Windows 8 Tips and Tricks

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

God Mode and Other Great Hidden Features on Windows 7 and 8 by Kelly Lynn

  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

The Reason the Latest Windows Update Didn’t Include the Start Menu by Kelly Lynn

  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

Here's How Windows 8 Offers Better Security Than Windows 7 by Kelly Lynn

  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

Getting Used to Windows 8.1 by Kelly Lynn

  Microsoft has changed a few things around in Windows 8.1. If you miss a few features, here's how you access them. Miss the Libraries sidebar link in Windows 8.1? The Windows Libraries feature (introduced in Windows 7) is a genuinely useful idea. Before Windows 7, if you wanted to organize files and folders in different places in a way that they could be accessible in one window, you had to either copy and paste them in one folder or create shortcuts to them in that folder. Both methods tend to be awkward. With the Libraries feature, when you want to see folders from different places in one window, you simply need to create something called a Library, click on each folder you need, and then select Include in library … Continue reading

Love Windows 8.1 but Not Its Reliance on the Cloud? Here’s How You Disable It by Kelly Lynn

  Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella is said to have been tapped for CEO because of the great job that he did setting up Microsoft's cloud presence. Indeed, the cloud emphasis is apparent on Windows 8.1 - it is deeply integrated with OneDrive, Bing and all of the other online services that Microsoft offers. Many users aren't completely enthusiastic about the Microsoft Cloud, though. They are simply not comfortable having Microsoft be an intimate part of their everyday lives, freely sending their files to Microsoft and having the company view information about their searches and other activity all the time. If you are one of these people, you would probably be interested in disabling some of the connected features on Windows 8.1. Here's how you do it. OneDrive When you allow … Continue reading

Getting a Few Helpful Shortcuts on Your Desktop on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 by Kelly Lynn

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 … Continue reading