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How to Modify Windows 8 to Work More Like Windows 7 or XP
April 12th, 2013

Modify Windows 8 to work more like Windows 7 or XP

Microsoft’s Windows 8 changed several functions we have become used to and comfortable with. While the operating system works well on a tablet device, those of us stuck with it on an office desktop computer may have been struggling.

The two major changes causing the most concern are the Start Menu, and the Windows 8 ‘Apps’. For many media types such as images, music and movies, Windows 8 will load a new full-screen ‘App’ to run or display them. Windows 8 Apps do not work in the way we are used to with Windows applications, and so for a more comfortable and familiar environment on a PC with a mouse, changing the default applications is essential.

  • Follow these steps to change the most common media types to use more familiar applications:Press the Windows key on your keyboard to launch the Metro menu.
  • Type “Default Programs”. There is no box to type into, but the Metro menu will open one as soon as you begin typing.
  • Select the Default Programs item on the left. If you do not see it, select “Settings” on the right of the screen just below the text input box.

  • In the Default Programs window that launched, choose the first option on the right side, “Set your default programs”.

  • Now we select a few of the old style applications and make them default for everything they can run. If you choose to install alternative programs later, they can become the new defaults, this step simply prevents your images, music or videos from loading the ‘Apps’.
  • Pick “Windows Media Player “ in the list on the left side of the window and press “Set this program as default” on the right:

  • You will see the message in the middle change to “This program has all its defaults”.
  • Do the same thing for the “Windows Photo Viewer” program in the list and then for Internet Explorer (or Firefox or Chrome, if you have either of these installed, and prefer them over Internet Explorer).

You have now set all music and video files of all formats to use the familiar Windows Media player which is resizable and can be dragged around your desktop – and all image files to load in the standard Windows Photo Viewer. Additionally, the normal non-‘App’ web browser program should be the default for viewing internet links.

This process should have drastically reduced the amount of times Windows 8 tries to load Apps on your PC, what a relief!

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