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Windows 8 Tips & Tricks 26 Apps Vol 2


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Windows 8 Tips & Tricks 26 Apps Vol 2

Windows 8 Tips & Tricks 26 Apps Vol 2

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  • 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. 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. Windows8 Imagine Publishing Ltd Richmond House 33 Richmond Hill Bournemouth Dorset BH2 6EZ % +44 (0) 1202 586200 Website: Twitter: @Books_Imagine Facebook: 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, 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. 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. 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. INTRODUCING WINDOWS 8.1 8 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
  • 40. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Add and edit calendar entries Make the most of the Calendar app C alendar is a handy Start screen app that enables you to organise your time by scheduling events and appointments. It is able to show you day, week and month views and with a click of the mouse or tap on the screen you can create a new event. Both one-off events and repeating ones that occur every day, week or month can be created, and you can choose to be reminded before they occur so that you don’t forget about them. Calendar on the PC mirrors the calendar on and everything is synced with your online account. Calendar will display upcoming events on the Start screen tile and in pop-up notifications on the screen. Let’s see how to create events and reminders. Calendar Schedule Calendar events 1: Start Calendar 2: Add a Calendar event 3: The duration and location Click the Calendar tile on the Start screen and rightclick near the top of the screen. At the bottom are buttons to select the day, week or month. New creates a new Calendar event. Click the New button to create a calendar event and set the time and date, or just click the time and day in the calendar. On the right is space for the title and notes. On the left is a box where the location of the event can be entered. It’s not compulsory and can be left blank. The duration can be selected in the pop-up list under How Long. 4: Set a custom duration 5: Set the reminder and status 6: Save the new event The maximum duration of an event is two hours, but if you select Custom in the How Long list, more controls appear and you can set the time at which the event finishes. Click the Show More link on the left to reveal additional settings, such as a reminder. This can be from five minutes to a week before. Click the Status and set it to Free or Busy. Click the Save button at the top-right to return to the calendar and view the event. To edit or delete events, double-click them and make the changes or click the trash bin. 42 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 41. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Schedule tasks to run automatically Use the Task Scheduler to enable programs at a specific time T ask Scheduler is a utility that enables you to automatically perform an action at a specific time or when something happens. It isn’t a tool that everyone will use, but if you have mastered the basics and want to take a look at some of the more advanced features that Windows has to offer, then our simple example of creating Schedule tasks and executing a scheduled task will whet your appetite for more technical topics. The example used in the tutorial is straightforward and very useful; we run Internet Explorer and go to a website to watch online TV at a certain time of the day. Once you know how to do this, many more possibilities are opened up. For example, tasks can run at certain times, when the computer starts, or when you log on. You could, for example, automatically start your favourite programs when you log on and they would be ready and waiting. You can even get your PC to automatically switch off at the end of the day. Use our tutorial to get started and then set up your own scheduled tasks. Set up programs to run at a specific time 1: Use the wizard 2: Set the frequency 3: Set the time 4: Start a program After starting Task Scheduler, look in the panel on the right. There is ‘Create Basic Task’ and ‘Create Task’. Click the first because it is simpler and a wizard guides you through the process. It prompts for information and first you must enter the name and description. How often do you want to run this task? It can be daily, weekly, monthly, once only, when the PC starts and so on. Our task, watching TV, is going to be a daily event. It really depends on the job, so pick whatever setting is appropriate to you. This is a daily task, but which day should it start? It sets the date to today by default, but it can be started on any day you like. Also set the time the task is to run. (Advanced settings enable missed tasks to be run the next time you switch on.) The action for this task is to run a program. Click the Browse button and go to C:Program FilesInternet Explorer and select iexplore.exe. Enter ‘’ into the Arguments box. This starts Internet Explorer with BBC iPlayer. Use multiple monitors Extend Windows across a second monitor attached to the PC 1: The Charms bar 2: The Devices menu 3: Multi-monitor options Let us assume that you have two monitors plugged in to the PC and both are switched on. Move the mouse to the right side of the screen to display the Charms panel. Click Devices in the Charms bar to display this new panel on the right. What we want to do is to project the desktop across to a second monitor. Click Project in the list. The top and bottom options use either the main or the second screen as the only display. The third option is the most useful and it extends the display across the monitors. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 43
  • 42. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Keep your computer running Discover the value of maintenance tasks W indows automatically performs maintenance tasks in order to keep your computer up-to-date and running smoothly. For example, it checks Windows Update to see if there are important updates that need to be installed, it runs system diagnostics to make sure everything is ticking over as it should, and security scans may run too. Although maintenance happens automatically, on some occasions you might want to run it manually, such as if the computer seems laggy. In the last step of this tutorial are useful options like setting the time it runs and whether to wake a computer from sleep mode. Don’t worry if maintenance is scheduled when the PC is switched off because it will run when you switch it back on. It won’t skip the essential maintenance tasks. Maintenance is part of Action Center’s features. Maintenance tasks Ensure efficiency 1: Taskbar flags 2: Open Action Center 3: Start maintenance 4: Change the settings Go to the Windows desktop and click the flag icon at the right-hand side. It reports any problems. Click ‘Open Action Center’. Action Center opens and there are several different sections, such as Maintenance and Security. Click the Maintenance arrow to expand it. A lot of information appears, but look under Automatic Maintenance and click Start Maintenance to manually begin the task. You shouldn’t need to change the maintenance settings, but click the link if you do. Change the time if the default is not suitable. Battery life Enable your laptop to run mains-free for longer 1: The Control Panel 2: Select Power saver 3: View the plan 4: Customise the plan Hold down the WinKey+X, then click Control Panel to open it. Select Small icons view so you can see everything. If the Balanced plan is selected, click Power saver. This reduces the amount of power used and extends the battery life. Click ‘Change Plan settings’, and then you can adjust the timeout for the screen display and putting the computer into sleep mode. Click ‘Change Advanced Power settings’ to display this window. It lets you fine-tune the power-saving settings, such as Wi-Fi modes. 44 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 43. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Use the Calculator app The biggest calculator around has all the answers W indows 8.1 provides you with not one, but two calculators and in some ways they are the same, but in other ways they are quite different. To access the calculators, type ‘calculator’ on the Start screen. The search panel appears on the right and the top two items both say Calculator. The blue detailed icon represents the desktop calculator that has been in Windows for years, and the green and white one represents the new Windows 8 Start screen app. In this tutorial we take a look at the new app and it is big, easy to use, and has some great Use Calculator features. It has three modes of operation and the Standard mode is for when you need to perform some simple maths like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The Scientific mode has lots of advanced functions, but the most useful is the Converter. It is great for changing Fahrenheit temperatures into Celsius, miles into kilometres and so on. It also shows fun facts and down at the bottom of the screen is often something interesting. When converting volumes, for instance, it tells you the volume in terms of the number of swimming pools or bathtubs. Enjoy more control over your apps Run apps in administrator mode to gain extra power Pick the right mode Search for an app and then right-click it in the results list to display a menu. There is an option to ‘Run as administrator’. Few apps require it, though. 1: The Standard calculator 2: Switch to Scientific mode The Calculator app starts in Standard mode. This has basic functions like addition and multiplication, and a few advanced options. Click the buttons as you would with a normal calculator. If you need to do more than simple sums, click Scientific at the top to switch to a new calculator display. The left side has advanced scientific and mathematical functions for students and engineers. 3: Convert different units 4: Select the units to convert Click Converter at the top and there is an altogether different type of calculator. This one is dedicated to converting from one unit of measurement to another, such as gallons to litres. Enter any value. The top menu is used to select the category of measurement. Use the menus below to select the units, such as gallons and litres, pounds and kilograms and so on. There is another way to run apps in administrator mode and this is to rightclick the tile on the Start screen and then click ‘Run as administrator’ at the bottom. Apps can be run in administrator mode on the desktop, too. Hold down the Shift key, right-click a program icon on the taskbar and select ‘Run as administrator’. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 45
  • 44. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Learn how to run multiple apps Run two or three apps simultaneously T Side-by-side apps © Toshiba Europe Gm bH his is a great feature of Windows 8 and is extremely useful, but it does have its little quirks. For example, it only works under certain circumstances. Showing two apps or an app and the desktop side-by-side is only possible if the screen display is at least 1,366 pixels wide. To show three apps side by side as shown in the last step of the guide, requires a screen width of more than 1,500 pixels. Our screenshot was taken at 1,650 x 1,080 pixels. A running app can be dragged to the side to make space or dragged from the left side Task Switcher. Not all apps are designed to do this, so if it doesn’t work with one app, simply try another. Display up to three 1: Start the first app 2: Drag it to the side 3: Start another app To see how to display more than one app on the screen at once, start by opening one or more apps. We are going to start with the Maps app and it is shown full screen. There are several ways to reposition the app and one way is to move the mouse to the top of the screen. When it becomes a hand, drag the app to the right. Either return to the Start screen and open another app or move the mouse to the left edge to display running app thumbnails. Just drag one of them onto the screen. 4: Three apps on-screen 5: Split the screen 6: Divide into thirds You need a really big monitor to show three apps side by side. Move the mouse to the left edge to show running app thumbnails and then drag one onto the screen. Start an app, such as Music, grab the top edge and drag it right to split the screen. Dragging the divider left or right makes it use either one or two thirds of the screen. Here the divider was dragged to make Music use the right third of the screen, then when Internet Explorer was started it automatically used the left two thirds. Just drag the divider. 46 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 45. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Using your taskbar Discover how your Windows taskbar can make your life much easier T he Windows taskbar is still a quick and efficient means of switching between various windows – but now it’s easier to see, more flexible and more powerful than ever. With Jump Lists you can get right to the documents, pictures, songs and websites you use frequently simply by right-clicking a program Customise the taskbar button on the taskbar. You can also ‘pin’ your favourite programs anywhere on the taskbar for easy access. And if you aren’t keen on the button layout, you can rearrange them however you see fit by clicking and dragging. You can even pin individual documents and websites to Jump Lists on your taskbar. You can also point to a taskbar button to see a live preview of its open windows, including webpages and live video. Move your mouse over a thumbnail to preview the window in full screen and click it to go to the open window. You can close windows and pause video and songs from the thumbnail previews too, which saves time. Change the way the taskbar looks and works 1: Taskbar properties 2: Jump List settings 3: Add toolbars 4: Pin programs To display your Windows taskbar properties, simply right-click the taskbar and select Properties. On the Taskbar tab are various options to use small buttons, change the position and so on. Take time to get accustomed to these buttons. When individual icons in the taskbar are right-clicked, they will display a Jump List of various actions and files. Use these settings to customise them to suit your needs. When you have finished tweaking the various settings click on OK. The Toolbars tab enables you to add extras to the right side of the taskbar like an on-screen keyboard and a weblinks toolbar. Simply tick the boxes of the optional extras that you would like to add to your taskbar and then click on OK. Another way to customise the taskbar is to pin your favourite programs to it as icons. Just right-click the icon to pin it. This will prove to be a great time-saving trick that allows you to access your most important items quickly and easily. The on-screen keyboard Can’t type? Just point and click with this virtual keyboard 1: Show the keyboard 2: Switch to another keyboard 3: Use the keyboard with apps Right-click the taskbar and select Toolbars>Touch Keyboard. Now look at the right side of the taskbar; you’ll see a keyboard icon. Click it to show the on-screen keyboard. Press the smiley face button and you can insert a variety of icons into documents and other applications. The bottom row buttons select the icon set to use. The same keyboard can be used with Start screen apps. Show the Charms bar on the right and click Settings>Keyboard. Click Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 47
  • 46. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Communication Use communication apps for staying in touch and social networking C ommunication between friends, family and co-workers has never been easier thanks to the array of different smartphones, tablets and apps dedicated to bringing us closer. When it comes to communication and contacts, Windows 8 is all about simplifying. The People app enables you to combine all of your contacts from your various email accounts and social networks. You can even link duplicate contacts from two different accounts together to help keep things clutter free. Within the People app you can share contacts and information and get in touch with people however you like. The app is linked to a series of other communication apps such as the Mail app and Skype, making staying in touch with people easy. In these tutorials you will learn how to set up and merge all of your contacts using the People app, in addition to using it for managing and posting on your social networks. You will also get to grips with the updated Mail app. But if you are more into talking than typing, then check out the steps on the Windows 8 Skype app. Using all of these communication tools with Windows 8 you’ll never feel out of touch again. People app Set the app up for communication 1: Account settings 2: Add an email account 3: Contact Info Open the People app from the Start screen. If you are not currently logged into a Microsoft account you will be prompted to login. Go to the Charms bar and click on Settings>Accounts. Click ‘Add an account’. Select an account then add your login details. After logging in, email accounts will sync with the People app, displaying all of the contacts linked to that account. From your imported contact list, click a contact name. Use the Contact Info page to email or contact the person in a variety of ways (depending on the information they’ve provided). 48 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 47. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS The People app Combine contacts from different accounts I f you find yourself starting to lose count of all of your different contacts, and losing track as to where they are stored, not to worry; the People app for Windows 8 is here to help. Nowadays most people have multiple email addresses, social networks and devices, all of them with their own collection of contacts. Rather than having several apps to manage each account you own (although that is possible) the People app has been created to bring everything together into one simple app. By merging your email, devices and social network contacts, you can communicate People app with people how you choose through this app. For example, if you want to shoot someone an email, simply click on their name and hit the Email button. If you want to give them a call, click on their number and Skype them. And with the updates to the People app in Windows 8.1, it is even easier to navigate through contacts, where you can isolate a particular account to browse through its contacts and create social and favourite groups for specific contacts. Follow along with these steps to learn how to sync your pre-existing email accounts with the People app. Social networking on Windows Let the People app manage all of your social networking Add contacts manually Open the Charms bar from the People app’s main window. Click Accounts. Add a social network using your login details, syncing it with your contacts. 1: Sign into your account 2: Add detailed information Right-click in the main People app’s window. Click New Contact at the bottom of the screen. Begin by selecting which account to link the contact to, Outlook or Hotmail. Then input contact information. Click on the plus icon on the New Contact page to add extra name, email, phone, address and other information. Click on the save icon when done, then open the contact from your contacts list. 3: Contacting your contacts 4: Organise contacts From the Contact Info page you can call (via Skype), email (via the Mail app), and locate the address (via the Map app). Apps will appear in a second window next to the contact info. Right-click on the Contact Info page. Click Link to link this contact with another to help better organise your contacts list. From the lower options bar you can also edit and delete a contact. Right-click on the main People app window, and pick Me on the top bar. Under What’s New, click to swap between Twitter and Facebook, displaying recent activity. You can make posts on both Twitter and Facebook from the Me page in the People app. Just select which network you want, type in an update and click the post icon. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 49
  • 48. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Send emails in Windows 8 Get to grips with the Mail app W indows 8 has made emailing and integrating email from other devices and apps nice and simple. The Mail app is universal across any Windows device and with the introduction of live tiles, you can keep an eye on your inbox from the Start screen, as well as pin emails to the Start screen. The Mail app has also become a key feature of the Share charm. When you find something worth sharing, simply pull up the Share charm and send the content to your Mail app, placing it into a blank email ready to be sent off. Follow along with these steps so you can set up, organise and customise multiple email accounts in the new and improved Mail app. Mail Personalise the Mail app 1: Add an account 2: Adding other accounts 3: More details From the Windows Start screen or App list, open the Mail app. Open the Charms tool bar. Click Settings>Accounts. Click Add Account and select an email provider or add one via Other Account. If you are adding an unknown email server you will need to select an account type (EAS or IMAP) then click Connect. Input your login details and click on the ‘Show more details’ link. Go online to find out your email provider’s IMAP and SMTP email server information. All the details must be correct to sync the account. Once you’ve added your email login details, click Connect. 4: Managing an email account 5: Email options 6: Create and manage folders An email account will sync with the Mail app. In the Accounts window you can click on a synced account to change its sync and login details, create a personalised signature and turn on notifications. To manage your inbox and emails, right-click anywhere in the Mail app. Use the options bar to report spam, flag, move or print an email or pin an email to your Start screen. From the bottom options bar, click Folder Options> New folder. Add a title and create a folder. Click on an email, right-click, click Move and then select your new folder to move the email into it. 50 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 49. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Talk to your friends for free Discover the beauty of communicating with Skype f you aren’t familiar with Skype then where have you been? Skype offers a largely free service whereby you can make video and voice calls to other Skype users for free, as well as send instant massages and share files. You can also use the service to make calls to mobiles and landlines and make group video calls to up to ten people I Skype simultaneously – but you will have to pay extra for these. You can use Skype on your computer, tablet or mobile phone (apps are available from the respective app stores) and to get started all you need is an internet connection and a webcam for video calls (these tend to be built into most modern computers). When setting Skype up for the first time, you will need to create an account and deposit funds if you wish to use any of the paid-for services that Skype offers. The process only takes a few minutes and you can be up, running and talking face-to-face with your friends, family or colleagues on the other side of the world in no time at all. Add and manage credit in your Skype account 1: Log into Skype 2: Add credit 3: Managing credit 4: Call a phone Download Skype from the Windows Store. Once installed, open in your Apps list. Here you can log into an account, which will merge with your Microsoft account, or create a new Skype account. Once logged in, your Skype contacts will be displayed. Within the Skype app, click Call Phones at the top-left of the window. Click the blue number, which will read at £0/$0 if you have no credit. You will be forwarded to Skype’s website. Here you can purchase credit with a credit card or PayPal. Once you’ve purchased credit it will be displayed in the Call Phone window under the ‘Pay as you go’ subheading. Under Pay Monthly, click ‘Get a subscription’ to set up a monthly payment plan, which offers a discount against pay as you go. Above the dialling pad, click the displayed country and dialling code. Select the country to call and input the number. The dialling code is added automatically. Click the green phone icon to begin a call, and the red phone icon to end the call. Add contacts to Skype Add your contacts to Skype and get chatting 1: Search for a contact 2: Skype contact directory 3: Contact request Right-click within the Skype app. Click on ‘Add Contact’ at the bottom-left of the screen. Specify where you want the search engine to look for contacts (use Skype for the most accurate results). Input a name into the search box, and click the search icon. If there’s no results click Search Directory to search the entire Skype contact database. Use an email for more refined results. Once you find the person you are looking for, click on their username, click ‘Add to Contacts’, then send a contact request. Once added you can message and call the contact through Skype. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 51
  • 50. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS SkyDrive storage Save all of your files, photos, and documents to the cloud S kyDrive is Microsoft’s answer to cloud storage and services. If you currently have a Hotmail, Live, or Outlook account (the web-based version) then you have a SkyDrive account, too. Microsoft gives every person that has one of the previously mentioned email accounts 7GB’s worth of online storage via its SkyDrive service. The cloud storage service is fantastic for keeping your files safe because it enables you to save photos and files, videos, office documents, and almost any other file type you can think of. What’s more, you’ll be able to access those files from pretty much any device. There is a SkyDrive app for iOS, Android and of course Windows Phone devices, in addition to the various tablet alternatives and most importantly your Windows 8 or 8.1 device. SkyDrive with Windows 8.1 is not just an app, but it is in fact completely integrated into the operating system itself. When you open a File Explorer window, you’ll note that on the left-hand side with the libraries and folders is a SkyDrive folder. It installed as a network drive right from the very start. This tutorial will show you how to upload a file to SkyDrive, store files offline, and find out how much storage you have left right from within Windows 8.1 Upload files Back your files up to the cloud 1: Open SkyDrive 2: Find your files 3: File Explorer, SkyDrive-style From the Start screen you will need to open the SkyDrive app. If it’s not on your Start screen, swipe up, or tap the down arrow on the Start screen and select it from All Apps. If you have a folder you want to upload a file to from within the SkyDrive app, navigate to that folder, or just swipe up/right-click from where you are, and tap Add Files. You will now be taken to the Windows 8 File Explorer. From this menu, navigate to the file you wish to upload, select it and tap/left-click on Copy to SkyDrive. 52 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 51. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Keep files offline You don’t have to rely on internet access S kyDrive is Microsoft’s answer to online storage, but that means if you don’t have access to the internet, then you can’t access your files. Well, not quite. Microsoft has foreseen this potential problem and has taken the necessary steps to ensure you always have all the files you need with you at all times. And it is all possible with an offline mode. With SkyDrive you have the ability to set files or entire folders of your own choosing to an ‘offline mode’. This means that files set to this mode will be automatically downloaded to all your Windows 8 Offline storage devices that you have logged into with the same account as that of the SkyDrive account. Files that you have set to be available offline will have a small icon in the lower right-hand section of the tile which has a small cloud, with a computer in front of it. This means that not only is it available online via SkyDrive, it’s also already been downloaded and is ready for offline use. While Microsoft has intended this for documents, and maybe photos, it also works beautifully with music and video. If you want these kind of files, be aware of your data limits if you’re roaming. Know your SkyDrive storage Always be aware of your storage limits in Windows 8 Access your files at any time To access the SkyDrive information within Windows 8, you will first need to access the Charms bar, and then select the Settings icon followed by ‘Change PC settings’. 1: SkyDrive File Manager 2: SkyDrive menu options In order to make a file accessible offline, you will first need to open the SkyDrive app, and then navigate to the file or folder that you wish to make available in an offline state. Once you have found the file or folder you wish to make offline, tap and drag down, or right-click the mouse to bring up the menu bar from the bottom of the screen. 3: Make your files offline 4: You’re now offline Near the middle of the bottom bar will be a button to Make Offline. Select this button and a pop-up will appear to advise that the files will be made available offline. The folder or file you are making offline will be downloaded and a small clock symbol will appear on the file in question. Once complete it will have the cloud and computer icon. From the PC Settings screen, you will note there are ten subheadings on the left. Within the list of headings is one called SkyDrive which you can select now. You’ll be taken to the SkyDrive page within Windows 8, where you’ll see your storage limit and usage. In addition you can save documents straight to SkyDrive by default. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 53
  • 52. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Share files and folders online Share documents with friends and family E veryone at some point has needed to share a large file, or several files, but have been unable to do so due to the size of the file(s) exceeding that of your email client. Cloud storage services such as Microsoft, Google and Dropbox (to name a few), have come up with an ideal work around; share your files and folders via the cloud. The ability to share your files via the cloud without having to compress your files, or send several emails with lots of attachments is a great option. This means you can share holiday photos and videos, family snaps or documents. If you have a file and can upload it, SkyDrive can share it. SkyDrive online Share via the web 1: Access SkyDrive on the web 2: The SkyDrive web interface 3: SkyDrive contextual menu To share files you must first open a browser and navigate to Sign in with the Microsoft account you have used on your Windows 8/8.1 machine. This can be done from any browser. The SkyDrive web page is very similar to that of the Windows 8/8.1 app, in that you are presented with tiles of your folders. Now navigate to the folder or file you wish to share. Tap and hold/right-click on the file you wish to share. A contextual menu will pop up with a list of several options, one of which is Sharing. Select this and continue to step 4. 4: Email your friends 5: Restrict what people can see 6: Decide how you share A new window will appear across the browser, with a text field to enter the email of the person you wish to share with, and a description field should you want to add additional information. Now you need to decide what privileges the person you’re sharing with has. Recipients can edit, or have to sign in to SkyDrive in order to access the files you have decided to share. Rather than email directly from SkyDrive, you can instead select Get Link, from the left-hand side and then decide how to share from another account, or perhaps pasting to a social media site. 54 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 53. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS SkyDrive in File Explorer Enjoy SkyDrive even if you use the desktop interface W indows 8 and 8.1 is the first operating system since the initial release of Windows that has moved away from the general Windows/Desktop interface with the new Metro style UI. For those of you that still prefer to use the desktop interface rather than that of the new tiled interface, have no fear. SkyDrive File Explorer is so integrated into Windows 8.1 that it appears as an extra folder in the File Explorer window. This means you can drag, drop, copy, cut and paste files from one folder to another in or to SkyDrive, and even map your libraries to point directly to SkyDrive. If you do this, when you save files your default libraries are mapped to SkyDrive, backing them up. SkyDrive in File Explorer still has all the functionality built in. You can make files offline, create and delete items and your changes will sync to SkyDrive. Please note that SkyDrive is not built into Windows 8. You can still use the SkyDrive app, but it is not built into File Explorer. Navigate to SkyDrive in File Explorer 1: Access your desktop 2: Open File Explorer 3: Like a network drive 4: SkyDrive menu In order to start using SkyDrive in File Explorer, you’ll need to access the desktop. There are a number of ways to do this. Tap/click on the desktop tile on the Start screen (if the tile is not on your screen then go to All Apps and select it there). Now that you are in ‘desktop mode’ you will need to open a File Explorer session. This can be done by tapping or left-clicking the mouse button, on the File Explorer icon (small set of folders on the task bar), or by using the keyboard shortcut WinKey+E. With your File Explorer session open, look to the left-hand pane. There will be a list of folders that are mapped to your computer. Underneath the Favourites folder and its sub folders is the SkyDrive folder. Select this now to open it up. Tap or right-click a file or folder and a contextual menu will appear. One of the options is Make Available Offline. Just like the SkyDrive app, you can also make files available offline from File Explorer; ideal if you spend time in the desktop. Recover deleted files Don’t worry about accidental deletions with SkyDrive on the web 1: Find the Recycle Bin 2: Find your deleted file 3: Recover! If you have deleted something from SkyDrive in error, don’t worry – you can get it back. In the bottom-left of the screen is a link to SkyDrive’s Recycle Bin. Click to find deleted items. Now that you have found the Recycle Bin, search for the file you wish to recover. Once you have it, click on the small tick box to the left-hand side of the file’s name. Navigate to the top of the page where you will see a Restore button. Select this and the file will be returned to the folder location the file was originally stored prior to its deletion. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 55
