Since the Windows 8 launch, there are a couple of things we are struggling with because Microsoft decided to change a lot of features that were in earlier versions of Windows. After I installed Windows 8, I started hunting for any new freeware that would help me in customizing Windows 8. In this article, I’ll introduce a few of them which I found useful.
Win+X Menu Editor:
One of the feature I found most useful on Windows 8 Windows + X Menu.
Unfortunately, Microsoft made it pretty hard to customize it. I wish one could have easily added some more entries to it, like regedit, etc. You can use this utility to add some more entries and thus customize it pretty easily.
The UI is pretty much self-explanatory. The features are:
- Add new items.
- Remove any item of the Win+X menu.
- Change the display name of any item of Win+X menu.
- Reorder Win+X menu items.
Aero 8 Tuner:
It’s a simple utility that allows you to edit the Windows Aero on Windows 8 the usage is pretty simple.
Check on “Enable Windows Colorization” and click on the color to change it. “Force High Contrast Mode” will give you transparency but it’s unusable as the option says. But it’s a fun little app.
Close Threshold for Metro Apps:
Close Threshold is a useful application that can set the threshold of closing a Metro app. Many of you may already know to close the Metro app we can press and hold the application and drag down to close it. Well, this application can reduce that threshold, i.e., you can close it halfway through. Here is a simple video that explains how.
Skip Metro Suite:
You might know on Windows 8 when you start PC; it boots directly into Windows 8 Start Screen. There is a simple workaround for it. But using this tool, you can set to boot your Windows directly to Desktop instead of Windows 8 UI. It’s not a portable application you need to install it.
The other features of this tool are :
- Skip Start Screen feature.
- Switcher can be disabled.
- Charms Bar Hint can be disabled.
- Can completely REMOVE edge panels, including Charms Bar, Switcher and square start button at the bottom-left edge of Desktop.
As the name suggests, it’s a small utility that helps you to pin items in Taskbar.
What makes this tool very special is that with it you can:
- pin ANY file regardless of its type;
- pin ANY folder;
- pin drive;
- pin Control Panel items, all them including some hidden like God Mode/All Tasks, Network Connections;
- pin Libraries;
- pin Shell Objects like Run command, “Minimize All”, Window Switcher;
- pin any drive, all folders and all files via Explorer Context Menu;
- Pin any folders or files with drag and drop. Drop them on the application window.
- pin any folders or files via command line
Here is a small video tutorial:
You can get the download links for all of them here.
I hope you find these utilities useful. A word of caution – we don’t take responsibility if something goes wrong, so do create a System Restore Point first, before you make any modifications. If you know any useful Windows 8 specific freeware, like Aero Lite Tweaker, WiFi Profile Manager 8, etc., do share it with us below in the comments.