Surface tips & tricks

So... what's this all about?

I thought I might try and collate some useful tips & tricks for Surface users here in the Tribe.

If you've got a tip that you think everyone should know about, comment below and I'll update this post!

Delete the recovery partition

Via jhoff80

This can free up 3.5GB of space. You'll need an external USB drive. Instructions can be found here.

Free up some more drive space!

Via geeep

You may be able to free up some space used by the automatic update service.

  • Start>Run
  • Type cmd and press enter
  • Type net stop wuauserv and press enter
  • Type rename c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution to softwaredistribution.old and press enter
  • Type net start wuauserv and press enter
  • Type exit and press enter
  • Verify that the new software distribution folder created when you restart the update service is approximately 1.5 MB in size (standard files).
  • Restart the computer and delete the softwaredistribution.old folder if you have no issues.

Full-screen browsing

This one is based on personal preference. In IE metro go to Charms\Settings\Internet Settings and set "Zoom" to 125%.

This increases touch targets for websites not designed for widescreen browsing.

If you don't like it just set "Zoom" back to 100%, no harm done! :D

Make the desktop more touch friendly

Again, this one is based on personal preference. You can make the desktop more touch-friendly on the Surface by increasing the DPI scaling.

Instructions can be found here.

Upgrade to Final Office 2013 RT

The Surface originally shipped Office 2013 "preview". To upgrade to the "final" you need to force an update via the desktop.

Instructions can be found here.

Video Out

  • You don't need to use Microsoft's video-out adaptor. You can just use a standard micro-HDMI connector!
  • You can change the display options via Charms\Device. Options are Surface screen only, duplicate (both screens are identical), extend (both screens are unique and operate at their native resolution), and second screen only
  • The maximum resolution for the second screen is 1920x1080.

Change your search provider

The default search provider in IE is Bing... don't like it? Change it!

  • Open IE on the desktop and go to Tools\Manage Add-ons
  • Select "Search Providers" in the left menu then click the "Find more search providers..." link at the bottom
  • Alternatively, if you live in the US just click this link
  • If you add a search provider from this list and set it to "default" then metro IE will use it as well