Now that Windows 8 Enterprise is available to the public as a 90-day evaluation and Windows 8 Pro is available for Microsoft TechNet subscribers, we decided to collect links to the Windows 8 articles we’ve published since the release of the Developer Preview.
Windows 8 UI Screen (formerly the Metro Start Screen) and Desktop
The Windows 8 UI, formerly called the Metro Start Screen, is Microsoft’s replacement for the Start menu. It’s caused a lot of controversy among Windows users. Whether you love it or hate it, here are some articles that help you to use it, or even bypass it if you truly can’t deal with it.
- How to Add the Old Control Panel to the Metro Start Screen in Windows 8
- How to Boot to the Desktop & Skip Metro in Windows 8
- Go Directly to Desktop Mode in Windows 8 on Login (Without Installing Extra Software)
- How to Name Groups of Apps on the Windows 8 Metro Start Screen
- How to Pin Apps or Folders to the Metro Start Screen in Windows 8
- Organize Tiles into Groups on the Metro Start Screen in Windows 8
- Pin Your Favorite Websites to the Metro Start Screen in Windows 8
- How to Make Windows 8 Metro Web Tiles Open in the Desktop Browser
- Beginner: How to Disable a Live Tile in Windows 8
- 5 Ways Microsoft Can Improve the Windows 8 Start Screen
Windows 8 Apps (formerly called Metro Apps)
The Metro screen provides access to Windows 8 Apps, formerly called Metro Apps. These are apps you can download for free or buy from Microsoft’s Windows 8 Store. They are available as tiles on the Windows 8 UI screen and run full screen. It is not obvious how to minimize or shut down the apps, and running an app as an administrator is slightly different from previous versions of Windows. The following articles show you how to minimize and shut down Windows 8 Apps, how to run them as administrator, how to delete your application history, among other useful tasks.
- How to Run Windows 8 Apps as a Different User from the Start Screen
- Beginner: How to Run an Application as Administrator in Windows 8
- Download the Official How-To Geek Trivia App for Windows 8
- How to Access Metro Apps from Windows Explorer in Windows 8
- How to Delete Your Application History in Windows 8
- How to See Which Metro Apps You’ve Installed on Each Windows 8 PC
- How to Shut Down or Minimize Full Screen Metro Apps in Windows 8
- How to Stop Users From Uninstalling Metro Applications in Windows 8
- 10 Apps That Show Metro’s Potential From the Windows Store
Internet Explorer 10
Internet Explorer 10 comes with Windows 8 and is available as a Windows 8 UI version and a Desktop version. The following articles help you disable flash in IE10, make websites you’ve pinned to the Windows 8 UI screen open in the Desktop version of IE10, and even how to uninstall IE10, if you would prefer not to use it at all.
- How to Lock Down IE 10 by Disabling Flash in Windows 8
- Make Pinned Metro Website Tiles Open in the Desktop IE in Windows 8
- How to Uninstall Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8
Windows 8 comes with version 3 of PowerShell. However, if you still have scripts for version 2, they may not work well, causing errors. However, you can run both versions 2 and 3 at the same time in Windows 8. One of the following articles shows you how.
The other article shows you how to use PowerShell to manage optional features in Windows 8. This can be done in the Control Panel, but for those of you who like to use PowerShell, it’s a cool Stupid Geek Trick.
- How to Run PowerShell 2 and 3 Concurrently in Windows 8
- Stupid Geek Tricks: Manage Windows Optional Features From PowerShell in Windows 8
Because there is no Start menu in Windows 8, you might be wondering how to access things like the Control Panel, Command Prompt, and the Run command. The Win+X menu contains many of these useful features. The following articles show you how to add your own items to the Win+X menu with and without a third-party tool. We also show you how to access the Control Panel using the Win+X menu, as well as other ways.
- How to Add Items to the New Win+X Menu in Windows 8
- How to Edit the Win+X Menu in Windows 8 Using a Free Tool
- How to Access the Control Panel in Windows 8
The Taskbar, Task Manager, Windows Explorer, and the Missing Start Menu
As we all know, the Start menu was removed in Windows 8, and that has caused a lot of controversy. We have published several articles about replacing the Start menu with third-party options, creating your own Start button, using both the Windows 8 UI and the classic Start menu, and adding the Windows 7-style Start menu, Explorer, and Task Manager to Windows 8. We even show you how to get by in Windows 8 without the Start menu.
We’ve also covered how to use the new, enhanced Task Manager, the multi-monitor Taskbar, and the new Windows Explorer ribbon, and how to add the recycle bin to the Taskbar.
- How to Get a Metro-Style Start Menu and Start Button in Windows 8
- How to Get the Classic Start Menu Back in Windows 8
- Make Your Own Windows 8 Start Button with Zero Memory Usage
- Use Both the Metro UI and the Classic Start Menu in Windows 8
- Use Classic Shell to Get a Classic Start Menu & Explorer Toolbar in Windows 8
- Use the Windows 7 Start Menu, Explorer, and Task Manager in Windows 8
- How to Live Without the Start Button in Windows 8
- How to Get a Fully Functional Recycle Bin in the Taskbar on Windows 8
- How to Tweak the New Multi-Monitor Taskbar in Windows 8
- How to Use the New Task Manager in Windows 8
- Pin the Task Manager to the Taskbar and the Metro Start Screen in Windows 8
- Restart the Windows Explorer Process in Windows 8
- Using the New Windows Explorer Ribbon in Windows 8
The Charms Bar is a new feature in Windows 8. Some charms are context-sensitive, some are not. Some charms only work in Windows 8 Apps. To be able to work well in Windows 8, you need to know how to work with charms. The following article gives you an introduction, showing you what they are and how to use them.
