5 must-know Windows 8 tips

Windows_June05_BOver the years, the computer operating system (OS) has become one of the most important pieces of software for any user. Many business users have some version of Windows they are comfortable with, such as Windows 7. However, now that Windows 8 is out, many companies are upgrading, although many users take time to feel comfortable with the new layout and get the most out of this latest version.

Here are five tips that can help you get the more out of Windows 8.

Enable GodMode
In older video games, GodMode was a cheat or code you could enter to get access to every power, giving you unlimited lives or even making you invincible. 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 close to 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
The Start button is, to many Windows users, the most important button. Pressing it gives you easy access to installed programs, search, settings and many 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.

You can get Windows 8 to show the Start button by:

  1. Right-clicking on the Taskbar which is the bar located at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Selecting Toolbars followed by New Toolbar.
  3. Navigating to: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu. Note: username will be different for every user. Pick the file with the username you log into your computer with.
  4. Selecting 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. It is also referred to by some 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 only for desktops and touch devices running Windows 8. While these apps are useful, many are designed to stay open in the background. While this means little to no wait time to open them, they could take up valuable computing resources.

If you aren’t using a particular app, or don’t use it on a regular basis, then you should 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 could take time. By default, Windows 8 is set to search everything, including apps, like the Windows Store, making it so much quicker. You can configure what apps, files, folders, etc. Windows will search by:

  1. Hitting the Windows key + I.
  2. Selecting Change PC Settings.
  3. Clicking on Search.
  4. Selecting what 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.

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