General Settings in Windows 8
Within the “PC settings” app window in Windows 8, you can click the “General” category at the left side of the screen to display general Windows options in the area to the right. Within this category, the options are grouped into eight main subcategories listed at the right side: “Time,” “App switching,” “Spelling,” “Language,” “Available storage,” “Refresh your PC without affecting your files,” “Remove everything and reinstall Windows,” and “Advanced Startup.”
Under the “Time” section, you can select your time zone from the drop-down menu. You can also click the “On/Off” switch to enable or disable the “Adjust for daylight savings time automatically” option.
Under the “App switching” section, you can click the “On” and “Off” switch to toggle app switching on or off within Windows 8. You can also choose if you want Windows to switch to your most recently used app when you swipe in from the left edge. If you have app switching enabled, you can click the “Delete history” button to delete the history of apps that you have recently used within Windows 8.
Under the “Spelling” category, you can click the “On/Off” switch to enable or disable the “Autocorrect misspelled words” and “Highlight misspelled words” options. Under the “Language” section, you can choose which language to use by default in Windows 8 by clicking the “Language Preferences” command to open the “Control Panel” window which will allow you to select a default language to use for Windows 8.
Next, under the “Available Storage” section, you can see how much space is being used by the apps installed on your hard drive. You can click the “View app sizes” button to open a separate window that displays the current storage sizes of all of the apps installed on your computer. If needed, you can click the “Get started” button under the “Refresh your PC without affecting your files” section and then follow the onscreen prompts to allow windows to perform a clean-up of your system without having to lose files that you have created.
If you plan on giving away your PC or you wish to trash all of the content on your computer and start over, then you can click the “Get started” button under the “Remove everything and reinstall Windows” section and then follow the onscreen prompts to erase and reset your computer. Note that this is an extreme choice that will completely wipe out all of the files and settings on your computer, forcing you to start over from scratch. You should only do this if you are planning to give the computer away and only after you have safely backed up all files and folders that you wish to keep from your PC, first.
If you need to change the way that Windows 8 boots up by default, you can change the boot and startup settings by clicking the “Restart now” button under the “Advanced startup” section. This is sometimes used by computer professionals in order to allow Windows 8 to boot from an alternate device, such as a USB dive, and is not often needed by most users.
Privacy Settings in Windows 8
Within the “PC settings” app window in Windows 8, you can click the “Privacy” category at the left side of the screen to display the privacy options in the area to the right. Here you can click the “On” and “Off” toggle switch shown in order to enable or disable privacy settings in Windows 8. The privacy settings that you can enable or disable are “Let apps use my location,” “Let apps use my name and account picture,” and “Help improve Windows Store by sending URLs for the web content that apps use.” You can also click the “Privacy statement” command to read Microsoft’s Windows 8 privacy statement in your default web browser.
Managing Devices in Windows 8
Within the “PC settings” app window in Windows 8, you can click the “Devices” category at the left side of the screen to display a listing of connected peripheral devices in the area to the right. You can click the “Add a device” button to manually search for devices, such as USB-connected devices, if needed. You should see all connected devices displayed within this list. You can click on a device shown in the listing to select it. You can then click the small minus sign at the right end of it to remove the connected device, if needed. You will need to click the “Yes” button in the confirmation box that appears.