February 02, 2013, 7:03 AM — Whether you've installed Windows 8 yourself or bought a new PC with it, you're now faced with an unfamiliar operating system that at first glance seems more difficult to customize than earlier versions of Windows. What to do -- give up and simply use it as it came out of the box?
Always check with your IT department before changing system settings or otherwise tweaking a company-owned machine.
Certainly not. There are plenty of ways to tweak, hack and make Windows 8 do things you wouldn't think were possible. In this article you'll see how to cobble together your own quick-and-dirty Start menu as well as customize the hidden Power User menu. I'll show you how to use so-called "God Mode," hack the lock screen and Start screen, master File Explorer and much more.
So fire up Windows 8 and get ready to hear it cry "Uncle."
Need help getting up to speed with Windows 8? See our Windows 8 cheat sheet, which shows you how to get around (including with keyboard shortcuts) and offers three quick tips for getting started with Windows 8.
1. Put "God Mode" in easy reach
You wouldn't know it by looking at the Desktop or Start screen, but Windows 8 practically bristles with settings you can customize. The problem is that they're scattered throughout Windows 8, and it can be time-consuming to track them down individually.
However, there is one way to find them all in one place: You can use what some people call "God Mode." While the term "God Mode" has a powerful ring to it, the truth is it's not a separate mode that you put Windows into. It's really a hidden folder that gives you fast access to many settings spread out across Windows 8. It's easy to put that folder right on the Desktop.