Category Archives: Windows

Tell Windows 8.1 You Have a Metered Connection to Restrict Data Usage

Tell Windows 8.1 You Have a Metered Connection to Restrict Data Usage

If you use a personal hotspot or tether your phone, you need to keep an eye on your data usage. Windows 8 lets you set a connection as "metered" to avoid unnecessary data usage.

With a metered connection, Windows limits updates to "priority" updates only and tiled apps won’t automatically update. To make this tweak, head to Settings > Change PC Settings > Network > Connections. Click the network connection you’d like to change, then toggle Set as Metered Connection to On.

Check the link from the How-To Geek for other ideas to conserve bandwidth while on the road, like restricting OneDrive, Bing, and driver updates.

How to Restrict & Monitor Mobile Data Usage on Windows 8.1 | How-To Geek

How to Make Windows 8′s Start Screen Actually Useful

How to Make Windows 8's Start Screen Actually Useful

Windows 8′s Start Screen gets a bad rap, but with the right tweaks and a couple downloads, it can actually be pretty useful. Here’s how to make the Start Screen into something you might actually want to use.

Add Useful Widgets and Shortcuts with Start Screen Unlimited

How to Make Windows 8's Start Screen Actually Useful

Microsoft’s built-in desktop gadgets were removed as of Windows 8, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a few essentials back with third-party software. Previously mentioned Start Screen Unlimited adds several widgets to the Start Screen, including at-a-glance battery stats, Wi-Fi information, shutdown and restart shortcuts, and more.

This tool has a lot of baked in functionality that you can customize. One of the most useful is the power menu. From here, you can shut down, reboot, sleep, or hibernate your computer with the tap of a button. Normally, this functionality is confusingly hidden in the Charms menu. Start Screen Unlimited puts it front and center.

One of the even more useful features is the ability to quickly jump to the Control Panel or other key locations in Windows from the System menu. The Control Panel remains a pretty important location in Windows 8, but getting to it usually involves searching. With Start Screen Unlimited, it’s one button and two clicks away.

Keep Your To-Do List Front and Center with To-Do Prime

How to Make Windows 8's Start Screen Actually Useful

As of Windows 8.1, you can now resize live tiles on the Start Screen. This is particularly handy for applications like to-do lists. While some of our more preferred services like Wunderlist or Google Keep don’t have official apps, To-Do Prime picks up some of the slack with a pretty powerful to-do list application. Where it really shines, though, is that you can pin certain to-do lists to a live tile and give that tile a hefty chunk of real estate, so your tasks are never more than a Windows key press away.

Add Your Google Calendar to a Live Tile with Gmail Calendar

How to Make Windows 8's Start Screen Actually Useful

Windows 8′s built in Calendar app is fine if you live in Microsoft’s ecosystem, but for those of us who prefer Google Calendar, we can use gmail calendar. This Windows 8 app adds a live tile for your events to the Start Screen so you can see what’s coming up at a glance. If you’d prefer not to install an entire app for this function, it is possible to integrate Google Calendar with Windows’ Calendar app by following the instructions here. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t allow you to add events via Windows, only view them.

Stay Aware of Your Laptop’s Charge with Battery Level

Not every laptop has a very detailed way of keeping you informed of how charged your device is or how long you have until it’s depleted. Battery Level adds a handy live tile with a percentage readout so you can see how much power you’ve got by simply going to the Start Screen. The app requires Windows 8.1, which means you can resize the tile as you see fit to take up as much or as little space as you want.

Give Microsoft’s Built In Live Tiles a Chance

How to Make Windows 8's Start Screen Actually Useful

We’ve discussed whether or not Windows 8 has improved recently and there are conflicting views on this, even among Lifehacker writers. However, one of Windows 8′s key features, live tiles, are probably more useful than we give them credit for. Microsoft’s built-in email, messaging, and calendar apps can provide at-a-glance info (and system wide notifications) for a wide variety of services. It’s not perfect for everyone, and it may lead to a weird hybrid experience with some tasks being done in a "modern UI" style and others in the traditional desktop, but the Start Screen genuinely can provide more information and do more things than the Start Menu could before. It’s not for everyone, but it may be worth the effort for some users to try out those don’t-call-it-Metro features we’ve all been ignoring.

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

Reader ScoobSTi Doesn’t Have an STi‘s Windows desktop is interesting, even if you don’t care for car wallpapers. Check out those Android Kit Kat-themed icons and the Google search bar on the desktop. Here’s how he set it up.

ScroobSTi submitted his desktop to our Desktop Showcase, which is what you should do if you want to see your desktop featured here! He’s on and off about this type of car wallpaper, but we think this one looks pretty sharp. Still, we really like his Rainmeter skin, which would work well with just about any wallpaper, really. Here’s what you’ll need to set it up on your Windows system:

That’s it this time, and we can’t complain. It’s easy to set up, and doesn’t take a lot of skins of tweaking. If you like what you see, head over to his Kinja blog (linked below) and let him know how much you like his work (or ask your questions in case you’re having trouble with something.)

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag desktop showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Windows 4.4 Kit Kat | MobileManifold

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

Reader ScoobSTi Doesn’t Have an STi‘s Windows desktop is interesting, even if you don’t care for car wallpapers. Check out those Android Kit Kat-themed icons and the Google search bar on the desktop. Here’s how he set it up.

ScroobSTi submitted his desktop to our Desktop Showcase, which is what you should do if you want to see your desktop featured here! He’s on and off about this type of car wallpaper, but we think this one looks pretty sharp. Still, we really like his Rainmeter skin, which would work well with just about any wallpaper, really. Here’s what you’ll need to set it up on your Windows system:

That’s it this time, and we can’t complain. It’s easy to set up, and doesn’t take a lot of skins of tweaking. If you like what you see, head over to his Kinja blog (linked below) and let him know how much you like his work (or ask your questions in case you’re having trouble with something.)

