Category Archives: Tweaks and Tips

Speed Up Windows 8

Just like other operating systems Windows 8 can become slow if you don’t optimise it for best performance, here are some basic tweaks that you can do to speed up Windows 8 and make it run smoother.

Disable Animations

Just like in other Windows operating systems, Windows 8 is full of ‘cool looking’ features that also can slow down your performance. Here is what you need to do to edit these visial effects:

  • Click windows key
  • Type advanced system settings and select settings
  • Under performance click settings
  • You will now find yourself in the visual effects area
  • Here you can simply click custom and select which visual effects you would like
  • Click apply

Edit Startup Programs

Here you can select what programs start when your PC is booting up, this will improve the speed of your boot:

  • Open task manager
  • Click startup tab
  • Here you can select which programs start up at boot

Clean Your Registry

Just like other version of Windows you should make sure your registry is always clean, this will improve the speed and performance of your PC:

Use regcure Pro to clean up your registry

Tweak Your Power Option

If you use AC power for your PC then you should maximize your power performance:

  • Open control panel
  • Go to system and security
  • Click power options
  • Select high performance

Windows 8 Power Options

Update Your Drivers

Make sure that all your drivers for all your peripherals and devices are up to date and working, that insures that your PC will work efficiently:

Use driver detective to update and maintain your drivers

Windows 8 Updates

It may sound obvious, but make sure you are always up to date with the latest updates for Windows 8, this will insure your operating system should run smoothly.

Follow this link for some more info from Microsoft about their updates.

Use Task Manager

With the new look task manager you can see in detail what exactly is using up all your CPU, RAM, bandwidth and hard drive. With this information you should be able to work out what programs/apps are making your PC run sluggish.

Toolbox for Windows 8

Try this very useful tool, it allows you to use up to 6 different tools at once on your screen including Facebook, Twitter and a browser.  This is very handy if you work from a large screen but useless if you want to use it from a smart phone.

Click this link to access the Toolbox.

 

Windows 8 Windows Key Shortcuts

Here is a useful list of shortcuts using the windows key you can use for Windows 8, leave a comment below if you know of any others:

  • Win + Enter : launch the Narrator
  • Win + PgUp : change your screen to the left-hand monitor
  • Win + PgDn : change your screen to the right-hand monitor
  • Win + PrtSc : capture your screen and save it to your Pictures folder
  • Win + Tab : switch between your running apps
  • Win + W : search your system settings
  • Win + X : shows a text menu of Windows tools/applets
  • Win + Z : displays the right-click context menu when in a full-screen app
  • Win + + : launches the Magnifier and zoom in
  • Win + – : zoom out
  • Win + , : Aero peek at the desktop
  • Win + O : toggles device orientation lock on and off
  • Win + P : switches your display to a second display
  • Win + Q : opens up the App Search pane
  • Win + R : opens Run box
  • Win + U : open Ease of Access Centre
  • Win + V : cycle through toasts
  • Win + H : opens Share pane
  • Win + I : opens Settings
  • Win + K : opens Devices pane
  • Win + L : locks your PC
  • Win + M : minimises your current Internet Explorer or explorer window
  • Win : switch between the Start screen and your last-running Windows 8 app
  • Win + C : displays Charms
  • Win + D : launches the desktop
  • Win + E : launches Explorer
  • Win + F : opens the File Search pane

Windows 8 SmartScreen Settings

Because of the numerous Apps you may be running or opening in Windows 8 it can get annoying when you get many different warnings from your system about the Apps. Here is how you can access the settings;

Access Windows SmartScreen

  • Click Windows key
  • Type SmartScreen
  • Click the settings tab
  • Here you can select how the SmartScreen works

Windows SmartScreen

Disable SmartScreen

  • Access your settings as described above
  • Select the Don’t do anything button
  • Click OK

Tweak Window Border Padding

Why would you want to increase or decrease the size of the border padding for any window you open? I have no idea but here is the regedit tweak you need to do it:

  • Open Regedit
  • Navigate here: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics
  • Right click on PaddedBorderWidth and click Modify
  • You will see this;

Window padding edit

You can set the border between 0 (no border) and 300 (large border). Personally I have no idea why you would want a border of 300, maybe you could set it on you friends computers to annoy them! You just need to reboot your machine and you will see that you have a new border size.

Open and Edit Windows Registry

If you need to make changes to your computer through the windows registry then you will have to be able to open up the registry editor.  This will work for all the different versions of your Windows operating system, although you may see User Account Control box pop up in the newer versions.

Note: It is advisable to backup your entire registry before you make any edits to it.

Here is how to access regedit:

  • Click start
  • In search box type run

run

  • In the run box type regedit
  • Click ok

You should be able to now see Regedit, from here you can navigate to where you need to go and make any changes you want.

If you want to clean up your registry so your entire computer will run faster then run this software, just click it and follow the prompts – RegCure registry cleaner

Windows Registry

Disable Windows 8 Start Screen Animations

These animations do look ‘pretty’ but after a while I find that they just get annoying, here is a quick tweak you can do to disable them alltogether.

  • In your start screen search type computer
  • Right click on computer and select properties
  • Click advanced system settings
  • Select settings under performance

Disable start screen animations

  • Uncheck the first in the list: Animate controls and elements inside windows
  • Click OK

Disable start screen animations

That will remove all the animations from your start screen and it should also make it run a little faster, to make the animations run again simply go and check the “Animate controls and elements inside windows” and select ok.

Disable Writing to a USB Drive

This is a useful security measure you can set on your computers that will stop all users from writing anything to a USB drive, this could stop people from stealing info from your PC’s.

This tweak requires a pretty simple registry hack;

  • Open regedit
  • Navigate here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies
  • Create a new DWORD
  • Call it WriteProtect
  • Set the value to 00000001
  • Reboot your computer
  • Done

Windows Key Shortcuts

You will all have seen the windows key on your keyboard, well here are some shortcuts you can use with it;

  • Windows + F: Search for files
  • Windows + L: Locks down the desktop
  • Windows + M: Minimize your windows
  • Windows + Q: Quick switching of users (Powertoys only)
  • Windows + Q: You have to hold down your windows key, then tap Q to scroll thru the different users on your pc
  • Windows: Displays the start menu
  • Windows + D: Minimize or restore all windows
  • Windows + E: Display windows explorer
  • Windows + Pause/ Break: System Properties dialog box
  • Windows + Shift + M: Undo minimize all windows
  • Windows + R: Run dialog box
  • Windows + U: Utility Manager
  • Windows + Ctrl + F: Search for computer
  • Windows + F1: Help and Support Center

Get Your Windows Version Information

Here is a cool tweak that allows you to get all your Windows version information through your registry;

  • Open regedit
  • Navigate here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

In this section it will give you this information;

  • CSDVersion: Service Pack
  • CurrentBuildNumber: Build Number
  • CurrentVersion: Version Number
  • ProductName: Windows Version Name

Setting for Best Performance

Here is a quick little tweak you can do to both Windows Vista and XP that will automatically set your PC to run at its best performance.

The trouble with Vista is that it is so full of graphics and animations that it effects the performance of your PC, so if you are someone who doesn’t care about the looks of something but just want performance, then this tweak is for you.

Just follow these pointers and you will have your PC running at its best performance;

Windows Vista

  • Go to control panel
  • Click system
  • Click advanced system settings
  • Click the advanced tab
  • Under performance click settings
  • Check on best performance
  • Click apply and OK
  

Windows XP

  • Right click on my computer
  • Click properties
  • Click the advanced tab
  • Click settings under performance
  • Check adjust for best performance
  • Click apply and OK