20 must-know Windows 8 tips and tricks

With just a little hand-holding, the OS suddenly becomes much less mysterious.

You can customize which apps are live and which aren't by right-clicking on the tiles. A settings bar on the bottom will pop up with an option to turn the Live Tile on or off. Simply select the preferred option, and you're all set. Note, however, that not all apps have a live, real-time data streaming option.

Windows games folder

Currently, the games folder used in Windows 7 isnt present in Windows 8. Fear not, if you install any current-generation PC game that would regularly save to this folder, it's automatically created. For a quick way to find it, right-click on the game icon on the Start screen and choose Open file location at the bottom.

Family safety

Want to avoid some nasty surprises on your credit card? Create a separate, standard account on the device for your kids (Family Safety can't be applied to an administrator account). You can activate Family Safety by going to the Control Panel, User Accounts and Family Safety and selecting the account you would like to apply it to. From these settings you can get reports on the accounts activity, set a level of web filtering, set time limits and enforce Windows Store, game and app restrictions.

Shut down with one click

Windows 8 hides the Power button in the Settings menu, forcing a multi-step process just to shut down one's PC. But thanks to a crafty shortcut trick, you can pin a Shutdown button right to the bottom of your desktop. Here's how.

Create a shortcut on your desktop (right -click, go to New, then Shortcut). Enter "shutdown /s /t 0" (with no quotes, and, yes, that a zero not an "O") as the location of the item, and hit next. Now name the shortcut (prefereably "Shutdown") and hit Finish.

Right-click the shortcut and navigate to Properties. Choose "Change Icon" in the Shortcut tab, and OK out the warning box. Choose an icon of your choice from the list. In the screenhot above, you'll see we chose a Power button.

Right-click the shortcut again and select "Pin to Start." You can place the icon on your Start screen wherever is convenient. Hitting it will instantly shut down your computer.

This story, "20 must-know Windows 8 tips and tricks" was originally published by PCWorld.

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