This is a fairly complete HOWTO for modifying Windows 8.1 so it's sensible and "oldschool".
- 1 Control Panel
- 2 Other stuff
- 3 Other notes
Control Panel ∞
To enter the control panel:
At the top-right, "View by: " [Small icons]
Windows Update ∞
(Windows update should already be set to not install anything automatically)
Let me choose my settings
- Important updates: [Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them]
- Recommended updates: [x] Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates
- Microsoft update: [x] Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows
Connect to the internet
- A bar will appear on the right, say no.
Perform a Windows Update. There should be a [Try Again] button in Windows Update.
Action Centre ∞
Maintenance > (click the word/bar Maintenance to unfold it)
- Check for solutions to problem reports > Settings (o) Each time a problem occurs, ask me before checking for solution
Automatic Maintenance > Change maintenance settings (off)
- Run maintenance tasks daily at [3:00 AM]
- [_] Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time
TODO - file history can be turned on here
Programs and Features ∞
(left column) Turn windows features on or off
- [_] (disable everything)
(It's ok to not reboot yet)
- select Speakers
click [Set Default]
(left column) Change date, time, or number formats
- Short date: [yyyy-MM-dd]
- First day of the week: [Monday]
- TODO - [Additional Settings] etc, is there a way to display the day of the week in the short date, for the taskbar's clock?
Administrative > [Copy settings]
- [x] Welcome screen and system accounts
- [x] New user accounts
TODO - This could be included in the theme.
Right-click the desktop > Personalize
bottom-left icon: Desktop Background
- Picture location: [Solid Colors] -- black
bottom icon: Sounds
- Sound Scheme: [No Sounds]
bottom icon: Screen Saver
- Wait  minutes
- [x] On resume, display login screen
(left column) Remote Settings
- [_] Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer
Folder Options ∞
- [x] Show favorites
- [_] Hide empty drives
- [_] Hide folder merge conflicts
- [_] Launch folder windows in a separate process
- [x] Don't use the index when searching in file folders for system files (searches might take longer)
You may have to open an explorer instance, set it up to look proper and then:
View > Options (the far right) > Change folder and search options > View > [Apply to folders]
Right-click the menu >
- [x] Minimize the Ribbon
FIXME - explorer settings, like removing custom icons for folders
Ease of Access Center ∞
Make the Keyboard easier to use
- [x] Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys
- [x] Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen
Administrative Tools ∞
Computer Management ∞
TODO - The task scheduler stuff, e.g. Idle Maintenance, .. probably should force run it once or twice after some usage, so it can optimize shit..
Disable the following services.
Distributed Link Tracking Client
- If you don't use NTFS networking
- If you don't use that networking fancyness
- If you don't have a printer.
- You can still use a simplified oldschool-style "theme" when this service is disabled.
Windows Image Acquisition
- If you don't use a webcam and scanner.
- I got a webcam, and I believe this was automatically set to 'Automatic'
- Windows Search
- TODO - I don't know if this disables NTP.
- If not using SMB
User Accounts ∞
Make changes to my account in PC settings
- Then switch the account to be local-only.
Other stuff ∞
Bottom-right icons tray ∞
At the bottom-right of the screen, to the left of the clock and to the left of the row of icons.
Left-click the arrow or "show hidden icons" > Customize
- Manage what gets shown, when.
FIXME - is there a way to script this?
For the charms application screen thingy ∞
Select mostly everything by right-clicking each (displays a checkmark on each item)
Shortcut keys ∞
Shortcuts placed on your desktop or elsewhere will not have a functional shortcut key.
To make one, go to one of:
- C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\
userto your appropriate user name.
Then you can do one of:
Make a shortcut there.
- You are free to make new folders.
Edit an existing shortcut there.
cmd > (click the top-left icon) > Properties
Options > Edit Options
- [x] QuickEdit Mode
- [x] Insert Mode
- Buffer size 
- TODO - what is "Number of buffers"?
Layout > Screen Buffer Size
- Width 
- Height 
Layout > Window Size
- Width 
- Height 
- Popup Text - black (0,0,0)
- Popup Background - grey (128,128,128)
TODO - navigation has something too
Other notes ∞
C:\Windows.oldif you've installed Windows 8.1 over top of an earlier installation.
- In particular, Program Files (x86) and Users/user/(etc) should have useful data.
Start > Control Panel > Mouse > Pointer Options
- [_] Enhance pointer precision
- ("pointer precision" is mouse acceleration)
- TODO - locale changing stuff
- TODO - the fucking animated stuff.
- TODO - default to the desktop.
- TODO? - check out "removed apps" from the windows refresh
- FIXME - explorer settings, like removing custom icons for folders
- It can't be done, but you can disable all Win+__ hotkeys.