How to Show Explorer’s Preview Pane in Windows 10

It is easy to preview files without opening them in Windows 10, thanks to the Preview Pane feature in File Explorer. You can see thumbnails of most images, videos, audio files and some text-based documents. Lets see how to do this.

You may have heard about a security flaw in using the preview pane, but that was fixed in Windows 10 update released on April 14, 2020. If you have the latest updates, it’s safe to use.

This is for Windows 10 operating system

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Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

Opening File Explorer

There are at least three ways to access the File Explorer:

  1. Open File Explorer by pressing Windows+E
  2. Click the Explorer folder icon in your taskbar
  3. Click the Explorer option in your Start menu

Accessing the Preview Pane

In the menu bar at the top of the File Explorer window, click View. See below image:

File Explorer Preview 1
Selecting the View option

Find Preview pane option in the upper-left of the toolbar and click on it. Refer to below image:

File Explorer Preview 2
Selecting the Preview pane option

The Preview pane will be highlighted and is now activated. Navigate the File Explorer to a folder that has documents you’d like to preview. When you select a file, you will see its preview thumbnail in the right side of the window. See following image:

File Explorer Preview 3
The results of Previw pane option displayed on the right

Accessing the Details Pane

File Explorer also has a related feature called Details Pane. To turn it on, click View in the Explorer menu bar, then click the Details pane option in the toolbar (it’s right below the Preview pane option). Refer to below image:

File Explorer Preview 4
Selecting the Details pane option

When you highlight a file with Details pane turned on, you will see a tiny thumbnail (for applicable file types) and some details about the file, such as its size, date created, date modified, etc. in the right portion of the window. See following image:

File Explorer Preview 5
The results of Details pane option displayed on the right

To return to the normal view of File Explorer, first, you have to click on View, then, either click the Preview or Details pane option depending on which one is highlighted.

You also have other options under the View tab to see your contents; like the size of your icons; extra large, large, medium and small, as well as by list, details, tiles and content.

Keyboard Shortcuts

It’s also possible to quickly toggle the Preview and Details panes using keyboard shortcuts. First, open File Explorer, then use the below shortcuts:

  1. Press Alt+P to open or close the Preview pane
  2. Press Alt+Shift+P to open or close the Details pane

That its. You have successfully explored two seldom used options of the File Explorer in Windows 10.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Use a Virtual Device in Windows 10

In Windows 10, it’s easy to enable and use a virtual device, like a keyboard. This is super handy if you have a touch screen device. There are times when using a mouse or touchpad is inconvenient and problematic with kids or pets squirming on your lap.

This how-to guide shows you how to enable and use the virtual interface built into Windows 10.

This is for Windows 10 operating system

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Enable the Virtual Device

It’s super easy to enable the virtual interface. Just right-click on any open area of your Taskbar and select Show touch keyboard button. Refer to below image:

Virtual Device 1
View the touch keyboard option

You should now see a keyboard icon in the Taskbar tray. See below image:

Virtual Device 2
Showing the touch keyboard icon

Use the Virtual Device

To bring up a virtual keyboard, click on that icon.

If you have a touch display, you may now tap the keys with your finger or use your mouse or touchpad for selecting the keys. To close the virtual keyboard, click the X in upper right hand corner. See following image:

Virtual Device 3
The default touch keyboard

To change the default setting, you can tap or click one of the icons in upper left hand corner. There are three keyboard layouts to choose from, including a full QWERTY keyboard. See below image:

Virtual Device 4
The QWERTY touch keyboard

You can opt to enable your microphone for the interface dictation or select one of the touchpad options. There is also an option to choose a different language for your virtual keyboard.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Enable Developer Settings to Control Windows 10

Several of the more powerful applications, tools and utilities available in Windows 10 are locked behind disabled settings and a labyrinth of configurations menus. We can reach some of these power tools through Developer Settings. Lets get started.

