40 Helpful Computer Hacks We Wish We Learned Sooner

Hacks and shortcuts can make a huge difference when navigating the computer landscape. Whatever you’re doing, it can always be done more quickly — and it’s often true that the simpler the tips and tricks are, the better. That’s why we’ve compiled these 40 smart hacks, which won’t boggle your mind but will give you time to focus on more important stuff. You’ll wish you knew these tricks years ago!

1. The tab came back

Closing the tab you’re looking at is easy. A little too easy, in fact — meaning it often happens by accident before you’ve finished what you’re doing. Did you know you can get it back? On Windows, press “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “T”. Or on Mac press “Cmd” instead of “Ctrl”. Remember, while it looks like something has vanished into the ether, it usually hasn’t. 

2. Screenshots done smarter

Screenshots are convenient, but you probably only need part of what you’ve grabbed. Don’t tinker, just follow this hack. Hit the Windows “Start” key, or the one with the Windows logo on it, before you make a shot, and search for the Snipping Tool. Alternatively hit “Windows” + “Shift” + “S”. Then hit “New” on the Tool: you can isolate what you want with your cursor. With Mac, do “Cmd” + “Shift” + “4”.

3. YouTube simplified

YouTube is already pretty simple to use and explore, but navigating inside a video can be tricky. Did you know that “K” on your keyboard pauses stuff more efficiently than the spacebar, which can scroll you away from the action? Plus, if you need to go forward or back ten seconds, that’s easy. The “J” key reverses, while “L” zaps you ahead.  

4. Wind-woes

Separate windows have a habit of piling up: that’s why they call it Windows, we guess! “Windows” key + the directional arrows are the shortcut you need to shunt clutter to the edges of your screen, be it up, down, left or right. If you’re using another monitor, say, to your right, do “Windows” + “Shift”, plus the “right” arrow to send the window there.