The launch of Windows 8 has probably raised more debates and more discussions than any other Windows version. A lot has been said on the removal of Start Button, the graphical layout of Startup Screen, the advanced Modern UI, and many, MANY other features of Windows 8. However, irrespective of whether you agree or disagree to the changes made by Microsoft, here are a few tricks that can help you customize your operating system and change it into a way you prefer.
Get rid of the Lock Screen
Whenever your restart your PC, perform a log out operation, or simply lock your system, you are always met by a Lock Screen before you can continue on your processes. Although pretty, the Lock Screen can get annoying, and someone might want to disable it completely. If you too want to free yourself from this feature and directly start your PC with the log in/Start screen, follow the steps below and disable the Lock Screen:
- Launch the “Run” box by pressing Windows + R keys
- Type “gpedit.msc” in the Run box and press “Enter”. This will launch the Group Policy Editor
- Locate and browse to the following directory:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalization
- Locate and double-click “Do no display lock screen” displayed on the right hand panel
- Set the option to “Enable” and click “OK”
Hurray! The next time you restart your PC, log out, or lock the screen, the Lock Screen will no longer greet you.
Take Screen Shots and Save them Instantly
Windows 8 allows the users to instantly take screen shots and save them in the “Pictures” folder as PNG files. That means, fewer efforts to save a screen shot. Follow the simple steps below to perform this handy task:
- Hold Windows key and then press the Print Screen key of your desktop
- Notice the screen flash. This means screen shot has been taken and the file is stored in the “Pictures” folder of your “Computer”
Disable Metro apps as your default file opener
In Windows 8, all images, videos, and music files are opened in Metro apps, irrespective of the place from where the files were launched. If you want to disable this option and wish for these files to be opened in some other program, follow the steps below:
- Press the Windows key and type “Default Programs”. Click on the “Default Programs” icon that appears to launch the Default Programs console
- Locate and click “Set your default programs”
- From the list of programs shown, choose and click the program you wish to set as default. For example if you wish to view pictures from Windows Photo Viewer, click on “Windows Photo Viewer”
- Once the program is highlighted, click on “Set this program as default” and then on “OK”
Repeat the above steps for “Windows Media Player” if you want this program to be your default program for opening media files.
Optimize your Search Results
When you perform a search for apps from the Metro screen, you are presented by a comprehensive list of options. If you want to trim these results and control the apps that display here, you can follow the steps below and customize your search results:
- View the charms by pressing Windows + c, and click “Settings”
- Next, click on “More PC settings” shown at the bottom.
- Note: If you can’t find “More PC settings”, click on “Change PC settings” shown at the bottom
- Navigate and click “Search” from the categories shown at the left
- Use sliders to show or hide apps from the search screen
This article mentioned some easy tricks on how to customize your Windows 8 and convert it into something you feel more comfortable working in.