This is for Windows 10 devices

Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

Access Developer Settings

  1. Click the Start button
  2. Select Settings (the gear icon)
  3. Select Update & Security
  4. Select For Developers

My wifes computer always wants to only install apps from the Microsoft Store. To turn this off, select Sideload apps which allows third party apps to be installed

I suggest you leave Developer mod setting disabled

Device Portal and Device Discovery is to see, configure and manage your PC remotely over a network or USB connection. Unless you have a need for this, leave the features unchecked. See following image:

Win 10 Developers 1
For Developers screen

To view or change the other features, scroll down the right pane (For Developers)

The File Explorer

Note! In the File Explorer, Remote Desktop and Powershell sections, click the Show Settings blue link to view or change the setting. If you change a setting, remember to click OK at the bottom of the dialog box to save your change.

These options will be familar to power users. The benefits of the settings are fairly self-explanatory. Refer to below image:

Win 10 Developers 2
For Developers File Explorer screen

Click Apply to save any changes

Remote Desktop Functions

Remote access to a workstation connected to a local enterprise network through a VPN is often required. To enable a secure remote connection, these settings must be enabled. See following image:

Win 10 Developers 3
For Developers Remote Access screen

Click Apply to save any changes

The Powershell

This allows developers to run special utility scripts that have no certificate associated with them. If you are not running Powershell scripts on a regular basis, its best to leave the setting disabled. Refer to following image:

Win 10 Developers 4
For Developers Powershell screen

Click Apply to save any changes

While many of the configurationn settings located in the For Developers section can be managed from other configuration menus and screens, in Windows 10 they are conviently located in a central location. In previous versions of Windows, power users had to track down these settings. Now, they are in one place.

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Disable/Enable the Insert Key in Windows 10

The Insert Key was needed in early versions of Windows. In our modern day of Windows, the key is no longer needed. Now, we just place our cursor where we want to insert text and start typing. If we use the Insert Key, our text is overwritten. This can be frustrating as we find ourselves clicking Undo and starting over.

Every key has a corresponding key scan code that tells Windows how to handle the keystroke. We can find this code and change it to a null character in the Windows Registry, which disables the key.

Instead of editing the Registry directly, we are going to use a free software utility to perform this task.

Note! You should first create a backup of the Registry. See my blog post on Wise Registry Cleaner on how create a backup or click this link to download and install the free Regbak software.

This is for desktop/laptop using Windows 10. SharpKeys will run on Vista through Windows 10.

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Running Regbak Software

First, open and run the program. Next, click on the New Backup button to create a Registry backup. Refer to below image:

Regbak 1
Selecting a new backup

A backup dialog box will appear. Here you can chose a Backup Folder. It is recommended you use the default. Next, give the backup a Description of your choice, then click Start. See below image:

Regbak 2
Chosing the backup location and entering a description

When the program has finished, you will receive a message at the top of the screen that the backup operation has completed. At the bottom of the dialog box, check for the mesage that the operation finished successfully. Now, click Close. See following image:

Regbak 3
Completing the process

A final dialog box will appear showing your newly created Registry backup entry. Additionally, by highlighting an entry you can either Restore or Delete a Registry backup. Click Close to end the program. Refer to below image:

Regbak 4
Exit the program

SharpKeys Overview

SharpKeys is free software for you to edit specific Registry entries. It uses a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to remap keys on your keyboard. This software makes it easy to edit the Registry without using the built-in Registry Editor. Using the Editor is time consuming and error prone.

Download and Install

Open your browser and click this link to download and install SharpKeys. You can download the file in Microsoft Installer (MSI) or Zip format; the easiest method is using the MSI.

Using SharpKeys

Note! This program requires Administrative Privileges to run. Please open the program as an Administrator by right-clicking on the program under Start, and click on More > Run as Administrator.

Once the program is running, click the Add button. See below image:

SharpKeys 1
Opening the program

Scroll through the list on the left and click on Special: Insert (E0_52). Next, click on Turn Key Off (00_00) from the list on the right. To remap the Insert Key, click OK. Refer to below image:

SharpKeys 2
Selecting the Insert Key to be remapped

The value in parentheses is the key scan code associated with it. We are replacing the Insert Key code of E0_52 to a non-existence code of 00_00, which will disable the key.

Next, click the Write to Registry button. The software will add the new code for the Insert Key to the Registry for you. See following image:

SharpKeys 3
Write the null key scan code to the Registry

To complete the process, click OK. Refer to below image:

SharpKeys 4
Restart message

To exit the program, click Close. See below image:

SharpKeys 5
Exit the program

For the changes to take effect, you will need to log out or restart your computer.

