Daily Archives: March 12, 2014

Tweaks to Windows 8: Part 1

There are several things in Windows 8 that are clearly not meant for people using this OS for business or science. So this is a list (updated as necessary) of the tweaks I’ve found necessary to be as productive in 8 as I was in 7.

First, if you right-click the start screen icon on the taskbar, you can get to some of the things that used to be in the start menu: control panel, shut down, etc.


1a)The default search only finds files if they’re in libraries, which I don’t use. So select Indexing Options in the Control Panel, click the Modify button and add additional drives and folders that you want to be searchable.
1b) I also don’t want to search the web from the search pane, just my computer! Disable the online component via the Settings charm > Change PC settings > Search.
1c) Want to search from the desktop rather than going to the start screen? Keyboard shortcut [Windows) + S opens a search bar.

2) Booting. I almost never use the tablet-friendly app versions of programs… it’s a laptop and I want my desktop! So:
2a) right-click on the desktop taskbar, choose Properties and then open up the Navigation tab — tick the top option under the Start screen heading to “boot to the desktop”.

3) Touch-screen vs. trackpad. I’m excited to figure out how the touchscreen can enhance my efficiency, however some features are just plain ridiculous if you have a keyboard/trackpad. So here are some tweaks:

3a) Turn off hot corners. Right-click the desktop taskbar, choose Properties and then open the Navigation tab. Under the Corner navigation heading, you can disable the top left (open apps) and top right (Windows charms) corners.
3b) Turn off the feature where mousing from the right opens the charms bar. On lots of systems, this will be in control panel under your mouse options. However, my Asus has some crazy third-party software that I haven’t figured out yet.

4) Backing up. After all this effort, I definitely want to make a system image so it’s easy to restore if my HD fails. Launch the desktop Control Panel, then choose System and Security > File History window and the System Image Backup option is down in the lower left-hand corner.

5) Keyboard shortcuts. I absolutely hate having to hover in a corner to open the side charms bar. Nothing as annoying as a) having to pause, and b) having it open by accident when you’re working in a program and mouse over there. So
5a) Disable hot zone for charms
5b) Settings Charm: [win] + [ i ]
Charm Bar: [win] + [ c ]
Desktop: [win] + [ d ]

[win] + [down arrow] closes an App

6) Fuzzy programs
Several programs aren’t optimized for high-resolution computer monitors yet, like Google Chrome, Office 2010, ArcGIS, etc.  To remove the fuzziness, right click on the icon to open the program, and go to properties.  Under “compatibility” check the box for “disable display scaling on high dpi settings”. Hopefully new versions of these programs won’t have the same problems.

For full info, here are some of the sites I got this info from: