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13 Time-Saving Computer Life Hacks We Wish We Had Learned Sooner

There are 3 types of computer users: the ones who use their mouse, those who use their keyboard, and those who prefer talking to Cortana or Siri. No matter which category you fall into, you can’t deny the immense usefulness of certain shortcuts and hacks that reveal the unknown possibilities your computer always had. These smart tricks improve your everyday computer experience and give an absolute boost in your productivity and in your security.

Here at Bright Side, we collected 13 computer hacks that will be massively helpful to anyone using their computer for fun or business.

1. Ctrl + T opens a new tab

When you work a lot on your PC and your web browser is your number one tool, opening new tabs is an action that you do countless times during the day. Instead of doing it manually with your mouse, you can simply press “ctrl” and the letter T, and a new tab will open. If you are using a MacBook, you can press “command” instead of “ctrl.”

If you are using Microsoft Excel on your computer, pressing these buttons opens up the Create Table dialog box. In PowerPoint, you can use Ctrl+T to open the Format Text box, which helps you with the style — font size and type. In Photoshop, this can help you choose an element with the Move Tool, and can adjust the size and rotate your selection.

2. Ask Google about any problem you’re facing before going to a PC expert.

Most IT problems are simple issues that can easily be resolved by following a few steps. However, most people panic when anything wrong happens and run to the nearest PC expert. Just remember to be cool and slow down. You can type your problem into the Google search bar and read what Microsoft or the various tech forums have to tell you. You will probably find the solution there and won’t need to spend money on an expert.

3. For currency conversions, use the Google search bar instead of a calculator.

Who needs calculators when you have something as precious as Google? If you’re traveling abroad and you need to see how much money you will get with the exchange, you can simply search using the phrase that includes the amount of money and the currencies of the country where you’re traveling. A simple “100 dollars to euros” will be enough to learn how much you’ll win or lose from the exchange.

If you want a quick and simple calculator, you can also use Google. Plus, you can use it on both Windows and Mac. For example, you can type 36+72-51 on the search bar and click enter to get your answer. It’s one of the best tricks you can use to get your answers faster. It is also very easy to use Google as a converter. If it doesn’t have to have anything to do with currencies — you could be looking for lengths. All you have to do is simply type 20.2 cm in inches into the Google search bar to get your result.

4. A laptop battery charges faster when in airplane mode.

When your laptop is on airplane mode it means that many features, like your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, are disabled. This takes some pressure off your battery and allows it to charge faster than if you were operating it normally. Expect to see your laptop fully charged 10-15 minutes faster than if you had airplane mode turned off.

When your phone is on airplane mode, it isn’t connected to a tower the whole time, and it doesn’t search for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and your Location. It also doesn’t let the apps on your phone communicate constantly with servers. This mode is best to use for other hacks too. You can check your messages on Facebook or Viber without leaving people on “read” or showing them “seen” receipts, so they won’t know whether you saw their message or not. It’s also a good hack to use when you want to screenshot something. For example, if someone sent you an image on Instagram or Snapchat, it won’t let them know that you took a screenshot even if you did. When it comes to your mental well-being, it’s always good to disconnect from your device for a while. You can use airplane mode as a hack to disconnect your mind from technology, and you won’t be bombarded with emails, texts, or calls.

5. Download any Google image automatically by pressing Alt and clicking on it.

Most people right-click on images and select the “save” option, but there is a much easier and faster way to download a photo on your computer. You can simply push “alt” and then left-click on an image and it will be automatically saved on your computer in your Downloads folder. On a MacBook, when you press control and then click on the image, it will then give you a drop-down menu where you can select Copy Image.

6. Hide your IP address so that nobody sees what you’re doing.

Your IP address is an identifier that tells websites who you are online. Of course, it would make sense that you don’t want your personal information out there. You can do this by installing VPN. Not only are VPNs used for hiding your info, but they can also be used to access websites that you normally wouldn’t be able to access.

If you are at work, and one of your tasks was to connect to a company’s network, you might need a bit more info on them, so you may want to install VPN software. Sometimes, your IT department may give you a password — with it, you can then set this up by yourself. You can also use this as a cool trick you can do with your computer.

There are various ways to hide your IP address and make your browsing invisible. First of all, you need to install a good VPN on your internet browser so that it changes your real location.

7. A clean desktop means a faster computer.

If you are having problems with your computer’s speed, it might be the fact that your desktop is full of icons. Instead of having a folder for every little thing on your desktop, you can create one folder and organize everything in there. Next, put all of your apps in the task bar and you will be left will an almost empty desktop. This action will instantly maximize your computer’s speed.

There are other ways you can make your computer work faster if your desktop is already clean. You can restart your computer, download a device optimization program, remove unused apps and software, delete large files and old files, empty your recycle bin, and change your PC’s power setting.

8. Find out who’s stealing your Wi-Fi.

Isn’t it annoying when your connection is slow because someone else is taking advantage of your Wi-Fi? In this case, you will probably need to change your Wi-Fi password and make sure that no one can get access to your network again. You can also check to see who’s been stealing an internet connection from you and confront them about it.

Most of us have 4G and 5G connections on our phones, but when we are at home, in coffee shops, at libraries, and in airports, we usually connect to Wi-Fi. When we are at home, we like to keep our Wi-Fi to ourselves, and someone hacking you is never a good sign. Sometimes, when people have access to our Wi-Fi, they can even steal our information off of our laptops and give our devices viruses.

9. You can recover deleted files, even if you’ve emptied the recycle bin.

Deleting files and then emptying the recycling bin can prove to be very frustrating since you may only realize afterward that in that pile was a file that you really needed. What you can do is recover your deleted files. You just choose what type of file you’re looking for and the program you’re using searches everything for you. But if it’s been a long time since you deleted a file, it’s possible that the program won’t be able to locate it.

10. If you notice these signs, your computer has been hacked.

While we’re often told millions of people get hacked every day, this simply is not factual. A closer number would be 2,200. According to Norton, “There isn’t concise data on how many people get hacked a year. However, considering there are around 2,200 cyberattacks per day, that could equate to more than 800,000 people being hacked per year.”

11. Windows + C enables you to start talking to Cortana.

For users who have bought Microsoft laptops or use PCs with the latest windows 10 version, Cortana is the digital person that can guide you through anything you need. If you don’t know how to perform a certain action or are bored of using the mouse, you can press “windows” and the letter C and ask Cortana anything you want. She will ask you questions in order to guide you to the action you need to perform. If on the other hand you’re using a MacBook, you will need to press “command” and then the space bar in order to start talking to Siri.

12. Ctrl + Q quits your web browser.

Another tremendously useful shortcut is the one that helps you exit your web browser. In this case, you press “ctrl” and then the letter Q and if you are using a MacBook you use the “command” button instead of the “ctrl” button. This way everything happens a bit faster.

When used in Microsoft Word, these buttons are used to remove the paragraph’s format. In Outlook, this marks a selected e-mail as read.

13. Ctrl + I turns the text style into italics.

When combining the “ctrl” key and the letter I there are various things that can happen in a total of 412 different programs. However, the most ordinary and common use of the combo is to turn text in Word and other text editing programs from normal style into italics. All you need to do is highlight the word or words you want and press the 2 keys. For Mac users, you should press the command key and then the letter I in order to perform the same action.

How useful were the above keyboard hacks and how much time will they save you in your daily routine? Please tell us what you think down in the comment section.

Please note: This article was updated in August 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit Depositphotos.com
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