How To: Fix some common Windows 8.1 issues and annoyances

WIndows 8.1

There are many things in Windows 8.1 that we have talked to you about but today we are going to do something different. We are going to be taking a look at some of the most common problems that are specific to Windows 8.1 and how you can solve them. These things have very easy solutions that do not warranty a guide of their own but are still important and frequent enough that users need to know how to solve them.

Blurry text

High DPI

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 introduced new features for higher resolution displays that make them much better than before on a software level. One of the new additions makes text much easier to read by offering higher resolution text images instead of the default ones. The problem here is that while the setting works great in Windows itself, many applications do not support the feature. If they do not, the text might appear blurry in them which is obviously highly annoying.

To fix this issue, find an application’s executable file or its shortcut, right click on it and select Properties. Navigate to the Compatibility menu and check the box of the setting that reads “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings”. Do not forget to click on OK to close the window and save the setting. Launch the application to see if the issue is fixed and you are done. This is annoying to deal with when there are a lot of applications that have blurry text but that event is very rare so it should only affect a very minor portion of the user base.

Enable/Disable touchpad

Windows 8.1 Touchpad Settings

The latest version of Windows has shifted things around for touchpads by introducing them in the PC settings menu along with tons of other options of course. In previous Windows versions you had to go through the Mouse properties and hope that the control panel of your touchpad was there for you to manage. Not all manufacturers have a great CP though so the process was not always fun to deal with. Now you can easily enable and disable your touchpad by going to PC settings (Win + I > Change PC Settings) and heading over to PC and devices > Mouse and touchpad. You should see an option to enable and disable your touchpad here for easy access.

Touchpad gestures

This is a touchy subject. On the one hand, Windows 8.1 gestures are great for those that want to use them. On the other, they are extremely irritating if you dislike them. One example of a Windows 8.1 gesture is swiping your finger on the right to reveal the Charms bar. Sure it can be useful if you regularly access it but I for one find keyboard controls to be quicker and better. To disable the gestures, go to the touchpad’s menu in PC settings and disable the option that reads “Enable swiping in from the left or right edge”.

OneDrive file rundown

OneDrive Options

OneDrive is a great addition to the Windows 8.1 ecosystem but it also creates problems for some users. The most common question that users have is how it deals with online and offline files. OneDrive actually implements a smart system where it only downloads files you are using to save you storage and bandwidth. However, you might want all of your files to be available online or offline. I have already shown you some ways on how to do this for specific files here but you can also set a universal setting. Find the OneDrive icon in your system tray, right click on it and select OneDrive Settings. Now you can check the first box to make all files available offline or click on the button beneath that option to make all files available online-only. If the setting is not there for you, it will be located in the context menu of File Explorer.

Closing words

There are a lot of other features and utilities that Windows 8.1 introduces. Most of the users are in a love-hate relationship with them but it looks like all that will change with the next Windows version so be patient and try to appreciate Windows 8.1’s other functions.