Windows 8 Tips And Tricks : A Complete Guide

Windows 8 the most recently launched Windows by Microsoft. Though Windows 8.1 has been released, its still a preview version so we’re not calling it a complete launch. There are various Windows 8 tips and tricks one must know to get the most of windows 8.
When Microsoft launched windows 8 for all the customers all around the world, the first time users were amazed as well as a little confused with the whole new interface and layout. Me personally had to struggle a bit to know how to close the Store apps :D.
But, keeping all these discussions aside lets see what are the windows 8 tips and tricks a Windows 8 daily user should know.

Windows 8 Tips And Tricks : Getting Started

So, before really getting into the topic lets discuss some of the basic features and additions to the new Windows 8.
As we all know the all new well crafted start screen. Amazing tiles for different apps and you’ll get a touch screen UI rather than a desktop UI. Well, after you Login to the desktop you’re amazed once again ;). yeah and you had to be, no Start button and no other icons on the screen. But the desktop looked clean and crispy.
Enough with my stupid talks? Lets really get into learning some windows 8 tips and tricks.

1. Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

Lets start with some of the most useful and must know keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8. And trust me if you become familiar with the keyboard shortcuts, you’ll love windows 8 even much more.
  • Press the Windows key to get into the start screen or to the desktop if you’re in the start screen
  • Press the Windows key + D to open the Windows Desktop or minimize all the windows at once.
  • Press the Windows key + . to pin and unpin Windows apps on the side of the screen.
  • Press the Windows key + X to open the power user menu, which gives you access to many of the new features that most power users would want (e.g. Device Manager and Command Prompt).
  • Press the Windows key + C to open the Charms. (Charms are basically a sort of quick access sidebar with every detail like time, battery etc)
  • Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings, which is the same Settings found in Charms.
  • Press and hold the Windows key + Tab to switch between open apps
  • Press the Windows key + Print screen to create a screen shot, which is automatically saved into your My Pictures folder.
  • Press the Windows key + L to lock the screen and go to the lock screen.
  • Press the Windows key + T to switch between open windows or apps in the task bar and enter to select/open the app/window.
so, these keyboard shortcuts should get you going and keep your mouse away for normal use. This is the first on our complete windows 8 tips and tricks list.

2. Hot Corners

So, hot corners are one of the newest added features on windows 8. Hot corners have been added because Microsoft emphasizes its users to minimize or switch between apps rather than closing and opening them in very short time interval. That saves time and does not consume much power at all. 
Hot corners have been put in to swap between recent apps and create a easily accessible pattern between your currently running apps or games. Just move your mouse to the top left corner and you should be to see the recently opened apps or games.(If you had not close it)

3. “God Mode” In Windows 8

Ever heard about “God Mode” before? If yes that’s great but if its the first time you’ve heard of it, do not you’ll not be left out. We think this is one of the best among other windows 8 tips and tricks.

Basically “God Mode” is a mode where all the scattered setting or all around settings in the windows can be accessed under a single place. It’s hidden in the windows and with this mode you can easily access all the settings for customizing or enhancing your windows.
To enable “God Mode” In windows 8, first you should enable “Hidden Items” and “File Name Extensions”.
Go to the Desktop and create a new folder.
Rename the folder as : GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
After renaming the folders it’s icon and name changes as shown.
Now, just open up the folder and you’ll be able to access all the customization or management settings at ease.

4. Closing Applications on Windows 8

So, one of the major issues for a new windows 8 user. And yes even a tech geek might have been confused if preview versions had not came earlier. 
Though closing an app in windows 8 is not that difficult. There are two options to close an app. Either you can use your mouse or your finger(on a touch device) and click on the top of the screen and swipe it all the way down until it shuts down or use the classic Alt+F4 button. You might use task manager as well.

5. Speed Up Windows 8 (A bit)

Yeah we had to add (A bit) at the end because windows 8 runs like butter( at least for us and it should for you as well if you have a casual PC). So, to speed up windows 8 what you could do is just disable unwanted applications that start automatically when windows starts.
  • First go to the start screen(Press the windows button).
  • Then type in “MSCONFIG”, without the quotes and capitalization is not necessary either. 
  • Open up Msconfig.
  • Now a windows will pop up with 5 tabs. General, Boot, Services, Start up and Tools.
  • Select the Startup tab and then click on “open task manager”
  • Now, windows opens up the task manager and you’ll see different app that start automatically with the windows Start up and without your concern, slowing down you PC. 
Right click on the apps and select disable. But remember only disable apps that you know or solely related with windows start up as this might prevent your windows from starting. 
So, this might not make a drastic change in PC speed performance but still helps a bit and has made it to our windows 8 tips and tricks list.

