✔ Modern UI ✔ Customisation ✔ Enhancements ✔ Applications

10
0%

un
of
fic
ial

Windows 8
Volume 2

Unlock the full poten...
Welcome to

Windows8
Windows 8 is Microsoft’s most controversial change in the last 17 years. It
went from introducing the...
Windows8
Imagine Publishing Ltd
Richmond House
33 Richmond Hill
Bournemouth
Dorset BH2 6EZ
% +44 (0) 1202 586200
Website: ...
Contents
Everything you need to know about Windows 8

50 quick tips
18

• Customise the start-up applications
• Reclaim di...
Tricks
84
86
88
90
92
94
96
98
100
102
104
106
108

Protect your PC with security software
Customise and sort Start screen...
INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1

8 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1

Windows 8.1
The new Windows has arrived and promises to bring its users
an updated and fresh new ...
INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1

Integrating
devices and
cloud services
Sync all your files with your Windows
phone, tablet and co...
INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1

WINDOWS
8 FAQs
Find out if Windows 8 is the right
operating system for you

© Toshiba Europe GmbH...
INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1

What’s new in
Windows 8.1?
Windows 8.1 refines and improves the
Windows 8 experience for you

W

...
INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1

Advanced search functionality
Probably the biggest innovation you will notice in Windows 8.1 is t...
INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1

Install Windows 8.1
from Windows 7
Ensure smooth installation with this guide

W

indows 8.1 is h...
INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1

“Don’t worry
about having
to restore any
of your files;
they will all be
waiting for you”

Upgrad...
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

Essential tips to get
more from Windows 8
Treat yourself to a premium computer experience with this
col...
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

W

indows 8 is perhaps
the biggest change to
the Windows operating
system since the release
of Windows ...
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

Move SkyDrive location

Reclaim disk space

To move SkyDrive to a different drive to the one
that Windo...
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

Sync your devices
As we become more and more reliant on all of our
different devices, it is good to kno...
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

File associations

Set a Microsoft account

Let’s pretend you want to view a photo.
Double-click one an...
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

When an app has been newly installed, it will
no longer automatically place itself on the
Start screen....
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

Disable Lock screen

Shut down quickly

To unlock Windows 8, you must either
swipe up or press any key ...
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

Organise settings with the God Mode
Windows 8 and 8.1 have an enormous number of settings and
configura...
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

Emulate the Start menu

Open desktop apps

Microsoft’s new Metro UI is very different to that
of Window...
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

Customise File Explorer
Some serious work has gone on ‘under the hood’
to prove that Windows 8 and 8.1 ...
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

Map libraries to point to SkyDrive
When SkyDrive syncs to your PC, it stores a small
image of your fold...
50 ESSENTIAL TIPS

Go straight to desktop

Read content when you like with Reading List

To access the Boot to Desktop fea...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Tips
Customise the Desktop, bring back
the start menu and protect your files
with Windows 8's new fe...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

56

Native apps

62

Windows Store app

• Get detailed information on
weather patterns
• Set up the ...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Secure your PC
Utilise a variety of security settings and apps to better protect yourself

S

ecurit...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Use Windows Defender
How to protect your computer from spyware

I

t’s important to keep your comput...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Windows Family
Safety settings
Protect your child’s computer activity

T

Family Safety

© Toshiba E...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Secure files with File History Backup
Keep your data safe by setting up automated file backup

U

si...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Personalise Windows

Take advantage of the new options to make Windows your own

W

here Windows 8 p...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Put your own pictures on
the Lock screen
Customisation isn’t restricted to the Start screen

T

he o...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Assign names to
tile groups
Make it easy to locate your tiles

A

t the time of writing, Windows 8 w...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Move your named groups
Move entire groups of tiles at once, rather than individually

I

n addition ...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Change your
wallpaper
Customise your Start screen background

S

ince the first time the desktop wal...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Your Lock screen notifications
Customise what notifications you receive on your Lock screen

L

ocki...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Productivity

Get organised and manage your productivity with these handy built-in apps

T

here are...
TIPS | TRICKS | APPS

Control Panel shortcuts
Quick ways to access features in the Control Panel

T

he Control Panel is o...
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Windows 8 Tips & Tricks 26 Apps Vol 2

