minimize all open windows and throw you back to the desktop. It’s perfect not only when you need to use a shortcut or a file on the desktop itself but also when you want to hide your current apps quickly.
- Unlock the emoji keyboard. What’s life without emojis? Not much fun, of course. Luckily, Windows comes with an in-built emoji keyboard. Yet, not many know about it. To access it, press Windows key + ‘.’.
- Use Snip & Sketch for screen capture. Just because you have a PrtScr button doesn’t mean it’s your best screen capture option. Instead, press Windows key + Shift + S to use Snip & Sketch. It allows selecting any part of the screen for capture, so there’s no need to manually crop the image.