One of the major changes in Windows 8 is its revamped Start Menu
Screen. Instead of introducing the same old Start Menu that we've all grown up used to, Microsoft has opted for a rather different route – creating a Metro themed Start Screen, juxtaposing both it's mobile and desktop platforms. While its met with some mixed reactions from the users, concluding it as a flawed design is still an early guess. Even after so much emphasis on the Start Screen, its surprising to see the absence of a few frequently used apps from it. If you’re using Windows 8 Consumer Preview, you must have noticed the absence of Control Panel shortcut as well. Although you can easily access PC Settings console from Charms Bar, Windows 8 doesn't offer a quick way to open the classic Control Panel, as one needs to either search it from Start Screen or open Desktop and then access it from Windows Explorer window (could the procedure be more elongated?). In what follows, we will explain how you can create a shortcut to Control Panel and pin it to Start Screen.
Windows 8, just like previous versions of Windows, displays all the installed system tools and default applets in Control Panel, and doesn’t provide a convenient option for system administrator to hide/remove Control Panel applets for standard users. Although Windows implements strict security policies to prevent standard and guest users from gaining access to system utilities and changing default settings, it doesn’t secure some Control Panel applets, which can be used to make system-wide
level changes. For instance, Windows native uninstaller may be used to uninstall almost any application or system program. Likewise, Personalization applet can be used to modify default Window Aero theme file. In this post, we will use Local Group Policy Editor to hide some Control Panel applets from Windows 8 Control Panel. This will hide all the specified tools from Control Panel, restricting standard and guest from accessing them.
PC users have long been using Control Panel as the hub for controlling their system settings. With the introduction of Metro UI in Windows 8, this is going to change. While the Control Panel is still there for desktop mode, there has been a new hub introduced in Windows 8 called PC settings, that lets you change several important settings of your PC from a beautiful, streamlined, no-frills interface.
The Windows 8 Control Panel was part of Windows 8 Developer Preview. Microsoft has since changed the name to PC Settings starting from Windows 8 Consumer Preview, adding plenty of new features. Read the complete review of Windows 8 PC Settings here
Windows 8 Control Panel is one Windows 8 Metro UI based interface which has been widely appreciated by the users. Currently the second most talked about Windows 8 feature after Start Menu, Control Panel is revitalized with a host of new shortcuts, applet for various system components, quick links to configuration consoles while including Windows 8 native utilities related settings and toggles. The new Metro Control Panel doesn’t replace Category View included in previous Windows versions, such as, Windows 7 and Windows Vista. You will still be able to switch to old Category view of Control Panel from within the new interface.
Right Click Enhancer
is a tweak for adding items and enhancing available options for the Windows context menu. It allows you to customize the right click menu, by adding folder and file shortcuts, applications for moving items to, system configuration utility (msconfig), opening files with the notepad, the option to add files and folders to cascading menu and so on. other than context menu enhancement options, you can also benefit from the My Computer Manager
option to add file and folder shortcuts to My Computer and the Control Panel. Moreover, useful features like encryption and decryption can be added to the context menu for encrypting or decrypting a file from the Windows context menu. Right Click Enhancer has much more simplified options than the formerly reviewed PC Utility Manager
As news of Windows 8 new build-in features gets out every day, some developers have begun creating applications which emulate the Windows 8 leaked features like functionality. Recently, we heard that Windows Live will be integrated in system notification area of Windows 8. The developer AngleWZR over at deviantArt has recently created a small utility called Taskbar UserTile
which, however, doesn’t integrate Windows Live features but adds user profile picture in Windows 7 taskbar with options to access Control Panel, Log off, Lock PC, and Switch user.
Some while ago we covered a neat little hack
for Windows 7 that allowed you to put programs in My Computer under Network Locations. One of our readers, caschy, suggested using Folder2MyPC
for the same reason. We gave the utility a shot and indeed, it simplifies the process far more, and also brings the option to add programs under control panel as well.
This tweak will prohibit all users from accessing the Control Panel. I know it seems a bit odd but sometimes this does come in handy, lets say you have several computers over the network and you know that these computers will never be used for Administration Purpose and the basic settings will pretty much stay static for these computers. Then in such a scenario it would be a wise decision to apply this tweak to make sure that users aren’t able to change any settings.
As you all know by now, Windows 7 includes Jump List feature. Jump lists allow easy access to common tasks related to the corresponding application. If you are looking to create custom jump lists, we have already covered a post here
. By default the Jump list in Windows 7 displays only a total of 10 items. Let me guide you how you can increase and decrease this number.
Administrative Tools allow you to perform some common tasks like managing firewall settings, starting and stopping services, managing hard disk settings, etc.You can locate these administrative tools under the "System and Security" section of the Control Panel, but for quicker access, you have the option to add Administrative Tools to Windows 8 Start Screen and Windows 7 Start Menu.
Do you want to view complete PC troubleshooting history to check the actions you performed while diagnosing and fixing the PC?Or, if you aren't sure what steps you took to solve a particular issue with the system component, then Windows lets you easily check the actions you performed while troubleshooting the PC. You may already know that Windows includes a Troubleshooting
feature that allows you to diagnose and fix common PC problems. It also saves all the PC troubleshooting history, allowing you to check the components you performed the Windows troubleshooting actions for. Go through the following simple steps to view the troubleshooting history in Windows 7 or Windows 8.
This post has been updated to explain how to view the troubleshooting history in Windows 8. The article was updated on March 30, 2012.
Do you have a Nvidia Graphic card? The latest firmware from Nvidia installs a script that enables Nvidia Control Panel on desktop right-click context menu. This can slow down the loading speed of the context menu when you right-click on the Desktop if you are using a low-end computer. In my case, I simply don’t need this option because it’s useless. If you are in same situation like me, its time to disable/remove it. Read More
Are you facing trouble opening Add/Remove Programs from your Control Panel? Does it give you the error saying that it has been disabled by administrator? Some days back we covered a post on How to enable show hidden files and folders when disabled by a virus, the problem of Disabled Add/Remove program is also a registry tweak caused by some virus and is quite frustrating for those who wants to uninstall a software but this dialogue box won’t just open up. This problem has a pretty easy solution. Read More
Note: This post is for those who have Nvidia graphic card installed on their computer.
The "NVIDIA Control Panel" can be directly accessed from Start menu or Start Search menu in Windows Vista, generally its not used much often and doesn't;t require a separate item in the desktop context menu. If it annoys you then you probably didn't realize that it's easy to remove. For those who doesn’t know what we're talking about, see the screenshot after the jump, here's the menu item we're looking to remove. Read More