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10 Windows 8 tips, tricks and hacks

Preston Gralla | Feb. 1, 2013
Starting to get comfortable with Windows 8? Don't stop now: From invoking 'God Mode' to hacking the lock screen, here are 10 ways to make Windows 8 act the way you want.

Click a plus sign and choose an app to display alerts and notifications on the lock screen.

Over to the right of them are several plus signs. Click a plus sign and you'll see a list of apps that can display notifications and updates. Pick one and it will display alerts and other information on the lock screen.

Note that when you click a plus sign, you'll see both the apps that are already displaying notifications and alerts on your lock screen as well as those that aren't currently doing so. If you choose one that already displays its notifications on the Start screen, nothing new happens -- the app still displays notifications, with no change. To stop an app from displaying notifications, click it and then click "Don't show quick status here."

Underneath that section is one that's a little more baffling: "Choose an app to display detailed status." The app in this section displays more information on the lock screen than other apps.

Here's the Lock screen showing detailed information from the Calendar app.

Only the Calendar app and the Weather app can show this kind of detailed information, and only one at a time. To change from one to the other, click the icon that's there and select the other icon. From then on, that app will show its detailed status.

If you want neither app to show detailed status, click the icon and select "Don't show detailed status on the lock screen." Neither app shows detailed information, and the icon changes to a plus sign. If you want to reinstate detailed weather or calendar information, click the plus sign and select either app.

5. Lock the lock screen image

If you share a Windows 8 PC with others and don't want them messing with the lock screen image, you can lock it so that it can't be changed. To do it, though, you're going to have to get down and dirty by editing the Registry.

Caution: Keep in mind before trying this that you can do damage to your system if you use the Registry incorrectly, so if you don't feel comfortable with Registry editing, stop right now. (See our story "The tweaker's guide to the Windows Registry" for more information about Registry editing. And be very sure to read the instructions for backing up the Registry before you attempt any Registry edits whatsoever.)

For those who do feel comfortable, when you're on the Start screen, type regedit, click Apps on the right-hand side of the screen, then click the regedit.exe icon that appears on the left side of the screen.

Launching the Registry Editor.

 

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