Windows 8 is finally available! Microsoft has made the biggest changes of Windows screen this time from the Start menu to the new touch-oriented Start screen, new apps, and new interface conventions – even experienced PC users may not adjust to such changes in a short time.

Don’t worry, though, help is at hand. We’ve been doing our lessons on every part of Windows 8, and this article covers many of the most important tips and tricks about using Windows 8. Follow this guide to learn these tips and tricks now!

Mouse and Keyboard

This might be the most important thing you should know about Windows 8, which not only means a lot for computers and tablets with touch screens, but also for those that use a mouse and keyboard. As Windows 8 focuses a lot on the screen, knowing some basic shortcuts is very important. Your mouse can bring up those shortcuts by hovering in the corners of the screen. The top and bottom corner bring up the charms on right and the bottom left brings up a shortcut to the start menu. You can swipe in apps from the left by holding your mouse on the left of the screen.

 Lock Screen

Windows 8 opens on its lock screen, which looks pretty but unfortunately displays no clues about what to do next. It’s all very straightforward, though. Just 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.

Quick Access Menu

Right-click in the bottom left corner for a text-based menu that provides easy access to a lot of useful features: Device Manager, Control Panel, Explorer, the Search dialog, etc. Or else you could accomplish this by holding down the Windows key and press X.

Find Your Applications

For earlier versions of Windows, you could click “Start”, which will help you find applications and provide access to your applications. To find this in Windows 8, hold down the Windows key and press “Q” or either right-click an empty part of the Start screen or swipe your finger up from the bottom of the screen and select “All Apps” to reveal a scrolling list of all your installed applications. Browse the various tiles to find what you need and click the relevant app to launch it.

Close an Application

Want to know how to close an app? But how — close buttons are hard to find in Windows 8. That’s because Microsoft encourages us to run apps in the background where they’ll take up minimal resources, but still be accessible at any time.

If you just want to close an app after using it, you can do it by dragging it with your mouse or finger from the top of the screen all the way down to the bottom. When you drag, the app will minimize into a thumbnail, and when you reach the bottom, it will disappear from your view. Also you can still close apps by pressing Alt + F4 and through the Task Manager. If you are on the desktop and running a desktop app, you can just hit the red X.

Refresh Your PC

Windows 8 allows users to perform a fresh install from within Windows without losing any data. The refresh is easy to do: go to Settings and click “Change PC Settings” tab near the bottom. Select “General” tab and find the “Refresh your PC without affecting your files” section near the middle (also, you could choose “Remove everything and reinstall Windows” to get a real factory settings treatment). Select “Get started” and press “Refresh.” After a few minutes the PC will restart, and you will have a fresh copy of Windows 8.

  Organize Start Screen

Too many apps on the Start screen? Take it easy. It is very easy to organize them. Hold an app, drag it and you can move it. You can even change the size of the tile by pulling down on it and hitting the resize button.

You can also see a birds-eye view of the start screen by pinching on the entire screen and then move apps and put them into different categories. If you want to rename categories or clusters of apps, pulling them down and you’ll get a field for inputting the name of the category.

Shut Down Windows 8

It seems that Windows 8 lacks a visible power button. In fact, Microsoft just hid it around. The primary way to shut down from the Metro interface is to position your mouse cursor in the bottom-right corner of the screen (you’ll see a little box with a minus sign in it). When you do this, a small menu will expand from the right side. Simply click on the gear icon that’s labeled “Settings”.  After that, you’ll see a “Power” button appear near in the bottom.

If you want to shut down Windows 8 in a quicker way, you could try this: From the start screen, click “Desktop” tile.  Suppose that there is no application running on the desktop, you could press Alt and F4 on your keyboard at the same time on an empty desktop, which will instantly bring up the shut down screen. You may find that actually Windows 8 is not so hard to use, though many changes we need to adapt to when using it.

It may take you some time to get used to Windows 8, but sooner or later you will find the magic and convenience of Windows 8.

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