Windows 8 tools for setting up and looking after your PC

Tools for setting up and looking after your PC


Once hidden within the depths of msconfig, the Startup tab now lives in the new Task Manager. It still has the same level of functionality as before, enabling you to customise which programs load on boot, but it’s now much easier to access. You also travel directly to the file location to see a rundown of the impact it has on your boot

– Performance

This is another example of the improvements Microsoft has made to the Task Manager. Previously you only got a graph of CPU usage, with a little extra detail about memory. Now there’s information about everything from processor speed to the read and write speeds of your drives. This will give you a great idea of how your machine is performing.

– System information

If you don’t necessarily want to know how your machine is performing, but are looking for the details of your PC’s components (from a software or hardware perspective), the System Information screen is perfect. It will give you the full lowdown on every facet of your machine, from the drivers for your mouse to the layout of your drive partitions.

Windows Firewall

Nothing has really changed with the latest iteration of Windows Firewall and Advanced Security. It’s still the place to go to fully customise your firewall settings, whether you want to import new exception policies or diagnose any kind of network/security problems. It also enables you to monitor how your current network connection is configured

Boot into Safe Mode

Boot times in Windows 8 have improved, but with an SSD installed as a boot drive it can be tricky to boot into Safe Mode. Luckily, you can access it via Advanced Boot Options, which is accessible through the extra settings on the Charms bar. If you hit ‘Advanced Startup’ under the General tab, the PC will restart into Windows 8’s debug mode.

Reset Windows 8

Your PC now has a function similar to the factory reset option on your smartphone. Again it’s under the PC settings screen on the Charms bar. It gives you two options – you can either refresh the PC without losing any of your personal files (like photos and music), or you can perform a total system reset, which will revert your PC back to its original state