Windows 8 Tips Guide

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QuantumPCSupport

Several Win 8 users are yet not comfortable using it. This article would be a good guide to them.

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dambay

After reading about the changes coming with Windows 8.1, I thought I would reinstall and give this OS another shot. I guess what I didn't realize before (didn't give it enough time/effort) is that the start menu isn't REALLY gone, its just repurposed, and looks different. Before the naysayers start raging, I hated Windows 8 at first. But that's mainly because I didn't feel like taking the time to learn a new OS.

When you hit the start button on your keyboard, yes it brings you to the Metro UI, where all of your apps are listed, but how is that any different that the traditional Start Menu? You can re-organize the tiles in Metro as you see fit, so that your most used applications are readily accessible. And just like with the Windows 7 start menu, if you hit the start button and start typing (i.e. searching for something), Windows 8 will bring up a list of matching apps.

Ultimately, although it looks as though the Start Menu is gone, it isn't, really. It just took me more than the 30 minutes I gave it before, to realize that. The core functionality of this operating system is the same, you just need to take a bit of time to learn the nuances. And for those thinking "I'll just wait for Windows 9", you can almost guarantee that it will be more of the same. The PC world, she be changing.

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thematejka

Thank you for the wonderful guide David Murphy!

Windows eight truly steps ahead of Windows 7 in many ways, but there are tweaks to be made. Personally, I felt right at home as soon as I bought Stardock's Start8, which is a $5 application to get back the start menu and ditch Metro (if you so choose). It integrates nicely with Windows 8's style, and doesn't look like it a glaringly obvious customization. Well worth the $5 for my peace of mind!

Windows 8 is a blast so far.

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Aquineas

You don't need to screenshot your entire desktop. Going back many versions of Windows (as far back as I can remember), alt+prtscn would take a picture only of the active window.

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BernardBlack

Yes, I do like Alt+Prnt Scrn, but I do like the Snip Tool as well. It's listed amongst the Windows 8 apps by default. I've been using the snip tool since probably Windows Vista. Use the Snip Tool if Alt+Prnt Scrn isn't specific enough for what you want to capture.

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Primus2112

I used a registry hack to disable startup lock screen as I don't have the "Pro" windows 8 version that comes with Local Policy editor for that option.
Here is a link to that http://www.thewindowsclub.com/disable-lock-screen-windows-8

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PowerJunkie

You guys that rant like cpuking, relax. I didn't read past 2 lines of your post because it's wwaayy ttoooo lloonngg and I really don't care about how you accept 8. I bet 99.9% of everyone else don't give 2 ****'s either.
Make it simple.

Ok, my rant is that I clicked (twice) the Windows 7 link at the top (on the link bar) and it keeps taking me here to a windows 8 article that I don't give 2 ****'s about.

Windows 8 below me.

Thank you

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cpuking2010

I can't believe how much some of you are crying over windows 8. I'm much more than a power user of windows, it's ingrained into my very being. That said after I installed 8 I spent 4 hours fumbling about getting frustrated, until I looked up the keyboard shortcuts; suddenly everything made since.

Metro is fast really fast as soon as it appears it's ready to go, even before the "classic" desktop figures out how to put its pants on. multi-tasking is much improved over 7.

If you have a tablet install splashtop (well if you have an android tablet that is, who wants a fruit anyway?) It's basically just a remote desktop client, but it works with all the touch gestures built into 8, essentially giving you a windows 8 tablet for the price of pirating the android app.

But if you really want to see Windows 8 shine, install xpadder and configure it for shortcuts and mouse emulation. This let's you use your xbox 360 controller to navigate Windows 8; something you could use in 7 as well but it's nothing compared to using it in 8. After all metro is very much inspired by the xbox interface, and with a controller it really makes sense.

Before you ask, I'm using the controller because I run a 15ft HDMI cable to my 55" Led tv; as my PC is mostly used as a gaming box anyway.

