MEGA LIST: What are some good computer tricks that are not commonly known?

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Today’s post is a MEGA list of computer hacks presented by Alexander Freiherr via popular question and answer site Quora. I love finding and sharing awesome gems of knowledge, hence I’m re-blogging this answer on my site. I have to say, there’s a lot of useful information in this list and my favourite hack would be the websites listing ambient music while you work… but that’s just the tip of the iceberg… so please read on.

Most Brilliant Tech Hacks You Need To Know Right Now from Carl Cheo

(I only posted the best but kept the original numbers)

Think  you’ve seen every possible tech hack out there? Think again for this  ultimate list of no common sense tech hacks that makes your life easier.

Source: 100 Brilliant Tech Hacks

#1 – Need to jot down something quickly? Open a temporary notepad in your browser by typing “data:text/html, <html contenteditable>” into the address bar.

Remember to bookmark and rename it as Notepad.
Jose Jesus Perez Aguinaga/coderwall

#2 – Ambient music to boost your productivity:
Believe me, you have to try this combo if you haven’t. Open these links in separate tabs:

Feel lonely? Add Coffitivity.com for some morning murmur.
Try also:Noisli.com, Soundrown.com, SimplyNoise.com, ASoftMurmur.com

#3 – At website login pages, you can view masked passwords by changing the password input type as text.

Most software and web developers probably know this. So, don’t leave your PC on!
Harikrishnan Edayalil/Quora

#6 – Find expensive stuff for cheap on Craigslist using the following search terms:

  • divorce
  • wife
  • husband
  • new baby
  • pcs
  • Kia
  • health
  • surgery
  • moving

These listings are usually from Craigslist sellers trying to offload stuff for cheap.

#7 – In Windows, create a new folder and name it “Control Panel  Shortcuts.{ed7ba470-8e54-465e-825c-99712043e01c}”. Access any control  settings in the folder.


#9 – Google “[food] vs [food]” to compare nutritional values.


#10 – Use wall hooks to attach iPad to the wall.

#12 – On calculator, the C (clear) button is to clear all entry,  whereas the CE (clear entry) button is to clear the most recent entry  only.

Oliver Salzburg/Super User

#13 – Project Naptha is a browser extension that allows you to select, copy, modify, erase, and translate text in images.

antimatter15/Hacker News

#17 – Use LEGO minifigure as cable holder.

#18 – Sleepyti.me helps you to calculate the best time to go to bed/wake up for optimal sleep.


#19 – Ninite.com helps you to install many programs at once. Just select all the apps you want. No more junk software and clicking next.


#21 – Laptop charger keep falling out? Use Velcro.
#26 – Check whether a username is taken or available on popular sites using Namechk.com.

1000 Life Hacks

#27 – To avoid spam from certain sites, use disposable temporary email services to sign up for stuffs:

#28 – AccountKiller.com guides you on how to delete your online accounts from popular websites.

Try also:Just Delete Me, Delete Your Account.
Eric Griffth/PCMag

#31 – Want to convert YouTube video to GIF? Add “gif” before “YouTube”. Here’s an example.

#33 – Always accidentally close your important tabs? Pin them.

#40 – Super glue a dot on your phone charger so at night you don’t fumble around like a fool.

#41 – Use different color for your earphone tips to differentiate left and right side easily.
You can get white replacement earphone tips here.

#42 – Want to edit an online image in Paint? Paste the image URL directly into Paint to open it.


Want even more?

#50 Google Chrome
1. To open Chrome’s built-in task manager: Press Shift + Esc. Extremely useful when Chrome freezes.

2. To remove specific suggestion: Select the suggestion, then press Shift + Delete. Go and delete your how to shave my embarrassing searches now.
3. To drag multiple tabs to a new window: Press Ctrl + Click on tabs you want to move. Do the same to move multiple tabs to an existing window.

4. To scroll horizontally: Press Shift + Scroll.

#51 Any Browser
5. To access your address bar directly: Press F6 or Ctrl + L.
6. To access blocked web page: Go to Google Translate, paste the URL, select source language as other language, select destination language as the web page’s language, click Translate. Free web proxy.

7. To close a tab: Middle click on it.
8. To view articles with slideshows or multiple pages: Press Print or Ctrl + P.
9. To open all web pages of a bookmark folder: Middle click on the folder.
10. To reset to the default Window size of your web page after zooming: Press Ctrl + 0.
11. To highlight text in a web page:  Click on the starting point, then press Shift + Click on the ending point. No more mouse dragging especially long text highlights.
12. To fit more bookmarks: Remove all text. Only the favicon is visible now.

13. You can undo send your mail in Gmail. Turn it on now just in case!

14. When researching products, type [product name] vs to compare with their rival products.

#52 Windows
15. To open Task Manager directly with one hand: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. You’re welcome.
16. To minimize every open windows except yours: Shake your active window. Do the same to maximize all windows. You sneaky Microsoft.

17. To freeze Task Manager: Hold Ctrl key. Useful for inspecting specific processes.
18. To capture the exact steps you take and document it nicely: Search psr to open Problem Steps Recorder. Try it now and you’ll be amazed.

19. To take a screenshot of the active window only: Press Alt + Print Screen. Bye Snipping Tool.
20. To delete one word at a time: Press Ctrl + Backspace.

21. To open applications on the taskbar: Press Windows key + Sequence number of the application. Do the same to minimize/maximize it.
22. To paste text without formatting: Press Ctrl + Shift + V.
23. To rename a file: Press F2. Works for multiple file too, which will append “(1), (2), etc.” at the end.
24. Open your Calculator and select View. Calculate your mortgage payment, fuel economy, vehicle lease payment, and more.

#53 Wikipedia
27. Wikipedia Nearby: Pulls up articles based on your location. Extremely handy when travelling.

28. Wikipedia Random: Read random articles. Now, change your start-up page from Facebook to this.

from: source and 40 Tips (total 140 tips, check it out for even more)

Wow over 400 upvotes in only a few hours – that is amazing! Thanks all for sharing. Please don’t forget to visit the guy’s page he surley invested a ton of time for gathering all these facts: http://carlcheo.com


Hope you enjoyed today’s post. I love reading and responding to everyone’s comments, so feel free to leave a comment of your own.

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xox Katerina



This post originally appears as an answer to Quora question: What are some good computer tricks that are not commonly known?

Image credit: hackNY.org

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