The Windows taskbar is an underappreciated tool which, when used properly, can have a very positive impact on your productivity. You can quickly start pinned applications, switch between multiple instances of an application, open a file with a specific application and so on. In this guide we would like to share several tips and tricks that will help you use the taskbar more productively. Let’s get started:
Ease of Access
Making Windows 7 and Windows 8 programs and features more visible and accessible, according to your needs.
Windows Phone users always asked for a way to create folders on their Start screen. Depending on the smartphone they had, some users could use apps that were designed to offer this feature. However, these apps were only available for Nokia and Samsung smartphones while smartphones made by other manufacturers did not have any apps available. Luckily, with Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, Microsoft has introduced Live Folders for all Windows Phone devices. With them, you will be able to better organize your Start screen and create your own live folders, no matter of the smartphone you are using. Here's how this feature works:
One criticism about Windows 8 was that you couldn't easily access Windows Store apps from the Desktop. They were hidden, running in a different environment and switching between them and desktop programs was harder than it should have been. Windows 8.1 fixes this problem by allowing users to pin Windows Store apps to the taskbar and to set the taskbar so that it displays running apps. Here's how to work with Windows Store apps on the Windows 8.1 taskbar:
Microsoft made some great improvements in the taskbar with Windows 7, making it much more versatile and useful than the taskbar in previous versions. Although there weren't nearly as many changes between Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 because they got it so nearly right the first time, there are a few things that have changed to complement Windows 8.1's new ways of doing things. Here's how to customize the taskbar in both operating systems:
You will notice many of our tutorials referencing the Apps View from Windows 8.1. You can think of it as a full-screen Start Menu, organized in a similar way to the Start Menu in Windows 7 but with more options on how to display the list of programs installed. In order for you to understand it better and learn how to use it, I decided to create this guide which explains everything you should know about the Apps View.
With the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has introduced a new way of searching, named Smart Search. It is designed to make search easier and better for users. When performing a search, the list of results includes not only local results like your own files and apps but also results from the Internet, provided by Bing. In a very recent update that is distributed via Windows Update, Microsoft has made their search algorithms better by adding a new feature: the capability to understand natural language searches or, in technical terms, "Natural Language Understanding". Let's see what this means and how you can benefit from it in Windows 8.1.
The Lock Screen in Windows 8 operating systems is the screen displayed when you lock your device or when it locks automatically, because you haven't been using it for a while. In Windows 8.1 you can choose to have the Lock Screen display an image, useful information from different apps or a slide-show with several images. You can add photos of you, your family, your favorite places or everything you like. In this tutorial I'm going to show how to customize the Lock Screen in Windows 8.1.
In previous articles, I have talked about the Narrator tool in Windows 8.1 and how it has been vastly improved from the Windows 7 version. In Windows 8.1 it's actually worth using and there are plenty of options to make it work your way. Narrator will read what's on your screen, and you now have your choice of three computer generated voices that sound more like real speech than a computer. But, as it is the custom in Windows 8.x operating systems, you can use this tool also from PC Settings and start it from a device with touch, not just from the Desktop. Here's how to start and configure the Narrator, using PC Settings.
In Windows 8.1, OneDrive is embedded into the operating system and it serves as the default service for storing your files, synchronizing them with other devices, synchronizing your Windows settings, etc. One of the biggest questions I had when working with it for the first time was: How do I change the location of the default OneDrive folder?. I like OneDrive, but I want it to store my files in another location than the default.
If you tried to use the Narrator application in Windows 7, you know it wasn't quite ready for prime time. Fortunately, Microsoft has made some great improvements in Narrator for Windows 8.1, basically turning it into a whole new program. Let's see what the new Narrator is all about and how to use it on any desktop computer.
When you first use Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you will have a hard time figuring out how to shut down or restart your computer. Only Windows 8.1 Update improves the situation and offers an intuitive and “in your face" menu for shutting down your device. In this guide I will share all the methods you can use for shutting down a Windows 8. PC or device. You'll discover several new ways of doing this, so read on.
We all know how important it is to be able to personalize your smartphone and if there's one area where Windows Phone stands out, it is its customizability. In this operating system you can pin, resize, move or unpin any app or shortcut you want, so that you can truly make the Start screen your own. In this tutorial we will share how to resize the tiles on the Start screen, move them around and unpin them when you no longer wish to use them.