Windows

1) Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer: Freeware to customize Start Screen

Thinking of customizing your Windows 8 start screen?  Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer is a free utility developed to manage and change the appearance of the start screen of Windows 8. With this utility you can easily manage the background, opacity and the number of  tile rows of your PC’s start screen.

To start with, if you want a custom background for your start screen you can simply click on “Load Image” button and select your desired image and after that you may then click on “Apply” button to successfully change the background of the start screen. You can also choose the part of the image to be displayed as a background. You can choose any type of image file.

With this free utility you can also change the opacity of the start menu. Opacity here means the transparency of start menu. With this software you can make your start screen completely transparent or partially transparent so that you can have a peek at the background processes. The software also lets you change the opacity of the application tiles. You can now have two different transparency levels for the start screen, background and application tiles.

This free software will let you set the maximum number of rows in your start menu. This feature is really very useful, as with this option you can change the basic appearance of your start menu according to your needs and not according to your screen resolution’s need. It will let you redesign the basic design of the start menu and gives you the best fit of metro tiles on your PC screen.

Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer has a nice interface which is very easy to use and it lets you perform all the customizations very fast.

Click here to download Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer.

download

 

It is a beta release and the download is offered as a 7-zip file. Remember to create a system restore point first before using it.

2) How To Add Search To Context Menu In Windows 7 | 8

 

 

We all know that Search is a must-have feature for any operating system. Since Windows 8 doesn’t have Start Menu, the search has been shifted to Charms Bar or by you can bring it up by pressing Windows Key + Q. New users are sometimes confused by this change, so it would be beneficial for them if they can make a search directly from the context menu of their current directory.


 

 

In this article, I’ll tell you the manual way to add the search option to context menus at different locations of your Windows PC using Registry Editor…

Add Search To Context Menus

1. Press Windows Key + R combination on keyboard and type Regedt32.exe in Run dialog box. Press OK.

2. Navigate to following location:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CABFolder\shell\find

3. In the right pane of this location, create a string with Value Name as Icon and put its Value Data equals to imageres.dll,-177.

Also ensure that there must have 32-bit value for SuppresionPolicy is 80.

4. Repeat step 3 for these locations as well:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\find

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\find

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\shell\Search

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Search

5. Now rush to this location:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\shell\Search\command

In case you didn’t found HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\shell\Search\command, then go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\shell\Search and create a subkey as command.

In the right pane of this location, edit the Default string with Value Data as explorer.exe search-ms:.

6. Repeat the step 5 for this location also:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Search\command

That’s it! You can now make searches directly from the right-click context menu.


3) Windows 8 shortcut keys

In the month of October, Microsoft has launched windows 8. Frommore than

million of people has been purchased and start using windows 8.


Windows 8 came with many changes and improvements as compared to previous windows version, So windows 8 have larger number of keyboard shortcuts.

Microsoft has provided most helpful keyboard shortcuts for windows 8. Here is,

windows 8 keyboard shortcut

Windows 8 Keyboard shortcut list:-

Windows key: Switch between Modern Desktop Start screen and the last accessed application

Windows key + C: Access the charms bar

Windows key + Tab: Access the Modern Desktop Taskbar

Windows key + I: Access the Settings charm

Windows key + H: Access the Share charm

Windows key + K: Access the Devices charm

Windows key + Q: Access the Apps Search screen

Windows key + F: Access the Files Search screen

Windows key + W: Access the Settings Search screen

Windows key + P: Access the Second Screen bar

Windows key + Z: Brings up the App Bar when you have a Modern Desktop App running

Windows key + X: Access the Windows Tools Menu

Windows key + O: Lock screen orientation

Windows key + . : Move the screen split to the right

Windows key + Shift + . : Move the screen split to the left

Windows key + V: View all active Toasts/Notifications

Windows key + Shift + V: View all active Toasts/Notifications in reverse order

Windows key + PrtScn: Takes a screenshot of the screen and automatically saves it in the Pictures folder as Screenshot

Windows key + Enter: Launch Narrator

Windows key + E: Open Computer

Windows key + R: Open the Run dialog box

Windows key + U: Open Ease of Access Center

Windows key + Ctrl + F: Open Find Computers dialog box

Windows key + Pause/Break: Open the System page

Windows key + 1..10: Launch a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number

Windows key + Shift + 1..10: Launch a new instance of a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number

Windows key + Ctrl + 1..10: Access the last active instance of a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number

Windows key + Alt + 1..10: Access the Jump List of a program pinned on the Taskbar in the position indicated by the number

Windows key + B: Select the first item in the Notification Area and then use the arrow keys to cycle through the items Press Enter to open the selected item

Windows key + Ctrl + B: Access the program that is displaying a message in the Notification Area

Windows key + T: Cycle through the items on the Taskbar

Windows key + M: Minimize all windows

Windows key + Shift + M: Restore all minimized windows

Windows key + D: Show/Hide Desktop (minimize/restore all windows)

