Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Tom's Guide: 15 Tips and Tricks for Windows 8

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 24 comments

Check out Tom's Guide's latest story on Windows 8 tips and tricks.

Windows 8 has been a long time coming. However, now that it's finally here, consumers are going to have to get to grips with Microsoft's re-imagining of the desktop landscape. While much of your Windows knowledge will fare fine in Desktop Mode, there are some aspects of Windows 8 that are totally different to previous versions of the operating system. To help you through, the Tom's Guide team has put together '15 Tips and Tricks for Windows 8.'

Sure, Windows 8's Start screen represents a whole new approach towards personal computing (at least for Windows users) but once you get on top of things, working your way through the interface should be a breeze.

We've been using Windows 8 for a while now, so allow us to share some helpful tips and tricks that will make your experience with the operatingsystem better. As always, feel free to leave suggestions in the comment area below.

Follow Tom's Guide on Twitter!

Display 24 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    bllue , October 26, 2012 4:47 PM
    More Windows 8/RT/Surface articles less Apple please
  • 10 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , October 26, 2012 4:54 PM
    Here's the only tip you'll ever need:

    Format the hard drive.
    Install Windows 7 (or Linux, if you prefer).
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    bllue , October 26, 2012 4:47 PM
    More Windows 8/RT/Surface articles less Apple please
  • 10 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , October 26, 2012 4:54 PM
    Here's the only tip you'll ever need:

    Format the hard drive.
    Install Windows 7 (or Linux, if you prefer).
  • 8 Hide
    ricardois , October 26, 2012 5:02 PM
    Windows 8 is a great, for mobile devices.

    /thread
  • 4 Hide
    lradunovic77 , October 26, 2012 5:06 PM
    Start Screen breaks work flow. Install Start 8 and Remove/Uninstall all Metro crap except for Desktop Tile. Also use Start 8 app to disable hot corners. Lot of people would be doing this and i want to see MS Survey on how many people actually use their Metro Screen. Metro Apps are just bad joke compared to true Desktop apps. Why would you use it?
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , October 26, 2012 5:19 PM
    lradunovic77Start Screen breaks work flow. Install Start 8 and Remove/Uninstall all Metro crap except for Desktop Tile. Also use Start 8 app to disable hot corners. Lot of people would be doing this and i want to see MS Survey on how many people actually use their Metro Screen. Metro Apps are just bad joke compared to true Desktop apps. Why would you use it?


    Can't uninstall metro... And it's there by default and you can't remove it without some cheesy third party program...
  • 5 Hide
    memadmax , October 26, 2012 5:20 PM
    Here's a tip: Don't use win8 on ur desktop.
    Great for your tablet/phone/touch driven device however, which is what it's meant for...
  • 7 Hide
    jaquith , October 26, 2012 5:32 PM
    I agree with @memadmax

    Tip #1 - Wait until at least SP1.

    Allow the guinea pigs to find the problems and the hackers find the holes, then once Microsoft properly fixes those problems then consider an upgrade. My feeling and yes I've tried Windows 8 is it's fine for a tablet or phone and maybe the few with touchscreens who love to clean their screens daily, but for a typical PC it's not that good.
  • 3 Hide
    fuzzion , October 26, 2012 5:43 PM
    Win8 would work great as a cash register screen :) 
  • -5 Hide
    damianrobertjones , October 26, 2012 6:03 PM
    lradunovic77Start Screen breaks work flow.


    I don't seem to have that issue win work? It's actually improved workflow in some cases.

    P.s. Why did you need the start menu?
    Example:
    Start, Documents. Two clicks

    Add the Documents folder to the modern UI
    Start (If on desktop), Documents.

    There's NO difference

  • 1 Hide
    ohim , October 26, 2012 6:37 PM
    lradunovic77Start Screen breaks work flow. Install Start 8 and Remove/Uninstall all Metro crap except for Desktop Tile. Also use Start 8 app to disable hot corners. Lot of people would be doing this and i want to see MS Survey on how many people actually use their Metro Screen. Metro Apps are just bad joke compared to true Desktop apps. Why would you use it?

    Apple / Linux has the same startup screen with user and password, nobody cries about that for added security .

    Waiting for more constructive comments and tips from people who use their brains.
  • 1 Hide
    tuxon86 , October 26, 2012 6:56 PM
    I would've like for Microsoft to implement a launchpad a la Apple instead of forcing us to use Metro and tiles by default on the desktop. Launchpad works well on MacOSX and isn't in the way of the desktop. I think Microsoft went the wrong way. Metro should be an option, at least on the desktop.

    I like trying new things, but I'm sitting this one out for the time being.
  • -3 Hide
    noblerabbit , October 26, 2012 7:32 PM
    I must ask this, since no one else is asking:

