Windows 8 has set some file types to open in full screen Metro applications which can be really annoying, especially if you just wanted to have a quick look at a photo or something. To stop this, you can determine certain applications to open all types of files they are able to open (e.g. Windows Photo Viewer for picture files – jpg, png, etc.).
To do so, hover your mouse over the top right corner to open the Charms menu and open the Search charm. Enter default programs into the search bar and open the search result with the same name. In the appearing window, click on Set your default programs (the first menu option).
In the new window, select one of the programs on the left that you want to use as general default options for pictures, videos, music or another type of files and click on Set this program as default afterwards:
Your files will now be opened in comfortable window applications!
With some help of the Windows registry you can now change the width of Windows explorer borders. This can be nice in terms of style but also really handy since it will become far more easier to grab borders to resize a window.
To change border width, point your cursor to the bottom left corner of the screen and right-click it to open a menu where you choose Run from. In the appearing prompt, enter regedit to get to the registry editor.
In the editor, browse to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics key in the left pane and left-click once. On the right pane, look for the BorderWidth and PaddedBorderWidth values set to -15 and -60. Change these to your likings: 0 will give you really small borders, while -200 will give you very thick ones. Don’t meddle with too high numbers though, otherwise you will have a hard times changing the values back!
When moving an item to the recycle bin in older versions of Windows you were asked to confirm that step – this dialog was removed in Windows 8 but can be brought back with a simple tweak:
Right-click the Recycle Bin and select Properties. Afterwards check the Display delete confirmation dialog checkbox. You should now be asked to confirm on delete again:
One of Windows 8′s specialties on the desktop seems to be the disproportion of size of elements (hilariously large tiles, small text…) – so if you find yourself in need of enlarging the font size of window titles on the desktop, here is how to:
- Right-click the desktop and select Personalize.
- On the lower left corner of the appearing window, click Display.
Under Change only the text size you can choose elements of text that you want to change the size of – select Title bars here and choose a size from the next drop-down menu.
If you want to further reduce the time it takes your Windows 8 system to boot one of the most efficient options will be to automate the login process – this saves you the time you usually spend on wiping away the lock screen and entering your password.
Be careful though! Not having to enter the password at startup leaves your machine vulnerable to direct access by strangers. This should not be done to portable or public machines!
If you choose to do so anyway you need to edit the User Account settings – the fastest way to get there is to point your cursor to the bottom left corner of the screen, right-click and open a Run prompt. Enter netplwiz into it:
First off select the user you want to log in with automatically – then remove the Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer checkbox and apply. You’ll be prompted for the account’s password, so enter it and confirm once.
Afterwards, the machine will log into the account automatically!
By default Windows 8′s new start screen allows that many tile rows that fit onto your screen on a certain resolution – however, you can change that value by using the Windows registry.
To get to the registry, point your cursor to the bottom left corner of the screen and right-click it once – a feature-rich menu should appear. Select Run here. In the opened Run-prompt, enter regedit and press Enter to get access.
Warning! Meddling with the registry without knowing what exactly you are doing can cause damage to your machine. To be safe, back up your registry as described here.
Within the registry, use the left navigation panel to get to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell\Grid key. Select it and look on the right pane afterwards – if there is no value called Layout_MaximumRowCount, create one by right-clicking some free space on the right pane and selecting New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name it as shown above and give it the value you want to reduce the number of rows to (the value defines the maximum tile row – you can force it down to a number, but cannot force the screen to use one higher than it would use normally).
Afterwards quit the registry and log out or restart your machine. The metro start screen should now reduce the number of tile rows to the number you entered:
Minecraft provides you with really good support on Linux. To be able to play, you need to download the .jar file from the official website first (you need that from the Minecraft for Linux / Other section: http://minecraft.net/download.
After you have it, you need to check if the java runtime environment is installed: open Synaptic Package Manager and search for the openjdk-7-jre package – if it isn’t installed, install it now.
Head back to the downloaded minecraft.jar file. Right-click it and open the Properties. Go to the Permissions tab and check the Execute checkbox, close the window afterwards.
Now start minecraft by right-clicking the jar file again and selecting Open With >OpenJDK Java 7 Runtime – Enjoy Minecraft!
Because Windows 8 now ships on a vast variety of hardware that doesn’t always have a disk drive (e.g. touch devices), Microsoft decided not to include DVD codec in their new operating system to make it cheaper. This leads to the problem that devices that actually do have a disk drive cannot play DVDs out of the box:
The easiest way to circumvent this problem is to install a third-party multimedia player that is able to play DVDs – for example the popular VideoLAN player (VLC Player) which is able to play nearly any multimedia format.
You can download it here.
After downloading the installer, double-click it and follow the instructions. Afterwards you can right-click the DVD again and open it with VLC:
When you set Windows 8 up you were given the choice whether you wanted to allow applications to read your locality or not. If you made up your mind towards the choice you have taken you can still change that setting whenever you want to. To get to it
1. open Charms by hovering your mouse to the top right corner
2. open the Settings charm
3. click on Change PC settings on the bottom of the panel
4. click on Privacy
5. change the first switch’s position to your likings:
Along with all the other applications, games on Windows have been turned into Metro apps that can be downloaded from the App Store. The simple consequences are that
1. you need to play them full-screen and
2. you need to download them before being able to play them.
To download them, turn up the Metro menu and go to the Store. All games, including the classics, are found in the Games section:
After they have been installed you will find them in the XBox Games section of the Metro menu!