Windows 8 Help and Tips

Windows 8 is a computer operating system developed by Microsoft. It was released in 2012 to replace Windows 7 and was the 24th different version of Windows to be released. Windows 8 introduced a new format to the Windows desktop, featuring tiles arranged across the screen rather than the traditional Start menu. This new format made it easier to use Windows 8 with Microsoft's Surface tablet.

Beginning to Use Windows 8

The first thing a new Windows 8 user will notice is that the traditional Windows desktop has changed. Instead of a taskbar and Start menu, the applications for Windows 8 are spread across the screen in a tile format. Users can scroll through applications by spinning the mouse wheel or by using the arrow keys on the keyboard. Opening an application is as simple as clicking the tile corresponding to the application.


Users can personalize their desktop to group applications together. To personalize the order of applications or to group applications together, simply drag and drop the application tiles to the desired location. Click the minus (-) button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen to zoom out and see your groups. Right-clicking a group of tiles will allow you to name your groups and help keep applications organized.

Accessing Applications

Some people will choose to access applications through the quick access menu. The quick access menu is an easy way to find applications that do not appear on your Start screen. Access this menu by either right-clicking the mouse in the lower left-hand corner of the screen or by holding the Windows key on your keyboard and pressing "X." The quick access menu will appear and allow you to search for applications by typing the name into the quick access menu.

Another method to make applications more accessible is to pin them to the Start screen. Choose an application by typing the name of the application into the quick access menu (Windows key + X). When the tile appears, simply right-click the tile to access a dropdown menu. Choose "Pin to Start" and the application will now appear on your start screen. This can make accessing more frequently used applications much easier.

Windows Store

One feature that experienced Windows users will notice is the addition of the Windows Store. The Windows Store is a location for users to download or update applications for their Windows system. The Windows Store also provides a location to find new system updates to help fix any bugs or defects that a user may encounter with their Windows software. It is always recommended to download new system updates as soon as possible to ensure the safety and dependability of your Windows software.

Shutting Down

With the removal of the traditional Start menu, users of Windows 8 have a new way to shut down their computer. To shut down the computer, click the "Settings" icon in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. A small menu will appear with a "Power" icon. Click the icon to see another menu with options to "Shut Down" and "Restart." Click "Shut Down" as you would with earlier versions of Windows to shut down the computer.