Undo the previous action in programsProbably the most useful keyboard shortcut of all, Ctrl+Z lets you instantly undo mistakes you make in almost any Windows program. These range from deleting a chunk of text in Microsoft Word to messing up a photo in an image editor or pasting the wrong web address into your browser. Pressing the key combination reverses only the most recent action, but in some software, if you keep hitting Z while holding down Ctrl, you can undo the actions previous to that. Alternatively, you can click the Edit menu and choose Undo from there, although certain programs, including Chrome, don't provide that option.
Reopen closed browser tabs
If you accidentally close a tab in virtually any web browser, you can easily reopen it by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+T. Alternatively, you can right-click another tab and choose 'Reopen closed tab' ( in Chrome and IE) or Undo Close Tab (in Firefox).
Cancel an email you've just sentOne of our favorite extra tools for Gmail is Undo Send, which gives you 10 seconds to cancel an email after you click the Send button. To turn on the feature, click the Opt ions (cog) icon in the top-right corner, choose 'Mail settings' and click Labs. Scroll down to Undo Send, select Enable and click Save Changes. Now, when you've fired off a message in haste or anger, you can click the Undo button to stop it being delivered. It could prove a life-saver if you've just told your boss where to stick their job!
Retrieve a deleted Recycle BinVista has made it all-too-easy to remove the Recycle Bin accidentally by placing a Delete option in its right-click menu, just below Empty Recycle Bin. Fortunately, it's also simple to restore the Bin to your Desktop. Go to Control Panel, Personalization and click the 'Change desktop icons' link on the left. When the Desktop Icon Settings box opens, select Recycle Bin and click OK. This trick will also work if the icon disappears in Windows 7.
For Windows XP, you may need to delve into the Registry to get your Bin back. Go to Start, Run, type regedit and click OK. Find and right-click the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace
Restore other missing Desktop itemsIf you delete your My Documents folder or My Computer icon from the Desktop in Windows XP, there's a quick way to get it back. Right-click anywhere on the Desktop and when the Display Properties box opens, click the Desktop tab and then the Customize Desktop button. Select the missing item in the 'Desktop icons' section and click OK.
Recover deleted photos and videos for freeMost files you delete from your hard disk can be easily retrieved from the Recycle Bin, but those you erase from your camera or phone seem to vanish forever. Fortunately, there are several free tools that can recover deleted photos and videos from your device's memory card, provided you don't overwrite them.
The best of these is the brilliant Recuva, which recently improved its deep scanning for JPEG and PNG files. When the program opens, click the Options button, choose Run Wizard and select Pictures. On the next screen, choose 'On my media card or iPod' and let Recuva do the rest.