Windows 8 Hacks

Windows 8 Hacks

by Preston Gralla


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Windows 8 is quite different than previous Microsoft operating systems, but it’s still eminently hackable. With this book, you’ll learn how to make a variety of modifications, from speeding up boot time and disabling the Lock screen to hacking native apps and running Windows 8 on a Mac. And that’s just the beginning. You’ll find more than 100 standalone hacks on performance, multimedia, networking, the cloud, security, email, hardware, and more. Not only will you learn how to use each hack, you’ll also discover why it works.

  • Add folders and other objects to the Start screen
  • Run other Windows versions inside Windows 8
  • Juice up performance and track down bottlenecks
  • Use the SkyDrive cloud service to sync your files everywhere
  • Speed up web browsing and use other PCs on your home network
  • Secure portable storage and set up a virtual private network
  • Hack Windows 8 Mail and services such as Outlook
  • Combine storage from different devices into one big virtual disk
  • Take control of Window 8 setting with the Registry

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781449325756
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/19/2012
Pages: 424
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Preston Gralla is the author of more than 40 books that have been translated into 20 languages, including Galaxy S 5 The Missing Manual, Windows 8 Hacks, NOOK HD: The Missing Manual, Galaxy Tab: The Missing Manual, The Big Book of Windows Hacks, How the Internet Works, and How Wireless Works. He is a contributing editor to Computerworld, a blogger for ITWorld, and was a founding editor and then editorial director of PC/Computing, executive editor for CNet/ZDNet, and the founding managing editor of PC Week.He has written about technology for many national newspapers and magazines, including USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News (for whom he wrote a technology column), PC World, and numerous others. As a widely recognized technology expert, he has made many television and radio appearances, including on the CBS Early Show, MSNBC, ABC World News Now, and National Public Radio. Under his editorship, PC/Computing was a finalist for General Excellence in the National Magazine Awards. He has also won the “Best Feature in a Computing Publication” award from the Computer Press Association.Gralla is also the recipient of a Fiction Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife (his two children have flown the coop). He welcomes feedback about his books by email at