  1. 1. ✔ Modern UI ✔ Customisation ✔ Enhancements ✔ Applications 10 0% un of fic ial Windows 8 Volume 2 Unlock the full potential of Windows 8 New for Secrets & Windows shortcuts revealed 8.1 Everything you need to know about Windows 8.1 Customise your PC 260 essential hints and tips inside
  2. 2. Welcome to Windows8 Windows 8 is Microsoft’s most controversial change in the last 17 years. It went from introducing the Start button and menu with the last dramatic redesign to taking it away completely. But the new interface fuses together the familiar aspects of both a personal computer and a smartphone, making it easier to change between devices. Windows 8 has two customisable interfaces, the all-familiar desktop and the live tiled Modern UI. It's a drastic change that calls for a steeper learning curve, if you're new to the way the tiled interface works, you ay have to reacquaint yourself with how the new system works. This is where Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps comes in, it is the ideal resource for anyone looking to familiarise themselves with the new interface, or who simply want to learn more about how to utilise the way it works. We begin by showing you how to upgrade and install Windows 8, with a guided tour of the built-in Windows apps. There's even 50 Essential Tips to introduce you to everything you need to know about the new OS. Whether you prefer the desktop or Modern UI, you'll fnd what you need in this book. Whether it's for personal or professional use we'll show you how to get the most from the your system. Enjoy the book!
  3. 3. Windows8 Imagine Publishing Ltd Richmond House 33 Richmond Hill Bournemouth Dorset BH2 6EZ % +44 (0) 1202 586200 Website: www.imagine-publishing.co.uk Twitter: @Books_Imagine Facebook: www.facebook.com/ImagineBookazines Head of Publishing Aaron Asadi Head of Design Ross Andrews Production Editor Jen Neal Senior Art Editor Greg Whitaker Design Moe Hezwani Cover images courtesy of Lenovo, Toshiba Photographer James Sheppard Printed by William Gibbons, 26 Planetary Road, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3XT Distributed in the UK & Eire by Imagine Publishing Ltd, www.imagineshop.co.uk. Tel 01202 586200 Distributed in Australia by Gordon & Gotch, Equinox Centre, 18 Rodborough Road, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086. Tel + 61 2 9972 8800 Distributed in the Rest of the World by Marketforce, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SU Disclaimer The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited material lost or damaged in the post. All text and layout is the copyright of Imagine Publishing Ltd. Nothing in this bookazine may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. All copyrights are recognised and used specifically for the purpose of criticism and review. Although the bookazine has endeavoured to ensure all information is correct at time of print, prices and availability may change. This bookazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Volume 2 © 2013 Imagine Publishing Ltd ISBN 978 1909 758 193
  4. 4. Contents Everything you need to know about Windows 8 50 quick tips 18 • Customise the start-up applications • Reclaim disk space • Close Metro apps 20 • Set a Microsoft account • Search with the Quick Access menu • Enable File History 22 • Edit how quickly an app closes • Use an Xbox controller on Windows • Find PC information 24 • Switch between apps and multi-task • Set up a virtual machine • Protect your privacy 26 • Map libraries to point to SkyDrive • IE11 Reading view • Restore closed tabs Tips 30 34 40 48 52 56 62 66 70 74 78 Secure your PC Personalise Windows Productivity Communication SkyDrive storage Native apps Windows Store app Entertainment Access media Web browsing Troubleshooting 6 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Complete guide 08 10 11 12 14 Introducing Windows 8.1 Integrating devices and cloud services Windows 8 FAQ What's new in Windows 8.1? Install Windows 8.1
  5. 5. Tricks 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100 102 104 106 108 Protect your PC with security software Customise and sort Start screen apps Disable apps for set periods of time Switch between multiple windows Sync Lock screen and desktop backgrounds Customise the taskbar and other features Dual boot Windows 7 and 8 to run both Increase performance using ReadyBoost Keep on top of your PC’s health Make your own Windows theme Simplify navigation with Windows Peek Control apps with Task Manager Protect your hard drive with BitLocker 110 112 114 116 118 120 122 124 126 128 130 132 134 136 138 140 142 144 146 148 150 152 Run Windows 8 wherever you are Share fles across devices wirelessly Share fles and media across devices Make the most of Windows 8 Libraries Manage your virtual libraries Refresh a PC without afecting your fles Control your Xbox using a mobile device Make the Calendar easier to read Remember your favourite websites Speed up browsing with Internet Explorer Change your default search engine View webpages side by side Create a reading list and browse articles Customise your Windows 8 shortcuts Compress your fles and documents Protect your PC with SmartScreen Customise the Send To menu Add a signature to your emails Access POP3 email accounts in Mail Make video calls from emails using Skype Learn to defragment your hard disk Manage Windows 8’s Storage Spaces Apps 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 Games Social Entertainment Photo Music & Video Sport Books & Reference News & Weather Health & Fitness Food & Dining Lifestyle Shopping Travel Finance Productivity Tools Security Business Education Government Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 7
  6. 6. INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1 8 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  7. 7. INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1 Windows 8.1 The new Windows has arrived and promises to bring its users an updated and fresh new look to the world of Windows ince its release in August 2012, Windows 8 has revolutionised the desktop experience for its users. The Windows operating system (OS) has never been so flexible, user friendly and adaptable. Windows 8 is the most dramatic interface change in the history of the Windows OS. In recent years Microsoft’s competitors have been adapting to the changing technological landscape. With the sharp rise in mobile technology such as smartphones and tablets as well as growing popularity in Apple’s iOS and Android, Microsoft has had to adapt to the wants and needs of the user. And the user wants a streamlined interface that enables quick and easy multitasking, while simplifying without restricting users, and this is what Windows 8 provides. When you boot up your Windows 8 machine, the biggest (and most important) change you will notice is that the desktop is no longer your first port of call for navigating your system. The traditional desktop interface still remains, with its own series of updates and improvements, S but it’s in the Windows 8 Start screen where you will find yourself spending more and more time. Through the use of tiles you can navigate your way around various apps, settings, the internet, folders and Live tiles, which work in the same way as widgets, giving you constantly updated information on anything from the weather to the state of the traffic in your home town. This interface lends itself much more to that of a tablet device than a desktop computer, and in doing that Windows 8 integrates itself smartly with the touch screen and tablet market. If you bought a touch screen monitor you will have no trouble navigating Windows 8 on a computer in the same way as you would a smartphone or tablet, although Windows 8 works just as effectively with a mouse and keyboard as with a touch screen. Now once you add in the introduction of advanced search functionality and easy synchronisation with other devices, it’s definitely safe to say that Windows 8 is Microsoft’s best operating system to date. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 9
  8. 8. INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1 Integrating devices and cloud services Sync all your files with your Windows phone, tablet and computer with ease Switch users Creating users and swapping between them is a seamless and quick process. Click on the displayed username to login as another user Using tiles Tiles work like shortcuts to your favourite apps. Right-click on an item from your Apps list to pin it to your Start screen as a tile Desktop tile The desktop is still alive; it’s just hidden in a tile. Access the desktop for more advanced browsing, and control of your computer The Charms bar This vertical toolbar can be accessed from any window. The Search charm is a great way to navigate through apps, folders and settings W indows 8 is all about integrating your life into one single place, which can be accessed anywhere from multiple devices. With the use of the Start screen and tiles you will find that your Windows 8 experience from a desktop computer is no different than that of a Windows smartphone or tablet. All of your Windows devices are running on the same OS; each one has just been modified for the particular device you are using. Microsoft uses a design language called Metro, which has been incorporated into a variety of Microsoft products including the Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and Windows 8. If you have multiple Windows devices then you can sync all of your content, apps, 10 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps music, videos and preferences together via your Microsoft account. You can register your account when booting up any Windows device for the first time. This feature will allow you access to all of your “Sync all of your content, apps, music, videos and preferences” content from any device. A great example of this is if you have music stored on a device such as your computer or Xbox, which has the capacity to store more data. You can then connect to this content through your Microsoft account on your Windows tablet, and stream music via an internet connection, meaning you no longer need to store all of your content across all of your devices. Windows 8 has also introduced SkyDrive, which is Microsoft’s own cloud service providing its users with 7GBs of free storage space for a year. SkyDrive is Microsoft’s answer to other cloud services such as iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox. With SkyDrive you store all of your computer’s data on the cloud, allowing you to access it from any computer, anywhere. If you make changes to a document from one computer those changes
  9. 9. INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1 WINDOWS 8 FAQs Find out if Windows 8 is the right operating system for you © Toshiba Europe GmbH I am really happy with Windows 7, so should I bother upgrading to Windows 8? The short answer is yes. There is no denying that Windows 7 is a great desktop-based operating system, but if you are a tablet user and you’re starting to feel the frustration of switching between interfaces, going from a simplistic tablet interface to double-clicking and navigating your way around a desktop computer, it’s time to upgrade. With increased web, security and communication functionality, Windows 8 is a welcome upgrade into the next generation of home computers. Why is there no Start icon on the desktop? What do I use instead? will be saved for you on the cloud. SkyDrive is a part of the Windows Live range, which also offers synchronisation of calendar, devices, email, preferences and settings across all of your Windows computers and devices. Windows 8 has also been built with multiple users in mind. All of the new functions and cloud services can be divided up into multiple users, making your Windows machine accessible and safe for the entire family. With the advanced Admin controls you can divide up the computer into different users, protecting your private content as well as implementing security settings for different users as you see fit. All of which makes Windows 8 the perfect OS for today’s users. The initial experience of Windows 8 to a new user can feel a little bewildering. A noticeable difference is when you click on the Desktop tile and find there is no Start button, perhaps one of the most iconic and favoured functions of the Windows OS. Instead you will be navigating around using a hidden vertical toolbar referred to as the Charm bar. Access charms from the bottom-right of the desktop or Start screen. Why does Windows 8 feel as though it hasn’t got as much in it as Windows 7? Pretty much all of the functionality from Windows 7 is still included, but through the use of the Search charm you can locate any folder, setting, app or software you like. Of course this was true with Windows 7, but the improved search interface makes it a lot easier to navigate your results to find what you are looking for. To display all of your apps and settings in a single view, click on the down arrow at the bottom left of the Start screen. Do I need a Windows phone and tablet to make the most of Windows 8? It doesn’t matter if your devices run on a Windows operating system or not; you will still be able to sync them alongside Windows 8. If you’re running Windows 8 from a desktop computer then you are free to store all of your media, files and data on the system, and then sync it up with your other devices making everything available no matter what device you’re using. If you do own other Windows devices, though, you’ll find that syncing information will be even easier. Why does Windows use apps instead of software now? Don’t worry, you don’t have to wrangle with a new way of working; you can still install software onto your Windows 8 machine just as you would in any other Windows OS. Apps are available to download through the Windows Store, which in itself is an app. In Windows 8, apps basically run like very efficient pieces of software; the main difference is that they are all sourced from one location (the Windows Store). All this means is that they are generally more compatible and are easier to manage and integrate with all of your other apps. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 11
