Welcome to XDA

Search to go directly to your device's forum

Register an account

Unlock full posting privileges

Ask a question

No registration required
Post Reply

[REF] *Surface Hints, Tips and Registry Tweaks* - Last updated January 24th.

OP tboy2000

3rd November 2012, 01:35 AM   |  #1  
tboy2000's Avatar
OP Senior Member
Flag London
Thanks Meter: 236
 
1,518 posts
Join Date:Joined: Oct 2006
More
I started a huge thread on hints and tips for the HTC Leo (see my signature) so I thought now that I have a Surface tablet I would do the same. It is early days yet but I will update the thread as I discover more so if you have tips please share. Some tips I have discovered myself and others I have found on the internet. I am in no way claiming credit for all. I just want to put all advice in one thread. These tips should also apply to other Windows 8 tablets and not just the Surface. In some cases they even apply to Windows 8 for PC. BTW, I typed this whole thread on Surface using Touch Cover


1. How to Select a File or Photo.
Simply use a downwards flick gesture on multiple photos or files to select them. Flicking upwards also works. You can share multiple selections.

2. How to Take Screenshots
Press the capacitive home button and the downwards volume button at the same time. The screen momentarily dims. Screenshots are saved to a Screenshot album in Photos app.

3. How to Allow Video, Music and Photo Apps to See Media Stored on your MicroSD Card
At the moment you can only store and browse media files using file explorer. Those media files do not show up in their appropriate apps. This is what you need to do. Go to search and type “Disk Management”. The entry in Settings will show “Create and format hard disk partitions”. This is Disk Management. Click it. You will see that your microSD card has already been assigned a drive letter. Right-click your “Removable” drive and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths for <drive letter>…” Once the card has already been inserted and assigned a drive letter, you cannot simply click “Change…” here (the option you need will be grayed out). So you have to click “Remove”. Now the only option you have is “Add…”. Click it and you will see “Mount in the following empty NTFS folder:” Create a folder in your Users directory or in C:. For instance, C:\Users\username\microSD. Select that folder. You are now able to treat your microSD like any other folder in Windows 8, including adding to Libraries like Pictures, Video and Music etc. You can now open File Explorer and right-click the Pictures, Video and Music Libraries in the left hand Navigation Pane, select Properties, then Add and select the folder you just mounted in your microSD in. Now when you go into the Photos, Videos or Music apps in Surface you will be able to see your media files you added to your microSD card.

4. Update your Office 2013 Preview to Office 2013 Final
Search for "Windows Update" and then choose “Install optional updates” instead of Windows Update from the search results (under Settings). This will display the Windows Update control panel. Now, either check for updates or tap the link that says updates are available. In the resulting list, you’ll see “Update for Microsoft Office Home & Student 2012 RT Preview.” Select it and install that and whatever other updates are available. After a reboot, you can access your updated Office Home & Student 2013 RT apps, which drop the Preview branding and have some new features, including the Ribbon Display Options feature.

5. How to Enable Rotation Lock
Open the Charms menu and tap on Settings. Tap on the screen icon near bottom right. Above the brightness bar is the rotation lock icon. Tap to toggle on and off.

6. Enable Virtual Reality Mode in Panorama Photos in Travel App
Tap on the compass/GR round icon when viewing a panorama photo to be able to see around the photo by moving and tilting your Surface.

7. Unlock Without Swiping
Instead of Swiping up the lockscreen image to unlock, just tap space bar on your keyboard. You can also wake up your Surface from sleeping by tapping any key on the keyboard.

8. Keep Photos Private and From Appearing in Photo App Library
In Desktop mode, open file explorer and move any photos you want to prevent showing in the Pictures Library in the Photo App to a new folder. Right click that new folder and click on Properties and then Advanced. Uncheck "Allow files in this folder to have contents indexed...". You can even mark the folder and contents hidden if you wish. To see changes you may need to rebuild your index from scratch if you had already opened the Photo app and saw those photos. To rebuild the index, go to Control Panel and click on Indexing Options, then Advanced and then Rebuild. Will take a while to rebuild.

9. Speed Up Web Browsing by Blocking Advertisements
Open Desktop Internet Explorer and go into Internet Options. Click on the Programs tab and then on Manage Add-Ons. Click on Tracking Protection and then Get a Tracking Protection List Online. Add a couple from the list, such as EasyList and Fanboy. Save and exit.

