The Windows Taskbar can be hidden from normal view by selecting a quick and easy option. To access the Taskbar options, right-click with your mouse on the Windows Taskbar and select the Properties option from the menu that appears, as shown in the picture to the right.
In the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window, check the box next to the Auto-hide the taskbar option and click the OK button.
The Windows Taskbar will now be hidden from view. To see it again, just move your mouse cursor to the bottom of the screen and the Taskbar will appear.
Note: In Windows XP, the Properties window will look a little different, but the option for hiding the check box is the same.
Windows isn't the only game in town: you can always opt for a Mac, a tablet (Android, iPad), or a Chromebook. There are more choices than ever before; just realize that each of them has relative advantages and disadvantages, and none of them will run your legacy Windows software (unless you invest in a solution like Parallels for Mac).
For the full rundown, click here. But here's the bare-bones needs:
Microsoft wants to change users' Windows experience by having any open apps remain running until shutdown. The purpose of this is to hasten application load times when they are re-opened (similar to cookies on your Internet browser). Unfortunately, this approach can fill a user's Taskbar and memory with unwanted applications and programs. The following sections contain instructions on how clear apps from one or both areas.
Closing an app in Windows 8.1: If you want to close an application, that is, remove it from the Taskbar but still allow Windows to keep it open in the background; use one of the following options. If you want to terminate the application entirely, proceed to the next section.
Using your finger or a mouse
Using the close button
Using the app menu
Using the Windows key
Apps you previously had installed on your Windows 8 computer will still be there once you upgrade to Windows 8.@Some Start screen apps, like Mail and Calendar, will be updated automatically when you upgrade. You will also need to reinstall any apps you previously downloaded from the Windows Store.
If you're upgrading from Windows 7, your apps should still be there after you upgrade. If you're upgrading from an older version, such as Windows Vista or earlier, you will need to reinstall your old apps.
Because many TSRs load up automatically when your computer starts, you may find it a burden to manually unload each of these programs each time you reboot the computer. Below are the steps on how to remove these programs from starting up automatically.
Microsoft Windows 8 and 10 users
If you are unable to locate the program that is automatically loading by following the previous instructions, you can find it in the system Registry or via the use of a software utility.
Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users
If you were unable to locate the program that is automatically loading by following the instructions above, locate this program in the system Registry or msconfig or other utility.
Microsoft Windows 2000 users
If you were unable to locate the program that is automatically loading by following the instructions above, locate this program in the system Registry or other utility.
Microsoft Windows 98 and Windows ME users
If you were unable to locate the program that is auto loading by following the instructions above, do the following. Locate the program in the autoexec.bat, win.ini, system Registry or Windows 98SE. Windows ME users can disable programs through the System Configuration or other utility.
The information below contains steps on how to temporarily remove from memory TSRsand currently running programs. Keep in mind that after rebooting the computer many of these will reload. If you want to permanently keep these programs from loading, skip down to the next section.
Removing a TSR in Windows 8 and 10
Press and hold CTRL + ALT + DEL, then click the Task Manager option. Or press and hold CTRL + Shift + ESC to open the Task Manager directly. Click on the Processes tab, select the program you want to end, and click the End Task button.
Removing a TSR in Windows 2000 to Windows 7
Press and hold CTRL + ALT + DEL, then click the Task Manager option. Or if you're running Windows XP, it should immediately open the Windows Task Manager window. Within Task Manager, click the Applications Tab, select the program that you want to end, and click the End Task button.
Removing a TSR in Windows 95, 98, and ME
Press and hold ALT + CTRL + DEL. Once these three keys have all been properly pressed together, you should receive a Close Program wind.
One of the key devices Windows 8 has been aimed at is the tablet. It’s touch ready, and ready for you to take it with you. It has also been designed to help IT departments manage the huge rush of personal devices into the workplace. The consumerization of IT is making end-users the champions of new technology devices, a role that was previously held by the IT staff.
