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Tips on Using Windows 8

If you have recently changed to windows 8 from a previous version of Windows or if you are looking to change and your familiar with the previous versions you may be in for a bit of a shock. Windows 8 has been out now over half a year now, In fact, Windows 8 changes have not been this dramatic since the jump from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95.

The first thing you may notice is that the start menu is missing, at least I did. Now there is a pretty touch screen start scree with a bunch of tiles that are Windows 8 – Style apps and new interface conventions. I myself was a feeling bit lost the first time I booted up a windows 8 with my son’s new computer.

Don’t worry it really isn’t as bad as it first seems and we are here to provide a helping hand. After tinkering around and playing with every part of Windows 8, I believe we have discovered most of the tricks, read this guide and you’ll be on your way to being a Windows 8 expert in no time.

1. Open from the lock screen

Windows 8 opens on its lock screen, which looks cool but gives you no indication about what to do next.

It’s all very easy, though. All that you need to do is tap the space bar, spin the mouse wheel or swipe upwards on a touch screen to reveal a regular login screen with the user name you created during installation. Enter your password to begin.

2. Handle basic navigation

Windows 8’s interface is all pretty colored tiles and touch-friendly apps. And if you’re using a tablet then should be pretty easy: just swipe left or right with your fingers to scroll the screen, and tap any tile of interest.

On a standard desktop or notebook, however, you might instead spin the mouse wheel to scroll backwards and forwards.

And you may also use the keyboard. Press the Home or End keys to hurdle from one end of your Start screen to the other, for example, then use the cursor keys to select a specific tile, then tap Enter to select it. Press the Windows key to return to the Start screen; right-click (or swipe down on) apps you don’t want or need and select Unpin to remove them; then you can drag and drop the other tiles around to organize them as you see fit.

3. Group apps

The Start screen apps are originally displayed in a fairly random order, but if you’d prefer a more organized start screen then it’s easy to put them into custom groups.

You might drag Excel, Word, and PowerPoint to the left-hand side, for instance, to form a separate ‘Office’ group. Click the ‘minus’ icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to zoom out and you’ll now find you can drag and drop the new group (or any of the others) around as a block.

Right-click within the block (while still zoomed out) and you’ll also be able to give the group a name, which – if you are one of those people that had 50 folders on the desk top of your previous windows this will make it much easier to find the tools you need in somewhat of the same fashion as your old desktop.

4. Use the quick access menu

Right-click in the bottom-left corner (or hold down the Windows key and press X Click here to get all the Keyboard short cuts) for a text-based menu that provides easy access to lots of useful applets and features: Device Manager, Control Panel, Explorer, the Search dialog and more. If you want to do more customized lists of programs the Download the Win+X Menu Editor

5. Find your applications

The Win+X function that brings up the quick access menu is handy, but no substitute for the old Start menu because it does nott offer access to your applications. If you wish to get to where you can find and access your apps, press down the Windows key and the Q at the same time or you can right-click an blank portion of the Start screen or for touch screen you can also swipe your finger up from the bottom of the screen and select ‘All Apps’ to expose a scrolling list of all your installed applications. Look through the various tiles to find what application you need then click the app to open it.

6. Make access easier

Do you have application or program you use a lot then you don’t have to use the search system to locate it. You can Pin it to the Start screen, this is similar to Pining it to your start menu in windows 7 then it will be available to access with a single click.
From the app menu start by typing part of the name of your application. To access PC Settings, for instance, type ‘Settings’. Right-click the ‘PC Setting’ tile on the Apps Search screen, and click ‘Pin to Start’. If you’re using a touchscreen, press and hold the icon, then flick down and select ‘Pin to Start’.
Now press the Windows key, scroll to the right and you’ll see the PC Settings tile at the far end. Drag and drop it over to the left somewhere if you’d like it access it easier, then click the tile to open the desktop along with the PC Settings window, and then press the Windows key to return back to the Start screen.

7. Shut down

To shut Windows 8 down, hold down the Windows key and press I – and you’ll see a power button in bottom right hand corner. Click this and choose ‘Shut Down’ or ‘Restart’. Or move the mouse cursor to the bottom right corner of the screen,a sub window will open then  click the Settings icon – Some of the tricks available in previous versions of Windows still apply.
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del, for instance, click the power button in the bottom right-hand corner and you’ll be presented with the same ‘Shut Down’ and ‘Restart’ options.
And if you’re on the desktop, press Alt+F4 and you’ll be able to choose ‘Shut Down’, ‘Restart’, ‘Sign Out’ or ‘Switch User’ options.