5 tips to get more out of Windows 8

Windows_June05_CWhen Windows 8 was released last year, many viewed it as a drastic departure from the more traditional versions of Windows we saw in XP, Vista, and Win7. This is accurate to a degree, as the new interface is reminiscent of mobile operating systems and does come with a bit of a learning curve, which has left some business owners and managers at a loss as to how to get the most out of the new OS. With this in mind, today we offer some tips to help you get the most out of Windows 8.

Enable GodMode
In older video games, GodMode was a cheat or code you could enter to get access to every special power, giving the player unlimited lives or even making them invincible within the game. Windows 8 has a GodMode as well, only it won’t make you all powerful. Instead it puts hundreds of settings into one central folder.

You can activate GodMode by creating a new folder and adding the following code, with the period and curly brackets, at the end of the name: .{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} For example you could create a folder named: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

As soon as you click anywhere outside of the folder, it should change icons. Opening the folder will bring up a list of about a dozen settings options. You will notice numbers beside each entry, indicating how many settings are inside that specific category.

Bring back the Start button
To many users the Start button is essential to using Windows. Pressing it gives you easy access to installed programs, search, settings and documents. The new Windows 8 layout relies on tiles and has seemingly done away with the Start button. The good news is that it is still there, just hidden.

Here’s how you can get Windows 8 to show the Start button:

  1. Right-click on the Taskbar located at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Select Toolbars followed by New Toolbar.
  3. Navigate to: C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart Menu. Note: username will be different for every user. Pick the file with the username you use to log into your computer.
  4. Select Select Folder with the Start Menu folder selected.

A modified version of the Start bar should now be on your Taskbar. You can click on this to explore your files and installed programs but will not be able to search for programs or files. If you can’t navigate to the above folder you will have to enable Show Hidden Files through Folder Options in the Control Panel.

Utilize the Quick Access Menu
If you are looking for a quick way to get to a number of Windows 8 features, like the Command Prompt, Programs, Task Manager, and Control Panel, etc., you can use what’s called the Quick Access Menu. (Sometimes this menu may be referred to as the admin menu.) To open this menu all you have to do is press the Windows key and X. You can also access it by moving your mouse cursor to the bottom-left of your screen and right-clicking.

The best thing about this feature is that it will work in both the more traditional Desktop and the new tile based Start screen as well.

Shut down Metro apps
Metro apps are essentially Windows versions of popular mobile apps, which are intended for desktops and touch devices running Windows 8. While these apps are useful, they are designed to stay open in the background while other programs are running. This means you will experience little to no wait time to open the Metro apps, but while they are running in the background they’re also using up valuable computing resources.

If you aren’t using a particular app, or don’t use it on a regular basis, then you can close it. This can be done by hovering your mouse over the left side of the screen to bring up the Open Apps bar, right-clicking on an app, and selecting Close.

Simplify Search
If your computer has a large amount of files and programs installed on it, searching for one specific file can take quite some time. By default, Windows 8 is set to search everything, including apps like the Windows Store, which can add to your search time. To minimize this effect, you can configure which apps, files, folders, etc. Windows will search. Follow these steps:

  1. Hit the Windows key + I.
  2. Select Change PC Settings.
  3. Click on Search.
  4. Select what and where you want Windows to search through when you use the Search bar.

This will speed up any search you execute for programs, apps, files, etc. on your computer.

If you are looking for more tips and tricks to help you get more out of Windows 8, please contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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