How to change the default Program Files installation directory location in Windows 8 and Windows 7

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.

Set how many times a window flashes on the taskbar to notify you in Windows 8 and Windows 7

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.

How to move Gadgets in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 without snapping them to a grid

In Windows 7, when you try to move desktop gadgets to re-arrange them, they snap relative to each other's position or to the screen edge. Windows arranges them automatically to align them to a grid. However, if you have some Gadgets which have a plenty of empty space in between and you want pixel-perfect accuracy to position them, here is a simple trick which you can use to override the snapping behavior. You will then be able to place any Gadget exactly where you want, even close to each other.

How to disable the Aero Snap feature in Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7

Since Windows 7, the operating system allows you to control the size and positioning of open windows better by dragging them to the edge of the screen. If you drag a window using its title bar to the top edge of the screen, it will be maximized. With the mouse pointer touching the left or right edges of the screen when dragging a window, it will be snapped to the left or right side of the screen respectively. However, this can trigger accidental resizing or repositioning of the window. If you don't like this snapping feature of the window manager, you might want to disable it completely.

How to add Pin to Start Menu command for folders in Windows 7

I would like to share with you one of my favorite tweaks for Windows 7 which allows you to pin any folder to the Start Menu without using third party tools. Windows 7 already has all necessary features, however, this option is just not activated, because of which the Pin to Start Menu item in the right click menu is not shown in Explorer. Let's see how to activate this option and make the Pin to Start Menu command available for folders as well.

How to reset the account password in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 without using third party tools

If you forgot the password for your Windows account and are unable to log in using any other account, then this article will definitely be useful for you. Today, we will see how to reset the account password in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 without using third party tools. All we need is bootable media with Windows Setup. The instructions are applicable to all mentioned versions of Windows. Also, you can reset Windows 7 password using Windows 8 boot disk and vice versa. Follow the instructions below.

Add or remove buttons from the Windows 7 toolbar with Explorer Toolbar Editor

The Explorer app in Windows 7 comes with a toolbar which includes various command buttons for fast access to common tasks. It is not possible to customize it. Windows 7 does not include any option to change the set of buttons on the toolbar. I am happy to introduce my freeware, Explorer Toolbar Editor, which allows you to add more buttons to the toolbar, or remove them easily.

How to install an MUI language CAB file in Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7

Recently we collected and posted here a bunch of direct links to various MUI language packs for Windows 8.1, Windows 8 RTM and Windows 7. It is useful for users who need to install them on multiple PCs. They will save their Internet bandwidth and time by not downloading them again on each PC. Instead, they can save the offline package and use it for future installs. In this article, we shall see how to install these downloaded language packs.

How to see names and values of environment variables in Windows 8 and Windows 7

Environment variables in an operating system are values that contain information about the system environment, and the currently logged in user. They existed in OSes before Windows as well, such as MS-DOS. Applications or services can use the information defined by environment variables to determine various things about the OS, for example, to detect the number of processes, the currently logged in user's name, the folder path to the current user's profile or the temporary files directory. In this article, we will see how to view environment variables defined on your system and their values for the current user, for specific processes and the system variables.

Switch from IDE to AHCI after installing Windows 7 or Windows 8

Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) is a technical standard defined by Intel that specifies the operation of Serial ATA (SATA) disk controllers. When it is supported by your operating system and PC hardware, you will get the benefits of features such as native command queuing and hot swapping. For an older OS like Windows XP which does not support AHCI mode out of the box, without OEM-supplied drivers, it is possible to turn on the legacy (IDE) mode in the BIOS to get it to install properly. If your installed your Windows 7 or Windows 8 accidentally in the legacy IDE mode, and want to switch to the AHCI mode, Windows will not boot after you switch from IDE to AHCI in the BIOS. Here is how to fix it.

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