Upgrading to Windows 8.1 – The Results

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The Start button is back and you may now have your beloved desktop directly up after booting. Those were some of the things that you’ll get after upgrading to the free Windows 8.1. Here’s what I found out so far.

Windows 8.1 with Start button and SecureBoot problem.

Fig. 1 Windows 8.1 with Start button and SecureBoot problem.

Yup. The Start button is back but the Start Menu isn’t. Geez, Microsoft! I thought it was a package deal thing – Start button with a start menu. There were some who even pointed this one out when 8.1 Preview was released. But Microsoft is really stubborn. The new Start button just switches your desktop to the Start screen. Right-clicking it would bring out a power user menu. Win+X will also bring out this menu.

Power User Menu

Fig. 2 Power User Menu

I also had the SecureBoot problem (Fig. 1) as my SecureBoot isn’t enabled yet. Design-wise, it’s almost just the same. Moving some panels from one side to another. The search function (Win+Q) will now slide a search everything panel on the left on the screen. Win+Q opens an “Everything Search”, Win+W is for “Settings Search”, while a Win+F is for “File Search”. Bing is also integrated in the search if you opted to use it during the configuration phase of the installation.


Fig. 3 Search

There are also added options for personalization for when the Start screen is up.

If you haven’t configured your Windows 8.1 to go directly to Desktop after booting, just right-click on an open space on the Taskbar and select Properties. Go to Navigation tab and check the first option in the Start screen area (When I sign in or close…).

If you want reviews for Windows 8.1, you may want to check out articles from ExtremeTech, The Verge, TechRadar, and PCWorld.


Start Apps Using the Run Command

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The Run command is used to open an application or document with a known path. This feature saves time when working with Windows. Instead of clicking an icon on your desktop or browsing for a program from the start menu, just press the Windows key + “R”, type in the keyword and press Enter. Type in “firefox” to open your Firefox browser, “sol” for Solitaire, “calc” for Calculator, “winword” for Microsoft Word, and so on.

There’s also a way of opening your frequently used programs using the Run command. Here’s how.

1. Create desktop shortcuts of programs you want to open using the Run command. Rename them with something you can use as keywords. Example: Photoshop rename to something like “pshop“.

2. Cut and paste the shortcuts you created in a folder. For this, I’ll name my folder “myApps“. Place the folder somewhere in your system like “C:/Windows/“.

3. Right click on My Computer and select Properties.

4. Select the Advanced tab. Click the Environment Variables button. On the System Variables part, select the Path variable and click edit. Add the path of your shortcuts – if you used my sample, it’s “C:/Windows/myApps“. Don’t forget to put a semicolon first before adding the path.

5. Click OK until you close the System Properties dialog box. You may need to restart your pc for the setting to take effect.

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