Easy workarounds for Windows 8

Adapting to a the updates of an operating system is a process that may take time. However, in the case of Windows 8, it is clear that there are so many changes combined with old features that to get used to the way it works sometimes feel like a really complicated task. There are many things that don’t seem to flow easily such as the menu system, that makes you switch the screens to start an app of the two control panels with different settings. Before you feel that frustration is taking over, have a look at the list of things that you can do in order to me your Windows 8 experience less challenging.

How to deal with the “No Start Menu” issue

The lack of Start menu means that you are prompted to go to the UI Start screen in order to launch desktop apps that end up getting you back to the desktop. Changing screens is not as simple as starting a menu and you may end up mixing up your tasks, as your work gets pushed to the first application off-screen. Thankfully, there is a way of avoiding the going through the Start screen to access desktop apps. All you need to do is to install a Start menu (there are some options available online), then you can create keyboard shortcuts and add applications in the taskbar.

Remove the Lock Screen before the login prompt

It feels like with Windows 8, even basic tasks seem to require a lot of clicks to be completed. One of the most annoying things is the lock screen that has to be closed by dragging it off the screen or clicking on it whenever you boot or start your computer. If just want to skip the display that shows the time and weather and go straight to login area, you can get rid of the lock screen. Go to Computer Configuration then Administrative Tools, Control Panel and Personalization in the Local Group Policy editor. There you will be able to enable the “Do not display lock screen” option.

Getting easy access to the restart and shut down options

Windows 8 was mainly aimed to be used for tablets, which explains why simple actions like shutting down and restarting are not easily available. These are tasks that you would not be needing so often with a tablet, which is why they seem to be so hidden in the menu options. The usual way to shut down your PC is to open the Charms menu, click the Settings, then the Power button and select Shut Down. An easier alternative is to create a shortcut for the Shut Down and Restart functions. You can assign them commands like “shutdown /s/t 0” for shutting down and “shutdown r/t 0” for restarting. Then you should pin them to the Start screen and taskbar so that you can access the easily whenever needed.

Access you POP email account

Many users get POP email accounts form the Internet Service Providers. However, Windows 8 does not support these. When you open Windows Mail and your login email address does not belong to Outlook or Hotmail.com, the program will check if the address you are using is IMAP, Exchange or POP. If you tell the system that it is the latter, it will tell you that  POP is not supported and will ask you to get an Exchange or POP email. If you would like to use Window Mail simply set up a Gmail, Outlook.com or Hotmail account to check your POP mail. You can find this option in the More Mail Settings menu.

Enable Secondary users to download applications

One of the main appeals of Windows 8 is meant to be the possibility of having multiple users. The problem is that additional users are included, they will not get the permission to install desktop software in your Windows 8 device. They can still install Windows 8 Metro-style apps at will but they will be required to enter an administrator’s password the minute they try to install desktop software. Once the password is entered, the program will be installed.

However, there will be no shortcut on the additional user’s desktop and it will not even be available on the All Apps menu or Start screen.¬† The secondary user may try to launch the new app that they downloaded by finding the .exe file, but this is a highly risky solution. The good news is that there is simple way to extend permissions for an additional user, as long as you know which menu to select. Once you add a new user to the PC settings menu, go to the desktop control panel and select Manage Another Account. Choose the name of the new user account and click on Change Account Type, then Administrator.

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