Enable God Mode on Surface Tablets

Here is another Quick Tip for you: “god mode”

Since Windows 7, Microsoft has included a little feature called “god mode” (taken from gaming where you could often use a cheat mode called god mode to become invincible – please don’t blame me if you don’t like the name).

If you enable god mode on your Surface, you won’t be invincible but it can be a pretty handy way to easily access various (sometimes hidden) systems settings. As such, this post is essentially for folks who like to make various tweaks to their Surface.

Enable God Mode on Surface Tablets: How To Do It

To create a god mode icon on your desktop, follow these steps:

  • Tap and hold (right-click on the Desktop to bring up the properties menu.

  • Select New Folder and name it exactly as follows: godMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

  • The folder should rename itself to godMode and look like the example below:

Once you have a godMode icon, go ahead and open it and you’ll get a long list of settings you can use to tweak various aspects of your Surface.

The procedure above works for both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Also, once you’ve made it, you can rename the icon to whatever you want and it will still work. So, if you don’t like the name you can call it something like superMode or adminMode or whatever.

There are a lot of settings and tools on the god mode list, perhaps too many, but the list is searchable (top right corner) to help you find what you’re looking for – cool, eh?

In case you’re wondering, using god mode will not allow you to access settings unless you have permissions to do so. So, it works best if you’re logged in with an administrator account.


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Rollback to Windows 8.1 on your Surface

You were excited. You jumped onto Windows 10 as soon as it was ready to install on your Surface.

After the upgrade, you started using it and now you are……disappointed. It doesn’t feel quite as touch friendly as Windows 8.1 and it feels a bit like a desktop OS with touch features just tacked on.

It’s OK that you don’t like it. Windows 10 is a big change from Windows 8.1 and some people feel that Windows 8.1 is a far superior operating system for a touch devices like the Surface tablets. But, what can you do now? You’ve already done the upgrade. Are you stuck with Windows 10?

No. You are not. It turns out that Microsoft built a mechanism into Windows 10 to allow you to easily rollback to Windows 8.1 on a Surface. But, you’d better hurry. You only have about 30 days from the time you performed the upgrade to do it.

IMPORTANT: You will lose the applications you’ve installed since upgrading to Windows 10. Your data should be preserved by the rollback process but you should backup all your data files as a precaution. My motto, derived from many years of experience in the IT field is: “always have backups”.

Rollback to Windows 8.1 on your Surface: How To Do It

Microsoft has actually made the rollback process pretty easy and painless. Unfortunately, there will be some things that won’t follow you back to Windows 8.1.  Basically, you’ll lose all the applications you’ve installed since upgrading to Windows 10 – yes, I’m repeating this because it’s important.

In case you’re wondering: yes, this process will work on other Windows computers as well.

There are a few things you can do before you begin the rollback to ensure it goes smoothly and you don’t lose anything important:

  • Make sure your Surface has a full battery before trying the rollback.
  • Make sure you remember what your username and password was in Windows 8.1 (it should be the same as it is now but this could be a concern if you changed accounts since then).
  • Make sure your data is backed up to an external hard drive and/or OneDrive.
  • If you don’t already have one, make sure you make a USB Recovery Drive (we’re not going to do anything with it in this process but it’s good to have, just in case).

Once you’ve addressed the items above, you can perform the actual rollback to Windows 8.1 by following these steps:

  • Plug your Surface into power if it’s not already.
  • Swipe in from the right of the screen to being up the Action Center. Tap the All Settings Button.

  • When the Settings window appears, select Update and Security.

  • The Update and Security screen will open. Select the Recovery tab.

From there, all you have to do to start the rollback is tap on the Get Started button under the Go Back To Windows 8.1 section and follow the instructions. They will lead you through the process.

Be aware that it will take a bit of time (20 minutes or more) so be patient.

Rollback to Windows 8.1 on your Surface: After The Rollback

Keep in mind that after the rollback, you may have some things that aren’t working as well as they should. For example, these are some of the common issues after a rollback:

  • Your Surface may repeatedly tell you to re-authenticate with your Microsoft account. You may receive errors when doing so.
  • OneDrive may have problems synchronizing
  • Some of the Modern programs on the Start Screen may have weird names. For example, one time I noticed the Mail App became “Microsoft.WindowsLive.Mail” after a rollback to Windows 8.1.
  • Your icons may not look right and things like your wallpapers may be missing
  • Your additional login options (PIN & Picture Password) may not function.

