How to Quickly Launch Programs in Windows 7

How to Quickly Launch Programs in Windows 7

One of the easiest ways to speed up your PC is to use shortcuts that are already built into your operating system. If you’re a Windows 7 user, then there are hundreds of such shortcuts available for you to use. Today, we’re going to show you how to launch programs in Windows 7 faster than ever before.

Keyboard shortcuts in Windows 7

Windows 7 has a convenient built-in search bar. While many people use it to find lost documents, pictures, or videos, its usefulness extends beyond that. If you would rather not waste time reaching for your mouse the next time you fire up a program, then this search bar can easily be used to speed up your productivity on the PC.

Simply press the Windows key on your keyboard. This opens up the Start menu. Then, without touching any other key or moving your mouse, type in the first few letters of the program you need to use. For example, if you’re starting up Microsoft Word, you can type in the letters ‘wor’ and Microsoft Word should be the first thing that pops up. Type in ‘itu’ to open up iTunes, or ‘fire’ to open up Firefox.

After that, simply press ‘enter’ and the selected program will open. If you’re a fast typer, then this is a much quicker way to open up an application on your Windows 7 PC. If you don’t have good typing skills, then our next shortcut will work better for you.

Use Your Taskbar

Windows 7 features a large, easy-to-use taskbar along the bottom of your desktop. By default, a few basic programs are pinned to this taskbar, and some applications can be added to it during their respective installation processes. In previous versions of Windows, the task bar was very small and relatively inconvenient to use. This has changed in Windows 7.

Depending on the size of your screen, you should be able to pin somewhere between 7 to 15 applications on your taskbar. This keeps your most frequently used programs within close reach of your mouse. The taskbar also has other useful settings, like the ability to auto-hide itself until you mouse over it, or the ability to use smaller icons.  Customization options like this make the taskbar an incredibly useful tool.

But wait, there’s more! Every program on your taskbar is also assigned a keyboard shortcut. So, by pressing the Windows key and the number ‘1’ at the same time, you can open the first item on your taskbar. The rest of the taskbar programs are listed in numerical order.

Set your own keyboard commands

If you don’t like either of the shortcuts listed above, then you can always make your own. Windows 7 gives users the ability to create their own custom keyboard commands. If there isn’t already a program shortcut on your desktop, then you need to create one by right clicking on the application and selecting ‘Create Shortcut’.

Then, right click on the shortcut you have created and navigate to the ‘Shortcut’ bar in the menu that follows (it should be the first one that opens up by default). Here, you can easily assign a shortcut key (or a combination of keys). Some users like to fill up their function keys (F1 to F12 along the top of the keyboard) with program shortcut commands. Or, if your keyboard has special additional keys, then this is a perfect time to use them.

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