Windows key + L: Lock computer

Windows key + Up Arrow: Maximize current window

Windows key + Down Arrow: Minimize/restore current window

Windows key + Home: Minimize all but the current window

Windows key + Left Arrow: Tile window on the left side of the screen

Windows key + Right Arrow: Tile window on the right side of the screen

Windows key + Shift + Up Arrow: Extend current window from the top to the bottom of the screen

Windows key + Shift + Left/Right Arrow: Move the current window from one monitor to the next

Windows key + F1: Launch Windows Help and Support

PageUp: Scroll forward on the Modern Desktop Start screen

PageDown: Scroll backward on the Modern Desktop Start screen

Esc: Close  a charm

Ctrl + Esc: Switch between Modern Desktop Start screen and the last accessed application

Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel: Activate the Semantic Zoom on the Modern Desktop screen

Alt: Display a hidden Menu Bar

Alt + D: Select the Address Bar

Alt + P: Display the Preview Pane in Windows Explorer

Alt + Tab: Cycle forward through open windows

Alt + Shift + Tab: Cycle backward through open windows

Alt + F: Close the current window Open the Shut Down Windows dialog box from the Desktop

Alt + Spacebar: Access the Shortcut menu for current window

Alt + Esc: Cycle between open programs in the order that they were opened

Alt + Enter: Open the Properties dialog box of the selected item

Alt + PrtScn: Take a screen shot of the active Window and place it in the clipboard

Alt + Up Arrow: Move up one folder level in Windows Explorer (Like the Up Arrow in XP)

Alt + Left Arrow: Display the previous folder

Alt + Right Arrow: Display the next folder

Shift + Insert: CD/DVD Load CD/DVD without triggering Autoplay or Autorun

Shift + Delete: Permanently delete the item (rather than sending it to the Recycle Bin)

Shift + F6: Cycle backward through elements in a window or dialog box

Shift + F10: Access the context menu for the selected item

Shift + Tab: Cycle backward through elements in a window or dialog box

Shift + Click: Select a consecutive group of items

Shift + Click on a Taskbar button: Launch a new instance of a program

Shift + Right-click on a Taskbar button: Access the context menu for the selected item

Ctrl + A: Select all items

Ctrl + C: Copy the selected item

Ctrl + X: Cut the selected item

Ctrl + V: Paste the selected item

Ctrl + D: Delete selected item

Ctrl + Z: Undo an action

Ctrl + Y: Redo an action

Ctrl + N: Open a new window in Windows Explorer

Ctrl + W: Close current window in Windows Explorer

Ctrl + E: Select the Search box in the upper right corner of a window

Ctrl + Shift + N: Create new folder

Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Open the Windows Task Manager

Ctrl + Alt + Tab: Use arrow keys to cycle through open windows

Ctrl + Alt + Delete: Access the Windows Security screen

Ctrl + Click: Select multiple individual items

Ctrl + Click and drag an item: Copies that item in the same folder

Ctrl + Shift + Click and drag an item: Creates a shortcut for that item in the same folder

Ctrl + Tab:  Move forward through tabs

Ctrl + Shift + Tab: Move backward through tabs

Ctrl + Shift + Click on a Taskbar button: Launch a new instance of a program as an Administrator

Ctrl + Click on a grouped Taskbar button: Cycle through the instances of a program in the group

F1: Display Help

F2: Rename a file

F3: Open Search

F4: Display the Address Bar list

F5: Refresh display

F6: Cycle forward through elements in a window or dialog box

F7: Display command history in a Command Prompt

F10: Display hidden Menu Bar

F11: Toggle full screen display

Tab: Cycle forward through elements in a window or dialog box

PrtScn: Take a screen shot of the entire screen and place it in the clipboard

Home: Move to the top of the active window

End: Move to the bottom of the active window

Delete: Delete the selected item

Backspace: Display the previous folder in Windows Explorer  Move up one folder level in Open or Save dialog box

Esc: Close a dialog box

Num Lock Enabled + Plus (+): Display the contents of the selected folder

Num Lock Enabled + Minus (-): Collapse the selected folder

Num Lock Enabled + Asterisk (*): Expand all subfolders under the selected folder

Press Shift 5 times Turn StickyKeys on or off

Hold down right Shift for 8 seconds Turn FilterKeys on or off

Hold down Num Lock for 5 seconds Turn ToggleKeys on or off

4) Windows 8 Tips and tricks by DIS | Doitsimply!

1. Lock screen

Windows 8 opens on its lock screen, which looks pretty but unfortunately displays no clues about what to do next.


Windows8 tips
Windows8 tips

 

It’s all very straightforward, though. Just tap the space bar, spin the mouse wheel or swipe upwards on a touch screen to reveal a regular login screen with the user name you created during installation. Enter your password to begin.

2. Basic navigation

Basic navigation
Basic navigation

Windows 8 launches with its new interface, all colourful tiles and touch-friendly apps. And if you’re using a tablet then it’ll all be very straightforward: just swipe left or right to scroll the screen, and tap any tile of interest.

On a regular desktop, though, you might alternatively spin the mouse wheel to scroll backwards and forwards.

