Microsoft Surface RT and Surface Pro: Tips and shortcuts to make your life just a bit easier

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Surface Pro

Microsoft's Surface RT and Surface Pro have been available for a little while now and for those of you looking to improve your time with these devices, check out these helpful tips and shortcuts that make things so much easier.

For example, there are several tips and shortcuts that will help you boost that weak volume on your Surface, help you reach the task manager quickly, reclaim precious storage space, help you boot from a USB drive and even install apps directly to the SD Card. Check out some of the top-10 tips we pulled together and hit the source link for more tips and shortcuts.

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.

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.

Boost Speaker Volume: The volume on the Surface sucks, there is no denying this. Here is how to make it a little better. Go to Control Panel, then Sound, then click on Speakers, then Properties, then Enhancements and check Loudness Equalization and Virtual Surround too if you wish. Apply changes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8: Looking for a comprehensive guide of all available keyboard shortcuts in Windows 8? We have you covered.

So there you have it. Our top-ten list of useful Surface RT/Pro shortcuts and tips. Try any one of these tips if you didnt already know about them and see what difference it makes for you. Do you recommend any tips or shortcuts for Surface RT or Surface Pro owners? Share them in the comments below!

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