Windows 8/8.1 Tips and Tricks
Microsoft Windows 8 Review
Microsoft Windows 8 – Are You Locking Up On Boot Up???
Microsoft Windows 8 – Manually Updating NEW
Microsoft Windows 8 – Speeding Up A Slow Computer – Part 1 NEW
Microsoft Windows 8 – Speeding Up A Slow Computer – Part 2 NEW
For Windows 8 Basics
My first glimpse of Microsoft Windows 8 was on a friend’s computer and I have to say that I was very reluctant to try it out. Of course being the geek that I am curiosity got the best of me and I also needed to learn the software. I have been working with Microsoft Windows since Windows Millennium and my favorite versions so far has been Windows Vista and Windows 7. I am still using Windows 7 on all of my computers except one at the moment. I needed a new laptop and decided to take the Windows 8 plunge with it. The day my new laptop arrived was very exciting and that excitement soon turned to frustration as I booted it up for the first time and Windows 8 sent me on a trip to confusionville. Let me just say that at first Windows 8 seemed like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
Don’t get me wrong, Windows 8 is different, but it isn’t in a way. Once you start looking around and learning some of the basics a lot will be familiar to you and you will start feeling right at home with the new makeover. Of course since the world has gotten app crazy since the iPhone was created (thank you APPle!!!), Windows 8 uses a lot of freakin’ apps and that is what makes it confusing at first. Got an app for that??? After a day with Windows 8 I was rocking and rolling with it and you will be too if you give it a chance. Eventually you may have to get used to it and I suggest that you do not wait until the last minute to do so. I will update this review as I get more intimate with Windows 8 and will be adding a lot of basic to advanced tips and tricks to help you out so keep coming back for updates.
Microsoft Windows 8 – Are You Locking Up On Boot Up???
I was going to start out with basic tips, but this lock up on boot up issue has been plaguing me and since I figured out the cure for it I thought that I would throw this one out there first for anybody out there that is pulling their hair out with this. I’ve seen a lot of confusion out there, because at first I was searching my computer which is an Alienware. A lot of forum folks were telling people that they had a defective computer and should send it back. I am sorry to those of you that did before I could get this thrown together. My laptop started locking up after a week. I formatted the hard drive and re-installed Windows 8 which did solve the problem for a little while. A few weeks later it started locking up again. I knew from this that it wasn’t my computer and that it was Windows 8 and after a lot of looking around and messing around, here is the solution.
The problem is that when Microsoft created Windows 8, they tried to create an operating system that would boot up faster than any of their other versions using a thing they call Hybrid Boot. Kudos for the attempt Microsoft, but I never really saw a problem with boot up time. I mean, I noticed the speed difference with Windows 7 and it did blow me away, but is boot time really that important? Just push the power button and go make a cup of tea or something while your computer boots up. Well, I hope the boot up speed isn’t an issue for you, because in order to fix the boot up on lock up issue you have to go back to Windows 7 boot up speed. Here is a step by step on how to do it.
1. You will need to disable the Hybrid Boot feature and go back to Windows 7 boot speed. If you are working on your Desktop, you will need to click over to the Start Screen by clicking the Window icon in the bottom left of your Desktop window.
2. If you don’t have the Control Panel App pinned to your Start Screen, move your mouse up to the far right and click the Search Icon.
3. Next type “control panel” into the search block.
4. Right Click the first Control Panel option in your search results and click Pin To Start. This way all you have to do to get into your Control Panel later is go to the app that will now be on your Start Screen.
5. Your Control Panel App may pin to your Start Screen in a different place. The app looks the same and below the arrow is pointing to the app that you are looking for. Click that bad boy.
6. Now your Control Panel window will open up and should look familiar to you. If this is your first time using the Control Panel in Windows, the initial window only shows a few options. You need to expand it all to get to the option that we need. In order to do that, look in the far right of the window and click Category as shown below.
7. Next click on Small Icons. Now all of the Control Panel options will be visible.
8. Look around the Control Panel options and find Power Options. Click on that to go to the Power Options window, which is where we need to go.
9. In the Power Options window click on “Change What The Power Buttons Do” on the left as shown below.
10. In the next window click on “Change Settings That Are Currently Unavailable“. Next you should be prompted for your log in password. Enter your password and hit Enter. This will open up all of the shaded in options in the window, so that you can change them.
11. Move your mouse down to “Turn On Fast Startup (Recommended)” and uncheck the box.
12. With the “Turn On Fast Startup (Recommended)” box unchecked Hybrid Boot is now disabled.
13. Click Save Changes.
14. You will need to restart so just go ahead and test your computer to see if your boot up, lock up issue is cured. Just shut your PC down and do a cold start. It should boot up with out locking up now in Windows 7 speed.