  10. 10. INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1 What’s new in Windows 8.1? Windows 8.1 refines and improves the Windows 8 experience for you W indows 8.1 is the first big update for the new generation of the Windows 8 OS. Windows 8.1 beautifully complements the changes that came with Windows 8. Key improvements in Windows 8.1 take huge strides in better integration of devices, slick and easy-to-navigate user interfaces for your favourite apps and much-improved connectivity services. SkyDrive SkyDrive has been a great success for Windows, allowing its users to store their data on the cloud. As cloud storage becomes more popular, Microsoft has explored ways to improve its SkyDrive service. In Windows 8.1 SkyDrive has been updated to include Smart Files. Smart Files allow users to keep all of their stored fles synced together, whether they are online or ofine. Rather than having to store everything on your hard drive you can upload data to SkyDrive, then covert fles into Smart Files, which work as placeholders for your fles. This means you can browse through your folders and search for and locate a thumbnail replica of a fle. The fle won’t be downloaded to your system until you open. According to Microsoft, this function will help its customers use 80 per cent less hard drive space. Updated apps Once you’ve updated to Windows 8.1, start browsing around your most-used apps to get an idea of how Microsoft has improved your user experience. Great attention has been paid to the Mail app, which, due to the feedback on the Windows 8 Mail app, has been optimised to suit the outlook.com mail experience. Other noticeable improvements can be found in the People app, which better integrates your contacts and social networks. Improvements to your multimedia libraries have been added, including a redesigned Music app which makes accessing your music library easier, and the Xbox video app has been built for easy streaming to the upcoming Xbox One console, which will help save you time from having to download and run desktop software. On top of all this, a whole collection of new apps have been released alongside Windows 8.1. “The People app better integrates your contacts and social networks” 12 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Reading List app With the Reading List app in Windows 8.1 you can say goodbye to navigating around cluttered bookmarks at the top of your internet browser or pinning multiple articles to your Start screen. If you come across an article that you want to save for later, simply open up the Share charm from the Charms tool bar then add it to your Reading List so later you can browse through all your saved articles.
  11. 11. INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1 Advanced search functionality Probably the biggest innovation you will notice in Windows 8.1 is the new and improved Search charm with the introduction of Smart Search. Rather than providing you with a search tool to navigate your systems fles and folders, then another one via Internet Explorer to browse the Internet, both the Windows Search and Bing Search tools have been bought together. This brings all of your search results into one single engine. Search for a keyword of your choosing and hit the spyglass icon opening up the Bing Search tool, which will present you with an easy-to-navigate results window. Searching incorporates all the relevant results from the web, the cloud and your computer. Searching in Windows 8 goes beyond keywords, the OCR feature in SkyDrive allows users to search for text within images, making it easier than ever to search through your photos. This is just the start, though. In time Windows 8.1 will introduce more advanced search functionality, including optical character recognition, allowing you to search for a face in an image. “Searching incorporates all the relevant results from the web, the cloud and your computer” Internet Explorer updates Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) is more adaptable than ever, making websites look great no matter what device or screen you are using. Consideration has been taken for cross-platform use by syncing browser tabs with all of your devices, meaning when you pick up your tablet you will be presented with the same tabs. IE11 is more compatible with other devices than at any other time, automatically converting phone numbers into links, which will start up appropriate apps such as Skype as well as integration with other key apps. You can also pin your favourite sites onto your Start screen. Certain sites will support live tiles which means that you can turn your Start screen into a constantly updating hub of news and information, fed straight from IE11. The little things No matter how advanced and powerful devices become, there is always going to be a demand for the simple tools that have graced Windows machines for decades. Windows 8.1 hasn’t forgotten about these; in fact it’s made a point of reminding you about them with some great updates. The Calculator app includes a standard, scientifc and converter calculator and the beautifully designed Alarm app will sync with your other Windows devices. Paint is still Paint, but now comes an exclusive version of Fresh Paint. On top of all this, the Start button will be returned to your desktop, so for those mourning the loss of it in Windows 8 then not to worry, it’s back as a shortcut to your Start screen. Bing apps The Bing apps have become a pinnacle part of the Windows 8 experience. Apps that existed on Windows 8 have been updated with new features, such as the Ofine News mode in the News app. An entirely new group of new apps have been released, better integrating your Windows machine into your life. Use the Food & Drink app to read and create a recipe before using it to make a daily meal plan for you and your family. Once you’ve eaten too much food you can open up the new Health & Fitness app where you can create exercise regimes, manage your calorie intake and create detailed charts on your physical health. Updates to the Finance, Sports, Travel & Weather apps are also included in Windows 8.1. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 13
  12. 12. INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1 Install Windows 8.1 from Windows 7 Ensure smooth installation with this guide W indows 8.1 is here! If you are an existing Windows 8 user you can upgrade to 8.1 for free through the Windows Store app. If, however, you are running Windows 7, you will have to take a manual approach. You can obviously buy a physical copy of the update, but if you’d prefer to download a copy then this tutorial will show how to prepare your Windows 7 system to be updated to Windows 8.1. Don’t worry about having to restore any of your files; they will all be there waiting for you. Before upgrading to Windows 8.1 you will need to prepare your machine. Windows 8.1 can’t be updated by executing the downloaded file straight from your computer, since your system will need to restart then boot from the downloaded .ISO. So the .ISO file must first be mounted onto a DVD or USB (4GB of space is required). Visit microsoftstore.com and search for the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool. Download and install the software. Please note that the download page may display slightly different information as pictured in this tutorial. Preparation Download a Windows 8.1 update for Windows 7 1: Purchase Windows 8.1 2: Download the .ISO 3: Mount your .ISO Open up Internet Explorer and search for Windows 8.1. The Microsoft webpage should be your top result. You can purchase a Windows 8.1 license from this page. After purchase you will be taken to a Download page. From here select the .ISO that is compatible with your system, and in your language. Click the Download link to begin downloading the .ISO file. After download is complete you will need to burn your .ISO to a DVD or USB. Open Windows 7 USB/ DVD download tool. Click Browse and select your Windows 8.1 .ISO 14 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  13. 13. INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1 “Don’t worry about having to restore any of your files; they will all be waiting for you” Upgrade to 8.1 How best to upgrade without a hitch N ow you have a Windows 8.1 .ISO file mounted onto a DVD or USB, it’s time to upgrade your machine. Before going ahead with the update you should make sure that you have downloaded the correct update file and language. If you find that Windows 8.1 isn’t for you, since in the early days there will most likely be some compatibility issues with certain apps and software, you can always recover a previous operating system. This is done with the installation media that came with your PC. If Upgrade safely you are running Windows 8 and don’t have an installation disc then consider creating a USB recovery drive. Visit windows.microsoft. com and search for ‘Create a USB Recovery Drive’ for instructions on how to do this. With a recovery drive you can restore your old operating system without losing any files or data. Before updating, revisit the download page where you got the .ISO from. You will also need your Windows product key, which will have been given to you when your purchased your Windows 8.1 licence. Get ready to enjoy Windows 8.1 1: Booting the USB or DVD 2: Installation process Connect the DVD or USB drive you copied the downloaded .ISO file to onto your computer. Once recognised, open the DVD or USB. Double-click on Setup. Go through the setup wizard. You can decide whether you want to keep your personal files or delete them. Click Next and your computer will install Windows 8.1, and then reboot. 4: Burn to USB or DVD 3: Setup process 4: Sync your computer Click Next. Select USB Device or DVD. Locate the USB device or DVD drive then click Begin Copying. The software will need to format the USB device before copying. After your system reboots you can complete the setup wizard to personalise your Windows 8.1 machine. Then log into or create your Microsoft user account. To sync your account you will need to have a code emailed to you, you can do this now or after installation. Once setup is complete you will be taken to the Windows 8.1 Start screen. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 15
  14. 14. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS Essential tips to get more from Windows 8 Treat yourself to a premium computer experience with this collection of tips to making Windows purr 16 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  15. 15. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS W indows 8 is perhaps the biggest change to the Windows operating system since the release of Windows 95 and the introduction of the Start button. Although ironically, it also ushers in an era where the Start button is no more! With the new tiled interface, or ÔMetro UIÕ, Windows has never been more different to its predecessors, but it has also never offered its users more advanced options. Windows 8 and its recent update to 8.1 may have had quite a large facelift, but there has been a huge amount of improvements Ôunder the hoodÕ too. File transfers are faster, there is a multitude of games available from the Windows Store, not to mention compatibility and specific apps for many of the worldÕs most popular social media sites, music and video streaming services, in addition to built-in cloud storage. The following pages show you how to master Windows 8 and 8.1, personalise it to suit, and for the more adventurous, enable God Mode, giving you access to almost everything via one handy menu. Lastly, for those that miss the desktop, youÕll learn how to boot directly to it, rarely seeing those tiles again. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 17
  16. 16. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS Move SkyDrive location Reclaim disk space To move SkyDrive to a different drive to the one that Windows is installed to, open Windows Explorer and in the navigation view, right-click on the SkyDrive folder. Select Properties from the contextual menu. Now select the Location tab from the SkyDrive window and you’ll see that a button that has Move on it will be available. Click on the Move button and select which directory you want SkyDrive moved to. This is especially useful if you have a second drive or SD card in your computer or tablet that is larger than that of the drive Windows is installed to. If you upgraded to Windows 8, Windows will have saved all your data in a folder called ‘windows. Old’ so that your data is not wiped, and you can recover information should something go wrong. Once you have upgraded, the ‘windows.Old’ folder remains, which can be from 10-20GB in size. To reclaim this space you’ll need to run Disk Clean-up (use Start search to find this) and run it once. Once it refreshes, the added option of the Previous Windows Installation(s) appears. Tick the box next to it, and press OK. ‘Windows.Old’ will be removed. Check your corners Windows 8 makes use of the Charms bar to navigate the operating system. This can be done by either swiping from the left or right-hand side of the screen, or navigating your mouse pointer to either the top or bottom-right or left of the screen. Swiping from the left side of the screen will open the Task Switcher, which enables you to quickly switch between open apps, including the desktop. Swiping from the right side will open the Charms bar, which contains access to Search, Share, Devices, and Settings. Close Metro apps As is the case with any new operating system, Windows 8 can be somewhat confusing if you have never used it before. The new interface, although a great improvement, is very different to previous versions, and there are small differences in the way things work. For example, if you have an app open you’ll notice that there is no ‘X’ button to click or tap to close the app you’re currently in. Windows 8 has various ways of closing apps, though. Drag your finger from the top of the screen to the bottom, or the same with the mouse pointer. You can make use of a keyboard shortcut by pressing Alt+F4. You can also use Task Manager to close apps, or close them from Task Switcher by right-clicking and clicking Close. 18 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Customise the startup applications The speed with which a Windows computer boots is often linked to the number of programs that boot at the same time. This is in order for certain software to be ready as soon as Windows loads. With previous versions of Windows, you would need to run msconfig, or use third-party applications in order to change what programs boot at start up, but Windows 8 makes this process far easier and accessible than previous iterations. Rather than have to go through msconfig, or run third-party software, you can now access the list of applications that run when Windows boots up, and you can do that via Task Manager. There are a few methods of opening Task Manager. You can press Ctrl+Alt+Del, or WinKey+X, and then select Task Manager. Alternatively you can use Start search. When Task Manager opens you’ll notice a list of tabs along the top of the window, one of which is called Startup. When you click on the Startup tab, you’ll be presented with a selection of programs in a list. This is a list of the programs that currently run when the computer starts up. In order to disable a program, tap and hold or right-click on the program you wish to disable. A contextual menu will appear with the options of Disable, ‘Open file location’, ‘Search online’ and Properties. By selecting Disable, the program selected will no longer boot at start up and will therefore need to be manually started by you each time the computer is switched on. This is useful for software that you are happy to activate yourself, which more often no will be things like media programs or email clients (iTunes, Outlook, VLC, etc…). Please note – while Task Manager doesn’t generally list any programs that could harm your computer if disabled at start up, be sure to take care that you do not disable any programs that could affect your computer. If you are unsure as to whether or not a program may or may not negatively affect your computer if disabled at start up, do not disable it.