    Why is this called Windows?8 , it has NOTHING to do with windows of OS' past history, this is an entirely different GUI.
  • -3 Hide
    noblerabbit , October 26, 2012 7:38 PM
    All the service packs in the world for Windows 8 won't ever change the fact that my Home and Work PC's will be using Windows 7, until the next genius nerd comes out with a new GUI, that will :

    a) no longer need x86 CPU's to function
    b) will be a total customiseable useable interface, and interact with ALL consumer choice devices.
    c) will not need an upgrade every two years, only a small fee of useage per year
    d) will get continued security and useability service packs and updates
    e) will not need antivirus, as no such malicious software will ever be even thought of being run on this particular OS
    f) will not need propaganda funding from news media outlets to thrive.
    g) will be programmed by International team of equal opportunity workers
    h) will have all languages of choice on install
    i) will not be split 16-32-64 bit, it will be all 256 native bit, including dedicated processing to refresh internal security as it's backbone
    j) will be thought interfaced
    k) will Not run anything Apple, sorry folks out there.
    l) the list goes on, but MS and Apple need to kill each other and die right now.
  • 5 Hide
    demonhorde665 , October 26, 2012 8:10 PM
    I haven't tried it so can't comment on its usability , but i still say it look like a f--- ugly eye sore UI to and well call me shallow but looks do matter to me , I am an artist after all.
  • 2 Hide
    hunshiki , October 27, 2012 6:52 AM
    lradunovic77Start Screen breaks work flow. Install Start 8 and Remove/Uninstall all Metro crap except for Desktop Tile. Also use Start 8 app to disable hot corners. Lot of people would be doing this and i want to see MS Survey on how many people actually use their Metro Screen. Metro Apps are just bad joke compared to true Desktop apps. Why would you use it?


    Start 8 really is just a third-party "hack". It's not native, and if you use it for more than an hour, you will notice that. Windows 8 is not for work or for desktop. But thousands of people have already pointed that out.

    And of course we have the MS marketing people lurking here with the "zomg iz soo faassst!111" posts. While it runs with the same speed, boots for the same duration, etc. I used it, and tests just confirmed this.
  • 2 Hide
    Pherule , October 27, 2012 10:43 AM
    damianrobertjonesP.s. Why did you need the start menu?

    Being an XP user - two reasons:

    1. Most importantly, Start -> My Recent Documents (I generally use this over 30 times a day)
    2. Start -> All Programs
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , October 27, 2012 11:50 AM
    noblerabbitAll the service packs in the world for Windows 8 won't ever change the fact that my Home and Work PC's will be using Windows 7, until the next genius nerd comes out with a new GUI, that will :a) no longer need x86 CPU's to functionb) will be a total customiseable useable interface, and interact with ALL consumer choice devices.c) will not need an upgrade every two years, only a small fee of useage per yeard) will get continued security and useability service packs and updatese) will not need antivirus, as no such malicious software will ever be even thought of being run on this particular OSf) will not need propaganda funding from news media outlets to thrive.g) will be programmed by International team of equal opportunity workersh) will have all languages of choice on installi) will not be split 16-32-64 bit, it will be all 256 native bit, including dedicated processing to refresh internal security as it's backbonej) will be thought interfacedk) will Not run anything Apple, sorry folks out there.l) the list goes on, but MS and Apple need to kill each other and die right now.


    a) We've had GUIs that run on CPUs that aren't x86 for a very long time.

    c) You don't need to upgrade your Windows version every two years (heck, there usually isn't even a new consumer release that often) and paying a yearly fine to use an OS is probably one of the most ridiculous things that I've read on the internet.

    d) Windows already has that.

    e) You can't stop people from creating malware. You can't stop them from finding mistakes because computers are too complex for them to ever be free of mistakes the way things are right now and for the foreseeable future. MS can't stop them either, although they can, should, and do try.

    f) "Propaganda" and marketing aren't the same and shouldn't be treated as the same.

    g) I'll take the most qualified coders doing the job rather than the most politically correct unless they are also the most qualified.

    h) I can agree to that.

    i) No Windows OS is 16/32/64 bit. Each version can run code that is the same bit width as its version and code of one version lower. For example, 64 bit can run most 32 bit Windows x86 code, but can not run 16 x86 bit code.

    We won't have issues with 64 bit for like thirty years and the only reason that everything isn't 64 bit is because of 32 bit still being more common, so it makes no sense to make everything in 64 bit. To make stuff 256 bit would be a ridiculous waste of resources and no modern CPU would support it for a very long time unless you're referring to floating point work rather than x86 work.

    j) Having the computer accessing my thought does not sound like a good idea.

    k) To not run "anything Apple" would be discrimination no matter how much you dislike Apple.

    l) If they did, then we might end up losing the entire technology industry shortly.

    PheruleBeing an XP user - two reasons:1. Most importantly, Start -> My Recent Documents (I generally use this over 30 times a day)2. Start -> All Programs


    Both of those are in the Metro screen.
  • 0 Hide
    ohim , October 27, 2012 1:27 PM
    PheruleBeing an XP user - two reasons:1. Most importantly, Start -> My Recent Documents (I generally use this over 30 times a day)2. Start -> All Programs

    The "all programs" are shown even better on win 8 start style by maximizing use of the whole screen to search for your desired program or just type some letters from what you are seeking, try another reason.

    @noblerabbit making incrementations on an OS name doesn`t mean that you have to stick to it`s former style, by your logic we should still be using windows 3.11 desktop style, the future always changes things, and for now is not really a very radical change like it was from Win 3.11 to Win 95.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 27, 2012 1:31 PM
    From an artistic point of view I see the new Win8 GUI really rustic and primitive. It's a comeback to a Win1 era. WTF!!!
  • 2 Hide
    livingthedream , October 27, 2012 3:25 PM
    I recreated what I needed from the old Start Menu by altering the new Win + X shortcut. Windows has a folder in %LocalAppData%Microsoft\Windows\WinX that contains the groups and shortcuts that show up in the Win + X screen. I just added new groups and the shortcuts for the stuff that I wanted and....welcome back start menu. You can add shutdown commands, restart, folders, etc... without needing to use 3rd party software. Microsoft did something at least right by not locking this folder down and letting us change it to what we want to see. Hey Tom's how about an article on this to help out the people struggling with the move to windows 8.
Display more comments