  • 54. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Native apps Discover how to stay informed of news, travel, sports and more T ravel, news, finances, fitness, weather and sports are just a number of the many native apps which are now available in Windows 8 and 8.1 across all your Windows devices. The idea behind the Windows 8 native apps is to be able to manage the various aspects of your life within several easyto-use interfaces. Each app syncs itself to your Outlook email address, meaning that once you have set up an app to your own personal preference, those preferences will be carried over to any other device that you log into. The beauty of the information apps such as travel, news and sports, is that they give you the ability to create specific digests of news related to topics of your choosing. Once you are finished setting up your apps, they will be perfectly catered to what you want to see. In these tutorials you will learn how to manage the native apps to your preferences, as well as using some of the more advanced apps, such as the Travel app to research, plan and book a trip for yourself. Never miss a turning again using the Map app. If you are keen on organisation, check out the tutorial on the Finance app, or learn how to keep an eye on your diet using the Health & Fitness app. Bing Weather Get detailed information on weather patterns 1: Set a home location 2: Daily forecast 3: Weather map From the Start screen, open the Weather app. Rightclick anywhere and from the drop-down menu, click Places. Click the Home icon to add a home location, or the plus icon to add favourite locations. Return to the Weather app’s main menu. Your Home location will be displayed on the weather map. Click on a day in the week to get detailed information on the predicted weather for that day. From the main Weather app window, slide along to the weather map, then click the Play icon to display predicted weather patterns for the day. Left-click on the map to open the options menu. 56 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 55. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Set up the Map app Learn how to store your favourite locations T he Windows 8 native Map app is the perfect way to get directions and discover local points of interest. By signing into your Microsoft account and setting up your map preferences, you can access your Map app from any Windows device. The app will connect itself with various pieces of data linked to your account, including your contacts. If any have added location information, it can be added to your map by dropping pins, storing home or business addresses and effectively making your map a geographical database of your favourite contacts. Windows Map Once you have your map set up, it will be a breeze finding your way around. The Nearby function enables you to locate restaurants, cafés, modes of transport and many other points of interest. Other features of the Map app include being able to switch between map mode and aerial view, you can also plan your trips ahead of time by checking out the traffic conditions before heading out on your trip. Follow these simple steps to getting your map adjusted to your liking by adding your favourite locations to your Microsoft account through the Map app. Find your way around with the Map Create and share directions using the Windows app Navigate with ease Right-click in the app. At the bottom-left of the Options menu, click Directions. Enter an address or select a favourite destination. Hit the arrow to get directions. 1: Select a region 2: Drop a pin Open the Map app. By default the map will be set to a US region. Go to the bottom-right of the screen and click Settings>Options. Under ‘Change app region’, select your location. Right-click on the map and then click on the Drop Pin option. You will now be able to click and hold on the pin icon and drag it into position on the map to highlight a particular location. 3: Change the distance display 4: Change the view There are other things to do in the Options menu (see step 1). For example, you can choose to display the distance in kilometers or miles (which it is set to by default). If you would like your maps to be displayed like aerial photographs with the road information layered on, then right-click the map and choose the Map Style option, then select ‘Aerial view’. With the directions plotted out, select a preferred route. If happy, click the star icon to save this route. Right-click and click Favourites to access saved routes. When you have a planned route displayed, go to the bottom-left of the screen and click the Share charm. Click on Email, adding the directions and map to a blank mail. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 57
  • 56. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Control your travel Get away from it all with Bing Travel W Bing Travel © Toshiba Europe GmbH hether you’re planning a business trip or a family getaway, the Bing Travel app provides you with relevant information on your chosen destination and the necessary tools to manage and book your trip. You can also browse through a variety of recommended attractions, restaurants, and other nearby destinations. On top of all this, you can keep up-to-date with the Bing Travel news feed, which compiles all of the most recent and popular travel articles from reputable sources such as Reuters, Lonely Planet and the New York Times. You can also use the Travel app to get a feel for your destination with photo galleries, panoramic images and travel videos. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to find your perfect holiday destination, book up a flight and find the hotel of your choice. Access the Travel app from the Start screen, or in your Windows 8.1 App’s list. See the world with this app 1: Find a destination 2: Destination overview 3: Book a flight From the Home screen, click and drag the sliding bar to the right to display Featured Destinations. Click on All Destinations for more options or use the Search destinations function. After selecting a destination you’ll be taken to its overview page. Click ‘Add to favorites’ to save this destination. Slide to the right to browse maps, photos, panoramas and attractions. In the Overview window, click Find a flight. Enter your departure location and dates. Click Search Flights. Select a result then click Book Now, taking you to the airline’s website. 4: Book hotels and more 5: Quick navigation 6: Pinning destinations From the location overview, click Find Hotels to book a hotel. You can also browse a list of hotels as well as attractions and restaurants, where booking links are provided. On any screen within the Travel app, right-click with your mouse. Use this menu to quickly navigate around the app, check flight statuses, book hotels and browse through destinations. Right-click on a destination overview. At the bottom of the screen click ‘Pin to Start’. Select a thumbnail then confirm your selection, pinning the location onto your Start screen. 58 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 57. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Improve your health and wellbeing How the Health & Fitness app can benefit you T he Bing Health & Fitness app that comes pre-loaded onto your Windows PC is the one-stop for a healthier you. Combining nearly 1,000 exercise videos, a nutritional and medical reference guide and diet trackers to help you meet your fitness goals, it’s a useful way to start carving your body and your lifestyle into Health & Fitness shape. In the app you can enter your symptoms to get a list of related conditions and then read up on them to find out the related treatment procedures and medication required. If you just want to get into shape, the step-bystep instructions and videos for a wide range of exercises and workouts will allow you to exercise at home with or without specialist equipment and is useful for all fitness levels. You can also keep a food journal by using the handy builtin Diet Tracker to maintain personal records of foods and view reports to learn about your nutritional needs and eating habits. So fight the flab and start using this useful app today! Get into shape with the Bing Health & Fitness app 1: Diet management 2: Complete your diet 3: Exercise Tracker 4: HealthVault Open the Health & Fitness app from your Apps menu, accessed by clicking the down arrow from the Start screen. Under the Quick Access menu click Diet Tracker. In the spreadsheet click ‘+ Food’ next to a food. Input a food type and a quantity. Add more food items until you have a basic breakdown of your day’s diet. Click the calendar icon to add another day. Click on % of Daily Calorie Target and input your details. Once complete, click Submit for your suggested daily calorific needs. Right-click anywhere within the app. From the drop-down menu click the arrow next to Trackers then click Exercise Tracker. Here you can add cardio and strength exercise details. Click Cardio Analysis for a breakdown of your current exercise regime. From a tracker window, click Sync with HealthVault, taking you to a registration window. Add your personal details then click Accept. Visit to access your health, diet and fitness information from anywhere. One for sports fans Follow your favourite sports and teams with the Sports app 1: Pick a nationality 2: Pick your sports 3: Adding teams By default the Sports app is set to US content, displaying US preferred sports and teams. To change this go to the bottom-right of the screen, click Settings>Options and choose your country. Open the Bing Sports app from the Start screen. Slide along to the Favourite Sports list. Click the pen icon and delete any of the default sports. Click the plus icon to add a sport. Next to Favourite Sports, under Favourite Teams, click the plus icon. Search for a team then click Add. From the list, click on a team name for a detailed breakdown of a team’s current activity. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 59
  • 58. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Your personal news feed Create tailored stories with Bing News T here are thousands upon thousands of news sources online but it isn’t time efficient to browse through all of them. Using the Bing News app, though, you can collate your favourite news sources into one place. The Bing News app relies on RSS feeds to create sections of relevant news for you. An RSS feed from a particular website (such as the BBC news site) can be added to the Bing news app, alongside other RSS feeds. Most news sites offer RSS feeds for their news categories so if you want to receive news on a certain subject, you can. In these steps you’ll learn to create your own news feed, allowing you to create the ultimate news source catered exclusively to you. Bing News Create your own news feed 1: Browse Bing News 2: Customise settings 3: Order and delete sections From your Start screen or App list, open the Bing News app; you will be presented with a headline story. Browse through the different default news sections by clicking and dragging the sliding bar. Right-click anywhere in the News app. At the bottom-left of the screen, click on the Customize link or you can slide to the right past the news sections to access the Options menu. Click the cross icon to remove a news section from your feed. If you prefer a certain section over another, just click and drag it up the list, making it appear earlier on the main page. 4: Add sections 5: RSS URLs 6: Add sources Click the plus icon to add a new section. In this window you can search by keywords, source, categories or country. Click the plus icon next to a search result to add a source. Some news sites provide RSS URLs, often have a dedicated page to RSS links. Right-click on an RSS icon on a website, click Copy. Paste this URL into the ‘Add a News Section’ search bar. In the main News app, under Sources, click on the plus icon. Add sources as you would sections. Newly added sources will be used to compile articles related to your interests in your sections. 60 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 59. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Eat right with the Food & Drink app Get a little culinary inspiration quickly and easily T he Bing Food & Drink app is your comprehensive guide for inspiration and instruction in the kitchen. You can discover hundreds of thousands of recipes with mouthwatering photographs from premium content providers, including leading cookbooks, world renowned chefs and trusted websites. Food & Drink This app lets you really take your cooking up a notch by providing step-by-step instructional guides and videos that offer culinary tips and techniques to improve your kitchen skills. And if you find an interesting recipe then you can add it to a Collection to cook later or slot it into a Meal Planner for the current week. If you then click on the ingredients, you will be able to create a quick and easy shopping list to help you buy what you need in preparation for the meal. The app also includes a detailed wine and cocktail guide that helps you learn more about types, regions and vineyards and throw together exotic cocktails from around the world. Create your own recipe with the Food & Drink app 1: Create a recipe 2: Add more details 3: Manage recipes 4: More options From your Apps menu open the Food & Drink app. Slide to the Recipes subheading to browse through various recipes sourced from online. From the app’s main menu, click ‘Add a Recipe’. Add a title and then click ‘Add More Details’. Add more relevant information to your recipe. You can also import or take a photograph by clicking ‘Take a Picture’ or ‘Add an Image’. Begin creating your recipe by adding ingredients, followed by steps and any notes you want to include. Once a recipe is complete, click Save Recipe. It will be added to your Collections list. Click on Collections> Added Recipes from the main app window to access a saved recipe. Right-click a recipe to edit the recipe or remove it from your collection. When right-clicking a recipe, click Add to Meal Planner from the bottom. Select a day to set the recipe to. From the main menu, click Today’s Meal Planner. Your recipe will appear here. Click the plus icon to add recipes or search for meal suggestions. Sort out your finances Stay on top of your stocks with the Finance app 1: Get started 2: Add to Watchlist 3: Get an overview Open the Bing Finance app from the Start screen. Scroll along to your Watchlist. Click the plus icon. From here input a symbol, company or index of a stock, automatically adding it to your Watchlist. From your Watchlist, click the pen icon to remove a stock. Once a stock has been added to your Watchlist click on it for details on the stock, where you can browse its stock charts. Right-click in the Finance app. From the drop-down menu click Watchlist to display an overview of all your watched stocks. Click and drag on a stock to change its order in the list. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 61
  • 60. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Windows Store app Get all of the latest and greatest apps and games instantly t would be a stretch to call the Windows Store an original concept. However, within the Windows universe, having an app-based store that allows for quick and (most importantly) painless installation of apps onto your Windows 8 system is a breath of fresh air. At one time or another everyone has felt like pulling their hair out when trying to find a compatible piece of software, and then install it onto their machine. To quell this problem, the Windows Store offers up more than 100,000 apps that can all be installed, downloaded and easily removed with just the click of a few paltry buttons. What’s more, all the apps available are uniquely designed for Windows 8. Many of these apps are close replicas of already existing software, such as the Skype app. You can still download and install programs onto your computer in the traditional way, and of course there is plenty of software that does not yet have an app equivalent. But for the most part, when it comes to email, games, social networks, movies, music and work you’ll never be lacking choice when browsing the Windows Store. Read on to learn how to navigate, personalise and manage your one-stop shop for Windows apps. I Windows Store Install apps on Windows 8 1: Checking device capabilities 2: Installing an app 3: Your apps Select an app from the Windows Store. Under the main app image, click Device Capabilities. Here you can review the permissions and specs required to run an app, as well as view app information. From an app’s page, click on the Install button. Once the installation begins a tile for your chosen app will appear on the Home screen. Click on the tile to view the app’s download progress. In the Store app, right-click anywhere. Click on ‘Your apps’. From the drop-down window select a PC. Here you’re able to install apps onto another Windows machine that your account is logged into. 62 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 61. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Personalise your store Set up personal preferences and multiple devices N o one user is alike and everyone has different preferences when it comes to the kind of apps that they want to install. Of course, not every machine is alike either. If you’re worried that you might purchase an app which you will later find out can’t run on your machine then don’t be. The Store app has a built-in filter which can regulate which apps are displayed to you during your browsing and searching, meaning you’ll only be presented with compatible apps which will function on your machine and in your country or region. Within the store preferences Windows Store you can also set your store to highlight apps that include various accessibility features, catering to users with disabilities. The Store app will also learn from your purchases and downloads, building up an idea of the kind of apps that you might be interested in in the future. The Store app is compatible with all Windows devices. If you’re running two or more windows devices then you can also sync all of them with one single Microsoft account, meaning apps purchased and downloaded from the Store app can be installed on up to five separate devices. Rate and review your apps Become a part of the Windows Store community Tailor your Store app settings When in the Windows Store, open an app’s page. Slide to the left until you reach the Ratings and Reviews subheading. Click the subheading to browse through reviews. 1: Check for updates 2: Accessibility controls From the Start screen open your settings. Click Change PC settings>Update & recovery>Windows Update>Check now. Once updated, click on the Store tile from the Start screen. From the main Store window go to the bottomright of the screen, click the settings icon, then click Preferences where you can switch on accessibility features, plus other preferences and user options. 3: Switching users 4: Get auto updates If you want to switch users in the Store app, go to your settings and click Your Account. Click ‘Change user’ to sign out of the store, then log in with a different user name. From the Settings menu, click on App Updates and you will be able to activate a slider whereby all apps on your computer will be automatically updated when new versions become available. Open an app to review. Go to Settings> Rate and Review. Here you can rate the app using a star system. You can also publish a written review of the app. Under Details on an app’s page, click ‘Report this app’ if you believe it’s breaking the Windows Store terms of use, and may be harmful to users. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 63
  • 62. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Navigate, browse and search Locate what you want in Windows Store T he Windows Store has been created with an easy-to-use interface helping you to find exactly what you’re looking for without any fuss. The highly intuitive search engine and browsing function ensures you are presented with the best possible suggestions, recommendations and search results. The user ratings service will create an average overall score for the app, whereas the reviews will give you a good idea of how good an app is before purchase. Once you’ve installed an app you can then go on to publish your own impressions and app rating. Follow along with this six-step tutorial to learn how best to hunt out the right app for you. Windows Store Browse the Store 1: Browsing categories 2: Specific categories 3: Related apps From the main Store window, slide to the right to browse through the primary categories. These are based on recommendation and popularity more than genre. Click a category name for more results. Right-click on any screen within the Store. From the top drop-down menu you can browse through a collection of different app categories. Each category has its own set of subcategories. Clicking an app will take you to its Windows Store app page. A hyperlink to the app’s publisher will take you to more of their apps. This page also provides information on related apps. 4: Search for apps 5: Search filters 6: Precise recommendations Go to the Search box at the top-right of the Store. Type in a search and a list of quick recommendations will appear. Click the search icon for a detailed list of results. From the results list you can use the search filters to refine your search. You can browse specific categories, price types and create different parameters to sort your results. The Picks for You category page is made up of apps that Bing sees as being relevant to you. For more accurate results go to Settings>Preferences and switch on Recommend Apps for Me. 64 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 63. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Purchase apps in seconds Set up your payment details for speedy purchases T here are loads of free apps available for instant download via the Windows Store. However you won’t find everything you want for free. There is a great selection of free to try and paid apps waiting for you. Once you’ve added your payment details (either by credit card or PayPal) you can make purchases quickly and easily, with Adding payment details the added protection of having to input your password before making any purchase. With the official release of Windows 8.1 you can now also purchase promotional codes and gift cards for the Windows Store, allowing you or anyone you send a gift to to purchase items from the Store without a credit card. Within no time at all, the store will become your home away from home where you’ll merrily while away the hours searching for exciting new apps to enhance your PC experience. Find out how to get yourself set up with a payment method in the Windows Store and learn about reviewing your transaction history in these easy-to-follow steps. Create a payment source to buy premium apps 1: Select region 2: Payment method 3: Billing history 4: Start searching You first need to set where you are from. Go to the Start screen, open the Search charm. Click on Change PC Settings>Time & Language>Region & Language. Go to the drop-down list and scroll through to select your country or region. Now open up the Windows Store and go to Settings>Your Account> Add payment method. You have two choices here – a PayPal or credit card payment form. Pick the one you want to use and then simply add your payment details. Once you’ve finished selecting a payment type, have a click on the View Billing History link. Internet Explorer will open, taking you to your Microsoft transactions page. This is where you can review all of your billing history. Launch the Windows Store and you will be instantly presented with featured apps to look at. Use the tabs down the side of the screen to jump straight to the most popular paid and free apps as well as seeing what’s new and amazing. More top tips Update, share and manage your apps 1: Updating apps 2: Sharing apps 3: Apps for later From the Windows Store main page, open Settings>App updates. Switch on Automatic Updates, then click ‘Check for updates’. If your apps aren’t updating try clicking ‘Sync licenses’. Open an app’s page in the Windows Store. Open the Charms bar. Click Share then you can send the app via email, the People app or save it to the Reading List app to install later. If you’re not quite ready to purchase an app, open up the Share charm then select ‘Bookmark for later’. The app’s download page can then be accessed from the Reading List app at any time. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 65
  • 64. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Entertainment Get more from music and games with these handy hints and tips indows 8 is packed with useful features for letting off steam, and when it comes to relaxing you can’t beat listening to your favourite tunes or playing the odd game or two. To get the most out of your PC, we’ve created this collection of useful quick-fire tutorials, covering such topics as protecting your privacy in games, building the ultimate playlists and streaming music to any DLNA device on your network. We’ll kick things off by helping you find your favourite tunes and some new artists using Xbox Music’s search tools. We’ll also reveal how to import your existing music into Xbox Music. You’ll also discover how to sync those tracks across various devices without having to physically transfer the files, plus wirelessly stream music to other devices on your network. We’ll then look at bringing together all your favourite tunes into a playlist, so you can enjoy the best of your music. Worried about what information you’re sharing with others when playing games? No need to fret – we’ll reveal where to look in order to ensure your privacy is kept water-tight. In short, your Windows 8-based entertainment is about to get a whole lot better – read on to find out how. W Xbox Music Add music to your library 1: Make libraries visible 2: Add folder to library 3: Select new folder Click the Desktop tile and open a File Explorer window. If you’re using Windows 8.1, libraries are hidden by default – select the View tab, click Options, tick Show Libraries and click OK. Any music already stored in your personal Music folder will be accessible to Xbox Music, but you can include other folders too – start by selecting Libraries from the Navigation pane in File Explorer. Now right-click Music and choose Properties. Click ‘Add…’ and browse for the folder containing your music. Select Include Folder – so long as the folder can be indexed by Windows, it can be included. 66 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 65. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Import music Access your previously ripped or downloaded music X box Music provides a great central location for finding and purchasing new music, but you can also tie it into your existing music collection without too much fuss. All you need to do is make sure your music folders are part of your Music Library – as revealed in the tutorial on the previous page – and Xbox Music will be able to add them to your Music Library. You can see what locally stored files you have by using the My Music filter when using Xbox Music’s search, or the On This PC filter when in Explore view. Xbox Music supports WMA, MP3 and Xbox Music unprotected AAC (iTunes) files. You can also make your music collection available to other compatible devices following the step-by-step guide on the right. Any music you own can be synced for free to other Windows 8 PCs or Windows RT tablets, but if you want to access your music on an Xbox 360, smartphone (iOS, Android or Windows 8), you’ll need an Xbox Music Pass (£8.99 a month, free 30-day trial available). The Music Pass comes with other benefits too – unlimited streaming and downloading from the entire Xbox Music catalogue, for example. Learn to sync your Xbox account Make your Xbox music collection available to other devices Find and purchase music Any music purchased through Xbox Music is synced with the cloud. To add locally stored music to your cloud, open the Settings charm and choose Preferences. 1: Start browsing 2: Find your artist Open the Xbox Music app and click Explore in the left-hand pane to browse the collection. Featured artists appear at the top, new album releases below this and the most popular albums below that. If you know what you’re looking for, use the Search box on the left to search by artist, album or song title. Tap Search and wait for the results to be displayed according to these criteria. 3: Buy new music 4: Play your music Purchase albums directly from the search results, or click ‘…’ followed by Buy Album when browsing. Enter your Microsoft Account password to confirm (or change) payment options and purchase. You can now play a particular artist by clicking on the Play button or you can use your new music to create a playlist, which is also accessible from the main menu. Under Music in the Cloud, flick the ‘Automatically add matched songs on this PC to my music in the Cloud’ switch to On, then click ‘Find out how this works’. Once you’ve read the explanation, click Close. Wait while Xbox Music matches your songs – if present they’ll appear under ‘In the cloud’, ready for other devices. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 67
  • 66. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Set up and manage playlists Enjoy music your way N avigating your music library can be challenging, which is why playlists are the perfect antidote to trawling through albums and artists. These modern-day ‘mix tapes’ let you build the perfect compilation, perhaps a personal ‘best of’ or just an eclectic mix to match your mood. Xbox Music makes it easy to both build your own playlists – see the step-bystep guide below – and import them from your Music Library or iTunes, saving you the hassle of re-creating them from scratch. To import playlists in Windows 8.1, simply open the menu and tap Import Playlists; Windows 8 users need to select My Music followed by Playlists to find the options they need. Xbox Music Create and edit playlists 1: Create new playlist 2: Name your playlist 3: Add a track Windows 8.1 users can simply open the Xbox Music menu on the left and tap New Playlist; Windows 8 users must scroll to the left, select My Music followed by Playlists>Start a New Playlist. You’ll be prompted to give your playlist a suitable name, such as ‘My favourite Beatles tracks’ or ‘Mellow moods’. Once done, the playlist will appear in the list. Tap it to continue. Use the usual navigation tools to browse for a track to add to your playlist. When you’ve found it, right-click or swipe up, tap ‘Add to’ and select your playlist from the pop-up menu. 4: Select multiple tracks 5: Review playlist 6: Control playback Repeat the process for other tracks you wish to include – Ctrl-click to select multiple tracks from a single album or press Ctrl+A to select all the tracks from that album before adding them. Click the playlist name to review it. Remove or reorder tracks by right-clicking them and choosing the appropriate option. Sadly Xbox Music doesn’t support drag-and-drop reordering. Select a track and click the play button to start playing the playlist from that point. Click ‘…’ next to the playback controls at the bottom to switch repeat and shuffle controls on or off. 68 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 67. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Protect your gaming privacy Avoid giving too much away when gaming O nline gaming is a social experience, and Xbox Games provides a good central hub for your social gaming needs. It offers a range of popular games ported from the Xbox 360 platform as well as a number of exclusive titles for Windows 8. And thanks to your Microsoft account, it’s possible to link together your Xbox Live gamertag Xbox Games with your Windows account to make sharing and syncing that much easier. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of playing games with or against fellow humans from across the world, but have you ever stopped and asked yourself about what sort of information you’re sharing with others? The step-by-step guide reveals how to review your privacy settings, then restrict access to personal information as well as connected equipment using Windows’ own privacy tools. You’ll also be prompted to check your privacy settings from the desktop, from individual games to entire gaming systems like Steam. Review and tighten privacy settings 1: General privacy 2: Account permissions 3: App permissions 4: Review passwords Open the Settings charm and select Change PC settings>Privacy. Work through the various sections checking what to share. Note the Location, Webcam, Microphone and Other devices sections that enable control on an app-by-app basis. Open Xbox Games followed by the Settings charm. Select Account, enter your password, select Privacy and Online Settings. When your browser opens, scroll down and check the Privacy Control settings. Change any to tighten privacy if necessary. Games must display privacy settings when they first launch. Review these to verify you’re happy before clicking Accept. Open the Settings charm to review the privacy policy with any existing games, uninstalling any you’re unhappy with. Regularly update passwords. That doesn’t just mean the password for your Microsoft Account, but also any passwords used for games played online or on your desktop. Again, review any privacy settings with these standalone accounts. Windows Media Player Stream music via Wi-Fi for free 1: Set up 2: Access from other PCs 3: Stream from other devices Open the Search charm, type ‘media streaming options’ and then tap the link that appears. Opt to turn on media streaming if necessary, then give your media library a more memorable name. Other Windows 8 PCs and tablets can access your shared libraries from their own version of Windows Media Player. Just select the shared library in the left-hand pane, then browse and play. You can also access your media library from any DLNA/uPNP-compatible device or app – just select your PC from the list to browse to (and select) the music and other media you’d like to listen to. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 69
