7 Mac and Windows tricks only the pros know

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Think of all your good habits. You brush your teeth twice a day (and maybe even floss, right). Maybe you make it a point to get in your steps every day or at least get some Vitamin D.

What about a little bit of tech hygiene to keep your computer happy? When you’re done browsing a webpage, press Ctrl + W on Windows or Cmd + W on Mac to close the tab you’re in. 

I’ll do you one better. Right-click on a tab header for a few more options. Most of the time, you’ll find an option to close every tab except your current one and an option to close all the tabs to the right of the one you’re using. 

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I love finding (and sharing) small time-savers and speed-boosters. Check out the list below and I bet you’ll find at least one you’ll use over and over.

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Goodbye forever: When you send a file to the trash, it’s still sitting around. To permanently delete a file on Windows without sending it to the Recycle Bin, hold Shift + Delete. On a Mac, select the file, click File from the menu bar, then hold the Option key. You’ll see the option change like magic from “Move to Trash” to Delete Immediately.

Easier than explaining: Recording your screen on a Mac is simple. Hit Shift + Cmd + 5 to record the entire screen. You can also select a portion to record if you want to leave out everything else. It’s a bit more of a process on Windows.

Uh-oh, your PC’s monitor went blank: Before you hold down the power button, hit Windows + Ctr + Shift + B. This tells your computer, “Hey, the display is messed up. Can you fix it?” In nerd-speak, it refreshes or resets your graphics driver.

iPhone or Mac acting up? Skip the Apple Store and try the new built-in diagnostic tool. FYI, it’s designed for those with the knowledge to repair their devices, so it’s not for everyone. Right now, it works with iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma 14.1 and later. Just pop your iPhone or Mac into diagnostics mode, enter the serial number, and let the troubleshooting begin. 

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If you hate FaceTime or have Android users in your crew, WhatsApp for Mac is a solid group call option. You can add eight people on a video call or 32 for an audio-only call. It also works for Windows PCs.

Say it with an emoji: There’s a shortcut to the emoji menu on your computer. Mac users, press Ctrl + Cmd + spacebar to find that cute little slice of 🍕. Windows users, hold Windows + . (period).

woman on phone

(Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

For the Windows pros: Try the “shade” shutdown shortcut. Right-click on your desktop and go to New > Shortcut. In the location field, type the following command: %windir%System32SlideToShutDown.exe Click Next, name the shortcut and click Finish. Now, when you want to shut down your computer, double-click the shortcut. A pulldown shade will appear at the top of the screen. If you’re using a mouse, click and drag it down to the bottom of the screen. On touch devices, you can simply swipe the screen down. 

Here’s a bonus tip

Tag, you’re it: Keep your files organized in Finder on your Mac by using tags. You can set up tags for work, family, projects — whatever you want. Press Cmd + click on a file to pick from the list of current tags or to create some of your own.

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Keep your tech-know going 

My popular video and audio podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. 

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Dr. Avi Loeb found tiny magnetic spheres in the Pacific Ocean, which he claims are extraterrestrial. Plus, a dating app for people with good credit, the Loan Depot breach and airplane mode myths.

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