Open Local Group Policy Editor in Windows 8

The times are over where you just hit a key and typed everything you needed in to get there. Now you need to learn key combinations or know how to get to the items you need by clicking your way through. System items such as the Group Policy Editor that are usually hidden deep within some system folders are an especially hard case - that's why I'll show you the easiest way to get there here.

- open the Charms menu by hovering your cursor over the top-right corner and
- click the Search charm. Afterwards
- click on Settings on the right pane and
- enter policy:

Update: The Local Group Policy Editor is only included in Windows 8 Pro, but not in Windows 8 Home. Thanks to Mahmood and Dave for pointing that out.

Change the languages Google searches results for

Usually Google restricts its results to the language you have set for the page itself, which is the one spoken in the country it locates you in by default.

You can easily change these settings by clicking on the cog wheel icon on the top right and going to Search Settings:

Next, click on Languages on the left pane and add any of the languages listed by checking the box next to them. If you want to use one language only, you need to change the language the page is displayed in - the same language will then be selected for the results.

Afterwards click on Save on the bottom right corner.

Windows 8 shortcuts

When you use Windows 8 on a desktop computer you better learn the most important keyboard shortcuts first, since you will have extreme long mouse-ways to cover (I will certainly not use my TV as computer screen anymore with Windows 8).

Windows-key = Switches between Metro menu and desktop if it is running

Windows-key + C = Opens the Charms menu (slim menu on the right)
Windows-key + K = Opens Devices charm
Windows-key + H = Opens Share charm
Windows-key + I = Opens Settings charm (Windows + I, up, enter, up, enter provides a rather quick way to shut down)

Windows-key + F = Opens file search
Windows-key + W = Opens settings search
Windows-key + Q = Opens the app search (nice replacement for start menu search)

Fast-Access Search Results on Firefox with Firejump

It often happens that people use search engines just to access a site they know the url of but are too lazy to type it in with all the dots and slashes, although this adds one step to the process of opening the site.
However there is a Firefox Add-on called FireJump that lets you configure what page is opened when you search for a specific keyword, allowing you to skip the search results and direct the browser right to a specific website.
Download the plugin at
Unfortunately it is currently only available in German, but the few buttons are self-explaining.

On the above screenshot you are given the option to either open the default search results or to skip to the FireJump homepage when you search for firejump. The button below saves your choice.

Free Windows Malware Removal Tools

The tools shown here are tools to be used together with a fully functioning anti-virus software and are not meant to replace it. They provide an additional source of security and work by scanning your system for malicious software and other potentially harmful stuff. The three tools I tested were Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition (+ Portable Edition) and Spybot Search & Destroy (+ Portable Edition). They all ran on the same system with the same prerequisites. Although, or rather because all their results in scanning differ, it is recommendable to have all of them installed and let them scan your system from time to time.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Of the three softwares tested, this is the only one that found two trojans on the system. It offers a quick scan and a complete scan option where the quick scan took about 3 minutes and a complete scan took about 45 on 25 GB of data. It removed all found items accurately but unfortunately has no official portable version.
Download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware here:

SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition

Of the two trojans that were found by Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, SUPERAntiSpyware found one but it also found quite a few adware-tracking cookies which you also might want to get rid of, although they usually are no dangerous objects. Like Malwarebytes, it offers a quick and a complete scan option, which, too, take about 3 and 45 minutes on 25 GB data. Additionally, SUPERAntiSpyware comes with many useful tools that might come handy if you have got a virus disabling critical system functions as re-enabling your task-manager or the system restore service and many more.
There is also a portable version of the software that works perfectly alright and comes with the same functions as the installable free version.
Download all versions here:

Spybot Search and Destroy

In the current test, unfortunately Spybot found none of the items that the others did, although it has proven worthy in previous ones. Spybot offers one scan option which takes about 20 minutes on 25 GB data. It comes with an extra feature called Immunize, which blocks certain malicious websites if activated. Furthermore, Spybot gives you the option to install TeaTimer, a process running in the background that detects malware that tries to make changes in your registry.
Like SUPERAntiSpyware, Spybot offers a portable version which works well from any USB device.
Download Spybot here:

Skip the Web Search Prompt for Unknown File Extensions (Windows)

If you open a file with an extension that is unknown to Windows, it will react with the following prompt:

I cannot remember to have used the web search a single time, that is why I disabled it long ago. One can accomplish that with a simple registry entry. Open your Windows Registry by entering regedit into a Run... prompt and browse the following key in the left frame:
Now you will have to create a value if it is not already present for some reason. Go to the right frame, right-click it and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name it NoInternetOpenWith and set its value to 1.

Close the registry. Now, upon opening a file with an unknown extension, Windows will skip the web search prompt and head straightforward to the list of software available.

Disable Windows Explorer Search Query Saving (Windows 7)

This is usually useful if you are not the only one using the computer you are working on and want to hide the keywords you searched for on the Windows Explorer. The way to do it is to open the Local Group Policy Editor by entering gpedit.msc into a Run... prompt, browse this key on the left frame: User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Explorer and left-click it once to see its values on the right frame. Look for Turn off display of recent search entries in the Windows Explorer search box.

Double-click and enable it. The recent search queries will now no longer be displayed in your search bars.

Reset Folder Options on Windows XP

If you have ever tried to set another default application for opening file folders on Windows XP and to turn it back afterwards, you will have run into a really nasty bug.

If you try to restore the default settings of an application to open a folder, the folder will no longer open as before (normal explorer window, further folders open in the same window) but will open a search window on doubleclick.

You cannot achieve the former behaviour by trying to reset it in the control panel. What you have to do is to create a new opening action for File Folder and set it as default. Afterwards, open Run... and enter regedit to open the Windows Registry. On the left side of the registry, there is a list of directories. Browse this list to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT > Directory > shell and click on the plus-button next to shell to unfold the actions to open file folders with. Now look for the new opening action you have previously created and set as default. Rightclick it, choose Delete and confirm your choice. It is not enough to delete this entry in the Control Panel, it has to be done in the registry. Close the registry after deletion and try out doubleclicking a folder. It should now open like it usually used to.