Whether you have just installed Windows 8 or you purchased a computer with it pre-installed, you now have an operating system that you’re probably unfamiliar with, for the most important, and so things can seem rather difficult to do, such as customization and other simple tasks. So what can you do about that? You can’t give up.
Fortunately, there are many different ways that you can tweak Windows 8.
In this article, I will show you a number of different ways that you can get the most out of this operating system. Check out top windows 8 improved features.
Update Windows 8 to 8.1
Microsoft Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade for anyone who is running the older Windows 8. In this update, you get fixes for a number of different problems people found with the older Windows 8, such as the addition of a Start button. You can acquire this update from the official Microsoft Windows page.
The Start Screen is made up of a number of tiles, which are presentable and efficient for navigation. But what if you have hundreds of different applications installed on your computer, most of these applications will be hidden from view, forcing you to scroll in order to see and/or find them.
This is where the semantic zoom feature comes most in handy. If you have a touch display, simply hold down on the Start Screen with two fingers to get the bird’s eye view, which will allow you to see everything.
Fortunately, this feature is also accessible to those who use a keyboard and mouse. Simply hold down the Ctrl key, then using your Mouse Wheel, scroll to zoom in and Out.
Understand Hot Corners
Corners of the screen are what are called hot corners; the purpose of these hot corners is to give the end user access to additional Windows features on the fly. Below is a rundown of the different corners and their feature set.
The Bottom-Left hot corner allows the end user to access the Start screen. If you’re accessing the Start screen while the Desktop is open, this hot corner will take you back to the Desktop when utilized.
Note: If you right-click in the Bottom-Left corner, it will open the Power User Menu.
When you move the mouse pointer to the top-left corner of the screen, then down, it will display all the running applications on your computer. By dragging or click on any of these applications, it’s possible for you to snap those programs to the left or right side of the screen. It’s also possible for you to close any of these running applications.
When you click on the right-hand side of the screen, it will open up the Windows Charms.
Run Applications Side by Side
It’s possible for you to pin two applications, one to the right and the other to the left-hand side of the screen. To do this, you’d open up the first application, then press Windows Key + . to pin the first application to the right-hand side of the screen, pressing this key combination a second time will shift the application to the left side and a third time will make the application full screen.
Once you have the application pinned to one side of the screen, it is possible for you to open up other applications. To pin the second application, you’d simply open it up, then use your mouse to drag the application into the left or right-hand side of the screen.
Note: It’s also possible for you to pin the Desktop to one side of the screen. That said, in order for this feature to work, your screen resolution has to be at least 1,366 x 768.
Closing an application sounds like a fairly simple task, but if you’ve used Windows 8 for any length of time, you’ll know that applications tend to minimize instead of close, this limits the number of resources the application consumes, improving accessibility in the process.
If you want to close a program, the most effective way of doing that is by dragging the application to the bottom of the screen. As you do this, the application should eventually disappear. Alternatively, you can use the key combinations Alt + F4.
Modify Privacy Settings
Many of the applications you use on Windows 8 tap into your personal information by default. Your location, picture, and name are integrated into the operating system, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your temperament. Some people don’t like the idea of their operating system having such sensitive data.
That said it is possible for you to modify these settings by pressing Windows Key + I, then accessing the Change PC Settings.
From this area, select Privacy Option then alters the settings to suit your needs.
Use Windows 8 Task Manager
Windows Task Manager has been improved quite significantly over the past couple of Windows operating systems. Changes include an improvement in Performance graphs, presentation, a Startup tab, which you can use to see Startup process and an Application history tab.
To access the Task Manager, simply right-click on the Taskbar and select Start Task Manager or you can press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
Learn the Jargon
Taking some time to learn all the different jargon introduced with the Windows 8 operating system will help familiarize yourself with the inner workings of it. Below are just some of the things I’d recommend you did further research on:
- Lock Screen
- Start Screen
- Windows Store
- Picture Password
- Snapped App
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website compuchenna.co.uk