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Seven Hidden Tips & Tricks in Windows 8

Just upgraded to Windows 8? Nice! Here’s some cool features you may not know about. Most of these tips aren’t known to many Windows 8 users, and they’ll be extremely useful for maximizing the efficiency at your fingertips when using your computer — while this may lead to you being called a power user, some of these are just plain useful, no matter how often you use your computer!

God Mode

Don’t like pawing through Control Panel? Assuming you already know what in Control Panel you’re looking for, you may want to use this nifty little feature. Here’s how ya do it: Go to your desktop, right click, click Create new Folder, and name it GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}. You can replace “GodMode” with another name, but that’s the name this hidden feature gained on the Internet — it displays a list of all Control Panel options on the same screen, so you can find what you’re looking for with a single click! Once created, the God Mode folder will remain on your desktop.

Seven Hidden Features of Windows 8
God Mode.

Quick Access Menu

This one’s easy. Right-click the bottom left corner of your screen, or press Windows Key + X, and you’ll get something that looks quite a bit like the classic Windows Start Menu — this only works in Desktop Mode, of course. While different from the classic Start Menu, it’s advised if you want quick access to lists of programs or utilities.

Seven Hidden Features of Windows 8
The Quick Access Menu.

Snipping Tool

Returning from Windows Vista and 7, this tool allows you to save a section of your screen. Open your Start Screen, search for Snipping Tool, and viola — you have an instant snapshot tool! Pin it to your taskbar for quick usage — it allows you to highlight a part of your screen and take a quick snapshot of it, which you can save to any part of your computer you want.

Instant Screenshot

Press Windows Key + Print Screen to take an instant, full screenshot! In previous versions of Windows, you had to press Print Screen and then paste into Paint — no more! Every snapshot is saved to a folder in your Pictures library in Windows Explorer, which can be opened by a simple key combination of Windows Key + E.

Aero Snap/Shake

While Aero Glass and Aero Flip have been phased out, you can still snap windows side-by-side in Desktop Mode, and also grab a window’s bar and shake it to make every other window on the screen minimize! Aero Snap is done by either selecting your window and pressing Windows Key + Arrow, or dragging — snapping — your window to either half of your screen. Never forget that you can also use Alt + Tab to cycle through your open windows!

Change Search Settings

When searching using Windows 8, you may want to search through more than just your files. Open your Charms bar — Windows Key + C or dragging your mouse to the lower right corner of your screen — then click Search, then the arrow next to the Search bar. You can then choose what Windows searches through each time you start typing on the Start Screen!

App Groups

Tired to shuffling through Apps in the Metro interface? Simple — drag and drop them to an empty space on the screen,, and you can create App Groups! You can name and adjust the position of these App Groups are you please.

Using these features, you should find yourself navigating your way through Windows 8 faster than ever before. If you find a cool feature we didn’t mention here, be sure to mention it in the comments so that other people can use them, too!

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