  • 68. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Access media Make the most of your photos and home movies with these guides he digital age is never more apparent than when shooting video or taking photos. Was it really only 15 or so years ago that we were using film? Now you can snap away with little thought or regard for cost, and Windows 8 is packed full of tools and free apps that can help you transform the best of your output into photos you can print or share, and movies you’ll want to broadcast over the internet to friends and family. In this collection of guides, we’ll reveal how to do more with your webcam using Windows’ Camera app. Not only will you learn how to tap into some great new features, you’ll also discover how to edit your photos to improve lighting, remove imperfections and introduce striking effects, all with just a few clicks or taps. And when you’re done, we’ll also show you how to quickly show off your finished masterpieces with the help of the Share charm. When it comes to video, Windows is still a little lacking on the built-in apps front, but armed with the right free tool – Movie Maker – you can transform your rough, unedited video clips into a sumptuous movie. Discover how to edit, add transition effects and publish your finished movie online. All that is left to do is change your name to Steven Spielberg, Jr. T Share photos Use the Share charm to show your friends 1: Open the app 2: Select the service 3: Search Windows Store Open an app to access the photo or video clip you wish to share – such as SkyDrive, Photos or Camera. Once the photo has been selected, open the Share charm. Select the service you’d like to use. Add or customise a message and select recipients if necessary before clicking the appropriate button to share it. If you don’t see the service you want, you’ll need to find a compatible app. Open the Windows Store and search for the service you’re after, such as Facebook or Flickr. 70 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 69. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Master the camera Take photos and video quickly using the Camera app I f you’ve got a tablet or laptop, or you’ve plugged in an external webcam to your desktop PC, then all the tools you need to take photos or shoot video clips using your camera are built into Windows 8 itself. The Camera app is really easy to use – just fire up the app, then click the camera icon to take a photo or the video button to start shooting video, and you’re off and running. Simplicity is the name of the game here – photos are instantly transferred to your Camera Roll for editing or sharing, while videos will record Camera until you hit the Stop button. If that’s all you need, fantastic, but you can go further. The step-by-step guide reveals options you can tweak within the app itself, but you can also edit other preferences, too. To do so, open the Settings charm and choose Options. What tweaks you’re shown completely depends on your camera model, but you may find options for changing the image size and aspect ratio, plus more controls for fine-tuning the camera’s focus, brightness levels and other potentially useful settings. Whatever you decide to do, you can be sure of great results. Use the Camera function Pick the right mode for your photographs Crop, edit and transform your photos The camera usually automatically sets the correct brightness level, but to change this swipe or right-click to reveal the exposure slider. Move the slider to lighten/darken it. 1: Crop to perfection 2: Fast fixes Select your photo in Camera, Photos or SkyDrive. Swipe up or right-click to access editing options via the App bar. Use the Crop tool and Aspect Ratio button to remove unwanted parts of your image. Click Edit to explore available tweaks. Auto Fix gives you five different effects and corrections to try. Click one for a preview – if you don’t like any, click the top-most thumbnail to restore the original. 3: Remove imperfections 4: Lighting and colour Click ‘Basic fixes’ to access a red-eye removal tool (just click on the affected eye) and a retouch tool, which lets you zoom into the image and then brush over unwanted elements to remove them. Select Light or Color to make further changes to the picture’s lighting or the colour balance using a selection of wheels – click and drag it clockwise or anti-clockwise to increase or decrease the effect. Click the Timer button on the app bar once to delay the shot for three seconds, or twice for a ten-second pause, after you press the camera button. If your camera supports it, click the Panorama button. Follow the instructions to pan your camera around a fixed spot to create an animated panoramic view. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 71
  • 70. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Edit and publish your movies Create video gems with Movie Maker E ven the best movie directors need to edit their raw video footage into something presentable. If you want to craft the perfect movie from a selection of different clips then you’ll need a proper video-editing tool, and Microsoft’s Movie Maker is still one of the best freebies out there. Download and install it as part of the Windows Live Essentials suite from – once installed, you can stitch all your clips and edit them into a coherent whole. And once you’ve got a rough cut finished, you can tap into Movie Maker’s many tools; create transitions between scenes, add your own soundtrack and create title and credit sequences. Movie Maker Edit video clips 1: Import clips 2: Rearrange clips 3: Trim clips Open Movie Maker and click the Add Videos or Photos button. Browse to the folder containing your videos, then hold Ctrl as you click on each one you wish to include. Click Open to import them. The clips will appear in the order they’ll be displayed. To change the running order just click and hold the mouse on a clip, then drag it into its desired position on the timeline. Select a clip, then use the playback controls in the preview window to select the point at which you want it to begin. Now right-click the clip in the timeline window and choose ‘Set start point’. 4: Finish trimming 5: Split large clips 6: Complete the rough edit Now use the playback controls to set the point at which the clip should end, then right-click the clip in the timeline window again, but this time choose ‘Set end point’ to trim it. If you need to trim a long clip in various places, split it: use the playback controls as before, but this time right-click the clip and select Split to divide it into two. Repeat as necessary. Continue trimming your clips until you’re happy with the rough cut of your movie (note your editing has no effect on the original footage). Choose ‘Save project as’ on the File tab to protect your changes. 72 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 71. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Master transitions How to give your movies a more professional flow R ather than have your movie judder from one scene to the next, you should consider using transitions to give it a more professional flow and feel. As you edit your movie together, placing transitions between stitched clips can ensure that the scenes flow into each other with a professional-looking fade or wipe. Not only does Movie Maker this instantly make your movie flow better and be much easier on the eye to watch, but it also adds a touch of class that displays to everyone that you know what you’re doing. With transitions in place, even the most amateurish footage can be given a professional sheen and become instantly more appealing, so it definitely pays off in the finished composition to have them in place. In the following tutorial we will show you exactly how to insert transitions into your features. The process is quick and easy and, like we have mentioned, makes all of the difference when proudly showing off your finished movies to your friends, family and the world at large. Add transitions to break up scenes 1: Transitions 101 2: Preview effects 3: Set duration 4: Apply to all Transition effects make the shift between different scenes and clips less sudden by using effects such as fades or wipes to create more of a natural and professional flow. See what’s available by switching to the Animations tab. A number of common effects are visible in the Transitions section. Simply roll your mouse over one to see a preview of what it will look like when used. Click the down arrow to the right of these transactions to view them all. Once you’ve found a transition that you like and feel will work well with your movie, click it to apply to the currently selected clip (or clips). Now use the Duration drop-down menu to speed up or slow down the effect and get it working right for you. It pays to use a single transition across your entire movie for consistency, but the choice is ultimately yours. When you’re happy with your work, click the ‘Apply to all’ button to apply the current transition to all your slides and get everything in order. Share your movie online Let others enjoy your hard work 1: Choose online destination 2: Pick movie settings 3: Upload and watch Once your project is finished to your satisfaction, open the File menu, select ‘Publish movie’ and pick your chosen provider from the list – supported destinations include YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook. First select the desired size of your movie – the higher the resolution, the slower the upload, but the better the quality at the other end. Once done, log into your provider with your account details. Provide any extra information requested – including setting the permission level for your movie, then click Publish and wait for it to be uploaded. Once complete, share the web link with friends! Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 73
  • 72. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Web browsing Master Internet Explorer’s features and commands in these essential guides I nternet Explorer 10 was bundled with Windows 8, but Windows 8.1 comes with version 11 and it is even better. It has some great features for both beginners and seasoned web users and it is very easy to navigate. Click the tile on the Start screen and it opens full screen so you can see more of the websites you visit. Which page does it show when it first starts, though? It displays Bing web search by default, but in our tutorials we show how you can change that initial startup screen to something else more suitable. It can be your favourite website. In fact it is possible to start with a whole group of web pages by making several your home page. One click and you have access to your most-used websites. Favorites, sometimes called Bookmarks by other browsers, enable you to store a website or page as a tile. You can then return to it with a couple of clicks without having to remember what the address is or type it in. There’s a brief tutorial showing how to add Favorites and how to open them on tabs. Privacy when browsing the web is a concern for many people and there is a section on boosting the security and privacy by using Do Not Track and Tracking Protection Lists. These are very useful features to set up. Internet Explorer Use tabbed web browsing 1: Right-click options 2: Browse the tabs 3: New and closed tabs Internet Explorer can have more than one web page open and they are opened on what it calls tabs. Right-click any link on a page and select ‘Open link in new tab’. Right-click on an empty part of the screen to display the tab panel below with its thumbnails of open pages. Click one to go there or click the ‘X’ to close the tab. The plus button at the right side opens a new blank tab and you can then browse a new website. The three dots reopens a closed tab or opens an InPrivate tab for security. 74 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 73. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Clear browsing history Delete your internet activities to boost your security W henever you use the internet, for whatever reason, your activity is recorded and stored. Internet Explorer remembers pages you visit so that when you visit them again it can speed up the process. It saves information entered into forms so you don’t have to type them in again the next time you need to fill in a form, and so on. Although the intention here is to be helpful, storing your details is also a security risk if anyone ever gained access to your computer. For this reason you might want to delete your web browsing history. Secure browsing There are many different components, such as browsing history, cookies, downloads and form data. These are covered in step four of the tutorial. Cookies and passwords contain the login details for all the websites you sign into, so don’t delete them if you have forgotten them. The next time you visit a website that requires you to log in, you will need to enter your username and password if they have been erased in Internet Explorer. Images, browsing data, and download history is safe to delete, though. ‘Keep data for favorites’ prevents erasing data for bookmarked sites. Share sites on social networks Post to Twitter or Facebook from within Internet Explorer Hide your tracks after web browsing If you have added Facebook or Twitter accounts to the People app, go to the Charms bar at the right side of the screen and then click Share. 1: Start Internet Explorer 2: Go to the options We need to access the settings in Internet Explorer, so click the tile on the Start screen. Move the mouse to the top-right corner and click Settings in the Charms bar. This new Settings panel appears on the right and you might expect to be able to clear the browsing history in the Privacy section of Settings, but you need to click Options instead. 3: Go to the History 4: Set the History options Look down the Options section of Internet Explorer settings and there is a History section. Click the Select button to view all the different things that Internet Explorer’s History stores. There are tick boxes for each component that is stored and the top three are selected by default. It is up to you whether you delete passwords and form data. They may be useful. There are three options and you could email a link to a web page, but we will use the Facebook and Twitter accounts in the People app. Click it. It will either say Facebook or Twitter at the top. Click it to select the one to use. Add a comment and then click the Post button on the right. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 75
  • 74. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Prevent tracking on your activities Learn how to set up the Do Not Track option verywhere you go on the web, someone somewhere is tracking your activities. Sometimes this is helpful, for example when shopping sites suggest items you might like based on previous purchases, but it can be a worry when advertisers and unknown people track your browsing. There is a setting in Internet Explorer called Do Not Track which asks websites not to track your online activities. It can’t be enforced, but many sites respect it. There are also Tracking Protection Lists that can prevent undesirable sites from tracking you online. In the tutorial we show how to set up both options in Internet Explorer, increasing your online privacy and making the web safer. E Do Not Track Improve privacy 1: Go to privacy options 2: Turn it on 3: Block location tracking Start Internet Explorer and move the mouse to the top-right corner to show the Charms bar. Click Settings and then click Privacy in the Settings list. It contains Do Not Track. When the Privacy settings open, have a look at Do Not Track. If it is set to off, click the switch to turn it on. It doesn’t work straight away and you must close Internet Explorer and re-open it. Just below Do Not Track is Location. Websites can determine where you live through Internet Explorer and if you want to prevent this, click the switch to turn it off. 4: Add tracking protection lists 5: Pick a list 6: Turn on tracking protection Just above Do Not Track is a link to ‘Add Tracking Protection Lists’. Click it and this web page will open. It contains lists of websites to block and it helps increase privacy. There are many Tracking Protection Lists and each one is slightly different, such as one for kids, others for enhanced privacy. Click the Add button next to the one you want. Return to the Privacy section in Internet Explorer settings and now the top item has an on/off switch where before it was disabled. You can now turn on tracking protection. 76 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 75. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Set your home page Save time and effort by opening on the site you want C lick the Internet Explorer tile and it will automatically display the Bing home page. Of course, there is no denying that Bing is an excellent search engine, but some people prefer Google and they might want to start with that instead. The good news is that it is easy to switch from one home page to another. In the tutorial Home page below, we show how to add Google as a start page (step 3) in addition to how to delete the Bing home page (step 4). You can, in fact, have more than one home page. If you have two or more then Internet Explorer opens the first one and displays it. The other home pages are opened as tabs in the background (tabs have been covered on page 74). The home pages are opened in the order they appear in the list, so if you add Google then Bing will open and display and Google will be on a hidden tab. If you delete Bing and then add it again, it becomes the second home page and Google is displayed and Bing opens on a hidden tab. Open one or more pages automatically 1: Go to Options 2: View the home page 3: Edit the address 4: Remove home pages Some websites offer to set the home page automatically by clicking a link or button on the page, as Google does here. For other pages, you have to go to the Charms bar at the right side of the screen and click Settings followed by Options. Click Customize under Home Page to display this panel which shows the current home page. It is set to Bing by default, but if you prefer another startup page, such as Google, it’s easy to change. To add the page we’re on, click ‘Add current site’. Clicking the ‘Add current site’ button enters the address of the page currently displayed. In this case the address is the one we want to use, but in some cases it might not be. You can click in the box and edit the address or enter something different. Clicking Add returns you to step two, but with the added Google home page. This means there are two home pages and both open in tabs. Click a home page (in step 2) and there is an option to edit the URL or remove it. It is your choice. Bookmark favourite websites Build up your Favorites to save typing in website addresses 1: Use the Favorites button 2: Select a location 3: Open a Favorite Right-click the page if you can’t see the bottom bar and then click the Favorites button (the star) to remember this web page. It will save you having to type it in next time. Click the star on the right to store the site. Dark blue tiles represent folders created with the desktop version of Internet Explorer and Favorites can be stored in them. When the Favorites panel is open you can click a Favorite tile to open the website or right-click it and there are options to remove it, edit it or open it in a new tab. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 77
  • 76. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Troubleshooting Use these helpful guides to tackle common Windows problems indows is very reliable and you will rarely have problems. Many people find that it works fine for years, but a few people may be unlucky and a rogue program could freeze, preventing you from quitting or doing anything. It is useful to know how to deal with stuck programs and the tool you need is Task Manager. It shows the programs that are running and allows you to forcibly quit them, even when they aren’t responding. Another use for Task Manager is for stopping programs from opening. Not all programs are desirable and if something gets onto the PC that you don’t want, you can stop it in Task Manager. There are tutorials showing different ways of starting Task Manager and how it can be used to end programs and disable startup software. There is a tutorial on creating restore points and using System Restore. It’s an old favourite for recovering from all sorts of problems, but where is it? We show how to find it and use it. More serious computer problems require more powerful tools and it is possible to refresh Windows without losing any of your music, photos, documents or videos. It is even possible to completely wipe the disk and reinstall Windows. There are two ways to do this and there are tutorials showing both. W Task Manager Access Task Manager quickly 1: A keyboard shortcut 2: Use the secret menu 3: Task Manager via the taskbar There is a special key combination that PCs have used since the earliest days and that is Ctrl+Alt+Del. Press it and then click Task Manager in the menu to open it on the desktop. No matter whether you are on the Start screen or on the desktop, there is a hidden menu that can be accessed by pressing WinKey+X. Then select Task Manager from the list. A third and final way to access Task Manager is to move the mouse down to the bottom of the screen. Right-click an empty part of the taskbar and select Task Manager to open it. 78 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 77. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Add/remove features Customise Windows by controlling the features W indows is supplied in a configuration that will suit the vast majority of people. Microsoft has invested an awful lot in designing it to appeal to almost everyone. However, if you have special requirements, it is possible to add extra features and if there are ones that you don’t like, then it is possible to remove them. This is carried out by configuring Windows Features in the Control Panel as we show in the tutorial. It is straightforward to use, but it isn’t for novices, so it is not the first thing you should fiddle with as a new Windows 8.1 user! Modify Windows As you can see in the final step of the tutorial, there are some advanced features and most are aimed at expert users. There are networking components, a web server and more. The two simplest features and ones that are easy to understand are Internet Explorer 11 and Windows Media Player. We think Internet Explorer is excellent, but some people prefer a different web browser, such as Google Chrome. You can remove Internet Explorer by clearing its tick box. The same is true of Windows Media Player and if you have installed an alternative, then Microsoft’s can be removed. Use system restore on your PC Create restore points and then use them with System Restore Easily add and remove features To create a restore point, type ‘system restore’ into the Start screen. Click ‘Create a restore point’. You can also go to the Control Panel and click Recovery. 1: Open the Control Panel 2: Open Programs and Features Whether you are on the Start screen, in an app or on the desktop, you can press WinKey+X to display this menu. Then click Control Panel to open it. The Control Panel can be viewed in different ways. In the View by menu at the top-right, select Small Icons. Now you can see everything. Find and click ‘Programs and Features’ to open it. 3: Extra install/uninstall options 4: Features for experts You would normally use this part of the Control Panel to uninstall programs that are no longer needed. However, we want to turn Windows features on or off, so click the link on the left. Windows features are added by ticking the boxes and are removed by clearing the ticks. Most items are for advanced users, but some are easier like Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. There are buttons to configure restore settings, which lets you choose how much disk space can be used for restore points. Click ‘Create...’ and add a name. Clicking the System Restore button opens a window for you to restore a restore point. In other words, put the system back as it was when the restore point was saved. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 79
  • 78. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Learn to fix your PC’s problems How to deal with software problems O ccasionally, you may find that your PC stops running as well as it should or that certain applications grind to a halt or issues arise that prevent you from using them. In which case there is a utility box full of tools you can use to quit problematic apps and try and get to the root of the problem. Here we will guide you through the relatively simple process of quitting out of malfunctioning apps (there are two tricks to try here), preventing certain applications from featuring in your computer’s startup process (good for rooting out suspect programs) and getting detailed reports on how your computer and your network is performing to try and fathom the causes of possible slowdown. Fix problems Deal with problem apps 1: End frozen programs 2: Get more details 3: Stop misbehaving software It is quite rare, but sometimes programs simply freeze and stop responding. When this happens, start Task Manager, select the program in the list and click the ‘End task’ button at the bottom. The previous Task Manager view is the simplest one, but it doesn’t provide a complete view of the PC’s status. Click ‘More details’ to switch to this view. It shows hidden tasks and more. If all the usual attempts to stop a program from running have failed and it has frozen or is otherwise misbehaving, find the program on the Processes tab, right-click it and select ‘End task’. 4: Check the performance 5: Stop startup programs 6: Get more information Select the Performance tab. Task Manager shows how hard the CPU, memory, disk and network is working. High values for the first three indicate that something might be wrong. A common cause of problems is programs that start with Windows. You can see a list of these on the Startup tab. Prevent programs from starting by selecting them and clicking Disable. It isn’t always easy to tell whether a startup program is useful or not. To get more information about them, right-click and then select ‘Search online’. Internet Explorer shows Bing search results. 80 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 79. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Refresh your PC Discover how to retrieve lost data and get your computer up to speed F ollowing on from the previous tutorial, if your PC is running slowly and is in obvious need of refreshing, then you can do just that. Tucked away in your computer’s settings is an option to refresh your PC to try and restore it to its previous efficiency levels. You will need to access your Charms bar and then click on Settings Recovery functions followed by ‘Change PC settings’. Here you will find the ‘Update & recovery’ section that contains two very useful options. The ‘Refresh your PC’ option is useful if your PC feels sluggish and isn’t running well and means that all of your photos, music, videos and other personal files won’t be affected as the hard drive is being defragmented. The other option to remove everything and reinstall Windows is a lot more extreme and should only really be used as a last resort if you have already tried to refresh your machine without any noticeable difference. This option will wipe everything on your machine and start afresh with a new setup. Two options to help you fix problems 1: Go to Settings 2: Update & Recovery 3: Click Recovery 4: Read the process Move the mouse to the top-right corner so the Charms bar appears at the side of the screen and then click on Settings. Next, click on the ‘Change PC settings’ option at the bottom of the panel. The PC settings screen appears with a panel of categories listed down the left-hand side of the screen. There are some useful options in the ‘Update & recovery’ section. Click on it from the list to continue. Select Recovery on the left. The first option refreshes Windows, but keeps all of your files. The second option erases everything (beware), and restarts with a clean and fresh PC, which is the last resort. Whatever option you choose, you will be provided with a rundown of exactly what the chosen course of action will entail. Make sure you read and understand the process before committing to the action. Access the recovery functions Can’t start Windows? Don’t panic, there is a solution 1: Restart and recover 2: Choose a startup option 3: Refresh or reset If Windows will not start, but you can at least get to the login screen shown here, click the power button in the bottom-right corner and then hold down Shift and click Restart. When Windows restarts, it is completely different and instead of the lock screen and login screen, this is displayed instead. Continue starts normally, but we want the Troubleshoot tile. The first option, ‘Refresh your PC’, solves many problems by overwriting Windows with a fresh copy, but without deleting any files. ‘Reset your PC’ erases everything and reinstalls Windows. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 81
  • 80. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Tricks Everything you need to know to master the native Windows 8 apps on the Modern User Interface 84 86 88 Protect your PC with security software Customise and sort Start screen apps Disable apps for set periods of time 102 84 90 92 94 Switch between multiple windows Sync Lock screen and desktop backgrounds Customise the taskbar and other features 92 82 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 96 98 100 1 02 104 1 06 110 1 08 1 10 1 12 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 Use Windows Peek to simplify navigation Control apps with Task Manager Protect your hard drive with BitLocker Run Windows 8 wherever you are Share fles across devices wirelessly
  • 81. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS 1 14 1 16 1 18 120 122 124 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 138 140 142 142 144 146 148 150 152 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 120 126 128 130 132 134 136 Remember your favourite website 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 150 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 83
  • 82. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Protect your PC with security software Improve the security of your Windows 8 computer and protect against viruses by installing third-party anti-virus software E ach new version of Windows has increased security and 8.1 is the best yet. But even with the extra improvements, it isn’t completely safe to use without additional security software. To ensure that your machine is safe and sound, it is best to download and install a third-party program. There are many to choose from and AVG, explored in this tutorial, is just one example. AVG protects the computer as you use it, but it is a good idea to perform a full system scan once a week to make sure nothing has slipped through. Full scans take a long time to complete, but right-clicking a folder enables you to perform a quick scan of the contents and can be performed at any time, and it is a good idea to get into the practise of it to protect your computer. Archives, such as zip files, are not checked by default, but this can be turned on in the advanced settings if you need it. It’s also useful to enable reporting of potentially unwanted programs in the settings for an extra security measure. Be safe! Protect your email accounts Email protection is applied to the email software that you use on the computer, such as the Mail app on the Start screen or good old Microsoft Outlook. However, if you use Google Mail or a similar web-based email service, you might as well turn off email protection in AVG because it does not scan web mail. 84 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 83. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS AntiVirus Boost a PC’s security with AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 1: Download AVG 2: Install AVG Go to the Windows desktop and click Internet Explorer in the taskbar. Enter avg. com into the address box and from the home page follow the links for AVG AntiVirus Free 2014. Download the file. After downloading the program, click File Explorer in the taskbar and open the Downloads folder. Run the AVG installer. You have a choice of the free version or the more powerful Internet Security. 3: The main screen 4: Scan the computer AVG AntiVirus Free automatically starts after it is installed. There is also a desktop shortcut to open it. Each tile shows the status of the protection (except Firewall, which isn’t in the free version). It is a good idea to perform a full system scan after installation, so click Scan Now on the main screen to start it. Tip: Drag the slider at the bottom to speed up the scanning process. 5: Perform quick scans 6: Customise the settings Open File Explorer to view the disk. Right-clicking a file or folder displays a menu and there is an option to scan it with AVG. This is quick and it’s a good idea to scan Downloads. On the main AVG screen (step 3), click Options>Advanced Settings. Select ‘Whole Computer Scan’ on the left to customise the scanning, for example, to scan archives like zip files. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 85
  • 84. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Customise and sort the Start screen apps Always find what you need with these top tips for exploring the new ways to customise and arrange apps on the Start screen indows 8.1 has added new ways to view the apps on the Start screen and the facilities are much improved over the previous release of Microsoft’s operating system. It has always been possible to arrange tiles into named groups and to change the tile size, but now there are even more possibilities. Instead of just small and large tiles, in Windows 8.1 there is a choice of large, wide, medium and small sizes. It should be pointed out that not all tiles currently support this, but many do so you should be able to apply it to at least some of yours. So what are the new possibilities? Well, finding an app on the Start screen used to be a little awkward. Although you could get a list of all the apps, you couldn’t choose the order. This has all changed in Windows 8.1 and as you’ll see in the tutorial, the apps can be sorted by name, date installed, most used and category. Most used is a great way to view apps because your favourites always appear first in the list. W Finding software Have you ever experienced the annoyance of installing a piece of software, only to find that nothing has appeared on the Start screen? Where is the tile to run the program? Switch to the All Apps view as shown in step one and scroll the screen to the right. The software should be there, ready for you to run and enjoy. 86 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 85. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Start screen Customise your Start screen by rearranging and resizing apps 1: View the apps 2: Change the sort order Go to the Start screen if it isn’t already showing and below the tiles near the bottom is a down-pointing arrow. Click it to list all the Start screen apps and software installed. Next to Apps at the top of the screen is By Name with an arrow next to it. Click it to access a menu that enables the order of the apps to be changed. Choose one that appeals. 3: Pin to Start 4: Start screen options If there are apps that currently don’t have tiles on the Start screen, right-click them in the list. Then go to the bottom of the screen and click Pin to Start to add them. Return to the Start screen after selecting and adding tiles and you will see them displayed in a new group on the right. Right-click an empty part of the screen and click Customize. 5: Name the groups 6: Resize the tiles Above each group of tiles is an area called Name Group. Clicking here enables the name to be changed to whatever suits you best. Call them My Tools, Top Apps or whatever you want. Right-click a tile to display a menu bar containing various options at the bottom of the screen. Left-click the Resize option and a menu is displayed. Choose a size for the tile. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 87
