Windows XP, Vista and 7 all had a My Computer or Computer shortcut on the Desktop with an icon that depicted a computer display. Double-clicking on this icon would take you to a Windows Explorer page that showed you all the hard disks and other hard drives connected to your computer. On Windows 8.1, the name of this convenient icon has been changed. The new name is This PC . It is no longer easily available on your desktop. Luckily, there’s a way to bring it back.
To put the Computer or This PC icon on your Desktop, you first need to right-click on your Desktop on an area of empty space. You need to select Personalize on the context menu – the last item on it. This opens the Personalization dialog box. On the left margin, you should see an item called Change desktop icons . Clicking on it opens the Desktop Icon Settings dialog box. Here, you get the option of turning many familiar desktop icons on or off – Recycle Bin, Network Connections, and This PC. You simply need to check the box next to the icon that you need on your Desktop. You should now have the This PC icon on your Desktop.
Access PC Settings easily from your Desktop
Windows 8 and 8.1 make your Control Panel far more accessible than it used to be on earlier versions. Up until Windows 7, there was just one main way to get to the Control Panel – you could click on the start button and choose Control Panel. Now, you get two standard ways and an additional way to access an all-new Metro version of the Control Panel, called PC settings. These are the two standard Control Panel access methods:
. You take your mouse to the bottom-left of your screen (the part that contains the new start button on Windows 8.1) and right-click on it. This opens up a context menu with a link to the Control Panel and a number of other options.
. You can pull out the Charm Bar by taking your mouse to either the top right or bottom right corner of your screen, click on the gearwheel icon for settings and then choose Control Panel at the top of the panel.
If you’d like a more modern Control Panel, you have a third option – the new, Metro-style PC Settings option. PC Settings is an interface that gives you access to many of the options that you get on Control Panel. While it doesn’t offer as much control as the regular control panel, it should do for most purposes. Windows experts believe that future versions of Windows will lean more heavily towards putting all of the controls available on Windows inside PC settings and will begin to do away with the traditional Control Panel, altogether.
You have an easier way to access PC settings – you can have an icon placed directly on your Desktop. The Windows help site 7Tutorials has a helpful program just for this purpose (it’s at 7tutorials.com/download-desktop-shortcut-pc-settings-windows-8). The program gets flagged by all major antivirus software as malware – it’s a false alarm, though. The program is safe and places Icons to your PC settings directly on your Desktop.