8 basic computer tricks to make life easier

Search with Ctrl + F Last updated: 2022-07-28

At this point, most of the general public should know how to use a computer in the most basic of situations.  Turn it on.  Open up the internet.  Write a document.   Print something.  If you expect to be somewhat successful or, at the very least, considered a normal functioning human being, computer know-how is simply a must.

However, while it is possible to glide on through to success on computer basics, it probably won’t be all that easy for you.  You’ll struggle.  You’ll waste more time than you should.  And you’ll definitely feel the need to throw one or two computers out the window at some time or another.

So, if you’re adamant about sticking to the basics and you don’t feel the need to make ‘geek’ your second language, then here are a few tricks to make you more efficient in the land of computers.  And if even you do consider yourself to be above the basics or somewhat of a computer aficionado, some of these tips might be new and rather useful for you.


Holding down the backspace button to delete multiple letters at once is such a waste of time.  If you need to delete one whole word, hold down CTRL and Backspace simultaneously.  To delete multiple words, hold down the CTRL button and continue to tap on the Backspace button until you’ve deleted everything that needs to go away.


If you use a laptop, this tip can be rather handy.  When you need to switch to another open window (say you have Word, the internet, and Excel open at the same time), then hold down ALT and TAB.  This will allow you to quickly cycle through to the next open program without having to look to that dreaded touchpad for assistance.


When you have multiple sites open at once, you can close one at a time by holding down CTRL and W.  This action will cause the tab you are currently on to close and will send you back to the next open tab – no magnifying glass and little ‘X’ button required.


Again, if you’re not willing to reach for your mouse, this trick is incredibly useful.  Hold down CTRL and L to highlight the address bar.  You can immediately begin typing to go to a new website.


If you have multiple programs open and you don’t like a lot of background noise, use the cursor to shake your active window.  This will automatically minimize all other open programs, leaving you just with the program you want.

Windows + D

If you need all programs minimized – including the program you’re currently on – then hit Windows and D.  This will bring you back to the desktop.


When you’re on the internet and you need to open up a new tab, hold down CTRL and T.  This trick will get you there quicker.

Windows + L

This is a great tip for anyone, anywhere to use.  Whenever you leave your computer, hit
CTRL and L to lock it.  Hopefully, you have some sort of passcode protecting your device… if not, shame on you.