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How to Properly Close Windows Apps

According to Microsoft “apps in the Windows Store are built so they don’t slow down your PC when you’re not using them. When you stop using an application, Windows leaves it running in the background and then, after a while, closes it for you”. They might say that, but I’ve seen an app sitting in memory several days later (yes not slowing Windows down but still taking up my precious memory.)

If you want to close an application, drag it from the top of the screen to the very bottom. (If you’re using a mouse, move your mouse pointer to the top of the screen and then click the Close button in the title bar. If you can’t see the Close button in the title bar, you don’t have the latest update to Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1.

However, to completely stop all processes associated with an application and remove any trace from memory,  drag the application to the bottom of the screen and hold it there until the application changes to its default blank screen icon (or as Microsoft says – “it flips over”).

How to disable the Windows 8.1 Charms Bar

OK. I am now officially annoyed by the charms bar that keeps appearing on the right side of my screen when I am trying to scroll down. For those of you who are also bugged by this feature here’s how to disable it:

  1. Open Registry Editor (press Win+R, type regedit.exe in the Run dialog and press Enter) and go to thiskey key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell
  2. Now create a new key here named “EdgeUI“. This key might already be created if you have already tried disabling the charms bar by switching it off when pointing top-right with the mouse.
  3. Select the EdgeUI key in the left pane and create a new DWORD value in the right pane of the Registry Editor named DisableCharmsHint – Set it to 1 to disable the Charms bar when using the mouse. It will not appear when you move the pointer to the top-right or bottom-rights corners. If you move the pointer to the top-right corner and then move it down along the right edge of the screen (or from the bottom-right corner up to the screen center along the right edge), it’ll appear again.
    Regedit
    So, this setting prevents the Charms Bar panel from appearing accidentally. It should take effect immediately –  you do not need to restart Windows Explorer or log off. You will still be able to show them when you actually want to use them by simply pressing Win+C.

If you want to enable the default behaviour of the Charms Bar again set DisableCharmsHint value to 0 or delete it completely.

Do you need a Microsoft live account to update to Windows 8.1?

Upgrading to Windows 8.1 is generally a smooth experience. I certainly find it an improvement over Windows 8.  However, there is one issue that I discovered during installation that everyone should be aware of before they undertake the upgrade. When you first start the newly installed Windows 8.1, you will be asked to sign in to a Microsoft Live account. There will be no apparent way to move past that screen if your intention is to only have a local account.

I don’t want a Microsoft live Account

What do you do if you don’t want to create a live account? When you are asked to sign-in with your Microsoft account, click on the Create New Account link and then at the bottom of that next screen you will see a link that will let you cancel the process. You will then login using your local account. Simple!