  17. 17. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS Sync your devices As we become more and more reliant on all of our different devices, it is good to know that Windows 8 enables you to sync your settings across multiple Windows 8 devices, including your SkyDrive. Within the Settings menu is a handy section that has all the options you need for syncing your Start screen, wallpaper, or Start screen background, in addition to the picture on your Lock screen. To access these settings, you just have to open the Charms bar and select Settings followed by ‘Change PC settings’. You’ll be presented with a suite of options. Under ‘PC & devices’ will be a list of items you can sync across devices. Keyboard shortcuts Windows 8 comes with a host of new keyboard shortcuts. WinKey + C = Opens the Charms bar WinKey + Q = Brings up the Windows 8 Search field WinKey + F = Search files WinKey + W = Search Settings WinKey + H = Opens the Share menu WinKey + I = Opens the Settings menu WinKey + K = Opens the Devices menu Sync paid apps Open the Windows Store, right-click and select Your Apps. You will be presented with a list of apps you have purchased from the Windows Store. From the drop-down box, select All Apps. Select the app you wish to install to your device and click Install. This saves you having to search for each app in the Store and pay for it again. You can install apps on up to five Windows 8 devices from the Store. Advanced File Explorer The File Explorer in Windows 8 is similar to that of Windows 7, with the exception of the Aero Glass feature, and the fact the windows now look a lot flatter. Most notably the command bar is no longer; this has instead been replaced with the Ribbon UI (much like the one found in Office) which is minimised by default, as are the list of libraries. This can be revealed by clicking on View, then the Navigation Pane and clicking Libraries. Refresh your PC Windows 8 provides you with the option of simply refreshing your PC, rather than having to go through the daunting process of re-installing the whole operating system. This essentially resets the computer, but keeps all of your files, photos, music etc… Your PC settings will be returned to their default options, so any software and programs that weren’t originally installed will be deleted. It is therefore important to save any apps installed from the Windows Store and you’ll find a list of the removed apps and software will be saved to your desktop. To access the ‘Refresh your PC’ option, open the Charms bar and tap Settings, followed by ‘Change PC settings’. Now under the General heading will be a header titled ‘Refresh your PC without affecting your files’. Tap the Get Started button and a screen will follow describing what will happen. Simply follow the on-screen prompts and Windows 8 will do the rest. This can take up to 15 minutes, depending on the amount of software or data on your computer, but will generally be quicker on the whole. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 19
  18. 18. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS File associations Set a Microsoft account Let’s pretend you want to view a photo. Double-click one and Windows 8 will automatically open the photo in its native photo viewer. This is because the file type is associated with the Windows 8 photo viewer. This is the same for MP3s, PDF documents and other popular file types. The default program can be changed to any of your choosing. Open the Charms bar and select Search. Type in Default, select Default Programs and then Set Default Programs. You’ll be presented with a window listing the software on your computer capable of opening files. Tap on one, and select Choose Default for This Program. You’ll be shown a list of file types the program can open. Untick the file you don’t want the program to open and select the one you do. Windows will now use the program you have set as the default to open that particular file type. Please note, some programs cannot open certain files types. When you log into Windows 8, you should be using your Windows Live ID (your Hotmail, Live, or Outlook account). You do also have the option of setting up a local account specific to that PC; however you will not receive the benefit of SkyDrive, syncing devices and app integration if you go the local account route. To change a local account to that of a Microsoft account, enter the PC Settings menu, and in the menu will be the option to select Users. Click on this and there will be an option to click a button called Microsoft Account. Selecting this option will call up a prompt for you to put in the password you set up when you originally created the local account. Windows 8 will now change the local account to that of your Microsoft account, and all the benefits that come with it, such as using SkyDrive to sync across devices and automatic log in to apps like OneNote, which will also sync across devices (Android and iOS included). Payments from the Windows Store will also be charged to the card associated to that account. Search with the Quick Access menu 20 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Although the Start button has been removed from the default Windows 8 interface, there is a replacement that comes in the form of the Quick Access menu. While you should endeavour to use the Search option on the Start screen, the Quick Access menu provides you with a good alternative. You can access the menu with the mouse, or via a keyboard shortcut, but not by touch. On the keyboard press WinKey+X. To access it using a mouse, point to the bottom left-hand side of the screen and when the Windows icon, or ‘start tip’ appears, right-click. A menu list will appear with the following list of accessible commands; Programs and Features, Power Options, Event Viewer, System, Device Manager, Disk Management, Computer Management, Command Prompt, Command Prompt (Admin), Task Manager, Control Panel, File Explorer, Search, Run, and Desktop. Sync your Favorites If you have Windows 8.1 installed, you get to enjoy the shiny new Internet Explorer 11. This incarnation has seen a number of improvements over its predecessor, chief of which is the ability to sync your Favorites across devices, be that a laptop, desktop or tablet. To get started, simply click the star icon in Internet Explorer to save your current site as a Favorite. Now when using the internet and your Microsoft account, all of your Favorites will be synced across devices automatically. Enable File History The File History is a useful feature because it automatically backs up your desktop, libraries, Internet Explorer Favorites, contacts and SkyDrive. If any of these files happen to get damaged, lost or deleted, the File History means that you can restore the information from a previous version. However, despite being incredibly useful, the feature is actually disabled by default. The good news is that it is very easy to turn back on. To enable File History, use a Start search and type in File History. Tap on the result, and then simply turn it on (or obviously turn it off if you don’t want it). But it’s best kept on.
  19. 19. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS When an app has been newly installed, it will no longer automatically place itself on the Start screen. Instead it will add itself to the list of apps in the All Apps view. To find an app, type its name into the Search function from the Start screen. Alternatively, read through your list of apps by accessing the All Apps screen with either a swipe up, or clicking the down arrow on the Start screen. New apps helpfully have the word ‘new’ by them. You can also view your apps while in the Windows Store for a list of all your apps, installed or otherwise. Create a virtual hard drive with Windows Share documents via HomeGroup With Windows 8, it’s never been easier to set up your own HomeGroup. You can add multiple PCs and devices and seamlessly share music, media, and documents. You can even share printers. To set up HomeGroup, head to the Settings menu and click on the Network subheading. A number of subheadings will now be available including one that says HomeGroup. From here you can set up your HomeGroup, what files will be shared and a default password which can be changed to suit your needs. With HomeGroup you can also add printers to a network so that all devices in the group can print. Name app groups in Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1 provides you with increased customisation options. Now, not only can you resize your apps to smaller and larger sizes, you can create groups and name them according to how you have grouped them. What you name these groups is entirely up to you. To name your groups, click the right mouse button and select Customise. Your tiles will now slightly fade into the background and text fields will appear above your app groups. You can enter the name of your groups there. When you have finished, click anywhere on the screen. © Toshiba Europe GmbH Quickly locate new and existing apps Change what the power button does You can change what the actual power button on your PC does with this handy tip. Type Control Panel into the search box, and then click on the Control Panel result. Now click on Hardware and Sound and then on Power Options. On the left you will see a subheading called ‘Choose what the power button does’. You will be presented with a series of drop-down menus that provide you with the option of customising what pressing the power button does to the PC. For example, you can set it to sleep, turn off, or simply do nothing – the choice is yours. A virtual hard drive (or VHD), is useful because it enables several operating systems to reside on a single PC. There are several benefits to setting up a virtual hard drive, such as testing new software without needing to create a new partition or installing a second hard drive. In order to create a virtual hard drive, you need to access the Quick Access menu (see the tip on the opposite page). Once you have accessed this, you will need to have a click on Disk Management. Once you are in the Disk Management window, look for the Action button and then click it. This will reveal a drop-down menu, where you need to select the Create VHD option. The next window will prompt you to select exactly where on your PC you wish the VHD to be stored. Once you have decided where to store your VHD, you now need to decide what format you wish to store the VHD as. A standard VHD will support a virtual disk up to 2,040GB, where a VHDX will support a virtual disk of up to 6,040GB. This option is only available on Windows 8 PCs. Next, choose whether you want a fixed size (recommended) or a dynamically expanding size, which will grow as data is written to it. With your VHD created, it will appear in Disk Management. Right-click on the disk and select Initialise Disk. When prompted, select Master Boot Record. This is the safest option for the forthcoming step. Once initialised, the disk will need a volume letter assigned. Right-click on the disk space and select New Simple Volume. The familiar wizard will open and do its thing. You will be provided with the option to enter the volume amount you wish to create, followed by the Drive Letter for the new VHD. Lastly, navigate to where you stored the VHD and double-click on it to mount it. Your VHD will now show up in File Explorer. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 21
