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6 “Secret” Things You Can Do With Windows 8

Some have gone as far as to call it the best OS that Microsoft has produced to date and it’s easy to see why.  With a more intuitive interface and loads of fresh abilities all wrapped up in a more aesthetically pleasing package, Windows 8 is certainly an attractive addition to any PC.  However, despite its prevalence there are loads of little features and “secret things” you can do with it which even hardcore users don’t seem know about, here are 6 examples to take note of…

Windows 8

The quick access menu

Perhaps one of the most direct and useful things you can do with Windows 8 is to simply right click in the bottom left hand corner to bring up the quick access menu.  Quite simply, this is a really stripped-down way of gaining access to certain key applications or generally navigating what’s on your machine.

Powering everything off, made easier

An often-touted downfall of most of Microsoft’s earlier OS products was the shutdown procedure.  Sure, they worked pretty well overall, but not when you compare it with the slick way you can power off in W8.  Just hold down the windows key and press I, then choose your option.  (Note* – in 8.1 you press the X button instead.)

Resize app tiles

If you’re really trying to get just the right look and feel with regards to the way your OS is laid out it will often necessitate the need to resize an app display tile.  This isn’t hard to do at all, just right click it and select either the display size (small / large) or select the “resize” option.

Change your privacy settings

Rather than broadcast every single thing you do to the entire world across all apps, all the time, try to set up some basic privacy settings.  Hit the windows button + I and select “more PC settings”.  Under there you’ll see a listing for “privacy”, and from there you can further customize your experience.

Quick screen capture

All you have to do to quickly capture the onscreen action is press and hold down the windows key along with PrtSc.  What’s great about this method is that it actually deposits an actual pic in your “my pics” folder, thereby saving you an entire step while committing the image to posterity.   Moreover, you can do this as many times as you like and the OS will simply procedurally name each image…no worries.

How to open the task manager

The task manager (in any MS OS) has always been something of a trusted friend among PC users.  Opening it up in W 8 is a bit different of course; press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to see what’s going on if there are performance problems which creep out of nowhere.  You’ll basically have an overview of everything that’s running and/or connected, thereby making for a more accurate diagnosis as well as more direct control over what you’re doing at any given time.