The media and our parents may insist on calling us ‘digital natives’, but for many of us the truth is that our IT expertise lies largely in our ability to Google the solution to any problem we may be facing.

It turns out that those handy people at Microsoft (sorry, Mac users, this guide is not for you) built a bunch of super nifty, super time-saving shortcuts into our computers. Problem is, we’ve never heard of them.

Until now:

1.The Hide-Everything Trick

We’ve all been there. One minute you’re happily browsing Facebook at work or, er, buying a surprise gift for your partner, and the next minute your partner or boss walks into the room.

Don’t waste time scrambling for the mouse. Press this:

Windows Key + D

The command will instantly minimise everything. When the coast is clear, the same shortcut will bring your window back up again. Sneaky.


2.The YouTube-Like-a-Boss Trick

Let’s face it, if you’re watching YouTube videos you’re probably already feeling pretty lazy. So why waste time and effort moving a mouse around, when there are a bunch of keyboard shortcuts that will make your life 10x easier?

K = Pause/Play

M = Mute/Unmute

F = Full-Screen/Minimise

Lost your place or missed the last thing someone said? L and J will skip you forward or back ten seconds. And just in case you are watching educational videos and want to slow it down to take notes (or speed it up to get it over quicker), then > and < will do the trick.

LEGO holding ctrl key

3.The Webpage-Restore Trick

Few things are more annoying than getting too click-happy and accidently closing a webpage you needed. Luckily, restoring it couldn’t be easier:


You’re welcome.


4.The File-Rename Trick

Perhaps you’ve finally got around to sorting out the tangle of “doc 1s” on your desktop, and want to rename the files to make them easy to find. You could select the file, right-click, scroll all the way down to “Rename” and click again. Or you could simply select the file and press F2.

Then, when you’re ready to move onto the next file, all you need to do is tap the TAB key.

If you’ve got a bunch of files you want to batch name (Budget 1, Budget 2, Budget 3 etc) then select them all, press F2 and type the root name you want. All the files will be automatically numbered for you.


5.The Stop-Autorun Trick

CDs and DVDs might be going the way of the floppy disk, but those of us who still use them know how annoying the automatic start-up can be; taking you away from what you’re doing and slowing your computer down to a trickle.

Turns out there’s an easy solution: press SHIFT while inserting the CD and it’ll only boot up when you ask it to.


6.The Brower-Bar-Jump Trick

Why trouble yourself about moving your cursor all the way up a webpage to type in a new URL, when you can just click:


Plus, instead of bothering with the “www” and “.com” bit, simply type the main part of the URL, and allow the computer to complete it for you:


Work desk with keyboard

7.The Open-All-Bookmarks Trick

Everyone knows that the best way to internet shop is to bookmark everything you like the look of, line all the tabs next together and make them battle it out for the pleasure of becoming acquainted your wallet?

Unfortunately, opening up multiple bookmarks by hand is a faff. Fortunately, you can just middle-click on the folder and it’ll open everything up automatically.

Want to scroll quickly through all those open tabs? Try:


You can even select a particular tab by typing in its corresponding order number:

CTRL + 1 / CTRL + 8 (etc.)

Beth Leslie writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate jobs are currently available. Or, if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.

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