The last time you bought a new trading computer, I’m sure you were totally focused on hardware factors like speed and memory capacity. But once you’ve acquired the best hardware you can afford, it’s time to re-focus on getting the most you can from your software.
If you’re like most traders, you’re committed to getting the most from your trading software. Yet there are lots of hidden gems (features) in your operating system that can really help your productivity and trading results by making you more efficient.
In this post, I’m going to share some particularly helpful features of Windows 10 you may not have heard about.
1. Access Settings Fast with the Hidden Start Menu
When you’re in a hurry to change settings and deal with administrative tasks, you have to click the Start Menu and then other submenus to get to your desired function. But for power users, there’s an easier way.
Windows 10 has a hidden Start Menu that makes it easier to get to settings and administrative tasks. Place your mouse pointer on the Start Menu. Then instead of left click, right click and you’ll see the hidden menu. Alternatively, you can use the Windows button + X key.
Next time you’re in a hurry to change a setting on your computer, remember this trick to save time.
2. Get Rid of Clutter with Aero Shake
The aero shake feature has been available since Windows 7, but most Windows 10 users have forgotten about it or are not aware of it.
The aero shake feature allows you to minimize unnecessary windows fast. Suppose you have a bunch of trading research applications open on your computer and cluttering up your desktop.
Click and hold the left mouse button on the application you want to concentrate on (the same way you would if you were going to move the window). Still holding the button down, shake the mouse in several quick left-right movements. All applications except the shaken one will be minimized. It’s a fast way to clear clutter.
When you want to bring back the minimized applications, just click on the currently active application and shake again. All your opened applications should be back on the desktop. (And this is good to know if you accidentally shake and hide everything.)
3. Quickly See Your Windows Desktop
Here is another trick to get rid of clutter on your screen. Suppose, you have a lot of windows open and you want to un-bury the desktop to access a new application via a desktop icon.
Notice in the bottom right corner (at the right end of the taskbar) there’s a vertical line. If you click to the right of that line, all your open windows will minimize, revealing the desktop. Re-clicking the same area will re-open them.
4. Cycle Through to a Target Application
Another trick to cut through the clutter is to use the ALT+TAB key. Hold down the ALT key and click just the TAB key to scroll through your open applications. When you release the keys, the selected application will come to the forefront, ready for use.
5. Organize Applications with Virtual Desktops
Nowadays most traders use multiple monitors. They provide more real estate to keep all your opened applications organized. But if you don’t have multiple monitors, or if you just like to keep lots and lots of apps open, you might want to try using virtual desktops to organize your windows.
To create a new desktop, click the Windows button + Tab. While you’re in there, if you open an application, it will remain attached to that particular desktop. To navigate between various desktops, use CTRL + Windows button + Left/Right arrows.
As a trader, you might want to have one desktop for your research apps and another desktop for your trading apps.
6. Release Stress with Cortana’s Secret Games
On a stressful trading day, you might need a break. Most people don’t know that Cortana, the Windows 10 virtual assistant, can play secret games with you.
You can just say “rock, paper, scissors,” “roll the dice,” or “flip the coin.” Of course, we don’t recommend you use these games to make trading decisions ?. But relaxing your mind for brief periods throughout the trading day can lead to better outcomes.
7. Give Yourself Access to God Mode
Windows 10 God Mode allows you to explore features that are buried deep within the operating system.
To get the Windows God Mode control panel, create a new folder on your desktop and rename it to the following:
The folder icon should change into a God Mode icon. Now click on it, and it will take you to hundreds of hidden features like firewall settings, cursor blink rates, and more.
Right now, while you’re still thinking about it, try out one or more of these tricks. You’ll be amazed what the simplest things can do to help you get through your trading day more efficiently and enjoyably.
There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyers guide. Check out our “How To Buy a Trading Computer” e-book.
Remember, we are here to help with all your technology related questions. If you think of additional questions about computer hardware or other questions, give me a call. My team and I are here to help. We’re happy to answer any of your questions about trading computers via phone: 800-387-5250