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How to disable or enable Windows Defender in Windows 8.1

Windows Defender is an antivirus software which provides 'baseline protection' according to Microsoft and ships with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Since Windows 8, Windows Defender is the same application as Microsoft Security Essentials, which exists as a separate download for Windows 7, Vista and XP.

While Windows Defender provides very baseline protection, it slows down your PC considerably. I have done benchmarks with it enabled and then disabled and concluded that the filter driver it installs on the system slows down disk I/O noticeably. Every time, I download some small file from the Internet, it also makes my browser hang. If you are not happy with Windows Defender and would like to turn it off, follow this simple tutorial.

Create a shortcut to open Visual options of Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1, Microsoft has implemented the Modern Control Panel, which allows you to control your tablet with the a touch screen device in a handy way. It is touch friendly and includes many classic options. Those options are located inside the PC Settings application.
Using Visual options you can turn off notifications and animations, turn off the window background and adjust the thickness of the text cursor. Windows 8.1 allows you to create a shortcut to open Visual options with one click. Let's see how it can be done!

How to disable Windows SmartScreen in Windows 8.1

The SmartScreen filter is a technology which was initially designed for Internet Explorer to protect users from malicious websites and web applications. It was integrated with IE8 and IE9 (as the successor to IE7's Phishing filter). These days, it is a part of the Windows operating system starting with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. The OS implementation exists along with SmartScreen for IE.

Do you know all these ways to open Control Panel in Windows 8.1

Control Panel is a special virtual folder of the Windows operating system ever since Windows 95 which provides access to most settings in Windows. There, you can change the appearance of your Desktop,  the functionality of hardware and many-many other things. If you are new to Windows 8.1, you might be interested in learning how to open the Control Panel. There are many different ways available to open it, let's discover them all.

How to create a shortcut to open Region and language settings in Windows 8.1

Region and language settings in Windows 8.1 is a very simplified version of the powerful "Language" applet of the classic Control panel. It is located inside the PC Settings application and allows you to only change your current location, region and add or remove the language. However, unlike the classic Language applet, the Modern settings are touch friendly, which is their main benefit for tablet users. In Windows 8.1, you are able to create a shortcut to open those settings directly with one click.

Winaero Giveaway: free PDF Converter Elite 3 licenses for our readers!

It's time again for one of Winaero's giveaways where you can win a license to quality commercial apps. We are happy to announce that the developer of the awesome software, PDF Converter Elite 3, which we reviewed recently at Winaero, has offered to give away five free licenses for our readers.

Read the rest of this post to learn how to get one of free licenses of PDF Converter Elite 3.

A hidden way to open the command prompt from Task Manager

Earlier, I have covered several ways to open an elevated command prompt in Windows. Today, we will use a hidden, undocumented feature of Task Manager, which allows you to open an elevated command prompt right from the Task Manager application.

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