And you can also use the keyboard. Press the Home or End keys to jump from one end of your Start screen to the other, for instance, then use the cursor keys to select a particular tile, tapping Enter to select it. Press the Windows key to return to the Start screen; right-click (or swipe down on) apps you don’t need and select Unpin to remove them; and drag and drop the other tiles around to organise them as you like.

3. App groups

Apps group
Apps group

The Start screen apps are initially displayed in a fairly random order, but if you’d prefer a more organised life then it’s easy to sort them into custom groups.

You might drag People, Mail, Messaging and Calendar over to the left-hand side, for instance, to form a separate ‘People’ group. Click the ‘minus’ icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to zoom out and you’ll now find you can drag and drop the new group (or any of the others) around as a block.

Right-click within the block (while still zoomed out) and you’ll also be able to give the group a name, which – if you go on to add another 20 or 30 apps to your Start screen – will make it much easier to find the tools you need.

4. Quick access menu

Quick Access menu
Quick Access menu

Right-click in the bottom left corner (or hold down the Windows key and press X) for a text-based menu that provides easy access to lots of useful applets and features: Device Manager, Control Panel, Explorer, the Search dialog and more.

5. Find your applications

Applications
Applications

The Win+X menu is useful, but no substitute for the old Start menu as it doesn’t provide access to your applications. To find this, hold down the Windows key and press Q or either right-click an empty part of the Start screen or swipe your finger up from the bottom of the screen and select ‘All Apps’ to reveal a scrolling list of all your installed applications. Browse the various tiles to find what you need and click the relevant app to launch it.

6. Easy access

If there’s an application you use all the time then you don’t have to access it via the search system. Pin it to the Start screen and it’ll be available at a click.

Start by typing part of the name of your application. To access Control Panel, for instance, type ‘Control’. Right-click the ‘Control Panel’ tile on the Apps Search screen, and click ‘Pin to Start’. If you’re using a touchscreen, press and hold the icon, then flick down and select ‘Pin to Start’.

Now press the Windows key, scroll to the right and you’ll see the Control Panel tile at the far end. Drag and drop this over to the left somewhere if you’d like it more easily accessible, then click the tile to open the desktop along with the Control Panel window, and press the Windows key to return you to the Start screen when you’re done.

7. Shutting down

Shutting down
Shutting down

To shut Windows 8 down, just move the mouse cursor to the bottom right corner of the screen, click the Settings icon – or just hold down the Windows key and press I – and you’ll see a power button. Click this and choose ‘Shut Down’ or ‘Restart’.

Mastering the interface

8. App bar

Windows 8 apps aim to be simpler than old-style Windows applets, which means it’s goodbye to menus, complex toolbars, and many interface standards. There will usually be a few options available on the App bar, though, so if you’re unsure what to do then either right-click an empty part of the screen, press Windows+Z or flick your finger up from the bottom of the screen to take a closer look.

9. What’s running?

Task manager
Task manager

If you launch a Windows 8 app, play with it for a while, then press the Windows key you’ll switch back to the Start screen. Your app will remaining running, but as there’s no taskbar then you might be wondering how you’d ever find that out.

You could just press Alt+Tab, which shows you what’s running just as it always has.

Holding down the Windows key and pressing Tab displays a pane on the left-hand side of the screen with your running apps. (To see this with the mouse, move your cursor to the top left corner of the screen, wait until the thumbnail of one app appears, then drag down.)

And of course you can always press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to see all your running apps in the Task Manager, if you don’t mind (or actually need) the extra technical detail.

10. Closing an app


Windows 8 apps don’t have close buttons, but this isn’t the issue you might think. Apps are suspended when you switch to something else so they’re only a very minimal drain on your system, and if you need the system resources then they’ll automatically be shut down. (Their context will be saved, of course, so on relaunching they’ll carry on where you left off.)

If you want to close down an app anyway, though, move the mouse cursor up to the top of the screen. When it turns from the regular mouse pointer to the icon of a hand, hold down the left mouse button and drag it down the screen. Your app should shrink to a thumbnail which you can drag off the screen to close it.

If that’s too much hassle, then simply pressing Alt+F4 still works.

And when all else fails then press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to launch Task Manager, right-click something in the Apps list and select End Task. Beware, though, close something you shouldn’t and it’s easy to crash or lock up your PC.

11. Mastering Internet Explorer in Windows 8

Internet explorer in Win8

Click the Internet Explorer tile from the Start menu and you’ll launch a full-screen version without toolbars, menus or sidebars, which like so much of Windows 8 may leave you initially feeling lost.

Right-click an empty part of the page or flick your finger down from the top of the screen, though, and you’ll find options to create and switch between tabs, as well as a Refresh button, a ‘Find’ tool and the ability to pin an Internet shortcut to the Start page. Click the spanner icon and select ‘View on the desktop’ to open the full desktop version of Internet Explorer.

12. Run two apps side by side

Run apps side by side
Run apps side by side

Windows 8 apps are what Microsoft calls “immersive” applications, which basically means they run full-screen – but there is a way to view two at once. Swipe from the left and the last app you were using will turn into a thumbnail; drop this and one app displays in a sidebar pane while your current app takes the rest of the screen. And you can then swap these by swiping again.

