How to access your Advanced Boot Options in Windows 8/8.1

Windows 8
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So, maybe your PC is running a bit slow and you want it to have a faster POST time, or maybe you have an external drive such as a USB drive that you have an OS or another image of Windows 8 on that you want to go back to. Either way, I'm here to show you how.

Please read the full tutorial before attempting to do this and refer back to it. :)

Okay, firstly, you're going to want to access your Charms Bar. Most of you will already know what this is, and the rest of you probably know how to do it, but don't know what the Charms Bar is.

To access the Charms bar, you're going to want to either swipe your finger from the right side of the screen to the left side of the screen, (if you're using Windows 8 Touch) or just bring your Mouse Cursor up to the upper right hand corner of the screen, and the Charms Bar should pop up.

The Charms bar has all of your basic computer tasks, such as going to the Start Menu, sharing files and searching the computer for apps.

On the Charms bar, you're going to want to select the tab that is labeled 'Settings'.

On the Settings tab, you'll find that the bar is a bit longer and displays options such as personalization and PC info. On the bottom of the bar should be 6 icons.

You're going to want to select the Power button, but not just yet. To access the boot options, you're going to want to hold SHIFT and select this button, and then, while still holding SHIFT, select Restart.

Holding shift during this process tells the OS that you want to not actually restart the OS, but go into it's boot options.

After you select Restart, the computer will display a screen saying 'Please Wait'. At this point, you can let go of the Shift key.

When the loading screen resides, you will see a screen displaying this:

(Note: Most of these options will cause your PC to restart.)

Here you'll notice 4 options:

•Continue, which will simply bring you back to Windows 8,

•Use a Device, which will let you select an external device such as a USB drive to boot your PC off of,

•Troubleshoot, which will lead you into another menu,

•and Turn off your PC, which is fairly self-explanatory.

As mentioned above, selecting Troubleshoot will bring you into a larger menu, shown here:

Here you'll then notice even more options:

•Refresh your PC, which will keep files and personal settings but restore the machine to factory settings

•Reset your PC, which deletes everything and restores the PC to a new state

•and Advanced options, which is yet another portal into the depths that is your computer's settings.

Now, into the advanced options. When selecting it, you'll see this screen:

Here you'll note even more settings, which include:

•System Restore, which allows you to reset the PC to a previous backup

•System Image Recovery, which allows you to reset Windows back to a previous version
(i.e. Windows 8.1 to Windows 8 original)

•Automatic Repair, which will make Windows attempt to repair the boot files

•Command Prompt, which will simply give you access to the command prompt

(Warning: Please do not continue if you do not know what you are doing. These settings could have serious consequences if played with/set incorrectly for your PC. This applies to both UEFI Firmware Settings and the Startup Settings. Proceed at your own risk.)

•The UEFI Firmware Settings, which will allow you to enable/disable some firmware settings, such as SecureBoot

•and the Startup Settings, which will allow you to enable/disable things such as Anti-Malware protection, driver signatures, and Safe Mode.

These are all of the basic options that you need to know inside of Windows to optimize your PC so it has a short POST time and a fast boot. :)

Be wary however, disabling/enabling some options could cause some serious problems and cause you to brick your computer.

Be careful, and have fun optimizing!