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Windows 8 Tips and Tricks
Up until Windows 7, if you needed to reset your computer, you needed to set a full day aside for it. With Windows 8, though, you have new powers in the form of the one-click reinstall feature. It's one of the best new features introduced on Windows 8, and is usually a far better way to get a fresh new computer than using the manufacturer's DVDs or the restore partition on your hard drive. It can be a great way to spring-clean your computer each year. One-click reinstall Microsoft internally terms its new Windows feature push-button reset. In Windows itself, it comes in two versions, labeled PC refresh and PC reset. The first one keeps your files and simply refreshes your OS. The second erases everything, files and all, … Continue reading
It's easy to dismiss the stock Windows search engine that appears in every Explorer window. Compared to the kind of search power that Google offers, Windows Search can seem basic. In reality, though, it offers a lot. You get to index for extra speed By default, Windows only indexes a few important locations on your hard drive -- the four Libraries (Documents, Video, Pictures and Music), and email. Windows has no idea where you put anything else on your computer. This means that each time you search for a file or folder, Windows needs to laboriously go through every item on every hard drive on your computer -- a process that could take hours. Windows doesn't even try. You can fix this problem -- you only need to turn … Continue reading
If you need to get around Windows a lot every day, knowing the right shortcuts certainly helps. There is another incidental benefit -- you get to look knowledgeable. Check out these shortcuts. The Windows-Pause|Break shortcut Normally, to open System Properties, you would right-click on Computer or My Computer . With the Windows Pause|Break key combination, though, you get to directly go there. The Alt-Print Screen shortcut Pressing the Print Screen key takes a screenshot of your entire screen. If you'd like to get a picture of just the active window, you use the Alt - Print Screen key combination. Advanced Restart in Windows In Windows 8, restarting to enter Safe Mode or the UEFI settings requires Advanced Restart . You activate it by clicking on Restart while holding down … Continue reading
While Windows 8 gets made fun of all the time, it's a very well-thought-out OS for the most part. It's got plenty of surprising features that make your computing life easier. Try semantic zoom The Start screen in Windows 8 stores all your app tiles in groups. If you have more than a handful, though, you'll need to do plenty of scrolling to find an individual one. Here's where the new semantic zoom feature comes in. If you have a touch-enabled monitor, all you need to do is to pinch the Start screen with two fingers; right away, you'll see your entire Start screen show on your screen in compact form. If you don't have a touchscreen, you can do it with your keyboard and mouse, instead. You simply … Continue reading
The taskbar tricks in an earlier article talked about convenient keyboard shortcuts to use with the taskbar. Here are more shortcuts to try out, and an advanced tweak. Useful little keyboard shortcuts for the taskbar . When a program has a number of open instances, holding down the Control key while clicking repeatedly on its taskbar button allows you to cycle through all the instances. . If you want to pin a file to the jump list of the program that opens it, usually, you would open the file, right-click on the program's button on the taskbar, find the name of the file on the Recent segment of the jump list, and pin it. There's a much easier way, though -- you simply drag the file that you need … Continue reading
Windows 8 was a mixed bag, both for users and Microsoft. The UI worked better for touch screens, but left people who were using PCs and preferred the desktop in the cold. However, you can return to normalcy with these tips. Turn Off Charms Charms appears when you move your mouse toward the edges and corners of your screen or swipe in from those edges. Charms are intended to provide quick access to the time, opened apps and settings, but they can simply be frustrating. To turn off Charms completely, you'll need to disable trackpad gestures. To do this, change "Mouse Settings" from the Control Panel. Secondly, you'll need to disable hot corners from the Taskbar. Right-click the Taskbar, choose "Properties" and click "Navigation." Uncheck the option that enables … Continue reading
Windows 8 and 8.1 are the most resource-efficient versions of the operating system yet, and can make a netbook feel more responsive than with Windows XP. If you are interested in using the modern apps that come with these OS versions on your netbook, though, you could run into trouble. These apps need a screen resolution of at least 1024×768 to work: something many netbooks don't have. Usually, when you try to run a Modern app, you'll see a message that informs you about the screen resolution problem. Fortunately, there's workaround When your computer isn't capable of the resolution required, it's possible to trick Windows into thinking that you have a higher resolution than you really do. Your netbook's graphics card should have a function that helps. The driver … Continue reading
Windows comes with a great many hidden possibilities. Here are five that everyone should know about. God Mode Many people have heard of God Mode in Windows, and imagine it to be some kind of mystical experience. Rather than mystical, though, it is simply convenient. It puts nearly every kind of Windows setting, adjustment and tweak that you may need to access, all in one place. Firing up God Mode isn't a very intuitive process. You need to type in code to get it going. To begin, you need to create a new folder on your desktop. The folder should be named with a specific string of code: God.ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C (the God. part is only something that helps you name the feature; you can just as easily use any other … Continue reading
On August 12, Microsoft released August Update -- its second update for Windows 8.1. While Microsoft did hype the update in April 2014 at the build conference with promises (and images) of the return of the Start Menu, the company stopped talking about it soon after. When August Update did arrive, no one noticed much. There was no Start Menu. Users need to now wait until Windows 9 for the Start Menu to arrive. Why the Start Menu failed to arrive The reason Microsoft decided to drop the Start Menu for Windows 8.1 was that they felt the OS was unpopular, anyway. They didn't believe that bringing the Start Menu back would make it likeable. Meanwhile, they would be taking something special away from their Windows 9 launch. That's a product … Continue reading
Windows 8 and 8.1 aren't just the same old Windows 7 with an experimental interface tacked on. Under the hood, they include real improvements, especially in the security department. Some of them are deep, low-level changes to the way Windows functions; others are visible ones. Here are 6 ways in which Windows 8 offers you a more secure user experience than Windows 7. Inbuilt antivirus Windows 7 doesn't include antivirus. It requires that you install either Microsoft Security Essentials or a third-party antivirus product. With Windows 8, though, Microsoft Security Essentials comes inbuilt -- only, Microsoft now calls it Windows Defender. Quick-launch anti-malware In Windows 7, antivirus software isn't allowed to start up until well into the Windows boot up process. This is a serious security problem because rootkits are able to start well before antivirus programs do. In … Continue reading