13. Spell check

Windows 8 apps all have spellcheck where relevant, which looks and works much as it does in Microsoft Office. Make a mistake and a wavy red line will appear below the offending word; tap or right-click this to see suggested alternative words, or add the word to your own dictionary if you prefer.

14. Run as Administrator

Some programs need you to run them with Administrator rights before they’ll work properly. The old context menu isn’t available for a pinned Start screen app, but right-click one, and if it’s appropriate for this app then you’ll see a Run As Administrator option.

15. Make a large app tile smaller

You’ll notice that some Windows 8 apps have small live tiles, while others have larger tiles that take up the space of two tiles. Right-clicking on a Windows 8 app’s Start screen tile will display a few relevant options. If this is one of the larger tiles, choosing ‘Smaller’ will cut it down to half the size, freeing up some valuable Start screen real estate.

16. Uninstall easily

Uninstall easyily
Uninstall easyily

If you want to hide an unused app for now, select ‘Unpin from Start’. The tile will disappear, but if you change your mind then you can always add it again later. (Search for the app, right-click it, select ‘Pin to Start’.)

Or, if you’re sure you’ll never want to use an app again, choose ‘Uninstall’ to remove it entirely.

17. Apps and privacy

It is worth keeping in mind that by default Windows 8 apps can use your name, location and account picture. If you’re not happy with that, it’s easily changed. Press Win+I, click More PC Settings, select Privacy and click the relevant buttons to disable any details you’d rather not share.

Apps and privacy
Apps and privacy

18. Administrative tools

Experienced Windows users who spend much of their time in one advanced applet or another are often a little annoyed to see their favourite tools buried by Windows 8. Microsoft has paid at least some attention, though, and there is a way to bring some of them back.

Open the Charm bar by flicking your finger from the right-hand side of the screen and select ‘Settings’ then ‘Tiles’. Change ‘Show administrative tools’ to ‘Yes’ and click back on an empty part of the Start screen. And it’s as simple as that. Scroll to the right and you’ll find a host of new tiles for various key applets – Performance Monitor, Event Viewer, Task Scheduler, Resource Monitor and more – ready to be accessed at a click.

Administrative tools
Administrative tools

Some of the tricks available in previous versions of Windows still apply. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del, for instance, click the power button in the bottom right-hand corner and you’ll be presented with the same ‘Shut Down’ and ‘Restart’ options.

And if you’re on the desktop, press Alt+F4 and you’ll be able to choose ‘Shut Down’, ‘Restart’, ‘Sign Out’ or ‘Switch User’ options.

50 Windows 8 tips, tricks and secrets

Windows 8 tips: productivity

19. Disable the lock screen

If you like your PC to boot just as fast as possible then the new Windows 8 lock screen may not appeal. Don’t worry, though, if you’d like to ditch this then it only takes a moment.

Launch GPEdit.msc (the Local Group Policy Editor) and browse to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalisation.

Double-click ‘Do not display the lock screen’, select Enabled and click OK.

Restart and the lock screen will have gone.

If you can’t easily find GPEdit.msc by searching in the Start screen, search for ‘mmc’, and then press Enter. On the File menu, click ‘Add/Remove Snap-in’, then in the ‘Add or Remove Snap-ins’ dialog box, click ‘Group Policy Object Editor’, and then click ‘Add’.

In the ‘Select Group Policy Object’ dialog box, click ‘Browse’. Click ‘This Computer’ to edit the Local Group Policy object, or click ‘Users’ to edit Administrator, Non-Administrator, or per-user Local Group Policy objects, then click ‘Finish’.

Console in windows 8
Console in windows 8

20. Install anything

Most mobile platforms recommend you only install apps from approved sources to protect your security, and Windows 8 is the same: it’ll only allow you to install trusted (that is, digitally signed) apps from the Windows store.

If this proves a problem, though, and you’re willing to take the security risk (because this isn’t something to try unless you’re entirely sure it’s safe), then the system can be configured to run trusted apps from any source.

Launch GPEdit.msc (see above for instructions on how to find it), browse to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > App Package Deployment, double-click ‘Allow all trusted apps to install’ and select Enabled > OK.

Install anything
Install anything

21. Log in automatically

WARNING: Your account will lose admin privileges as a result of this step

Of course even if you remove the lock screen, you’ll still be forced to manually log in every time your system starts. This can also be resolved at speed, though, using much the same technique as in previous versions of Windows.

Hold down the Windows key, press R, type ‘netplwiz’ and press Enter to launch the User Accounts dialog.

Clear the “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer” box and click OK.

Enter the user name and password of the account that you’d like to be logged in automatically, click OK, restart your system and this time it should boot directly to the Start screen.

22. Replacing the Start menu

Start menu
Start menu

If Windows 8’s search and navigation tools still leave you pining for the regular Start menu, installing ViStart will replace it with something very similar.

