Is your organization ready for Windows 8.1? Part 9, Disable Help Tips in The New Interface

My time with Windows 8 was fun. I found numerous hacks to make the most of my experience. The most fun I had was with pressing Alt + F4 during Windows 8‘s psychedelic color-flipping welcome screen to skip it altogether.

Now, In Windows 8.1, pressing Alt + F4 during the initial setup won’t do you much good; You will have to stroll through the color scheme with your Windows installation, unless you’ve attached a monochrome screen as its main screen.

Now, the good part is, the explanation of corner picking is gone from the Welcome routine. This is good news, since you can become more productive faster on a new Windows 8.1 installation, compared to a fresh Windows 8 installation.

Instead, Microsoft has built these help tips in The New Interface. Here’s an example Help Tip that pops up in the bottom left corner when you first open the Start Screen:

HeresStart

These tips might prove helpful to new Windows 8.1 users, but, alas, when such a help tip appears on the screen, the only way to get rid of it (since they would probably be in the way on something you’d like to click) is to click on it.  That way they won’t show again, by the way.

 

Managing Help Tips

When your colleagues have been using Windows 8, they’re probably already in the know on The New Interface and would find these Help Tips annoying. Luckily, there’s a way to disable them.

Disabling Help Tips through Group Policy

You can disable Help Tips in The New Interface of Windows 8.1 with the Disable help tips group policy setting. Open the Group Policy Editor (by typing gpedit.msc in the Start Screen) and in the left pane, navigate to Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components and Edge UI. Here, Disable help tips is the only available Group Policy setting.

The Disable Help Tips Group Policy setting (click for original screenshot)

When you enable this Group Policy setting, click OK and then wait for the Group Policy background refresh (or run gpupdate.exe), the Help Tips won’t show for any of the colleagues using the targeted Windows 8.1 installation.

Tip!
You can also change this setting per-user through Group Policy, by navigating the same path under User Configuration. Here, a couple more Group Policy settings live under the Edge UI node.

Disabling Help Tips through the Registry

Of course, not every PC is part of an Active Directory environment. Also, the Group Policy Editor might not be accessible on Windows 8.1 installations. You can also disable the Help Tips through the registry. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Regedit.exe or RegEdt32.exe
  2. In the left pane, navigate to     HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\EdgeUI

    Note:
    If the EdgeUI key does not exist, create it.
  3. In the main pane of the Registry Editor, right-click and create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name is DisableHelpSticker.
  4. Double-click DisableHelpSticker and set its data to 1 to disable the Help Tips. Set its value to 0  to enable them. When you delete the Value the setting is not configured and will be enabled by default.

You can also disable Help Tips on a per-user basis through the Registry. Folow the same steps as above, but change the keys and values in HKEY_CURRENT_USER instead of HKEY_CURRENT_MACHINE.

 

Concluding

Getting new Windows 8.1 users productive fast is a great goal. From this perspective the Help Tips in Windows 8.1’s New Interface are great. For Windows 8 users, upgrading to Windows 8.1, it might be annoying. This blogpost shows you how to disable them.

Further reading

Hands-On with Windows 8.1: Help + Tips
New Windows 8.1 build reveals built-in tutorial and tips
Windows 8.1 Tips and Tricks
Windows 8.1 will have more built in user guides – help and Tips
New Windows 8.1 build reveals built-in tutorial and tips
How to Enable or Disable Pop-up Help Tips in Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1

Series Navigation

<< Is your organization ready for Windows 8.1? Part 8, Start Screen App PinningIs your organization ready for Windows 8.1? Part 10, Group Policy Caching >>

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