Windows tips and tricks

  • For a list of system variables, such as $HOME etc. see these links here:
  • Win10: Disable folders being automatically shown in the “Quick Access” section of the Win Explorer window: Open an explorer Window → File → Change folder and search options → Uncheck the “Show frequently used folders in Quick Access”. Source:
  • Win10: How to get a Window that is off screen to display on the main monitor again: alt-tab to application, then press Alt+Space+N to either move or maximise the lost window. Another alternative is to use Alt+Space+M and then either use the mouse or the arrow keys to move the window to the main screen via

Setting your $PATH

Stackoverflow to the rescue here:

set PATH=%PATH%;C:\xampp\php

This adds the part after the semicolon to the $PATH environment variable in a current terminal/console window. To set the path permanently:

setx path "%path%;C:\Program Files (x86)\Git\bin\"

But this can apparently truncate your $PATH variable to 1024 characters:

SETX truncates the resulting PATH to its first 1024 characters, with the message “WARNING: The data being saved is truncated to 1024 characters.” Execute ECHO %PATH% and save its output somewhere safe beforehand.

To overcome the 1024-char limit see this post on

Print the content of the %PATH% variable using Powershell - type $env:PATH

Command line use


There are various ways to back up the user parts of Windows using command line tools. One of the native ways is to use robocopy. That comes with various options

Some links to helpful pages:

Having fun with M$ software

here's my personal, completely subjective list of reasons why I think some of Microsoft's products are inefficient and painful to use.

  • MS Outlook - Decreasing the quote level is not possible - see: this SuperUser thread. An email application that requires more than 15 seconds of search in an email application to simply decrease the quote levels?? I guess no surprises if MS Word is used as email editor… Hilariously, someone had to wrote an add-in to fix that functionality. A quote from the this SuperUser thread: As far as I'm aware, though, there is no way to deal with this problem unless you install an addin to do it, because this is essentially caused by a bug in Microsoft Word's conversion of documents to HTML (which needs to happen before you send an Outlook HTML e-mail).m(