6. Create A Picture Password.

Bored with the same old classic black dots of phrase and want to give it a change? Well, Microsoft has listened to you, now you can create a picture password on Windows 8.
Its extremely easy to setup and its easier to remember too. Click “Change PC settings” at the bottom right, and go to the Users tab. Under “Sign-in options” will be the “Create a picture password” button. Then you need to select a picture and a gesture on the picture that you’ll not forget like the lock screens of the smart phones these days.

7. All The Apps Under A Hood

So, we’ve got two types of apps for windows 8. One is those that run form the start screen and others that are installed via other medium and are run from the desktop. If you have lots of apps and find it really time consuming to switch between desktop and Start screen to find all your apps, you’ll find this trick really helpful.
What you can do is, you can create a applications folder that will bring all the apps under the same hood.
Go to the desktop and create a new folder.
Name or Rename the folder as : Applications.{4234d49b-0245-4df3-b780-3893943456e1}
It will create a folder named “Applications” and you’ll find all the apps that you’ve installed or the by default applications inside it. Isn’t that awesome? Yeah it is. 

8. Boot directly into the desktop

One of the feature that might and have irritated most of the “Desktop” users is the directly booting into the start up screen instead the desktop itself. Though it does not take much work to go to the desktop, its always good to do less work ;).
You can easily do that. 
  • Go to the Start up screen and search for “schedule”.
  • You’ll see “No Match Found” but its under the settings on the right sidebar.
  • Open it up and select  Create Task
  • Name your task anything like “Direct to desktop” Now select the Triggers tab and choose New
  • Use the drop-down box to select starting the task “At log on.” Click OK and go to the Actions tab.
  • Choose New,and enter “explorer” for the Program/Script value.
Just restart and VIOLA, you’ll be directly logged into the desktop instead of the Start up screen. This might one of the most useful tips among other windows 8 tips and tricks as this might be annoying you.

9. Refresh Windows 8

One of the best features, must say. Refreshing a PC is really easy on windows 8 and by refreshing we meant to say refresh the whole operating system rather than the refresh option on the desktop ;).
What refreshing a PC actually does is it rewrites the old operating system files and installs new ones from the installation medium. But one issue you might face is that all you apps that you installed from other medium other than the app store will be most probably.
Refresh Your Windows 8 PC
To refresh your PC get into the charms>Settings and Change PC settings
Then select General from the options and then scroll the screen on the right and you should see a refresh option. Just follow the instructions and you’ll have a refreshed and faster PC.

10. Create A Start Menu Without Any Third-Party Software

So, the issue the most windows users faced was the removal of the start menu. And therefore people started to find solutions to bring back the Start menu. There are different add-ons and apps to do it but if you do not want to install any of these, you can create your own start menu in windows 8. The startmenu will not be of the same class as before, but this might still come in handy.
  • First you should enable hidden files and folders.
  • Now Right click on the Desktop’s taskbar and select Toolbars > New Toolbar. 
  • Now navigate to C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart Menu
  • where username is your account name, and click the Select Folder button. 
This will place a Startmenu on the far right side of the Taskbar and you can access all the options by clicking on the double arrow(>>). This is not the sleekest Startmenu but can come in handy.

Up to You

I’ve tried to sum up some of the best windows 8 tips and tricks from all around. Yes, there are many other tips and tricks but these are some of the best and useful for any Windows 8 user. How helpful have been these Windows 8 tips and tricks turned out be for you? 
Drop in the comments and let us know if we’ve missed some really important Windows 8 tips and tricks.

It’s An Honor And Privilege To Have You Here. If You By Any Chance Find This Guide Helpful, Please Take Some Time To Share With Others. 

Prajwal is a senior editor @Windowslovers. A Tech enthusiast who loves to read and write articles that aid users in getting the most out of their gadgets and tech it easy.

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