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Useful Windows 8 Tips for Beginners

Have you just upgraded to Windows 8 from your old OS version? In such a case, you are bound to get intimidated by the look and feel of this new Microsoft OS. Help is at hand through this Techspirited article.
Bindu swetha
Want to Open an App/Program?
Simply point your cursor at the bottom-left corner of the screen and click on the Start icon that appears. This will take you to the Start screen. You can also press the Windows key.

The new OS has an entirely new feel to it, one that was unseen until the launch of this Windows version. However, the new start screen and the mouse gestures can be a bit difficult to use for first-time users. Also, the absence of the Start menu has left users wondering how to begin working on the OS. But, using the Win8 version can make for an amazing experience, if you know how to use it. The picture password, the inbuilt apps, and other features only add to the user experience.

Here is a guide that will take you through all the important tips to start using Win8.

How to Use the Start Menu
If there is no Start menu at all, so how does one start working? In this Windows version, the Start menu is replaced by the Start screen. There is an entire startup screen that contains all the key functions including viewing of folders. To open the Start Screen, you can try the steps given below:
  • Press the Windows logo on the keyboard.
  • Move the cursor to the lower-left corner of the screen, and click on the Start icon that appears.
  • Swipe from the right edge of the screen, and the start menu will appear (if you are a touchscreen user). 
How to Use the Search Option
Absence of a Start menu means the absence of the Search box as well. If this is the case, how can anyone search for an item on the system? Windows 8 has provided a smart interface for using the Search option.
  • Simply type what you are looking for, and it will appear on the screen. However, you need to choose whether you want to search in apps, settings, drives, etc.
  • You can also hold the Windows key+F combination to launch the search box. 
How to Shut Down
This is another question that arises when we know that there is no Start button. Shutting down the system can become a bit frustrating for all of us, who are used to clicking on the Start button and selecting the Shut Down option.
  • Use Windows key+F4 to shut down the system immediately.
  • Move to the lower-right corner of the screen, and in the menu that appears, click on Settings. Click on the Power button and select the Shut Down option from there. 
How to Create Shortcuts
If you are facing problems to locate important functions every single time you need to use them, how about making shortcuts for the same? You can pin these shortcuts to the Start Screen and use them without having to go about the long and tedious procedure to find the functions.
  • You can go to the desktop, right click over there, and select theCreate a new shortcut option. If you want to create a shortcut for the Shut Down option, type shutdown /s /t 0 and hit enter. Name the shortcut, and also choose an icon for it. Your shortcut is created.
  • Open the folder where the program you wish to create shortcut resides. Now, right click on that program and click on Create Shortcut. You can name the shortcut and also choose an icon for it. Your shortcut is created.
Now that you have created the shortcuts, the next step would be to pin them to the Metro apps so that it will be there on the Start Screen.
  • Press the Windows button, and in the search box, type the name of the shortcut. In our case, type shutdown. The shortcut along with the icon will appear. On the bottom-right corner, you will see two options; Advanced and Pin. Choose the Pin option to pin the shortcut to the Start Screen. Now, move the tile around, wherever you want it to be. 
How to Manage Tiles
There are so many tiles on the home screen. Some of them are used regularly, while some aren't. In such cases, it is advisable to manage the tiles in such a fashion that the commonly used ones appear in the first screen itself.
  • If you don't want to use a particular tile, you can drag and drop it on the Start Screen anywhere you wish to, like on the second screen that appears after swiping.
  • You can also unpin the program from the Start Screen. Tap the icon, and you will see an unpin option appearing. Press that option, and your program will be removed from the screen.
  • You can also uninstall the tile completely. You can tap the icon, and in the options that appear, press the uninstall option.
  • Similarly, you can tap the icon, and in the options that appear, press on Smaller option that appears. This will make the tiles smaller in size as compared to the others.
You can also make groups of the tiles, so that all the most commonly used ones will be in one tile group. For this,
  • You can drag the tiles to the right edge of the Start Screen. These tiles will automatically arrange themselves in a group.
  • To name the tiles, pinch the screen or press Ctrl and scroll the wheel to zoom in.
  • Now, right click on the group and name it.
  • This group will appear as an individual icon on the home screen. This way, you can manage the tiles and make the start screen more organized. 
How to Get the Start Button Back
Yes, you read it correctly. Even though Microsoft ditched the Start button, you can still get it back.
  • Right click on the Taskbar, and click on Toolbars.
  • Select the New toolbar option, and in the window that opens, browse to the windows folder.
  • Enable the Show hidden files option.
  • Now, you will be able to see the Start Menu.
  • Click on it and hit the Select Folder option to add the Start Menu to the taskbar. 
How to Close an App
In Windows 8, the apps will run in the background, and if you are not using it for a long time, the app will be automatically terminated. However, the computer may slow down due to the unnecessary apps that are running. So, it is better to close them. But again, the absence of file menu means that there are no minimize, maximize, and close options! Here's how you can go about it.
  • Press Alt+F4 to close the program.
  • Alternately, you can press the Windows key+Tab to show all the apps that are open. Choose the app you wish to close and click Close.
  • You can move the mouse to the top of the app and click and drag it on the Start Screen. Once you let go of the window, the app will close.
  • You can also move the mouse to the top-left corner of the screen, and a window will appear, where you can see all the apps that are open. Right click on the app you wish to close and select the Close option. 
How to Set a Picture Password
The latest security feature that is added in the Windows 8 version is the picture password. Now, you don't have to type long password phrases to open the lock screen. Set your favorite picture as the lock screen image and draw shapes on it to unlock the screen.
  • Move the cursor to the top-left corner and select More PC settings in the window that appears.
  • Now, select Users and enter your Windows password.
  • Select the Choose Picture option and browse to select the picture of your choice.
  • After taking a look at the preview, you can click on the Use this Picture option.
  • You need to draw three gestures and confirm them.
  • Once you are sure about the settings, click on the Finish option.
In case you forgot the gestures that you drew as your password, Windows will switch back to the alphanumeric password mode after five failed attempts in a row.

How to Snap Two Windows
The Aero Snap feature that was available in the Windows 7 version has been disabled in this OS version. So, you need to manually snap them.
  • You can open the window, go to the left edge, and drag the window on to the Start Screen.
  • Similarly, drag the other window on the Start Screen. 
  • The windows will automatically resize and will be snapped. If you are using touchscreen, use your fingers to do this, else use your mouse. 
The new and improved Windows 8 is easy to master if you know the tips to use it. However, due to the latest user interface, you may face problems with the most common features. Try to play around with the Start Screen and navigate through the various options in the Charms menu. Simply move the cursor to the bottom-right corner of the Start Screen or press Windows key+C. You will be able to see the five options - Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. All your important programs, driver files, etc., can be found in one of these five options. So, remember the Charms menu! Hope this guide helped you to get started with your OS.