Determining whether or not a computer is yours, or one you’re just using temporarily, is handled by the Windows 8 feature “User Device Affinity.” User device affinity uses usage percentage, amount of time logged in, and number of times logged in to determine if the computer belongs to you enough to call it “your computer.” If it is the computer that you usually use, regardless of who actually owns the computer, your Windows 8 tablet will identify it as a primary device. A new feature in System Center Configuration Manager 2012 allows administrators to target those primary devices for software installations, whether they are company owned or employee owned.
There are essentially two options for fully closing (remove from the taskbar and RAM) an app in Windows 8.1.
Terminate with shortcut keys: Press Alt + F4 on the keyboard to close and end the app or any open program.
Terminate using task manager
Note:Mobile users can bring up the Windows logon screen by pushing Windows keyand the power button simultaneously.
Setting the path and variables in Windows 8 and Windows 10
The successor to Microsoft Windows 7 that focuses on a new interfaces
My colleague Dan Ackerman said it best in his Windows 8.1 review. If you're a regular PC user, I'll repeat in his paraphrased words what you should do:
Either way, you'll probably have to get used to Windows 8 eventually, since it's Microsoft's PC operating system now. It's really, however, more of a finishing touch for Windows 8-optimized machines.
The best way to get Windows 8.1? Wait to buy a new PC with Windows 8 or 8.1 installed: it'll run the software better, and it won't cost anything extra.
Yes, but if you use Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise at work, you may need someone from the IT department to install the upgrade on your computer. It will not be available as an update in the Windows Store.
Disable Microsoft Messenger: Note: Disabling the Microsoft Messenger will not cause any problems with MSN Messenger. This service is commonly used to distribute text messages between computers and commonly only used in a business to distribute messages between employees.
To disable Microsoft Messenger service, follow the steps below.
Windows 2000 and XP users
Setup firewall to block UDP and NetBIOS: If your computer needs messenger, the alternate solution to the above recommendation is to disable all incoming UDP and NetBIOS on your firewall.
Since the release of Windows 8, Microsoft has been committed to having everyone use the Start screen instead of the Start button and the Start menu found in previous versions of Windows. However, there are a few things that can be done to mimic the Windows Start button/Start Menu combination that many people are used to using. Read through the following to find the best option to suit your needs.
Just the Start Button: With the Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft has added a Start button that takes you to the Start Screen. This update does not, however, return the Start Menu found in previous versions of Windows. If you are ok with the Start Screen and just want the Start button, we recommend updating to Windows 8.1, as it is the fastest solution and updates are important anyway. If you still want the Start Menu (not the same as Start screen), proceed to the following sections of this page.
Create a Windows Start Menu Toolbar: The Start Menu can be made into a toolbar, which allows you access to all the programs you would normally see in All Programs. To do this, follow the steps below.
Note: Adding this toolbar will not look like the normal Windows Start Menu. It will be located on the right side of the Windows Taskbar, as a little arrow that shows a list of programs on the computer.
Once these steps have been completed, you will see a new Start Menu section on the Taskbar. This new section contains all of the programs located in the Programs folder in the standard Windows Start Menu.
Install a third-party add-on: There are multiple third-party tools that can be installed in Windows 8 that can mimic the Start button and Start Menu found in previous versions of Windows. Below are our suggestions on which third-party tools to try.
Almost all apps installed on Windows 8 should work correctly in Windows 8.@If not, the app's developer will likely release an update to address the issue.
If you are upgrading from Windows 7 or Vista, most of your apps should still work. However, if you're using an older version like Windows XP, there's a good chance some of your apps will not be compatible with Windows @A simple Google search will often be enough to tell if an app will be compatible in Windows 8.
