How to Save Websites as Desktop Shortcuts for Quicker Access

We all have websites that we visit frequently at work. Getting access to them more quickly can often lead to a nice head-start and early wrap-up.

To facilitate quicker access to routinely-visited websites, you can add them as favorites so you don’t have to manually type out the URLs. You can also have them automatically open upon launching of the browser, which can be configured to launch with the operating system.

However, things are not always as easy as they sound, especially when your computer and browser are managed by your organization – meaning IT folks where you work.

For good reasons, IT folks often don’t want you to change what apps could start up with the operating system, or what websites could launch when the browser opens. They only want essential apps to start up with the operating system so that the computer is ready to use as soon as possible. The website that opens with the browser is often an intranet or your company’s website.

One thing commonly allowed on work computers is creating desktop shortcuts. What you can do is save these websites as desktop shortcuts, and then you can just double-click to open them like you would any desktop applications and files. Here’s how it can be done really easily. This works with the Chrome browser in both macOS and Windows 10.

How to Save Websites as Desktop Shortcuts

    • If you’ve already added the website as a favorite, just drag it from the Favorites bar and drop it on your desktop.
    • Otherwise, type the URL in the address bar, once it loads, drag on the View Site Information icon (the lock) and drop it on the desktop. Voilà!

Animated Demo - How to Save Websites as Desktop Shortcuts

Want to see one more browser trick? Check out this post

Use Chrome DevTools to Access Mobile Only Content on Desktop PC

Have you ever come across web content that can only be accessed in a mobile web browser, and if you tried to open the same URL in a desktop environment, you would get a prompt asking you to switch to a mobile device?

Being constrained to a mobile browser can be quite a hassle, especially when you have a 27″ screen right in front of you. If you’ve had headaches like this, today’s post might be able to help you. We say might because while the workaround is easy, it does not work for all situations.

Most desktop browsers can disguise themselves as mobile browsers. This can trick the web content designed for mobile to think it is being accessed on a mobile device.

Here’s how to access web content designed for mobile using the desktop version Chrome browser. This works in both macOS and Windows 10.

Using Chrome DevTools Mode to Access Mobile Only Content on Desktop

    1. Launch Chrome and open a new tab
    2. Press F12 to go into DevTools mode
    3. Click on the Device Toggle in the DevTools Dock Chrome DevTools Mode Dock - How to View Mobile Only Web Content on Desktop
    4. Type in the URL and you are good to go

Note you can have the browser be responsive and adapt to the content of the webpage, or have it appear as your favorite mobile device by selecting one from the “Responsive” list. With the “Rotate” button, you can also switch between portrait and landscape mode like how you would normally use a mobile device.

Like we have mentioned, this method does not work for all situations. You will only be able to get around the rules this way when the URL does not look too hard at whether it’s being processed by an actual mobile browser on a mobile device. Also, using the DevTools mode will feel strange as you will likely interact with the web content with a mouse instead of using the touch interface on mobile devices. Still, whenever possible, working with a full-blown desktop browser on a larger screen beats having to work with a smaller mobile device screen.

Interested in learning more browser tips and tricks? Check out this post on how to recover closed browser tabs.

How to Clear Clipboard in Windows 10

How to Clear Clipboard in Windows 10

What is the clipboard?

Let’s suppose you’ve just copied a folder from a shared network drive and pasted it to wherever you needed to paste it. Now would be a good time to clear the clipboard.

The clipboard is where Windows stores what you’ve just copied.

Why is it a good idea to clear the clipboard?

Clearing the clipboard saves system resources and keeps your data secure, but for me, it’s more personal.

I have this bad case of OCD when working on a Windows machine. I would find myself constantly right-clicking and hitting Refresh. Only sometimes I’d hit Paste in accident and Windows would start moving whatever file or folder I had copied. It’s not pretty and canceling the copying and pasting on Windows always seems to take longer than necessary.

Back in the good old days of Windows 7, I used to be able to just press the Windows key, then type “clipbrd” and hit Enter to pull up the clipboard and empty it. For whatever reason, Microsoft decided to discontinue this in Windows 10, but luckily, the latest operating system from Microsoft still allows for the clipboard to be emptied. Here’s how.

How to clear the clipboard in Windows 10

Press Windows + R on the keyboard and type in the text below.

 cmd /c echo.|clip

Hit Enter and you’ll see the Command application quickly flashes on your screen. You’ve now successfully emptied the clipboard. Right-click on your desktop and you’ll see the “Paste” and “Paste shortcut” options are now grayed out.

Windows + R Command to Clear Clipboard

If you prefer the Command application, launch it and type in the command line below.

echo off | clip

Command Line to Clear Clipboard

Better still, you can save this command as a bat file and simply double click to run it when needed. It’ll do the same trick. Just type out the command in a new Text document and then save it with a “.bat” extension name and you are good to go.

How to Close the Lid on Windows 10 Laptop Connected to External Monitor without Putting It to Sleep

Ever wanted to plug an external monitor into your Windows laptop, and use it as a desktop computer with its lid closed?

You are not alone.

This transforms your laptop into a desktop. You get a larger screen and more real estate for whatever you are doing. With the lid closed, the laptop can be easily tucked away so it stays out of sight and your desk is less clustered.

However, you’ll find that as soon as you close the lid, your computer goes to sleep.

Here’s how you can prevent the laptop from going to sleep when you close the lid.

    1. Go to the Start menu and click on Settings
    2. In the Settings window, choose System and then in the next screen, choose Power & Sleep
    3. Scroll down to the bottom and click on Additional power settings
    4. In the Power Options window, click on Choose what closing the lid does
    5. Select Do nothing for When I close the lid
    6. Finally, click on Save changes

Windows Power Settings - Do nothing when I close the lid

Now try closing the lid on your laptop. You’ll find the external monitor will stay on and now you have a desktop to work with.

Were those steps easy to follow? No? Here’s how you can do the same thing even quicker.

Click on Start and type “lid”. Guess what, the very first option is to choose what closing the lid does. I trust you’ll be able to take it from here.

Typing lid into Start menu