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10 hidden Windows functions

person using Windows 11 computer on lap

You’re probably not a new Microsoft Windows user, but maybe you don’t know these 10 hidden functions  to get the most out of your computer, so stay tuned to learn each of the following tips that you may never have noticed.

Emoji picker menu

We have to admit that nowadays emojis are becoming the most popular way to communicate with other internet users. For that reason, it is important that companies such as Windows include them in their device updates. Fortunately there is already an available function to insert emojis in any document without having to search for them in our social networks.

Just press Windows+Period (“.”) on your keyboard to see a new menu where you can find a large list of emojis for you to choose from, and when you are ready, click on it and Windows will insert it into the text field you are working on.

 

Virtual desktop

Nobody wants a messy desktop don’t you? Well, in order to avoid it, Windows offers you a new advantage to manage your open windows and keep your desktop organized by task or topic. To do so, you have to enable the virtual desktops function in Settings > System > Multitasking. Once you have activated it, press Windows+Tab or click on the Task View icon on your taskbar. This will allow you to add a new virtual desktop then you no longer have to worry about having a cluttered desktop because you will have another one to work on and you can switch desktops at any time by clicking on the thumbnail of each desktop.

 

Instant TimeStamp in Notepad

This tip is specially for people who enjoy taking notes. Windows is known as the most complete operative system, so of course it  a built-in text editor. Now, If you want to have open the Notepad just press F5 key or select Edit > Time/Date in the menu bar and automatically that current data will instantly appear at your cursor position.

 

Snip & Sketch

Now let’s talk about the integrated Windows application that allows us to take screenshots at the touch of a button. To use this application, open Windows Startup and type Snip & Sketch or press Windows+Shift+S on your keyboard to open the shortcut. 

Once the application is open, click on “New” in the toolbar and select the content you want to appear in the screenshot with the help of the mouse. When you are done, the result of the snapshot will appear in a new window and you will have the option to save it by clicking on the “floppy disk” icon that also appears in the toolbar.

 

Windows backup

With the File History option your computer will create automatic backup copies every hour. However, you can change the frequency at which the backups are created by going to settings. To activate this function press Windows+i and follow the path: Update & Security > Backup

Then locate the “Backup using file history” section to add the drive (preferably external) on which to start saving your data backup.

 

Screen Record With Xbox Game Bar

At first, this tool was designed for gamers. However, a function that allows us to record our screen without the need to install an external program is undoubtedly very useful for any Windows user. 

It is enough to press Windows+G on our keyboard to open the game bar. Then we will look for the section of “capture”. In this tab we will find four items from which we will press the small circle to start recording. In the same way, when you want to stop recording, click the square button and look for the file in the video folder. 

 

Power user menu

This is a special secret menu used to find the most important Windows functions just with a couple clicks. If you want to activate it, you can right-click on the startup icon or press Windows+X keys directly. This will open a drop-down menu that includes functions such as Task Manager, Device Manager, Event Manager, Network Connection, among others.

 

Focus assist

If you need to pay special attention to the activities you perform from your computer without any interruptions in between, the Focus Assist function can help you. Activate it by clicking on the Activity Center or, for newer designs, click directly on the audio and connectivity icons to enter. There select the icon that looks like a half-moon. If you are unable to see the icon, follow the path: Settings > System > Focus Assist.

When enabled, this service will prevent notifications of any kind from popping up while you are working. Furthermore, it is fully customizable so you can set it to activate at specific times and even filter notifications.

 

Clipboard history

Developed to paste information without having to worry about deleting it after copying something else. It works like a clipboard that accumulates all the information you copy from other pages and gives you the possibility to reuse it even after you have copied many more texts. Clipboard History can be enabled in Settings> System> Clipboard. There you just need to click the switch and change it to “Enabled”.

Once the changes are saved, just press the Windows+V keys to view your history. It is also possible to synchronize this feature with other devices where you are signed in with your Microsoft account.

 

Night light

Finally, an indispensable tool for users who work late into the night. Designed to reduce eyestrain, Night Light mode will turn your screen colors warmer in order to rest your eyes and even increase your melatonin level so as not to interrupt your sleep.

Go back to the Activity Center and locate the Night Light button or follow the path; Settings and navigate to System> Display. Then toggle the switch to “On” to enjoy this feature. Likewise, under the Night Light Settings option you can adjust the warm tint or automatically schedule the night light to turn on and off at certain times of the day or night.

 

Valentina Tota