When Windows 8 was released in 2012, many users complained that it was difficult and confusing to use, especially compared to older versions of Windows. Windows 8.1 includes a number of improvements and features to address some of these issues. Below are some of the most helpful and notable features:
Many users are interested in either enabling or disabling their Windows Firewall for various reasons. Some users want to utilize a different firewall, and some may have turned theirs off by accident. To proceed, select your version of Windows from the list below and follow the instructions.
Enabling Windows 8 or 10 firewall: Caution: Only one software firewall should be enabled at a time. If you have an antivirus or other security program installed with its own firewall, make sure it is disabled first.
Disabling the Windows 8 or 10 firewall: Caution: Unless you are troubleshooting an issue or plan on installing another firewall, it is recommended that you do not disable your Windows Firewall.
Tip: If you are disabling the firewall because a program can't access your computer or the Internet, try to allow the program through the firewall first.
This document contains steps on removing Terminate-and-Stay-Resident (TSR) programs temporarily from memory and how to prevent them from automatically loading each time your computer boots.
By default, Windows 8 will boot to the Windows Start Screen instead of the Desktop. To boot to the Desktop instead of the Start Screen follow the steps below.
If you’ve wished that your HP or Dell PC came with a factory reset button like your home wireless router does, you’ll be happy to see that Windows 8 provides two features that provide functionality for doing just that: Reset and Refresh. Both are now accessible from the Control Panel metro app, and both will fix problems with your PC. Reset takes it back to the day it was purchased: all apps are gone and all user data is gone. Refresh performs a full reinstall of Windows, but saves your user data, most of your preferences, and saves your installed metro apps.
If you already have a Windows 8 device, it may be updated automatically. You can also update it manually. To do this, open the Windows Store app from the Start screen, then locate and select Update Windows.
Despite the return of the Start button, having a touch screen is still the preferred way to go with Windows 8.@In the portable realm, look for a tablet (Sony Vaio Tap 11 or Microsoft Surface Pro 2), a convertible laptop (the upcoming Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga), or a touch-screen laptop (the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus).
In the desktop world, larger touch-screen all-in-one machines like the Dell XPS One 27 or Sony Vaio Tap 21 are ideal.
For complete lists of our favorites in every category, check out CNET's list of best laptops and best desktop PCs.
No, you can use any PC, as long as it fits the Windows 8.1 hardware requirements. Touch screens aren't required. In fact, Windows 8.1 makes it easier: you can stay in "Desktop mode" and just use your PC in a way that (largely) bypasses the touch-friendly tile interface. Even those, should you encounter them, can be navigated with keyboard and mouse/touch pad, however.
Now, after many years that I have been asking this question, you can finally mount ISOs in Windows 8 as part of the operating system. There are no third party utilities required. You can also mount VHDs (Virtual Hard Disks) natively in Windows 8.
ISOs show up as a new CD or DVD drive, while VHD shows up as a new hard drive. You can access either ISOs or VHDs by either double-clicking them, right clicking them and selecting “mount,” or by selecting the “mount” from the ribbon in Windows Explorer.
Improvements such as improved boot times, new features like Windows To Go, and long overdue basics such as the ability to mount an ISO make Windows 8 a very exciting operating system.
The "Last Known Good Configuration" option was first introduced in Microsoft Windows 2000 and is available in all later versions of Windows including Windows XP. This feature enables the user to load the last stable version of Microsoft Windows. This is a great step to try when trying to fix issues with Windows; especially those that occur upon startup.
To load the last known good configuration in Windows 2000 or XP, reboot the computer and upon startup, repeatedly press the F8 Key. This action should bring up the "Windows Advanced Options Menu" as shown below. Use your arrow keys to move to "Last Known Good Configuration" and press your Enter key.
Below are some examples of how the rundll.exe rundll32.exe files can be used in Microsoft Windows to perform Windows commands from the command prompt. Because of the different versions of rundll and rundll32, not all of the below options will work. If rundll or rundll32 encounter an error, the command will fail without any error messages.