  • 86. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Disable apps for set periods of time Use the Quiet Hours function to turn off notifications W indows 8.1 provides the ability to turn off app notifications during set periods of time. From alarms, calendar notifications, and mail alerts, you can set a certain time in the day for a duration of time as to when your apps and notifications are disabled. This is handy functionality for a tablet or laptop computer, where you can set the quiet hours to when you are asleep and not be disturbed. The Quiet Hours function also Quiet Hours enables you to still receive Skype phone calls, thereby allowing you to make your Skype call in peace without fear of notifications interrupting your call. By utilising the Quiet Hours function, you can personalise your Windows 8 device to suit your needs, and be available or unavailable when it suits you. Whether you are asleep, at work, school, or with family, the Quiet Hours function tailors your Windows 8 device to your needs. Control app notifications 1: Open the Settings 2: Change settings Access the Charms bar by moving the mouse pointer to the upper or lower right-hand side of the screen to bring in the Charms bar. Navigate the mouse to the Settings button and click it. A different side bar will have appeared providing a number of options. At the very bottom will be a ‘Change PC settings’ section. Click on this to be taken to the next step. 3: PC Settings screen 4: Control your apps Once you have accessed the PC Settings screen you will by default be presented with the standard settings, with a list of subsections on the left of the screen. Click on the ‘Search & apps’ subsection. The ‘Search & apps’ screen provides access to all of the settings for integrated search, apps used to share information, the size of your installed apps, and the notifications section. Click on Notifications to bring up Quiet Hours. 88 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 87. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Special settings for Skype users Within the Notifications section is the option to disable or enable Skype calls during Quiet Hours, in addition to setting Skype to turn on your screen when you receive a call; providing you with both an audible and visual alert. You can also toggle notification sounds to just visual ones, if preferred. 5: Look through the options 6: Quiet Hours The Notifications screen provides you with options to toggle various app notification settings, from notification sounds, to turning on your screen when a Skype call is received. Also choose notifications that appear on the lock screen. Midway down the Notifications screen is the Quiet Hours section. By toggling this on, you are able to set what time your apps are disabled and for how long for, in addition to opting to receive Skype calls. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 89
  • 88. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Switch between multiple windows If you use multiple apps simultaneously, quickly switch between them W indows has an ‘s’ on the end because the operating system isn’t about running one app at a time. You might have Maps and News open from the Start screen, WordPad, File Explorer and Calculator open on the desktop, and so on. Managing all these open apps and windows is actually quite straightforward and it is easy to arrange them, view them and switch from one to another. Multiple windows There are some useful features and shortcuts that make managing multiple windows a piece of cake and they are easy to learn. A key press is all it takes to switch from one desktop window to another, slide the mouse and you can switch between Start screen apps, and you can easily arrange apps so they sit side-by-side without overlapping on the desktop. Here are all the tips and techniques you need to make working with windows stress-free. Quickly access all open windows 1: Find the window 2: Peek at a window When multiple windows are open on the desktop and you want to switch to another, go to the taskbar and let the mouse hover over each icon. A thumbnail of the window is displayed. When a thumbnail is displayed, move the mouse to hover over the thumbnail and the window is displayed while the others on the screen fade away. Click it to switch to it. 3: Switch windows 4: Start screen apps A quick way to switch windows is to press Alt+Tab. Thumbnails appear in the centre and the currently selected one is displayed behind them. Let go to select one. Open one Start screen app, press the Windows key and open another, and another. Moving the mouse to the top-left corner and pulling down shows thumbnails of each app. Click one to switch. 90 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 89. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Autoarrangment In step six we describe how you can automatically arrange windows to fill half of the screen. If this does not work for you, press WinKey+X to open up the Control Panel. Once open, scoot over and click to open the Ease of Access Center and then click Make it Easier to Focus on Tasks. Now you need to click the tick under Make it Easier to Manage Windows. 5: Peek at the desktop 6: Auto-size windows You might want to take a look at the desktop if it has shortcuts and folders you need. Move the mouse to the right side of the taskbar and the windows become completely transparent. Click and drag a window to the left or right and they are automatically resized to fill the left or right half of the screen. Pressing the Windows key and the left or right arrow does exactly the same thing. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 91
  • 90. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Sync Lock screen and desktop backgrounds Give Windows 8.1 an instant makeover by assigning the same wallpaper to the desktop and the Lock screen indows 8 used different Lock screen, desktop and Start screen backgrounds, but with Windows 8.1 you can make them all the same. This gives Windows a consistent look and feel because the same image is used everywhere. You can continue to have different backgrounds of course, but it is well worth trying it with the same one because it is much nicer. The tutorial shows how to set a personal Lock screen, shown when you click your tile on the Start screen and select Lock. A different Lock screen is shown when the PC is switched on. This is not a personal Lock screen, but a general one. To change its background in Windows 8.1 Pro, simply press WinKey+R and enter gpedit.msc. On the left go to Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Control Panel>Personalization. On the right, doubleclick ‘Force a specific default Lock screen image’. You can then choose an image from your photos folder as in the tutorial. W Find wallpaper Several background images are bundled up and ready to with Windows, but if you need more then just go to in Internet Explorer and search for ‘free wallpaper’. You will find thousands online and to get one on your PC, just right-click an image and select Save Picture As, saving it into the Pictures folder. 92 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 91. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Beautiful backgrounds Unify background images 1: Personalise the desktop 2: Pick a picture Click the desktop tile on the Start screen to go to the desktop. Right-click the desktop and select Personalize from the menu. Click Desktop Background in the bottom of the window. The desktop background image can now be selected. Some will be shown in the window, but if you click the Picture Location button/menu and select Pictures Library you can choose your own photo. 3: Change the settings 4: PC & devices The window can be closed after selecting an image for the desktop. Go to the charms bar at the right side of the screen and click Settings. In the Settings panel, select ‘Change PC settings’. A tile to access the Lock screen settings is displayed among the top settings on the right, but another way to reach the settings we need is to click ‘PC & devices’ in the category list. 5: Lock screen settings 6: Choose the image In the ‘PC & devices’ section, make sure that ‘Lock screen’ is selected on the left. On the right is the current Lock screen background. Any of the images can be selected, but we want our own. Click the Browse button and the images in the Pictures library is displayed. This enables us to choose the same image that was used to set the desktop background, making them both the same. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 93
  • 92. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Customise the taskbar and other features Explore the customisation potential of the taskbar T he taskbar has been around since 1995, but each new version of Windows brings new features and customisation options. Windows 8.1 has some welcome additions and changes and in this tutorial we take a look at what is available to those users who like to tweak the default Windows settings. There is nothing advanced here, so don’t be put off and some of the customisation options are very useful. Taskbar tweaks For example, you can choose how many items appear in Jump Lists, which are the menus that appear when you right-click icons on the taskbar. You can add handy toolbars to the taskbar that enable you to access features that are hard to find, particularly if you are used to Windows 7’s way of working. It is even possible to configure Windows 8.1 to start up with the desktop instead of the Start screen. Get to know the options available to you 1: Taskbar properties 2: The taskbar tab Press the Windows key to make sure that you are on the Start screen and then click the Desktop tile. Right-click the taskbar at the bottom of the screen and select Properties on the menu. The first tab, Taskbar, has some useful options. Auto-hide automatically slides it off the bottom of the screen out of the way when it’s not being used. Alternatively, use small taskbar buttons. 3: Combine taskbar buttons 4: The Navigation tab Normally, when there are multiple windows on the screen as shown here, you only see one taskbar button. However, there are options to show them as separate buttons. Try it and see. There are lots of tweaks here, including an option to go straight to the desktop instead of the Start screen when you sign in. You can list desktop apps first in Apps view and more. 94 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 93. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Display options © Toshiba Eu rope GmbH On the Navigation tab is an option for people that have multiple monitors attached to their computer. Which of the screens should display Start when there is more than one? No need to fret – there is a tick box to ensure that the Start screen is always shown on the main display. Experiment with this if you have a two monitor setup. 5: Jump List options 6: Add a toolbar Right-click a taskbar icon and a Jump List is displayed, which has menus for accessing common functions and files. The Jump Lists tab lets you choose to show them and how many to show. Select the Toolbar tab and there are four useful toolbars that can be added to the taskbar. The Desktop toolbar provides quick access to common features and settings and this is how it looks. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 95
  • 94. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Dual boot Windows 7 and 8 to run both Don’t feel as though you have to abandon Windows 7 for 8 because both can be set up to share the disk f you are running an older version of Windows on your computer, such as 7 or even Vista, you might not want to completely give up what you are familiar with and start again with a fresh copy of Windows 8. However good a new operating system may be, it does feel awkward. But there is reason to celebrate, because you don’t have to choose one over the other. It is possible to have both. And here is another reason to celebrate; it isn’t that difficult to set up if you go about it in the right way. Here we look at installing Windows 8 on DVD onto a PC that is already running Windows 7. There are actually more steps involved than covered in the space of this tutorial, but a lot of them are incredibly straightforward, such as choosing between US or UK English, entering the serial number and so on. Therefore we will skip those steps and instead concentrate our efforts on the key ones that are important for ensuring that both versions of Windows work together on the same disk drive. I Selecting Windows Whenever the PC starts, you will be asked to choose the operating system – Windows 7 or Windows 8. Keep choosing Windows 8 until the installation is complete. From then on you can choose whichever one you want to start and both will work independently of each other. 96 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 95. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Install Windows 8.1 Run Windows 7 along with 8.1 1: Disk Management 2: Shrink the disk Here is an old PC that is running Windows 7. We need to make space for Windows 8.1, so click Start and enter ‘disk management’ into the search box. Click the item listed at the top. The Disk Management utility appears on the screen and lists the disk drives and partitions. Right-click the C: partition and select ‘Shrink Volume...’ from the list. We must make it smaller. 3: Set the size 4: Boot Windows 8 The utility suggests the amount to shrink the disk, but it may not be what you want. It’s a good idea to allocate half the disk space to Windows 7 and half to Windows 8. Insert the Windows 8.1 DVD into the CD/DVD-Rom drive and Windows is restarted. It boots up from the disc and installation of Windows 8 starts. Just follow the prompts. 5: Installation options 6: Pick a partition There are many steps during installation, but this is one of two key ones. Do not choose Upgrade. Instead, choose the second option labelled ‘Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)’. The second key step immediately follows and you must select the unallocated space. This is space created by shrinking drive C: in step 3. The rest of the installation proceeds as normal. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 97
  • 96. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Increase performance using ReadyBoost If your PC is a bit sluggish in the memory department, a USB flash memory drive can give it a boost I s your computer painfully slow? Does it seem to take a long time to do anything? Does your computer experience always involve waiting around while your PC churns away, trying to catch up? One of the most common causes of a slow computer is insufficient memory. When there is little memory, Windows makes a lot more use of the disk drive and it is constantly exchanging information between the memory and the hard disk. The problem with this is that disk drives are slow and so the computer becomes slow. One of the easiest and best ways to increase the speed of the computer is to add more memory. Put simply, the more memory that Windows has, the faster it will run. However, if you are unable to increase the memory in the PC, a good alternative is to use a feature called ReadyBoost. It makes use of cheap USB flash memory drives, which can be picked up really easily, and the storage space on one can be used by Windows to increase the speed. It isn’t tricky to do; in fact it can be completed in six steps as we show here. The benefits of increasing a PC’s memory Does ReadyBoost really work? Surely it seems too good to be true? Well it does work, but the success depends on the size and speed of the USB flash drive you use and the amount of memory in the PC. The biggest boost is on PCs with the minimum 2GB of memory and a big and fast USB flash drive. 98 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 97. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Use ReadyBoost Configure USB flash drives 1: Use File Explorer 2: A dedicated device Insert a USB flash memory drive and usually a menu pops up asking you what action to take. If it doesn’t appear, open File Explorer, right-click the drive and select Properties. Select the ReadyBoost tab in the Properties window to see the options. If you dedicate the device to ReadyBoost then all of the space on the drive will be used by Windows. 3: Limit the usage 4: Apply the settings Using all the device’s storage leaves none for yourself to store files on. Selecting Use This Device enables you to drag the slider to use less space, leaving the rest for yourself. Click the Apply button and Windows starts using the drive for storage. It shows as red in our Explorer screenshot because all of the space on our drive is dedicated to ReadyBoost. 5: PC Settings 6: Speed up Windows Go to the Charms bar at the right side of the screen and click Settings>Change PC settings. Select ‘PC & devices’ and there is an AutoPlay setting that refers to removable drives. Click the removable drive and in the menu is an option to always use ReadyBoost to speed up Windows when a USB flash memory drive is inserted. Alternatively, set it to ask every time. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 99
  • 98. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Keep on top of your PC’s health Use the Action Center to check that everything is okay with Windows and to fix problems if there are issues I s your computer protected from malware on the internet? Is it protected from hackers that might try to gain access through a wireless or wired network? Are you receiving important updates to Windows that contain patches and new features? The answer to these questions and many more can be found in Action Center. It is a place where Windows collates all sorts of useful and important information to ensure that your computer is running smoothly. Action Center is a desktop program. When you switch to the desktop you might occasionally see various messages pop up at the right-hand side of the screen. If the message appears above a small white flag, then that is Action Center notifying you of a potential problem with the computer. Don’t panic because many Be warned: it can be wrong! of the problems reported are actually quite straightforward to fix. For example, Action Center can tell you when Windows Update is turned off and it enables you to turn it back on. If Windows Firewall has been turned off, Action Center will notify you and provide a simple button to click which turns it back on. It is a great feature and it is there to help you to monitor your PC’s health. It’s worth getting to know. There are sometimes rare occasions when Action Center wrongly displays a notification that there is a problem. This can occur, for example, when using third-party software like a firewall that Windows doesn’t recognise. Action Center sees that Windows Firewall is off, but doesn’t realise you have an alternative program installed. “Windows collates information to ensure your computer runs smoothly” Navigate the Action Center screen Fix problems What sort of things do you want Action Center to notify you about? Click this link and you can turn various notifications on and off When problems are highlighted there is often a simple fix. Here Windows Defender is turned off and clicking Turn On Now solves the problem © Toshiba Europe GmbH Customise the notifications Spot the problems Problems reported are easy to spot and they are highlighted with a thick red line. The highlighted items require your immediate attention 100 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Expand the sections There is a lot of information and many settings in Action Center, but they may be hidden. Click the arrow buttons to expand each section
  • 99. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Action Center Check the status and understand the information 1: Go to Action Center 2: Is everything OK? There is more than one way to get to Action Center and the simplest is to type ‘action’ into the Start screen. This displays the Search panel and Action Center is highlighted below. Click to open it. This is how Action Center should ideally look, with very little to see. It means that the PC is running properly and Windows has not detected any problems. It is worth opening occasionally to check the PC’s status. 3: Expand the sections 4: Perform maintenance tasks There are two main sections in Action Center and these are Security and Maintenance. Normally they are hidden with just the title showing, but they can be expanded by clicking the arrows at the right-hand side. The Security section mostly contains information showing the status of the firewall, malware protection and so on, but the Maintenance section has useful tools. You can start maintenance, turn on File History, and so on. 5: Change the notifications 6: Solve problems Click the link on the left; ‘Change Action Center settings’. Action Center can notify you when a wide range of problems or situations arise and here you can choose the ones you want to see. Clear the tick boxes to disable notifications. When there is a problem with the computer, this is an example of the sort of thing you will see in Action Center. In this case there is a single problem regarding Windows Update and a ‘Change settings...’ button to repair the fault. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 101
  • 100. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Make your own Windows theme Discover this easy way to personalise Windows hen you first run your computer it has a default desktop image. If this isn’t to your liking, though, it is easy to change the image or images used for the desktop. There are even other settings to personalise how your computer looks every time you switch it on. There’s nothing quite as good as using your own special photos to make your computer feel your own, and the process is simple. If you have some photos to W Create themes hand it should only take a couple of minutes to achieve. And you aren’t limited to one theme. Create different ones for special times or to remind yourself of a recent holiday. But you don’t have to stay within your own experiences; you can download themes from the web – and there are some lovely ones available. Mix and match to get the perfect set of themes for every occasion. Personalise Windows with your own themes 1: Select photos 2: Go to theme settings Open File Explorer, select Pictures and right-click one or more photos. Hold the left mouse button down to multi-select. Right-click and then click ‘Set as desktop background’. Right-click on the desktop and pick Personalise from the menu that pops up. This opens up a new window that shows Windows default themes and your new, as yet unsaved, theme. 3: Configure slideshow settings 4: Shuffle or sequence? Tap Desktop Background at the bottom of the window and check all the pictures are selected. Make sure Fill is chosen as picture position, and tap below ‘Change picture every:’ to set the speed at which your desktop photos switch. Tap Shuffle if you would like your image to show randomly rather than in sequence, or leave Shuffle untapped if you want to have your images play in a set sequence. 102 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 101. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Conserve your battery power © Toshiba Eu rope GmbH If you are on a laptop, be aware that a slideshow that uses different images consumes more battery power than just a single desktop image does. So when you are delving into the settings, you might want to check the box to pause the slideshow when running on battery. This way your power will be spent on your work. 5: Set window colour 6: Save it Next tap Colour at the bottom of the Personalisation window and select one of the available colours. Tap ‘Show colour mixer’ and user the sliders to change the colour. Tap ‘Save changes’. When you are happy with everything, click ‘Save theme’, give your theme a memorable name, and then click Save. Now your theme is all set up and ready to be used. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 103
  • 102. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Use Windows Peek to simplify navigation Discover how to use Windows Peek to cut through open apps and see what is happening on the desktop P eek is a feature in Windows 8 that’s been brought across as part of what was the Aero Desktop suite of tweaks in Windows 7. Not all the Aero desktop features have come over to Windows 8, but Peek remains. It’s a clever little feature that lets you see behind app windows right onto the desktop. Why might you want to do this? Written down, it does seem like a bit of a pointless activity. But have a think about it. Lots of us have application shortcuts and either document shortcuts or actual documents on the desktop. Sometimes we want to check we’ve got something on the desktop, and getting through the clutter of a lot of open windows can take a while as it requires minimising or closing each window in turn. Peek is a simple, immediate way of seeing through each and every open window. When you are done, you’re returned to the window that was previously on top, and all the windows you have open are restored. Desktop options Peeking at the desktop doesn’t let you actually do anything relating to the desktop such as open documents or launch applications that sit on there. If you need to do this, there’s another option. Rightclick the far right end of the taskbar to activate Show Desktop. This minimises every open app and lets you access the desktop. 104 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 103. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Windows Peek See through to your desktop 1: Check Peek settings 2: Enable Peek In desktop view, right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen and click Properties to get into the settings area that lets you check whether or not Peek is enabled. In the Taskbar Properties window that opens, make sure the Taskbar tab is selected and then ensure there is a check next to ‘Use Peek to preview the desktop when you…’. Click Apply and OK. 3: Alt+tab 4: Taskbar thumbnails A neat extra is to hold down Alt+Tab to cycle through the windows you have open. Note that a frame appears around each window in turn. Release both keys when the window you want to view is framed. Put the cursor on, or tap, a taskbar icon and all open apps and windows will show as thumbnails. Tap a thumbnail to open it, tap the cross to close the app or window. 5: View the desktop 6: Disable Peek Put the cursor on the very far right of the taskbar and all open windows become transparent, with just their outlines visible. This enables you to see right through to the desktop. If you want to disable Peek for some reason, hover the mouse over the far right of the taskbar and click ‘Peek at desktop’ to disable it. You can re-enable it at a later date using the same method. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 105
  • 104. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Control apps with Task Manager View and manage what’s going on behind the scenes with the Windows 8 Task Manager W indows is a pretty complex thing, and it can handle an awful lot of stuff going on at the same time. Mostly you don’t need to know anything about what’s happening behind the scenes, as Windows just works. But sometimes, you need to take control. Windows has had a Task Manager for a long time now, and in Windows 8 it has had a spruce up and been made more user friendly, so that when you do need to spent some time with it, the process isn’t too daunting or difficult. Task Manager can help you boost your computer’s performance by controlling what runs automatically when you switch your computer on, and you can use it to force applications that are hogging space to shut down and free up resources. It can show you what’s hungry for resources and what’s not. And you can even see how hard your CPU, built-in memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Ethernet connections are working. Manage your apps © Toshiba Europe GmbH When closing apps, be aware that apps from the Windows Store are saved in the background when they’re not in use, so you don’t need to close them down to save system resources. If you really want to close them, though, just drag them off the bottom of the screen. 106 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 105. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Task Manager Control your apps 1: Open Task Manager 2: Simple view Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap or click on Search. Make sure Apps is selected, then type Task Manager in the box and click or tap Task Manager on the left of the screen. When you first run Task Manager you’ll see a list of the apps that are running at present. If you want to close an app just select it with a click or a screen tap and then tap ‘End task’. 3: More details 4: Close apps in Detailed View Tap or click ‘More details’ and you can see significantly more information about the apps and other things that are using system resources. Right-click or tap and hold any column to see more options. In Detailed View, to close an app you think is consuming lots of system resources but that you don’t need to have running, click or tap it to select then click or tap ‘End task’. 5: Start up apps 6: Check system performance If you want to take control of the apps that start up automatically on your PC, all you need to do is hit the Start-up tab and then right-click or long-press an app to disable it. Tap the Performance tab to see more information about how your system is handling everything you are asking it to do. You can check CPU loading, memory usage and even Wi-Fi usage. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 107
  • 106. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Protect your hard drive with BitLocker Worried about your hard drive falling into the wrong hands? Encrypt it I f you have a laptop, or have reason to worry about the security of the data on your hard drive, then encrypting it is the way to go. If you’re running Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro, then you can encrypt your drive using the BitLocker tool, which is built into Windows itself. You can use it to encrypt your Windows system drive – as we explain in the step-by-step guide – as well as any internal or external data drives attached to your PC. BitLocker If you want to encrypt your system drive, BitLocker requires your PC has a TPM module installed – while some PCs have this feature built-in, don’t worry if yours doesn’t. You can instruct Windows to accept a slightly less secure method of protecting your drive by following the advice in the boxout opposite. This allows you to use BitLocker with a USB flash drive or password instead – the step-by-step guide reveals how to set it up. Protect your drives with BitLocker Drive Encryption 1: Open BitLocker 2: Choose authentication method Open the Search charm (press WinKey+Q) and type Bitlocker into the Search box. Click ‘Manage BitLocker’ to open the ‘BitLocker Drive Encryption’ window. Start by clicking ‘Turn on BitLocker’ next to your C: drive. Data drives can be encrypted with a password or smart card; system drives without a TPM module require a password or USB flash drive. To use a flash drive, select it from the list and click Next. 3: Choose password 4: Back up recovery key If you want to log on to your PC using a password, type a strong one as requested, using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Click Next. When prompted to back up your recovery key, you have four choices. You could use your Microsoft account (the simplest option), another USB flash drive, a file you store somewhere else or print out the key to type manually. 108 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 107. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS No TPM? If your computer has no TPM, press WinKey+R, type gpedit.msc and press Enter to open Group Edit Policy. Browse to Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates>Windows Components>BitLocker Drive Encryption> Operating System Drives. Double-click the Require Additional Authentication at Startup option. Set it to Enable, then click OK. 5: Complete encryption 6: Review and reboot When asked to choose how much of your drive to encrypt, select the faster ‘Encrypt used disk space only’ option if it’s relatively new, or the slower ‘Encrypt entire drive’ option if there’s deleted data you’re worried about. Click Next. Leave ‘Run BitLocker system check’ ticked and click Continue, rebooting when prompted. Windows will prompt you for your USB drive or password before it will start, then will encrypt the drive in the background until it’s fully protected. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 109
  • 108. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Run Windows 8 wherever you are Discover how to run Windows 8 directly from a USB stick or hard drive using Windows To Go T he idea of running Windows 8 on a USB stick may sound a ridiculously strange idea, but it’s the ultimate expression of taking your PC with you in your pocket. Officially, Windows To Go (W2G) requires Windows 8 Enterprise and one of a select few USB flash drives, but the good news is that – with the help of this tutorial – you can build your own Windows To Go flash drive for testing purposes with Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. Before we get ahead of ourselves, you will need a number of things for this tutorial. First, you’ll need a 32GB or larger USB flash drive. You also need access to a Windows 8 installation DVD or ISO image. USB 3.0 drives are much quicker, of course, but you may run into problems booting from a USB 3.0 port rather than a USB 2.0 one. There are also time limitations – you can’t activate this version of Windows, so it’s very much for testing purposes only. But armed with your equipment and this tutorial, get ready to see how the Windows 8 system can be used anywhere. If you’re lucky enough to be running Windows 8 Enterprise and own a certified USB drive (see, then the whole process is far simpler – just type ‘Windows To Go’ into the Search charm to access a user-friendly wizard. Simply follow along and get started setting up your drive. 110 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps © Toshiba Europe GmbH Follow the wizard
  • 109. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Windows To Go Install and set up a flash drive 1: Prepare USB flash drive 2: Access DVD or ISO 3: Open Command Prompt Open File Explorer, right-click your flash drive and choose Format. Make sure NTFS is selected under File System, then click Start. Click OK, wait for the drive format, then click OK followed by Close. Either insert your Windows install DVD or doubleclick the ISO file to mount it in Windows. Make a note of the drive letter that’s assigned to both it and your USB flash drive. You’ll need these in a minute. Press WinKey+X and select Command Prompt (Admin). Replace <ISO> with your Windows DVD/ ISO drive letter, <USB> with your flash drive letter and change /Index:0 to /Index:1 if running Win8 Pro. 4: Create Windows flash drive 5: Make drive bootable 6: Set up Windows Type the following and press Enter, noting the comments in the previous step: dism /ApplyImage /ImageFile:<ISO>:sourcesinstall.wim / ApplyDir:<USB>: /Index:0> /CheckIntegrity /Verify. The extraction process can take over an hour – so long as your USB drive is flashing, all is well. Once complete, type bcdboot.exe <USB>:windows /s <USB>: /f ALL and press Enter to speed up booting. Make sure your flash drive is plugged into a USB 2.0 port and reboot your PC. Bring up the boot menu and select your USB drive. Windows should start to set itself up – again, be prepared for a long wait. 7: Set up user account 8: Access Windows Store 9: Test away Once it’s rebooted, you’ll be asked to enter your product key (skip this step) and set up a local user account. Follow the wizard to finish installation then press WinKey+R, type gpedit.msc and press Enter. Go to Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Store. Doubleclick ‘Allow Store to install apps on Windows To Go workspaces’ and change to Enabled. You can install desktop software and run it as if you were using your own hard drive. Note, however, that you can’t activate this version of Windows, which means it will expire after 90 days. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 111
