Must-Have Windows 7 Downloads

Celebrate the operating system's first birthday with these essential tools, tweakers, and enhancements.

By Rick Broida, PC World |  Operating Systems, free software, Windows 7

Specifically, a new plug-in called SevenDex displays thumbnail previews of your desktops when you mouse over its taskbar icon, thereby overcoming a common problem with virtual desktops: remembering what's where. For instance, did you leave Word running on Desktop 2 or Desktop 3? Instead of having to cycle through all your desktops to find what you're after, now you can just steal a glance at SevenDex's preview thumbnails and then click the one you want.

If your budget (or your desk) won't accommodate a second monitor, you'll love Dexpot. It's open-source software, and it's free for personal use.

Download Dexpot | Price: Free

Taskbar Items Pinner

Ever wish you could pin more than just programs to the Windows 7 taskbar? With Kishan Bagaria's aptly named Taskbar Items Pinner, you can: It lets you add a wealth of goodies to the taskbar, everything from your Pictures folder and Printers menu to individual files, folders, and even Websites.

After extracting this tiny app, make sure to run it under the administrator account (by right-clicking the icon and choosing Run as administrator). Then just click the box next to any item you wish to pin. If it's a file or folder, click the button next to Path, choose File or Folder, and then navigate to the item you want. (Alternatively, you can type in a Web address.) In the Icon field, type %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll, and then enter a number in the adjoining field (3 for a folder, 13 for a Web shortcut--you'll have to experiment to find others). Finally, click Add Item. If you ever decide to remove any of these newly added extras, right-click the appropriate taskbar icon and choose Unpin this program from taskbar.

Download Taskbar Items Pinner | Price: Free

Digging Deeper Into Windows 7: Utilities for Security and Peripherals

Microsoft Security Essentials

Windows 7 comes with all the security tools you need for safe computing--except one. It has a robust firewall, spyware protection courtesy of Windows Defender, and phishing and malware blockers built into Internet Explorer 8. The only missing piece of the puzzle? Virus protection. And that's exactly what you get from Microsoft Security Essentials.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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