Tag Archives: windows 8

Windows 8.1 Autozoom and Trackpad settings

Sometimes the Trackpad or Clickpad on your lap top is too sensitive – you do so much as breathe on it and the screen changes…  You can change some of the settings which might help.

Go to Control Panel, and search for Mouse.  (A quick way to get to the Control Panel from the Desktop is to Right Click on the Start Screen symbol at the bottom left corner of the screen, then choose Control Panel.)

From here, it depends on your laptop – you need to look for something like Change Mouse Settings, or Clickpad Settings or Trackpad Settings.  Once you have the Trackpad Settings window, you can disable any features which drive you mad (like Pinch Zoom).

You can also change the sensitivity of the Trackpad: if you click on the arrow to the left of Pointing, you can then choose Sensitivity.  See also my earlier post Change the Sensitivity of the trackpad on your laptop.


Windows 8 – Create a short cut on the desktop

In Windows 8, you can find programs or apps like Word by going to the Start screen, using the Down Arrow, and then browsing your list of Apps.  When you find the app you want, you can right click on it and choose to Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.

If you would like an icon on your desktop, then right click on the app, and choose Open file location.  This opens an explorer window on the desktop. Now right click on your chosen app and choose Send to then choose Desktop (create shortcut).  You wlill now have an icon on your desktop for your chosen app.

Change the sensitivity of the trackpad on your laptop

I have a HP laptop running Windows 8, and this worked for me.  Your laptop may vary slightly, but the steps should be similar.

Open the Control Panel.  (Using the screen charms, choose Settings, then Control Panel).

Choose Hardware and Sound.

Your touchpad should be listed, click on Settings.

A new window opens, click on the arrow left of Pointing.

Click on Sensitivity.  On mine, I then get a “cog wheel” next to Sensitivity; I click on that, and I get a slider to adjust the sensitivity from Light Touch to Heavy Touch.  Move the slider, click Close, then OK, then close the Control Panel.

To find which programs run at Startup

To find out which programs run when you start up your PC:

Click on Start, and type msconfig into the search box.  Then click on msconfig.exe.

The window which opens lists all the programs which run at start up; you can choose to disable individual programs, which may make startup quicker.

On Windows 8, open the Task Manager by holding down the Ctrl key, and the Alt key, and press the delete key.  Choose Task Manager. Choose the Start-up tab.

Do a Virus scan

This is a link to a page by Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert, which gives a list of free programmes which will scan your computer for viruses.  The programmes are from safe sources, and are free to download and run.  I tried the microsoft one, and it found no errors on my PC.
If you have anti-virus software on your PC which is up to date, you should be fine.


You may need to know what version of Windows you have on your PC in order to download the right version of the virus scan program.  To find out what version of windows you have, click on Start,  then right click on Computer, and click on Properties.

(For Windows 8, on the Start screen type “windows version” then choose “See if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit version of windows”

Magnifier – Windows 8

Sometimes you can change the size of things on your screen by changing the screen resolution: On the Start screen, type screen resolution. When the search panel appears, click on Change the screen resolution, and if your device allows you, you can change the settings.  This doesn’t always help though when you open an application that is not affected by changes to the screen resolution, and the text can still be very small and hard to read.

In cases like this, sometimes holding down the Ctrl key and scrolling with the center wheel of the mouse (if you use one)  will zoom in or out, allowing you to see things better.  If this doesn’t work, you can turn on Magnifier.

On the Start screen type magnifier.  When the search panel appearsclick on Turn magnifier on or off.  When the Settings window opens, click on the slider under Magnifier to turn the Magnifier on.

Everything will now be bigger!

Click on the Magnifying glass symbol to change the settings, or click on the red X to close.

If you want to pin this application to Start for easy access, on the Start screen, type magnifier.  When the search panel appears, press and hold Magnifier, and then tap Pin to Start. If you are using a mouse, right click Magnifier and then click Pin to Start.

You can also get to Magnifier by going to the Control Panel, and then choose Ease of Access, and then choose Ease of Access Center.  There are other features there that may be useful.

Your new Windows 8 computer – check for updates

When you first get your new Windows 8 computer, the best thing to do is check for updates – chances are, there will be quite a few, which will take a while to download and install.  You are probably keen to start using it, but if you can restrain yourself until you’ve got all the updates, it will make life easier.

Also, if you have a lap top using WIFI, it can be useful to connect it up to the home hub with an ethernet cable while you’re downloading – it might be quicker, and it’s less likely lose connection half way through.

One of the really great things about Windows 8, is that if you are on the Start screen – the one that comes up, with all the “Tiles” – and you want to find something, you can just type.  So, type: ‘control panel’  ; on the left of the screen, results will appear as you type, so once you see Control Panel appear, click on it, and the old familiar control panel will open.

Now click on System and Security
Now click on Windows Update, then Check for updates. If it comes back with “xx important updates are available” then click on that, and then on the next window, click on Install. Then make a cup of tea!

These are all Windows updates, and you will probably need to restart your computer once they are done.

It is also useful to check for updates to apps.  To do this, click on the Store tile. Once it’s open, right click, and then click on Your Apps at the top of the screen.  This will show what apps you have, and if any of them have updates ready to install.  If they do, install them.