Download the program and install it, carefully; it’s free, but the Setup program will install the trial of a commercial Registry cleaner unless you explicitly tell it otherwise.

But once that’s out the way, your old Start button will return in its regular place, and clicking it (or pressing the Windows key) will bring back the usual Start menu complete with search box and all the usual menus.

The program has a few flaws – on launch it gave us an e-mail icon for Outlook Express, for instance – but otherwise works well.

There’s also Start8 from Windows customisation veterans Stardock. It provides similar functionality to ViStart but with a more up-to-date look.

23. Windows key shortcuts

  • Win : switch between the Start screen and the last-running Windows 8 app
  • Win + C : displays the Charms: the Settings, Devices, Share and Search options
  • Win + D : launches the desktop
  • Win + E : launches Explorer
  • Win + F : opens the File Search pane
  • Win + H : opens the Share pane
  • Win + I : opens Settings
  • Win + K : opens the Devices pane
  • Win + L : locks your PC
  • Win + M : minimises the current Explorer or Internet Explorer window (works in the full-screen IE, too)
  • Win + O : toggles device orientation lock on and off
  • Win + P : switch your display to a second display or projector
  • Win + Q : open the App Search pane
  • Win + R : opens the Run box
  • Win + U : open the Ease of Access Centre
  • Win + V : cycle through toasts (notifications)
  • Win + W : search your system settings (type POWER for links to all power-related options, say)
  • Win + X : displays a text menu of useful Windows tools and applets
  • Win + Z : displays the right-click context menu when in a full-screen app
  • Win + + : launch Magnifier and zoom in
  • Win + – : zoom out
  • Win + , : Aero peek at the desktop
  • Win + Enter : launch Narrator
  • Win + PgUp : move the current screen to the left-hand monitor
  • Win + PgDn : move the current screen to the right-hand monitor
  • Win + PrtSc : capture the current screen and save it to your Pictures folder
  • Win + Tab : switch between running apps

24. Launch programs fast

If you’re a fan of keyboard shortcuts and don’t like the idea of scrolling through app tiles to find the program you need, don’t worry, Windows 8 still supports a useful old shortcut. Which is perfect if, say, you’re looking to be able to shut down your PC with a click.

Launch the desktop app, right-click an empty part of the desktop and click New > Shortcut.

Browse to the application you’d like to launch here. Of for the sake of this example, enter

shutdown.exe -s -t 00

to shut down your PC, or

shutdown.exe -h -t 00

to hibernate it, and click Next. Type a shortcut name – ‘Hibernate’, say – and click Finish.

Right-click the shortcut, select Pin to Start and it should appear on the far right of the Start screen – just drag the tile wherever you like.

25. Intelligent screengrabs

If a Windows 8 application is showing something interesting and you’d like to record it for posterity, then hold down the Windows key, press PrtSc, and the image won’t just go to the clipboard: it’ll also be automatically saved to your My Pictures folder with the name Screenshot.png (and then Screenshot(1).png, Screenshot(2).png and so on).

You might hope that pressing Win+Alt+PrtSc would similarly save an image of the active window, but no, sadly not. Maybe next time.

26. Photo Viewer

Default programs
Default programs

Double-click an image file within Explorer and it won’t open in a Photo Viewer window any more, at least not by default. Instead you’ll be switched to the full-screen Windows 8 Photos app – bad news if you thought you’d escaped such hassles by using the desktop.

If you’d like to fix this, go to Control Panel > Programs > Default Programs and select Set your default programs.

Scroll down and click Windows Photo Viewer in the Programs list.

Finally, click ‘Set this program as default’ if you’d like the Viewer to open all the file types it can handle, or select the ‘Choose default’ options if you prefer to specify which file types it should open. Click OK when you’re done.

Windows 8 tips: new options and features

27. SmartScreen

Windows 8 now uses Internet Explorer’s SmartScreen system-wide, checking downloaded files to ensure they’re safe. In general this is a good thing, but if you have any problems then it can be tweaked.

Launch Control Panel, open the Action Centre applet, and click Change Windows SmartScreen Settings in the left-hand pane. Here you can keep the warning, but avoid the requirement for administrator approval, or turn SmartScreen off altogether. Make your choice and click OK to finish.

28. Windows 8 File History

Windows 8 includes an excellent File History feature, which can regularly and automatically back up your libraries, desktop, contacts and favourites to a second drive (even a USB flash drive – just connect it, and choose ‘Configure this drive for backup using File History’ from the menu).

To set this up, go to Control Panel > System and Security > File History. Click Exclude Folders to help define what you’re saving, Advanced Settings to choose the backup frequency, Change Drive to choose the backup destination, and Turn On to enable the feature with your settings.

And once it’s been running for a while, you can check on the history for any file in Explorer by selecting it, choosing the Home tab and clicking History.

50 Windows 8 tips, tricks and secrets

29. VHD – enhanced

Windows 7 added support for creating and attaching virtual hard drives in Microsoft’s VHD format. Now Windows 8 extends this with the new VHDX format, which improves performance, extends the maximum file size from 2 to 16TB, and makes the format “more resilient to power failure events” (so they shouldn’t get corrupted as easily). Launch the Computer Management Control Panel applet, choose Disk Management, and click Actions > Create VHD to give the format a try.

