An Introduction to Windows 8.1


Windows 8 vs Windows 7 and XP

Microsoft wished to unify their operating system so that it could be used for both pcs and touch devices.  To do this they created Windows 8.  In previous systems the user’s base was the desktop.  With windows 8 there are two work areas, the desktop and the start screen.  The start screen which looks like the screen of a touch device basically holds icons of programs or “apps”.  To work as in windows 7 or xp the user needs to work via the desktop.  Below are few shortcut keys, commands and setup recommendations that will ease your entrance to the windows 8 world.



Important things to know on the first use

1) To create a desktop the first time user needs to click on desktop icon in the Start screen.
2) How to power-off the computer:   Right Mouse Click   start screen  (or press Windows-key X).  Choose Shut down and Sign Out


Important Shortcut Keys

Windows-key D:   Moves you back to the desktop
Windows-key-S:    Search Program – Enter the first few letters of your desired application to start an application
Alt-F4: Closes an Application


Changes you might want to make to your computer


1) Add Computer, Control Panel or User Files Icons to Desktop

Right Click on Desktop/Personalize Choose desktop icons:  Computer, Control Panel, User files
Choose the icons you wish to have on your desktop


2) Have Windows start on desktop (as opposed to start screen):

Right Click task bar choose properties choose navigation tab.  Under the Start Screen Section, check as shown below:

start on desktop


3) Create a Windows Start Menu Toolbar

The Start Menu can be made into a toolbar, which will allow you access to all the programs you'd normally see in All Programs in Windows 7. To do this follow the steps below.

  1. Make sure show hidden files has been enabled.
  2. Right-click on the Taskbar and click Toolbars and then New toolbar.
  3. Browse to C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows and select Start Menu and choose Select Folder


Last updated: 26/01/2014