Jun 29, 2008, 12:11 GMT
Washington - There's a lot about Windows Vista that's new to users of previous versions of Windows. And there's a lot about Vista that you probably don't need or want, as well. Do you ever, for instance, really use the pen tablet components of Vista? Do you get annoyed by the constant reminders that you might not have a firewall installed? And do you wish you could bring back the standard menus in applications such as Windows Explorer? If so, you're not alone. Read on for some solutions.
Q: Where did the standard menus go in Windows Vista? I rely upon the Edit menu, but it's not there in Explorer.
A: Vista didn't do away with standard menus - the ones with File, Edit, View, and other options readily available - but it did hide them in most of the applications on the operating system. You can nevertheless still access them by using the keyboard shortcuts that you could use previously to open them. For example, open Windows Explorer in Vista, press Alt-F, and the File menu appears.
You can enable the menus permanently, though, which would probably be more to your liking. To do so, open Windows Explorer or My Computer, click the Organize button on the toolbar, and select Folder and Search Options from the menu that drops down. From the resulting Folder Options dialogue box, select the View tab, and then click the check box next to 'Always Show Menus.' Click Apply and then OK.
Q: Vista repeatedly warns me that I do not have an antivirus program or firewall installed. I already know that. How can I get rid of these annoying messages?
A: What you're referring to is the security shield icon that pops up from the system tray to tell you of a potential vulnerability with security. To get rid of this tedious message, open Vista's Control Panel, click the Security icon, and then click the Security Centre link. On the left-hand side of the resulting Security Centre dialogue box, click 'Change the way Security Centre alerts me.'
A dialogue box will then ask you whether you wish to be notified of security issues. Choose either 'Don't notify me, but display the icon' or 'Don't notify me and don't display the icon.' Then exit all dialogue boxes.
Q: Vista comes with a lot of applications I never use. How can I remove things like games, fax software, and tablet PC components?
A: It's true that Vista gives you very few options for selecting which components of the operating system will be installed for you. Luckily, you can remove some of the bloatware yourself.
Open Vista's Control Panel, and click the Programs icon. Then select Programs and Features. Vista will take you to the 'Uninstall or change a program' dialogue box. From the left-hand side, click the 'Turn Windows features on or off' link. From the resulting Windows Features dialogue box, scroll down the list of installed programs, and remove the check box next to anything you do not want on your system.
When you're finished, click OK. Vista will begin uninstalling components. If you ever want something back, don't worry. Just retrace your steps, and make sure you have your Vista installation DVD handy.
Q: How can I shut down or restart Vista using just the keyboard? Sometimes I need to do this if my mouse freezes up, but I find it more efficient even when the mouse is working. This was easy in XP.
A: Microsoft did indeed make shutting down or restarting Vista less keyboard-friendly than in the past - or at least so it seems at first. The familiar Restart, Sleep, Hibernate, and Shut Down commands are hidden behind the right-pointing arrow in the lower right-hand corner of the Vista Start menu. To access them by keyboard, open the Start menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard. If you don't have a Windows key, just press Ctrl-Esc.
With the Start menu open, simply press the right arrow key on your keyboard three times. Doing so move the focus over to the right- pointing arrow and opens the submenu, on which you will find the Restart and other commands.
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