Installation, Upgrade and Updates
The upgrade path from Windows 7 goes to Windows 8 or Windows 10. If you want to be on Windows 8, you can go for a clean install or upgrade from Windows 7. There is some preparation needed for an upgrade like the download of Windows 8.1 ISO to upgrade using an upgrade disc, or create a bootable USB. If you don’t really want to have Windows 8 as the primary OS, you can dual boot it with Windows 7, try it out on VirtualBox or on Parallels for Mac.
For upgrading to Windows 8.1 (and its updates), you can go for the automatic upgrade or do a manual upgrade. You can run into several issues that you may need to troubleshoot like the refresh reset bug, the upgrade loophole, or even internet connection issues. Once done with the upgrade, you can delete the Windows.old folder. To control the updates, you can disable the auto app update as well.
Backup, Restore, Reset and Recovery
To keep everything running smoothly, you need to do a bit of prep. This includes creating a custom recovery image or a recovery USB. You should also access system restore and create a restore point, in case you want to restore Windows 8 to a previous state. On Windows 8, since it uses apps, you can also backup Windows 8 apps data.
There are a few more things that you can do to play on the safe side – create a password reset disk and create a Windows 8 system repair disc. You can always run automatic repair, refresh your Windows 8 system and as an extreme measure, you might need to completely reset your Windows 8 system.
Tweaking Windows Settings and Features
- Boot straight to desktop instead of the start screen.
- Configure the Windows 8 taskbar and enable / disable quick launch toolbar.
- Enable / disable the Charms Bar and hot corners.
- Use the revamped task manager to keep an eye on your system.
- Win X Menu is a powerful tool to control Win 8 environment.
- Change time zone and date in Windows 8
- Explore what are work folders, how smart files work in Windows 8.1, how to enable file history and show hidden file extensions.
- Pin the PC icon or website shortcuts to the start screen.
- Sync folders in real-time.
- See the basic perf details of your system using Windows Experience Index.
Windows 8 Apps and Start Screen
Tools, Features and Settings in Windows 8
- Use Disk Management to create hard drive partition
- Use Disk Check for fixing errors on your drives.
- Work Jump Lists
- Storage Spaces
- Parental controls
- Adaptive brightness
- Beyond Windows 8 search, there is also a smart search and there is a lot you can do with it.
- Touch and mouse gestures, semantic zoom, display calibration and automatic DPI scaling in Windows 8.1.
- Windows 8 task manager
- Use the Charms bar and customize it.
- Boot up menu
- Create a local account, change the name of Microsoft account, and switch between the accounts and log into Windows 8automatically with a Microsoft account.
- Enable / disable control panel
- Disable Windows 8 lock screen
Networking on Windows 8
Customize Windows 8
- Basic customization of Windows 8
- Customize the lock screen or use a slideshow on the lock screen
- Restore classic start menu with Classic Shell or Start8
- Disable or enable auto-login to Windows 8.1
- Install Windows classic theme, install unsigned themes or switch themes in Windows 8
- Activate the God Mode.
- Boot to desktop in Windows 8.
- Use 8GadgetPack to get desktop gadgets in Windows 8.
- Tweak screensaver settings.
- Use the toolbox to access several handy tools.
- Disable Bing search results in Windows 8.
Other Possible To-Dos
- Prevent automatic restart on updates
- Uninstall Internet Explorer
- Add PowerShell to context menu
- Use PowerShell to remove metro apps
- Monitor RAM usage on your PC
- Limit access to app store using the Assigned Access feature
- Schedule tasks to be performed automatically
- Fix lag issues with mice
- Manage startup apps in Windows 8 and speed them up.
You should be able to locate information for most things you need in Windows 8 right here. Even as a seasoned user of Windows 8, you can give a boost to your speed by using keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 as well.
If there is something else that you need, and it is not available here, let us know!