  • 110. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Share files across devices wirelessly Discover how a HomeGroup network will enable you to access your files across devices W hile being able to set up a HomeGroup has been available in Windows for some time, it’s never been easier than with Windows 8. Windows will automatically create a HomeGroup for you and a password that will enable you to share files such as documents, photos, music and even share printers, all across a single network – most likely the option you will have set up at home to make life easier. With a HomeGroup set up you’ll be able to view files on other computers on the network, play videos from one device to another and stream from your computer to any compatible consoles. While you cannot edit or change files on another computer from the HomeGroup, this can be done via SkyDrive instead if you wish, another example of the Windows features and functions working in tandem with one another. HomeGroup also provides you with the advantage of sharing your music across all your devices directly from your music libraries. This means that if you have a large music collection on one device, you can share it with others from anywhere in your home, all without wires or the hassle you might expect. Set up HomeGroup Device compatibility Most PCs or laptops can be connected to a HomeGroup, however there are some that cannot. Some tablets, mobile devices and versions of Windows may not be able to connect to a HomeGroup due to incompatibility issues, or due to the age of the software. Your network at home 1: The Charms Bar 2: Access Settings 3: Settings screen Access the Charms bar by moving the mouse pointer to the upper or lower right hand side of the screen. Navigate the mouse to the settings button and click on it to begin. A different sidebar will have now appeared, providing a number of options. At the very bottom will be a ‘Change PC settings’ section, which will take you to the next step. Once you have accessed the Settings screen you will by default be presented with the standard settings, with a list of subsections on the left of the screen. Click on the ‘Network’ subsection. 112 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 111. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS 4: Network 5: HomeGroup 6: Join HomeGroup On the network screen are five subheadings. Connections, Radio Devices, Proxy, HomeGroup and Workplace. Click on the HomeGroup subheading in order to set up one of your own. The HomeGroup screen will first provide you with a text field complete with a password that Windows has provided for you. You may want to make a note of the password in order to add other devices later. To join the HomeGroup, click on the ‘Join’ button. Your PC/Tablet will begin the process of setting up a HomeGroup. This may take a few minutes to do while Windows configures its sharing functions. 7: Toggle sharing items 8: HomeGroup password 9: Add a device Now that your HomeGroup has been set up you’ll be presented with a series of toggle switches providing you with the option to decide what is and is not shared on your HomeGroup. Windows 8 will provide you with a password for your HomeGroup. Make a note of it as it will be used to add other devices. You can of course change it to something more memorable if desired. To add a device to your HomeGroup, navigate to its HomeGroup section and enter the password. Your device will now join the HomeGroup and you’ll be able to see the files you have chosen to share. 10: Play to another device 11: File Explorer 12: Leave HomeGroup When connected to a HomeGroup you can stream video to other devices. Bring up the Charms bar, click on devices and select ‘Play to’ and you’ll be given a list of compatible devices to stream to. To see files in the HomeGroup, open a session of File Explorer and in the left pane will be a list of libraries. A HomeGroup heading will be visible, and under it a list of computers that are connected. In the event you wish to remove a computer or device from your HomeGroup, simply access the HomeGroup settings and click on the ‘Leave’ button. This may take a few moments. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 113
  • 112. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Share files and media across devices Share documents, files, music, media and photos across multiple devices wirelessly at home with HomeGroup B eing able to share files via your HomeGroup means you no longer have to attach files to an email and email yourself, or spend valuable time putting movies or music on an external hard drive just to plug it into another computer and start the transfer all over again. HomeGroup enables you to share whatever files you like with any device in your HomeGroup on your home network. If you have a central PC that has all your music on it and you don’t want to fill your laptop or tablet up with it as well, simply access the PC from the HomeGroup and stream the content directly from it. If you’re in one room and the media PC is in the other, no problem; use HomeGroup to access the files you need and either transfer them or edit them directly from where they are stored. Using File Explorer Photos are an important part of everybody’s lives, and being able to access them from anywhere in the home is a great experience and can prove extremely useful. If you have taken some photographs and have transferred them onto your tablet or laptop, you are able to transfer them seamlessly to another device via HomeGroup. No extra wires or external drives are required to perform the action. “Share your music, pictures and files with your family via Windows 8 HomeGroup” HomeGroup Should you wish to remove a device from the HomeGroup that you’ve set up, simply follow the steps you have just completed until you get to the HomeGroup page. There, rather than ‘Join Group’, is the option to ‘Leave Group’. Clicking on this will remove the device from the group in addition to all of its access rights. Your Computer Under the ‘HomeGroup’ subheading is where the names of all the devices that are connected to the HomeGroup will be listed and can be viewed Remove Devices The main body of the page is taken up with the folders that have been made available for viewing within the HomeGroup URL bar The URL bar in File Explorer for HomeGroup works just as it would on your own computer directories, allowing for simple and efficient navigation Videos The fact the Video icon is present shows that it has been shared on the HomeGroup and can be accessed by any other devices in the HomeGroup 114 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 113. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Add a device Share across your devices with HomeGroup 1: The Charms Bar 2: Search To start we will need to access the Control Panel. Move the mouse pointer to the upper or lower right-hand side of the screen to bring in the Charms bar. Navigate the mouse to the search icon and click it. Within the Search text field type in ‘Control Panel’. You should now see a results screen that has two selections available: ‘Control Panel’ and ‘Default Programs’. You need to click on Control Panel for the next step. 3: Control Panel 4: Join your HomeGroup There are many options on the Control Panel screen. The section we are looking for is under the subheading ‘Network and Internet’ and is called ‘Choose homegroup and sharing options’. Click on this section now. Some versions of Windows are unable to create HomeGroups, but all versions can join one. Simply click on the ‘Join now’ button to start the joining process. There are a few steps involved but they are easy to navigate. 5: Password verification 6: Complete Before you are able to join a HomeGroup you will be asked to enter the HomeGroup’s password. Once you have entered this, Windows will verify it is correct and begin setting up your folders to share and access remote files. You have now added a device to a HomeGroup. Windows may need a few minutes, should you have large number of files you wish to make available. Once that is complete you’ll be able to access other files on the HomeGroup. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 115
  • 114. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Make the most of Windows 8 libraries Use Windows 8 libraries to the full by creating custom libraries on your home network W indows 8 uses libraries to help you organise the stuff that’s stored on your computer – and on external devices – into clearly well organised systems. You can use them to manage temporary projects, or for long term purposes. Imagine your home has four networked computers and they all have photos on them. Bringing them together into a library means you can access them all at the same time – providing the computers are switched on and on the network, of course. Libraries can include documents from different devices, so unsorted photos from your camera memory card can be part of the photos library even if you have not organised them on your hard drive yet. Just make sure the card is in your computer, and that its photos show up in the library. Note that libraries don’t move folders or files around, they just bring them together under single headings for indexing and accessibility purposes. So when you look for folders in My Documents, they’ll be where you originally put them. Use libraries carefully While it is easy to create new libraries, there is a strong argument for being frugal with them. If you have folders and files well organised in Documents then you can find what you need there, and pulling separate folders into your libraries might end up creating some unnecessary confusion. Proceed with caution! 116 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 115. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Use libraries Get organised with libraries 1: Add a folder 2: Pick your folders If you wish to add a new folder to a library, you must first right click on the library you want to add it to and click ‘Properties’ on the new menu that pops up. Next click ‘Add’, which is located about half-way down the new window that opens, and then navigate to the folder you wish to add to the library you have selected. 3: Complete the addition 4: Create new library Click on ‘Include folder’ and then on Apply and finally on OK in the next window. When you view the library again you will see that the new folder has been added. To add to the libraries that have been pre-configured, click on ‘Libraries’ (the header underneath which all the libraries sit) and then click New, followed by Library. 5: Name the new library 6: Change library icon Your new library will now appear on-screen, and you can type in a specific name for it if you wish. Simply add folders to it in the way you have done in previous steps in this tutorial. Libraries you add can have custom icons. Right click the library, pick Properties then click ‘Change library icon’. Select the icon you want, click OK, then OK and Apply on the other dialog box. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 117
  • 116. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Manage your virtual libraries Use libraries to cross reference media stored in different places across your hard drive e’ve already shown you how to set up libraries in a separate tutorial on page 116. This time we’re showing you the value of using libraries. Their key merit is that they can be used to bring together files and folders that are stored in different places on your hard drive. Imagine that you have a place for holiday snaps, a project folder which has within it folders for images that relate to the project, another area of your hard drive that’s relevant to a club you are involved with, and so on. By using libraries you can bring all of these together in a single place, making it easy for you to view, organise and share them across other computers on your network. We show you how to share. A word of warning on though – decide whether you want to give other network members editing privileges or just allow viewing. You might not be pleased if someone cropped, drew on or otherwise altered your favourite photos! W Media management Virtual libraries are excellent for bringing together various forms of media that you might store in separate folders across your hard drive as a sort of cross referencing initiative. This tutorial has been based around pictures, but you could just as easily use the technique for videos or music if you wanted to. 118 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 117. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Virtual libraries Manage media in libraries 1: Open File Explorer 2: Add more photo folders Open File Explorer by tapping or clicking its icon on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen – it looks like a yellow folder. Tap or click Pictures to see the Pictures library. Click the Pictures library, then Properties, then Add to bring in new folders. Repeat this as many times as required for all your photo folders. See the customise libraries tutorial for step-by-step guidance. 3: View folders 4: Move and copy When you’ve added a lot of folders they show up separately in the library. The folders themselves don’t move from their location, but the library brings them together so you can see them all easily. Individual files and folders can be moved and copied, and their actual locations change when you do this. You can, for example, drag a whole folder from one library to another. 5: Sharing libraries 6: Stop sharing If you have a network you might want to share photos with people. You can do this with individual people or with everyone on your home network. Right click a folder and select ‘Share with’ to do this. Ending a share is similarly easy. Just right click on a folder, select ‘Share with’, then click ‘Stop sharing’. Other computers on your network will no longer be able to see the folder. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 119
  • 118. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Refresh a PC without affecting your files The best way to clean your PC without risking losing your files, music or videos in one easy process W indows 8 provides you with the unique option of refreshing your PC without losing any of your files, documents, music or videos. In previous iterations of Windows the only way to refresh your PC was to completely reinstall the operating system; now, with Windows 8, you can simply ‘refresh’ your PC. If you find that your PC is running slower than usual, or isn’t running particularly well, the best option for you is to refresh it. This means that your files and personalisation settings will not be adjusted, but your PC settings will be reverted back to their defaults. As well as this, apps from the Windows Store will remain the same, but software that you have installed from discs or websites will be removed. In addition, a list of apps that have been removed will be saved to your computer’s desktop. This is by far the most efficient manner in which to clean your PC without the risk of losing your precious files and documents. Remove everything and reinstall Windows Refreshing your PC will ensure that it runs at optimum performance. In addition, selecting the ‘Remove everything and reinstall Windows’ option on occasion makes your PC feel brand new again. Just ensure everything has been backed up, as this option will remove all of your files. 120 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 119. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Refresh your PC Clean your computer 1: Charms Bar 2: Access Settings 3: Settings screen Access the Charms Bar by moving the mouse pointer to the upper or lower right-hand side of the screen to bring in the Charms Bar, navigate the mouse to the Settings button and click it. Once you have accessed the Settings screen you will by default be presented with the standard settings, with a list of subsections on the left of the screen. Click on the ‘Search & apps’ subsection. Once you have accessed the Settings screen you will by default be presented with the standard settings, with a list of subsections on the left of the screen. Click the ‘Update & recovery’ subsection. 4: Update & Recovery 5: Recovery section 6: Getting started Once you have reached the ‘Update & recovery’ page, you will see three subheadings: Windows Update, File History and Recovery. In order to continue click on the ‘Recovery’ section. The Recovery page gives you three options, ‘Refresh your PC’, ‘Remove everything’ and ‘Advanced startup’. You need to click ‘Refresh your PC’, as this will refresh your machine and keep your files. In order to start the process of refreshing your PC, click on ‘Get started’. Prior to starting, you may want to ensure you have backed up any important files or documents. If you are satisfied, click ‘Get started’. 7: Preparing your PC 8: Refreshing your PC 9: Back to the Start Your PC will now show you the screen above. In this instance Windows is getting ready to delete all unnecessary files and start with a clean slate, with your files intact. Windows 8 will now refresh your PC. This may take some time depending on the amount of files, apps and software installed. Once complete you will need to log in to your PC as usual. Now that you have refreshed your PC, your Start screen should look exactly the same as before. In addition your PC should now be quicker, without any temporary files bloating it. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 121
  • 120. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Control your Xbox using a mobile device Use the SmartGlass app to create the ultimate media controller X box SmartGlass gives you the ability to effectively control your Xbox via your Windows 8 PC or mobile device. In addition to controlling the Xbox, SmartGlass also provides you with a ‘second screen’ experience. If you watch movies or listen to music via the Xbox eco-system, then SmartGlass can provide you with an excellent second screen experience. Xbox SmartGlass If you are watching a movie, SmartGlass will provide you with information about the actors and the film itself. When listening to music on your phone in range of an Xbox, you can tell it to continue playing the music on your Xbox. You can also browse the web on your Xbox with SmartGlass. Rather than using the controller to type in letters individually, you can use your phone, tablet or computer keyboard to type in web URLs and browse the internet. The ultimate second screen 1: Setting up 2: SmartGlass verification In order to set up SmartGlass you will need to have your Xbox turned on and connected to your home internet. Now click on SmartGlass in order to commence setup. SmartGlass will automatically detect your Xbox. When SmartGlass loads for the first time, you will be asked to enter verification. This is your Xbox Gamertag/Microsoft ID password you usually use to sign in to your Windows 8 device or Hotmail/Live/Outlook account. 3: SmartGlass connected 4: Home screen Once you have verified your Xbox account you’ll receive a notification at the top of your screen as you would for mail, calendar and other notifications confirming that SmartGlass has connected. The Home screen shows you what was last played on your Xbox, be that a game, movie or music. You can scroll to the left to search for an item on Xbox Live and to the right for a ‘Spotlight’ section. 122 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 121. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Your companion SmartGlass is your Xbox companion and is capable of a multitude of things. When you listen to music, watch movies, play games or browse the web on your Xbox console, make sure that you have the SmartGlass app open as well. It opens up a whole extra world of media consumption that is available directly from your fingertips. 5: Remote 6: Second screen The SmartGlass remote function is particularly useful. It can be used as a second controller, or instead of a controller to browse the web, play music or video from your phone to your Xbox. Using SmartGlass can provide you with valuable second screen information, such as artist information, actor biographies and gaming stats such as the Halo 4 companion screen shown above. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 123
  • 122. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Make the Calendar easier to read Set up multiple calendars and colour-code deadlines and other reminders T he Calendar app in Windows 8 is pretty basic, but armed with the right tools you can make it easier to read and more useful to boot. The Calendar app syncs in with your online Microsoft calendar – as of Windows 8.1, support for all other calendar services has been discontinued. The trick to making the calendar easier to use is to take advantage of how it works: rather than provide a single catch-all calendar, you’re expected to set up Calendar and use multiple calendars, each one dedicated to serving a specific purpose. Managing these calendars can’t be done from within the Calendar app, so first you need to log on to your Microsoft account through your web browser. In this tutorial we’ll reveal everything you need to know about setting up and managing your calendars online, then using the Calendar app to show only what you want to see. Filter and colour-code calendars 1: Log on to calendar 2: Manage calendars Open your web browser and type – you should automatically log into the Microsoft account you’ve logged on to Windows with. If not, enter your username and password to do so. Click the ‘Settings’ button next to your username to see which calendars have already been set up. Add a new calendar by clicking the down arrow button next to New and choosing Calendar. 3: Name new calendar 4: Return to app Give your calendar a suitable name, such as ‘Work meeting’, ‘Voluntary’ or ‘Deadlines’. You can assign a colour and charm to it, then you can enter a description if necessary. Click Save. Repeat as necessary until you’ve set up all the calendars you need. You can now close your browser and switch back to the Calendar app itself. To change what’s shown, open the Settings charm and tap Options. 124 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 123. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Desktop access If you want to access your Microsoft account calendars from the desktop, the best tool for the job is Windows Live Mail, which you can install as part of the Windows Live Essentials pack ( com). You can even add events directly from the emails you receive to your calendar. 5: Filter calendars 6: Change calendar colours The first thing to decide is which calendars to show in the app. By default all are shown, but you can hide specific calendars from view simply by flicking the switch next to one from ‘Show’ to ‘Hide’. You can also change the colours associated with calendars to better match the calendars themselves. Simply click the drop-down menu underneath a calendar and choose from ten colours. Try to avoid clashing with another calendar. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 125
  • 124. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Remember your favourite websites Use the Favourites area to make sure that you have a permanent record of important websites for easy access later W e use the internet for all manner of things whenever it is required. For many of us it is the first port of call when we want to learn something, check something, find something or buy something. It is not possible to remember every single important website we ever visit, and so that’s why web browsers allow us to bookmark our favourite sites. Internet Explorer lets you record your favourite sites really easily. These can be organised into folders so that you can keep sites of a similar theme together, and can make new folders and subdivide these into further folders for really organised storage if you wish. You can also can use favourites without any folders at all, putting them instead onto the ‘Favourites Bar’, a dedicated area of the main Internet Explorer screen. If you do this, your most important websites are only a single click away. Use favourites well, and getting back to that allimportant website is only ever a moment or two away. Favourites Bar The Favourites Bar is a great place to keep bookmarks you might want for a little while and which need to be easily accessed, because this puts them a single click or screen tap away. The Favourites folder area is ideal for storing the bookmarks you might want to keep for a longer period of time. 126 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 125. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Web favourites Add a web page to favourites 1: Find a page you like 2: Name the page Using Internet Explorer, navigate to a page you like and think you want to keep. When you have done this, tap the star icon in the top right of the Explorer window to open the Favourites area. Click the down arrow next to ‘Add to favourites’ and select ‘Add to Favourites’. Now type a memorable name for the web page or leave it as it is if you are happy with it. 3: Get organised 4: Confirm and add You can organise web pages into folders. Tap ‘New folder’ and type in a name. Folders can be nestled one inside the other – tap the ‘down’ arrow on ‘Favourites’ to put your new folder inside another one. Click ‘Create’. When you are happy with what you see in the ‘Add a favourite’ window, tap ‘Add’ and the new favourite will be created. Get to your favourites by clicking on the star icon in the top right of Internet Explorer. 5: Favourites Bar 6: Manage favourites You can put favourites right on the Internet Explorer screen in the Favourite Bar. Carry out Step 1, then click ‘Add to favourites’ and choose ‘Add to Favourites Bar’. The favourite appears just above the web page itself. When you have lots of favourites you can select ‘Organise Favourites’ from the Favourites menu (click the star to call it up) and the easily rename, add and delete folders. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 127
  • 126. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Speed up browsing with Internet Explorer Restore the speed of Internet Explorer with these simple techniques I nternet Explorer 11 is bundled with Windows 8.1 and is a great, functional web browser. It is a huge improvement over earlier versions of IE and is faster than ever. However, we always need more speed because web pages are getting bigger and more complex. With online services like social media, internet video and music, we need a lightweight and fast browser. Internet Explorer There are some simple techniques that will speed up Internet Explorer, and the main one is to cut down on the extras like add-ons and toolbars. Although they may be convenient, if you can live without them you will find that IE is faster to start up and browse the web. We will show you how to remove toolbars and addons in the tutorial. There is also a ‘look ahead’ feature that enables the Start screen version of IE to load the next page before you have even clicked a link! Remove add-ons and toolbars 1: Internet Explorer settings 2: Enable flip ahead Go to the Start screen and click the Internet Explorer tile to open the browser. Go to the top-right corner to display the charms and click Settings. In the Settings panel, click Privacy. There is a setting in the Privacy section called ‘Flip ahead with page prediction’. Turn it on and IE pre-loads the next web page before you’ve even clicked the link. The next page appears instantly. 3: Too many toolbars? 4: InPrivate browsing Go to the desktop and click Internet Explorer in the taskbar. This picture highlights a common problem with Internet Explorer, as there are too many toolbars. These slow down the browser. A temporary solution is to click the gear in the top right corner and select Safety and then ‘InPrivate browsing’. This opens a new window with no toolbars or add-ons to slow it down. As a result it’s faster. 128 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 127. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Startup monitor Internet Explorer times exactly how long it takes to start each toolbar or add-on, and you can see what times have been recorded in Step 5. If any items take too long and slow Internet Explorer down as a result – indicated by a high value in the load time column – then disable it. 5: Manage add-ons 6: Uninstall toolbars Click the gear icon at the top right and select ‘Manage add-ons’. Select ‘Toolbars and Extensions’ on the left. Select any items you don’t need and click the Disable button below. Hold down WinKey+X, then select ‘Programs and Features’ from the menu that is displayed. Look down the list of programs and uninstall any toolbars or add-ons for IE. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 129
  • 128. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Change your default search engine Set your favourite search engine to be the one that Internet Explorer uses by default W hatever you do on the internet, the chances are that you use search engines a lot. It is likely to be the main route you take into all kinds of things. There are plenty of search engines that specialise in different kinds of searching, and a seasoned internet user will know about a lot of these and will use them at appropriate times when different types of information are required. But for most of us, a single search engine is used most often, and it is likely that search engine is Google. This isn’t the default search engine in Internet Explorer though, as it prefers Microsoft’s own search engine Bing. If you’d like to diversify and make another search engine Ð such as Google Ð the default one, it is easy to do. You just have to work through a few simple steps. It is worth making the change to your preferred search engine, whatever that may be, because then you will have easy access to all of its features. Of course, if you prefer Bing, then you don’t have to make any changes at all. How it works When you’ve set your preferred search provider, just typing words into the search window at the top left of the Internet Explorer screen starts a search from your preferred provider. You can also make a search engine your homepage if you prefer, and doing so will ensure that it opens automatically every time that you start up Internet Explorer. 130 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 129. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Internet search Use your favourite search tool 1: Open Manage add-ons 2: View search engines Once you have opened Internet Explorer, tap the gear icon in the top right-hand corner of the window, then look down the menu for ‘Manage add-ons’ and tap or click on it. When the Add-ons window opens tap or click ‘Search providers’ and you’ll see a list of all of your currently installed search engines. It’s likely this will only be Bing, Microsoft’s first-party search engine. 3: Find more search providers 4: Find your search engine At the bottom of the window tap ‘Find more search providers’ and you will be taken to a long list of additional search engines that you can add to the available ones in Internet Explorer. On this screen you can scroll down the list that appears to see a huge range of search providers. We’re using Google here, so just find Google and give it a click or a tap. 5: Select Google 6: Confirm and make default A new window opens with some information about Google Search and the option to ‘Add to Internet Explorer’ in a large orange box. Click or tap this box to complete this step. In the next box that appears make sure that ‘Make this my default search provider’ is checked, then click or tap Add. The box will disappear and Google will be your new default search engine. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 131
  • 130. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS View web pages side by side It is easy to web browse multiple web pages side by side using a couple of simple controls hen we use the web we often want to compare the content of several different web pages. Suppose, for example, you are shopping by comparison and you want to look at the details of items from different retailers. Or maybe you are researching a project and you want to check the facts of one website against what another says. In cases like these, flicking from one web page to another can become tedious, and it can also be quite easy to lose your train of thought while doing so. It would be much easier if you could see two Ð or even more Ð web pages side by side instead of having to constantly flick between them when you need to. Well, you can achieve this, and it’s very simple. There are a couple of different ways to view web pages side-by-side, and if you take advantage of them it will make using the web a lot more convenient at times. W More windows You aren’t limited to seeing just two windows side by side. If you have more windows open and choose the side by side option, they will fit themselves side by side automatically. At some point there will be too many to view conveniently, but depending on the size of your screen you might be able to view quite a few at once if you need to. 132 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 131. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Side by side Easy web viewing 1: Use Internet Explorer 2: Open a second IE window Open up Internet Explorer and start working with it in the way you would normally, finding web pages you are interested in or need to view and browsing them as per usual. If you want to see two web pages on screen at once you need to open a second web page in a new Internet Explorer window. Press Ctrl+N at the same time to do this. 3: Snap to the right 4: Snap to the left Put the cursor or your finger on the blue bar at the top of a window and drag the window to the right. When your finger hits the edge of the screen, the window snaps in place. Repeat this for the other window, but this time drag it to the left. Remember though, it won’t snap into position until your finger or the cursor reach the edge of the screen. 5: Another way 6: Cascade, stack, side by side Another way to achieve this is to open two windows and then use the taskbar menu. Right click on the taskbar to bring up a menu which allows you to control windows in various ways. This menu gives you more options than just side by side, you can also show windows ‘stacked’, which means one above the other; or you can ‘cascade’ them, which means one behind the other. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 133