Microsoft Windows 8 – Manually Updating
Updating Windows is a necessity and I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends that I help ignore updating Windows or they trust the automatic update feature which does not install the updates that aren’t deemed important by Microsoft, which are a lot of times actually quite important. As far as my friends, by the time they ask me to fix their computer or speed it up, I spend at least five hours updating their computer before I can even begin my actual work on it. It is important that you try to check for updates on a weekly basis to ensure that your computer is healthy and running properly. Microsoft does put out Windows Updates quite often. With Windows 8 they have changed the process and it took me a minute to figure out how to do it manually and as I have asked around, realized that I have some friends that just don’t get it. Here are the steps to manually update Windows 8.
1. First you will need to find the PC Settings app or you can use the Control Panel. For this example I will be using the PC Settings app. Find the Search icon on the Start Screen.
2. In the Search block type PC Settings. The first search option will be PC Settings, so right click it and select Pin To Start.
3. Now the PC Settings app will appear on your Start Screen. I’ve labeled it below so you will know which app to look for.
4. Click the PC Settings app and the following window will pop up. In this window click the Update and Recovery option on the bottom left.
5. Next make sure that Windows Update is selected on the left.
6. Now click the Check Now button and wait for Windows to search for available updates.
7. Once Windows finishes it’s search, it will tell you here if there are important, non-important, or no updates available. Below you can see that I have one non-important update to install.
8. If there are updates available click View Details.
9. Next all of your available updates are displayed. Here I have one optional update available.
10. To manually install the update put a check in the block in front of the listed update.
11. Next click the Install button.
12. The installation process will begin.
13. Once the install process is complete you may be prompted to Restart your computer, go ahead and do so. After your computer reboots check for Windows Updates once more. Sometimes installing updates will open other updates that weren’t available with the old version of Windows.
14. That is how you manually install updates and it is very simple, just not very clear in my opinion, but now you know.
Microsoft Windows 8 – Speeding Up A Slow Computer – Part 1
One of the normal things that slows down a computer over time is lots of apps and programs that you can’t see running in the background at all times. Pretty much anytime you install software or an app it wants or has some part of it that begins to run at all times. You used to be able to tell by looking at the bottom right of your Desktop. If you have a lot of icons down there, then you have a lot of stuff running in the background. There is a small window that can be opened to the left of your icons that shows some, but will not show all. Here is how you can check to see what is running and how you can turn them off.
NOTE: With other versions of Windows this used to be done by opening the Run program and typing in msconfig. That is no longer the norm.
1. With Windows 8 finding the Start Up options is actually easier. Now all you have to do is open your Task Manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE and clicking Task Manager. In the Task Manager window click on the More Details option in the bottom left.
2. That expands your Task Manager window and it should look similar to mine below. Now click the Startup tab.
3. The Startup tab lists all programs that start when your computer boots up and runs continuously. With other versions of Windows you could disable pretty much everything, but with Windows 8 you can only disable certain programs.
4. At this point in time I don’t have anything that I can disable, but I am going to use one to show you the options. Below I have found an iTunes Helper program and normally would disable it, but with Windows 8 it cannot be disabled.
5. Right click every program that you have running and if you can disable it, the Disable option will be selectable. If it is not selectable then you cannot not disable it unfortunately. As you can see below I am unable to disable iTunes Helper since the Disable option isn’t selectable (greyed out). Check ever program that you have running and if Disable is selectable click it and you will be asked to confirm the decision. Click Yes and restart your computer once you have disabled everything that you can disable. IF YOU CAN DISABLE IT, DISABLE IT. Once you reboot your computer you will see a significant speed change.
Microsoft Windows 8 – Speeding Up A Slow Computer – Part 2
This part deals with the internet. When you browse the internet, your browser records everything for lazy people that don’t want to retype a web address or their personal info in online forms. First, you should never let your computer store your personal info. If someone hacks your computer or gets access, everything is there for them to take. Second, whether or not your browser stores your cookies it’s not much of a speed difference with your page loading up. Third, if you don’t like retyping a web address over and over, then add it to your favorites. The point is that all of this stored information builds up over time and bogs down your computer. Below is how to stop your internet browser from storing all of this.
1. Click on your Control Panel app. This can also be done through your browser. I am going to show you how to do it through your Control Panel.
2. In your Control Panel locate Internet Options and click that.
3. In the first tab put a check in the “Delete Browsing History On Exit” box. Next click the Delete button under that and wait for Windows to delete it all. Next click Apply and then OK.
4. Next click the Content tab.
5. In the Content tab click Settings for AutoComplete.
6. Uncheck every block in this window.
7. Next click the Delete AutoComplete History.
8. Put a check in every block here.
9. Once you have checks in all the blocks, click Delete.
10. Wait for the deletion to complete.
11. Next click OK.
12. Next click Settings in the Feeds and Web Slices option.
13. Uncheck every box here as well.
14. Click OK and you are done and your computer will be faster. I usually do all this as soon as I get a new computer or reinstall Windows.