Windows 8 Configuration Settings

Examine and Change Your Windows 8 SettingsMicrosoft Windows 8 Configuration Settings

Here is a reference list of Windows 8 config settings.  Each item has a link to its own page explaining how to find the menus to change the default settings.

Windows 8 Config Topics


Benefits of the Metro-style UI

The design principle behind the Metro UI is to make better use of the desktop’s real estate.  This is why Windows 8 tiles are bigger and better than the lifeless shortcuts of previous Windows generation.  Perhaps the best feature of a tile is the ability to to display up-to-date information, for example the current score in the big game, or my favourite, the weather  See more on the Windows Metro UI.

Arrange Your New UI Tiles
It’s easy to swizzle the tiles into new configurations, group the tiles to your prefered lay-out.

To get more tiles on your interface, hit the key corresponding to the first letter of your chosen App, say type ‘s’ for ‘Snipping tool’.  From the list of applications tiles right-click on say ‘Snipping tool’, now look down and see ‘Pin’.  As you click on ‘Pin’ so a tick appears on the tile. 

Tip: When you want to get back to the main screen press the Windows key.

See more on the touch language of the Metro-style UI

Next Stage Create Your Own Metro Tile

If you know anything about Microsoft Windows, then you can guess that there will be a method to create and configure your own tiles.  The process is not easy, but here are the steps to create your own Windows 8 Metro tile.

Windows 8 Performance Monitor

The big change in Windows Perfmon came between Vista and Windows 7 with the introduction of Data Collection Sets.  While configuring performance monitoring is really a job for a Windows server, the benefit of having perfmon on the client is that you can examine the health of a server’s memory, cpu and disk without the application itself swaying the figures.

For day-to-day use I find the task manager invaluable in checking for malware and seeing which legitimate programs are hogging the cpu.

Guy Recommends:  A Free Trial of the Network Performance Monitor (NPM)Review of Orion NPM v11.5 v11.5

SolarWinds’ Orion performance monitor will help you discover what’s happening on your network.  This utility will also guide you through troubleshooting; the dashboard will indicate whether the root cause is a broken link, faulty equipment or resource overload.

What I like best is the way NPM suggests solutions to network problems.  Its also has the ability to monitor the health of individual VMware virtual machines.  If you are interested in troubleshooting, and creating network maps, then I recommend that you try NPM now.

Download a free trial of Solarwinds’ Network Performance Monitor

The Comfort of the Windows 8 Run CommandWindows 8 Run Command

I have found the most convenient way to access the old ‘Run’ dialog box is to type the letters:
‘R u n’ at the Windows 8 Metro interface.  You get a search screen displaying the shortcut to the run.  See more on the Windows 8 Run dialog box.

Have You Lost The Windows 8 Recycle Bin?

Here is how to recover that lost bin.Windows 8 Lost Recycle Bin

1) Right-click the Windows 8 Desktop
2) Select: Personalize from the menu
3) Look for the link: ‘Change desktop icons’
4) At the Desktop Icon Settings, place a tick next to:
   ‘Recycle Bin’.  See screenshot right.

Connecting Via Windows 8 Remote Desktop

The key to enabling remote desktop is thinking ahead.  Realize that one day you are going to leave your Windows 8 machine running in your office, and then visit a colleague in another office; the problem comes you need a file which is on your Windows 8 computer back in the first office. 

See here for detailed steps how to conifgure the Host and the Victim for Remote Desktop.

Configuring the Windows 8 Shutdown ButtonWindows 8 Shutdown

It takes a little getting used to finding the new position of the Windows 8 Shut down button; however once shown, you will soon adjust to that switch icon at the front screen.  To let you into a secret, I create a shutdown tile on my desktop. 

If you like this method of powering-down your computer then see here Configuring the Windows 8 shutdown button

Windows 8 God Mode

Have some fun, create a ‘Magic Folder’ with links to all the main Windows 8 Configuration settings.

Windows 8 God Mode

This magic folder is God Mode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}.  See details of how to create 'God Mode' on your desktop.

Guy Recommends:  SolarWinds’ Log & Event Management ToolSolarwinds Log and Event Management Tool

LEM will alert you to problems such as when a key application on a particular server is unavailable.  It can also detect when services have stopped, or if there is a network latency problem.  Perhaps this log and event management tool’s most interesting ability is to take corrective action, for example by restarting services, or isolating the source of a maleware attack.

Yet perhaps the killer reason why people use LEM is for its compliance capability, with a little help from you, it will ensure that your organization complies with industry standards such as CISP or FERPA.  LEM is a really smart application that can make correlations between data in different logs, then use its built-in logic to take corrective action, to restart services, or thwart potential security breaches – give LEM a whirl.

Download your FREE trial of SolarWinds Log & Event Management tool.

How to Connect a Windows 8 Client to a DomainWindows 8 Connect to Domain Controller

Windows 8 computers either join an Active Directory domain straightaway, or else you need to troubleshoot network connectivity starting at the NIC.

This page will show you how to troubleshoot Windows 8 joining a domain.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 "Blue"

After a year, Microsoft are releasing an update called "Blue".  The significance is that it is the first of the new era of Microsoft's service packs.  Gone are the old style SP1 and SP2, in their place will be packages such as "Blue", which introduce new features, as well as fix imperfections in Windows 8's Apps and GUIs.

The extra intrigue surrounding Windows 8.1 Blue is the possibility that Microsoft may relent and re-introduce the Start Button.  There are also rumours that Microsoft will even provide a boot-to-desktop option.

See more on Windows "Blue".

Summary of Windows 8 Configuration

Windows 8 is great, but it’s even more fun and productive if you know how to configure its settings.  This page has a list of interesting and relevant places to change Windows default settings.

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Microsoft Windows 8 Index Topics

Windows 8 Overview  • Windows 8 Configuration Settings  • Windows 8 Install Options

Windows 8 Troubleshooting Advice  • Windows 8 Registry Hacks  • Engineers Tookit  • Contact

Windows 8 Group Policy Settings  • Windows 8 PowerShell  • SolarWinds Patch Manager Review