  20. 20. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS Disable Lock screen Shut down quickly To unlock Windows 8, you must either swipe up or press any key on the keyboard, followed by your password. However, you can disable the Lock screen with this handy tip. Press the WinKey+R and the Run dialog appears. In the text field, type gpedit.msc and press OK. This will bring up the Local Group Policy Editor. Now it is just a case of following Computer Configuration>Administrative Tools>Control Panel>Personalization. Now double tap/click on ‘Do not display the lock screen’. Another screen should appear; select Enabled and press OK. The Lock screen will now be disabled. Should you wish to re-activate the Lock screen, repeat the process. Shutting down your PC in Windows 8 can be a somewhat laborious task, however there is an easy workaround, which will give you a Metro option from the Start screen. From the desktop screen, right-click the mouse button and select New then Shortcut. In the text field, type ‘shutdown /s /t 10’. The ’t 10’ denotes the time delay in seconds which your PC will shut down in. You can of course amend this to your tastes. Now that a shortcut has been created, right-click on it, and select Properties. Click on Choose Icon and take your pick. Once selected, right-click on the new icon and select Pin to Start. You now have a Metro-style shutdown button. Uninstall apps You can uninstall an app you have downloaded from the Windows Store from either the main Start screen, or the All Apps screen. On the Start screen, select which app you wish to uninstall and hover the mouse pointer over it. Right-click the mouse button to call up a menu bar at the bottom of the screen. The second selection from the left is the Uninstall button. Left-click on this icon and Windows will ask you to confirm that you wish to delete this app. Click on Uninstall and the app you have selected, and its contents, will be removed from your PC. Edit how quickly an app closes Correct spelling Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 will highlight misspelt words by underlining them. In addition to this, it can autocorrect as you type. This is all controlled via the Settings menu. To access these options, access the Settings menu via the Charms bar, and click on ‘Change PC settings’, then ‘PC & devices’. This will open up a group of subheadings; look for the section called Typing. Clicking this will reveal the options for controlling how Windows 8 treats misspelt words, and whether or not they are automatically corrected, or simply highlighted for you to review at a later date. Various apps can be controlled with these settings, including Internet Explorer. This will autocorrect any typing mistakes you make while entering URLs or typing within a search field. 22 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps In the tutorial ‘Close Metro tabs’ on page 18, we looked at the easiest ways to close down the tabs now that there is no ‘X’ in the corner for you to press. These new methods range from hitting Alt+F4 or on touch devices, swiping an app from top to bottom. While all of these options are functional they aren’t always as swift as they could be. You can speed up the method in which you close apps with the mouse or your finger by launching and making some changes to the Registry Editor. First you will need to bring up the Charms bar and select the Search function. In the search box type REGEDIT. The Search function should produce just one result, click on it to open the REGEDIT screen. With the REGEDIT window open, you will need to navigate to the following directories: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSSoftware MicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion ImmersiveShellSwitcher These are all folders within folders in subdirectories in the left-hand column of the REGEDIT screen. Now create two new DWORD values called ‘MouseCloseThreshold’ and ‘TouchCloseTheshold’. These two registries will define how far touch and mouse users will have to drag an app down the screen before it closes. You should start by setting each value to the maximum of 1,000, and then reboot your system. You should find you only need to drag apps halfway down the screen before the apps close, rather than having to drag them fully to the bottom of the screen.
  21. 21. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS Organise settings with the God Mode Windows 8 and 8.1 have an enormous number of settings and configurations strewn throughout the operating system, making it awkward to remember where they all are. They can be organised into one handy folder, though, which has been dubbed by internet users as ‘God Mode’. In order to do this, open Windows Explorer and check the box ‘File name extensions and hidden items’. Now navigate to the Windows 8 desktop and right-click to create a new folder. You must rename the folder with the following line of code. Ensure there are no spaces. GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} The folder icon will change to the same icon as the Control Panel. When you double-click on the icon to open the folder, you’ll be presented with a mighty list of control options that span the Windows 8 operating system. These options include; Action Center settings, Administrative tools, BitLocker, Credential Manager, Default programs, Devices and Printers, and many more. For ease of use and accessibility, pin the God Mode icon to both the desktop taskbar, and the Metro UI. Use an Xbox controller on Windows If you are a big gamer, you may want to use your controller on your PC. Plug it into a USB port and Windows will automatically install drivers, but it still won’t work. Open the Search Charm and type ‘Device manager’. Once Device Manager opens, scroll down until you see an unknown device. This is your wireless receiver. Right-click on it and click on Update Driver Software. A window will appear asking where the drivers are, select from your computer and from the very bottom of the list, click on Xbox Peripheral. Lastly, in the next window select ‘Xbox wireless receiver for Windows’. You’ll be warned that the drivers may not be compatible, but rest assured they are. Your wireless controller will now work. Access the Boot screen Run ISO files Windows 8 starts too quickly to access the Boot menu conventionally, so Microsoft has provided two options to enable you to access it easily. You can either press or hold Shift+F8 when Windows starts, or go to the Settings menu, General and Advanced start up. Windows 8 will now restart and provide you with a Boot menu. You will have the option to continue to Windows 8, boot from a device, or access a troubleshooting menu. An ISO file or ‘image’ is the file system of an optical disk. Previous iterations of Windows required the image to be ‘mounted’ to a CD or DVD to extract and run the files. Not any more. Simply right-click on the ISO image and select Mount. The extracted file list will now appear and you can run files from it as though it was from a disc. Find PC information There are numerous ways of finding the general information about your PC. Previously this could only be found using Windows Explorer/File Explorer, but now, with Microsoft’s new Metro UI, you can also find it within the Settings area. To find your PC information within the Metro UI, swipe in from the right-hand side of the screen/navigate your mouse to the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to open the Charms bar. Now it’s just a case of tapping/clicking on the Settings icon, followed by ‘Change PC settings’. Having arrived at the default PC settings screen, tap/click on the subheading ‘PC & devices’. On the next screen, at the very bottom of the list of subheadings, is a tab called PC Info. This screen will show you details such as the name of your PC, the product ID, processor, RAM, system type and further details regarding the operating system itself. In addition to the Metro UI, you can also see your PC’s information via File Explorer, exactly as you would have done in previous versions of Windows. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 23
  22. 22. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS Emulate the Start menu Open desktop apps Microsoft’s new Metro UI is very different to that of Windows 7 and its predecessors. Many people lament the loss of the Start button from the desktop and its scrollable menu, but there are some things you can do to bring back that certain sense of familiarity. With Windows 8 you can either swipe with your finger to the left to access the All Apps screen. To return to the Start screen, swipe to the right, click/ tap the arrow at the bottom of the screen or press the Start button on the keyboard or device. Windows 8.1 operates differently. The All Apps screen is ‘below’ the Start screen, so you will need to swipe up, or tap/click on the down button on the screen. Windows 8.1 also has another option. Bring up the Search charm and enter ‘Taskbar and Navigation’. Click the result to see a box with four tabs at the top. Select the Navigation tab. Pick the ‘Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start’ option. When you press the Start button on your keyboard or in the lower left-hand side of the screen, you will be presented with the All Apps screen rather than the Start screen. Okay, so it’s not the Start menu, but it’s close. If you don’t like spending time in the Metro environment, you can customise your PC to be more in keeping with that of the traditional desktop, and without having to install any thirdparty software. To start the process, open the Charms bar by swiping from the right or moving the mouse cursor to the lower-right corner of the screen. Now select the Search icon. In the text field enter the words ‘Default Programs’. This may take a few minutes as Windows scans through all of the programs you have installed. Once the scan is complete, a list of applications will appear, all of which are associated to opening up certain file types. For example, if you don’t want the Xbox Music app to be the default music player for your device, select it and then tap/click on ‘Choose defaults for this program’. Now uncheck all of the file types that you don’t want this program to open. With that done, select a desktop music player you wish to be your default music player, and check all of the file types that you want it to open by default. Now whenever you open that file type, it will open in a desktop app, rather than a Metro one. See all the folders File Explorer has been largely updated since Windows 7, but in an effort to streamline it is possible that Microsoft has perhaps, hidden too much, making folders slightly harder to find. This can be resolved by opening a File Explorer window and clicking/tapping on any of the folders on the left-hand side. Tap on View, then Options, and change the folder options. Under the General tab, check Show All Folders. Set up a virtual machine Virtual machines are great if you are looking to test files. You need virtual machine software; in this case we are using Virtual Box. You need to set the type of machine and the amount of RAM to allocate it. You need to create a virtual hard drive, as we did earlier. You need your installation media as though you were installing Windows for the first time. Once installed, run anything virtually. 24 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Switch between apps and multi-task Switching between apps used to be as simple as moving your mouse cursor to the Taskbar and clicking which windows you wanted to switch to. Over time, more ways of switching between open windows have been added and some vary between operating systems. Windows 8 and 8.1 take some of the existing shortcuts and use them differently; some are the standard old-fashioned way and others are brand new. Let’s start with a new Windows 8 and 8.1 method. To switch between Metro apps that are running in the background, navigate your cursor to the lower or upper right-hand side of the screen and then navigate up, or down depending on which corner you navigated to. You will now see a bar appear with tiles representing which apps are open and can be switched to. With the mouse, leftclick on the one you wish to re-open, or drag and drop it to a side of the screen in order to ‘snap’ it to just a portion of the screen . You can also do this using the touch interface. Swipe from the right-hand side of the screen and the multitasking window will appear. Now either tap to re-open the app, or tap, hold and drag it to where you want it to be on the screen. Keyboard shortcuts also work for both Metro and desktop apps. To toggle Metro apps, press the WinKey+Tab, this will again bring out the multitasking bar, but as you press the WinKey+Tab button, a small white outline will cycle through the available apps for you to open. Releasing the key combination will open whichever app you had highlighted at the time. If your preference is the more oldfashioned method of doing it, simply press and hold Alt+Tab. This will bring up a window in the centre of the screen with a small preview of the app that you are cycling through. Release the buttons to open the app last selected. Lastly, you can simply hover your mouse over the icon on the desktop and select the application you wish to re-open.
