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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.

You can have your attractive cake and eat it too by pinning the Bing.com website to the Start screen. Head to Bing.com, click the Pin This Site icon in the toolbar, and then select Pin to Start. Annoyance averted.

Higher resolution, lower readability

Windows 8 has spurred a whole new hardware type: the laptop-tablet hybrid. Many of these devices sport 1080p IPS displays that are breathtaking to behold. I've had the opportunity to test a few hybrids extensively, and I've found that the blessing of a high-resolution display comes with an accompanying curse.

Many convertibles stick to an Ultrabook-type form factor, squeezing that 1080p resolution into a 10- to 12-inch screen. The ultrapacked pixel density makes for a razor-sharp picture, but text appears a bit too small for my taste in desktop mode. Fortunately, a trick that helped farsighted folks browse with ease in Windows 7 still applies in Windows 8.

Right-click anywhere on the desktop, select Screen Resolution, and then click Make text and other items larger and smaller. The Change the size of all items option works great if you plan on sticking to a touchscreen interface, boosting the size of icons and text alike to make them finger-friendly. I prefer using the Change only the text size option on hybrid-type devices that include a touchpad or mouse, however. The drop-down menu includes a bevy of text types, each of which you can individually alter to suit your particular needs.

The one that got away

Unfortunately, Windows 8's single-most oppressive annoyance can't be fixed by minor tweaks, oras I was told after spending hours on the phone with multiple support representativesby Microsoft itself.

I'm a huge proponent of the system's ability to transfer basic settings and files between multiple computers with the help of a cloud-connected Microsoft Account. I've accumulated several Microsoft Accounts over the years, however. One exists solely to maintain my Xbox Live gamertag, with more than six years' worth of achievements, Microsoft points, and associated purchases tied to it. Another Microsoft Account plays host to my grandfathered 25GB SkyDrive account, and all the files inside. I rely on a third as my primary Microsoft Account login.

There is no way to merge the multiple accounts into a single, comprehensive Microsoft Account.

The aforementioned support calls proved unhelpful in clearing up the issue. Taking to the Internet, I found this July 2012 forum post by a Microsoft representative stating that the company has no plans to introduce an account-merging option. "I think it would be a nice feature, but it was repeatedly assessed as too costly compared to other needs," he said.

That sucks for a long-term Microsoft fan like myself, especially since I jump from computer to computer frequently. I've resigned myself to the fact that I need to juggle three separate Microsoft Accounts in order to keep full functionality. Signing out of my main account and back in with my secondary accounts on the SkyDrive and Games apps doesn't take long, but it's frustrating, all the more so because I won't have any way to fix this particular irritation at any time in the foreseeable future.

Ah, well. You can't win 'em all, I guess.

 

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