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8 worst Windows 8 irritations (and how to fix them)

Brad Chacos | Nov. 12, 2012
Windows 8, I want to love you, but your annoying quirks keep bringing me down.

The key lies in the Mail app's support for popular webmail clients, including Gmail and Outlook.comtwo free favorites that just happen to be able to connect and link with outside POP email accounts. See where I'm going here? Just create a free email account with either service, and then link your POP mail account to it using the tutorials supplied by Outlook.com or Gmail.

After persuading your POP account to play nice with your Outlook.com or Gmail account, add your chosen webmail service to the Windows 8 Mail app through the normal means. Voilà! Your POP mail will work its way into the Mail app inbox by way of its webmail proxy.

Here's the kicker: When you send email, the Mail app will let you use only your webmail email address, not your POP mail address. There isn't any way around the limitation, but at least your messages will land in your inbox.

No DVD playback? No problem!

Windows 8 still includes Windows Media Player, but the new version of the program lacks DVD playback support. If you've yet to take the plunge into a digital-only lifestyle, you could spring for Windows 8 Pro and the optional $10 Media Center Pack (which Microsoft is giving away free to upgraders until January 31, 2013). This is one solution, but I recommend downloading the free and flexible VLC instead.

VLC isn't as polished as Microsoft's Media Center software, but it's jam-packed with utility, offering full DVD playback and ripping support, robust file-transcoding options, the ability to tune in to Internet videos and podcasts alike, and even spotty Blu-ray support if you enlist the help of add-ons with questionable legality. Our guide to mastering VLC will get you up and watching in no timeand for no money.

Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?

Unlike HAL (and Windows 7), Windows 8 isn't pleading or pushy when you want to get rid of a file. Deleting something sends the item straight to the Recycle Bin, no confirmations necessary. Ironically, this may be the one case when you can perform a task in fewer clicks than you could in previous iterations of Windows. That said, the old-style confirmation prompt has saved me from errantly deleting something important on more than one occasion.

If you want to bring back the warning, right-click the Recycle Bin and select Properties. Simply check the Display delete confirmation dialog box in the new window, click OK, and you're good to go. Getting rid of the option is as easy as removing the checkmark once again.

Forget the Bing app

I'm a Google fanatic, but when I'm tooling around in Windows 8's Start screen on a touchscreen device, I find that the Bing search app's picture-heavy aesthetic fits very nicely with Windows 8's Modern design. Like many Modern-style apps, however, the Bing app includes an irritating quirk: Selecting a search result pops you out of the Bing app and opens the page in Internet Explorer. It's a mild annoyance in the grand scheme of things, but it still drives me nuts.

 

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