  23. 23. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS Customise File Explorer Some serious work has gone on ‘under the hood’ to prove that Windows 8 and 8.1 isn’t just about the Metro UI. Let’s look at the File Explorer as an example. From sorting alphabetically, to showing or hiding entire folders and having a full options popout box that enhances the File Explorer options even further, you certainly have more ability than ever before to control your PC. By selecting the Computer tab at the top of the File Explorer, you are given options to map network drives, add network connections, view your system’s properties, or manage devices and access the Control Panel. Previous versions of Windows had these options, but were often hard to find and buried deep inside folders that most people would not delve into. The other tab at the top of the folder is View. This gives you the ability to fully change how you want to view files when using File Explorer. You can show hidden items, size all columns to fit your Windows interface and add or remove panes that provide extra information about selected files. Control the update alerts Windows 8.1 automatically downloads and installs updates to your apps without you ever knowing. You may, however, wish to know when there are updates to apps, and decide whether or not you want to install them. To deactivate auto updates, open the Windows Store and open the Charms bar. Select the Settings icon and then App Updates. You will now see an option to disable app updates. Once done, updates will appear as they used to in Windows 8. Protect your privacy View admin tools Apps often require access to certain information to work; this access can be tailored as follows. Open the Charms bar, and select Settings, followed by ‘Change PC settings’. Now in the sub-headings on the left, pick the Privacy section. Here you can toggle what your PC and its apps can and can’t access. Please note, apps may ask you independently to access certain services that you must change within that app. You may have noticed that in the All Apps view, not all of the administrative tools are present, or appear accessible. You can in fact ‘unhide’ them so that they do appear. Simply open the Charms bar, select Settings, and then Tiles. The following screen will provide a toggle in which your admin tools will now be on the Start screen. How to switch between different user accounts As with the last several versions of Windows, Windows 8 and 8.1 provide you with the ability to have multiple users on one PC. This is a useful feature, because you assign a user account for each member of your family, or even have a separate account for home and work. The person that first set up the computer will be the administrator by default (unless selected otherwise) and other accounts can be added from the Settings menu, under the Accounts subheading. Once you have set up other accounts you can switch to them in a very simple manner. In the top right-hand corner of the Start screen is the name of the account that is currently logged in. There will also be a picture if one was provided when the account was set up. Click or tap on this and you will be presented with three options in bold (‘Change account picture’ allows you to change the picture associated with the account; Lock, which locks the PC; and ‘Sign out’, which signs the current account out) and a list of other accounts on the PC. When you switch to another account, the current account will also stay signed in, unless the user logs out or the PC is turned off. If the latter happens, a warning will be provided stating that any open work could be lost if the computer is turned off. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 25
  24. 24. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS Map libraries to point to SkyDrive When SkyDrive syncs to your PC, it stores a small image of your folder layout in SkyDrive, and replicates that in File Explorer, even when offline. You won’t be able to access the files that you have stored there unless you have them set to offline access, you will still be able to navigate through the folders and see what files are stored there since the last time you were connected to the internet. SkyDrive is an excellent back-up solution for PCs and mobile devices. If you lose, break, or have your device stolen, you run the risk of never being able to recover your files again, and this is where this tip comes into its own. You can map your default library locations to automatically point to SkyDrive, so whenever you save a file or picture to the Document or Picture library, it saves directly to SkyDrive and syncs it to the cloud. From the Start screen either press the desktop tile or, when in desktop mode, the Start button. Now open File Explorer from the Folder icon on the taskbar. You’ll see that in the left-hand pane is a series of folders, one of which will be SkyDrive. Now if you don’t see your libraries then you’ll need to click on the View button at the top of the window and then the Navigation pane button to the left. Now select Show All Libraries. You should now see a Libraries folder in the left-hand pane of the window with four other folders listed under it. These are Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos. Click on the folder entitled Libraries and you’ll see the aforementioned folders in the main windows. Right-click/tap and hold on the Documents folder and a contextual menu will appear. Navigate to the bottom of the menu and select Properties. You will now see where the Document library is pulling all its information from. Select the Add button and then select the SkyDrive folder (and a SkyDrive sub-folder if you so choose). SkyDrive will now be mapped to your Document Library. Now select the other libraries that are not SkyDrive and remove them. This will ensure you are always saving to your SkyDrive folder. You can now do this with the other folders as you choose. However, do remember that although documents and pictures can be relatively small, videos and music are much larger, so always be mindful of any upload limits you may have with your internet provider. Disable Metro app animations If you have ever used a Windows Phone 7 or 8, you’ll know that if you want information quickly, the second or two apps can take to open because of their launch animation can be frustrating. In Windows 8 there was no easy fix; the only way to change it was to 26 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps open Registry Editor and manually disable, or re-enable it. This is all changed in Windows 8.1, though, with a nice simple toggle function (although still somewhat buried in the options) to turn off the Windows Tile animations. To access this nifty switch, navigate to the lower or upper right-hand side with the mouse and select the Settings icon. Now select ‘Change PC settings’. You’ll see a screen with a number of sub-headings listed down the left-hand side. The one you are looking for is the eighth one down; Ease of Access. Once selected, you will see another list of headings. At the bottom of them is Other Options, which is the one you need to select. The Other Options page only has four options on it; Animations of Windows; Windows Background; Notification Time Periods; and Cursor Thickness. Simply toggle the Animations switch to No, and you’ll find that apps now load without their animations, and some do so a touch quicker because of it. If you change your mind, you can re-enable animations by just toggling the switch back on. Zoom in If you have a large number of groups and tiles on the Start screen and you are not using a touch device and therefore unable to pinch and zoom out, Microsoft has got you covered. Simply hold the Ctrl button down and scroll down on the scroll wheel of your mouse. The Start screen will now zoom out. This works for zooming in, too. Taking screenshots As with most operating systems today, be it on a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile, Windows 8 and 8.1 give you the opportunity to take screenshots of whatever is currently on your screen. By pressing the WinKey+Print Scrn button, Windows will take a screenshot of your display, and save it in the Pictures library, in a special ‘Screenshots’ folder. Tailor Bing Search Microsoft has built Bing into the search function of Windows 8 and 8.1. In addition to making searches, you can tailor how Bing searches for you. In the Metro PC Settings screen, under Search and Apps, you can choose whether Bing searches the internet when you use Smart Search, whether it provides personalised results and how safe the search is.
  25. 25. 50 ESSENTIAL TIPS Go straight to desktop Read content when you like with Reading List To access the Boot to Desktop feature, go to the desktop and tap and hold/right-click on an empty section of the Taskbar. On the menu that pops up, tap/click Properties. A pop-up window will appear with tabs along the top. Select the Navigation tab and under the Start screen sub-heading is a check box saying ‘When I sign in or close all applications on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start’. Check this and now whenever you sign in, you will be taken directly to the desktop, bypassing the Metro UI completely. A new app that shipped with Windows 8.1 is an app called ‘Reading List’. Using the ‘Share’ button from the Charms bar you can send websites, and even articles from the Bing News and Sports apps, which may have content that you want for reading later on. You can in fact send any internet or supported app information to the reading app, enabling you to fully create your own list. To send an app to the Reading List app, navigate to a piece of information you want to read later. Now swipe in from the right-hand side of the screen/Navigate your mouse to the lower right or upper right hand side of the screen to open the Charms bar. From the Charms bar, select the ‘Share’ button. A Menu will now open with a list of apps that you can share your current page too, within that list will be the ‘Reading List’ app. Click/tap on the reading list app when in the share menu of the Charms bar, and the reading list app will slide open from the right with a preview of the site you have requested to share and an add button. Click/tap the add button to add the item to your reading list. The reading list also supports the reading mode function in IE11 noted in the previous tip. If you open a website and put into reading IE11 Reading view With the roll out of Windows 8.1 comes Internet Explorer 11 and among many of the improvements and additions is a new reading view. Not all sites are yet compatible, but the ones that are, IE11 brings something nifty. You can read a website without the ads, and the other pops that can often come with browsing the web. Once in reading view, Internet Explorer will refresh into a horizontally scrolling piece of text, including the pictures that are embedded in the article. Open Internet Explorer 11 and navigate to a web page. Within the URL bar and to the far right, will be a small icon in the shape of an open book, tap this icon. The open book icon will now be highlighted in blue and the website will be changed to a side scrolling article, with ads removed. You can return to the web view by tapping the book icon again. Connection settings mode, then share that page with the reading list app, when you come to open the site from the app, it will open in IE11’s reading mode. You can delete individual items, or many items simultaneously and the app saves deleted items for a period, so you can recover items you have removed and wish to re-read. Restore closed tabs You can find out your connection settings with this handy hint. Open the Search field from the Charms bar and enter into the text field ‘Network and Sharing Centre’. A window will open with a list on the right; Access Type, HomeGroup and Connection. Look at the Connection part to see the type you have. Tap/click on this connection and another window will appear. Now click Details and your connection details will appear. If you have ever closed a tab in error while you were online, or possibly the Internet Explorer browser itself, then this is the tip for you as it will show you how to re-open the tabs you have closed. Start by opening the Metro version of Internet Explorer and open a new tab. Have a look down to the right; you will see a small circle with an ellipsis in the centre. Simply tap/click on this and a small menu will appear. It is in here that you will see the option to ‘re-open closed tab’. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 27
  26. 26. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Tips Customise the Desktop, bring back the start menu and protect your files with Windows 8's new features 30 34 40 Productivity 48 Communication 52 SkyDrive storage Secure your PC • Set up Windows örewall • Use Windows Defender • Manage Windows Defender • Windows Family Safety settings • Secure öles with File History Backup • Set up an alternative password 33 Personalise Windows • Customise your tiles • Put your own pictures on the Lock Screen • Re-arrange tiles on Start screen • Assign names to tile groups • Move your named groups • Change your Account picture • Change your wallpaper • Your Lock screen notiöcations • High contrast settings 28 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 45 • Search everywhere at once • Control Panel shortcuts • Turn off the hot corners • Add and edit calendar entries • Schedule tasks to run automatically • Use multiple monitors • Keep your computer running • Use the Calculator app • Enjoy more control over your apps • Learn how to run multiple apps • Using your taskbar • The on-screen keyboard • Set up the People app for communication • The People app • Social networking on Windows • Send emails in Windows 8 • Talk to your friends for free • Add contacts to Skype • Back up your öles on the cloud • Keep öles offline • Know your SkyDrive storage • Share öles and folders online • SkyDrive in File Explorer • Recover deleted öles
  27. 27. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS 56 Native apps 62 Windows Store app • Get detailed information on weather patterns • Set up the Map app • Find your way around with the map • Control your travel • Improve your health and wellbeing • Follow your favourite sports • Your personal news feed • Eat right with the Food & Drink app • Sort out your önances 70 Access media • Use the Share charm to show your friends • Master the Camera • Use the Camera function • Edit and publish your movies • Master transitions • Share your movie online • Installing apps on Windows 8 • Personalise your store • Rate and review your apps • Navigate, browse and search • Purchase apps in seconds • More top tips 80 74 64 66 Entertainment • Add öles to your library • Import music • How to sync your Xbox account • Set up and manage playlists • Protect your gaming privacy • Windows Media Player Web browsing 78 Troubleshooting • Use tabbed web browsing • Clear browsing history • Share sites on social networks • Prevent tracking on your activities • Set your home page • Bookmark favourite websites • Access Task Manager quickly • Add/remove features • Use system restore on your PC • Learn to öx your PC’s problems • Refresh your PC • Access the recovery functions Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 29