10. Make your Surface Desktop Wallpaper Match your Modern UI Experience
At the moment your Desktop wallpaper does not match your new Start Screen theme and style. Follow the instructions in the link at the end to make the overall experience 'consistent'. You should disable syncing of Desktop Personalisation in PC Settings if you create a similar wallpaper for your Desktop PC as it will have a different screen resolution to your Surface tablet and you don't want your PC wallpaper syncing to your Surface Desktop and vice versa. http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1963066

11. List of Keyboard Shortcuts
http://tech2.in.com/features/softwar...atsheet/551452

12. Access your Last Photo and Camera Roll Photos Direct from Camera App
In Camera app, after taking a photo or video, swipe the screen to the right to see your most recent capture. You can continue scrolling to see more photos/videos. Also, pinch to zoom out from viewfinder screen to see a smaller view more easy to navigate.

13. Enable Hidden Start Screen Animation
When you first boot into the Start screen after a fresh install, you get a lovely animation of all the tiles and text flying into view. To enable this again to occur each time you enter your Start screen, execute the following registry tweak. Type Regedit in Search and launch it. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\ImmersiveShell\Grid and create a new DWORD: Launcher_SessionLoginAnimation_OnShow and set its value to 1. To disable the animation if you don't like it set the value to 0.

14. Boost Speaker Volume
Surface's volume is quite low. Go to Control Panel, then Sound, then click on Speakers, then Properties, then Enhancements and check Loudness Equalisation and Virtual Surround too if you wish. Apply changes.

15. Pinch to Zoom Out to See More Content
If you execute the pinch gesture in the following apps, you will see more content or shortcuts: People, Bing, Store, Photos, Camera, Weather, Travel, News, Sports, Finance and Reader.

16. Recover More Space After Refreshing Your Surface
When you refresh your Surface via PC settings, a folder called Windows.old is created in your C: Drive. This can be a huge folder in size as it contains previous files. You can delete this folder and reclaim some storage space as follows: Search for "Tools" and click on "Administrative Tools" in the Setting results. Next click on Disk Clean-up and after loading click on Clean Up System Files. Make sure Windows.old is checked and click ok.

17. Reposition the Virtual Keyboard in Desktop Mode
Tap on the small icon to the left of the X icon at the top right corner of the keyboard to manually reposition it. To dock the keyboard again tap on the X button. Only works in Desktop mode.

18. Enable Swiping Gestures to Advance Forwards or Backwards in Metro Internet Explorer
You can swipe the screen left or right to advance forwards or backwards by enabling Flip Ahead in Internet Options. Don't swipe from the bezel, but anywhere within the screen.

19. Check Settings for Every App/Page you are Viewing
This may sound obvious but via the Charms menu, click on settings to see if there are additional options for the app you are viewing. Do this also again in the same app if you are on a different page. You will be surprised at what additional new options you may encounter. Spend some time to do this for all your apps.

20. Enable Matrix White on Black Theme
Change the entire look of your UI to a funky Hi Tec white text on black background. Go to PC Settings via Charm and tap on Ease of Access. Turn on High Contrast mode to see the effect. Turn off to return to normal UI.

21. Access to 780 Emoticons Built Into the Keyboard
More of did you know than a tip. The keyboard has 780 emoticons (yes I counted them) split into seven categories. Just tap the smiley face key and then the ➡ key above the &123 key, to scroll through them. The bottom row of emoticons has the different categories to choose from.

22. Make Web Links Always Open Up in IE for Desktop Instead of the IE App
Search apps for inetcpl.cpl and hit enter. This is IE options. Click on the Programs tab and change the "Choose how you open links" option to Always in Internet Explorer on the Desktop.

23. How to Find All Apps in Store - Even Unlisted Ones
In the Store, enter the character * and search. You will see every single app for your country and if you sort by newest, you see a lot more new apps compared to the normal way of browsing in the store. As of writing this, there are 6525 apps listed for the UK. Also you can show even more apps by going to the Store's settings, choosing Preferences and turning off "Make it easier to find apps in my preferred language". With it on and searching for * there are 6525 apps. With it turned off there are 7799 apps. A big difference. A most excellent tip!

24. Enable Alternative Virtual Keyboard
Via the Charm menu, go to PC Settings and then Ease of Access. Change "Pressing Windows + Volume Up will turn on" On-Screen Keyboard. Now when you press the Windows key and Volume Up key, up will pop a very small keyboard. Worry not, you can resize it by dragging the bottom border down and the side borders across. You can resize it to the full width and height of the default virtual keyboard. As big as you want. The size is remembered after closing the keyboard by tapping X. Another feature is this keyboard has predictive text with word suggestions popping above the keyboard - something the default keyboard does not do. You can customise the keyboard via the options key near the lower right corner.

