When Windows 8 was released, it was immediately obvious that a drastic change was upon us. Windows 8.1 has changed things even more, but does ease some of the issues that users disliked about Windows 8.0. The Windows 8.1 update is free for those with Windows 8.0.
Here are some of the more significant changes to be found:
1. It’s less awkward for desktop fans than Windows 8. The good news is that the Start button is back! It’s not exactly the same Start button we all love, but it’s a good start. It’s also relatively easy to get your system to boot to the desktop instead of the tiles than many users dislike. This can be done from the desktop. Right-click on the taskbar -> Properties -> Navigations and check the box that states “Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in”
2. Apps can be organized into groups and the groups can be named. It’s much easier to stay organized. You could group all your apps together by certain task and keep your work more organized. No more hunting around for apps.
3. The tiles can be resized. Windows 8 had two options: large and small. There are a few more choices now. It’s a little easier to customize and organize your workspace.
4. Bing is integrated into Windows 8.1. This might be a great thing, if you love Bing. This can be disabled from the Settings app.
5. Hot corners can be altered. Windows 8 required a third-party solution to turn off or change those pesky corners. However, Windows 8.1 includes the option to disable these corners. From the Charms menu -> Change PC Settings -> PC & Devices -> Corners and Edges. If you like to operate out of the desktop mode, disabling the corners can save a lot of frustration.
6. Default apps can be set from the Charms menu. Simply click on the lower right corner of the screen and go to Settings->Change PC Options->Search & Apps->Defaults. Defaults can be set for email client, music player, photo viewer, web browser, etc. While it was possible to set defaults before, now it can be accomplished in one location.
7. Your apps can automatically update. It baffles the mind why this wasn’t included in Windows 8. Automatic updating is the default setting.
8. There are privacy options associated with the Apps. It’s possible to set controls that limit the data that is used by the Apps. It’s possible to prevent you name, account information, picture, etc., from being accessed.
9. Libraries are hidden in File Explorer. This isn’t an issue if you don’t use or care for the library concept. If you use libraries to organize your files, it might be helpful to be able to find them. Open file explorer -> View -> Options -> Folder Options -> General -> click the “show libraries” box.
Microsoft has made the effort to respond the various criticisms that were generated by Windows 8.0. There is a lot that can be done with Microsoft’s latest operating system. Take the time to realize its full potential.