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Win8 tips: Top ten cool hidden features
Win8 tips: Top ten cool hidden features
01-24-2013 - 04:20 AM


  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: Sep 2013
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Discover the useful tools and tricks for Windows 8 that probably you don't know

1. Start menu
You would already be knowing that moving your pointer to the bottom-left of the screen and left-clicking switches to the tiled Start page. However if you right-click you can meet with a menu linking to key areas of the operating system, including Control Panel, the command prompt and also the Task Manager.


2. Sync your settings across Win8
Microsoft's Account will help you sync personalized settings across Win8 machines, useful if you use different PCs for home and work.

To configure this hidden feature:
- Just launch the ‘Settings’ Charm
- Click on "Change PC Settings"
- Open "Sync your settings" tab to configure the feature.

Win8 supports the old user account system, but it can also create a new kind of user account that's linked to your Windows ID, and pulls in information from SkyDrive, Xbox, Hotmail/Outlook and all the other cloud services the company is pushing.

A linked account can also sync your Windows settings (from your desktop wallpaper to your browsing history) across machines, which is handy if you have multiple computers at home or at work.


3. Categorize Apps by groups

To neatly categorize the apps into particular groups or sections, just drag an app’s tile to an empty space on the Start Screen. It then creates its own group. If you want to name your groups—say, for “Work,” “Games,” and so on—you can do so by clicking the small button in the bottom-right corner of the screen and right-clicking on the groups.


4. Reinstall Windows

Here's a feature you might not come across until something goes wrong - Windows' new reinstall routine, known as Reset (on the PC Settings page).

There's no need to dig out discs or serial codes, because everything you need is already available, hidden away on the hard drive.


Returning Windows to its factory setting takes a handful of clicks, and has never been easier.

Alternatively, you can do a 'refresh', which brings back all the default operating system settings, keeping your personal files, settings, the programs that came with your PC and any applications that you have downloaded from the Windows Store.

5. Enable Aero Lite

Yes, many people have missing Aero in Windows 8. To activate the Aero Light theme in Windows 8, press Win + R and enter Resources. Open Themes > Aero and copy aerolite.msstyles to the parent folder, Themes, agreeing to the instruction to make the change as an administrator.

Next, you will have to create a configuration file. To do so, copy the aero.theme and paste it to the desktop. Using Open with to view the file in Notepad, go to File > Save as… and save the document as aerolite.theme. You can then make the following changes:

Change line 5 to DisplayName= Aero Lite


Find the [VisualStyles] section (either by scrolling or using CTRL+F) and change the path entry to Path=%ResourceDir%ThemesAeroAerolite.msstyles

Save the file again and open Control Panel > Change the Theme or right-click the Desktop and select Personalization –

That’s it! The Aero Lite theme will now be enabled.

6. ISO support

Windows 7 came with a built-in ISO burner; Windows 8 does away with the burning, and can launch ISOs (and VHD files) natively.

Double-click on a downloaded or ripped ISO to view its contents; right-click and choose 'Mount' to run it.


7. Schedule Maintenance of your machine

Windows 8 can now be scheduled to perform tasks like software updates, security scanning, and other important ones daily. Just go to the Action Centre and you can setup the time for scheduled maintanence and also perform it manually, if desired.


8. File History

Windows 8 can keep track of previous versions of your important files, which can be a lifesaver if you accidentally delete a document or a favourite photo becomes corrupted.


The feature - File History - is not enabled by default, so you'll have to activate it from the System and Security section of Control Panel. The only caveat is you'll need a second hard drive available, whether this is external, internal or networked.

9. Adjust the number of Rows on the Start Screen

The tiles in Windows 8 are as a grid, four rows deep. However, you can easily tweak this too. Open the Windows Registry Editor, Expand the tree to reach the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionImmersiveShellGrid and look for the entry Layout_MaximumRowCount. If it’s not there (it probably won’t be) create it by right-clicking in the right-hand pane and selecting New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.


Once created, double click the entry, set the Base to Decimal and alter the value – you can have as many as five rows. After making the change, click OK, close the registry editor and logout of Windows 8. When you log back in, the Start screen layout will have been altered. Simple, new rows will be added ready to be customised.

10. Snap your apps

As you may already know, Windows 7 allowed you to snap windows to the side of the screen by clicking and dragging the title bar.

Windows 8 goes one step further, enabling users to dock a Start page app (like Weather or Bing) to the side while you work on the desktop.


So, for example, you could keep an eye on the forecast while playing around in Photoshop, or stay in touch with your Twitter feed via the People app while crunching numbers in Excel.

To dock a full-screen Start page app, drag it from the top to the left or right of the screen. You can run Start page apps alongside each other too.
(This post was last modified: 01-24-2013 07:07 PM by Administrator.)
RE: Win8 tips: Top ten cool hidden features
08-07-2014 - 10:52 PM

  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: Aug 2014
Thank you for the tips!
I also find a pretty good website wehre you can see all new features on windows 8.
(This post was last modified: 08-30-2014 06:21 AM by Administrator.)

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