You don’t have to be a computer technician to know that the new Windows 8 operating system wasn’t well received. The biggest complaint was the loss of the ever-popular Start button. This magical button was the centerpiece of everything related to Windows, and user felt they just threw it out like an old sandwich. There was also the dual-desktop feature that let you use either a traditional Windows 7 layout or the Metro-style application screen.
Then came Windows 8.1. Microsoft heard the call and made some changes to their new operating system. These small changes make 8.1 extremely fun and easy to use, and, because we’re nice like that, we wanted to share them with you!
This is part 1 of our 2-part series; we’ll take you through a few things you should do as soon as you have installed the new operating system. These tips will make it easier to navigate Windows and customize the system to fit your needs.
Check your time zone settings
This isn’t a high priority task for your computer, but it is something Windows 8 didn’t let you set up during installation. After you boot up your computer for the first time, go into PC Settings and adjust the time zone so it matches where you are.
Unless you live on the West Coast—then you can ignore this step because it will default to the correct time zone.
Confirm your computer as a trusted device
If you’ve ever tried to reset your password or adjust billing info in your Microsoft account, you usually have to submit an email or phone number to receive a code, but from your Trusted PC, you can skip this step. If you forget your password or someone gains unauthorized access to your Microsoft account, it’s easier to reset your information from your Trusted PC.
To enable this feature, go into the PC settings on your computer. Within either Users or in Sync your Settings > Passwords, you will see “Trust this PC.” Just click on that link and the system will walk you through the steps to finish this. You can either do it through a text or email.
That’s it! Your computer is now trusted.
Organize your start screen
Good housekeeping isn’t just something to do around your home or garden. Organizing your start screen within Windows 8.1 just makes your experience easier. If you don’t care about this and just want to go straight to the desktop, you can learn how to do that in Part 2 of our series.
Windows 8.1 takes customization a bit farther by letting you organize your tiles into groups, therefore making it easier to find applications and increasing productivity. You can also resize the apps to add variety to the screen and then place them into the group you want them in.
Windows 8.1 also allows you to add a custom background image instead of using the stock images.
Pin certain applications to the taskbar
Windows 8.1 still has the beloved taskbar on the desktop, and you can take full advantage of this. Besides being able to pin applications to the start screen, you can also pin those same apps to the taskbar, along with folders and other files like games.
Configure the auto app updates
In previous versions of Windows 8, Metro-style apps didn’t automatically update and install themselves. The Windows 8.1 Windows Store is set up to automatically download and install any of your apps. Whether you want this on or off, just go into the Store app, click on Settings, and click App Updates. From there you can select Automatically Update My Apps.
Change the backgrounds to match
This isn’t anything that will affect your interaction with Windows 8.1, but setting the backgrounds on both the desktop and tile screens to match may ease the transition From Windows 7 to 8. Right click on the taskbar and select Properties. Open up the Navigationtab and check the box that says Shows My Desktop Background on Start.
Windows 8.1 is all about customization and making your computer look your way. In our next installment, we will go over many other simple tips and tricks you probably didn’t know about Windows 8.1.
In the meantime, why don’t you browse through the computer technician course offered at Career Step? If you are looking to start a career in IT support, it may be just the education you need.