Windows Vista Tips and Tricks – Part I

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 7/27/2008, in Category Windows Vista
Views: 59227
Abstract: In this article, we will cover some basic Windows Vista tips and tricks that will facilitate your experience with Windows Vista. The tips and tricks have been tried out on Windows Vista Ultimate.
Windows Vista Tips and Tricks – Part I
In this article, we will cover some basic Windows Vista tips and tricks that will facilitate your experience with Windows Vista. The tips and tricks have been tried out on Windows Vista Ultimate.
TIP 1: Free disk space, by deleting hibernation file in Windows Vista
Every time you put your Windows Vista loaded computer, into hibernation, it creates a file called ‘hiberfil.sys’. This file uses your entire physical memory and grows its size, every time you hibernate your system. Hence you may want to delete it to free up some hard drive space. Follow this procedure to delete this file.
1. Click on Start, go to All Programs, then Accessories, choose System Tools, and then click on "Disk Cleanup".
2. You would be prompted to choose the drive you want to clean up. Then select the drive in which Windows Vista is installed and press OK.
3. Disk Cleanup will start scanning the hard drive and present you with a list of options.
4. Check "Hibernation File Cleaner", and then press OK.
5. When asked "Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files?" click on the Delete Files button.
You will end up with some more free disk space.
TIP 2: Disable Hibernation in Windows Vista
If you do not use hibernation mode or your system does not support it, you may want to disable the same. Follow below steps:
Method I
1. Log on as Administrator.
2. Start the Command Prompt and then type: powercfg -h off
3. Press Enter.
Method II
1. Click Start > All Programs > and then right click on ‘Command Prompt’.
2. In the context menu choose ‘Run as administrator’.
3. If ‘User Account Control(UAC)’ prompts you to allow the action, click on Continue.
4. Follow Steps 2 and 3 given above.
TIP 3: Auto-Logon in Windows Vista(Warning: Security Risk)
If you are tired of entering your username and password every time you want to logon to your system, you may want to enable the Auto-Logon option in Window Vista. However note that this is not recommended due to the security risk involved. Follow the step below:
1. Click on Start and type ‘netplwiz’, it will be immediately listed under Programs list in the Start menu.
2. In the User Accounts window, select the user name and then uncheck the ‘Users must enter a username and password to use this computer’ checkbox.
3. Click on ‘Apply’.
4. A new dialog box will be popped up and you will have to type in the password for your account. If your account is not protected with a password already, then leave it blank.
5. Click on OK
TIP 4: Enable or Disable Secure Logon in Windows Vista (Ctrl+Alt+Delete)
This option is just the opposite of the ‘Auto-Logon’ option you just read above in Tip 3. It is necessary to keep your computer secure. One of the options is to enable ‘Secure Logon’ on your computer. This requires you to key in ‘Ctrl+Alt+Del’ every time to log on. This prompts the Windows Logon screen serving an additional layer of security. To enable secure logon follow these steps:
1.    Click on Start and type ‘netplwiz’, it will be immediately listed under Programs list in the Start menu.
2.    Select the Advanced tab, choose the ‘Require users to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete’ checkbox and then click on OK.
3.    To disable secure logon follow the same procedure and uncheck the above option.
TIP 5: Disable Automatic Startup Programs in Windows Vista
Some programs are scheduled to run as soon as you start your computer. Certain programs are convenient, but some may not be required. Hence if you don’t want to run certain specific programs on startup, then you can disable them by performing the following actions:
1.    Click on Start, choose Run or just type in MSConfig.
2.    In the System Configuration window, go to the Startup tab and then uncheck any startup items you do not want.
3.     When you want to re-enable them again, follow the same procedure.
 TIP 6: Power button options in Windows Vista
Power buttons and lid setting, lets you specify what your computer should do, when you close the lid and press the power buttons.
Open the Control Panel, switch to ‘Classic View’ and click on ‘Power options’. Choose the Power Plan that you want to edit and click on ‘Edit Plan Settings’.
Select ‘Change advanced power settings’ to open the ‘Power Options’ window. Go to the ‘Power buttons and lid’ and expand the list. Expand the individual options like Lid close action, Power button action, Sleep button action and Start menu power button.
Change the suitable setting to Shutdown or Hibernate as per your requirement.
TIP 7: Change Security Center Notifications in Windows Vista
Windows Vista Security Center monitors following security components:
1.    Windows Firewall
2.    Automatic Updating
3.    Antivirus Software
4.    Antispyware and Malware protection
5.    Internet Security Settings
6.    User Account Control
To change the way it notifies you, follow these instructions.
1.    Click on Start, start typing Security Center (in the text box Start Search). Security Center gets listed in the Programs node. Click on it to open the Windows Security Center window. Alternatively, just go to the Control Panel and choose ‘Security Center’.
2.    Now choose the ‘Change the way Security Center alerts me’ option in the left pane.
3.    Then in the window choose ‘Don’t notify me and don’t display the icon (not recommended)’.
4.    This would stop prompting the alerts.
TIP 8: Change the size of icons on desktop in Windows Vista
You may want to change the size of the icons displayed on your computer. To do so, right click on the desktop > choose ‘View’ and select the appropriate size of icons.
TIP 9: View File Extensions in Windows Vista
1.    Open the folder for which you want to view the extensions
2.    Click at ‘Organize’ on the toolbar, > Choose ‘Folder and Search Options’ > ‘Folder Options’ window is prompted.
3.    Choose the View tab and uncheck the ‘Hide Extensions of Known File Types’.
4.    Click Ok.
TIP 10: Enable Sidebar in Windows Vista
Browse to Program Files > Windows Sidebar and then run ‘sidebar.exe’.
I hope these tips and tricks would be helpful to you and provide you with a better experience of working with Windows Vista.  I hope this article was useful and I thank you for viewing it.
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This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Minal Agarwal, Expression Web MVP, MCDST, works as a freelance web designer (SaffronStroke) working on Expression Web, Photoshop and other Graphical tools. As a hobby, she also runs a famous Food site called Follow her on twitter @ saffronstroke