30. Storage Spaces

If you have multiple hard drives packed with data then you’ll know that managing them can be a hassle. But that’s all about to change with a new Windows 8 feature, Storage Spaces.

The idea is that you can take all your hard drives, whether connected via USB, SATA or SAS (Serial Attached SCSI), and add them to a storage pool. And you can then create one or more spaces within this pool, formatting and accessing them as a single drive, so you’ve only one drive letter to worry about.

What’s more, the technology can also maximise your performance by spreading files across multiple drives (the system can then access each chunk simultaneously). There’s an option to mirror your files, too, so even if one disk fails your data remains safe. And if your Storage Space begins to fill up then just plug in another drive, add it to the pool and you can carry on as before.

Yes, we know, this is just a consumer-friendly take on RAID. But there’s nothing wrong with that, and it looks promising. If you’d like to read up on the technical details then the official Windows 8 blog has more, and you can then create and manage your drive pool from the new Control Panel\System and Security ‘Storage Spaces’ applet.

50 Windows 8 tips, tricks and secrets

31. Virtual Machines

Install Windows 8 and you also get Microsoft’s Hyper-V, enabling you to create and run virtual machines (as long as you’re not running in a virtual machine already). Launch OptionalFeatures.exe (press Windows Key and R and type it in to run), check Hyper-V and click OK to enable the feature. Then switch back to the Start screen, scroll to the right, find and click on the Hyper-V Manager tile to begin exploring its capabilities.

32. Smart Searching

When you’re in the mood to track down new Windows 8 features relating to a particular topic, you might be tempted to start by manually browsing Control Panel for interesting applets – but there is a simpler way.

If you’d like to know what’s new in the area of storage, say, just press Win+W to launch the Settings Search dialog, type “drive”, and the system will return a host of related options. That is, not just those with “drive” in the name, but anything storage-related: BitLocker, Device Manager, backup tools, disk cleanup, and interesting new features such as Storage Spaces.

This Search feature isn’t new, of course, but it’s easy to forget how useful this can be, especially when you’re trying to learn about a new operating system. So don’t just carry out specific searches, use the Apps search to look for general keywords such as “privacy” or “performance”, and you just might discover something new.

Windows 8 tips

Windows 8 tips: tweaks and customisations

33. Start screen background

If you’d like to change your lock, user tile or start screen images then press Win + I, click ‘Change PC settings’ and choose the Personalize option. Browse the various tabs and you’ll be able to choose alternative images or backgrounds in a click or two.

And in theory you’ll also be able to define apps that will display their status on the lock screen, although the app must specifically support this before it’ll be accessible from your Personalize settings.

PC setting
PC setting

34. Scheduled Maintenance

Windows 8 can run common maintenance tasks – software updates, security scanning, system diagnostics and more at a scheduled convenient time, which is good.

Unfortunately it doesn’t actually ask you what time is convenient, instead just setting it to 3am and allowing the system to wake your computer (if hardware and circumstances permit) to do its work. Which isn’t so good.

To change this, launch Control Panel, click System and Security > Action Centre > Maintenance. You can now click ‘Start maintenance’ to launch any outstanding tasks right now, while selecting ‘Change maintenance settings’ enables you to choose a more convenient time, and optionally disable the feature’s ability to wake up your computer if that’s not required.

35. Picture password

Windows 8 enables you to create a picture password, where you choose an image, then draw on it in a combination of taps, lines and circles – only someone who can reproduce this pattern will be able to log on. Select Win + I > More PC Settings > Users > Create a Picture Password to give this a try.

Picture password
Picture password

36. Hibernate or Sleep

You won’t necessarily see either Hibernate or Sleep in the Windows 8 shutdown dialogs, but if that’s a problem then you may be able to restore them.

Launch the Control Panel Power Options applet (powercfg.cpl) and click ‘Choose what the power buttons do’ in the left-hand pane.

If you see a ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable’ link, then click it, and if Windows 8 detects that your PC supports Sleep and Hibernate options then they’ll be displayed here. Check the boxes next to whatever you’d like to use, click Save Changes, and the new options should now appear in your shutdown dialogs.

37. Simplify Search

By default Windows 8 includes every bundled app in its Search results. If you’ll never want to use some of these – the Store app, say – then select Win + I > Change PC Settings > > Search, choose which apps you don’t want included, and your search list will be more manageable in future.

38. Touch keyboard

By default the Touch keyboard will try to help you out by, for instance, playing sounds as you type, capitalising the first letter of each sentence, adding a period if you double-tap the spacebar, and more. If any of this gets in your way, though, you can turn the relevant feature off: just go to Win + I > Change PC Settings > General and customise the keyboard to suit your needs.

39. Sync and privacy

One very useful Windows 8 feature is its ability to synchronise your settings with other PCs and devices. So if you’ve set up your new Windows Phone device with your contacts, email details and so on, then use the same Live account on Windows 8 and it’ll import them for you: very convenient.