  28. 28. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Secure your PC Utilise a variety of security settings and apps to better protect yourself S ecurity is one of the fundamental building blocks of your Windows computer. Without a watertight system to protect users from viruses, spyware and malware, your Windows OS can quickly become cluttered with threats to your personal information. Windows 8 offers secure firewall protection and virus detection software. Your firewall works at the front line of virus prevention, ensuring that only the things you allow will be able to connect with your machine. Windows Defender is your go-to app when it comes to removing unwanted files, and with new updates in Windows 8.1, Windows Defender is even more efficient, allowing you to monitor network behaviours as well as incoming and outgoing connections. Security in Windows isn’t just about keeping harmful things away, though. Windows 8 also allows you to manage and protect user accounts with password protection, including the ability to create custom picture passwords as well as a wide variety of parental control options. The Windows 8 security functions are user friendly and easy to set up, so follow along with our tutorials to get started on making your computer a secure and safe place to browse, work and play. Windows Firewall Set up and control your firewall 1: Firewall settings 2: Notifications 3: App permissions Search ‘Firewall’ using the Search charm. Click Windows Firewall to open the Firewall settings window. Click ‘Turn Windows Firewall on or off’. Turn your Private and Public network firewalls on. Check the ‘Notify me’ box for both the Private and Public firewall, click OK. If an app is blocked, you will be notified and can choose to allow or deny it. Once allowed, the app won’t be blocked again. Firewalls restrict certain apps. From the Firewall settings click ‘Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall’. Then select apps that you want to allow. Click Details to check an app’s secure. 30 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  29. 29. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Use Windows Defender How to protect your computer from spyware I t’s important to keep your computer safe from spyware and viruses which can occasionally end up on your system. Whether you accidently downloaded a dodgy piece of software which does more harm than good, or a virus transfers into your system via a portable device or email attachment, Windows Defender is here to keep your computer clean and safe from malicious items that can hide themselves away in your system. Windows Defender works like a traditional spyware and virus detection service; it scans Windows Defender your entire computer for any items it deems to be unsafe. Once a scan is complete it can then quarantine these items, allowing you to monitor their behaviour or remove them completely. Windows Defender isn’t the first port of call when it comes to protecting your computer, but if any nasty items find their way onto your system then Windows Defender is the perfect software for identifying and removing them. Follow our stepby-step guide to scanning for unwanted items on your Windows 8 machine, then check the tutorial on how best to manage Windows Defender. Manage Windows Defender Use Windows Defender to review your computer’s protection Scan for viruses Open Windows Defender from the apps list. Tap the Update tab to update virus and spyware definitions, making sure your computer’s protection is up-to-date. 1: Access Windows Defender 2: Scanning preferences From the Start menu, click the arrow at the bottom left of the screen. Under the Windows System subheading, click Windows Defender. The Windows Defender app will now open. Within Windows Defender under the Scan Options, select the type of scan you want to perform. If you select Custom, when you click ‘Scan now’ you will need to select which folders you want scanned. 3: Scanning 4: Other options The duration of a scan will depend on whether you choose a Quick, Full or Custom scan. Once a scan is complete, detected items will be listed. You can quarantine or remove any unwanted items. While your computer is being scanned, you can check out the various tabs at the top of the window. Check if your software is current, monitor your scan history and access the settings. The History tab allows you to review any harmful items that have been detected. View quarantined items to remove anything that remains on your computer. Tap the Settings tab. Under Real-Time Protection, check Real-Time Protection. Under Administration, check ‘Turn on this app’ to create real-time protection. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 31
  30. 30. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Windows Family Safety settings Protect your child’s computer activity T Family Safety © Toshiba Europe GmbH here has been an evolution in safety settings provided by operating systems and third-party software. Windows 8 has taken a big step in helping parents protect their family members by creating online time restrictions and restricting which files and apps can be accessed, as well as keeping tabs on their computer activity. All of this is achieved through the Family Settings window found in the Control Panel. Once a user account has been created specifically for a child, an administrator can then apply restrictions. From restricting websites to cancelling gaming privileges, the Windows 8 Family Safety settings is the place to go. Learn how to set up and manage a child’s account below. Create an account 1: User accounts 2: Children’s account 3: Create an account Go to the right edge of the Start screen. Click the Settings charm. Click Change PC settings> Accounts. Here you can manage existing user accounts as well as create new ones. Click on Other Accounts then ‘Add a user account’. Click ‘Add a child’s account’. Here you can sign in with a child’s email address, create one for them or create a child’s account without an email. Click ‘Add a child’s account without email’. Input their information. Click Next and confirm the information. Click Finish. The account will appear in Other accounts where it can be edited by an admin. 4: Family settings 5: Permissions 6: More options Tap the search icon next to the Accounts heading. Search for ‘Family’. Click Family Safety from the search results, opening the Family Safety window. Select a user whose permissions you want to adjust. Under Windows Settings click Web Filtering. Check the option you want to be active. From the menu bar set up web filtering, restrictions and blocking preferences. Tap the Back button. There are other options such as time limits and app restrictions. To view a user’s computer and online activity, click View Activity Reports underneath their user information. 32 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  31. 31. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Secure files with File History Backup Keep your data safe by setting up automated file backup U sing Windows 8 File History Backup is the best way to secure your files and data. No matter how reliable your Windows machine is, there is always going to be a risk of disk failure, or a hard drive becoming corrupt. Occasionally when malicious files make their way onto your computer they start messing with other files, creating irreparable damage. With File History Backup you can set up a continuous backup of your files to help ensure that they stay protected and free from corruption. To do this you will require a secondary hard drive (either internal or external) to store your backup on. This means that if your system becomes corrupt or locked, you can simply Back up with File History Accessing File History Backup restore an early version of it from before you started having problems. Follow the steps that we have outlined below to start backing up. Once you discover how easy it is then you can ensure that you perform back ups regularly as a preventative measure to ensure that your important files stay safely stored. 1: Plug in device 2: Scan device 3: Restore files 4: Troubleshooting From the Start screen open your Settings. Click Change PC settings> Update & recovery>File History. If you are using an external device for back up, connect it to the computer that you are planning on backing up from now. Once your device has been recognised, switch On File History. Click ‘Select a different drive’ to change to another device. Ensure your device has enough available storage space and then once you are happy, click ‘Back up now’. To restore backed-up files, from your desktop open the control panel and then search for File History in the ‘System and Security’ section. Click ‘Restore personal files’, then simply select some files and click the green arrow to restore. If your computer is unable to locate your file history, then your File History function may be disabled. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’ and then ensure that this feature is turned on by moving the slider to the On position. Set up an alternative password Three steps to creating a picture password 1: Password settings 2: Select a picture 3: Gestures From the Home screen, drag the mouse to the bottom-right to reveal your Charms bar, click Settings>Accounts>Sign-in options. Here you can set up a traditional or picture password. Under ‘Picture password’ click Add. Input your password then click ‘Choose picture’. Browse for an appropriate image, select it and click Open. Position the image then click on ‘Use this picture’. Draw three gestures over the image with your mouse. Repeat the gestures you made then click Finish. When you next login to your account, mimic these gestures to login to your computer. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 33
  32. 32. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Personalise Windows Take advantage of the new options to make Windows your own W here Windows 8 provided some personalisation, 8.1 brings a whole plethora of new options to ensure that your Windows 8.1 PC or device is personal to you. Microsoft has added the option of animated backgrounds, plus a whole new colour palette to change the accents of Windows and its wallpapers. Perhaps the two biggest enhancements, though, is being able to change the desktop wallpaper on the Start screen, and the new tile sizes that give you even more customisation options for your device. Switching from the Start screen to the desktop has often been referred to as quite a ‘jarring’ effect due to the sudden, and instant change in background. Windows 8.1 provides you with the option of having the desktop wallpaper under the Start screen, in addition to the desktop. This provides a far more fluid experience, is more ‘familiar’ to look at and encourages you to use the Metro User interface. The next big change is tile sizes. Microsoft has introduced a ‘large’ tile size which takes up four tile spots. If you have a live tile like Weather or even just Calendar, the new size means more dynamic information can be shown, truly making it more personal to you. Tile sizes Customise your tiles 1: Select your tiles 2: The Customise bar 3: Change sizes Windows 8 and 8.1 provides two ways to select tiles. Either tap and hold on the tile in question, or right-click the mouse button. Both will enable you to proceed to the next step. Having selected the app that you wish to resize, a grey bar will have now appeared at the bottom of your screen with a number of options, including a Resize button. Click/tap on this to proceed. When you click/tap on the Resize button, a pop-up menu will appear. This will provide a number of sizes for the app you have selected. Tap on a size and the tile will change. 34 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  33. 33. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Put your own pictures on the Lock screen Customisation isn’t restricted to the Start screen T he one thing that every mobile phone, tablet, and even most MP3 players have in common, is the ability to add a picture of your choosing to the lock screen of the device. Whether it is a family photo, a holiday snap, a loved one, your pet, or just something you like the look of, being able to tailor the first screen you see when you turn on a device has been a standard for a number of years now. Settings Menu But the same hasn’t been the case with Windows. It is true that you have always been able to change the desktop wallpaper to a picture of your choosing, but that has been about it. With Windows 8, however, all that is about to change. It is now possible to also customise the Lock screen. When you now come to unlock your computer, you will be greeted with a picture you have chosen. It’s your PC, so why shouldn’t it show your pictures?! Re-arrange tiles on the Start screen It’s easy to move the tiles to exactly where you want them to be Configure your Lock screen If you have a touch-enabled device, tap and hold the tile you wish to move. For a traditional PC, press and hold the left mouse button on the tile. 1: It’s all about the Charm 2: PC Settings page Swipe in from the right-hand side of the screen, or navigate your mouse to the lower-right of the screen to access the Charm bar. Select Settings and then select ‘Change PC settings’. You will now be taken to the main PC settings page with a number of subheadings down the left-hand side. Select the upper-most of the listed options; ‘PC and devices’. 3: Lock screen customisation 4: Lock screen is your screen You will now see a preview of your current Lock screen and some options that you can quickly change to. To find a picture in your folders, select the Browse button to search your files. By pressing the Browse button you will have been taken to your files. Here you can change your Lock screen to any image stored on your PC, SkyDrive or even an attached external device. Move the tile to where you want on the Start screen. Note how the other tiles reorganise themselves to compensate for the other tile movement. Once you are happy with the tile placement, release your finger or the mouse button and the tile will stay in place in the location you moved it to. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 35