  • 132. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Create a reading list and browse articles Save articles on the web for viewing later on your Reading List W hen browsing the web we often get distracted by interesting links and we find ourselves visiting sites and pages that look great, but we don’t have time to view them. Of course, a site or page can be bookmarked so it can be read later, but when there are many of them they can become lost or forgotten. The Reading List app on the Start screen is the solution to the problem. It works with Internet Explorer and when Reading list you come across something you like and want to read later, it can be added to Reading List. When you have more time, you can fire up the Reading List app and see all the items you have saved. Clicking one takes you straight there. Reading List items are displayed in a panel on the left making them easy to access. It is great for research projects too and you can collect all the references you need in Reading List. Build a list and save stuff for later 1: Open Internet Explorer 2: Choose a sharing option Open Internet Explorer from the Start screen and then use it to find an interesting website or page you would like to read later. Open the Charms Bar on the right and click Share. The Share panel opens at the right side of the screen and you can email a link to someone, share it with friends using the People app, or add it to Reading List. Click Reading List. 3: Add the story 4: Open Reading List The Reading List panel opens and it displays a preview showing how the item will look. Click the button at the right side to add it. Continue browsing the web and add several more items. When you have time to spend reading the items that have been saved, open the Reading List app from the Start screen. The items are displayed according the their date. Click one to view it. 134 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 133. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Undelete items The last step of the tutorial showed how to delete items in Reading List. There is an interesting and possibly useful feature that enables you to recover deleted items should you change your mind. Right click in an empty area of the screen and click ‘Recently deleted’ at the top of the screen. 5: Reading saved items 6: Editing saved items When a story is clicked in Reading List, it shrinks to a panel on the left and the rest of the screen shows the web page in Internet Explorer. Browsing saved items is as easy as clicking them. Back in the Reading List app, when you have finished with an item and it is no longer needed, right clicking it displays a panel at the bottom. Click Delete to remove the story. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 135
  • 134. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Customise your Windows 8 shortcuts Personalise the tile interface with customised shortcuts to all of your favourite apps T he tile interface of Windows 8 is designed to be finger friendly and fast to use. It is ideal for working with a tablet, of course, and it has its own very special uses if you are working on a laptop or PC too. It makes switching between a tablet and your PC a smooth transition. Switch out of the main Windows interface and it is easy to flick around between apps, view photos, find and listen to music and more. The tiles that make up this screen can be moved around to suit your preferences Ð you just have to drag them around to put them exactly where you want them. You can add tiles too, including shortcuts to your favourite apps. Adding tiles is very easy to do, and once shortcut tiles are in place and grouped to your liking you should be able to get around the interface really quickly and efficiently. You can even change the sizes of the tiles to suit your preferences, your favourite apps can be made bigger and your lesser used but still important apps can be made smaller. More shortcuts © Toshiba Europe GmbH As well as making shortcuts to apps and settings you can make some additional shortcuts too, such as to shutting down your computer on the Metro interface. It’s more complicated to set up than app shortcuts, but you can find instructions on the web. Using Shut Down, Sleep or Hibernate shortcuts can be quicker than going to the where the settings are and tapping ‘Power’. 136 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 135. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Custom shortcuts Create personalised shortcuts 1: Go to tile interface 2: The Search charm Make sure that you are in the tile-based, finger friendly interface of Windows 8. Switch between this and the desktop mode by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard. Slide a finger in from the right of the screen to open the Charms Bar, then hit the Search charm to start the job of finding the app that you want to create a shortcut for. 3: Find the app 4: App options Type the name of the app you are looking for in the Search box, making sure that Apps is selected first. Matching apps will be listed on the left-hand side of the screen. Right click on the app and a set of options will appear along the bottom of the screen offering you the opportunity to do a range of different things relating to the app. 5: Pin to start 6: Move the shortcut The option we want is ‘Pin to Start’, so tap that and a link to the app will be made at the very right-hand end of the tile interface. You’ll probably have to sweep the screen to see it. If you want the shortcut to be in a different location then you are welcome to drag it there. This is handy for grouping shortcuts together easily according to your preference. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 137
  • 136. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Compress your files and documents By compressing your files you can make them smaller and much easier to handle W e keep so much information on our computers these days that it can sometimes get a bit out of hand. Files can be really large, and that can mean we can run out of space to store them. Some email accounts have a ceiling on the size of file attachments which can make sharing difficult. A lot of us also use cloud-based storage such as Dropbox, and again there are limits. Zipping files is one way to overcome file size limitations, because zipping can reduce file sizes considerably. You could zip a large file or group of files to email to someone, or to cram them onto a memory stick or memory card for sharing. Zipping can be useful in other ways too. If you like to archive old data, for example onto an external hard drive, zipping can save on space. The ability to zip and unzip is built into Windows 8, so you should be able to get to your original files in the future, and anyone you share zipped files with should be able to unzip them easily. Unzipping It is just as easy to unzip folders as it is to zip them up. Just doubletap or double-click on any zipped file and you will be able to see its contents. You can copy individual files out of the zipped folder by dragging them out of it to another destination – for example, to the desktop – or right clicking on them. 138 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 137. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Compress files Make your files smaller 1: Find the files 2: Select the files Open up File Explorer by either tapping or clicking on its icon on the taskbar that’s situated at the bottom of the screen – the icon should resemble a yellow folder. When you’ve found the folder with the files you want to compress, select them either one by one or by selecting the first then holding down Shift and tapping the last to select them all. 3: Call up the menu 4: Select zip When all the files you want to compress are selected, right click in where the files are to open a menu box with various options available, such as Rotation, Copy and Rename. Next pass the cursor over or tap on ‘Send to’ to open up a submenu. Right at the top of this submenu is ‘Compressed (zipped) folder’. Tap or click on that option. 5: Make the zip 6: Move and share Wait while the files compress, then a new folder appears. It’s been given the name of one of the files, but you can type a new name for it. Make this something you’ll recognise and within Windows’ accepted file names. The zipped file can be shared as easily as you would share any other file – by email for example. Or, it can be moved into a new folder and used as an archive file. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 139
  • 138. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Protect your PC with SmartScreen With SmartScreen you’ll be protected from unrecognised and potentially dangerous files S martScreen is built into Windows 8 in order to protect your PC from unrecognised and malicious files and applications. In the event you download or run an executable file that you have acquired either from the internet or a disk and it turns out to be malicious or be in possession of unrecognised certificates, SmartScreen will prevent this app from running and advise you that it has done so. You can amend SmartScreen to suit your needs, either to warn you in advance of unrecognised apps or simply turn SmartScreen off. You can choose to override SmartScreen completely if you happen to know that a file is safe for your computer. This tutorial will provide you with a step-by-step guide to gain access to SmartScreen and toggle between the three options of security that are available for you. At the end of this tutorial you’ll be able to configure SmartScreen to suit you and your personal computing style. While disabling SmartScreen can be advantageous when you want to run apps that you know are safe and free of malware, it is not recommended that you disable it permanently. Many applications and software downloaded from the internet come wrought with malicious software and SmartScreen detects and stops it. 140 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps © Toshiba Europe GmbH A word of warning
  • 139. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Windows SmartScreen Protecting your PC 1: Charms Bar 2: Search 3: On or off To start with we will need to find SmartScreen. Move the mouse pointer to the upper or lower right-hand side of the screen to bring in the Charms Bar and navigate the mouse to the Search button. You will now see a text field, within which you will need to type ‘SmartScreen’. This will search for the feature we are looking for. You may need to access the drop-down to select the ‘Settings’ subheading. Having searched for ‘SmartScreen’ you will be presented with two results: ‘Turn SmartScreen filter on or off for Windows Store apps’ and ‘Change SmartScreen settings’. Click on the latter. 4: Control Panel 5: Windows SmartScreen 6: SmartScreen protected Once you have accessed the Control Panel you will need to look to the left-hand side of the window in order to access SmartScreen. The option has a small shield next to it, and is the third option down. Now that you have accessed SmartScreen you will note that you are presented with three options. The first option is the default, and requests administrator approval prior to running unrecognised apps. With the recommended settings enabled, Windows will automatically advise you when you have run an app that is not recognised in the form of an on-screen prompt. 7: Second SmartScreen option 8: Third SmartScreen option 9: Click OK Your second option with SmartScreen is for Windows to warn you prior to running an unrecognised app, but you will not need administrative approval to do so. Your third option disables Windows SmartScreen and enables any profile to run apps from the internet, recognised or otherwise. This is not recommended due to the risk of running malicious files or software. Now that you have chosen which option of SmartScreen you wish to run, all you need do is click the OK button. There should be no delay, and the change will be instant. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 141
  • 140. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Customise the Send To menu Quickly get files where you need them to be by customising the Send To menu anaging files and folders is a key element of getting the most out of Windows 8, and being able to do that quickly and efficiently is vital. If you receive a lot of files by email, then you might copy them straight off messages and onto the desktop, and from there move them around into folders. That’s one way of doing things, and it can make sense to use the desktop as a holding pen while you look at or work with files. But how do you then move files around? If you open folders individually and cut and paste into them, you are taking longer to move things around than you need to. And moving files between folders rather than from the desktop can be a tedious process indeed. Instead, adding folders to the Send To menu allows you to place files in the right places quickly and efficiently. It works from the desktop and from any folder. It isn’t difficult to edit the Send To menu, and a few moments’ work can save you a considerable amount of time in the long run. M Other Send To options If you want to add Downloads to the Send To menu you’ll find it in C:Users<username> where <username> is your personal user name. You can also add external media to the Send To menu if you need to. You might want to add a folder on an external hard drive you’re using as an archive, for example. 142 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 141. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Send To Edit the Send To menu 1: Open File Explorer 2: Find Send To destinations Open up the File Explorer by tapping or clicking on its icon, which is located on the Windows taskbar at the bottom of the screen – it should resemble a yellow folder. In the File Explorer address bar type C:Users<username>AppDataRoaming MicrosoftWindowsSendTo, replacing <username> with your user name. This looks like a lot but, as you type, options will appear on screen making it easier. 3: Decide on new destinations 4: Create shortcut Open a new File Explorer by right clicking the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar and selecting File Explorer. Click the Taskbar and pick ‘Show windows side by side’ to view the two File Explorer windows easily. Find the folder you want to add to the Send to menu, right click it and select ‘Create shortcut’ from the menu that appears. This will result in a new shortcut appearing in File Explorer. 5: Copy the shortcut 6: Repeat as required Right click the new shortcut, select Copy from the menu that appears, and then right click in the other File Explorer window that relates to the Send To menu for the menu and click ‘Paste shortcut’. Repeat this process with as many files as you require to add to the Send To menu, and when you have finished doing so, close all of the open File Explorer windows. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 143
  • 142. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Add a signature to your emails Personalise all of your emails by automatically adding a personal signature to each and every one T here’s nothing quite like email for keeping in touch with people. SMS is good but limited. Facebook is great but best suited to social contacts only. Email is suitable for everything from work and official business to keeping in touch with family and friends. You can email just one person at a time, or you can email many people simultaneously. You can also send attachments along with your personal messages when you need to. We all know how flexible email is. When you first get your Windows 8 computer you’ll need to set up your email account or accounts, and part of that is creating an email signature. The signature that you opt for can contain important details like your full name – often not part of your email address – your postal address, phone numbers, web addresses and other information. It’s boring adding this information to every email that you send individually, and so it’s worth spending just a couple of minutes setting a signature up so it can be added automatically, every time. What’s in a signature? © Toshiba Europe GmbH Email signatures tend to contain your full name, contact details like a postal address and phone number and maybe something humourous or informative about you personally. Think carefully about what you want in your email signature. It will be attached to every email you send and you don’t want to offend anyone! 144 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 143. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Email signatures Create an email signature 1: Find settings 2: Pick accounts Open the Windows Mail app – tap or click it if you are in the tile interface – then tap the WinKey+I together or slide out the Charms Bar and tap or click on Settings. Take a look at the Settings menu that opens. You’ll see a number of options that relate to the Windows Mail app. Tap or click on Accounts, which is at the top of the list. 3: Pick an account 4: Settings options If you have more than one email account set up you can select it here if you wish. Just look at the list and tap or click on the account whose signature you want to set up. You can customise all kinds of settings here. Give the account a more memorable name, change download options and, at the bottom of the window, change the signature. 5: Turn signature on 6: Type your signature Look for the option ‘Use an email signature’ and make sure the slider beneath it is in the ‘Yes’ position. If you don’t then the Signature box will remain grey and you won’t be able to use a signature. Tap or click in the signature box. Hide the keyboard if you have a laptop or desktop computer, delete ‘Sent from Windows Mail’ and type your signature. Tap the arrow at the top of the screen to save your settings. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 145
  • 144. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Access POP3 email accounts in Mail Mail does not support the popular POP3 email account type, but there is a simple solution to the problem P OP3 is a popular variety of email account and many people use them. If your internet service provider provides your email service or you have your own domain name, for example, it is probably a POP3 account. Unfortunately, the Windows Mail app does not support POP3 email accounts, so it would appear that you cannot use the app for this type of email. However, there is a sneaky way around the problem. If you have an (formerly email account, it is entirely possible to add a POP3 account to that. The Mail app is simply a mirror image of and after adding a POP3 account, it shows that too. In essence, the Mail app shows everything on and it is that fetches your POP3 email. This tutorial assumes you have already have an (Hotmail) email account and have set it up in Mail. Most of the steps in this tutorial are just configuring that account and, once it is done, POP3 accounts will appear in Mail. Mail servers The hardest part of this tutorial is getting the technical details right in Step 5. Mail server addresses are often for both incoming and outgoing mail, or pop. and smtp.yourdomain. for incoming and outgoing servers. Get these right and the rest is plain-sailing. 146 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 145. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Configure Get POP3 email 1: Go to 2: Access Outlook’s options 3: Add an email account Open Internet Explorer from the Start screen in Windows and enter ‘’ into the address box. Log into Outlook, click the gear icon in the top right corner and select ‘More email settings’. There various options for configuring email, but the one we are interested in is under Managing your account. Click ‘Your email accounts’. This is where all email accounts are located. There may be just one email account set up in Outlook, but there could be more if you have used this option before. Down at the bottom, click ‘Add a send-and-receive account’. This is what we need. 4: Address and password 5: Add server details 6: Create a folder Enter the name of the account in the Name box. With some email accounts Outlook can guess what the settings are from the address and password, but for ours we must click ‘Advanced options’. The incoming server address and port is required. This information will be in your email provider’s help pages. Port 110 is common, but the address could be unique. For outgoing, use Outlook’s server. When Outlook fetches the email from the POP3 account, it can either place it in a folder or just add it to the inbox. The choice is yours and here we are going to create a folder specially for it. 7: Confirm your account 8: Switch to Mail 9: POP3 Mail at last When you have returned to the accounts screen you may see a message about verifying the account. Look for an email in your inbox asking for this and click it. It simply confirms your ownership. Close Internet Explorer, as we have finished configuring Outlook. Open the Mail app and right click an empty part of the screen. Click the Sync button in the panel at the bottom to update it. Syncing ensures the Mail app knows about the new POP3 account. You’ll either see emails in the inbox or the folder you created in Step 6. Ours is in a folder and clicking it shows the messages. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 147
  • 146. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Make video calls from emails using Skype Start Skype calls from Mail with the freshly integrated system T he Skype, Mail and People apps have been around since Windows 8 was first released, and placing voice and video calls to people has been fairly easy. All three apps have been enhanced in Windows 8.1 and they are now even easier to use. As we show in the tutorial, you can start with an email in the Mail app and by clicking a name, the person’s contact information is displayed showing quick ways to email or call them. The option Skype from Mail to get more details is particularly useful, and this opens a panel at the side of the screen to show extra information and provide options to place voice calls, video calls and more. The calling is all handled by Skype and clicking one of the links displays the Skype app, from which you can place the call. It is a clever combination of apps and features that makes it even easier to keep in touch with friends and family. Call friends and family 1: Open Mail 2: Contact options Open the Mail app from the Start screen and browse the messages in the inbox. Find an email from someone you would like to speak to, such as a friend or a family member. Click someone’s name in the email header, such as the sender, and a window pops up that shows different ways to contact the person. If you don’t see what you want, click ‘More details’. 3: The People panel 4: Skype them The People panel is displayed on the right side of the screen, and this provides different facilities such as Skype calling, Skype messaging and Skype video calling. Click a call option. If you choose to place a voice or video call, the main part of the screen that originally displayed Mail is now replaced with the Skype app. You are asked to confirm that you want to place the call. 148 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 147. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Calling phones © Toshiba Eu rope GmbH Skype is free to use when you are calling another Skype user that is connected to the internet. Skype offers calls to mobile phones and landlines too, but for this you must purchase Skype credit from the Skype website ( Don’t attempt to call these phone numbers without credit. 5: Starting the call 6: Chat away When the other person answers, you will hear them, but you might not immediately see their picture. This is because they haven’t enabled their video camera. Ask them to turn it on. The connection is made, the video cameras are on and you can chat to the person over the internet using voice and video, and it was all started from within the Mail app while reading a message. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 149
  • 148. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Learn to defragment your hard disk Without defragmentation the PC would slow down, but running the process regularly maintains peak performance A t one time PCs used to suffer from performance issues as they grew older and this was partly due to fragmented files on the disk. Files literally become broken into small pieces, and when they need to be accessed it takes time to find all the pieces. The solution was to manually defragment them by running Disk Defragmenter. This finds files split into several pieces and puts them back together, making them faster to access the next time you need them. With most modern computers disk defragmentation is automatic, but there may still be occasions where it is beneficial to run it manually. We will show you how to accomplish this in the following tutorial. Defragmentation occurs according to a schedule and this can be changed to make it more or less frequent, depending on how often you use the PC. A computer that is heavily used ideally needs defragmenting daily, but an infrequently used computer might only need monthly defragmentations. Automatic import Windows provides a basic tool to optimise the disk drive and it is okay, but some people prefer third-party tools like O&O Defrag ( or Smart Defrag 2 ( They have additional options that can speed up the disk even more and are definitely worth considering. 150 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 149. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Optimise the disk Regain lost performance 1: Find the app 2: Optimize drives There are a couple of ways to find the disk defragmenter app you need, and one of these is to click the arrow at the bottom of the Start screen and then click ‘Defragment and optimise drives’. Windows switches to the desktop and then displays the Optimize Drives window. This shows the drives attached to the computer, when they were last optimised and their current status. 3: Analyse the disk 4: Defragment the disk The current status showing the fragmentation of each disk is not always up to date. Select the C: Drive and then click Analyse. The updated figure for Drive C: is actually six per cent rather than one per cent. Make sure Drive C: is selected and then click the Optimise button to start defragmenting it. There are multiple passes and it can take quite a long time. You can use the computer while it’s working. 5: Change the schedule 6: Choose the drives After defragmenting, click ‘Change settings’ in the ‘Scheduled optimization’ section at the bottom of the window. The automatic optimisation frequency can be set to daily, weekly or monthly. Click ‘Choose drives’ in the previous window and the disks attached to the PC are listed. Some people may have USB disk drives that they want to optimise, and they can be selected here. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 151
  • 150. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Manage Windows 8’s Storage Spaces Use extra disk drives to protect files from being lost or damaged I f you want to increase the amount of space available for storing videos, photos, music and documents, a simple way to do this is to add an extra disk drive. Although drives can be added internally to desktop PCs, the easiest option is to plug in a USB drive. Windows 8 offers a different way to use extra disk drives through a feature called Storage Spaces. A virtual disk drive of any size can be created, then you can add physical Storage space drives to provide the space. Normally each drive appears as a different drive and letter, E, F and so on, but when used as a storage space, there is just one virtual drive with one letter. Extra drives can be added at any time. This is a simple and easy way to use extra disk drives and it is the subject of the tutorial. Other ways to use storage space are available in the ‘disk mirroring’ boxout on the opposite page. Extend the storage space on your disk drive 1: Manage Storage Spaces 2: Select a disk Press WinKey+X for the menu, then click Control Panel. In either small or large icons view, find and click Storage Spaces to open this window. There is just one item. Click ‘Create a new pool and storage space’. The computer is scanned for suitable disk drives and they are presented in a list. Use the tick box next to each one to select it for the storage space. 3: Set the resiliency 4: Set the size The resiliency type is the way Storage Spaces uses the disk drive. If there are two disks available then a two-way mirror could be selected and this protects files by saving them to both disks. Select ‘Simple’ (no resiliency) if, like us, you have one disk drive. In the size box below, enter the size of virtual disk you want. Enter a large number and more disks can be added later. 152 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps
  • 151. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Disk mirroring Suppose that you had two disk drives and every time a file was saved, a copy was written to both of them. If one drive failed you would still have a copy of the aforementioned file on the second drive. This is how the simple mirroring feature works in Storage Spaces. 5: Finishing off 6: View the space Click the ‘Create a storage space’ button and it’s soon finished. The storage space is listed and the details are displayed. Click ‘Physical drives’ to see the drives used to create the storage space. A storage space appears to be a disk drive. You can either click ‘View files’ next to the storage space in the window or just open an Explorer window. It is listed as Drive F: here. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 153
  • 152. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Apps We've featured the must-have apps in each of the 20 categories to keep you informed, educated and entertained 156 Games Angry Birds Star Wars Flow Logos Quiz+ Jetpack Joyride Pinball FX2 157 Social Pepper MetroTwit Line Skype LinkedIn HD 158 Entertainment 159 Photography 160 Music and Video 154 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Piano8 Fresh Paint Netflix Nick StumbleUpon Perfect365 Imagine RESIZER Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended Photoshop Expert Tattoo Tester VEVO Guitar Tuner Multimedia 8 Shazam YouTube MP3 & Videos Downloader 1 58 161 Sports 162 Books and Reference 163 News and Weather THE Football App ESPN Cricinfo Golf Scores + Stats Formula1 world FC Barcelona Wikipedia Comic Book Reader Kindle Audible Periodic Table Engadget BBC News Mobile Sky News MyRadar Weather Radar WeatherPro 164 Health Choices First Aid! Sleep Bug Improve Brain Power Gym Guide 165 HP Recipe Box iCookBook Recipe, Menu & Cooking Planner Kitchen Garden Vegetarian Health and Fitness Food and Dining
  • 153. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS 166 Lifestyle 167 Shopping 168 Travel TED Talks HD Craigslist+ Burning Fireplace Rain Sounds National Geographic Pictures CBAZAAR eBay Amazon Shop Everywhere Orchid G Maps XE Currency Museums of the World Skyscanner 170 Productivity 171 Tools 172 Security 173 160 169 Finance 163 Business StockMap Smart Money Ribbon Calculator Billminder Currency Converter Windows 8 Cheat Keys Evernote SkyDrive Pro Toolbox for Windows 8 Art Text 174 Education 175 Government Calculator2 Google Search Network Speed Test Google Chrome Alarm Clock Password Locker Norton Satellite Network Port Scanner Bitdefender Internet Security 2013 LockIt I Love Calculator EasyInvoice Box TED Talks Viewer World Academy Online Mars Rover: Curiosity Star Chart Dictionary 8 Dogs Training Earth Clock World Population Clock The White House World Statistics Top American Speeches The U.S. Navy Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 155
  • 154. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Games Time to relax, have fun and play a great game U nlike other recent app-based platforms, the PC has a rich history of creating games that reaches back towards the dawn of computing. There are millions of the things available to play, with new titles being created all of the time. Similarly, the type of games available for the user is quite staggering. From the shoot-’em-up, mindless action-type apps to the role-playing games that often combine action with a measure of puzzle solving. There's also the puzzle-based titles that require serious thought to progress. The PC has a wealth of examples on offer that will appeal to all ages and all needs. The following list of titles doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s available, of course, but it does provide a flavour of the sort of games that you can download – often for free – and a sense of where the PC is at in terms of gaming development. Angry Birds Star Wars Flow Price: £2.59/$3.49 Developer: Rovio Entertainment Ltd Angry Birds is a phenomenon of mobile and desktop computing but now it has joined forces with another – Star Wars. Using preview cut scenes reminiscent of the Star Wars universe, the game utilises worlds and characters from the Star Wars stories. The price is a little high but the app retains the high degree of playability that is inherent within all of the Angry Birds variants. Price: Free Developer: Big Duck Games This is one of those annoying puzzle games that you just can’t rip your attention away from. The aim is to connect the various coloured dots together to create pipes, but the tricky part is that every part of the screen has to be covered, meaning that you have to snake your pipes far and wide to cover every pixel. Extra care must also be taken to avoid blocking off other pipes. Fiendishly addictive. Logos Quiz+ “There are millions of things available… the PC has a wealth of examples that will appeal to all ages" Price: Free Developer: Bernardo Zamora Logos Quiz+ is a simple, yet effective game that the whole family can enjoy by testing just how much advertising you absorb. Over 600 well-known logos are including from the bleedin’ obvious to the slightly more obscure and you simply have to enter the company or product name – and if you get stuck then hints are on hand to help you out. Jetpack Joyride Price: Free Developer: Halfbrick Studios Pty Ltd This sideways-scrolling shoot-’em-up game features your jetpack-toting character breaking into a secret laboratory to grab experimental jetpacks from the baddies. As you progress, you can collect coins to earn points that allow you to upgrade your inventory and your character. You can even change his attire. There are plenty of alternative weapons, a wide variety of jetpacks and power-ups, plus special abilities and new missions. 156 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Pinball FX2 Price: Free Developer: Microsoft Studios Who doesn’t like a pinball game? One of the best ways to waste time on a PC. This version, direct from Microsoft, is an excellent variant within the genre and improves on the company’s previous offerings with a new physics engine to offer more realistic and faster play along with a host of table types. There are plenty of interesting spot animations and ball-triggering features too.
