Computers and Technology
With Darryl Budge
Windows 8: the anti-panic user guide
Windows 8 is the most touch-friendly of all Windows versions, but this has resulted in some confusion as to how to use it.
If your computer has a touchscreen monitor, or is a tablet, try the touch commands in the following table.
For those without touch input, there are many alternative commands using the mouse and keyboard:
|Dismiss the Windows
8 lock screen
||Hit any key
||Swipe finger from bottom
|Display/hide Start Screen
||Click popup in lower left or top left corner
||Windows key (WinKey)
||Swipe from right-side, hit Start button
|Start Screen navigation
||Push pointer to sides or scroll wheel
||Type to search
||Swipe left & right
|Start Screen zoom in/out
||Click on zoom out icon in lower right corner
||Ctrl + ‘Scroll wheel down’
||Pinch two fingers inwards/outwards
|Rename app group in zoom-out view
||Tap + drag down on group
|Browse ‘All Apps’ in Start Screen
||Right-click on blank area, click ‘All Apps’ button
||Swipe from bottom edge upward, tap All Apps button
|App options or uninstall
||Right-click on app
||On app, tap + drag down slightly
||Click and drag tile
||Touch and drag down on the tile until it breaks free
|Charms Bar (search, share, start button, devices, settings)
||Point to top-right or bottom-right corner
||Swipe inward from right edge
|App bar (in-app options)
||Hold pointer at top/bottom edge
||WinKey + Z
||Swipe from top/bottom edge
||Click on “Desktop”, click on File Explorer on taskbar.
||Ctrl+D, Winkey + 2 (Open second program pinned to taskbar).
||Go to “Desktop”, tap on File Explorer on taskbar.
||Top-right or bottom-right, click ‘Devices’ in Charms Bar.
||Ctrl + P
||Swipe from right, tap ‘Devices’
||‘Hand’ pointer click on left edge + drag inwards
||WinKey + Tab
||Swipe from left edge
|Show all active Apps
||Pointer to left corners + move pointer to middle of left edge.
||WinKey + Tab
||Swipe from left edge + drag back to left edge.
|Snap an app to side (Resize/dismiss by moving border)
||Click on left edge + drag inwards slightly, wait for snap action
||Snap right/left: Winkey + the period key, or WinKey + Shift + the period key
||Swipe from left edge, hold finger on left-side.
||Hand pointer at top edge, click and drag to bottom.
||Alt + F4
||Swipe from top edge to bottom
|Power user menu
||Right-click in lower-left corner
||WinKey + X
||Top-right/bottom-right corner > Settings > Power > Shutdown
||Alt-F4 from Desktop
||Swipe from right > Settings > Power > Shutdown
|Charms Bar Keyboard Shortcuts
|Open the Charms bar
||Windows + C
|Search for apps, files or settings
||Windows + Q
|Share what you see onscreen
||Windows + H
|Return to the Start screen
|Interact with attached devices
||Windows + K
||Windows + I
Other useful shortcuts
Presentation mode: As in Windows 7, pressing WinKey + P presents options on how to handle a second screen or projector.
Lock the computer: WinKey+L (all Windows versions).
Want to default to the Desktop?
If you don’t enjoy the full-screen “Metro-style” apps, then try these tips:
||Change the default applications. For email, try Windows Live Mail (in the Windows Essentials 2012 free download) or Mozilla Thunderbird (www.mozilla.org), for example. For internet, change to Internet Explorer 10 desktop version, Google Chrome, Opera, or Mozilla Firefox.
||Pin most used applications to the taskbar, just like you did in Windows 7. In Desktop mode, right click on the running app in the taskbar and choose “pin this program to taskbar”. For other infrequently-used applications, create desktop shortcuts.
||Use keyboard shortcuts, most of which involve the Windows key, as listed in the above table.
Want the Start Menu back?
Three popular solutions available for free download are StartMenu8 (by iObit), Pokki.com, or the open-source Classic Shell (classicshell.sourceforge.net). Start8 by Stardock is a popular paid option.
Want to disable the Lock screen? (Windows 8 Pro only)
Type WinKey + R, gpedit.msc, hit ENTER, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization > double-click on “Do not display the lock screen”, click on option to ‘enable’ and click OK.
How to re-install Windows 8
- Press Windows key + i on your keyboard to show the Charms bar (If you are using a touchscreen: Touch the right edge of your screen and swipe your finger to the left)
- Click Settings
- Click Change PC settings
- Click General in the left column
- Under ‘Remove everything and reinstall Windows’, click ‘Get started’