Sunday, 26 May 2013

Simplify Windows 8

The windows 8 metro interface is fresh looking, like that of the new windows phones, but lacks appeal to some users, myself included. The main reason is the removal of the desktop as the default screen, and instead, the "tiled window" or lock screen with  live tiles, programs and utilities. All windows users are used to the desktop as the first screen to show up for many years, and the sudden change had a negative impact to the users as reflected in the lower PC and laptop sales with the new operating system.

Those who has it already has to live with it, that they need to make extra clicks to get into the desktop. And once at the desktop they need to hit the windows key to go back to the tiled window to fetch which program they want to execute for their task! Personally, this is annoying.

Put important files at the desktop

The solution for this impractical situation is to make those programs and utilities accessible at the desktop. One very simple way is to put the icons of the most accessed programs of the computer, like the control panel,  my computer , network and user's file in one folder.

To do this, right click the desktop and click personalisation, change desktop icons and tick the items you want to show in the desktop Then click apply. Now, you do not have to fiddle your menu to see your drive, adjust computer settings through the control panel or access your files as they are already in the desktop.

This is still not enough as you will still be looking for programs you want to use. Pinning your favourite programs into the taskbar is an easy solution.

Mimic a start button

To those who are used to the old interface, they can make their lives easier by making a shortcut to the programs folder by clicking windows explorer (the folder icon between  IE and Chrome in the picture below), click windows(1), right click program files(x86) (2), then click create shortcut(3).

You can change the icon of  the folder to make it more like a start button. You can use this start button that I've downloaded.  You just need to convert it as an icon before you can use it. To convert it into icon and change the icon of the start folder, please see my post at

Right click and
save picture as..
For better effect, rename the folder as start.

Now you have all the programs in one click at the start icon at the desktop.

Put the manually made icon at the toolbar

Another trick is to put the desktop icon at the bottom toolbar. This will automatically include the manually made start icon.

Right click an empty space at the toolbar(1), then toolbar(2) and click desktop.

The desktop components will appear at the right side of the bottom toolbar. Drag the separator all the way to the left, then  right click an empty space(1) then untick (2) show text and show title.

Then just drag the start button at the first slot to the left! Though the icons are quite tiny, they make life easier !

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