  • 155. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Social Keep in contact with friends and family O ne of the great things about recent software and hardware developments is the ever-increasing progress in the field of communication. The computer has become a force for good in communications, in terms of keeping you in touch with people you love, making friends, forging links with like-minded individuals and hobbies and bringing down the costs of telecommunications. Technologies like Skype have forced phone companies to look again at their tariffs which have produced far more competitive and enlightened price points, especially when communicating abroad. Add immensely popular services such as Facebook and Twitter and you can see how complex our communications are today and, with the continuing ‘Arab Spring’ movement, for example, how much it has changed the entire world. Pepper Price: Free Developer: D.A.M. Good Media With Pepper installed on Windows 8, you can find brand-new music and music events both in your local area and elsewhere. You can also share your information and interact with that information on screen. There are around 850 event locations that are registered with Pepper so you should be able to find something of interest in your area. You can also view ‘trending’ artists as well as buy gig tickets. “The computer has become a force for good, keeping you in touch with people you love" MetroTwit Line Price: Free Developer: Pixel Tucker Pty Ltd Created in Australia, MetroTwit is a Twitter client that's built especially for the new Windows 8 interface. It’s a solid app that lets you track your Twitter feeds using the interactive tiling effects that Windows 8 is known for, along with the ability for you to pin a host of columns to your home screen. Of course, this great new app also includes the basic controls to tweet, reply and then retweet. Price: Free Developer: LINE Corporation In the market for a sleek and intuitive messaging app that lets you ping messages between computer and mobile devices? Line lets you send simple text messages, photos and emoticons and also features a wide range of fun stickers that you can use to punctuate your messages and help convey your emotions. In an ever-expanding pool of me-too messenger apps, Line is better than most. Skype Price: Free Developer: Skype One of the world’s most popular communications programs. You can contact friends, family and colleagues for free via either voice or video as well as utilising the app's superb Instant Messaging feature. It doesn’t matter what platform you want to communicate with, either. You, on your PC, can talk to a friend running a MacBook or a colleague running an Android phone. It’s an ideal method of reducing communication costs. LinkedIn HD Price: Free Developer: AppDexter Already popular across mobile devices, LinkedIn is a social network for working professionals that allows you to build up your own work-related networks and put your skills on show for potential employers to view. It doesn’t sap your time like Facebook, but establishing links with new people and getting alerted as to when someone views your profile is very satisfying. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 157
  • 156. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Entertainment Make computing a fun experience Y our computer is made for productivity. From word processors to databases, it has helped businesses become more efficient and industrious. Furthering business, after all, was one of the main reasons for creating the personal computer in the first place. Yet, as technology has progressed, PC productivity is also doing a terrific job of delivering an unwelcome by-product: stress. Therefore, entertainment on that same platform has been recognised as a salve to the user’s sanity. More than a counter for over-working, though, the PC has now been welcomed into the living room, “Entertainment is becoming more widely accessible” becoming more widely accessible and is now offering a realistic way to integrate entertainment within the home. From movies to music, the PC has become an essential friend of the family to not only escape a hard day’s work but to inform, expand choice and broaden everyone’s horizons. Piano8 Price: Free Developer: JEFBCreating Quite simply, this app transforms your Windows 8 PC into a piano featuring 31 simultaneous notes and stereo HQ sounds for real music production. Simple to use, you can choose your octave using the arrows at the top of the interface and then tinkle the virtual ivories to your heart’s content. There is precious little to this app beyond the ability to play piano, but we can’t emphasise how good it sounds – so if you need something to practice on, look no further. Fresh Paint Price: Free Developer: Microsoft Corporation A simple paint program that can be used by the entire family, Fresh Paint even allows you to turn your own photographs into great artistic paintings. All you have to do is import the photograph and then browse through the simple options and explore what you can do to unleash your creativity. The program will allow you to brush over an image or even blend the colours of the photo into the program’s colours. There's also a zoom function included. Netflix Price: Free Developer: Netflix, Inc A TV and movie subscription service, with Netflix, you can watch thousands of TV episodes and movies upon signing up and paying a regular monthly fee. You can watch the media on your PC, of course, but also via a game console, tablet, phone and Blu-ray player. The choice is yours. After you have watched your fill, you can also rate and review the broadcasts. Nick Price: Free Developer: Nickelodeon If you’re in need of a inexpensive app to amuse the children for a short time then the official Nick app is packed full of appealing content. Through the simple interface kids can watch short videos featuring Nickelodeon’s stable of characters (including SpongeBob, iCarly and Fairly Odd Parents), play games and browse pictures. Essential distraction tactics for kids. 158 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps StumbleUpon Price: Free Developer: StumbleUpon, Inc As it says in the title, this app helps you come across new things that interest you. Simply select your areas of interest (from a list of around 500), whether you're crazy about history or music or food or whatever it might be and then the app will present information to you connected with those subjects. This is in the form of a live tile that links you to the media itself, whether that be text, images or video.
  • 157. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Photo Record your precious memories in a flash hotography is one of the most vibrant sections of the app store. There is a gamut of impressive cameras and technology out there: from specialist digital cameras or the increasingly complex phone-based affairs. Along with digital technology, modern photography also takes advantage of cloud technology (like SkyDrive), syncing photos snapped on a phone, for example, to virtual storage, as well as to a Mac or PC, streamlining the process of backing up photos or sharing them with friends. It’s another convenience that makes the new breed of smart cameras a killer type of technology. Using this kit, users often build some wildly inventive images. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a complete beginner, you can’t help but appreciate the variety and quality of photography apps that are available. P Perfect365 Price: Free Developer: ArcSoft, Inc This amazing make-over app allows you to place your (or any other portrait image) on the screen and then alter it with make-up-derived tones and applications that affect different parts of the face. You can alter the complexion, eye shadow, lipstick and more, as well as face shape and eye colour. Great for experimenting, you can make gentle, subtle enhancements to your shots, or you can create obvious or even outrageous and daring edits, it's up to you! ÒModern photography takes advantage of cloud technology, syncing photos to virtual storageÓ Imagine RESIZER Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended Price: £1.79/$2.49 Developer: ImagineApps Using this great image-manipulation app you can load up an image and then easily resize it. You can also crop the same image or compress by zipping the file and then sharing it with other people. It’s also possible to batch-process a series of files and folders at once and output those files as a JPEG image or compressed into ZIP. Other formats supported include PNG, GIF, TIFF and BMP. Price: Free Developer: Adobe Systems Incorporated The free trial version of this app has to be downloaded off-site, so when you access its details, it will be at the Adobe site where you will need to download it. You'll find that this app will take a fair while to transfer to your PC. But once installed, you will be able to create 3D graphics, 2D images, plus movies, using an array of top-quality tools. The sky is the limit here, so set your creativity free and create some masterpieces! Photoshop Expert Price: Free Developer: JKL Apps For over 20 years Adobe has offered cutting edge picture editing facilities through its Photoshop range and this app is designed to help you get the most out of Photoshop. Featuring in-depth tutorials, tricks and ideas from the masters, this app is simply an easy-to-browse database where you can access articles to read, digest, and use to improve your understanding of Photoshop and the expanse of cool features it provides. Tattoo Tester Price: Free Developer: Reflection IT If you’re thinking of getting inked then this app provides a useful service by allowing you to mock up an image of what your desired piece of body art will look like on you prior to going under the needle. You can use an image of yourself and then position the tattoo on your body where you were thinking of having it done to determine whether it actually looks good. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 159
  • 158. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Music & Video You can watch, play and listen B oth of these app genres ask you to search for downloadable files or provide the option to load up and play such content. Some of them allow you to handle both data types from one app. Hence, it’s no wonder that both variants have been bundled together into one section. Both music and video have, like much of the other data content types, been evolving at a tremendous pace, becoming more sophisticated with new features hanging off them like fruit from a tree. Some offer official video or music from major record labels or broadcasters, others give “Both music and video have been evolving at a tremendous pace” independent content creators a look-in. Some ask for money to experience the full experience while others give away their files free. Whatever the deal, be sure that, no matter what genre of music or video you enjoy, there is bound to be a wide selection on offer in the Windows 8 Store. VEVO Price: Free Developer: VEVO LLC Already popular across all of the major mobile devices, VEVO provides access to music videos from all of your favourite music stars. As well as watching videos, the app also streams live concerts and features a bulging database of over 75,000 music videos from more than 21,000 artists. So if you’re into music then this is a great way to keep track of all of the exciting new releases and get them beamed straight to your personal computer. What’s not to like? Guitar Tuner Price: Free Developer: SimzzDev Studios If you're a guitar player, you'll be familiar with the fact that most guitar tuners fall back on the old, tried-and-tested manual route of singing the ‘My dog’s got fleas’ refrain. This contains the notes needed in order to tune the guitar. This app is a rather more high-tech method that is, at its heart, just as simple. Press a guitar string key and it plays that string’s tone. The app also includes a repeat and status-sharing mode. Multimedia 8 Price: Free Developer: Marcelo Garcia With this app, you can access network media, load subtitles, convert media files, play 3D video and capture from all of your external devices. When installed, the app searches through your PC and posts what it finds within graphic folders, showing a flavour of the content within. With this app, you have the ability to ‘Play To’ other devices, such as a smartphone, too. Shazam Price: Free Developer: Shazam Entertainment Ltd Have you ever heard a snippet of song on an advert that you like the sound of but have never managed to track down exactly what it was? Shazam is the quickest and easiest way to discover more about music, TV and ads. This app will handily identify what you are listening to surprisingly quickly and allow you to buy it, share it, watch the video and get the lyrics. 160 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps YouTube MP3 & Videos Downloader Price: Free Developer: SmokedByWindows8 With this app, you can download YouTube videos onto your computer and keep them for offline viewing. You can also convert the music from the video to a MP3 format to enable you to play the music on a mobile device. Clicking on the facility opens a left-hand pane where the conversion progress is monitored. A pop-up notification informs you of completion.
  • 159. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Sport Keep in touch with your favourite event or team T he crack of the cricket bat, the roar of the rugby crowd, the heckling of the football referee… Sport – you can’t beat it. No matter which sports you follow, there is bound to be an app that covers it. What role can your Windows 8 device play in a professional sports setting? The possibilities are limitless. Whether you’re tracking the statistics on your favourite players or lining up the bet that will make your fortune, download a few of the best sports apps onto your Windows 8 PC and you’re sure to have an edge on the competition. The apps themselves range from batting-average calculators to statistics databases and up-to-the-minute news trackers. Sports apps can add a new dimension to a favourite pastime or introduce you to the triumphs and sorrows of a new sport entirely. THE Football App ESPN Cricinfo Price: Free Developer: motain GmbH If you’re into your soccer then this simple app delivers all of the latest news from planet football. Covering all of the major leagues (over 1000 in all) and cup competitions, this app provides live scores and text commentaries, breaking news, videos, league tables, squad lists and detailed player information. It’s a great way to keep abreast of what’s happening and really comes into its own on transfer deadline day. Price: Free Developer: ESPN Ltd This app features coverage of cricket from around the world with a varied staff that reflects that news. It includes ball-by-ball scoring from a range of matches plus news, breaking news, features and additional editorial. There are a range of match reports and in-depth analyses of games such as wagon wheel, scoring charts, manhattans, etc. Also included are profiles of all current and former cricketers. Golf Scores + Stats “Download a few of the best sports apps and you’re sure to have an edge on the competition” Price: Free Developer: Apptonium This simple app lets you keep track of your golf scores and other key statistics to help you analyse and improve your game. An unofficial handicap is calculated after your first round and progress is easily observed over time. Through this app you can also track putts, fairways hit, greens in regulation and sand saves. A must for golfers who like track and improve their game. Formula1 world Price: Free Developer: marco.bodoira In this great Formula 1 app, the principle portions are divided into three areas: the news, a calendar and the championship. Clicking on an introductory news tile will take you through to a colourful, well-presented news page, often with interviews with the drivers and team managers. The calendar provides circuit maps plus times and dates for the practices and races, while clicking on the championship show the current table with all the important statistics. FC Barcelona Price: Free Developer: sha4ky Download this app for a complete profile of the mighty Spanish football team. You are given photo images of the squad and where they fit in their positional play. You have the ability to click on any of the player images after which you are taken to a new screen featuring a full biography which includes the chosen player’s early career. Explore the app a little further and you'll find a similar biography available for the team's manager.. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 161
  • 160. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Books & Reference Wealth of knowledge at your fingertips T he benefit of blending Windows 8 with the vast resources of the internet means that if you want to read a book or research information within a reference section, then you are more than likely to find what you are looking for. Books can range from the literary classics such as the likes of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens to more modern fare. There are also both paid-for and free titles – these are either out of copyright or are tomes that are privately pressed and have been issued freely to gain publicity. Research can be done at sites that provide a wide, catch-all service “Books range from literary classics to modern fare” bringing you information from cats and Cats and from rain to Spain. More specialist research areas can provide information from science to history and from astronomy to gastronomy. Whatever your needs, the internet, controlled by the easy-to-use Windows 8 interface, will see you right. Wikipedia Price: Free Developer: Wikimedia Foundation A free encyclopaedia, this service includes a whopping 20 million articles that are ready to examine in a similarly whopping 280 languages. This is a staggering achievement in itself. Using open source, the app features full sharing capabilities and search options while you can also pin your article to read later on. The app includes features, pictures and articles with an interesting ‘On this day’ facility and a useful ‘recent changes’ section to help with your research. Comic Book Reader Price: Free Developer: Netmere This app provides a platform with which you can read your favourite comics as either .cbr or .cbz files (electronic comics or other JPEG compressed files). However, it's worth bearing in mind that this app is just a shell – a mere reader that gives you the space to view your comics. It doesn’t arrive with a host of files to load up and view so be aware that you will have to have a ready archive. Once up and running though, it is simple to use. Kindle Price: Free Developer: AMZN Mobile LLC The Kindle app allows you to purchase books with a couple of mouse clicks on the Amazon website, and then send them to your Windows 8 Kindle app. There are currently around one million Kindle books to choose from including many free titles. You can also sync your Kindle purchases across other platforms, from Windows 8 to Android, for example. Audible Price: Free Developer: Audible, Inc If you enjoy reading but seldom find the time to pick up a book then perhaps you should consider an audio book? Through the Audible app you can listen to books on the go and immerse yourself in gripping stories anywhere. What’s more, the app provides a gateway to over 100,000 audio books – from best-sellers to classics and everything in between. 162 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Periodic Table Price: Free Developer: Revolution Software This app presents detailed chemical and physical information for all of the chemical elements and provides a customisable view, images and links and even allows you to pin elements to your Start screen for easy access. So whether you have a professional use for the periodic table or you are just a quizzer looking to expand your knowledge, this app has all of the symbols and atomic numbers you need.
  • 161. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS News & Weather Always stay dry, warm and informed ÒFollow breaking stories on a minuteby-minute basisÓ ombine the best in fast computing technology with an internet connection via a sprightly broadband link and you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. There are two distinct categories of information, however, that depend on speed to remain relevant: C news and weather. Maintaining the latter can mean that you can successfully plan your day. Friends and family may or may not have to make journeys to meet up depending on weather-based information, while the threat of extreme weather conditions has made such reports less a figure of amusement and fun and more of a serious matter. Similarly, keeping in touch with the news via computer and the internet, means that you can follow breaking stories on a minute-by-minute basis, monitoring a changing situation which, again, might have repercussions for you and those closest to you. Engadget Latest BBC News Sky News Price: Free Developer: AOL The popular, USA-based technology and consumer electronics blog comes to Windows 8. You can find news on the latest smartphones, HDTVs, gaming updates plus computers and much more. When you've downloaded the app, you can view and listen to media via text, videos and podcasts. Grouped into a number of tiles, you just click on a tile to be taken to a new screen to read the story. Price: Free Developer: Dynamic Apps A third-party app design, this application allows you read news features and top stories with a live tile option that features the latest news along with breaking news. This includes everything from world events to sport. The design is effective with big and bold pictures providing a startling effect, especially on larger monitor screens. Clicking on a tile will transfer you to a new screen to read the story. Price: Free Developer: British Sky Broadcasting This app is a flashy and eye-catching as you would expect from Sky. It delivers all of the latest breaking news and top stories together with live Sky News TV so that you can stream moving images as well as read the headlines Packed with videos and pictures, as well as constantly-updated news content, this is a convenient app for staying up-to-date with all the latest news, weather and entertainment news. MyRadar Weather Radar Price: Free Developer: ACME AtronOmatic, LLC With so many good weather apps freely available, this one stands out by providing an animated weather radar so that you can see weather fronts forming and moving in your direction. This futuristic approach makes finding out the weather instantly more engaging and you have full freedom to zoom in to particular locations. The app also provides a quick glance of temperatures as well as overlaying a current satellite image of cloud cover. A robust and enthralling weather app. WeatherPro Price: £2.59/$3.49 Developer: MeteoGroup Deutschland This app includes seven-day forecasts featuring three hourly intervals for over two million locations around the world. Features include global satellite plus radar for the USA, UK and most of Europe, plus animated screens. Weather news can also be found on a live tile on the Start screen while the weather includes a ‘feels like’ facility to gauge the real-world temperature, as you experience it. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 163
  • 162. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Health & Fitness Use your PC to stay in top condition “Tracking progress makes it easier to push a workout” eed a nutritionist to answer questions at the supermarket? Perhaps a personal trainer for running a first-time 5K? Often, we need an added push to go the extra mile with exercise. For some, that extra push comes in the form of an overzealous spin instructor or passionate N personal trainer. If your Windows 8 device isn’t already your best workout buddy, it could be. Tracking your progress on an app makes it easier to eat right, sleep well and push a workout harder. The availability of health apps is climbing fast and the industry expects the number of health and fitness apps to quadruple between 2010 to 2016. For those who like exercising solo or individuals who prefer being outside the gym – whether you’re a runner or need help tracking your food intake or sleep - we’ve rounded up the best apps that offer a good general introduction to health and fitness. Health Choices First Aid! Sleep Bug Price: Free Developer: 3chillies Allows you to find your local doctors, dentists, opticians and more plus advice and offerings on an array of medical conditions. So, for example, when looking at insomnia, the app connects you to NHS Choices which tells you what the condition is and how it could be treated by the medical services, plus how you can help yourself. The app also presents the latest health news. Price: Free Developer: Sahiti2203 This app provides you with first aid information over both text and video, giving you the first steps to recognise and to treat basic ailments such as stomach problems or excessive alcohol. The accompanying videos are stored within external links and are presented in high resolution, although the app would benefit from including more of these. What exists, however, is of very high quality. Price: Free Developer: Panzertax Sleep Bug is an ambient sound mixer that produces a variety of scenes and music with random sound effects. The built-in sound generator creates a realistic listening experience to help calm a busy mind and is perfect for adults, children and babies who are having trouble sleeping. You can also use it in the office to mask out distracting noises and improve your concentration at work. Improve Brain Power Price: Free Developer: Chaithanyaa The name of this app is a little misleading as it doesn’t actually help you improve your brain power – not directly anyway. What it does do is provide a comprehensive rundown of the best foods to eat in order to maximise the power output of your gray matter. It comes with detailed descriptions on how eating a particular food stuff can enhance your intelligence and accompanying images that manage to make even soy look interesting. 164 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Gym Guide Price: Free Developer: gregorysl This guide to exercise presents you with an introductory menu that spans the range of the body muscle, dividing them into tiled areas. When you click on a tile, a new screen appears listing the exercises for that body area. Click on a particular exercise and a pictorial guide will appear along with textual instructions on how to complete the activity. There are 804 activities on offer.
