Five Annoying Things About Windows 7
If you've recently moved from an XP system to Windows 7, you've already found that it's a feature-rich operating system. But one person's feature can be another's annoyance. Here are five Windows 7 features that many users find annoying, and how to fix them...
How to Fix Window 7 Annoyances
1. User Account Control (UAC): This is a security feature first introduced in Vista. UAC pops up a window every time a program or standard (non-administrator) user tries to make changes to your Windows settings, asking if it is OK to let the change proceed. UAC is a good defense against malware, in theory. But in practice, those "permission" windows pop up all too often. Here is how to disable UAC in Windows 7, if you have administrator privileges on the machine:
- Go to Start Menu > Control Panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts
- Click on "Change User Account Control settings"
- Move the slider bar all the way down to "none," meaning you don't want any notifications
- Close Control Panel and restart the computer to turn off UAC.
2. Hidden File Extensions: Windows Explorer hides the extensions of known file types by default, so the file MYPHOTO.JPG appears in a file list as just MYPHOTO. To fix this annoyance,
- Click "Organize" on the Windows Explorer menu bar
- Click "Folder and Search Options"
- On the "View" tab, uncheck the box next to "hide extensions for known file types"
- Click OK
3. Balloon Notifications: These regularly pop up in the system tray, telling you things you don't want to know. Here is how to disable all balloon notifications in Windows 7 or Vista:
- Type regedit.exe in the Start menu search box and press Enter to open Regedit.
- Browse down the registry key to the following entry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
- Right-click in the right-hand pane and create a new DWORD named "EnableBalloonTips" with value: 0
- Close Regedit. No more balloon tips! To enable balloon tips, change the Value in that key to 1 instead of 0.
Alternatively, download this registry hack file, unzip it, and double-click on the DisableNotificationBalloons.reg file to add the DWORD to your registry automatically. The zip file includes an "enable balloons" reg file to reverse the change.
4. No Quick Launch Toolbar in Taskbar: The Quick Launch toolbar, familiar to Windows XP users, sits in the Taskbar just to the left of the system tray. Program shortcuts added to the Quick Launch toolbar can be launched from the toolbar without having to open the Start menu and browse All Programs. But the Quick Launch toolbar is disabled by default in Windows 7. To get it back, here is what to do:
- Right-click on an empty area of the Taskbar and highlight Toolbars in the context menu.
- Click "New Toolbar" to open a Windows Explorer window.
- In the "Folder" box, enter the following path: %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
- Click "Select folder" and your Quick Launch toolbar will appear in the Taskbar.
5. Aero Snap: This is a Windows 7 feature that maximizes a window whenever you drag it too near to the top of the screen, and arranges windows side by side when you drag them near the other edges of the screen. If you don't want windows jumping around unexpectedly, you can disable Aero Snap from the Control Panel:
- Go to the Ease of Access Section and click on "Change how your mouse works"
- Scroll down to "Make it easier to manage windows"
- Check the box that says "Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen".
BONUS: I know I said "five annoying things," but here's a bonus. Users moving from XP or Vista may note that there is no built-in email client. On XP, many people use Outlook Express, and Vista has the Windows Mail program. So why did the nice folks at Microsoft leave out this essential tool in Windows 7? The answer is that they want you to use Windows Live Mail. But in early builds of Windows 7, they seem to have forgotten to include it. And even when it's there, you have to dig to find it.
To see if Windows Live Mail is installed, click the Start button then type Windows Live Mail. If it appears in the results, you can click and go. If not, you'll have to download and install the Windows Live Essentials package to get it. Windows Live Mail is similar to Outlook, but you do have options. My preference is to use a web-based email service like Gmail, but if you prefer a desktop email client, check out the free Thunderbird program.
That's my list, what annoys YOU about Windows 7? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 26 Jul 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Five Annoying Things About Windows 7 (Posted: 26 Jul 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved