Category Archives: Articles

How to turn off a PC that has stopped responding or hanged

How to turn off a PC that has stopped responding or hanged

Sometimes your PC hangs completely and you are not able to even turn it off. Whatever may be the reason - some malfunctioning software, defective hardware problem, overheating or buggy device drivers, it can be pretty intimidating if your PC just hangs and you don't know how to recover. On desktop PC cases, there is the Reset button to restart but if you do not have the reset button (a very common situation for most modern mobile PCs, tablets and laptops), you may wonder how to get a PC that has stopped responding working again. What do you have to do in this case?

How to determine if you are running 32-bit Windows or 64-bit

How to determine if you are running 32-bit Windows or 64-bit

Almost all of my latest Winaero apps have separate builds for 32-bit  and 64-bit Windows. There are several reasons to provide separate 32-bit and 64-bit builds but it's mainly due to Windows compatibility - many times a 32-bit app does not work correctly in 64-bit Windows.

Sometimes, users of my apps get confused which version they should use, because they can't tell if they are running 32-bit Windows or 64-bit. Actually, it is very easy to detect.

How to remove the Start button in Windows 8.1

Microsoft has released Windows 8.1 to MSDN and Technet subscribers, and I decided to give a try to this shiny new OS from Redmond. In a nutshell: Windows 8.1 improves the Windows 8 operating system on the tablet side, but I did not find significant changes on the "Desktop" side.
After the release of Windows 8.1, I found its Start button useless. Seriously, there are no issues for me if that button is not shown on the taskbar. Sure, I miss the good, old Start menu. The Start screen still cannot replace that menu for me, there is no doubt about that... Just one button can't restore the classic UX. So I decided to restore the behavior of Windows 8, with blackjack and hookers, and free some taskbar space by removing the Start button.


Speed up your Windows startup with these tricks

Speed up your Windows startup with these tricks

Do you know that you can speed up Windows startup without using third-party tools? Today, we are going to share with you several tricks which will allow you to reduce the startup time and make your Windows boot faster. Some of them are quite simple, and some of them might be new for you.

How to unlock the hidden display off timeout for the Lock screen in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

The Lock screen, new to Windows 8, is a fancy feature which allows you to display an image while your PC/tablet is locked and displays other useful information.

Lock Screen

However, when the PC is locked, the normal display off timeout value has no effect on it and you cannot specify the timeout value after which the screen will turn off while you are on the Lock screen. Turns out, there is a hidden registry setting for this and enabling it even turns it on in the Power Options  control panel GUI - the same window where you specify other power related timeouts. Let me show you how.

Unlock the hidden Lock Screen Slideshow (Picture Frame) feature in Windows 8.1 aka ‘Blue’

There are lots of secrets in the recently leaked Windows Blue build (the upcoming Windows 8.1 update). We already discovered new shell commands and shell locations, covered the new Modern File Manager and the new Bing-powered Search pane. Today, we are going to share few registry tweaks which will allow you to customize the brand new Lock Screen feature - called Picture Frame. Windows Blue allows you to turn your PC/tablet into a picture frame. This feature will swap a set of images from the folder you specify via the "PC Settings" applet.

Picture Frame Settings

When Picture Frame is enabled, it looks as follows:

Picture Frame member Ultrawindows has discovered some hidden registry tweaks which will allow you to customize the "Picture Frame" feature behavior.

How to change a Windows theme from the command prompt

Many people, including my friends, often ask me how to change a Windows theme from the command prompt without opening the Explorer window. They want to apply the custom theme they have installed from the command line. Unfortunately, Windows does not provide any native or user-friendly way to change the current theme and apply *.theme file silently. Today, I would like to provide you with an easy-to-use solution - our brand new release: Winaero Theme Switcher. Winaero Theme Switcher

How to prevent Windows 8 from auto pinning apps to the Start screen

If you have been using Windows 8, you would definitely have noticed that it automatically pins every application shortcut to the Start screen. This is highly unwanted behavior because your Start screen will become cluttered very quickly. Today I would like to share with you a simple and useful trick which will give you a clean and well organized Start screen. Continue if you are interested.

How to remove Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos and Downloads folders from the Computer folder in Windows 8.1

Update: This manual method is no longer needed if you are not comfortable fiddling with the Registry. Use our easy to use tool, This PC Tweaker to hide and show the folders you want.

In Windows 8.1, there are some additional folders that show in the Computer folder. In case you don't like them showing in Computer or don't need them, follow this simple tutorial to learn how to remove them.

  1. Open regedit.exe (See our Windows Registry Editor fundamentals)
  2. Navigate to
  3. Delete the following sub-keys:
    {1CF1260C-4DD0-4ebb-811F-33C572699FDE} (Music)
    {3ADD1653-EB32-4cb0-BBD7-DFA0ABB5ACCA} (Pictures)
    {A0953C92-50DC-43bf-BE83-3742FED03C9C} (Videos)
    {A8CDFF1C-4878-43be-B5FD-F8091C1C60D0} (Documents)
    {374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B} (Downloads)






How to enable the new Bing Search panel in Windows 8.1 (aka ‘Blue’)

Update: This trick is no longer needed for Windows 8.1 RTM where the Bing-powered search pane is already on by default.

Windows Blue comes with a new Bing-powered search pane for the Start screen. Although it is disabled by default, it is easy to enable  it.

  • Open registry editor and navigate to the following key:

    Tip:  See our Windows Registry Editor fundamentals

  • Create here a new DWORD value, name it NewSearchPane and set it to 1.
  • Sign out and sign in back, and you will get the following search pane:

Bing Search Pane

Via h0x0d's twitter

Thanks to my friend Nick for pointing me to this.