If you’re a new user of Windows 8, or you’re planning to make the switch soon, our list of 10 tips should help you get to grips with the newest and shiniest Windows just that little bit quicker!
1) How to tell Metro apps from classic apps
Metro applications (apps) are a new style of program that will only run on Windows 8 computers, tablets and mobile phones. When using your PC, you can tell the metro apps based on the tile style. Metro apps usually have live tiles, meaning that you can see text or content on the tile. Classic Windows apps have grey tiles, and are on the right hand end of the start screen.
2) Shutting down the PC quickly
Pressing the Windows key + I will bring up the settings area of the charms bar (on the right hand side of the screen). From here, you can click the ‘Power’ icon and choose to reboot or shut down.
3) Closing (or not) Metro apps
Metro apps can be closed by clicking and dragging the entire app off the screen (just put the mouse to the top edge, and the pointer will become a hand. Click and pull the window down to the bottom of the screen until it disappears). However, you don’t actually need to close down Metro apps, as they have been designed to hibernate and resume themselves automatically. So, all you really need to do is press the Windows key to return to the Start screen.
4) Getting more Metro apps
Use the ‘Store’ app to find and download lots of free (and paid for) Metro apps. One of the big benefits of Metro apps compared to normal Windows programs is that they have a much more limited access of your computer, so getting viruses or malicious software is much less likely when using a Metro app.
5) Playing DVD films
Microsoft decided, in a bid to save money, to remove the DVD playing code from Windows 8, meaning you’ll want a standalone DVD program or decoder to make Windows 8 play DVD disks. If you’ve bought a new PC with Windows 8 on it, chances are the manufacturer has included something for you. If you’re upgrading, you’ll need to install a program to play your DVD films. VLC Media Player will do the job, and it’s free!
6) Grouping and naming your Apps on the Start screen
You can click and drag each App tile, to move them around or to make them into a group. To name the groups, you need to zoom out of the Start screen, by clicking the small ‘-‘ sign in the bottom right hand corner of the Start Screen.
The icons should zoom down to a small size. You can now right click on a particular group and choose the ‘Name Group’ button from the bottom left of the screen.
7) Get to the Control Panel quickly
If you’re wondering where the Control Panel has gone then don’t worry, it’s still here!
However, it’s been hidden away a bit.
To get to it quickly, press the Windows key + X at the same time, and you’ll get a pop-up menu in the bottom left hand corner where you can select ‘Control Panel’ or some other options you might have missed like Command Prompt.
8) Finding your old Windows programs
Sometimes, especially after an upgrade from an older version, Windows 8 will hide quite a lot of the program icons it doesn’t think you need. To find these items, right click while on the Start screen and click the ‘All Apps’ button in the bottom right hand corner.
9) Viewing your running apps
If you miss seeing what’s running while in Metro mode, don’t worry – just move the mouse to the top left hand corner and once you see a tile appear, move the mouse down. You should now have a black bar with tile previews of the Metro apps you have open. (tip: Desktop, the old ‘Windows 7’ style are where your traditional programs run is treated like a Metro app, so you’ll see it in the list)
10) Get social
If you’re a Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn user then the included social media app, called ‘People’ is a great way to manage all your social media in one place. It can get a bit crowded, but changing the settings will control what updates are shown on the start page.