7 Windows 8 Niggles Resolved

Windows 8 Logo   7 Windows 8 Niggles ResolvedWindows 8 has a number of features that can be annoying to experienced users of the traditional Windows desktop. From adding a Start menu to disabling the bulky ribbon, noisy live tiles, and unnecessary lock screen, you can easily fix a variety of problems you have with Windows 8.

Some of these tricks will also help you master Windows 8 as it’s meant to be used – for example, the power-user tools menu and keyboard shortcuts can be used to get around the desktop (and the rest of the system) very quickly.

Disable The Ribbon

Windows Explorer now has a new, Microsoft Office-style ribbon that aims to make its options more obvious and easier-to-use. However, the ribbon can take up a lot of screen real estate – it’s not that useful if you just want to view your files in a minimal window.

To hide the ribbon, click the arrow at its top-right corner. To reveal the ribbon and access its options later, click the arrow again. You can also use the Ctrl+F1 keyboard shortcut to hide the ribbon.

hide explorer ribbon in windows 8   7 Windows 8 Niggles Resolved

If you really have a vendetta against the ribbon, you can use Ribbon Disabler to disable the ribbon completely.

Disable Live Tiles

Windows uses “live tiles” to automatically display information on your Start screen. New emails, calendar events, messages, photos, the weather, news, sports information, stock updates – let’s be honest, it can get really noisy on the start screen. When you’re trying to sit down at your computer and get something done, you don’t always need to be distracted with all this extraneous information. It’s not good for your information diet.

Luckily, you can easily disable a live tile by right-clicking it and selecting Turn live tile off. The application’s icon and name will be displayed instead.

turn live tile off   7 Windows 8 Niggles Resolved

Add a Start Menu

Microsoft may have tried to remove the Start menu forever, but you can easily add a Start menu back to Windows 8 if you miss it. We’ve covered a variety of ways to add a Start menu to Windows 8, including Stardock’s paid Start8 and the free ClassicShell.

As a bonus, these tools can be used to make Windows boot straight to the desktop and disable the “hot corners” that activate the charms. They’ll help make Windows 8 feel more like a desktop operating system than the “touch-first” operating system Microsoft says it is.

start8   7 Windows 8 Niggles Resolved

Easily Access Power User Tools

If you don’t want to use a Start menu but wish you could access power-user tools like the Control Panel more easily, use the hidden tools menu. To access it, press the Windows key and X at the same time. You can also right-click in the bottom-left corner of your screen.

win x menu   7 Windows 8 Niggles Resolved

Hide The Lock Screen

The lock screen may be nice on a tablet, but it just adds an additional key press to the login process if you’re using a non-touch machine.

windows 8 lock screen   7 Windows 8 Niggles Resolved

To disable the lock screen, open Notepad and copy-paste the following code into the Notepad window:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization]

"NoLockScreen"=dword:00000001

Save the new file with a .reg extension. For example, name it something like:

nolockscreen.reg

Double-click the .reg file to add its information to your registry, and then restart your computer. Your computer will always skip the lock screen and go directly to the login screen, saving you a key press.

Prevent Window Snapping On The Desktop

Like on Windows 7, Windows 8 uses the Snap feature on the desktop to automatically snap windows to the edge of the screen. If you want to disable this feature, you can do so from the Ease of Access Center.

Press Windows Key + U to open the Ease of Access Center, and then click the Make the mouse easier to use option. Enable the Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen check box. The Snap feature will be disabld.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts make it much easier to get around on Windows 8. Instead of accessing the charms bar by moving your mouse to the top right or bottom right corners of the screen and moving it towards the center of the screen, you can just press Windows key + C. There are also shortcuts to access the individual charms, such as the Windows key + I shortcut to open the Settings charm from wherever you are.

