5 Simple Hacks To Make Windows 8.1 Faster

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The release of Windows 8 was met with mixed reception; while some liked the new interface, there were others who just preferred its predecessor. Microsoft subsequently released Windows 8.1, which features several improvements, some of which were covered in a post we published recently. And to help you get even more out of this latest offering by Microsoft, we’ve got for you today 5 simple hacks you can do to make Windows 8.1 faster.

Windows 8.1

These hacks or tweaks will enable you to do things like increasing the speed of certain menus popping up, getting near-instant taskbar icon previews, and switching active windows with your mouse cursor. All in all, your Windows 8.1 experience would definitely be smoother. Most of these hacks require the use of Regedit, but fret not, the steps are all very easy to understand. Just note that all Regedit hacks require you to log out before taking effect.

1. Increase Aero Peek Speed

Aero Peek is a useful feature that lets you see through all your open windows to your desktop as long as your cursor is hovered over the bottom right corner of your screen. By default, there will be a slight delay of about half a second before the desktop is shown. This tweak will remove that delay to instantly show the desktop when your cursor is there.

  1. Go to the Start menu and type in regedit to search for it, then run it.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer and click on Advanced.
  3. On the right panel, right-click and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it DesktopLivePreviewHoverTime.
  4. Right-click the newly created registry and select Modify. Choose Decimal and enter a Value Data of 1, which means Aero Peek will activate in 1 millisecond.

Aero Peek

2. Increase Taskbar Preview Speed

When you hover your cursor over a taskbar icon, a preview will be shown, thereby enabling you to choose the correct window to navigate to. We’re now going to tweak it so that the preview will come up faster, eliminating the default 1-second delay.

  1. Run Regedit.exe and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel and click on Mouse.
  2. On the right panel, look for MouseHoverTime and right-click to Modify it.
  3. Select Decimal and enter a Value Data of 1, which means when you hover your cursor over a taskbar icon, it’ll take just 1 millisecond for it to show the preview.

Taskbar Preview

3. Increase Context Menu Speed

By default, the context menu will expand when your cursor hovers over it, after a short delay. Applying this tweak will enable Windows to show an expandable context menu faster or almost instantly whenever your cursor hovers over it.

  1. Run Regedit.exe and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel and click on Desktop.
  2. On the right panel, look for MenuShowDelay and right-click to Modify it.
  3. Select Decimal and enter a Value Data of 1, which means when your cursor hovers over an expandable context menu, it’ll take 1 millisecond for it expand.

Context Menu

4. Switch Active Windows With Mouse Cursor

In the Ease of Access Center, there’s a feature that allows you to activate a window by hovering over it with the cursor. This allows users to view all their open windows swiftly without the need for clicking the mouse. This feature is especially handy for trackpad users as they won’t have to tap on their trackpad to activate a window in the background. A simple Regedit hack can also increase or shorten the delay when activating windows. To do this,

  1. Run Regedit.exe and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel and click on Desktop.
  2. On the right panel, right-click on ActiveWndTrkTimeout and select Modify.
  3. Select Decimal and change the Value Data to something you’re comfortable with. The number you enter is calculated in milliseconds.

Hover Activate Windows

5. Disable Time-Wasting Animations

Both Windows 8 and 8.1 come with many animations that make transitions and everything else look beautiful. However, these animations not only eat into your computer’s performance, but also take extra milliseconds to complete. Here’s how to disable them completely.

  1. Open up File Explorer and right-click anywhere in the window and select Properties.
  2. On the left panel, click on Advanced system setting and under the Performance subtitle, click on Settings.
  3. You’ll then see the Performance Options with all the animations you can disable. For the best performance, uncheck all of them.

Your system will look less posh, but it’ll surely work lightning fast.

Performance Options

Author:

Brian is a Mass Communication graduate with a passion for everything related to technology, minimalistic designs, and every kind of gadgetry.

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