Of course that may not always be a good idea. If several people use a device then you may not want your website passwords to be synced, for instance. In which case you’ll want to hold down the Windows key and press I, then click Change PC Settings > Sync Your Settings and disable anything you’d rather not share.

Windows 8 tips: Explorer tricks

40. Quick Access toolbar

Windows Explorer in Windows 8 features a Quick Access toolbar immediately above the menu, providing easy access to options such as ‘New Folder’, ‘Minimise’, ‘Undo’ and more.

This is customisable, too – click the arrow to the right of the default buttons, in the Explorer window caption bar, and choose whatever options you need. And you can include add any other ribbon option on the Quick Access Toolbar by right-clicking it and selecting Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

41. Advanced menu options

If you need to run the command prompt as an Administrator then your instant reaction will probably be to reach for the Start menu. Before becoming annoyed a microsecond later when you remember it’s no longer there.

It’s good to see that Microsoft has provided a simple alternative, then – just click the File menu in Explorer and click Open command prompt > Open command prompt as administrator.

And while you’re there, make note of the other advanced new options also on that menu: you can open a new window in a new process, open Explorer, and even delete your Recent Places and Address Bar histories with a click.

Video tools
Video tools

42. Show all folders

The default Windows 8 Explorer view doesn’t show all the usual drives and folders – Control Panel, Recycle Bin and so on – in the left-hand navigation pane. It certainly keeps the display simple, and if you want to see all your drives then you can just click Computer, but if you prefer to see everything upfront then it only takes a moment. Click View > Options, check ‘Show all folders’ and click OK.

43. Mount ISO files in Windows 8

Need to take a closer look at an ISO file? Right-click it in Explorer, click Mount and you can view it as a virtual drive, launch the files it contains, or add more if you like.

44. Open new file types

If you find a file type that none of your applications can handle, then right-click on the file in Windows Explorer and choose Open With. You’ll see a ‘Look for an app in the Store’ option, which enables Windows 8 to use an automated search tool to find and highlight an app for you.

You can also click ‘More Options’ to see currently installed programs and apps that may be able to open the file.

Open with window
Open with window

45. Restart Explorer

If Explorer locks up for some reason, then regaining control is now very easy. No need to close the process any more: simply press Ctrl+Alt+Esc, select Explorer in the list, click Restart and Windows 8 will handle the rest.

Windows 8 tips: troubleshooting

46. VirtualBox error

The safest way to sample Windows 8 is to install it on a VirtualBox virtual machine. It’s fairly easy to set up, there’s no need to worry about partitioning or other issues, and if it doesn’t work for whatever reason (which is possible, it’s a beta after all) then you’ll have lost nothing but a little time.

After completing your installation, though, you might find your virtual Windows 8 complaining that “Your PC needs to be repaired”. But despite telling you to “Press Enter to try again”, or “Press F8 for alternate boot options”, neither option works.

Fortunately there’s an easy answer. Close the Windows 8 window, select your virtual machine in VirtualBox, click Settings > System > Processor and check the ‘Enable PAE/NX’ box. Click OK, restart your virtual machine and this time it should launch properly.

Windows 8 recovery
Windows 8 recovery

47. Windows 8 apps won’t launch

You click a Windows 8 app, and nothing else happens? Display issues are often the cause. In particular, Windows 8 apps don’t currently support screen resolutions lower than 1024 x 768 (or 1366 x 768 when snapping), so increase your resolution if possible (launch the desktop, right-click, select Screen Resolution).

Or if that’s no help, try updating your video drivers.

48. Performance problems

If your Windows 8 system seems sluggish, the revamped Task Manager may be able to offer some clues. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to take a look.

Click ‘More Details’. The simplified Processes tab then reveals what’s currently using your CPU time, RAM, hard drive and network bandwidth. (The more in-depth data available in previous Task Manager versions is now accessible via the Details tab.)

The Performance tab gives you a graphical view of resource use over the last few seconds, while the App History dialog looks back over days or more to reveal which app is the most resource-hungry.

And is your boot time slow? Click the new Startup tab to see programs your system is launching when Windows boots. The ‘Startup impact’ now shows how much of an effect each of these has on your boot time; if you spot high impact programs you’re sure you don’t need, then right-clicking them and selecting ‘Disable’ will ensure they’re not loaded next time.

Powerful though all this is, if you can think of a reason to use the old Task Manager then it’s still accessible. Hold down the Windows key, press R, type TaskMGR and press Enter to launch it. (Typing TM will launch the new version.)

Task manager in Windows 8
Task manager in Windows 8

49. Device Manager Events

If you’ve got a driver or hardware-related problem with Windows 8, launch Device Manager, browse to the relevant device, right-click it, select Properties and click the new Events tab. If Windows has installed drivers, related services or carried out other important actions on this device then you’ll now see them here, which is very useful when troubleshooting.

50. Recovery options

Windows 8 has performed well for us, but if you find it won’t boot at some point then you now have to press Shift+F8 during the launch process to access its recovery tools.