To learn these keyboard shortcuts, download our free Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts cheat sheet. To really master Windows 8, be sure to download our free guide to getting started with Windows 8.

win8keythumb   7 Windows 8 Niggles Resolved

Have you made any of your own tweaks to Windows 8? Leave a comment and let us know your favorite tricks and tweaks for making Windows 8 feel more familiar and easier-to-use.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

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24 Comments -

0 votes

AriesWarlock

This is great, thanks. That shortcut cheat sheet will come in handy.

0 votes

Jorge Andrade

amazing tips! thanks

0 votes

Dipen Shah

awesome

0 votes

Bilal Ahmed

ribbon toolbar and live tiles not a big problem. start8 is a great start menu utility n im using it. it gives more then worth of its price.

0 votes

Stuart

Shutting down & restarting Win 8 is a nightmare; here is a link as to how to create desktop & Metro (modern whatever) shortcuts :)
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2012/06/25/how-to-add-a-shut-down-button-to-windows-8/
enjoy

0 votes

Alejandro Ruete

Thanks for all the tips!
I have two users, and it always ask me for a password before changing between them. I managed (thanks to some forums) to shut down and start the same user without a password. But come on, I’m at home, I don’t need passwords between users!!

Can someone help?

Cheers,

0 votes

Gordon Hay

If you dislike the ribbon I suggest that you customise the quick access toolbar by populating it with the things you use most from the ribbon then you can minimise the ribbon and forget it.

0 votes

Andy Pretzsch

Great article. Some of these tips are very usefull ‘optimizing’ my Win 8. Especially those “live tiles” are time and performance consuming.

0 votes

Andy Pretzsch

Thank you for this article. Some of these Tips helped me to get an ‘better’ Win 8. E.g. those “live tiles” were just time and perfomance consuming. If I want live news I go to my favorit site or unse RSS.

1 votes

Karl Keith

Thanks for the tips, I have been looking for an easy was to access the control panel.

0 votes

Robert Crook

Thanks for all the very helpful Win 8 info. and possible changes to the OS

0 votes

Petey Pabler

I don’t think I could possibly EVER give up the Start Menu! I can adapt to change, but this one is a must for me!!!

1 votes

Yovanny Guzman

You guys totally missed the design paradigm of Windows 8. The live tiles made to give you a glimpse of information that is important to you. If it is not important to you, guess what don’t pin tile. That simple.

Also the tiles are the START Button, yes the start button now takes the whole screen..Is that so hard to understand? It has the new and improved functionality over Start menus of past. Embrace the future people, why add another layer of complexity and another 3rd party app? I don’t get it.

0 votes

Victor Ong

Hm. Actually for me the easiest way to get rid of the ribbon bar was to double-click on the headers like “home.” I keep it on because it gives me more options to work with. I’ve got a full 1080p screen (or not… full resolution is 4k now I guess…) and the ribbon bar just gives me a bunch of options.

0 votes

Paul Pruitt

Awesome article. I did the registry thing to disable the lock screen even though the graphics are cute. The Power user tool shortcut is really great. I also studied the shortcut sheet. I hope I remember some of the new to me ones.

1 votes

Achraf Almouloudi

So why did you upgrade to Windows 8 if you don’t want to feel its experience ? it was designed to be like that and if you’re really an experienced user you should have no problem adapting to it. Like I’m and I did.

0 votes

Gustavo Ibarguengoytia

There is one issue that I have not been able to solve. For some reason transfers to USB flash drives is far much slower on Windows 8.

Same drive and same USB port took a couple of minutes to transfer a 1 GB file from my PC to my USB, but on 8 it takes 10 or more minutes. A 3 GB file took about 30 minutes.

I have tried google to see what is the problem but I can’t find a solution. Has this happened to any of you? I already have the USB drivers up to date.

0 votes

Gordon Hay

Don’t trust Windows to tell you your drivers are up to date – check with your machine manufacturer’s website to see that you have the correct ones for 8.