  • 163. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Food & Dining Feast your eyes on mouth-watering apps A re you the type to spice up your gastronomical experience by trying out new food recipes every now and then? Do you enjoy a little bit of adventure, trying new tastes, new techniques and venturing forth into an unknown world of cultural delicacies? There are ÒExperiment with recipes from the comfort of your Windows 8 deviceÓ food magazines all over newsagents with a gamut of food channels splintering all over your TV. The internet is similarly awash with foodie ideas and suggestions are bursting with recommendations, but you can also check for recipes right from the comfort of your Windows 8 device. Take a look at the App Store and you’ll find lots of downloads that can help you out with your food adventure, whether you like to cook things on your own or you like to try new food restaurants. We have listed a selection of apps that you can try out below to help you broaden your eating horizons. HP Recipe Box Price: Free Developer: Hewlett-Packard Company This app eradicates the hassle of finding all of your stored recipes in times of need. When you find a recipe that you would like to store for later, you simply extract it to your own personal recipe box and then find it easily through categorisation. This app also enables you to create a shopping list directly from your recipes and have it available on your mobile device just as you’re heading out to the shops. A sure-fire way to making cooking more convenient. iCookBook Price: £3.49/$4.99 Developer: Publications International, Ltd Featuring a large selection of delicious recipes (around 2,000), this app includes a welldesigned, very colourful interface. Each recipe is grouped in various ways, such as by brand (Heinz, Carnation, etc) or by food type and so on. When you enter a recipe you see a picture of the finished dish plus an ingredients box which stays static while the preparations, tips and the step-by-step instructions scroll underneath it. Recipe, Menu & Cooking Planner Price: Free Developer: Pepperplate This is a real admin tool for cooks as it allows you to manage your recipes, create menus, cook with multiple timers, view recipes, edit and prepare them while browsing the web and sharing recipes with friends via email, Twitter and Facebook. You can also import recipes into the app and add to your shopping list on the website which automatically syncs. Kitchen Garden Price: Free Developer: JEDIWalker A kitchen garden is a space set aside to grow all of the essential ingredients that we use in cooking and this app provides a wide range of expert videos to help you cultivate and grow your perfect plot. You will find videos to help grow any vegetable under the sun and you can search via keywords to find exactly what you need to know about in next to no time. Vegetarian Price: Free Developer: Future Today Inc Packed with recipes – over 5,000 at the last count – this app filters the recipes to match your taste. Sub categories include African recipes, Caribbean and French with a few surprises such as categories for Canadian, Cuban and Fusion recipes. There are also channels to watch which theme meals into categories such as low-carb or vegan, plus taste-based foods and those for special occasions. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 165
  • 164. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Lifestyle Live your life to the fullest with Windows 8 he lifestyle genre of any app collection is a bit of a strange one. It tends to feature all of those useful apps which are hard to categorise but can sometimes be attributed to more leisure-like activities. This category often features apps which focus on how we live and why. So you will often find unique but also crossover subjects in this category. Explore apps for sports activities, healthy and balanced dieting, managing household duties, fashion and style and also apps for favourite hobbies such as gardening, cooking and similar areas. Apps relating to these subjects can be quite wide-ranging from those that seek information in order to do the activity and those that help you to manage information while you are within that activity. All of the apps tend to be stress-relieving and enlightening. T TED Talks HD Craigslist+ Price: Free Developer: Krzysiek Kozak An intriguing app containing talks and performances from TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conferences in HD-quality video. TED is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate 'ideas worth spreading.' The talks feature everything from breathing metal to a bat’s genome and the app has noticeably improved in its content quality. Price: Free Developer: YanFlex This app is a Craigslist browser that uses GPS data to find interesting things around you. The results are presented as grids, photos, maps and a host of other details and you can save your searches and add postings to your favourites. The beauty of this app is that it combines the functions of multiple apps into one, freeing up your time and delivering all of the information that you need in one massive info-splurge. Burning Fireplace “This category often features apps which focus on how we live and why” Price: Free Developer: Inphonite, LLC As the winter nights draw in, nothing beats the hypnotic glow of a log fire – unless of course you don’t have one, in which case this is the perfect alternative. This app essentially turns your PC screen into a smouldering, crackingly fireplace that you can sit in front of and plan your memoirs. It features authentic sound effects and a baffling Pause/Resume function. Rain Sounds Price: Free Developer: Andrew Butler Arguably the simplest app in this entire publication, the Rain Sounds application has just one single purpose: to play the soothing sound of rain. Featuring different rainfall options such as storms, it includes lots of variety to listen and relax to. You can set the rain to a timer to fall asleep to, or you could even keep it going forever if you wish. A highly therapeutic experience, the app is ideal for those who might find it hard to unwind or go to sleep. 166 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps National Geographic Pictures Price: Free Developer: Sogalas This app collects a range of the best pictures available from the large and mature library of the National Geographic organisation. After loading the app, the software will provide you with a new picture that you can share or save on your computer. Subjects range from wildlife to dynamic and impressive landscapes to the varied cultures and native attire of people from around the world. It truly is a feast for the eyes.
  • 165. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Shopping There are plenty of shop windows on Windows 8 T echnology has fundamentally changed society in many different ways. One of those has to be found within the shopping category. Shopping on a computer has been accused of destroying the High Street (although the major supermarkets have to take most of the blame) but it also has given an immense of amount of choice to people in small towns and rural areas. Before, hard-to-find and niche objects could only be sourced after a pre-planned and very expensive trip to larger cities. Now, with online shopping, all that is required is a quick peruse on the web to source even the rarest of items. This sort of shopping doesn’t stop within the boundaries of this country either. Europe and the USA are popular shopping destinations. Couple that with largely efficient delivery services and you have a major computing success story. CBAZAAR Price: Free Developer: Net Avenue Technologies (P) Ltd Taking a Bollywood twist to clothing for sale, this Indian clothing shop offers a range of Sarees, Salwars and Lehenga in addition to men’s wear. Large, detailed picture tiles give the app a sense of elegance and help you pick out specific items with ease. You can search for clothing based on price, fabric, colour and speciality. In addition, you can shop in any wide range of local currencies; there are 17 supported. “With online shopping, a quick peruse on the web can source even the rarest of items” eBay Amazon Price: Free Developer: eBay, Inc eBay is generally regarded as the mecca of the online shopping experience. A digital form of the traditional market in which goods are bought and sold, where auctions are held and the variety of goods on offer is seemingly endless. The Windows 8 version uses a large window style that looks good on a big monitor. Each window can be scrolled to the side to access more information. Price: Free Developer: Devoted to the popular retail site, Amazon allows you to search for items on the main site as well as compare prices and read reviews but, most importantly, to buy products. Access to any of the world’s Amazon sites is possible along with access to current wish lists, cart and payment options. You can also view popular products and recommendations. The app uses a sideways-scrolling interface. Shop Everywhere Price: Free Developer: Inphonite, LLC This is the ultimate shopping tool that lets you enter keywords for what you are looking to shop for and then select an online retailer from a comprehensive list to start your search. A simple interface allows you to select an online retailer from a list to the left of the screen and as you’re searching through looking for the best deal, Shop Everywhere will remember where you were on each site and track your history. It’s a great app for speeding up online shopping. Orchid Price: Free Developer: Orchid Studio Orchid is an Amazon price tracking app that provides price drop alerts and price history charts for products sold on Amazon. This means that if you are in the market for a particular item but aren’t necessarily in a rush to buy it, you can track it in this app and get alerted when the price drops. This ensures you get the best possible deals on items over time. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 167
  • 166. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Travel Roam far and wide with Travel apps A ll great travel apps have one thing in common: they all solve a problem you didn’t realise you had. That said, with app stores bulging at the virtual seams with software claiming to make your life easier, being simply useful is no longer enough for app developers aspiring for greatness. Whether they’re cutting down journey times on your plane, train or car, pointing you in the direction of authentic local nosh in Morocco, New York, Paris or somewhere in Italy, or simply showing you how to ask for a toilet in Swahili, each and every one of our travel apps has earned its place in this list by virtue of being innovative, quirky or just darned useful. So browse well, take your pick and get globe-trotting – because with a few of these on your PC, you may never look at the world in the same way again. G Maps Price: Free Developer: Data Arc Designed as a client for Google Maps, this app will provide you with directions to your chosen destination (wherever that may be) via car, bicycle, public transport or your own feet. Once done, you can then print or, indeed, email the directions. In addition, there are location-based searches that can be done for the likes of hotels, shops or restaurants. There is also a live weather update and live traffic details included to make your journey stress-free. “Every travel app has earned its place in this list by being innovative, quirky or just darned useful” XE Currency Museums of the World Price: Free Developer: A very useful currency conversion app that is extremely easy to use and has been doing the rounds on a variety of platforms including iOS and Android, successfully, for some time now. The app features live currency rates so that you are always up to date. Rates are refreshed every minute. The app includes all the world currencies and precious metals, listed in alphabetical order. Price: Free Developer: Semantika This app is designed to give you up-todate information about museums, exhibitions and other cultural events in your local area and across the world. Using GPS data coupled with Bing Maps, detailed information will be relayed back to you on what museums are nearby and what’s on. You can also mark down your favourites and write a review. A useful app to help you get the most out of your weekends. Skyscanner Price: Free Developer: Skyscanner Thinking of jetting off for a few days to warmer climes? If you're travelling on a budget or just looking for the best deal on low-cost flights, this app is for you. This independent app scans millions of routes with over 1,000 airlines and aims to save you both time and cash by finding the best deal among the many that are present on any given day. It then connects you with the right travel agent or airline. The app can handle up to 20 languages, too. 168 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Price: Free Developer: This app takes all of the stress out of booking hotels by allowing you to do it effortlessly online through an intuitive interface. Offering a quick, easy and secure way to find and book hotels, over 290,000 hotels are listed from all over the world and you can get detailed information and photos to help you find the perfect retreat for your breaks away.
  • 167. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Finance Keep a close eye on your precious pennies wealth of financial apps on the market gives you plenty of options to learn how to be more responsible with your personal finances. Are you trying to handle your own income and expenses, managing an entire household or running a small business? Whatever you're doing, there’s a program that can help get your finances in order. Thanks to these apps, managing money and potential savings is easier than ever. Which app should you use to ensure you’ll always be within your spending limit, always have that holiday fund and always be on top of your finances? Although there are plenty of options, we’ve narrowed the list down to the top five apps to help keep you focused on your cash without giving yourself too much of a headache. But there are plenty more apps on offer. A StockMap Smart Money Price: £1.39/$1.99 Developer: Yojowa, LLC This app helps you track your portfolio of stocks and shares. Apart from essential information displayed on the Live Tile within the app, it covers stocks, mutual funds and indices, currency rates, currency conversion, news headlines both daily and long term tracking and also comparative charting. It also uses a heat map where the colour of each block varies in intensity of green or red. Price: Free Developer: SmartApp Solutions This personal finance app allows you to track your expenses and transactions, check your balances and see your spending by category, account or payee. It also allows you to set up bill reminders, which are displayed in the app tile on your Windows 8 Start screen. You can add multiple accounts with different currencies and it is well designed and very user-friendly. Ribbon Calculator ÒManaging an entire household or running a business? ThereÕs a program to get your finances in orderÓ Price: Free Developer: Ingress Technology This free, easy-to-use calculator app is ideal for accountants and everyday use to help you calculate bills or balance a chequebook. As well as performing any standard operation you would expect from a calculator, Ribbon Calculator also allows you to print off ribbons and share it with other people via email. And it sticks to its task admirably well. Billminder Price: £2.19/$2.99 Developer: lukencode Designed with a simple and elegant minimalist interface and created to help you stay in firm control of your expenses, the Billminder app features a live tile option showing you the next 30 days and any bills and expenses that have to be paid in that time. The live tile also has a very handy automatic update feature. In the app, you can add one-off bills to pay as well as keep track of your bills that have to be paid on a regular basis. Currency Converter Price: Free Developer: Jujuba Software Like all of the best apps available out there, this is a very simple program that works without any fuss. It allows you to convert one currency to another. Before you undertake the conversion, you select the ‘before’ and ‘after’ currencies and then type in the figure that you want to convert. As you input the number, the answer is written, it’s that fast! You are also given an up-to-date exchange rate so you know what you're getting for your money. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 169
  • 168. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Productivity Grab an app and get down to business I t is the productivity element of software where the PC has been rightly lauded. If you want to be productive in any serious endeavour then the PC has always, from the dawn of computing, been the platform that has been the ‘go-to’ system. All of the top quality, most well-known and fully featured packages have all appeared on the PC, at one time or another, in some guise. Of course, Microsoft’s own Office suite of programs have been the stars of the show for some time now but there are plenty of other apps on the market that are just as accomplished an offering, in some cases, unique features and for free. These programs range from word processors, databases and presentation software to complex lifestyle planning, translation and mailing software. If you need to get things done, then Windows 8 is in the perfect position to serve you well. Windows 8 Cheat Keys Price: Free Developer: If you are relatively new to Windows 8 or you are just intrigued to discover new time-saving ways to get around it, then this free app is well worth a look. This app teaches you loads of hidden shortcuts and other tips to help you navigate your way around Windows 8 quickly and easily and new ones are delivered daily to fuel your hunger. Even if you’re a Windows 8 pro then you’ll doubtless still find something of interest. Evernote Price: Free Developer: Evernote If you ever find yourself needing to remember something, then Evernote is an incredibly useful app to have around. It can span a wide range of devices and also adds auto-synchronisation into the bargain, so you will never be without your reminder. An ideal app for research, to take notes during a meeting or even while attending a lecture, Evernote is a superior way to stay organised. SkyDrive Pro “There are plenty of apps on the market offering unique features and for free” Price: Free Developer: Microsoft Corporation If you are a user of SkyDrive Pro, Microsoft’s cloud computing service, then this app allows you to view and share your files from a simple interface. You can upload documents from your computer and view them across all of your devices. This is undoubtedly a useful service for employers to utilise in order to get their work force singing from the same sheet. Toolbox for Windows 8 Price: Free Developer: Vectorform This very useful app brings you a wide variety of tools to your screen at once. Grouping everything you need together in one place like this means that you no longer have to go hunting about within the depths of your PC's folders for the utility that you want. You can choose from a Web Browser, Calculator, Unit Converter, Facebook, Voice Notes, Notifier, World Clock, Weather and Doodle and place up to six of these tools on screen at once. 170 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Art Text Price: £6.99/$9.99 Developer: BELIGHT SOFTWARE USA, LLC An ideal program to use for creating logos, icons for apps and web images, this app takes text input and changes it in a variety of ways, via a number of customisable templates. You have the ability to change the shape of text as well as provide the text with a textured finish from metal to glass. Plus there are options to fill letters with different colours and add in special effects such as shadows and gradients.
  • 169. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Tools Grease the PC wheels with these ideal utilities T he star programs of the PC world grab all of the headlines. That is true. Microsoft Office is one of the heavyweights of the computing universe while eBay is a shopping capital and the BBC’s iPlayer is a media hub packed with entertaining fare. None of these major apps would get very far, however, without those tools that ease the pain of day-to-day computer use. Their task might only be small and, quite possibly, rather one-dimensional, but many of these tools do their own niche job well. So well that many of us simply wouldn’t use a computer without them. This section gives you a brief idea about what kind of tools are available for use, and you'll be pleased to learn that many of them are free too. Take a look. Even if you haven’t used them before, you might discover that they act as a solution to a problem you never knew that you had. Calculator2 Price: Free Developer: Richard Walters This advanced calculator is packed with features and options. Its basic selling point is that it stands as five calculators in one: Basic, Scientific, Programmer, Currency Converter and Unit Converter. With that lot, you get 125 mathematical functions to use along with statistical functions for memory values. For the currency add-on there are 150 world currencies supported along with 200 units for conversions across 17 categories. “No major apps would get very far without those tools of day-to-day computer use” Google Search Network Speed Test Price: Free Developer: Google Inc The most popular search engine in the world, Google Search, allows you to search over the entire internet from the app’s home screen. Features include a voice search option using a microphone plus an instant previews mode to browse search results without having to enter the actual website. You can also click on the History icon to access all of your past searches. Price: Free Developer: Microsoft Research Using servers all over the world, Network Speed Test measures your network connection’s latency and throughput. Based on the results, the app will then handily inform of you of what you can and can’t do on your computer based on your connection speed – such as stream music or make a video call. It’s certainly a useful app to have around if only to satisfy your curiosity that you’re getting what you pay for. Google Chrome Price: Free Developer: Google Inc One of the prime, competing web browsers, Google Chrome is known for its lean design that tries it’s very best to keep the screen clean and stripped. It is also both efficient and fast in its operation. It will also automatically transfer your settings from a competing browser if you wish to retain Chrome. Arriving with built-in phishing and malware protection, the browser also offers unlimited tabs for a pleasurable and swift browsing experience. Alarm Clock Price: Free Developer: See Sharp Guys This app is designed as a nightstand companion, so it may not be particularly useful if you’re using a desktop computer. You can use it to set alarms, choose your own wake up sounds or tunes from your own personal library and customise the clock face with your own colours or background. Just be warned that if your computer goes to sleep, so will your alarms. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 171
  • 170. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Security Stay safe and sleep easy with security apps C omputer security issues make the news just about everyday, from malicious apps to malware. While Windows is a flexible and easy-to-use operating system available on a wide variety of devices, the threats make it essential for users to install extra security options. Keep in mind that the most basic security precautions, like password-protecting your device and setting it to auto-lock after a period of time don’t require an app. But don’t stop there. From anti-virus apps (crucial at this point) to enhanced password protection, it’s worth looking at more advanced options. The vast number of security apps available for the platform makes it impossible to cover them all, but this should give you a good idea of what's available to protect your Windows device and the data that resides within it. Password Locker Price: £1.39/$1.99 Developer: Homiko Labs Now you can protect your passwords and never forget them. Works with a huge array of websites including Facebook, Hotmail, Gmail, eBay, Netflix, bank accounts, insurance and many more. Using strong encryption and protected by your own master password, the content locks automatically after 10 minutes. This is a useful feature, especially if you accidentally leave the app running. Norton Satellite Price: Free Developer: Symantec Corporation The purpose of this app is to make social networking safer by scanning your Facebook and Twitter feed for malicious links, as well as files from your Dropbox, SkyDrive and PC file archives. It is easy to set up and use and could prove very useful if you spend your life on Facebook and have never taken time to consider the consequences of feeding so much alien content into your computer. Network Port Scanner “The threat landscape has made it essential for users to install extra security" Price: Free Developer: Cenix This is a useful free app for helping you get your PC’s network ports in order. The app will scan your computer’s ports to test your network security. You can see what ports are open on your network and the IP addresses that they use. You can also set up an IP range and a port range to scan. That’s pretty much it, but it performs its tasks admirably well. Bitdefender Internet Security 2013 Price: Free Trial Developer: Bitdefender In a similar way to the Norton 360 product mentioned above, this is a free trial version only. Again, however, you will most definitely benefit from paying the full price, as this application provides a complete security package including a secure browser window when viewing your online banking, anti-virus control, ID theft control, social network safeguards, parental control, a firewall. It also features advanced warning of dubious websites. 172 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps LockIt Price: Free Developer: RNG Labs A perfect security app to store all of your passwords, credit card information, bank account data, software keys and more. You can sync this information across all of your Windows 8 devices. A key is generated using the user’s master password using PBKDF2 with 10,000 iterations. All data is then encrypted using AES-256. The app also utilises a number of keyboard shortcuts to make operation faster to keep your PC safe and sound.
  • 171. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Business Enhance your career with Windows 8 apps T he featured apps listed here represent a wide variety of software. What they all have in common are ways to enhance your business. Some of the apps focus on financial aspects, allowing you to easily manage a general ledger, accounts payable and receivables. Other apps focus on productivity. They allow the creation and management of documents that comprise your business data, help you keep sensitive data protected and retained within company walls and aid in communication and collaboration among employees, customers and external contacts. As apps become more prevalent and more powerful, entrepreneurs and small business owners are relying on these savvy tools to help their businesses grow and run more smoothly. These top five apps can get you organized, connected and help with your success. I Love Calculator Price: £0.99/$1.49 Developer: BungBungame Inc If you need to find a simple and easy-to-use calculator, then this app will provide one just for you. It goes further than that, though, because it also offers a rather more technical screen that allows you to input professional engineering functions including Trigonometric, Exponential and Logarithmic functions and Pi-functions. It also includes a rather fun selection of skins for the calculator itself. ÒSome of the apps focus on financial aspects. Other apps focus on productivityÓ EasyInvoice Price: £2.19/$2.99 Developer: FCS Software A simple app but one that will save a lot of time for many small businesses. This program does all the work and creates an invoice for you based upon a simple template. You add your company details so that they automatically flow into the new invoice. You can then store or print the details. The layout is clean and simple, and it takes very little time to complete a typical invoice. Box Price: Free Developer: Boy, Inc Box is a simple and effective cloud computing service that gives you 5GB of free space to store your files. The intuitive interface makes it easy to access and edit your files, share content and stay connected with your work team from anywhere and on any device. It’s a good way to share files with co-workers and have them collaborate on them without having to book a meeting room. TED Talks Viewer Price: Free Developer: Paubus If you are familiar with TED then you will already be aware of the inspiring and thought-evoking content that the various talks can offer. This unofficial app allows you to watch and share TED talks in HD. Through a simple interface you can watch videos from any TED event, open them in a browser, download them to your device to watch offline and also share them with ease with all of your colleagues. It’s a more featurerich way to enjoy TED. World Academy Online Price: Free Developer: INTERSOG LLC An educational app that introduces a range of courses from introductory surveys of general professional concepts, to advanced courses focusing on applied concepts specific to business, management or finance. Although the app is labelled ‘free’, you only get the first lesson, then you have to pay around $15 (approx £9) to complete each course. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 173
  • 172. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Education Learn on your PC and have fun along the way T he wave of the future is here, especially for education. Terms like 21st Century Computing, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and Cloud Computing are mainstream. The introduction of mobile devices and tablets has brought technology to more students than ever before. A one-to-one computing environment is not only a possibility but also a reality in more schools than people realise. Teachers can use apps for everything from communicating with students to dissecting virtual frogs. Whether you’re currently in school or just seeking a little self-improvement, a whole host of Windows apps are just waiting to enhance your knowledge base. We’ve picked a few of the top applications in a number of categories but they are but a mere taster of what’s available within the Windows 8 app store. Mars Rover: Curiosity Price: Free Developer: Jet Propulsion Laboratory This app is more of a taster for the main website on the Rover. It provides a mouse-driven guided tour around the labelled, 3D graphic-generated Rover, plus a recorded video of the initial landing of the Rover using the actual video of NASA control and CGI of the Rover itself landing on Mars. Apart from these two features, other links direct you to another app or the information-packed website. Star Chart Price: Free Developer: Escape Velocity Limited A star gazing and astronomy app. You can explore rendered versions of a variety of planets, moons, rings, stars, constellations and messier objects. You can also move through a timeline to see how the sky has changed by up to 10,000 years. The app shows all the stars of the northern and southern hemispheres up to a magnitude of +10 which amounts to a collection of over 120,000 stars! Dictionary 8 “A whole host of Windows apps are just waiting to enhance your knowledge base” Price: Free Developer: Technocrux If you do a lot of writing on your computer then there are times when you will undoubtedly be stuck for a particular work or phrase, which is where this simple but effective app comes in. Dictionary 8 contains over two million unabridged definitions, synonyms, example sentences, verbs, adjectives, nouns and prepositions. Very useful to have to hand. Dogs Training Price: Free Developer: Debbas If you are considering getting a canine addition to your familiar then it pays to know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for. Dogs require a great deal of training to behave how you want them to, and this free app provides a wide range of information on how to train a dog in the best possible way. You won’t be blown away by the app’s production values, but the information it presents is insightful and will undoubtedly prove useful. 174 Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps Earth Clock Price: £1.79/$2.49 Developer: Map Maker This app, using satellite technology, displays a map of the world. When you touch it with your mouse cursor, it shows you the local time in any and every time zone. Daylight saving time is catered for too. This app is ideal for long-distance communication with friends, relatives and loved ones. You can drag the map around with your cursor to find your location more easily and the map changes in real time so you're always up to date with the time across the globe.
  • 173. TIPS | TRICKS | APPS Government Big information on a grand scale “They act as a mobile gateway to information stored in other forms” ou hear a lot about the appropriate size of government. But one type of smaller government that all sides can agree on is moving helpful applications, or apps, to computing devices where they can be used by the public for free at any time and almost of Angry Birds first. The second thing to note about today’s crop of government apps is that almost all of them act as a mobile gateway to information stored in other forms. There are a few exceptions but, for the most part, government apps are little more than simple databases. Y any location. One thing to note is that most (not all) government apps today are rather primitive compared to private sector offerings. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re trying to find your embassy in a foreign country in a hurry, you probably don’t want to have to tackle a level World Population Clock Price: Free Developer: GadgetWE An app that graphically shows the increasing world population. The number was approaching 7.1 billion during this review with the clock ticking relatively fast. When you break the figures down to different parts of the world, see the speed of growth in Asia compared to the near stagnation in Europe and, intriguingly, the fall in population in Eastern Europe. The app also includes graphs and regional data for over 200 countries. The White House Price: Free Developer: BRIDGE-BUILDING MEDIA GROUP Devoted to the White House, this app provides a contact point with the US Government, allowing you to stay informed with the political movements in Washington. Hence, you can see a video on a bill to support children to stop or prevent them from taking up smoking, features on Middle Class tax cuts and a White House blog feed that can be downloaded in MP3 and MP4. World Statistics Price: Free Developer: T.O.K. This app is the digital equivalent of one of those factual books that always used to reside in the toilet – an app packed full of interesting and insightful facts and stats. This app can help teach you anything from how many people are living on the earth, how much longer our planet’s fuel reserves are likely to hold out and much more besides. It makes interesting reading. Top American Speeches Price: Free Developer: DaksaTech This app lists the top 100 speeches in American history. Organised by the title of the speech, the speaker is shown in photographic form. Click the photo for the entire text. It would have been welcome to have seen some video footage but the text remains often stirring and inspirational. Speakers include FD Roosevelt, JF Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The U.S. Navy Price: Free Developer: InterMedia Development Corp This official app delivers up-to-theminute news and information for anyone thinking of signing up to the US Navy. It is a beneficial read for families as well as the sailors themselves and features stories, videos and photos from around the fleet. You can also use an in-app map top check out the various Navy installations, museums and special events where you can go to find out even more. Windows 8 Tips, Tricks & Apps 175
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  • 177. ✔ Modern UI ✔ Customisation ✔ Enhancements ✔ Applications An all-in-one guide to get the most out of your PC Unlock the full potential of Windows 8 New for Windows 8.1 ✔ Tips Get to grips with Windows 8 with handy tutorials and useful guides ✔ Tricks Unleash the full power of your PC with these informative tricks ✔ Apps A selection of the 100 best apps from the Windows Store Unlock all the hidden Windows features Work faster with apps VOLUME 02