Features of Windows 8.1 to make your life easier

Microsoft received a lot of criticism due to a steep learning curve required by the Windows 8 users. Windows 8.1 provided them with a chance to make things a tad bit easier for the users. Here are some of the new additions in 8.1 to increase your productivity.

Boot To Desktop

If you really hate the metro tiles, then Windows 8.1 provides you an option to completely bypass that screen. Just Right Click on the taskbar and go to Properties and check “Go to Desktop instead of Start”.

Now, every time you sign-in, you will go straight to your desktop rather than the metro tiles.

Replace Metro Start Screen With All Apps

Now that you won’t get to see the start screen when you login the first time, lets move forward. If you hate the metro look so much that you don’t even want to run apps from that thing, then just follow the steps in the previous step to open the settings again. This time select “Show Apps automatically when i go to Start”.

Now whenever you click the start button, you would be presented with all the available apps on the PC. You can even arrange the apps in different order to make things easier to find.


Shut Down/Restart Windows

In Windows 8, accessing the power menu wasted a good 10 seconds as it was hidden in the charms bar. This time the settings can be found in the Start buttons Quick menu which is accessed by the right clicking the start button.


Advanced Snap Controls

Latest update of Windows 8 grants you more freedom to snap apps side by side. In the previous version you could only snap applications on screen in around 60:40 ratio but now you can run upto three different apps side-by-side. Moreover, you can also adjust the size to decide if you would be the most productive by giving each application equal screen estate. Just click (and hold) from the top of the screen to snap applications and adjust their size using the solid black bar

windows 8.1

OneDrive Sync

Now you have a lot of different options to keep all your devices in sync. Just open the charms bar and go to PC Settings and then click on SkyDrive to access a huge variety of options to sync files and folders.


Automatic App Updates

Now all the apps that you downloaded from the Windows App Store can be updated automatically rather than updating each app individually like in Windows 8.

To enable this option, just open Store and go to settings and then click on App Updates. Now all the updating will be done automatically.



Even though this is a basic function, Microsoft added a rather impressive feature which might come handy in a lot of situations. Now, you can save a picture of your desktop directly in the “Pictures” library by pressing the Windows Key + Print Screen. The screenshots taken with these shortcuts would be saved in Pictures > Screenshots folder.

Another feature is the ability to share a screenshot directly rather than first saving it to your computer. While you are in an application just open the Charms bar and go to share. There you will see the option to send a screenshot through Mail, or any other supported application. This is also works on the start screen just in case you want to share your start menu screen with someone.


Do you think these nifty little tricks are a welcome addition? Let us know!

Ali Moin

"There's always a website. There's always a writer. There's always a story"

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