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Now that you have created a Microsoft account, setup your new computer, and connected to the Internet, it is time to familiarize yourself to the new Windows. Windows 8 and 8.1 are really different from all previous versions of Windows. I think the following screenshots will really help you with the familiarization process. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 look basically the same. Since I have already upgraded to Windows 8.1, the screenshots I shall use are all from Windows 8.1. Take heart, even if you have not upgraded yet and are still using Windows 8, you can learn about the look and feel of new Windows from this page.
When you first power on your new computer after the setup process, you will see a large picture covering the whole screen. It is called lock screen. (You can change this picture any time you want.) See picture below.
Windows 8.1 lock screen
(I selected this picture.)
Just click anywhere on the lock screen or hit Enter on your keyboard, you will come to the next screen where you will need to enter your Microsoft password to open Windows. Enter your password carefully (it is case-sensitive) and hit Enter again or click on the Submit button (small horizontal arrow pointing right), Windows Start screen will open up which looks like this:
Windows 8.1 start screen
You can do everything from this screen. Notice all the avilable programs are shown in tiled form. Click on the tile that says desktop (lower left corner in the above screenshot). The desktop will open up.
Windows 8.1 desktop
When you see this you might get a more at home feeling because it looks and works like your old Windows desktop. The Recycle Bin and shortcuts of some programs will be on the left. I have created shortcuts of some commonly used folders too for my own convenience. In the bottom is the familiar taskbar. The leftside of the taskbar has icons of different programs that can be opened with a single click.
Leftside of Windows 8.1 taskbar showing some pinned apps
The taskbar came with (from left to right): Start button, Internet Explorer icon, and This computer icon (file folders in a folder holder). The rest (Google Chrome, McAfee, Notepad, etc.) were pinned to the taskbar by me. When you click on the Start button, the Start screen shown above, opens up.
The rightside of the task bar, shown below, is called the 'notification area'.
Windows 8.1 notification area
As the name implies, messages and alerts are displayed here (a bubble shows up). Some icons always remain hidden here. To see them click on the small upward pointing arrow. The hidden icons will show up which you can customize. Please see screenshot below.
Hidden icons in Windows 8.1 notification area
On the Start screen, bring your mouse to the bottom left corner. You will see a downward pointing arrow has appeared.
Windows 8.1 Start screen with downward pointing arrow
Click on that arrow. You will come to Windows 8.1 built-in Apps page as shown below.
Windows 8.1 Apps page
Windows 8.1 indeed comes with a large number of built-in apps, big and small, to perform various common tasks. Familiarize yourself with these before downloading any new apps - paid or free. You just need to click on the icon to open an app (program). To go back to the Start screen, click on the upward pointing arrow on the lower left corner of this page.
Now let's see another new thing in Windows 8.1. It is called the Charms Bar. To see it, from any screen move your mouse pointer to the upper or lower RIGHT CORNER of the screen. You will see the Charms Bar which looks like this:
Windows 8.1 Charms Bar appearing along the right edge of the screen
Here is a detailed view of the Windows 8.1 Charms Bar:
Windows 8.1 Charms Bar close-up
As you can see there are 5 charms or icons in the Charms Bar. From top to bottom they are Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. Intuitively you know by clicking on Search you can search for anything in the computer or in the Internet. A search box will open up where you can type what you are searching for and results will show up. While surfing the Net, if you see something that you want to share with somebody, click on Share. You can instantly send out an e-mail to that person with the info included. Clicking on Start will bring up the Start screen. Clicking on Devices will bring options like Play, Print, or Project. And lastly, clicking on Settings will let you select or change various settings of the computer. Just click on these charms to quickly do various things. Play with these a few times and you will learn quickly how to use the charms.
Home | Decision to upgrade | Buyiny new computer | Transferring data | Re-installing programs | Disposing off old computer | How to use DBAN | Setting up the new computer | Look & feel of Windows 8.1 | Setting up auto maintenance | Shutting down/Restarting | Links | Start screen | Charm bar | Windows store | Creating recovery drive | File Explorer |
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