Archive for March, 2013

Increase Number of Rows in Windows 8 Start Screen

March 22, 2013

Countless number of blog posts and articles have been written about how to change the number of live tile rows displayed in the Windows 8 Start screen.  For the most part, they provide the right guidance.  However, after trying many of these tips, I could not increase the number of rows on my Windows 8 Start screen!  So I continued to run Windows 8 on a relatively large 24″ monitor at 1920×1080 resolution and my Start screen was limited to three rows — with absolutely gigantic live tiles.

I couldn’t figure out why my rows didn’t increase after trying every trick until I came across Paul Thurrott’s article on a similar subject.  Turns out that screen DPI and accessibility settings play a part in the logic to increase the number of rows.  Indeed, I had enabled the “Make everything on your screen bigger” option under Ease of Access PC Settings.  Although I haven’t seen this documented elsewhere, enabling this setting will always artificially cap the maximum number of rows you can display in the Start screen to a measly three.

Turning the setting off, using the tweaks in the previously mentioned pages, and logging out corrected the issue. Now I have a glorious Windows 8 Start screen showing six rows of reasonably-sized live tiles.


Dis-Integrate GoToMeeting from Microsoft Lync

March 22, 2013

For enterprise users, it’s not unusual to have a flurry of online meeting tools installed on their desktop: Microsoft Lync, Citrix GoToMeeting, WebEx, and Microsoft Live Meeting just to name a few.  I use Lync 2013 for my online meetings but recently had to install Citrix GoToMeeting to attend a webinar.  While GoToMeeting is a fine product, I don’t need it for anything outside the occasional meeting that someone else has organized.  To my surprise, once installed, GoToMeeting decided to rear its ugly head all over my pristine Lync 2013 client app.

In context menus…


Also in the conversation window…


This integration is described in more detail in the Integrate GoToMeeting with Microsoft Lync article on the Citrix support site.  As stated in the Citrix page, when the GoToMeeting option is selected the GoToMeeting application is launched.  If you’re a GoToMeeting subscriber and your credentials are configured, then an instant message with the meeting information will be sent to the invitee.  However, since I’m not, I simply get the Login window:


So why do I need this integration since I don’t use GoToMeeting for my own meetings?  It’s like a permanent ad for the product inside of Lync.  Well, I don’t like it.  Removing it though, isn’t as simple as it should be.  Ideally, GoToMeeting should provide a check-box option to enable this integration during setup – it does not.  To remove it, you could simply uninstall GoToMeeting using the standard Uninstall or change a program tool in Control Panel.  But this removes the entire app, and there’s a good chance that I’ll need it again at some point to join an online meeting someone else has organized.

A better plan is to remove the Lync integration without removing the entire GoToMeeting app, thus leaving it installed for the occasional meeting while getting its paws off my Lync.  As you would guess, there are registry keys to register custom commands for Lync menus.  The details for how this works are published in the Adding Custom Commands to Lync 2010 Menus section of the Lync SDK documentation.

I’ll save you some reading… To add a command to a link menu, you add a subkey to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Wow6432Node\ Microsoft\ Communicator\ SessionManager\ Apps (this is for 64-bit Windows; there’s a different key for 32-bit Windows).  To remove the menu, well, you remove the subkey.


You can use regedit to browse to the specified location and delete the offending GoToMeeting subkey.  The usual warnings apply… You are making permanent changes to your computer yadda yadda.  Needless to say, I’m sure this is completely unsupported.

After removing the {E8AD82…} subkey and restarting Lync, the GoToMeeting menus will be history:


And life is good again.