From The Tips Box: Multi-Monitor Windows, Reclaiming Disk Space

Readers offer their best tips for swapping windows between monitors, reclaiming disk space when reformatting partitions, and a handy Alt+Tab alternative for Windows.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons—maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in—the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Send Windows to Another Monitor with a Keystroke

Devor shares an AutoHotkey script to quickly move a window to your other monitor:

I often find myself surfing the web while watching a video on my smaller monitor. When I become engrossed in the video and wish it was on my main display, I’d manually drag them, or use Alt+Tab and Shift+Win+LeftArrow, etc. So, I constructed a simple AutoHotKey script that swaps the last two open applications (as long as the last two open were on different monitors of a dual monitor system) to the opposite monitor and vice versa.


send,{lalt down}{tab}
sleep 0
send, {lalt up}


Then, I used AHK’s Convert .ahk to .exe tool to convert it into an executable. I assigned it to an unused media key on my keyboard using Logitech SetPoint (maker of my keyboard). Now I use the previously unused key all the time and it’s much simpler to switch back and forth!

This script could be modded for three, four, or more monitor systems, too. Of course, you could actually assign it to a keystroke, etc. Should work anywhere with Windows 7.

We’ve featured a way to do this before, but this is nice if you don’t want an extra program running in the background.

Free Up More Space when Partitioning with the Clean Command

Josephst18 lets us know of a Windows command that will free up a bit more space when paritioning drives:

Just discovered that running the ‘clean’ command from Diskpart in Windows frees up a bit of space, even after partitions are recreated. I got about 100 MB more on a 32 GB flash drive. The command erases data, so be careful.

For more info on diskpart and the clean command, I’d recommend reading Microsoft’s documentation and this forum thread on the subject.

Cycle Through Applications with the Mouse

JBambrick gives us an AutoHotkey to replace Alt+Tab with a neat mouse gesture:

Hold the left-mouse button and scroll the wheel as a mouse alternative to alt-tab using this very simple AHK Autohotkey Script:

~lButton & WheelDown::AltTab
~lButton & WheelUP::ShiftAltTab

A pretty neat way to scroll through open applications if you’re more of a mouse user.

Launch Windows Programs with Keyboard Shortcuts

Twignation reminds us of a handy setting built-in to every Windows application:

I was looking for an easy way to use keyboard shortcuts to launch apps in Windows and I decided to use AutoHotKey for the job, but instead of downloading it I search google for a simpler solution. I found that clicking the properties of an application’s shortcut shows an text box to toggle the keyboard shortcut. Click that box and hold down the keys you want to use and press OK. This works with most application’s shortcuts, but doesn’t work with files or folders. Although this article says you can’t use the shift key, you can use Ctrl+Shift+desired key.

Also, while I was in the properties of the app’s shortcut (Google Chrome), I discovered by pressing Alt+C you can change the shortcut’s icon. This is just another way instead of clicking Change Icon… The only reason I found this notable is that for Chrome you have a choice of several icons like the words Google Chrome, a big blue G, or the mosaic G, and most notable of which is the Chrome Canary Build icon which is available even if you don’t have Canary installed.

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