25. Enable Full Screen Browsing in Desktop Internet Explorer
On a normal keyboard you can enable full screen web browsing by pressing F11, however the on screen virtual keyboard and the touch keyboard do not have the F keys. Worry not. Launch the alternative keyboard (tip 24 above) and press the Fn key (Function Key) in the lower left corner and all F1-F12 keys appear on the top row. Press F11 for full screen web browsing. To turn off full screen browsing launch the alternative keyboard again and press F11 or use the trackpad on the Touch Cover to move the mouse to the top of the screen to get access to the navigation icons.

26. Tips on Saving Battery
By default, Bluetooth is turned on but if you don't really use it often, turn it off to save battery. Go to Change PC Settings and then Wireless and turn it off there. Also you can turn off live tiles which need to connect to the web such as news tiles. Finally, prevent some apps running in the background by removing them from the lock screen.

27. Change Volume on Screen by Touch
When you press the Volume Keys on the side of your Surface, a small volume graphic appears on screen at the top left corner. As well as continuing to press the Volume Keys to change the volume, you can also place your finger on the graphic and slide the bar up or down.

28. See the Time from Within Any App
Want to know what time it is at any moment? Use your right thumb to slide the Charm bar into view just enough to pop up the time in the lower left corner and immediately swipe your thumb to the right to close the Charm bar and time. You should do this gesture without releasing contact of the screen. A quick in and out thumb swipe is enough.

29. Get to Task Manager Quickly
By pressing the Windows key and Power button at the same time you get to a screen were you can Lock, Switch User, Sign Out or Use the Task Manager.

30. Kickstand Works in Portrait Mode
Should you need to display your Surface in portrait mode, then open the kickstand and stand it up. The kickstand keeps it upright also. Great if you are displaying a slideshow of portrait photos.

31. Disable Logging
Generally logging can cause some sluggishness at times because log files are constantly accessed and written to. You can turn these off if you wish. Search for gpedit.msc and launch it. Navigate to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, and then select Windows Error Reporting in the left column of the Group Policy editor. Double-click Disable Logging in the Settings section of the Group Policy editor. Select Enable and then click OK to save the changes. Do the same for Disable Windows Error Reporting.

32. How to Move a Tile to a New Group Very Quickly
When you install a new app, it automatically gets added to the end of your tiles on the right. If you have several groups full of lots of tiles it can be quite a chore to drag to a group near the beginning. A quicker way to do this is to drag the tile to the bottom of the screen. Automatically all the grouped tiles zoom out and now you can move it to any group you like whereupon the tiles get zoomed in again.

33. Security Wallpaper Idea
What happens if you were to lose your Surface? How would anyone know who to return it to if they can't get past your password/pin code screen to browse your Me tile in Contacts? In Photoshop, add a text line to a wallpaper you want to use on your Surface's lock screen. Position the text near the bottom right corner and have it say something like: "If you find this tablet, please contact (phone number) to return it to it's owner and claim a reward for doing so." Then upload it to your tablet and apply it to your lock screen.

34. Multi Select Emails
You can multi select emails by swiping sideways the email header in the list. Swipe either left or right. You can move, mark as read or mark as unread.

35. Enable Flash for Specific Websites
Microsoft only allows certain websites to play flash content. These sites are listed in a 'whitelist'. You can edit the whitelist to include other sites of your choice. Click on the link and follow the instructions: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1961793

36. Reclaim Storage Space
You can reclaim additional space by deleting unwanted files. Go to the Control panel, delete temporary files and history. Also go to General section in PC Settings and then to Available Storage. You can view app sizes to delete unwanted pre installed apps like finance or sports.

37. Touchpad Supports Gestures
Two finger scrolling is possible on the keyboard's touchpad. You can bring up the menu from the bottom and scroll horizontally through your tiles and photos. Also double tapping is enabled too!

38. Use Home and End Keys to Navigate Quicker
To quickly go to one end of long list of tiles to other, use PgUp and PgDn keys to scroll by pages of tiles as opposed to columns of tiles.

39. Switch Between Running Apps Using Keyboard Shortcuts
On your keyboard, press the Windows and Tab keys to switch between apps. You can also use the Alt and Tab keys too!

