WinPatrol 2013 Enhanced for Windows 8
Since before the release of Windows 8 I’ve had more emails than you might think asking if WinPatrol was compatible with Windows 8. Like most existing programs, WinPatrol isn’t available for Windows 8 RT but it has been running smoothly since early preview versions of Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. There has been some confusion about security related programs so many early adopters have written to be sure we’re compatible.
WinPatrol has never worked like a traditional security application so it has been running fine on Windows 8 machines. I’ve heard from folks with brand new computers saying Scotty has been very helpful removing unnecessary pre-installed crapware. Computer companies are paid to include software that runs on Startup. In many cases they are not full versions and often cause problems when they expire. These programs will appear in WinPatrol’s list of Startup Programs where PLUS members can verify their purpose. Once these programs are removed by WinPatrol your new computer will certainly start quicker and often run noticeably faster.
Naturally, we have tweaked a few things to make sure WinPatrol continues to work its best. Many changes are minor but required due to new Windows 8 conventions. One example is how cookies are stored by Internet Explorer 10. While Microsoft doesn’t support or encourage 3rd party cookie managers, WinPatrol has been successful in helping remove unwanted tracking files.The cookie folder used to contain a file index.dat which Microsoft renamed to be container.dat. This broke cookie handling but like other minor changes a little tweak and we’re back to normal. For protection, other internal changes are not being disclosed at this time.
WinPatrol 2013 works as you’d expect and with your support I’ll be adding some Windows 8 specific features as they are needed and/or suggested. I’m also learning how to create Windows RT apps so given enough interest perhaps there’s a WinPatrol RT in our future.
Using WinPatrol to launch to Windows 8 Desktop mode
A lot of folks aren’t sold yet on the new Start screen that is part of the Windows 8 new tile or Store Interface look. While I love the interface on my Surface RT tablet, like many users I switch to the Windows desktop on my office system. I still have many existing programs I use with familiar shadowed icons and File Explorer.
WinPatrol can actually be configured so that after booting and some initialization we’ll switch users to the desktop mode. It’s a simple process and I owe the idea to an article by Greg Shultz in the Tech Republic.
The secret to switching to desktop mode can be accomplished by adding the new File Explorer program to the list of programs Windows launches when it boots up.
When you click the Add button the following Add New Startup Program will appear allowing you to select a program you’d like to run when you start your computer.
While in the past it was known as Windows Explorer you’ll start to hear folks refer to it as “File Explorer.” I’m sure there was some confusion between Explorer and Internet Explorer. For our purposes, having File Explorer (still named explorer.exe") as a Startup Program will cause Windows 8 to switch to the desktop mode.