Scroll To Top

Windows Basics

A collection of Windows tips and advice. Some tips do require certain versions of Windows.

Windows 10 Microsoft's latest operating system

Windows 10 makes a number of changes that improve the Windows operating system. However, a lot has change and on of the most important changes is happening in the back ground to the classic Control Panel. Microsoft used the control panel as an easy means to find Windows settings. This changed in Windows 8 and 8.1, but now with Windows 10 Microsoft eventually will finish off the control Panel. The new Settings is broken up and dispersed throughout the operating system. Making simple changes now requires one to hunt and search, or to make matters worse remove features that took years for Microsoft to implement are now gone or hidden.

Set your background image on multiple monitors

The ability to set your background image on multiple monitors was removed in Windows 10. However, it was merely hidden and is still accessible. In its place Microsoft implemented a sideshow style screen image changer. Which is fine if you like your images to change.

To select the images and make them static.
Copy and paste the link below into the field at the top of an open window. This can be any Window like This PC or File Explorer, just not a browser.
control /name Microsoft.Personalization /page pageWallpaper

Then right click on an image and select the monitor you would like the image to appear on.

Windows 8 desktop link

The windows 8 start menu that was very poorly received.

Microsoft removed the start button on the Taskbar with the release of Windows 8, and in doing so took away easy access to simple functions that most, if not all Windows users are familiar with and need access to in order to work with their computer. A simple way to get access to some important functions is to right click empty space on the taskbar when viewing the desktop and select Toolbars then Desktop. This will add a handy link on the taskbar next to the notifications area for hard to find functions such as Control Panel, Computer, and User account files under Windows 8. This works with other versions of Windows as well.

Bypass Windows 8.1 Start

If you have purchased a new computer running Windows 8 and have found the new tiled Start confusing your not alone. With Windows 8.1 it is possible to boot the computer directly to the desktop. To boot directly to the desktop right click empty space on the taskbar when viewing the desktop and select Properties. A dialog box will open, next select the Navigation tab at the top of the dialog box, and check the box When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start. This does not bring back the original start menu it merely boots to the desktop. Oddly the original start menu is still there Microsoft just doesn't want us to use it anymore. If the original start menu in required consider using one of the many free or paid programs that will let you boot directly to the desktop and bring the start menu back.

The dreaded and hated Windows 8 and 8.1 start menu.

Windows 8.1 upgrade

Windows 8 has received very unfavorable reviews. However, it is a good operating system that brings improvements to Windows 7. The interface is different, yet usable. Windows 8.1 brings some needed improvements to Windows 8. Be sure to upgrade for free via the Windows Store.

Backup files using Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1

Windows 7 comes with a built in file and system backup program called Backup and Restore. In Windows 8 it is called Windows 7 Backup and Restore, in Windows Vista it is part of the Backup and Restore Center. Backup and Restore is included in all, but the basic versions of Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. It is no longer included with Windows 8.1. For the most part it works well and gets the job done. However, it is very limited when it comes to options, such as when to backup and how to recover. For more information on running Backup and Restore please visit or data backup tips page.

Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 File History

Windows 7 & 8 include a backup program designed to backup your Microsoft User account called File History. Microsoft has disabled it by default, so it must be run manually the first time. File History can create a historical backup of all your files, meaning every change made to a file can be saved. File History does require a storage drive that is not the primary drive. There are many options and File History will automatically search and select an available drive for you. However, there is a limitation set by Microsoft on how much data can be backed up. Microsoft sets File History to the default of 5 percent of the hard drive selected. The maximum space allocatable is 20 percent, so even with a very large hard drive that is a significant restraint. Yet, some backup is better than none.

Use programs to ease PC maintenance

Windows can be set to perform general maintenance on itself with a few steps. However, there are numerous programs available for performing basic PC cleanup tasks that go beyond Windows. These programs cleanup important things like internet browsers and much more. Computers run better when basic maintenance is performed, and many programs are available from free to over priced on the internet and in stores.

Many anti-virus programs are also including clean up and maintenance tools. These clean up tools are usually enabled by default, so in many cases PC maintenance could be getting done with no user interaction.