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Top 10 Tips for WinXP Users
By: Developer Shed
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    Top 10 Tips for WinXP Users
    by Anna-Marie Stewart Venton

    Are you new to WinXp? Just upgraded, or gotten a new computer maybe? Or you might have friends and contacts who use it and you want to "show off" a little by teaching them a few tricks? I`ve collected 10 of my favourite WinXP tricks, each of them easy to use, and very helpful, and if you follow the instructions step-by-step, they work perfectly. So here goes:

    Top Tip #1:

    Having a problem making your desktop icons stay exactly where you put them?

    When you temporarily change your desktop to a lower resolution—for example whilst using Safe mode, Windows can wreak havoc with your careful positioning of desktop icons.

    Right click your desktop click arrange icons and uncheck auto arrange. You can now drag & drop them wherever you want them. Note that if you start your computer in SAFE mode you will have to rearange them again.

    Top Tip #2:

    Accidentally moved your taskbar and want it back where it was?

    Point your mouse to a 'blank' area inside the taskbar, THEN hold down your left mouse button, and DRAG it down where you want it to go. It may take a couple of tries to get it over.

    Top Tip #3:

    Feel like changing your Start Menu?

    (1) Right click a blank spot on the Start Menu.
    (2) Select Properties
    (3) Select Customize
    (4) Select the Advanced tab.

    Most of those preset items which don't have the option to check or uncheck will be there. For each item listed you'll have the option to Display as link or Display as menu or Don't display this item. Make your selection as you desire. Note that you will have the option to display the Control Panel as a menu, which you might find very useful.

    Top Tip #4:

    Getting grey popup boxes with ads in? Stop the spam like this:

    (1) Select "Start"
    (2) Select "Settings"
    (3) Choose "Control Panel"
    (4) Choose "Administrative Tools"
    (5) Choose "Services"
    (6) Right-click on "Messenger"
    (7) Select "Stop"
    To permanently disable Messenger:
    (8) Right click "Messenger"
    (9) Select "Properties"
    (10) Change "Startup Type" to "Disabled" and click "OK"

    Top Tip #5:

    Having problems viewing sites cos your computer isn`t accepting the cookies?

    Open a New Browser window.

    (1) Click on Tools (in toolbar).
    (2) Click on Internet Options.
    (3) Click on Privacy.
    (4) Click on Advanced.
    (5) Click on Override Cookie Control.
    (6) Click on Enable First Party Cookies.
    (7) Click on Enable Session Cookies.
    (8) Click OK.

    Top Tip #6:

    Want to change how you see your emails? Try this:

    Click on "view" at top. "Layout" will allow you to fix what you see. "Sort by" will let you arrange the order the messages appear in.

    Top Tip #7:

    Want to disable the Automatic Update reminders in Windows?

    Open Internet Explorer/Tools/Internet Options/Advanced tab, under "Browsing" take the checkmark out of "Automatically check for Internet Explorer Updates", click Apply, click OK.

    Another thing to try is to:

    (1) Click Start
    (2) Click Run
    (3) Type in: "MSCONFIG" (without the quotes)
    (4) Click OK.
    (5) Under the Startup tab take the checkmark out of "Critical Updates"
    (6) Click Apply
    (7) Click OK
    (8) Restart your computer.

    Top Tip #8:

    Got too many icons on your desktop?

    Right click on an empty space on your desktop, highlight "Arrange Icons By", the click on Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard

    Top Tip #9:

    Tired of seeing your pointer as an arrow or an hourglass all the time? Windows XP offers a number of alternative pointer schemes, such as Dinosaur, Ocean and Sports.

    Open the Control Panel, double-click Mouse, and select the Pointers tab. (If you start in Category view, select Appearance and Themes, then click Mouse Pointers under "See Also.") Next to Schemes, click the down arrow and select a scheme to preview its pointers. Click OK to apply the scheme to your desktop. Simple as that.

    Top Tip #10:

    Want to hear your computer talk?
    Select Start, Programs, Accessories, Accessibility, Narrator. Or press the Windows key plus the letter "U" to open the Utility Manager. Microsoft Narrator, an accessibility option designed to assist readers who are blind or have impaired vision, starts automatically.

    Once you've read through the intro screen (or let the Narrator do it), click OK and you'll see a dialog box of Narrator options. Assuming you want to leave Narrator running, select the desired options, then minimize its dialog box. And if you've opened the Utility Manager, feel free to close it.

    To turn Narrator off, click the Exit button or right-click its taskbar item and select Close.

    Hope this has helped you get your WinXP working the way you want it to, and given you a little fun too. For more information like this, I highly recommend that you visit, read through, bookmark and re-visit this site:

    Have Fun Learning!
    Anna-Marie Stewart Venton.

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    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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