You can use SharpKeys to remap a host of other keyboard characters.

Undoing Your Change

If you have made no other changes, you can use Wise Registry Cleaner or Regbak to restore the Registry depending on which software you used to create a Registry backup. If you have made other changes and wish to restore the Insert Key function, those changes will be lost.

Another method is using the Registry Editor to reenable the Insert Key function. This method is very technical, frustrating and error prone; so I don’t recommend doing this.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Change Your Name on Windows 10 Log-In Screen

Whenever you log-in to Windows 10, your name appears above the password entry. What if you want to change your name? This post addresses this issue.

Whether you use a local account or a Microsoft Account, it’s relative easy to change your display name.

This is for Windows 10 devices

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Changing Your Display Name for a Microsoft Account

To change you name for a Microsoft Account, you need to open your account preferences on the Microsoft website.

Opens the Settings app by pressing the Windows key+I or type in Settings in the Cortana search field, then click the Settings app at top of the screen. Then click on the Accounts option. Refer to below image:

Change Login Name 1
Selecting your Accounts option

Below your name and photo, click on Manage my Microsoft account. See following image:

Change Login Name 2
Selecting Manange my Microsoft account

Signin to your Microsoft Account if not already signed. This will open your account preferences in your browser. After your browser opens, click the More Actions drop-down box, then click on Edit Profile from the options list. See below image:

Change Login Name 3
Selecting Edit Profile

Below your name, click Edit Name. Refer to below image:

Change Login Name 4
Selecting Edit your name

Enter your first and last name, solve the CAPTCHA challenge, then click Save to update your name. See following image:

Change Login Name 5
Changing your firsr and/or last name and entering the CAPTCHA letters

When your Profile page reloads, it will update with the name change.

Note! When you change your Microsoft Account name, it changes on all devices that you use to log-in with this account.

For your new name to show on your Windows 10 log-in screen, you will have to log out of Windows 10. Be sure to save any unsaved work or applications before signing out.

Changing Your Display Name for a Local Account

A local account is a basic approach in using Windows 10. Local accounts don’t have the added features like syncing files, settings, browser history, etc. across multiple devices.

If you want to change your local account name, fire up the Control Panel. In the Cortana search box, type in Control Panel then click on the Control Panel app at the top of the screen.

Next click on the User Accounts option. Refer to below image:

Change Login Name 6
Selecting User Accounts from the Control Panel

Now click on User Accounts one more time. See below image:

Change Login Name 7
Selecting User Accounts again

Now, select Change your account name option to change your log-in name. See following image:

Change Login Name 8
Selection for changing your account name

Note: If an organization manages your device or you don’t have administrator privileges, you won’t be able to change your name.

Enter the new log-in name into the text field, then click the Change Name button to save your changes. Refer to below image:

Change Login Name 9
Changing your log-in name

You are done and may now close the Control Panel window. For your new name to show on your Windows 10 log-in screen, you will have to log out of Windows 10. Be sure to save any unsaved work or applications before signing out.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Check Your Hard Drive Status

Your hard drive has been acting strange. It’s making clicking or screeching sounds, it’s unable to find files, crashes on boot, slow transfer speed or seems to be moving slowly. Your hard drive is dying.

Since it is a mechanical device it has moving parts unlike a Solid State Device (SSD) which has none. But even a SSD will eventually fail.

Even if your hard drive is healthy, over time, it will die. You should keep an eye on it’s health once in a while for your peace of mind. Let’s see how to do this.

This is for Windows 10 devices and Macs

Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

The Drive’s SMART Status

Most modern drives have a feature called S.M.A.R. T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) that monitors different drive attributes in an attempt to detect a failing disk. That way, your computer will automatically notify you before data loss occurs and the drive can be replaced while it still remains functional.

Check in Windows

In Windows 10, you can manually check the S.M.A.R.T. status of your drives from the Command Prompt. Just right-click the Start button, select Run, and type “cmd“, then click OK or type “cmd” into the Cortana search bar, then click OK. In the Command Prompt pop-up box, type:

wmic diskdrive get model,status

It will return “Pred Fail” if your drive’s death is imminent; “Bad”, “Unknown” or “Caution” if its time to take care of a drive or “OK” if it thinks a drive is doing fine. Refer to below image:

Hard Drive Status
Checking your hard drives health

Check on a Mac

On a Mac, you can check S.M.A.R.T. status by opening the Disk Utility program, clicking on the drive and looking at “S.M.A.R.T. Status” in the bottom left, which will either read “Verified” or “Failing”.