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag desktop showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Windows 4.4 Kit Kat | MobileManifold

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

Reader ScoobSTi Doesn’t Have an STi‘s Windows desktop is interesting, even if you don’t care for car wallpapers. Check out those Android Kit Kat-themed icons and the Google search bar on the desktop. Here’s how he set it up.

ScroobSTi submitted his desktop to our Desktop Showcase, which is what you should do if you want to see your desktop featured here! He’s on and off about this type of car wallpaper, but we think this one looks pretty sharp. Still, we really like his Rainmeter skin, which would work well with just about any wallpaper, really. Here’s what you’ll need to set it up on your Windows system:

That’s it this time, and we can’t complain. It’s easy to set up, and doesn’t take a lot of skins of tweaking. If you like what you see, head over to his Kinja blog (linked below) and let him know how much you like his work (or ask your questions in case you’re having trouble with something.)

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag desktop showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Windows 4.4 Kit Kat | MobileManifold

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

Reader ScoobSTi Doesn’t Have an STi‘s Windows desktop is interesting, even if you don’t care for car wallpapers. Check out those Android Kit Kat-themed icons and the Google search bar on the desktop. Here’s how he set it up.

ScroobSTi submitted his desktop to our Desktop Showcase, which is what you should do if you want to see your desktop featured here! He’s on and off about this type of car wallpaper, but we think this one looks pretty sharp. Still, we really like his Rainmeter skin, which would work well with just about any wallpaper, really. Here’s what you’ll need to set it up on your Windows system:

That’s it this time, and we can’t complain. It’s easy to set up, and doesn’t take a lot of skins of tweaking. If you like what you see, head over to his Kinja blog (linked below) and let him know how much you like his work (or ask your questions in case you’re having trouble with something.)

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag desktop showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Windows 4.4 Kit Kat | MobileManifold

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

Reader ScoobSTi Doesn’t Have an STi‘s Windows desktop is interesting, even if you don’t care for car wallpapers. Check out those Android Kit Kat-themed icons and the Google search bar on the desktop. Here’s how he set it up.

ScroobSTi submitted his desktop to our Desktop Showcase, which is what you should do if you want to see your desktop featured here! He’s on and off about this type of car wallpaper, but we think this one looks pretty sharp. Still, we really like his Rainmeter skin, which would work well with just about any wallpaper, really. Here’s what you’ll need to set it up on your Windows system:

That’s it this time, and we can’t complain. It’s easy to set up, and doesn’t take a lot of skins of tweaking. If you like what you see, head over to his Kinja blog (linked below) and let him know how much you like his work (or ask your questions in case you’re having trouble with something.)

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag desktop showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Windows 4.4 Kit Kat | MobileManifold

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

Reader ScoobSTi Doesn’t Have an STi‘s Windows desktop is interesting, even if you don’t care for car wallpapers. Check out those Android Kit Kat-themed icons and the Google search bar on the desktop. Here’s how he set it up.

ScroobSTi submitted his desktop to our Desktop Showcase, which is what you should do if you want to see your desktop featured here! He’s on and off about this type of car wallpaper, but we think this one looks pretty sharp. Still, we really like his Rainmeter skin, which would work well with just about any wallpaper, really. Here’s what you’ll need to set it up on your Windows system:

That’s it this time, and we can’t complain. It’s easy to set up, and doesn’t take a lot of skins of tweaking. If you like what you see, head over to his Kinja blog (linked below) and let him know how much you like his work (or ask your questions in case you’re having trouble with something.)

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag desktop showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Windows 4.4 Kit Kat | MobileManifold

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

Reader ScoobSTi Doesn’t Have an STi‘s Windows desktop is interesting, even if you don’t care for car wallpapers. Check out those Android Kit Kat-themed icons and the Google search bar on the desktop. Here’s how he set it up.

ScroobSTi submitted his desktop to our Desktop Showcase, which is what you should do if you want to see your desktop featured here! He’s on and off about this type of car wallpaper, but we think this one looks pretty sharp. Still, we really like his Rainmeter skin, which would work well with just about any wallpaper, really. Here’s what you’ll need to set it up on your Windows system:

That’s it this time, and we can’t complain. It’s easy to set up, and doesn’t take a lot of skins of tweaking. If you like what you see, head over to his Kinja blog (linked below) and let him know how much you like his work (or ask your questions in case you’re having trouble with something.)

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag desktop showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Windows 4.4 Kit Kat | MobileManifold

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

The Kit Kat Car Desktop

Reader ScoobSTi Doesn’t Have an STi‘s Windows desktop is interesting, even if you don’t care for car wallpapers. Check out those Android Kit Kat-themed icons and the Google search bar on the desktop. Here’s how he set it up.

ScroobSTi submitted his desktop to our Desktop Showcase, which is what you should do if you want to see your desktop featured here! He’s on and off about this type of car wallpaper, but we think this one looks pretty sharp. Still, we really like his Rainmeter skin, which would work well with just about any wallpaper, really. Here’s what you’ll need to set it up on your Windows system:

That’s it this time, and we can’t complain. It’s easy to set up, and doesn’t take a lot of skins of tweaking. If you like what you see, head over to his Kinja blog (linked below) and let him know how much you like his work (or ask your questions in case you’re having trouble with something.)

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag desktop showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Windows 4.4 Kit Kat | MobileManifold