Shutdown, restart, logoff, or poweroff the computer: Shutdown Windows through the command line using rundll32 and the shell32.dll file.
Lock the Windows 2000 and Windows XP workstation: rundll32 user32.dll,LockWorkStation
Run the install for an inf file: Run the install for an inf file.
rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 <inf file>
Open the Open With folder for a file: Below is a command that can be run from the command line to open the "Open With" window for a particular file.
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,OpenAs_RunDLL <directory or file>
Run copy disk program: Below is an example of how the copy disk window can be opened from the command line.
Create a new shortcut: Open the create shortcut wizard icon by typing the below into the command prompt. The "NewLinkHere" is case sensitive, if not typed in properly you will receive an error.
rundll32.exe appwiz.cpl,NewLinkHere <directory>
Open the ScreenSaver Window: rundll32.exe desk.cpl,InstallScreenSaver
For existing Windows 8 users, Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade. Just go the app store if you're a Windows 8 user, and start downloading.
If you're coming from Windows 7 (or an even earlier version of Windows), it can be bought here for $120, or $200 for the business-targeted pro version. For more step-by-step information, read our how-to guide.
In Windows 8, there looks to be some great strides taken to prevent malware that starts early in the boot process from being able to mess up your system. Trusted Boot in Windows 8 digitally signs your bootup environment, validating the entire process. The loading of anti-malware software is one of the earliest actions performed by Windows 8, so it is running before malware even has a chance to start.
Yes, you can download an update to the equivalent Windows RT version (Windows RT 8.1).
If your computer is currently running Windows 8, you can upgrade to Windows 8.1 for free. Once you've installed Windows 8.1, we recommend that you then upgrade your computer to Windows 10, which is also a free upgrade.
The Microsoft Windows background can be adjusted by opening the background display properties. Follow the steps below for your version of Windows.
Windows Vista, 7, and 8
Windows 8.1 is the "real" Windows OS that runs on PCs and tablets; it includes backward compatibility with most earlier Windows software -- programs and games that were designed to run on Windows 7, Vista, and XP. By contrast, Windows RT is a stripped-down version of Windows 8.1 that does not deliver that backward compatibility. (The reason: RT machines run ARM chips rather than full Intel or AMD "x86" CPUs, allowing them longer battery life and cheaper prices.) Instead, Windows RT only runs the apps available in the Windows Store (which, confusingly, is available in both 8.1 and RT). Notably, however, Windows RT includes a free copy of Microsoft Office 2013, which has been designed to run on both versions of Windows.
While there were a handful of devices that ran RT in 2012, so far, the Microsoft Surface and Surface 2 tablets appear to be the only RT machines currently available. (Again, adding to the confusion: the Surface Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablets run full Windows 8.1.)
Windows 8.1: With the Windows 8.1 on the Start Screen in the top-right corner of the screen is a power button that allows you to Sleep, Shut down, and Restart. Clicking this icon or pressing your finger on this icon gives you the options shown in the picture.
Windows 8: With the initial release of Windows 8 yo Sleep, Restart, or Shut down follow the steps below.
Software programs place DLL files in one or more folders during the installation. These files contain code that tells programs how to operate.
Safest to not delete: If you are thinking about deleting an unknown DLL file, it is likely best to leave it alone. The reasoning behind this logic is that some programs share these files, so deleting a certain DLL file may unintentionally cause issues. That is to say, deleting a DLL file could cause one or more other programs to stop functioning correctly, if at all.
Hard to find: Some software programs may also install DLL files into multiple folders outside the Program Files folder (where most programs are installed). Finding these DLL files can be quite difficult and deleting them can be hazardous.
If you must delete, copy first: If you are not sure if a DLL file is used by another program, we recommend leaving it alone. However, if you must delete the DLL file, we suggest you make a copy of it first. This ensures that if you encounter a problem with another program that requires the use of the DLL file you just deleted, you can restore the file using a backup copy.