Windows 8 includes a feature called picture passwords that allow you to login to your account by using gestures on an image with your finger or your mouse. This is especially useful for tablets where you want to avoid typing if you can. Instead of typing in a password, you select a picture and then create three gestures on it to act as your password. When you create the picture password you can use gestures that consist of taps, circles, or lines. Once the picture password is created you can then login to your Windows accounts by performing these gestures in the same direction as when you created them. That means if you circled an object counterclockwise you would need to circle it counterclockwise to login. Circling it clockwise would not count as a successful gesture. This method allows for tremendous variation in possible passwords on a given picture and allows you to avoid having to use the virtual keyboard.
A basic task that all Windows users should know how to do is to change their password. If your computer becomes compromised or you are concerned that someone may know your password, you should immediately change it in Windows.
The Windows 8 Mail app automatically adds a default signature to the bottom of all your sent emails that reads "Sent from Windows Mail". If you do not wish to have a signature or want to change it to something different then you can change it in your Mail account settings.
Windows 8 has the ability to create a bootable USB flash recovery drive that can be used to troubleshoot a Windows 8 computer that is unable to start. A recovery drive is the same as a startup repair disk, but instead of being on a CD/DVD it is on a bootable USB drive. Once you boot up a Windows 8 computer with a Recovery Drive you will have access to a variety of diagnostic and troubleshooting utilities that can help resolve issues you may be having.
Windows 8 has the ability to reset your installation to factory defaults or to refresh your installation while retaining your data and settings. By default, when you perform a refresh in Windows 8, the operating system will restore Windows back to a fresh state where you retain your personal data and settings, but will have to install all of your applications again. If you have installed a lot of applications, or do not have all the necessary installation disks, it can be an annoying and lengthy task to get your computer back up and running. This is where a new and useful feature saves the day. A program called recimg.exe allows you to create a custom refresh image that you can set to be used when you perform a refresh in Windows 8. This image will be a snapshot of the current state of Windows 8 and will include all applications that are currently installed on your computer. This allows you to create snapshots of Windows 8 over time and store them so that you can easily restore Windows 8 to various states if you run into an issue. The best part is that all applications that are installed when you create the custom image will still be there after you perform a refresh.
A Windows Command Prompt is a screen where you type in commands that you would like to execute. The command prompt is very useful if you want to use batch files, basic scripting, or to perform various administrative tasks. The normal command prompt has one shortcoming and that is that you cannot directly launch programs that require administrative privileges in order to work properly. This is where the Windows 8 Elevated Command Prompt comes in handy. When you use an elevated command prompt, any command you type in and execute will run with administrative privileges. This allows you to run any program and to perform all administrative tasks without being shown a User Account Control prompt each time.
As Windows 8 is designed to be used on mobile devices as well as computers, it includes a new Airplane mode that allows you to disable all radios on the device with one setting. These radio devices include wireless, bluetooth, and other mobile network connections. This mode is named Airplane mode because it is necessary to turn off all radio devices when flying on a plane. By enabling airplane mode in Windows 8, you can continue to use the Windows 8 device to watch movies, play games, or to do work even when flying.
As Windows 8 is designed to be used on mobile devices as well as desktop computers, it includes a feature called metered connections. A metered connection is a network connection where you have a limited amount of data usage per month and if you go over that amount you get billed extra charges. If you are using a network connection that has a limited data plan, then it is important to enable it as a metered connection so Windows 8 knows not to download device updates or Windows updates over it. Once a connection is configured as a metered connection system downloads will only be allowed when you are on your normal wireless connection.
Whenever you create a new account in Windows, you should create a password reset disk that allows you to reset your Windows account password if you forget it. If you have a lot of users and do not wish to create a reset disk for each one, then you should at least create one for the administrator account on that computer. You can then use that administrator account to change any other user's password. In order to create a password reset disk you need either a floppy disk or a USB drive. As most computers are no longer sold with floppy drives, you may want to pick up a cheap flash drive to use for this purpose. As the password reset disk file only uses 2KB of space, you can use any size flash drive or an existing one if you wish. Last, but not least, a password reset disk only works on local accounts and will not help you reset passwords for accounts on a Windows domain.
If you have forgotten your Windows password and have previously created a Windows Password Reset Disk, you can use this disk to change your password to a new one. This will allow you to login to Windows again using the new password. This tutorial will walk you through the steps of resetting a Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 password using a Password Reset Disk.