Making Windows Excellent

Windows utilities

These make using my computer faster, more fun and more beautiful.

Screenshots: Greenshot

Easily take screenshots, and experience the joy of copying them to the clipboard to paste into any chat, PowerPoint slide or Photoshop meme.

I suggest mapping it to fn + space for touch-typing screenshots.

ShareX is another, more powerful but more confusing option. Greenshot is my preference for easy, fast screenshots.

File preview: Quicklook (Windows store)

Beautiful and instanious preview like MacOS — just press space with any file selected.

Clipboard history: Ditto

Press ctrl + ` to review everything you’ve copied — makes copying several things very simple. Also works for screenshots captured with Greenshot.

Windots + v — windows created a built in clipboard history that’s good enough for most users. Ditto is still better, more powerful.

AltDrag (AutoHotKey) – easily drag and resize windows

Download my excellent AltDrag script here. Then set it to start with windows (shown below in this guide).

Just hold alt, and drag windows anywhere without having to try and click the small title bar. Alt + right click drag to easy resize the windows without clicking the small resize target in the corner. Here’s a demo.

A simple demo of what alt drag enables. It’s better than it looks, and changed the way I use my computer to be more productive.

Highly recommended, my usage tips: This is remarkably useful for brain-computer harmony. This tool stopped my full-screen obsession, instead now I can see several windows at once and more easily resize and move them around at the speed of thought.

Requires: AutoHotKey, and my script and manually enable start on windows startup.

Here’s my AutoHotKey script. Just load this into a AutoHotKey file, turn it into an executable (.exe), and set it to start on windows startup (copy a shortcut to that .exe into the startup folder).

Fast, universal file search: Everything search

Windows search is notoriously slow, and often doesn’t find what I’m looking for. This makes me often dig through folders instead of searching.

Everything search finds any file, instantly. 5 out of 5 stars, perfect utility.

Clear up storage space: WizTree

The Best Disk Space Analyzer For Windows
Insanely useful graphics for clearing up massive amounts of disk space.

Seriously good for clearing up space. The graphical view makes it easy to discover hidden files, like cache and /AppData/. I just went from 5gb free, to 51gb free, on a whim!

YouTube DLG

Download YouTube videos quickly, with no quality limit.

Startup programs made easy

To set ANY program to start on Windows’ boot, copy (a shortcut to) any program into your startup folder:

C:\Users\{YOUR_USERNAME}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

My startup programs

I recommend you disable all non-essential startup programs from the task bar. Keep only the bare essentials to retain a speedy system, and fast boot times.

Disable all non-essential startup programs from the taskbar.

Simple, Beautiful Windows

A beautiful canvas

Get a better background from https://wallpaperhub.app/.

Disable desktop icons

It’s a breath of fresh air, especially with a new wallpaper.

Get rid of that useless search bar – just press “windows key” to search. Also hide the Cortana button and the Task View button (windows + alt).

Center the task bar

TaskbarX: https://github.com/ChrisAnd1998/Taskb…

Download the latest stable release from the “releases” tab.

Open the Taskbar X Configure app to get started.

I also customized my clock layout (in the bottom right) with T-Clock.

I use this custom clock layout in time format > advanced clock format: mmm d h:nn tt

T-Clock: https://github.com/White-Tiger/T-Cloc…

Window management

PowerToys: https://github.com/microsoft/PowerToy…

RainMeter

RainMeter is famous for allowing crazy desktop customization. I keep a simple setup:

  • Clock in center of screen
  • Digital time and date in top right
  • CPU, RAM and Battery % in minimal circles, often within view on the right since I mostly stopped using full screen windows.

Google Chrome Plugins

  • Shift + Esc (like ctrl-shft-esc) Chrome task manager, find expensive tabs!!
  • Tabs Outliner – Essential for those with dozens (hundreds?) of chrome tabs. Manage, and save Chrome tabs between computer restarts.
  • Raindrop – Best “favorites” app. Beautiful, free and cross platform (and cross browser to prevent lock in).
  • Google search shortcuts – easily open google search results, or revise your history.
  • Dark Reader – Dark mode for all websites. It really works on 98% of websites.
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