There is good news for all Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 users. The November 2014 update rollup is out and available for download. This update rollup is a big package and brings some improvements to Windows 8.1 besides resolving a number of issues. It also includes all previously released updates since the last major update in April 2014. Let's see what the change log includes for this update rollup.
With Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced the Games folder which was a special location to manage your installed games. This folder also offers game updates, statistics, rating information, RSS feeds, and more. It acts like a central repository for all recognized games you have on your PC. However, in Windows 8.1, although this folder still works, it is hidden from the end user. In this article, we will see how to bring it back and pin the Games icon to the taskbar or the Start screen.
Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 come with a secret hidden folder which contains all installed apps including Modern apps along with classic desktop app shortcuts. It provides a fast way to open Modern apps from the Desktop environment, however, it has no shortcut to launch it, only a special shell command. Let's see how to create a shortcut to that folder to open it directly and pin it to the Start screen or to the taskbar.
Windows 8.1 shows you a list of all user accounts available on your PC on the logon screen. You can click the user avatar, enter the password if it is necessary, and login using the provided credentials. Did you know that it is possible to hide a specific user from this list, so the account becomes hidden. Nobody will be able to see that you have such a user account. This can be done with a simple registry tweak, which I will cover in this article.
The Favorites folder in File Explorer is a very useful way to visit your favorite hard drive locations quickly with one click. It is a folder located at the top of the Navigation Pane of the File Explorer window. The user is able to add folders to Favorites by dragging the select folders to the Favorites icon or clicking the 'Add current location to Favorites' context menu item of the Favorites icon in the Navigation Pane. Here is how you can pin the Favorites folder to the taskbar or the Start screen in Windows 8.1.
Switch between windows is a special button which can open the same dialog as you see when you press the Alt + Tab shortcut keys together on the keyboard. Using that dialog you can quickly preview all of your open windows (for example, open files, folders, and documents) without having to click the taskbar. It displays your open windows in a table. To switch between windows, you can press Alt + Tab the required amount of times. In Windows 7 and above, the Switch between windows button is gone with the Quick Launch toolbar. It is possible to get that button back again. Here is how.
In Windows, the Run command is used to start various documents and applications quickly. Using the Run command is a quick way to open programs, files, folders, and - when you are connected to the Internet - websites. Even some built-in tools like Registry Editor can be executed only via the Run command as they do not have a shortcut in the Start menu or on the Start screen. In Windows 8, Microsoft has removed the Start menu, where the Run command was located in previous versions of Windows. If you are using the Run command very often, you might be interested in pinning it to the Start screen or to the taskbar for easy access. Here is how you can do it.
Windows 8 comes with three useful features to help you to manage and arrange opened windows. These features are Aero Snap, Aero Peek and Aero Shake, all of them were available since Windows 7. The Snap feature, which is present in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 as well, allows you to work on two programs side-by-side by showing two windows side-by-side on the same screen. Today, I would like to cover Aero Peek. This feature allows users to quickly view the desktop by moving the mouse pointer to the bottom right corner of the taskbar. It is really useful if you need to view your desktop without minimizing all open applications. In Windows 8, this feature is disabled by default, so we will look, how to enable it back.
Program Files is the one of most important directories in Windows. Usually it is located on the system drive and serves as the default installation location for all software. It is recommended by Microsoft to use this folder to store installed apps. In more recent versions of Windows, the Program Files folder is protected by special file system access rights so only administrators with elevated permissions can write to it when UAC is on. The default path to this folder is C:\Program Files. 64-bit versions of Windows additionally have the C:\Program Files (x86) folder which is used to store 32-bit programs. In this article, we will see how to change the location of the Program Files default installation directory used by app installers.
When some application in Windows, which is not running from the tray, requires some action from you, or wishes to notify you, its taskbar button flashes (turns orange) to seek your attention. A good example of such apps are instant messengers such as Yahoo! Messenger or the open-source Miranda IM. Any application which is not focused (opened in the background) but requires your attention will flash its button. By default, the taskbar button for such an app flashes 7 times in Windows 7 and Windows 8. Here is how to change this value to reduce the number of times it flashes or make it flash until you click on it.