With the upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1, Microsoft has made several changes mainly to improve on certain aspects that Windows 8 has received criticism for. For starters, there’s the return of the good old Start button, ability to create a lock screen slideshow, and even support for 3D printing!
We have got for you here a list of 10 best techniques. Whether you are entirely new to or beginning to get familiar with Windows 8.1, the following list should help you get the most out of this latest offering by Microsoft.
1. View Options From the Start Button
The Start button is back. It is similar to the Start button found on Windows 7. Left-click on the button (bottom left of the screen) and it will redirect you to the start Screen. If you right-click on it, it will show options for Run, Search, Desktop, Shut Down, and much more.
2. Log In Straight to Desktop
When you start your computer, by default it will take you to the Start Screen. There is a way to start your computer and go straight to the Desktop instead. Right-click on the desktop toolbar, select Properties and go to the Navigation tab. Under the Start Screen options, enable the box “When I sign in or close all applications on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start”.
3. Customize Start Screen Background
Windows 8.1 also allows you to customize your start screen. Just swipe the Settings Charm menu and tap on Settings. Click on Personalize to change the colors of the background as well as the accent.
4. Create A Lock Screen Slideshow
Previously, your Windows lock screen could only be a static photo. On Windows 8.1, you are able to create a lock screen slideshow with your favorite photos. To do this, go to the Settings Charm menu, click on Change PC Settings, select PC and Devices then click on Lock Screen. Enable the option On to create a lock screen slideshow.
5. Use Internet Explorer 11 Reading View
When you load any web page using Internet Explorer 11, a Reading View icon can be seen on the address bar. If you click on it, Internet Explorer will automatically reload the page and display a clean version – free of ads. This makes it very easy to read as there are no distractions. However, this feature is not available for the desktop version of Internet Explorer 11.
6. Make Use of 3D Printing Support
Windows 8.1 is the first operating system to provide support for 3D printing! You can print from the Windows Store apps and desktop applications. For more information on how this works, click here.
7. Customize Privacy Options
Windows 8.1 offers you options to set what devices and data are used by apps found in the Windows Store. You can allow or block apps from accessing your personal information. You are also able to turn off your advertising ID so that advertisers do not use your personal data to display personalized ads. To customize these settings, go to Change PC settings and navigate to Privacy.
8. Smart Files
Smart File is a new feature in Windows 8.1 that allows you to view your SkyDrive files without having to download everything onto your computer. When you browse through your SkyDrive folder in File Explorer, you’ll see a column called Availability.
By default, all the files are listed as Online-only, which means that as long as you are connected to the Internet, you can view the files without actually having them on your computer’s hard drive. If you want a particular SkyDrive file or folder to be available offline, just right-click on it and select the Make available offline option.
9. Customize Quiet Hours
Integrated notification pop-ups were first introduced on Windows 8. What’s new on Windows 8.1 is the option to turn the notifications off or set a period of time for which the notifications may appear. To do this, go to Change PC settings, click on Search and Apps, select Notifications, and configure the relevant options.
10. More Windowing Options for New Style Apps
On Windows 8, users could split their screen to run up to 8 apps on two 2560 x 1600 monitors. Depending on your screen size, some may only be able to split and run 2 apps. On Windows 8.1, you can do all that and more – you can add another app and resize it so that it runs horizontally (see screenshot). However, that works only if the developer has allowed it for the app.