Tips for Navigating Windows 8

If you’ve bought a new PC computer or laptop over the last year, chances are you’ve had to familiarize yourself with the new Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft’s latest update represents the biggest redesign in the classic operating system’s look and feel in over a decade. The old Start menu is replaced with a touch-oriented Start screen that is geared towards mobile device users. There is also a new color scheme and tiled interface that is easy on the eyes.

For many users accustomed to the classic Windows look and feel, navigating Windows 8 can be a difficult transition. Here are a few tips to make your experience with Windows 8 just a bit easier:

1) Advancing from Lock Screen.

Windows 8 opens on a lock screen but doesn’t say what to do next. If you’re on a computer, tap the space bar or spin the mouse wheel; if you’re using a tablet device, swipe upwards to reveal the login screen and enter your password to proceed.

2) Organize your interface.

The new glitzy interface may be cluttered with programs you don’t use. To remove the apps you don’t want, right click or swipe down and select Unpin to remove them. Then, drag and drop the remaining tiles into easily identified groups to suit your needs. If an app has a larger tile that takes up two slots, you can also right click it and choose “Smaller” to free up valuable Start screen space.

3) See all your applications in list form.

The List view makes it easier to see all your apps.To access this view, Press the Windows key + Q; Right Click an empty part of the Start screen; or swipe your finger up from the bottom of the screen and select “All Apps.”

4) Manage Internet Explorer’s full-screen view.

When you open the browser in Windows 8, you’ll see no toolbars, menus, or sidebars. Simply right click an empty part of the page, or swipe your finger down from the top, to reveal several search and find options. If you prefer the old-fashioned desktop version, click the spanner icon to access the menu options.

5) Learn as many keyboard shortcuts as possible.

If you don’t like the new touch screen, then Keyboard shortcuts — typically the Windows key and one other button pressed in tandem — can get things done equally as fast. Visit Microsoft’s Windows 8 keyboard shortcut site here for a comprehensive list and start practicing.

6) Figure out what’s running.

The lack of the classic Windows taskbar might mislead you into thinking you have no apps running. You can still press Alt+Tab to toggle through any active programs, though. And if you press the Windows key + Tab, a pane on the left-hand side will show you all running apps.

7) Where to Shut it Down.

Shutting down Windows 8 isn’t as easy without the familiar Start button. Move your cursor to the bottom right corner of the screen, click the Settings icon, and you’ll see a power button. Click that and “Shut Down” or “Restart” options will appear.

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