Windows 8 Appearance
The following articles help you to customize the look of Windows 8, showing you how to make everything on your screen bigger, including the font of the title bars on the windows. We’ve also collected some Windows 8 wallpaper, the default wallpaper for the final release of Windows 8, and the Windows 8 logo and Windows 8 icons.
- How to Make Everything on Your Screen Bigger in Windows 8
- How to Make the Font of the Title Bars Bigger in Windows 8
- Desktop Fun: Windows 8 Wallpaper Collection Series 1
- Desktop Fun: Windows 8 Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- Download the Default Wallpaper for Windows 8 Final (Gold) Release
- Download the Windows 8 Logo and Icons to Use on Your Favorite Computer
Windows 8 Features
For help with some of Windows 8 features, such as the Secure Boot feature, File History feature, Storage Spaces, IIS 8, and even the now missing Solitaire and Minesweeper games, see the following articles.
- HTG Explains: How Windows 8′s Secure Boot Feature Works & What It Means for Linux – How-To Geek
- How to Use the File History Feature in Windows 8 to Restore Files – How-To Geek
- How to Use Windows 8′s Storage Spaces to Mirror & Combine Drives – How-To Geek
- How to Install IIS 8 on Windows 8 – How-To Geek
- What Happened to Solitaire and Minesweeper in Windows 8? – How-To Geek
Disable and Enable Features
There may be some features you don’t want to use in Windows 8 and you’d like to disable them. The following articles show you how to disable adaptive brightness, application switching, the lock screen, the Windows Store, toaster notifications (which deliver messages outside of apps to get your attention immediately), and the SmartScreen filter.
By default, the drop shadow on the mouse pointer was removed in Windows 8. We show you how to re-enable it in the last article in the following list.
- Disable Windows 8’s Adaptive Brightness to Fix Dark Screen Problems
- How to Disable Application Switching in Windows 8
- How to Disable the Lock Screen in Windows 8
- How to Disable the Windows Store in Windows 8
- How To Disable Toaster Notifications In Windows 8
- How to Turn Off or Disable the SmartScreen Filter In Windows 8
- How to Re-Enable the Mouse Pointer Drop Shadow in Windows 8
Windows 8 Safe Mode
In case you have problems with your installation of Windows 8, Safe Mode is still available. The following articles show you how to enable, use, and disable Safe Mode and how to boot into it the easy way.
- Enable, Use, and Disable Safe Mode in Windows 8
- How To Boot Into Safe Mode On Windows 8 (The Easy Way)
Shut Down and Restart Windows 8
Publishing whole articles about shutting down Windows may seem strange. However, shutting down a Windows 8 machine is not straightforward. The following articles show you how to shut down or reboot Windows 8 and how to add Shut Down and Reboot options to the Win+X menu we discussed earlier.
Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts
The following articles provide some useful shortcut keys to make it easier to use Windows 8 and some other great tricks for using Windows 8.
- Get to Know the New Shortcut Keys in Windows 8
- Here’s 6 Great Tricks for Windows 8 that You Probably Don’t Know
Refresh or Reset Windows 8
If you’re having problems with Windows 8, you may want to refresh or reset your installation.
Refreshing Windows 8 will not change or remove your personalization settings and will not delete your personal files. Your PC’s settings are restored to their defaults and any applications you personally installed (not through the Windows Store) will be removed. Apps installed through the Windows Store will remain.
When you reset your Windows 8 PC, it’s like restoring it to the state it was in when you bought it. All your personal files are deleted and all configuration changes are reset to the defaults.
Both methods require you to insert the DVD to complete the procedure. The first article below shows you how to refresh or reset your Windows 8 PC. The second article shows you how to refresh or reset Windows 8 without the DVD.
- How to Use Refresh and Reset in Windows 8 to Easily Reinstall Your PC – How-To Geek
- How to Refresh or Reset Your Windows 8 PC Without the DVD – How-To Geek
Dual-Boot Windows 8 with Another OS
If you’re not yet ready to dedicate a machine to Windows 8, you can set it up to dual-boot with another operating system. The following articles show you how to set up your PC to dual-boot Windows 8 with Windows 7 or with Linux Mint.
- How To Seamlessly Dual-Boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 (The Easy Way) – How-To Geek
- How to Dual Boot Windows 8 and Linux Mint on the Same PC – How-To Geek
Here’s some additional tips and tricks for Windows 8, including how to make your Windows 8 PC logon automatically, how to use the mouse to get around in Windows 8, and even how to create a portable version of Windows 8.
- HTG Explains: Why Does Windows 8 Want Me To “Trust This PC”? – How-To Geek
- How to Change Your Keyboard Layout in Windows 8 – How-To Geek
- How to Create a Portable Version of Windows 8 Without Extra Software – How-To Geek
- How To Create and Use a Password Reset Disk or USB In Windows 8 – How-To Geek
- How to Easily Install Previous Versions of the .Net Framework in Windows 8 – How-To Geek
- How to Make Your Windows 8 Computer Logon Automatically – How-To Geek
- How to Turn Your Windows 8 Laptop into a Wireless Access Point – How-To Geek
- How to Use the Mouse to Get Around in Windows 8 – How-To Geek
- HTG Explains: Microsoft Accounts vs. Local Accounts in Windows 8 – How-To Geek
- HTG Explains: What Is Windows RT and What Does It Mean To Me? – How-To Geek
We hope these articles help make the switch and the adjustment to Windows 8 easier and less painful.
Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.
- Published 08/25/12