Some macOS features are so good they’re now legendary. The Mac launched a quick, local search using Spotlight. You can press the spacebar on any file to instantly preview it with Quick Look. The same goes for the Dock and the ability to easily AirDrop anything between Macs or other Apple devices.
If you’ve recently switched from a Mac to Windows, you’ll be missing out on these features and more. Even long-time Windows users can appreciate how good the default Mac settings are. As such, some pretty enterprising Windows developers have created tools that integrate these macOS features into the Windows environment while still making it feel right at home on your PC.
Preview files using QuickLook
If you miss previewing files with the spacebar, install the free QuickLook app on your computer. Just like on a Mac, QuickLook will work with all files and folders, including media. When you are watching videos or playing music, you can use the mouse wheel to adjust the volume.
Yes, it works with PDFs, so there’s finally a quick way to view PDFs on Windows without running a special app. When previewing a file, you’ll also find options to open the sharing panel and open the file in the default app.
Search your computer quickly using the Everything app
Jason Fitzpatrick at How-To Geek says he can’t imagine using Windows without the Everything It Takes app, as he’s been using the app since it came out back in the days of Windows XP. While Windows has a great Start menu, the search function hasn’t always been shiny, and Windows doesn’t seem to want to prioritize on-device search. Everything app solves this problem.
It’s a basic-looking app that can quickly find and sort all the files on your storage drives. Then, you can use the app to find the smallest files. If you’re having trouble finding something long forgotten, advanced filters can help.
Flow Launcher replicates Spotlight search
The Everything app is great for quickly finding files, but it’s no Spotlight search. If you’re looking for something like Spotlight (or Alfred), try Flow Launcher. It is free, open source and has a large range of community plugins.
Flow Launcher is a keyboard launcher similar to Spotlight, but it’s built using the Fluent design language. Use Alt+Space to open the launcher, then type your query. You can use this shortcut to launch apps, browse the web, search for files, perform calculations, run shell scripts, and more. And, of course, there’s a plugin store to further enhance functionality.
SnipDo brings iOS-style text marking menus to Windows
It’s more of an iPhone/iPad feature that works amazingly well on Windows, especially once you get it set up. After installing SnipDo, when you highlight text, you’ll see a floating menu at the top with icons and options.
By default, you can do things like copy text, paste, open folders, links, etc. But the app has over 80 extensions that take this little feature to a whole new level. Using these extensions, you can quickly search for highlighted text on Amazon, add text to a note in Evernote, create a new Word document, and much more.
Get the same Mac screen shortcuts using ShareX
Lifehacker’s Pranay Parab has already crowned ShareX the best screenshot tool for Windows, but if that’s still not enough to get you started, this little feature will help: ShareX has a screenshot shortcut remap in the Hotkey Settings section of the app opportunity Here you can skip the default settings and move on control + shift + 3 To capture the entire screen, control + shift + 4 To capture part of the screen and control + shift + 5 To capture the active window.
Get AirDrop-like wireless file sharing using SnapDrop
Now, SnapDrop is not a system app for Windows. Instead, it’s a website that uses local network sharing to give you an AirDrop-like experience. And since it’s a website, it’ll work on any device, making it easy to transfer photos and files wirelessly from iPhone and Android smartphones to your Windows PC.
Just activate the website and note your device name which the website randomly generates. Open the web page on your smartphone, select a computer from the list, and then select the files to send. On the PC side, you’ll have to get the files manually by default (you can check the option to automate it next time). The files will then be downloaded via your browser to your default storage location.
Turn the Windows 11 taskbar into a dock using Taskbar XI
The options for customizing the taskbar in Windows 11 are terribly limited. That said, the fact that the Windows 11 taskbar is centered by default and doesn’t open multiple instances of the same app like before already brings it closer to how it works on the Dock on macOS.
If you still miss the Dock, you can go one step further and use Taskbar XI to basically turn the taskbar into a Dock. This will remove all unnecessary items to the left and right of the taskbar, leaving only your apps at the bottom of the screen. Of course, this has a big disadvantage: you will lose the entire system tray, and the quick switch menu on the right. But if you’re okay with that, your Windows 11 setup will be pretty cool.
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