Windows 8.1

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The Windows 8.1 Device Manager

Device Manager in Windows 8.1 is your point of first resort when something goes wrong with the hardware — the devices — on your system. It’s a Control Panel applet that gives you limited access to information [more…]

How to Turn Windows 8.1 Features On and Off

The ability to turn certain parts of Windows 8.1 on or off goes back to the days of Windows 3.1. Once upon a time, the feature was useful to reduce the bloat — the footprint — of Windows. Now, that isn’t [more…]

How to Add and Switch Clocks in Windows 8.1

If you want to change the clock in the lower-right corner of the Windows 8.1 desktop — perhaps add a clock, change the time, or change the format of the date or time — it’s easy. Here’s how: [more…]

How to Change Languages in Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 language support has improved enormously in the past few versions. One very common request is to change the keyboard: You may have a German, British, or Thai keyboard, which is completely different [more…]

How to Make Your Libraries Visible in Windows 8.1

When you bring up File Explorer in Windows 8.1, you’re placed in a make-believe folder called This PC and shown six folders at the top — Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos. [more…]

How to Set Up Storage Spaces in Windows 8.1

Even though you can set up Storage Spaces in Windows 8.1 with just two hard drives — your C: system drive, plus one data drive.— you don’t get much benefit out of it until you move up to three drives: [more…]

How to Set Up a New HomeGroup in Windows 8.1

Every time you attach a Windows 8.1 PC to a network and you tell Windows Yes, Turn On Sharing and Connect to Devices, Windows starts sniffing around the network to see whether any Windows 7 or 8 or 8.1 [more…]

How to Share on Mixed HomeGroup, Workgroup, and Apple Networks

Sharing with the Public folder in Windows 8.1 is quick and dirty. As long as the person trying to get into your Public folder is connected to your network and he can supply a valid username and password [more…]

What Happened to the Windows 7 Backup in Windows 8.1?

If you’re an experienced Windows 7 user, you may be looking for specific features in Windows 8.1 that have been renamed, morphed, or axed. Here’s a little pocket dictionary to help you figure out the landmarks [more…]

Restoring Data from File History in Windows 8.1

File History in Windows 8.1 stores snapshots of your files, taken every hour, unless you change the frequency. If you’ve been working on a spreadsheet for the past six hours and discovered that you blew [more…]

Refreshing Your Windows 8.1 PC

Refresh keeps some Windows 8.1 settings (accounts, passwords, the desktop, Internet Explorer favorites, wireless network settings, drive letter assignments, and BitLocker settings) and all personal data [more…]

How to Create Restore Points in Windows 8.1

If you’ve used an earlier version of Windows, you may have stumbled upon the System Restore feature. Windows 8.1 has full support for System Restore and restore points; it just hides all the pieces from [more…]

Rolling Back to a Restore Point in Windows 8.1

If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, the next time you think about running Refresh in Windows 8.1, see whether you can roll your PC back to a previous restore point, manually, and get things [more…]

The Windows 8.1 Recovery Environment

In Windows 8.1, the Windows Recovery Environment has become a very sophisticated, almost eerily intelligent fix-everything program that works very well. Except, of course, when it doesn’t. [more…]

Optimizing Google Chrome for Windows 8.1

Google Chrome on the Windows 8.1 desktop has several advantages over Internet Explorer and Firefox. Foremost among them: built-in Flash, Java, and PDF support, which greatly reduces the chances of getting [more…]

Pinning Windows Media Player to the Windows 8.1 Start Menu or Taskbar

The first problem you’re likely to have with Windows Media Player in Windows 8.1? Finding it! There's a long list of applications that are built into Windows 8.1 but are hard to find. Windows Media Player [more…]

How to Touch Up Pictures in Windows 8.1 Photo Gallery

Windows 8.1 Photo Gallery offers a small set of the most-used, photo touch-up tools, specifically designed to be easy to use and not particularly intimidating — or powerful. You may find them useful, especially [more…]

How to Open the Windows 8.1 Weather and Travel Apps

The Windows 8.1 Start screen is home to numerous programs, or apps (short for applications). An app performs a function or displays information. For example, the Weather app displays a local weather report [more…]

How to Use the App Switcher in Windows 8.1

The app switcher in Windows 8.1 lets you save some time and effort by switching directly between open apps (without going to the Start screen). [more…]

Snap Two (or More) Windows 8.1 Apps to Display Them

An open Windows 8.1 app typically fills the entire screen, hiding everything else. However, some apps can be displayed side-by-side with a function called [more…]

How to Add Locations to the Windows 8.1 Weather App

The Windows 8.1 Weather app not only provides your local forecast, but enables you to keep track of the weather in other locations. Want to know whether your grandchild is camping in the rain? Add the [more…]

How to Change Windows 8.1 App Settings

You can customize most of the Windows 8.1 apps to suit your needs. In this example, you'll be changing the settings of the Weather app, but the same basic steps apply to any app. [more…]

How to Search for a Windows 8.1 Desktop App

In Windows 8.1 you can search for apps and more than apps, including settings and files. To use Search in any app, display the charms bar and select the Search charm. For example, search for a city in [more…]

How to Display All Windows 8.1 Apps

The Start screen displays only some of the apps available in Windows 8.1. To see all the apps available in Windows 8.1, follow these steps: [more…]

How to Arrange and Group Apps on the Windows 8.1 Start Screen

You can rearrange tiles on the Windows 8.1 Start screen by dragging them to different places. To keep your desktop organized, you also can arrange them into groups, which you can name according to their [more…]

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