40. Sync Multiple Google Calendars
Having more than one Google Calendar is now possible on the Surface. Follow the instructions here: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/sync-mu...ndars-windows/

41. Map Network Skydrive Folder in Surface
Here is a way to get access to your Skydrive files without having to navigate back and forth through the Skydrive app. You can now access the folder via file explorer in Desktop mode. Follow the instructions in the link: http://rashedtalukder.com/how-to-map...-desktop-mode/

42. Increase Internet Explorer Performance
Follow the tweaks here to speed up your web browsing: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1998414

43. Sharing a Volume Out from the Surface
Windows RT supports file sharing (server-side), but it's hidden and disabled by default. Search for 'Services' from your Start screen. Find 'Server' in the list. Right click or tap and hold and choose properties. Change the Startup type to Automatic and you can create and share a folder like normal. Note: this might impact battery life.

44. How to Backup Recovery Partition to USB Flash Drive
Follow the instructions in the link to backup your Recovery Partition which may be useful if you want to delete that partition from the Surface. Don't delete it though until you have researched properly: http://www.shinysurface.com/2012/11/...b-flash-drive/

45. How to Boot from USB Flash Drive
If you need to boot from a USB flash drive simply shut down your Surface, plug in your USB flash drive and hold down the volume button as you press the power button.

46. View Change Log of App Updates
The only way to view the change log of an app update before installing it is to deselect all the apps that want to update and select any one app. A 'View Details' button appears at the bottom which you can tap to see the details. Repeat for the other apps to be updated.

47. Share Selected Text from a Website
When you are on a website and want to share the page, you don't have to share the whole page in a link. You can highlight to select words on a website and when you share it by swiping the charm bar into view, only the selected words will be shared.

48. See Estimated Data Usage of your Wi-Fi Connection
You can see how many megabytes/gigs of data has been transferred via Wi-Fi on your Surface. Tap on Settings in the Charm bar, and then tap on your active Wi-Fi SSID name. IN the Networks list, tap and HOLD on your active Wi-Fi name and from the pop up menu choose 'Show estimated data usage'. It will show for example: Estimated usage 5.71gb since 1 day ago. Just tap on your W-iFi name next time to see the latest data usage.

49. Make your Desktop Explorer User Interface More Touch Friendly
Search for 'Display' via the Charms bar. In Settings results, tap on the blue monitor icon result. Everything is at 100% default size for text. Tap on Medium at 125% and hit apply to make everything in Explorer mode that much easier to read and touch. Make sure to set zoom level in both Internet Explorers back to 100% though.

50. Make your Keyboard Touchpad Scroll in the correct Direction
At the moment, when you scroll via the touchpad, the screen moves in the opposite direction to where your fingers move. Now you can reverse the direction thanks to a registry tweak here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2007987

51. Disable Animation on Opening Apps
If you find the flipping animation annoying when launching an app you can disable it as follows. In Charms menu search for "Performance" and tap on "Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows" in Settings results. In the Visual Effects tab, uncheck 'Animate windows when minimising and maximising'. This gives an instantaneous launch. To disable the animated live tiles, uncheck also the 'Animate controls and elements inside windows' box. To revert back to the animations, just check the boxes again.

52. Install Apps Direct to SD Card
By default only media files can be installed to the SD cards and apps are installed to internal memory. If you have a 32gig tablet, you will realise internal memory is precious and limited. Free up internal memory by changing the location of where apps are installed. Run Regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Appx and change the location path of the PackageRoot key from C:\ProgramFiles\WindowsApps to say D:\WindowsApps (where D: is the drive letter of your SD card and WindowsApps is the name of a folder you created in your SD card). You may need to change permissions on the Appx registry folder so that you can edit the key. You can also change the app repository to another directory by changing the PackageRepository key in a similar manner.

53. Install Apps from Other Countries
Do you want Flixster installed but you're annoyed that it only shows on the US store? Wish you could download it? Now you can and any other FREE app (can't buy apps from other countries, only free apps). Search for 'Region' via Charm menu and tap on the results in Settings category. Tap on the Location tab and change your Home Location to any country you want. Now you can navigate the store app for that particular country and download any free apps you like the look of. Change back to your original country when you had enough. Incidentally, Flixster works perfectly well with UK location and cinemas so not sure why its not in the UK Store.