0 votes

dyl Belleza

nice

5 votes

Elizabeth

Apparently the author lives in Canada; I don’t know if Canadian speech patterns tend to favor (favour?) British expressions, but I would at least take care to edit this article explaining what the word “niggles” means (bothers, problems, annoyances). “South of the border” in the U.S., we have a country that is experiencing some of the highest racial tensions since perhaps the 1960s civil rights movement, due to emotionally charged reactions on both sides of the political aisle involving our first black president. Niggles looks like — though I know it isn’t — a word that some people might find offensive.

A history of some of the sensitivities involving words with mistaken identity: In the 1990s a U.S. congressman faced a barrage of criticism for using the word “niggardly” (meaning “cheap” or “stingy”) to describe arguments over the federal budget. I’m not sure if he actually ended up having to resign. But someone else used it deliberately to talk about the “fiscal cliff” budget crisis, as an intentional dig at President Obama. When the old politician — who was in his eighties and from a different generation where even the other word was part of everyday speech — used it, he meant it solely as a synonym for cheap. Whoever said it this time had a clear intent of working in a word that all too many people still use in everyday conversation, with the added significance of issuing a personal attack on the president’s race.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., where the word “nappies” means diapers (I’m guessing among some speakers in Canada too), people commenting about the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy are facing culture clashes with racially sensitive Americans for whom the word “nappy” refers to black hair (and black people). Perhaps the most surprised by this have been blacks from the United Kingdom, who also use the word “nappy” to refer to diapers rather than as a (self-loathing, in this case) racial epithet.

I’m not accusing the author of racism or implying that either side is right or wrong. It’s up to the author if he wants to change his title; I’m not telling him he absolutely should or absolutely shouldn’t. As stated above, I know enough about the English language to realize straight away that niggles just means problems (in this case, “Windows annoyances”), and isn’t at all an insult directed at anyone. But I can tell you that not everyone is like me and aware of this definition, and a lot of people seem to have an automatic filter that prompts red flags to go up and flame wars to ignite at the mere mention of anything with the letters N-I-G.

Just a head’s up for you. Wouldn’t want any American flame wars to burn this well-informed and friendly Canadian. :-)

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

Thank you very much for the explanation, Elizabeth. This title was suggested by someone in England, approved by someone in Israel, written by someone in Canada (me!), and edited by someone in Germany. So you’re right that no American was on-hand to notice this. It didn’t even occur to me.

0 votes

dragonmouth

There is no need to worry. Hers are niggling complaints. Only people with a niggardly (as in meanly or ungenerously small or scanty) knowledge of the English language would complain. Their ilk will look until they find a problem where none exists.

Actually the words “niggle” and “niggard” (and their derivatives) are the only two words in the English language that have the prefix “NIG” but have NOTHING to do with “black”.

0 votes

American Me

Niggles didn’t make me think of it. I just figured Niggles was GEEK for something. Or maybe Giggles mistyped.
And I figured out the meaning/intent of the word by reading the article. If people can’t figure that out, they won’t be able to comprehend the rest of the article. In my humble opinion.
Actually .. the number 7 then Windows then the number 8 threw me for a second.. I’m tired over here and was thinking, Huh? Windows 7 or Windows 8 … (Isn’t there a rule of grammar that says spell out a number if it’s the first word? Don’t change it on my account!)

Signed, An American.

1 votes

dragonmouth

“we have a country that is experiencing some of the highest racial tensions since perhaps the 1960s civil rights movement”
Let’s not get carried away! The atmosphere today is nothing like it was in the 60s. If there is strife, it is caused by rampant, out of control Political Correctness. Overly sensitive people who have no lives otherwise are going through the dictionary, flagging every word that starts with “NIG” and seeing racist meaning in each one.

This is similar to several “progressive” state legislatures currently considering the passage of laws to remove the suffix “MAN” from usage. According to their “enlightened” and “progressive” thinking any word that starts or ends with “MAN” is misogynistic and discriminatory to WOMEN. OOOPPS, sorry, that should be “WOBEINGS”, or “WOPERSONS”. Should we change the word “MANdible” to “BEINGdible” or “PERSONdible”???