SMART Status can be Misleading

However, this basic S.M.A.R.T. information can be misleading. You only know when your drive is near death, but you can start to experience problems even if the basic S.M.A.R.T. status is okay.

You can also use Defraggler program I discussed in a previous post. When you use the Analyze feature of the program, it will show your disk health. Click here for the post on using Defraggler.

Manufacture Check

If you want an even deeper, more accurate picture into your drive’s health, check its manufacturer’s website for a dedicated tool; for example, Seagate has SeaTools for its drives, Western Digital has Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for its drives and Samsung has Samsung Magician for its SSDs. These tools can sometimes take into account certain technologies specific to their hard drives and SSDs.

Note! You may find that the SeaTools (Seagate) utility is the only software you will need. In the below image, it can diagnose Samsung, Western Digital as well as Seagate using several methods:

Hard Drive Status 2
SeaTools for Windows options

Is Your Drive Almost Dead

Drives with the “Pred Fail” status won’t necessarily fail tomorrow. They could chug along for a year or be dead as a doornail in a few days if not hours.

If you’re getting warnings, it’s time to back up your files before your drive fails. Failure to act may cost you serious money to recover your data.

Now is not the time for a full backup, however: you don’t want to stress the drive with too many reads or it could fail while you’re backing up. Instead, plug in an external drive and copy your most important files onto it; family photos, work documents and anything else that can’t easily be replaced. Then, once you know those are safe, you can try doing a full drive clone with something like EaseUS Todo Backup Free.

I got a S.M.A.R.T. status of “Pred Fail” on my main hard drive. I quickly backed up my important files to an external drive. I never finished before it died. I tried the trick off turning my desktop on its side, then upside down. I got a little more life from the hard drive. Then I removed the hard drive and gently shook the device. I could hear the spindle sliding; then I knew if was totally dead. But it’s worth trying this trick.

Is Your Drive Dead

If your hard drive has already stopped working, things get a lot tougher and you’ll probably need a professional data recovery service which can cost $1,000 or more. But if you have pricelrss data on the drive, it may be worth it to you.

Prepare for Hard Drive Failure

It’s not a matter of “if” your hard drive will fail; it’s a matter of “when”. All hard drives fail eventually and if you want to avoid losing all your important files, you absolutely have to back up your computer regularly; including when the drive is healthy.

Take some time to set up an automatic, cloud based backup like Google Backup and Sync using Google Drive. It is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from heartache later on. Or at least back up to an external drive using Windows 10 built-in File History Tool.

If your drive failed catastrophically with no warning, you can get back up and running in no time by having an up-to-date backup.

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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Twelve Run Commands for Windows 10

If you know the right keyboard shortcut and the right commands, the Windows 10 Run command can be a powerful tool. Lets explore 12 Run commands everyone should know.

With a simple keyboard shortcut and a few keystrokes, you can reach your destination before other users can click their mouse on the right icon.

The key is learning and knowing these common Run commands.

The examples are for Windows 10 operating system. Also works for Windows 7 and Windows 8.

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Open the Run Command Dialog Box

To use these commands we need to bring up the Run command dialog box. There are two comman ways of doing this as follows:

1. Right click the Start menu icon and select the Run command from a list
2. Use the keyboard shortcut by selecting and holding the Window icon button and press the “R” key. See following image:

Win 10 Run 1
The Run dialog box

You will simply enter your Run command and press the Enter key or press OK.

The Run Commands

Note! The quotation marks are for emphasis only; they are not part of the command itself and should not be included in the Run command box. Also, the Run remembers your command(s).

1.“\” – Open the default drive, usually drive “C
This will display the contents of your default configuration to include your Quick Access library. The presumption is that this is where your documents, photos and other files can be most easily found. At times you may just want to open File Explorer to the main hard drive root folder.

2. “.” – Open the Home folder of the current user
This command will open the Home folder for the current user.

3. “..” – Open the Users folder
Typing two periods (“..”) will open File Explorer in the Users folder, giving quick access to all the user’s folders, providing you have the proper credentials. This is a good command for performing system administrative tasks.

4. “control” – Open the Control Panel
Windows 10 has placed many of the common configuration settings into an area known as Settings, which can be found as an entry in the Start menu. While this is fine for many configuration settings, there are times when you have to load the full Windows 10 Control Panel. On those occasions, type control into the Run command box. Refer to below image:

Win 10 Run 2
The Control Panel

5. “msconfig” – Open System Configuration
The System Configuration app is a holdover from previous versions of the Windows operating system, but it is still useful for Windows 10. This command will open an app that grants you access to boot variations including certain startup services during the boot sequence. Also, their are many options to view, add or change under the Tools tab. See following image:

Win 10 Run 3
System Configuration screen

6. “appwiz.cpl” – Open Programs and Features
Lets say you want to uninstall a program; you may use this command to do so. Although you can use the Control Panel command to accomplish this task, using this command is much faster. See below image:

Win 10 Run 4
Uninstall a program

7. “cleanmgr” – Open Disk Cleanup utility
Another holdover from previous versions of Windows is the Disk Cleanup utility. Most disk cleanup processes in Windows 10 are handled automatically behind the scenes, but there are occasions where you may want to perform disk cleanup manually. Refer to below image:

Win 10 Run 5
Hard disk cleanup

Related

Wise Disk Cleaner is a much better utility for cleaning your Windows device

8. “resmon” – Open Resource Monitor
A utility app that most users ignore, but really shouldn’t, is the Windows 10 Resource Monitor. If your PC starts lagging or the hard drive seems to be spinning up without cause, run this command and troubleshoot the problem. See below image:

Win 10 Run 6
The Resource Monitor

9. “calc”, “notepad”, “mspaint”, etc – Open common apps
Another good use for the Run command is to start basic Microsoft applications that you may not use every day and don’t want on your desktop or taskbar but that you still use from time to time.

10. “main.cpl” – Adjust your mouse settings
One of the first things you need to adjust on a new Windows 10 PC are the mouse settings. A mouse cursor that is too small or moves too slowly across the screen can be frustrating. This is fastest way to get to those settings. Refer to below image:

Win 10 Run 7
Settings for the mouse

11. “mstsc” – Open Remote Desktop
A modern workforce is a mobile workforce, which means many of us have to access our workstation PCs remotely using the Windows 10 Remote Desktop app. See following image:

Win 10 Run 8
Open Remote Desktop

12. “msinfo32” – Access System Information
While troubleshooting problems with help desks, it is not uncommon for the technician to ask for detailed system information. Rather than clicking through several different screens, use this Run command. Refer to below image:

Win10 Run 9
System Ongormation scree

You Don’t Have to Remember the Commands

Tip: As you try these Run commands, you will notice that your previous entry is displayed. You can scroll through all previous commands by using the up and down arrow keys or click the drop down arrow to see your entries. This allows less keystrokes, faster access and best of all, you don’t have to memorize these Run commands. They are available even if you Shutdown or Restart your device.

For more Run commands, click here

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Find Your Windows 10 Product Key

I recently read a post about finding your Microsoft Windows 10 product key. Microsoft likes to hide it but there are occasions you need to know the key. The key is a 25-characters code, making it virtually impossible to remember.

This is for Windows XP through 10 devices

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That post gave a long command to use and a complicated Visual Basic Script (vbs) from an unknown author to be saved as a text file to run. To make things even more complicated, using two methods, the author showed two different keys. But there is a pain free way to find the key that I posted about using Belarc Advisor. This free software program is among the best to provide a detailed inventory of your device’s hardware and software.

Here is the link for installing and running the free Belarc Advisor program.

Scroll down the report till you see the Software Licenses section. There you will find your Windows product key plus other software keys. See below image:

Belarc Advisor Software Keys

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath

How to Pin a Drive to Your Taskbar

We know we can pin Apps to the taskbar. But did you know you can pin your drives, both local and network drives. Instead of opening File Explorer and choosing a drive which requires two clicks, this can be done in one click from your taskbar.

