How to “fix” Windows 8/8.1

If you have recently purchased a new computer you likely have Windows 8 or 8.1 installed on it and are frustrated beyond belief. Don't panic! If you are reading this article you are well on your way to “fixing” your new computer. The goal is to make Windows 8/8.1 look and feel more like Windows 7.

As always, if you do have trouble with this process or just don't wish to do this procedure yourself, BSD Computer Systems does offer this service along with data transfer of data from your old computer to your new computer for a flat $75.00 + tax.

There are only a few, fairly easy steps you need to perform to make Windows 8 play nice:

  1. If your computer has Windows 8 installed, upgrade to Windows 8.1. You can find upgrade instructions here:
  2. Install Classic Shell. Classic Shell will restore the Start menu and make the computer start in the classic desktop mode. You will find it here:

  3. Install Adobe Acrobat Reader. Windows 8/8.1 includes a Reader App. Like all of the Apps in Windows 8/8.1 they open full screen with no “X” to close them. This is frustrating to the new Windows 8/8.1 user and if they are not closed properly they stay open in the background. Eventually you will have numerous Apps open and receive a message about depleted resources. What a pain! You can get Adobe Reader here:

  4. Next we will set default programs. This will eliminate Apps from opening Reader, music and picture files. To do this:



  7. In the listed programs select Acrobat Reader and then click SET THIS PROGRAMS AS DEFAULT.

  8. Repeat step 6 for Windows Media Player and Windows Photo Viewer.

  9. If your new computer came with a third party anti-virus I recommend that it be removed. Windows 8 comes with Defender and it is doing a great job so there is no reason to pay for an anti-virus. Simply uninstall the anti-virus program from Programs and Features located in the control panel and reboot your computer. Windows should automatically activate Defender. You can check to make sure it is turned on by opening Windows Defender in the control panel. If was not turned on automatically you will be able to turn in on there.

  10. Lastly, install Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes scans for and removes malicious software that your anti-virus might not catch. This would be software that is not a security threat and has real or implied consent to be installed on your computer (Implied consent = you went to that web site so you must have wanted that malware...) If the malware is not a security threat and has consent the anti-virus allows it. All anti-virus software behaves in this way. During the install of Malwarebytes you should uncheck the option for the 14 day trial of Malwarebytes. If not you will be pestered to buy this software. You can get malwarebytes here:

There you go, a useful Windows 8.1 computer. Enjoy!


"It’s been three months since you built my computer and I wanted to let you know that it’s been a joy to use!  It’s fast and stable and the latest update to Windows 10 is working very well.  Thanks for the good job!  If I do get into trouble, I’ll be in touch."