Table of Contents

How to Use This Book;
How This Book Is Organized;
Conventions Used in This Book;
Using Code Examples;
Safari® Books Online;
How to Contact Us;
Chapter 1: Setup and Startup Hacks;
1.1 Disable Windows 8’s Lock Screen;
1.2 Hack Your Way Through the Lock Screen;
1.3 Speed Up Boot Time;
1.4 Speed Up Startup by Halting Startup Programs and Services;
1.5 Reset and Refresh Your PC Instead of Doing a Complete Reinstall;
1.6 Installing and Running Windows 8 on a Mac;
1.7 Use Hyper-V to Install and Run Other Operating Systems Inside Windows 8;
Chapter 2: Hacking the Start Screen, the Windows 8 Interface, and Apps;
2.1 Create an Application Folder for Quick Launches on the Start Screen and the Desktop;
2.2 Put a Tile to Computer on the Start Screen;
2.3 Force Desktop Apps to Show up on the Start Screen;
2.4 Hack the Windows 8 All Apps Screen;
2.5 Add Folders and Other Objects to the Start Screen;
2.6 Run Windows 8 Native Apps Side by Side;
2.7 Hack Your Way Through the Start Screen;
2.8 Access Windows 8’s Power Search Tools;
2.9 Use the Task Manager to Track App Use;
2.10 Use Your Own Graphic for Your User Account;
Chapter 3: Hacking the Desktop;
3.1 Bring Back the Windows Start Menu to Windows 8;
3.2 Use the Built-In Mini Start Menu;
3.3 Bring the Quick Launch Toolbar Back to the Desktop;
3.4 Hack a Quick-and-Dirty Start Menu for the Desktop;
3.5 Turn on Windows “God Mode” on the Desktop;
3.6 Run the Desktop and Window 8 Native Apps Side by Side;
3.7 Put Helpful Navigation Icons on the Desktop;
3.8 Make the Desktop More Tablet-Friendly;
3.9 Hack the Notification Area Using the Registry Editor;
3.10 Change Folders in the Open Dialog Box;
3.11 Control the Control Panel;
3.12 Hack the Taskbar;
3.13 A Power User’s Hidden Weapon: Improve File Explorer’s Context Menu;
3.14 Open an Administrator Command Prompt Anywhere in File Explorer;
3.15 Hack Your Way Through File Explorer;
Chapter 4: Productivity and System Performance Hacks;
4.1 Three Quick System and Performance Hacks;
4.2 Troubleshoot Performance Issues Using the Resource Monitor;
4.3 Track Performance and Reliability with the Reliability Monitor;
4.4 Peer Deep into Your System with the Performance Monitor;
4.5 Speed Up System Performance with the Task Manager;
4.6 Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts;
4.7 Using Windows 8 Gestures;
4.8 Use File History to Recover Your Files;
4.9 Troubleshoot with the Action Center;
4.10 Track Down Windows 8 System Woes;
4.11 Save Money: Use These Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office;
Chapter 5: Cloud and Social Networking Hacks;
5.1 Use SkyDrive to Sync Your Files Everywhere;
5.2 Make SkyDrive Play Nice with Other Windows Folders;
5.3 Recover Deleted Files on SkyDrive;
5.4 More SkyDrive Hacks;
5.5 Using Other Syncing Services;
5.6 Configure Windows 8 Syncing;
5.7 Create a Non-Syncing Windows 8 Account;
5.8 Power Hacks for Windows 8 Syncing;
5.9 Mastering the People App;
5.10 Share and Share Alike in Windows 8;
5.11 Other Social Networking Apps;
Chapter 6: Music, Media, and Video;
6.1 Open Graphic Files In Photo Viewer Instead of the Windows 8 Native Photos App;
6.2 Add Facebook and Flickr to Your Windows 8 Photo Collection;
6.3 Hacking Through the Photos App;
6.4 Add Folder Locations to Photo and Video Libraries;
6.5 Improve DVD and TV Watching in Windows 8;
6.6 Using Windows 8 with Your Xbox 360;
6.7 Power Up Windows 8 with a Free Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, and More;
6.8 Organize Your Photos with Metadata;
6.9 Use RAW Photos in Windows Photo Gallery;
6.10 Get a Free Copy of Windows Media Center;
6.11 Play it Loud!;
6.12 Convert Vinyl and Tapes to MP3s;
Chapter 7: Networking, the Web, Wireless, and the Internet;
7.1 Make the Desktop Version of Internet Explorer the Default Rather than the Windows 8 Native Version;
7.2 Change Your Default Native Windows 8 Browser to Chrome;
7.3 Make Windows 8 Play Nice with Your Home Network;
7.4 Hack DNS to Speed up Web Browsing;
7.5 Control Another PC with Remote Desktop;
7.6 Hack Windows 8 Wi-Fi, Wireless, and Network Settings;
7.7 Use Task Manager to Track Bandwidth Use of Individual Apps and Overall Network Use;
7.8 Map a Network Drive or Network Location;
7.9 Troubleshoot Network Connections with ping, tracert, and pathping;
7.10 Troubleshoot Network Connections with netstat and ipconfig;
7.11 Troubleshoot Wireless Interference Woes, and Extend Your Range;
Chapter 8: Security;
8.1 Keep Portable Storage Secure with BitLocker to Go;
8.2 Hide Folders and Files with the Encrypting File System;
8.3 Tell Windows 8 Apps Not to Snoop on Your Location;
8.4 Turn off the Windows 8 SmartScreen Filter;
8.5 Protect Yourself with a Windows 8 Picture Password;
8.6 Create a Windows 8 Recovery Tool;
8.7 Hack Windows 8’s User Account Control;
8.8 Unlock Windows 8’s Super-Secret Administrator Account;
8.9 Punch an Escape Hole Through the Windows 8 Firewall;
8.10 Track Firewall Activity with a Windows 8 Firewall Log;
8.11 Protect Your Privacy by Removing Windows 8 Metadata;
8.12 Impersonate Another Computer on the Network;
8.13 Protect Your Home Wi-Fi Network;
Chapter 9: Email;
9.1 Trick the Windows 8 Mail App into Using POP Mail;
9.2 Use Different Live Tiles For Different Email Accounts;
9.3 Hack Your Way Through your Windows 8 Mail Accounts;
9.4 Understanding Windows Mail and Metered Networks;
9.5 Send Large File Attachments in Windows 8 Mail and Using SkyDrive;
9.6 Import Gmail Mail and Mail from other Web-Based Mail into;
9.7 Configure for Windows Phone, Android Devices, and iPhones and iPads;
9.8 Switch Fast Between Accounts;
9.9 Turn Into a Universal Inbox;
9.10 Great Freebies for Turbocharging Gmail;
9.11 Turn Gmail into a Universal Inbox;
9.12 Use Gmail as a POP3 Server;
9.13 Stay Off Spam Lists;
9.14 Prevent Your Newsletter from Being Blocked as Spam;
9.15 Block International Spam in Outlook;
9.16 Open Blocked File Attachments in Outlook;
9.17 Instantly Compress Files You Send via Outlook;
9.18 Sync Calendar and Contacts Between Google and Outlook;
Chapter 10: Hardware;
10.1 To Infinity and Beyond with Windows 8 Storage Spaces;
10.2 Hack Windows 8’s Power Plan;
10.3 Two Screens Are Better than One;
10.4 Find Drivers for Windows 8 Fast;
10.5 Troubleshoot Hardware with Device Manager;
10.6 Get a Complete History of Troublesome Hardware;
10.7 Uncover Hidden Hardware with the Device Manager;
10.8 Get a Comprehensive List of All Your Drivers;
Chapter 11: The Registry and Group Policy Editor;
11.1 Don’t Fear the Registry;
11.2 Hack Away at the Registry;
11.3 Safely Edit the Registry Using .reg Files;
11.4 Better Registry Backups;
11.5 Hack Away at Windows with the Group Policy Editor;

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Windows 8 Hacks 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Windows 8 Hacks Preston Gralia Published by O’Reilly The word “ Hack” immediately brings to mind the art of maliciously breaking in to computers and networks and changing files, codes and applications. This book is not about that, although many of the “Tips and Tricks” give us information about making changes that can simplify and enable better ways of using the Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft has hidden many of the files that are used to change appearance and customization in this new OS, but Windows 8 Hacks shows the way to quickly find them. It not only does that. It is a veritable manual that can help a novice learn how to navigate the important fields in computing such as the cloud, email, networking and performance. It helps an experienced user tinker with the registry, polish the syncing of files, or work with virtual machines. The steps are presented in few words, not the hundreds of pages usually found in a manual. The tips on modifying some of Windows 8 clunky ways of accessing startup adjustments, security and system tools can save a lot of time and aggravation. The Table of Contents is a gem, listing eleven chapters of categories from Startup to Registry, each with a dozen or so topics. We can easily find the exact solution to a problem or method to make a change. The format is great, brief and clear instructions walk us through the steps and the many illustrations show us what the results should look like. As we follow the steps, we immediately see if we are getting the correct results. It is like having an expert sitting next to us, giving us step by step instructions Preston Gralia has given us a valuable set of tools to confidently make changes to our computers that correct problems, make them faster and more efficient or just do more. Review by JoeK January 2, 2013