  34. 34. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Assign names to tile groups Make it easy to locate your tiles A t the time of writing, Windows 8 was just over a year old, and Microsoft had just seen the general release of Windows 8.1. To complement the release, Microsoft redesigned the Windows Store and made it better than ever. So with a full year’s worth of apps released and more being published every day, it all leads to a very cluttered Start screen. As noted previously, you can move tiles and when you start getting a large number on the Start screen, they arrange themselves in groups. With personalisation in mind, you can name those groups for ease of discovery. All your social apps could be named ‘Social’, video apps under ‘Video’ etc… Start screen Give your groups names 1: The Customisation bar 2: Faded tiles 3: The Customisation screen If you are using a touch screen device, tap and hold on a tile until the Customisation bar appears, if you are using a PC, right-click anywhere on the Start screen to access the Customisation option. With the Customisation bar apparent, select the Customise button. The tiles will now appear to have faded into the background and there will be text fields above the groups on your Start screen. The Customisation screen enables you to add and name as many groups as you wish on the Start screen and place them where you choose, be they individual tiles or whole groups. 4: The text fields 5: Name the others 6: Finish naming To select a text field to type in, either tap or leftclick the mouse button on one of the fields. A text cursor will now appear enabling you to name the group of apps. Continue to name the groups with the same method. Simply select their text fields with mouse or finger, and name them as you did the first, or select the ‘X’ to make the field blank. When you are finished, tap or left-click the mouse button on a blank section of the screen. Tiles will fade to the foreground and text fields will disappear, leaving the names of the groups. 36 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  35. 35. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Move your named groups Move entire groups of tiles at once, rather than individually I n addition to being able to move individual tiles, put them in groups, and then name the groups, you also have the option to move entire groups. The ability to move groups is hugely beneficial, especially if you have spent a lot of time arranging your tiles how you like them. In fact it’s akin to putting your desktop shortcuts in Start screen just quite the right way, and then having to move them all again, but individually. This way you simply move the entire group. When moving groups, not only does the arrangement of tiles remain the same, but so does the name you gave it. The group name remains in place above that set of tiles, wherever you may place them. Due to the huge number of apps that are available in the Windows Store you can theoretically pin as many apps as your hard drive can hold. If you have a large hard drive on your desktop or tablet, you need to be aware that this can quickly lead to a lot of groups to move around and re-arrange. Organise your Start screen groups 1: Find your groups 2: Your groups view 3: Move your group 4: Your new look If using a touch device, simply pinch to zoom. If you have a traditional desktop PC however, there are easy methods to zoom out. You can either hold the Ctrl button and press the minus key (-) or hold the Ctrl button and scroll down on the mouse wheel. With your Start screen zoomed out, you’ll have a better idea of the number of groups available, and the number of apps in each group. You’ll also be given a preview of what the group is called if it has a particularly long name. On a touch device, tap and hold on the group you wish to move, drag it to its new location and let go of the screen. For mouse use, it’s simply a case of just dragging and dropping with the left mouse button. Other groups will re-flow automatically. Now that you have moved your groups, simply tap or click on a blank part of the Start screen. Your tiles will rush forward back in their new configuration back to the default Start screen view. If you aren’t happy with the arrangement, just move them. Change your Account picture Make your picture something meaningful 1: Access the Account screen 2: Change the picture 3: Browsing with File Explorer To change your Account picture, open the Charms bar, and then click Settings followed by the ‘Change PC settings’ button. Now from the menu of headings on the left, select Accounts. You will see a preview of your current Account picture, and a button underneath that says Browse. You can replace the picture with any other on your device, SkyDrive, or Network. If you selected Browse, you will be taken to File Explorer. From here you just need to go to the folder where the picture you want to use is located. Select it and then press ‘Choose image’. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 37
  36. 36. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Change your wallpaper Customise your Start screen background S ince the first time the desktop wallpaper could be changed on a PC, it’s rare to find a computer in someone’s home that has the original Windows wallpaper on it. You will often see family photos, super HD images of a favourite place, or somewhere with significant meaning to the owner, and it doesn’t stop with personal computers. For businesses running Enterprise versions of Windows, desktops will often have the company logo on, and more often than not this is in a ‘lock down’ state so that it cannot be changed without IT getting involved. Not only is your wallpaper a great personal statement, it’s a way of expressing yourself. Desktop background Set a wallpaper 1: Open the Charms bar 2: Personal settings 3: The Personalise screen To change your Start screen wallpaper, you’ll need to first access the Charms bar. Once the Charms bar is open, navigate to and select the Settings icon, in order to proceed to the next step. Having selected the Settings icon, you will be presented with four selections at the top of the Charms bar. In this instance we are going to navigate to Personalise. The Personalise screen has three main areas. The top area is a selection of tiles of supplied Start screen wallpapers for Windows 8 & 8.1. Browse through and select one you like. 4: Change your wallpapers 5: Change your colour 6: Mirror your desktop Having selected a tile from the selection, you will note that your Start screen wallpaper will have changed to the image selected, along with the colours as well. Next we’ll change their colour, too. Below the wallpaper selections are two other boxes. The first changes the colour of the wallpaper background, and the one underneath changes the accent and detail in the wallpaper. Select the bottom-right tile in the Wallpaper selection and your background becomes the same as that of your desktop wallpaper. Your tiles will now appear to ‘float’ over your desktop. 38 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  37. 37. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Your Lock screen notifications Customise what notifications you receive on your Lock screen L ocking your PC, while necessary and simply good practice, has never exactly been fun. Usually you are provided with the default operating system Lock screen, unless you or your place of work has decided to change it. With most mobile device lock screens displaying your wallpaper and notifications, seeing what has happened in your Lock screen absence at a glance has become a large focus of many software manufacturers. When you look at your mobile phone and see your lock screen, you are mainly looking for notifications of emails, text messages, social media updates, anything that may have happened. Windows 8 and 8.1 now offer you the same functionality. And you can decide what app notification appears on your Start screen. Handy for PCs, and tablets, notifications on the Lock screen will show if you have missed anything. The Calendar can also show you what your next appointment is going to be, and where. All this without ever logging in. Customise your Lock screen notifications 1: To the Charms bar 2: PC settings 3: A preview 4: App selection In order to get to the correct page, open the Charms bar and select Settings. Once the Settings menu for the Charms bar is open, navigate to the bottom right-hand corner of the menu where the ‘Change PC settings’ button is located, and select it. You’ll see the default PC Settings menu. If you have Windows 8 you’ll need to navigate to the General subheading and then Lock Screen. Windows 8.1 users will have a shortcut on the first page with a Lock screen image presented already. From the Lock screen page, go down to Lock Screen Applications. You’ll see boxes with app symbols. Some will be pre-populated, and others will have a ‘+’. Below are two other boxes, for detailed Lock screen information and one for alarms. By tapping on one of the boxes with a ‘+’, you will be presented with a menu of a list of apps that can occupy that space, and provide Lock screen notifications. Click to select the app you want; the box will now be populated. High contrast settings A handy adjustment for those of us with poorer sight 1: It’s about PC settings 2: Ease of Access 3: High Contrast mode The high contrast settings are buried fairly deeply in the Metro PC settings. So, from the Start screen, open the Charms bar, and select the Settings icon, followed by the ‘Change PC settings’ button. From the PC Settings page, navigate to the eighth subheading down and select Ease of Access. There are a number of options here but we are going to select the third subheading; ‘High contrast’. From the drop-down at the top of the page, seven options will appear including synchronising your theme across devices. Select your theme of choice and click Apply. The device will change themes. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 39
  38. 38. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Productivity Get organised and manage your productivity with these handy built-in apps T here are new ways of working with Windows 8.1. If you are already a Windows 8 user you will find that some things are familiar, but there are also changes that introduce some alternative ways of working with Start screen apps and desktop software. For anyone upgrading from an older version of Windows, this section will help get you started and orientated. We take a look at some of the new features in Microsoft’s latest version of the operating system and start off with Search, which has had an overhaul. It now operates in a panel on the right and the search results include links to websites, courtesy of Microsoft’s Bing web search engine. If you accidentally trigger the Charms bar on the right or the App switcher on the left, we show how to turn off the hot corners. The system runs self maintenance tasks on a regular basis to keep it running smoothly and there is a tutorial showing how to check that this feature is enabled, run it manually, and change the schedule. If you have a laptop computer then take a look at our tips for improving battery life. Extending the desktop onto a second screen is covered and you can now show three apps side-by-side on a single screen. There’s a lot that’s new in 8.1. Smart search Search everywhere at once 1: Start typing to search 2: Narrow the search 3: Click a search suggestion At the Start screen you can simply start typing to search for things on the PC or on the web. Press H and the Search panel appears with app, settings and file suggestions. If you don’t see what you want, continue typing until you do. Typing ‘health’ shows the Health & Fitness app, the PC’s status and lots of web search results from Bing. Click one of the search suggestions in the list, such as ‘healthy eating’, and Windows displays links to apps in the store and to popular websites. Click one to go there. 40 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  39. 39. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Control Panel shortcuts Quick ways to access features in the Control Panel T he Control Panel is one of the most used features of Windows and this is because it contains a wide range of system settings. These settings determine how Windows works and you can adjust the power setup that controls when the computer automatically sleeps, Devices and Printers shows the printers, webcams and other items installed, User Accounts enables you to add other users to the PC and so on. The hardest part of using the Control Panel is trying to work out where a particular setting is located because it isn’t always obvious. In this Control Panel tutorial we show different ways in which you can find the settings you need and various ways of calling up the Control Panel and listing its contents. With these shortcuts you will find it easier and quicker to access the settings you need. For example, there are two ways of searching for items; you can perform a general Search from the Start screen or you can open the Control Panel and search from within it. You should master both techniques because they will make finding items easier. The Control Panel is always opened from the Windows desktop. Turn off the hot corners using taskbar Switch off the Charms bar and App switcher to avoid accidents Access settings in the Control Panel If you are on the Start screen, click the Desktop tile. Show the taskbar at the bottom, right-click it and then select Properties on the menu that is displayed. 1: Search for the settings 2: The hidden menu If you know what you want to access in the Control Panel, you can type it into the Start screen. Enter ‘printers’ for example, and the first two results are Control Panel settings. Click one. Whether you are on the Start screen or the desktop, pressing WinKey+X displays this menu that takes you to the Control Panel and accesses several popular items. 3: Switch to a different view 4: Use the search box There are many ways of accessing the Control Panel and this is Category view. If you can’t see what you are looking for, switch to Small icons view using the menu at the top-right. There are dozens of system settings in the Control Panel and it isn’t obvious where some of them are. Use the search box in the top-right corner to find items. Enter ‘security’ for example. There are several different tabs across the top of this window and it opens with the Taskbar tab. The controls we want are on the Navigation tab. Click it. In the Corner navigation section at the top, clear the ticks for the first two items. Instead, press WinKey+C for the Charms bar and Alt+Tab to switch apps. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 41

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