Windows 8 Tips and Tricks

Finding Out What the Windows Zip Utility Can't Do, and Learning About Wi-Fi Sense by Kelly Lynn

Opening large .zip files in Windows If you are happy with the new 4 TB hard drive in your computer and believe that it's adequate for anything you could ever need, you might find that Windows disagrees. In at least one common Windows task, you could find that the operating system asks for a little more space -- 2 or 3 exabytes. Since an EB is 1 million TB, you could find it hard to help the problem. Windows usually comes up with ridiculous demands for space when attempting to open very large zip files -- ones containing a couple of dozen gigabytes' worth of files. The problem lies in the stock Windows Compressed Folders program, a product that is severely limited, and is meant for small, everyday jobs, rather … Continue reading

Here’s How You Use Task Scheduler to Automate Window Tasks by Kelly Lynn

Windows lets you use Task Scheduler to time any program to automatically run when you want it to. Task Scheduler has other uses, though; many Windows utilities use it to schedule important system tasks to run at set times or at regular intervals. Disk defragmentation is one example of an automatable system task. While it was the user who had to remember to set up the defragmentation utility once a week or so back when Windows XP was current, today, modern versions of Windows completely automate it. They use Task Scheduler to make it happen. It's also possible to use Task Scheduler to customize system tasks. For instance, if you'd like Windows to create system restore points more often than usual to make sure that you always have a recent … Continue reading

Using Timestamps in Windows Search by Kelly Lynn

Windows indexes every file present on your system on a number of parameters. Windows' indexing method can be very helpful when you need to find a file. You get to locate it by using Windows Search filtering with any of the parameters that Windows records. The timestamp on each file is one of them. Timestamps on files   Every file saved by Windows is identified through at least three timestamps. File time: Windows records the exact time that you've saved the file down to a hundredth of a nanosecond. While file lists in Explorer do not display time resolutions greater than seconds, Windows does internally store this information. This can help Windows list several files in the correct order of time, even if it is only a few nanoseconds that … Continue reading

Using the One-Click Reinstall Feature on Windows 8 by Kelly Lynn

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

How Well Do You Really Know Windows File Search by Kelly Lynn

  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

More Interesting Windows Keyboard Shortcuts by Kelly Lynn

  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

Little Tricks to Help You Better Get Along with Windows 8 by Kelly Lynn

  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

More Nifty Tricks for Your Taskbar by Kelly Lynn

  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

4 Start Menu Replacements for Windows 8 by Kelly Lynn

  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

When Windows 8 Won’t Run Modern Apps on Your Netbook, Try This Trick by Kelly Lynn

  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