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If you consider yourself to be an experienced Windows user, then you probably already know about the benefits of defragmenting your hard drive and running the Disk cleanup tool. But today, we’re going to show you a few Windows 8 tips that you might not know about.
Here are three secret Windows 8 features that will help you squeeze a little more performance out of your system while making Windows 8 easier to use:
1) Use Aero Lite to speed up your PC
If you used Windows 7, then you may have turned on something called Aero Lite to improve performance. Aero Lite was – as the name suggests – the less-intensive version of the Aero user interface. Aero Lite is available in Windows 8 as well, but for some strange reason, it’s completely hidden from users.
Turning on Aero Lite in Windows 8 will result in faster performance – especially if you’re running Windows 8 on an older machine. To turn on Aero Lite, open Windows Explorer and visit this folder:
In that folder, you’ll see a file called aerolite. Ignore that file for now and head back to the parent folder, \Resources\Themes. Copy the file called aero.theme to the desktop and then open it using Notepad.
Five lines down, you’ll notice a line that says DisplayName. Change that line to: DisplayName=Aero Lite then save the file and call it whatever you want. Just make sure you keep the .theme file extension. Copy and paste that file back into the Themes folder. Hopefully, you renamed the file something unique so that it won’t replace any of the existing theme files.
Finally, right click anywhere on the desktop and click Personalize to open up the themes menu. You should see a new theme under the Installed Themes header called whatever you named your theme. Highlight that theme and activate it and you’re done!
2) Change the Start screen to display more or less rows of apps
The Windows 8 Metro interface displays a certain number of rows of apps by default. Strangely enough, Microsoft doesn’t allow users to easily configure how many rows of apps appear on screen. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
You can change the number of apps that appear on screen by heading to the registry. Follow the steps below to do just that:
-Type regedit into the Windows 8 search bar and press Enter to visit the registry editor
-Navigate to a registry entry called HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell\Grid
-Under this entry, you’ll see a changeable value called Layout_MaximumRowCount. Modify that value and make note of the number that is already there. Microsoft automatically adjusts this value based on your resolution, but it’s important to remember the default value in case anything goes wrong.
-Enter a number between 1 and 9 to change the number of app bars on your Windows Start menu, then save and exit the registry to apply those changes
3) Re-activate the Start Screen animation
The first time you boot Windows 8, you’re greeted with a colorful Start screen animation. However, that’s the only time you get to see that animation. If you want to see that animation every time you boot Windows 8, you can do that by adding a new key into your Windows Registry.
We explained how to access the Windows Registry in tip 2, and this tip involves accessing the same entry. Here’s how to do it:
-Type regedit into the Windows search bar and open the registry editor
-Navigate to the entry called: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell\Grid
-Right-click on an empty space anywhere in the right-hand side of the window. Hover the mouse pointer over New and click DWORD (32-bit) Value in order to create a new registry entry. Give that registry entry the following name:
-Right-click on the value you just created and then click Modify and type in 1 under the Value data form
-Save and exit the registry in order to see the animation every time your computer boots