Every rollback is different. You may experience no problems, similar ones to the above, or you may experience completely different problems. If you do experience issues, you should look at this article on How To Convert your Microsoft Account to a Local Account and Vice Versa. By converting your account to a local account and back, you can effectively reset it and clear up most or all of the problems that resulted from the rollback process.

If you decide that you want to return to Windows 10 at a later date, you will be able to do easily. Just follow the steps in my Manually Start Windows 10 Upgrade article. Be aware, though, the free upgrade to Windows 10 offer will end in June of 2016.

A personal note: I am not advocating that you do this. I simply want you to have these steps, if you absolutely can’t live with Windows 10. I, also, do want to say that any new OS takes getting used to and encourage you not to give up easily. And, if you’re waiting for the Surface Pro 4, it will most definitely come with Windows 10 – so it may be a good idea to start using it now. Personally, between Joanna and myself, we have all of the Surfaces models. So, we upgraded my Surface Pro 2 and Joanna’s Surface 3 to Windows 10. We left the Surface Pro 3 with Windows 8.1 and, of course, the RT devices are still using Win 8.1RT.


Traditional Windows Laptop to Surface 3 – Six Things To Know

If you’re still using a traditional Windows laptop but you’re considering making the jump from a laptop to a Surface 3, here’s a list of six things you’ll want to know to make the transition from laptop to Surface 3 smoother for you. Continue reading Traditional Windows Laptop to Surface 3 – Six Things To Know

Issues With the Clock on Surface Tablets

In this article, we’re going to discuss the clock on your Surface and how to make sure that your clock is accurate as possible.

So, why should you care if the clock on your Surface is off by a couple of minutes?

I’ll bet every clock you own is different from each other by a minute or two, right?

Well, the time on your stove or microwave isn’t used by certain internet security protocols (such as Surface is. As a result, you may not be able to login or connect to certain network resources (especially in an enterprise environment). Continue reading Issues With the Clock on Surface Tablets

Send Files Via Bluetooth To Surface Tablets From Your Phone

Did you know that you can send files via Bluetooth to Surface tablets? How about, did you know you can use Bluetooth to send files from your Surface to your Phone?

Well, you can. In this article, I’m going to cover how to wirelessly send things like pictures or documents from your phone to your Surface and back again. Continue reading Send Files Via Bluetooth To Surface Tablets From Your Phone

Setup My Surface 3 – The Absolute Basics

So, you just got your Surface 3 out of the box and turned it on. So…. now what?

In this article, I’m going to give you some basic advice on setting up your new Surface 3. I’ll cover the MINIMUM basic configurations and applications you should consider installing in order to make your Surface 3 a little quicker, more secure, and easier to use. Continue reading Setup My Surface 3 – The Absolute Basics

Surface 3 Benchmarks

When I first got my hands on a Surface 3 one of the first things I did was run several benchmark tests against the unit.

I feel it’s important for you to note that I was working with the 2GB version for these benchmarks because every other benchmark article on the Surface 3 I’ve seen is using the 4GB version which may give you slightly better marks due to the extra RAM. Continue reading Surface 3 Benchmarks

Fix Windows Store Problems on Your Surface

In this article, I’m going to cover how to fix Windows Store problems on your Surface.

Windows Store problems usually result in you either not being able to connect to the store or not being able to download/install the applications.

If that sounds like the issues you’re having then this article should be a great help. Continue reading Fix Windows Store Problems on Your Surface

Turn off the Screen on Surface Tablets

Have you ever needed to be able to turn off the screen on your Surface Pro 3 but not have it sleep or hibernate?

It could be the case that you’re trying to Chromecast Netflix to your big screen in a dark room and don’t want the glare from the Surface screen distracting you. Another possibility is that you just want to be able to quickly turn off the screen when someone is nosy and looking at your screen over your shoulder.

Continue reading Turn off the Screen on Surface Tablets