Just like any other operating system, Windows 8 has some settings that are hidden from standard users but this doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to do each one of them at all. You can actually get access to some advanced tweaks on your Windows 8 computer and improve how everything works. Whether you are a novice Windows user or an advanced one who just started using Windows 8, it really pays to learn some advanced setting that will later on help in making things a lot easier to access, manage or change.
Access a Hidden System Menu
If you’re having a hard time accessing the Control Panel and other locations within Windows 8 because of the absence of the Start Button then you need to learn how to access a hidden system menu which contains links that would lead you directly to the “Programs and Features”, “Power Options”, “Mobility Center” or open tools like “Task Manager”, “Command Prompt”, “Run Box” and other locations and tools that are essential in making things easier when you start using Windows 8.
Switch Between Apps
Modern Apps are a dominant feature in Windows 8. Unlike its predecessors which where purely anchored to the desktop environment and desktop programs, Windows 8 provides access to modern apps through the metro environment. Learning the basics in working with modern apps may take a bit longer for those who have not tried using a mobile device yet like those that are running in “Android” or “Apple” but if you’re already using these devices then it will be easier for you to master modern apps in Windows 8.
When you first open Windows 8, you’ll be taken right away to the Start Screen which already has a good set of preinstalled apps like “Mail”, “People”, “News”, “Maps”, “Weather” but the one which you will surely use more often is the “Windows Store” app since this is where you’ll be downloading all the modern apps from. Once you start using the modern apps, you would notice that all of them will open in full screen which means that accessing the previously opened ones would require that you go to the Start Screen again and click the app. This doesn’t have to be so if you learn how to access the “Recent Apps” bar. To access this important aspect on your Windows 8 machine, simply follow the steps below.
Access the Charms
Windows 8 also gives access to a brand new feature called Charms. The charms are hidden from Windows 8’s Start Screen and Desktop screen but accessing them is very easy. However, you won’t be able to appreciate these new features if you don’t know what each one of them are used for. To access the Charms bar, simply point the mouse to the upper-right corner of the screen then drag it downwards until you see a black bar with some icons overlaid on it. Let’s take a quick look on each of them and learn their uses.
1. Search Charm
If you need to quick access to some stuff then the “Search Charm” would be of great help. This tool allows searching within or outside an app and is a real time-saver.
Using the Search Charm would surely improve accessibility and productivity especially if you’re working with apps most of the time.
2. Share Charm
Found something useful while using a modern Windows 8 app? If you stumble upon an item that is worth sharing while using the “Weather”, “News” or any other app on Windows 8 then you can share it right away via “Facebook” (if the Facebook app is already installed on your computer), email or even to a specific person saved on the “People” app.
3. Start Charm
The Start Menu is gone but there’s a very good substitute to it called the Start Screen which can be accessed in different ways. One way of getting access to it is by pressing the “Windows Key” and another one is by using the “Start Charm”.
4. Devices Charm
All your devices like printers, scanners, webcams etc. can easily be accessed in one place simply by clicking on the “Devices Charm”.
5. Settings Charm
The last one on the Charms bar is the “Settings Charm”. This is the place where you can find most settings for the metro environment and also houses some other tweaks related to Windows 8’s desktop screen.
Put a Quick Access to Administrative Tools
Some tools like the Performance Monitor, Event Viewer, Task Scheduler and more can actually be placed to the Start Screen right away with a few simple clicks through the use of Charms. To do this, you first need to be on Start Screen then access the Charms and click on the “Settings Charm”. Once the Settings screen appears, simply click on “Tiles” then on the next screen, switch the “Show administrative tools” adjustment knob to “Yes”.
After switching it on, you should now be able to find the shortcuts to the administrative tools whenever you go to the Start Screen.
Windows 8 is indeed a big step forward for Microsoft and they’ve really done a lot of changes with it which are all geared towards improving productivity and user satisfaction. If it is your first time using Microsoft’s latest operating system and you’re having a hard time getting through most of its settings then please feel free to post your queries as comments below.