20 quick Windows tips for power users (free PDF)

This latest collection of tips from Windows expert Ed Bott will help you learn the best tricks for saving time on Windows tasks and procedures.

From the ebook:

Get the lowdown on your network
When you’re setting up or troubleshooting a local area network, it helps to know a few details about each PC on the network. What’s the local IP address? What DNS servers are configured for your internet connection? Does your device have an IPv6 address?

For the answers to these and other questions, the Ipconfig command is your friend. Open a Command Prompt window (just type cmd in the Run box) and then enter ipconfig, with no switches, to see basic details about your network setup, including IP and IPv6 addresses and gateway information. Want more details? Use ipconfig /all to display a startling amount of detail, including DNS and DHCP information.

Ipconfig has a few more tricks up its sleeve, including the ability to flush the DNS resolver cache if you’ve switched DNS servers as part of troubleshooting. To see the full list of switches, type ipconfig /?.

Use the Steps Recorder tool to help solve problems remotely
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to help someone solve a problem from a distance, especially when the person suffering through the problem is technically unsophisticated. Remote assistance software is an excellent tool, but it’s not always practical for solving intermittent issues.

Instead of listening to vague descriptions of error messages and buttons, introduce your remote contact to the Problem Steps Recorder. To start the program, type PSR in the search box (Windows 10) or in the Run box (Windows 7) and press Enter.

The Steps Recorder has just three buttons: Start Record, Stop Record, and Add Comment. Clicking Start Record captures the exact contents of the screen and adds an annotation each time your remote contact performs an action like clicking a mouse button. Teach them to use the Add Comment button if they want to explain what’s happening in their own words.

Armed with that detailed report, you’re likely to have a much more productive support session next time.

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