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Productivity tips for developers using Windows 10

September 20, 2019

I’ve been a Windows user ever since I got my first computer. Over the years I’ve accumulated some best practices, tools and techniques that might help you be more productive. Here are some of them:


  • PowerToys - In build 17134, Microsoft reintroduced PowerToys - a suite if utilities that help with productivity. At present only two have been launched - Windows Key Shortcut Guide and Fancy Zones. The former launches a handy overlay which lists various useful OS shortcuts. The latter allows users to create custom layouts for you app windows.
  • WSL - Need to use a tool that requires Linux? VMs can be bothersome. With WSL you can run a Linux distro in e terminal within Windows and not worry about virtualisation. The upcoming WSL2 promises massive improvements in features and performance.
  • Open command window here - Are you browsing a directory in File Explorer and want to run a command in it? Opening a new terminal and navigating to the directory can be cumbersome. With this easy Registry update you can enable an option in File Explorer’s context menu that opens a new command prompt with the the directory already set.
windows context menu

Additional context menu features

  • Command line alternatives - If you use a lot of commands you’re probably frustrated by the built-in tools. Cmder is a console emulator that adds useful features like aliases (here are some that I use), unix commands, tabs and others. Yes, it can also be added as a context menu option.


  • Toggle dev tools - F12
  • Inspect DOM element - Ctrl + Shift + C
  • Toggle docking position - Use Ctrl + Shift + D to toggle the DevTools dock state between the last two recently used states. Dock options are:

    • Dock to right
    • Dock to bottom
    • Undock DevTools

Visual Studio Code

  • Integrate Cmder into VSC - Follow this guide if you use Cmder as VSCode’s integrated terminal
  • Open with Code context menu - Want to right click a file or folder and open it in VSC? Make sure you enable those options when installing the code editor. If you’ve already installed without selecting those options - you’ll have to reinstall it with the additional tasks selected.
code context menu

VSCode context menu features

Recommended Visual Studio Code Extensions (in no particular order)

Sai Krishna

Written by Boris Yordanov.

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