Access the Troubleshoot menu, then Advanced Options, and you’ll be able to try the Automatic Repair tool, which may fix your problems. No luck? The same menu enables you to use the last System Restore point, tweak key Windows Startup settings, and even open a command prompt if you’d like to troubleshoot your system manually.

If that all seems like too much hassle then the Troubleshoot menu’s option to ‘Refresh your PC’ may be preferable, because it essentially reinstalls Windows 8 but keeps your files, and will fix many issues.

But if it doesn’t then there’s always the more drastic ‘Reset your PC’ option, which removes all your files and installs a fresh new copy of Windows 8.

You don’t have to access these features from the boot menu, of course. If Windows 8 starts but seems very unstable, then open the new Recovery applet in Control Panel for easy access to the Refresh, Reset and other disaster recovery features.

Advanced options
Advanced options
Advertisements

98 thoughts on “Windows

  1. A person essentially help to make seriously articles I would state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and so far? I amazed with the analysis you made to create this particular submit extraordinary. Wonderful job!

    Like

  2. Someone essentially help to make critically posts I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and up to now? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual post amazing. Wonderful job!

    Like

  3. Great weblog here! Additionally your web site rather a lot up fast! What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink in your host? I desire my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

    Like

  4. I needed to compose you that very small observation just to say thanks a lot once again for your extraordinary things you have discussed above. It’s quite wonderfully generous with people like you to offer extensively all some people would’ve distributed as an e book to end up making some profit on their own, and in particular now that you could possibly have done it if you ever desired. The concepts additionally worked to provide a fantastic way to understand that the rest have similar keenness the same as my own to figure out a lot more with reference to this problem. I think there are numerous more enjoyable opportunities in the future for those who read carefully your website.

    Like

  5. Hey there would you mind letting me know which web host you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a reasonable price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!

    Like

  6. Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and terrific design and style.

    Like

  7. Admiring the time and energy you put into your blog and detailed information you provide. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    Like

  8. Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks

    Like

  9. Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your design. Thank you

    Like

  10. Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

    Like

  11. Greetings from California! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, great blog!

    Like

  12. Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice at the same time as you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a applicable deal. I have been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast provided shiny transparent idea

    Like

  13. An fascinating discussion might be worth comment. I do believe that you are able to write a lot more about this subject, it can not undoubtedly be a taboo topic but commonly folks are usually not adequate to speak on such subjects. To a higher. Cheers

    Like

  14. Would you thoughts frequently if I mention numerous of the recent blogs on situation that I provide you with acknowledgement and additionally short article sources returning to your website? My net web page is in the comparable area of interest as your own and my targeted prospects would definitely benefit from numerous of the data that you simply present proper here. Please don’t hesitate to tell me if this is okay with you. Quite a few thanks!

    Like

  15. I’ve learned result-oriented things from your blog post. Also a thing to I have recognized is that typically, FSBO sellers may reject an individual. Remember, they would prefer to not use your services. But if anyone maintain a reliable, professional relationship, offering help and keeping contact for about four to five weeks, you will usually be capable of win a meeting. From there, a listing follows. Thanks

    Like

  16. Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Great. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.

    Like

  17. F*ckin? remarkable things right here. I am extremely satisfied to peer your post. Thanks so substantially and i’m looking ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

    Like

  18. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, superb blog!

    Like

  19. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your blog. You have some really great articles and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Many thanks!

    Like

  20. I do not know whether it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing problems with your blog. It seems like some of the written text in your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before. Kudos

    Like

  21. Hi there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. Cheers!

    Like

  22. Thanks for the post. My spouse and i have always noticed that a lot of people are wanting to lose weight as they wish to look slim as well as attractive. Nonetheless, they do not generally realize that there are other benefits just for losing weight also. Doctors claim that fat people suffer from a variety of ailments that can be instantly attributed to their excess weight. The great thing is that people who are overweight as well as suffering from numerous diseases are able to reduce the severity of the illnesses by losing weight. It is easy to see a continuous but notable improvement with health while even a small amount of weight reduction is realized.

    Like

  23. Its great as your other articles : D, appreciate it for posting . “If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be–a christian.” by Mark Twain.

    Like

  24. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

    Like

  25. Hey there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    Like

  26. When I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any means you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

    Like

  27. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. However think of if you added some great visuals or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this website could certainly be one of the best in its field. Amazing blog!

    Like

  28. Amazing blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any ideas? Kudos!

    Like

  29. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, awesome blog!

    Like

  30. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

    Like

  31. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    Like

  32. I have learned several important things through your post. I might also like to say that there may be situation in which you will make application for a loan and never need a cosigner such as a Government Student Aid Loan. However, if you are getting a loan through a common bank or investment company then you need to be made ready to have a cosigner ready to enable you to. The lenders may base their very own decision over a few factors but the main one will be your credit rating. There are some financial institutions that will additionally look at your work history and decide based on this but in many cases it will depend on your report.

    Like

  33. What’s up to all, the contents present at this web site are actually remarkable for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows.

    Like

Comments are closed.