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January 10, 2010

Windows 7 Customization

Filed under Software


I kept track of all the changes I made after I did a clean install of Windows 7.

  1. Install Microsoft Security Essentials
    • Virus software works without getting in the way
  2. Move the recycle bin to taskbar.
    • Gives you a completely clean desktop
    • The recycle bin is always visible and can be used to drag and drop files you don’t want
  3. Pin Sticky Notes to the taskbar
  4. Pin Snipping Tool to taskbar
  5. Change “Shutdown” button to “Restart”: Right-click Start->properties->Start Menu->Power button action: [Restart]
  6. Switch taskbar to “combine when full”: Right-click Start->properties->Taskbar->Taskbar buttons: [Combine when taskbar is full]
    • More obvious if an application is active or not (big == active)
    • Active applications include text description
    • Active applications are 3 times larger than non-active: easier hit target
    • Progress bars (shown in taskbar when downloading files or installing software, for example) have more space and are more meaningful
  7. Install Windows Live Essentials: Live Writer (updating blogs), Photo Gallery, and Movie Maker
  8. Install Zune Software
  9. Set power option to high performance (for my desktop): Start->Control Panel->Hardware and Sound->Power Options->High Performance
  10. Install Adobe Flash
  11. Set up black screen saver: Start->Control Panel->Appearance and Personalization->Personalization: Change screen saver->
    • [Blank]
    • Wait [10] minutes
    • [X] On resume, display logon screen
  12. Setup daily backup: Start->Control Panel->System and Security: Back up your computer
    • Every day at 2 a.m.
    • Only backup my home directory
  13. Turn on check boxes for selection: Explorer->Organize->Folder and search options->View->[X] Use check boxes to select items
    • You can select multiple files using the mouse-only (without this, you must hold down the shift or ctrl keys)
  14. Turn on Zune toolbar: Right-click Start->Properties->Toolbars->[X] Zune
    • When Zune is minimized, it shows as a mini-player in the taskbar
  15. Change pictures folder to:
    • Detail view: right click file area->View->Details
    • Set columns to Name, Size, Date, Date Modified: right click column heading to modify
  16. Install Visual Studio C# 2008 Express Edition and Visual Studio C++ 2008 Express Edition
  17. Install Windows 7 SDK
    • Contains *lots* of helpful sample code
  18. Change account picture to match Facebook profile picture: Start->Control Panel->User Accounts and Family Safety->User Accounts->Change your picture
  19. Install Maya 8 Unlimited
    • 3D modeling, animation, rendering, and visual effects software
  20. Install Adobe Creative Suite 3 (CS3) Production Premium
    • Contains…
      • Photoshop (image editing)
      • Illustrator (vector editing)
      • Premier Pro (video editing)
      • Soundbooth (sound editing)
      • After Effects (video compositing)
  21. Install Quicken Deluxe 2009
    • Finance software
  22. Closing Internet Explorer closes all open tabs: IE->Tools->Internet Options->General->Tabs->Settings->[ ] Warn me when closing multiple tabs

*Now* I am ready to go!

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Comments (2)


23. Show hidden files.
Start->Control Panel->Appearance and Personalization->Show hidden files and personalization. View tab.
Select Show hidden files, folders, and drives
Uncheck boxes:
1. Hide empty drives in the Computer folder
2. Hide extensions of known types
3. Hide protected operating system files

24. Show desktop icons.
- Right click on the desktop and select Personalize. Select Change desktop icons. Check all boxes for Desktop icons.

25. Install 7-zip

26. Install Microsoft Office

27. Install Adobe Reader

28. Windows Update
Start->All Programs->Windows Update


My thoughts...

For my home system, I don't want to see hidden files/folders/extensions. I almost never need to see them, and they just clutter up what I do need to see.

I *especially* like how Windows 7 hides drives that are not in use. In Vista, "computer" had about 10 empty drives for all my memory card readers. They take up space and can not be used. In Win7, I only have a hard drive and a Blu-ray Burner. When I add a memory card, only that drive is shown...much nicer!

I *really* like a clean desktop (*no* icons...just a pretty picture). I only put things on my desktop that I am currently working on. If it stays there too long, I'll move it to my document folder.

I use the built in support for .zip...it is good enough for my needs.

I use google docs and gmail now, so I don't need office and I don't have to install anything.

Agree...just haven't needed it so far.

Agree...but this will happen automatically over time so you don't have to wait on downloads.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 10, 2010 6:33 PM.

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