You might be irked with the interface of Windows 8 and may no longer find many of its features at ease of usage, especially when if you purchased or upgraded to Windows 8 and then to Windows 8.1 to attain higher security for your business-critical data. You might not be in a mood to compromise with the ease of usage and user-interactivity with the ‘so-called’ newer and better operating system namely Windows 8.1.
When it comes to complete your office work or something that you have never done, you surely want your computer to help you do it in a reliable as well as an efficient manner. However, Windows 8.1 based computer might not prove its worth and let you working in peace. Mentioned below are some tips and tricks you can implement on your Windows 8.1 based computer and make things easier and a bit comfortable to increase the overall productivity:
Boot to Desktop
Windows 8.1 based computers when turned on land you up to the Start Screen, which looks a bit uncomfortable. Though Start Screen makes everything available to you, it actually makes no sense to land up to the Start Screen instead of desktop just like that in the earlier versions. Well, you can make things easier and bring them up to a level you are comfortable at. See how you can make Windows 8.1 skip the Start Screen and land you to the desktop:
- Right click the Taskbar and navigate to Properties > Navigation tab.
- In the bottom pane of the window, check the ‘When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start’ and click OK to save the settings.
- Restart your computer and see where it lands you up when boots.
Get Start Button
As discussed above, Widows 8.1 when boots lands you up to the Start Screen instead of desktop, which is nothing but a revamped version of Start Screen introduced in Windows 8, and this time it is a dumb and unwanted feature. However, you must be thankful to the developers who left the Window 7-like Start menu even in Windows 8.1. You simply can switch to the Start menu as provided in Windows 7 and make things easier for you.
You need to install the free app namely Classic Shell that provides you with three different types of Start menu, i.e. Classic, Two Column, and Windows 7.
Classic Shell 4.0 is highly compatible with Windows 8.1 and includes a dedicated Shutdown button. The program also features adding the applications to the Taskbar directly from the Windows explorer and an improved Windows search.
Remove Unused Apps Quickly
You often install multiple applications on your computer in order to access them quickly and for ease of usage. However, installing multiple applications simultaneously is not always in your favor and may lead to insufficient free space left in the boot partition, which affects system performance adversely. Thus, you must uninstall all unwanted and unused applications immediately to keep your system healthy and working flawlessly. Windows 8.1 allows you uninstall multiple applications simultaneously in a quick span of time.
Simply launch the Start Screen > Customize and select the apps that your want to uninstall.
Open Apps in Desktop Window
You must have seen the files, such as PDF, images, music and videos opening in the modern UI featured by Windows 8.1. Well, all these utilities are features by Windows 8.1 and eat up system resources greatly. Consequently, the performance of the system is affected badly, and hence the total system productivity. Luckily, Windows 8.1 allows you bring back everything to its older style. See how you can do it:
- On the Start Screen, type default programs in the search bar and choose Default Programs in the results.
- Click the option Set your default programs and choose the program that you want to set default for your files.
- Exit Start Screen and try opening the same files again to verify.
Control SkyDrive Storage
SkyDrive (earlier name of OneDrive) is the cloud storage service provided by Microsoft, which you can manage right from your desktop. For this, you have to sync your OneDrive account with the OneDrive app installed on your Windows 8.1 based PC. Once you synchronize OneDrive with that on your computer, you can see it added to the sidebar under Downloads, Documents, and other folders. You can directly access the files stored on OneDrive with this app as if they are stored locally, i.e. on your computer. Moreover, the files you add to this local app are synchronized with server storing the original data.
OneDrive includes a feature called Smart Files that saves the drive space, which functions on a working Internet connection. You can easily access all the files saved on OneDrive as long as the Internet connection is working fine. To make all crucial files available locally, do the following:
Open Windows Explorer and right click OneDrive, and then choose Make Available Offline. This makes those files available locally once they download.
Display Apps Instead of Live Tiles
In case you have become proficient in using the Start Screen on Windows 8.1 and have no problem with it, this OS allows you switch to a better and preferred mode that displays all the applications installed on it. To make the view available to you in a productive manner, make sure you check all four check boxes displayed in the Taskbar as well as the dialog box named Navigation Properties.
Click the Start button and you see all the applications installed on your computer in the list view, but you can change it. You can still go back to the live tiles view if you want.
Pin Apps to the Taskbar and Mailbox Folders to the Desktop
The applications pinned to the Taskbar are accessible with a single click. For ease of access, you can add more apps to the Taskbar. Simply right-click the app in the Modern UI and choose Pin to Taskbar option in the list.
The feature also works for the mailbox folders if you have configured your email in the Mail app in Windows 8.1. Right-click the target folder and navigate to > Manage Folders > Pin to Start. Select a size for the tile and place it at a desired location on the Start Screen.
All these features together make your experience with Windows 8.1 quite better and make you feel like you are still using your old Windows computer, which enables you work efficiently and increase the level of productivity.