Chapter 12: The Control Panel and other system settings

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The Control Panel in Windows 8 looks much the same as the Control Panel in Windows 7, with the exception of a few added sections (including File History, Family Safety, and Add Features to Windows 8). You can access this by opening the charms on the right side of the screen, clicking the Settings charm, and then clicking Control Panel. Alternatively, you can go to the Start screen and start typing “Control Panel” to bring it up. You can still use the Control Panel to perform the same types of personalization tasks as you did in Windows 7, including changing desktop wallpapers, system colors and fonts, and Aero themes.

Programs can be uninstalled from the Programs and Features section, but a new Add features to Windows 8 section has been added to purchase additional Windows 8 features. One of those features is Windows Media Center, which isn’t included by default in Windows 8. If you want to play DVDs and Blu-ray discs, you’ll either need to download Windows Media Center or install third-party decoding software from CyberLink or another vendor.

More settings

Aside from the Control Panel, you can access other system features through the Change PC Settings screen, accessible from the Charms menu. From this screen you can change the lock screen, home screen, user pictures, and manage your user account (and others’ accounts if you are an administrator). Notifications from many default apps can be changed if you don’t want to receive them all, search and sharing settings can be adjusted, and many other settings such as privacy (location data) and sync settings can be accessed.

The General section of the PC Settings screen is perhaps the most interesting as it contains the features that allow you to easily repair or restore your Windows 8 installation. See Chapter 10 for more information.

shut down

As for shutting down a Windows 8 computer, you can always close the lid of your laptop or press the power button to put it to sleep, but the process of actually shutting down the system isn’t obvious now that the Start Menu button exists Has been removed. There are several ways to shut down a system. The easiest way is to just press Ctrl-Alt-Del, then click the power icon in the lower-right corner and select Shut down. The other option, which is useful if you’re on a tablet, is to bring up the Charms, click Settings, and then click the Power icon.

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