I had really hoped Microsoft had put in place ways to use the controller natively, without having to use xpadder. Oh well that's pretty much my only gripe, that and I think they could've killed off the classic desktop without too many tears shed over the dated U.I.

If you haven't tried it yet STFU, if you have and had been put off by the mouse and keyboard implementation, try the controller and it will blow you away how much more since it makes. I don't even like 7 any more, and that's coming from someone who thought 7 was the best OS I'd ever used.

My setup: AMD Hexacore CPU clocked at 3.6GHZ, 16GB of corsair ram, XFX 6970, corsair all-in-one water cooler, 1TB HDD, secondary 250GB HDD, white NZXT Phantom case, to many peripherals to list and a 24" 1080p LED main monitor, with 55" LED tv used for gaming and media consumption 1080p also.

I give Windows 8 a solid 8/10, with a few tweaks it could be perfect.

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BernardBlack

I use an FX8150, overclocked to 4.6ghz, and a 6970 overclocked to 950mhz. I'm loving Windows 8 as a power user. The people b***ing are just the nay-sayers, people who don't like change and they are bad for evolution of any kind...we don't need them. Besides, Windows 8 boasts about 10%-15% performance increase for us FX users and I am feeling it. Also, Windows 8 forces you to access things faster. Just imagine Windows 7 booting up with the start menu already open, except, it's full screen and you can put more on it. It only makes sense that the start screen be the new desktop. Just pin your most accessed places there...even admin tools. There's no reason why you should have to open the start menu, right click on computer and select manage, when you can have it in just a click. Also, I've been an IT technician since probably 2003, getting my starts with computers, with my first IBM Aptiva, back in 1993/4.

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CerealKyll3r

So, simply because you can run your games and applets in Metro and you don't have any issues, you believe that any one who does have an issue with Windows 8 must be an idiot or a cry baby. Get real. Some people don't like the direction Microsoft is headed with the Metro interface and that is their prerogative, but aside from that Windows 8 isn't all about Metro, applets and games. Some of us use Windows to do real work and while Windows 8 does make some good strides in certain areas, it just so happens that it flounders in others. You talk about Windows being ingrained in your very being and insinuate that simply because you like Windows 8 everything is okay. LOL! Well, when you have used Windows for as long as I have and to the extent I have, then we can discuss how ingrained it is in your "being".

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big_montana

The tip to animate my start screen? All that did was make extremely unstable. Any app I would click on would either crash or take me into desktop mode instead. That or it would take me back to a blank Start screen until I pressed the Win key again. I deleted the key real quickly

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TheMurph

Hmm.  That's not good.  Let me investigate this one and see if I can get a bunch of apps to crash; haven't noticed anything so far, but I haven't exactly been poking around News or Photos very much, etc.

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thematejka

Thought I would test it myself and give feedback.

I seem to experience app crashing as well, and the times it happens are random, but often enough to not want anymore. Too bad...It was a nice visual touch.

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Baer

Are any of you as yet using Win 8 on multiple monitors? I use three 1920 X 1200 monitors in surround at 5760 X 1200. Presently I sometimes have a number of windows open on my expamnded desktop. At the MS store they tell me tghhis can be done with Win 8 buty they were not able to do it with their two monitor set up.
I am going to put Win 8 on one of my notebooks to get to know it well but before I load it on my main workstation I have to be sure it will work well with multimonitors and that means as many windows open as I want in what ever location I want.

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srmak

I'm using Win8 with a dual-monitor setup (two 30" monitors). I upgraded to Win8 only a few days ago and I'm still in the exploration/learning phase, but from what I've seen so far, using multiple monitors with Win8 is pretty good (of course, my opinion is based only on my own two-monitor setup - people with other multi-monitor configurations may have a different experience/opinion than mine).

By default, the Win8 Start Screen appears on my primary monitor, with the standard Windows desktop appearing on my second monitor. If I want to see the Win8 Start Screen and Win8 (Metro) apps on my second monitor, then I can just grab the top of the Start Screen (or any Metro app) and drag it to the second monitor, at which point the desktop is shown on my primary monitor. In other words, you have full control over which monitor the Win8 Start Screen and Metro apps appear on - you can switch at will.