This is for Windows 10 devices

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Create a Shortcut for a Drive

Create a shortuct by a right click on the desktop. Then select New followed by Shortcut from the menu. Refer to below image:

Pin a Drive 1
Creating a shortcut

The shortcut wizard will appear. (If the wizard does not appear, you will have to manually edit the Shortcut tab.) In the field Type the location of the item, enter explorer C:\. See below image:

Pin a Drive 2
The first screen of the shortcut wizard

Click Next. Assign a name to the shortcut like Drive C. See following image:

Pin a Drive 3
The second screen of the shortcut wizard

To complete the wizard, click Finish. The shortcut will be displayed on your desktop. Right click on the the desktop shortcut and select Properties from the context menu to preview the shortcut. Notice the Target and Start in fields have been updated. See below image:

Pin a Drive 4
Setting up a shortcut for drive C

Change the Icon for the Shortcut

Again, right click on the shortcut and select Properties from the context menu. Go to the Shortcut tab and select Change Icon. You will see an Address field that denotes the default location of the icon. To change this, enter C:\Windows\system32\imageres.dll in the field. Refer to below image:

Pin a Drive 5
Changing the default location for the icon

Click OK. Look through the icons and choose the drive icon. You could also use your own custom icon. See following image:

Pin a Drive 6
Choosing the drive icon

Click OK to select the icon. Then click OK again to save your changes. Then right click on your desktop shortcut and select Pin to taskbar and/or Pin to Start from the context menu. See below image for the final result of pinning Drive C to the taskbar:

Pin a Drive 7
Drive C example pinned to the taskbar

From your taskbar, click the drive icon to open File Explorer for the designated drive. You may now delete the desktop shortcut.

If you are pinning multiple drives, it’s a good idea to use custom icons. If you go with the default icons, they will all look the same. You could hover your mouse over a pinned drive to reveal which drive will open or use a custom icon. Another idea is to remember which drive is which. To make the icons stand out, you could separate the pinned drives from your other apps by using taskbar dividers.

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath

How to Pin a Website to Windows 10 Taskbar or Start Menu

This post will show you how to allow easy access to your favorite websites. We will discuss adding a desktop shortcut for any website to your Windows 10 Taskbar or Start Menu.

This is for Windows 10 devices

Using Google Chrome

  • Navigate to the website you want to pin
  • Click the Menu icon (the one with the 3 dots) in upper right hand corner
  • Hover your mouse over More Tools
  • Click Create Shortcut
  • In the popup menu, change the name of the shortcut, if desired
  • Click Create. See below image:
Win 10 Pin 1
Creating Desktop shortcut for pinning

This will create a desktop shortcut. Refer to below image for my techsavve.life shortcut at the bottom:

Win 10 Pin 2

If you select the option Open in window, Chrome will open the page in its own window.

  • Right click on the shortcut and either click Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar. Once you have pinned the website for one or both ways, you can delete the desktop shortcut.

Using the new Microsoft Edge

The new Microsoft Chromium based browser works similar to Google Chrome. Yes, Microsoft has embraced the Chrome browser, even the version number is the same.

  • Navigate to the website you want to pin
  • Click the Settings and more icon (the one with the 3 dots) in upper right hand corner
  • Hover your mouse over More Tools
  • Click Pin to taskbar

The new Edge has a new feature called Launch taskbar pinning wizard. It is located just below Pin to taskbar in the menu dialog box.

  • Click the wizard. Edge will guide you through a short menu that lets you pin the most popular websites and Microsoft web apps to your taskbar. See below image for the first of the three screen wizard:
Win 10 Pin 3
The Pin to to the taskbar wizard, one of three screens

Note! The new Edge does not have the feature Pin to Start

The Classic Edge

The classic version of Edge came with the original version of Windows 10. If you have yet to update to the new Edge, then use the following for pinning:

To pin the website to the Taskbar:

  • Navigate to the website you want to pin
  • Click the Menu icon (the one with the 3 dots) in upper right hand corner
  • Click Pin this page to the taskbar

To pin the website to the Start menu:

  • Navigate to the website you want to pin
  • Click the Menu icon (the one with the 3 dots) in upper right hand corner
  • Hover your mouse over More Tools
  • Click Pin this page to Start

You can now delete any created desktop shortcut(s).

I Would Like to Hear from You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath