4 Common Windows 8 Annoyances and How to Fix Them

windows-8-logo-originalAs with any other major overhaul of an extremely popular product such as Windows, Windows 8 comes with its fair share of controversies. Windows 8 has been accused by numerous people for being heavily biased towards touchscreen computers such as tablet devices. For desktop and laptop users, the new interface can take a bit of getting used to. However, while the new interface is by far the most talked about annoyance with Windows 8, there are a number of others too. This article takes a look at some of the most common gripes that people have with Microsoft’s latest operating system.

1 – The Start Menu Has Gone

Replacing the start menu entirely is the new start screen, a full-screen, touch-friendly interface that might look good on tablet computers, but not so much on the traditional desktop or laptop computer. It was possible in some of the earlier pre-release versions to get the start button and menu back through a simple registry tweak. However, the start menu and button was completely removed shortly before the launch of Windows 8, and there is now no way to get it back without using third-party software. There are a number of free third-party programs available to restore this feature, including Start8 and Pokki. An upcoming update for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, will put the start button back, but clicking on it will still only take you to the start screen.

2 – Hidden Shutdown and Restart Functions

Have you just started up Windows 8 for the first time and found yourself wondering how on Earth you are supposed to shut down or restart the computer safely? You are not the only one – in a highly frustrating oversight by Microsoft, they have effectively hidden these two critical functions in the Settings menu of the Charms Bar. Even once you have found it, it is still a longwinded way of switching off or resetting your computer. To overcome this, you can create your own shutdown and restart shortcuts in File Explorer and pin them to the start screen. To do this, create shortcuts with the commands ‘shutdown /s /t 0’ (without quotes) and ‘shutdown /r /t 0’ for shutdown and restart respectively.

3 – Windows Mail Doesn’t Support POP Email Accounts

POP (Post Office Protocol) is a common protocol used by email accounts. However, the built-in Windows Mail app in Windows 8 does not provide support for this protocol. The only way around this is to reconfigure any email accounts which use this protocol to use the IMAP protocol instead. Fortunately, the vast majority of webmail services provide support for both protocols, and you should be able to change between the two in the settings page of your email account.

4 – Longer Login Process

When you lock your computer, you cannot simply enter a password to get back in again. First, you need to slide the screen upwards to reveal the password entry box. Many people find this to be a major annoyance. Fortunately, there is a quick fix available for this. Start the Local Group Policy Editor by pressing the Windows key and ‘R,’ entering gpedit.msc and pressing Enter. Navigate to Computer Configuration, Administrative Tools, Control Panel, Personalization and enable the “Do not display lock screen” feature.