Another great little feature I discovered (although I'm not sure if it's by default or if I changed some setting that I've now forgotten about) is that the Windows taskbar, with all my pinned apps and custom toolbars, appears on BOTH monitors. This is great because no matter which monitor the full-screen Win8 interface is on, I can still easily access the "Win7" taskbar on the other monitor. Nice.

After installing Win8, it will by default display the Start Screen on your primary monitor. Currently, I still prefer to boot directly to the desktop, so the first thing I did after installing Win8 was to install Stardock's Start8 program. This lets you boot directly to the desktop and you don't even see the Win8 Start Screen until you explicitly bring it up.

In your situation, where you want to have multiple programs open on multiple monitors, you can still do that with Win8. You can view the desktop on all monitors (just as in Win7), or you can view the Win8 Start Screen and Metro apps on one monitor (any monitor you want) with all the other monitors displaying the desktop. And all your monitors should have the Windows taskbar at the bottom of the screen (again, I'm not sure if that's the default behavior or if it was some setting that I enabled and forgot about).

So in short, with Win8 and multiple monitors - YES, you can have as many windows open as you want in whatever location you want.

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brentrad

srmak, the setting to change the behavior of the taskbar on multiple monitors is found by right-clicking the taskbar and choosing Properties. The options are in that window somewhere, I think on the main "Taskbar" tab (sorry not in front of my Win8 install right now.) You can actually set it to show all running applications on all monitors' taskbars, or you can set it to only show a running app in the taskbar of the monitor where that app is running. Only took them 8 versions of Windows to add the taskbar to multiple monitors. :)

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srmak

Brentrad - thanks for that info. I should have remembered that. DOH! (and yeah, I'm not at my Win8 machine right now either)

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Chilliibean

Gordon needs to bitch slap all of you "Tech-Tards" ( a word to describe all those naysayers of new tech that they personally haven't even tried). OK, we get it you don't like change but for ***k sake enough already.If you load Windows 8 and you use it then you have a comment or concern to make everyone wins but if you come online to say WIN 8 sucks but you haven't even tried it then you need to be slapped HARD. ALSO if you use a Smartphone with APPS you will feel right at home using windows metro no damn tutorial needed! This is Max PC for goodness sake grow a pair Download Windows 8 and make it your own OR move out of the way at let the train leave without you. I'm sure those still using Windows XP can give you some pointers on how to become obsolete yet still think your right.

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Xenite

Want the easiest and best tip for Windows 8.... Don't install it!

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burntham77

I enjoyed using the OS during the beta, but I found it to be an OS at war with itself over what it wanted to be. An OS should be a way to use programs, not something that constantly asks for attention. So I have been hesitant to buy it. However, these tips might just have changed my mind. It's still not a perfect desktop OS, but it's getting there. Thank you for this article.

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Hg Dragon

I've always used Atl+PrintScreen to capture my active windows. That's going to take forever to get used to in Win8.

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qazwix

Great tips, thanks so much!

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Thresher

I tried to get use to the Metro interface, but I really have no use for it and all it does is get in the way.

If there is one piece of software I can recommend to others not really liking the new Start screen, it's Start8 by StarDock. It brings back the start button and gives you instant access to the Metro Start screen if you want it.

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germanogre

As a Windows 7 fan, I took your advice and avoided 8 altogether.

The 1-2 seconds I would save in boot times (7 boots in less than 30 seconds) is not nearly worth the hassle of Metro.

I shouldn't lose parts of Windows when I pay to upgrade. I especially shouldn't have to pay extra to get those parts back.

All Microsoft had to do was give people the choice of not installing Metro when installing windows. People like being given choices.

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TsunamiZ

is there a way to use a black skin/theme color without the window text being impossible to read?

as exampled here...
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/windows/windows_8_home_server_guide

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Cheeseiron

My windows 8 tip "tip" DON'T BUY IT

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PsychNerd

I downloaded and tried the release candidate version of Windows 8. And while I release that not all drivers have had time to be fully developed yet I ran into some serious problems. I was able to lock up the system 3 times and crash the system 5 times in just 2 days of heavy use. By contrast with Windows 7 RC I was only able to make it crash 2 times and was never able to get it to lock up.

I really dislike the Metro UI. It's a giant cell phone on a computer. I will be sticking with Windows 7 for sure. Unless you had a touch screen the Metro UI doesn't make any sense anyway. Point and click your way through a UI that is designed for touchscreens. No thank you! Even Windows 7 has been a bit unimpressive as well. It is okay. But I have started dual booting with Debian Linux. I love having direct access to command line function and the ease of command line verses icon buried in icon, buried in menu, buried in more menus, buried in more windows. Windows GUI has become arcane for power users. For your average user it is just fine.

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ThermoGel

Are you trying to say that there is no command line in Win 8? You can launch a command prompt or power shell from any explorer window as a normal user or administrator. Also how does the Metro interface not make any sense? It's actually called Start now and when it pops up there are icons to click that launch applications. If you use the mouse wheel it scrolls the screen to the right and left.

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PsychNerd

No my point is that using command line in Windows is awful. Sure it can be done, but bash is more powerful and easier to learn and use than Windows command line. It is also more versatile. That is my point.

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guntlager

After three evenings getting it to work (on a Mac Pro) I'm really enjoying Windows 8. For sure Metro is crap. The Metro apps are like 'People Magazine', big pictures and little, if not worthless, content.

I appreciated the advice on the lock screen because Windows is typically difficult to configure for many users. I really miss the shadows under the selected window but other than that the new look to the desktop is great.

I'm using the start screen from Stardock which is all of $4.99 after the trial period. With the start screen restored Windows 8 is behaving like a better looking, slightly snappier Windows 7, exactly what I wanted it to be.

Thanks for all of your Windows 8 articles.

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Citizen Snips

>While we’re at it, let’s get rid of that annoying Lock Screen – a pointless addition to the Windows 8 operating system for those that lack the capability to swipe a finger up their screens and make it go away

Come on Maximum PC! Your writers should know what they're talking about. You can literally press ANY KEY ON YOU KEYBOARD to make it go away! No mouse or swipes at all!

Get it together.

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TheMurph

Yes, you can press a key on your keyboard to make it go away.  That wasn't the point.  It's an unnecessary screen for people who aren't on a portable device like, say, a tablet.

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bbq4tw

Not sure if it's a version thing but when I hit windows key + h I get the share side bar, not search.

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TheMurph

No, you're correct.  Typo was totally mine -- since, obviously, typing *anything* on the Start Screen brings up "search."  

Whoops!

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Erris

Thanks for this article!

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dantfmly

die windows 8 die

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drevas

Like to have it on my Tablet, but desktop? Uh,no. Cold day, meet Hell.
I'll sit this one out and keep Windows 7.

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Hilarity

Fuck and die you inbred monkey.

Yes this is Win 8, and yes you are stuck with it. 7 will wither away like Vista and XP. Accept change or die.

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Exarkun1138

Um, sorry to inform you of the obvious, but Windows 7 will not "wither away" like Vista and XP. Oh,um, guess what, XP is still around on many machines out there. I don't like XP, but it's still around. I'm a Windows 7 user and will be until I see Microsoft do something about that abysmal IFKAM. Windows 8 may have some nice features, but it has alienated the Desktop PC world with that crappy "touch interface". There will be those, like myself, who will stick with Windows 7 until Microsoft fixes that horrible IFKAM! And give me back the Start Button too while you're at it.

Windows 7 is the BEST OS Microsoft has ever made and they ruined it with Windows 8. Go ahead, enjoy 8 to your hearts content. I'm very happy with 7, thank you very much!

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PsychNerd

Sorry I have to agree with Exarkun1138. Some businesses were using Windows XP until this spring/summer. Every and all early version of any operating system has bugs and kinks. Early adopters suffer premature driver issues, conflicts, crashes, lock ups, because all the quirks have not been worked out yet. Until at least 6 months after launch it is foolish to adopt any sooner. Windows 7 is here to stay for quite a while. Windows XP was released in fall of 2001 and they just discontinued support this summer, making it a viable and supported operating system for 10 3/4 years. Windows 7 was released summer of 2009, and it shares the same success which it probably will because it is stable and many business adopted it, which is the real driving force behind the length of viability and length of support in any operating system, then at 10 years time frame, Windows 7 will not be obsolete until summer of 2019, giving it nearly 7 more years of viable use.

Hilarity is a perfect name since you sound like you are 18 or 22 and have never worked in IT a day in your life, or have not been around long enough to know these common sense things. It is HILARIOUS that you think you must adopt every edition. You are obviously a product of advertising and marketing. You are exactly what Microsoft, Apple and any major corporation hope you are.

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big_montana

Actually you may not see the same length of support for Win 7 as was seen with XP. For one Microsoft has no intention of releasing any more service packs for Win 7 so as not to cannibalize Win 8 sales, and as a result you will see a shorter shelf life support life for Win 7 just like OSx. I do not see corporations adopting Win 8 as they usually skip a version so Win 9 will be the one they do upgrade to which will be no different than Win 8 is now in design.

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drevas

I believe MS has already said it will offer a 10 year support cycle from Win 7 forward, and I believe also that even Vista gets support thru 2015. I don't see MS using support as leverage to get you to upgrade to Win8.

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big_montana

End of Mainstream Support (meaning Consumers) January 12, 2015 - Microsoft will offer mainstream support for a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product's general availability, or for 2 years after the successor product is released, whichever is longer.

End of Extended Support (Meaning Enterprise) January 14, 2020

So, you are looking at less than 3 more years of product support for Win 7 in the retail/consumer channel. Unless MS extends this like they did for XP several times.

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PsychNerd

That is what they originally said about Windows XP too. Mainstream support was supposed to end a long time ago, but there was such a public outcry that they had to. If they piss off too many people Debian has become a serious contender lately. Aside from Silverlight and DirectX compatibility which many people have been working on fixing. But if they don't continue support they will loose a lot of people. Most light/casual consumers (not gamers or geeks) want their computers to last 6-8 years. If Microsoft will not support an OS that long they will loose it to Linux who doesn't support their OS's that long but at least the OS is then free reducing the cost of ownership of a computer. Also Linux does not require as much when it comes to hardware resources so a less expensive computer will work just fine for most people saving them even more.

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big_montana

But with XP MS continued to release service packs. They have already ended service pack releases with Win 7. Also, the computer newbie will not understand Linux anymore than they would if you tossed a DOS 3.0 box on their desk. They would give the same reaction. ETF is this and how do I play solitaire and surf the net. Sorry, but Linux is only a serious threat with knowledgeable geeks, not mom and pop. And I seriously doubt MS will extend support on Win 7 like they did XP not matter the outcry as they want Win 8 to be successful. And despite what you and others may think businesses are evaluating it now, my company included even though we just upgraded to Win 7 this year. MS has already moved over 4 million copies just in its first 3 days so I do not see Win 7 living beyond its current end life.

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KrisPC

"Windows Key and I displays Settings — a super-quick way to shut down your PC."

Actually I have found it easier to use Alt+F4 on desktop to shut down the computer. Because I normally close all the programs anyway and might as well close them with Alt+F4. So when all the programs are closed, another Alt+F4 will bring up the shut down options, hit enter and I'm done.

For that matter you don't have to close anything, you would just have to go to the desktop (this should leave all the open programs inactive as default) and as an added bonus you can sign out from the same place too if needed.

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TheMurph

An astute point.  I was thinking more in terms of "how to quit when you're in Metro," which is a bit more of a proces than the ol' ALT+F4 on the desktop.

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