54. Speed Up Scrolling by Reducing Friction
Launch the Registry Editor and navigate to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Wisp\Touch and change the Friction value from 32 to 0. Reboot to see change. If you feel the screen sensitivity is too fast now, change the value to say 16 or any number up to 64. 64 means high friction. 0 means low friction.

55. Stream Media Files From Your Surface to Non Windows Certified DLNA TVs
If you have a TV set which has DLNA media streaming feature, but it is not a Windows?Microsoft Certified TV (check in Devices in PC Settings), you will not be able to stream/share media files from within certain apps. However, you can stream them through Windows Explorer using the 'Play To' feature. Find your media files you want to stream in your Pictures, Music and Videos folders. Tap on the file to select it but not launch it. Tap on the Play tab in the Ribbon UI at the top of the screen. Finally tap on the Play To button and select your TV which should now be active. Make sure to turn on network discovery in the Network and Sharing Center in Control Panel, if this is not working for you.

*January 24th Update: Added entries 54 - 55.
*January 22nd Update: Added entry 53.
*January 3rd Update: Added entries 51-.52. Updated entry 26.
*December 6th Update: Added entries 47-.50
*November 22nd Update: Added entries 34-46.
*November 10th Update: Updated entry 23 and added entries 30-33.
*November 9th Update: Added entries 24-29.
Last edited by tboy2000; 25th January 2013 at 02:41 AM.
The Following 47 Users Say Thank You to tboy2000 For This Useful Post: [ View ]
3rd November 2012, 01:36 AM   |  #2  
tboy2000's Avatar
OP Senior Member
Flag London
Thanks Meter: 236
 
1,518 posts
Join Date:Joined: Oct 2006
More
Reserved.
3rd November 2012, 01:37 AM   |  #3  
tboy2000's Avatar
OP Senior Member
Flag London
Thanks Meter: 236
 
1,518 posts
Join Date:Joined: Oct 2006
More
Second Reserve.
3rd November 2012, 01:37 AM   |  #4  
tboy2000's Avatar
OP Senior Member
Flag London
Thanks Meter: 236
 
1,518 posts
Join Date:Joined: Oct 2006
More
Final Reserve.
3rd November 2012, 06:34 AM   |  #5  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 4
 
29 posts
Join Date:Joined: Jul 2007
Good summary. First one to figure out how to get a fourth row of live tiles gets a cookie.

Also, how do we replace pinned IE tiles with something a little nicer?
Last edited by TheAccuser; 3rd November 2012 at 06:47 AM.
3rd November 2012, 07:07 AM   |  #6  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 1
 
5 posts
Join Date:Joined: Oct 2009
I've been spending all my free time trying to figure out the fourth row, and reversing scroll direction on the touchpad.



I feel ya.

As for the IE tiles, I suppose you could just create new .png files and replace the current for whichever you want:

c:\users\profile\appdata\local\microsoft\internet explorer\pin-xxxxxxxx\

I haven't tried it but, looking in there it seems like it might work.
3rd November 2012, 08:41 AM   |  #7  
Member
Flag Alberta
Thanks Meter: 6
 
84 posts
Join Date:Joined: Oct 2010
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by tboy2000

7. Unlock Without Swiping
Instead of Swiping up the lockscreen image to unlock, just tap space bar on your keyboard.

You can also press the space bar to wake the device. You don't have to press the capacitive windows button, or the lock/wake button.
3rd November 2012, 08:54 AM   |  #8  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 4
 
29 posts
Join Date:Joined: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGreencastle

You can also press the space bar to wake the device. You don't have to press the capacitive windows button, or the lock/wake button.

It's actually any key, or the touch pad.
3rd November 2012, 11:15 AM   |  #9  
Recognized Developer
Flag Moscow
Thanks Meter: 70
 
247 posts
Join Date:Joined: Jan 2010
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by tboy2000

12. Optimise your Surface
Once in a while execute the following: Search for "Defrag" in Settings and click on Defragment and Optimise your Drives. Click on C: drive and then click Optimise.

WTF?! Have you heard about NAND?
3rd November 2012, 12:27 PM   |  #10  
lumpaywk's Avatar
Senior Member
Flag Portsmouth/Gosport
Thanks Meter: 60
 
597 posts
Join Date:Joined: Mar 2010
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by Useless guy

WTF?! Have you heard about NAND?

I second this, you could actually do harm as well you do not need to optimize/defrag Anne or any type of solid state.

Post Reply Subscribe to Thread
Previous Thread Next Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes