Like it or hate it, but you just can’t ignore it. Windows OS holds a precedent lead in desktop’s operating system market share. In fact, according to Net Market Share, 90% of all computers are running some version of Windows.

We’ve been using Windows for last 2 decades, but this OS is so comprehensive, that it isn’t uncommon to find new ways to perform a task, or stumble upon new tools every now and then. In this article, we will pinpoint some of the lesser-known features of Windows OS.

Advance Calculator, and Microsoft Math

Advanced Calculator

When was the last time you used the calculator app in your system? We’ve become habituated of using our browsers for doing all the calculation, or even worse, some people can’t just bid farewell to their physical calculator. And whom to blame, the default skin and working mode in the built-in calculator do present it as a less powerful software.

But that’s not true at all. Not only does the default calculator app offer scientific, programmer and statistic mode for calculation, but also come with two interesting features – unit conversation and data calculation, two things that will make you open the calculator app more often.

Microsoft Mathematics

But, it still isn’t very powerful enough to take care of your engineering curriculum. For that, there is another tool called Microsoft Mathematics. It doesn’t come pre-installed with your OS, so you will have to download it from Microsoft’s website. And by the way, it’s free!

Math Input Tool

Math Input Tool

Speaking of mathematics, not only it’s a complicated subject, but also something which is quite hard to jot down on a system. For example, if you want to write an equation, which presumably contains a few Greek symbols, text editors aren’t your best go to tools for such task. For that, there is one tool available on Windows called Math Input Tool. You can draw the symbols, and it will automatically guess the corresponding symbol. You can also right-click on it after writing to choose a different symbol. Once you have got the desirable input, you can click on the ‘Insert’ button to save that to the clipboard, which can then be pasted on any Word processor.

Default Programs

Default Programs

Pretty much like any other Operating System, Windows too gives you the privilege to decide which application should be the go-to for a specific file type. Go to Start Menu and type Default Program and it should appear. On opening the app, you will get the option to decide the file-types you want to open from an application.



If you’re a power user, this feature will save you lots of clicks. The ‘GodMode‘ feature doesn’t add any new functionality to your system, quite the contrary, it brings all the tweaking options to one place. The tweaks are categorized in accordance with the kind of work they do.

To bring this feature, make a new folder anywhere in your computer. Give it any name but do remember to add a period (.) followed by the string: {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}. If you do it right, you will see the icon of that folder change into Control Panel’s icon.

Snipping Tool

Snipping Tool

It’s surprising, but as it appears, most people in order to take a screenshot of their screen, hit print screen key, and then paste it to MS Paint. Not only is it a time consuming task, but also you have to put a lot of undue effort. Windows comes with a snipping tool that is powerful enough to take the screenshots. It also lets you do highlighting on the image. You can find it in the Accessories of the Start Menu or find it by searching for its name.

Built-in Start Menu in Windows 8

Start menu in Windows 8

People went gaga when Microsoft removed the start menu from Windows 8. Even Windows 8.1 didn’t bring back that feature. But, as a matter of fact, both the versions enjoy a stripped-down version of Start Menu. Hit Windows + X, and the Start Menu will pop-up. Obviously it isn’t as powerful as its counterpart, but it can sure help you do a few tasks quickly.



If there’re too many files you want to rename at once, Windows is definitely the right platform for it. Select all the files, hit F2 (shortcut for rename) and enter the name. All the files will get renamed in a sequential way. This trick works with folders as well.

Resource Monitor

Resource Monitor

Windows Task Manager is no slouch at keeping a tab on performance and status of your hard-drive, CPU and memory. But if you want more in-depth information, there is one useful tool called Resource Monitor. To find it, open Start Menu and search for “Resource Monitor” and it will appear.

In addition to an in-depth overlook at things, Resource Monitor also lets you investigate the running processes, especially if one has gone bonkers. In such case, you can click on Analyze Wait Chain and find where the bottleneck is. You can then kill it without having to terminate the whole process.

Problem Steps Recorder

Problems Steps Recorder

Problem Steps Recorder is a great utility that lets you record the screen activity, along with the text description of the things you did on your system. This information can be used by your administrator, or someone else to diagnose the issue your system is having. This feature is also available in Windows 8 and 8.1, and is called Steps Recorder. You can open it by searching for it from the Start Menu/Button.

You can also use this feature for other purposes like, demonstrating how to do a specific task by saving your screen recordings and sending it over to others.

Microsoft Software Removal Tool

Microsoft Software Removal Tool

Microsoft comes with a built-in malicious software removal utility, which nobody seems to be aware of. When you update your system, the removal tool gets updated as well, that is why you never see it in action. You can open it by searching for mrt in your Start Menu. Do remember that this removal tool works harmoniously with other 3rd party security suites. It won’t replace it, neither will it generate any conflicts.

Have you come across any such less known feature recently? Do share it in the comments section below.

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Manish is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.