“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” – Sydney J Harris
I don’t think I am the only one who agrees with the quote above. Windows 7’s successor, Windows 8, was released some while ago and chances are, you either really don’t like the system or you absolutely love it.
Good odds are also that you are having a hard time learning or adapting to the whole new interface. There are so many new features in your new operating system that you might have not discovered or simply didn’t know it existed. This article will mostly consist some essential tips on basic features that you should learn and get used to.
Get the Start Menu Back
The start menu is long gone, but you do have an alternate option. While some people are having a little difficulty getting used to the new paradigm, lots of users have used the OS long enough to not care about the start menu or they have gotten used to it.
To the people who need the start menu desperately back, don’t worry you will get it soon. All you have to do is download a free program called Classic Shell. After you have downloaded the program, just install it and your menu will now automatically appear into your desktop. It is also possible to change the settings to fit your needs, by opening the app.
Understanding and Using the Main Start Screen
The major change for the new operating system was the start screen. The start screen is completely new and alien to us Windows users. The start screen has many unseen or unnoticed features that you can take advantage of. In case you didn’t know, you can access every app in your start screen without touching the mouse. Just use the arrow keys to toggle around apps and hit the enter key to open the application.
Another great feature that the start screen offers is to uninstall the application you no longer use or want directly from the screen, without ever going to any other program. To uninstall a program or an app just right click the mouse on that app, then select uninstall. Right clicking on the app also uncovers other features, such as turning live tiles off/on, unpinning an application from the start screen and making the tile smaller or larger.
Understanding and Using Charms
The next radical change after the main start screen to the Windows 8 atmosphere is the “Charms”. Charms lets you easily access most basic features of a computer. To open Charms, you can slide your fingers from right to towards the left (this feature only works with touch screen devices). Additionally, regular computer users can either press the Windows + C or you can move your mouse pointer to the bottom right side of your screen then move it to the top.
As I have already mentioned, the Charms lets you access basic functions of your operating system. You can also connect to different wireless networks, turn off/sleep or change between users, change your screen brightness, control your volume and many other features. You will have to select the Settings button to access all the features specified above. Another trait about the Charm is the search feature, which I’ll be covering as a separate tip.
All About the Microsoft Store
The all new Windows 8 also comes with the dashing Store that offers almost every kind of app you can think of. Currently, Windows Store doesn’t offer as much apps as their competitors but I won’t be surprised to hear them leading in couple of months.
Downloading any apps in the store is very easy and simple, you simply click on the app you want, then select install, you’re done. Additionally, you can also read reviews from different users and see their ratings for the application. You should definitely start using the Store to download and discover new applications.
Searching the apps
The most amazing feature about the Windows 8 is definitely the search feature. The new search function is completely different from the past Windows. The all new search can be accessed through the Charms or pressing Windows + F will also get you there. As you have noticed, the search is in full screen and is very neatly organized, so you can search for every specific item in your hard drive.
New Keyboard Shortcuts
I know that many of you don’t use keyboard shortcuts expect the good old copy and past but I also know that many of take full advantage of keyboard shortcuts. The new windows has many new shortcut and we will take a look with some of them below.
- Windows + Q: Search applications though this shortcut.
- Windows + F: Searches every file on your hard drive.
- Windows + W: Searches Settings.
- Windows + C: Opens Charms
- Windows + H: Share Charm
- Windows + I: Settings Charm
- Windows + K: Device Char
Other Useful Shortcuts
- Windows + D: Opens your desktop
- Alt + F4: Closes an app
- Windows + PrntScrn: Takes screenshots of your screen, and saves into an image.
Now that you know many features that your new operating system offers, you might start to like it or even love it. It does take time to get used to the new interface.
When I first used the new OS I was a bit excited and a bit nervous, as I don’t like change but time as passed and I have started liking Windows 8. How are you feeling about Windows 8? Let us know in the comments below.