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Feedback - Leave us some adulation, criticism and everything in between!
Comment posted by Sheo Narayan on Monday, July 28, 2008 2:26 PM
Tip 9 will not only turn extension for that folder but all folders of your drive.
Comment posted by lowell on Saturday, September 13, 2008 8:29 PM
copyscape? really?

how about spreading 'knowledge' instead of restricting it? use the creative commons license, there are versions which require attribution.
Comment posted by Jake Linho on Sunday, September 14, 2008 11:14 PM
Funny? Someone spends hours finding and compiling stuff and you ask him/her not to copyright his/her own stuff? Had the author not desired to share knowledge, why would this post be here m8!!
There are jerks outta there who 'shamefully' like to misuse copy and paste. I guess its for them. For us, of course there's these 10 tips to learn and use :)
Comment posted by bartek szabat on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 4:11 PM
TIP 8 alternate: hold ctrl and use mouse roll.
Comment posted by Minal Agarwal on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:46 PM
Bartek: Thanks for the tip!!
Comment posted by alan avante on Friday, September 26, 2008 2:00 AM
Geez.  This says it all.  Nine of the 'recommendations' involve REMOVING a vista service.

As the unfortunate owner of THREE vista laptop DOORSTOPS, I resent some loser trying to 'spin' this POS OS as something good.  Vista is a piece of crap. And Microsoft is going down because of it.  At least I hope so--that way I WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT GETTING STUCK WITH A BAD OS IN THE FUTURE!
Comment posted by Ang3lFir3 on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 12:22 PM
@Jake -- really? are you kidding? these aren't tips.... this is "Using windows 101". most of these "tips" are common knowledge.

@alan Stop complaining and buy a freaking Mac. Or better yet install Ubuntu or some such crap.

and why on earth would you want to stop using hybernation in Vista.... it actually works!!!! and deleting the hyberfile...come on if you don't have enough hdd space for a hyberfile then you need a new machine or to delete some Pr0n
Comment posted by Kirtol on Sunday, October 5, 2008 1:16 AM
Liked some of the tips, needless of what others are seems no has bothered to look at Windows Mojave.
Comment posted by Mafela on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 4:04 AM
Tip 8: by press and hold 'ctrl' button and use the mouse roll not only change the size of the icons in desktop. It can also be use to change the size of icons in windows.