Serval Systems Ltd Blog

8 Windows 8 Tips and Tricks that Will Help the Way you Work

For those of you who have used Windows before you would have realised how different Windows 8 is compared to its predecessors.

The new touch Start screen makes you feel like you’ve arrived somewhere vaguely familiar but which doesn’t feel quite right. In addition to making you feel a bit awkward, the new Start screen has apps and interface conventions which even computer experts have had had trouble getting their heads around.
So we’ve provided 8 tips to help you navigate your way around this unfamiliar territory:

1. Basic Navigation
You might notice Windows 8’s interface has become touch-friendly, which makes it simple for tablet users to navigate around. But for traditional desktop users you need to move the mouse wheel or scroll backwards and forwards with the mouse. Alternatively, you can also navigate on the Windows 8 interface by using the keyboard:
• Pressing the Home and End keys enables you to jump from both ends of your Start screen.
• Using the arrow keys allows you to navigate around the tiles, while pressing Enter selects the tile.
• Pressing the Windows key returns the screen to the Start Menu.

2. Access an App More Easily
Do you have an application that you use all the time and find it a hassle to constantly use the search system to find? In order to easily access it you can Pin it to the Start screen:
• Start typing your favourite app e.g. Microsoft Word.
• Right-click the ‘Microsoft Word’ tile on the Apps Search screen and press ‘Pin to Start’.
• On a touch screen, press and hold the icon and flick down and press ‘Pin to Start’.
• Once you are back on the Start screen (by pressing the Windows key) drag your favourite app tile to the left hand side to make it easily accessible.

3. Putting Apps Into Groups
If your Start menu is cluttered with lots of apps you may want to sort them into groups so they are easy to find when you need one. Say if you dragged People, Mail, Messaging and Calendar to the left-hand side to form a separate ‘personal’ group, if you zoom out by clicking the ‘minus’ key in the bottom right corner, you can drag and drop a new group around the other group. As you are zoomed out, right-click in the group block and name your group.

4. Turning Live Tiles On and Off
The tiles on your Start screen can look static, but Live Tiles allow you to view real-time data on your Start screen without the need to open your apps e.g. the weather app displays the current conditions at in your location and your mail app shows the subject headline of your latest email. But don’t worry, you can customise which apps are live by right-clicking on the tile and clicking Turn Live Tile on or off’ on the settings bar. But note that not all apps have the live, real-time data streaming option.

5. Closing Applications
Sure this sounds simple enough, but it is actually quite difficult to find the close buttons on Windows 8. Microsoft allows you to run apps in the background so they are easy to access but you may want to close an app to help your device to run quicker. To close an app simply drag it with your mouse or finger from the top of the screen to the bottom. As you do this the app will minimise and disappear when you get to the bottom of the screen.

6. Boot Straight to Desktop
One of the most noticeable differences about Windows 8, and maybe annoying for some of us, is that it boots straight to the Start screen.
• On the Start screen type ‘schedule’ to search for Schedule Task in Settings.
• Click on ‘Task Scheduler Library’ and select ‘Create Task’.
• Name your task e.g. ‘Boot to desktop’.
• Select the ‘Triggers’ tab, choose New, and use the drop-down box to select starting the task ‘At log on’ and click OK.
• Go to Actions tab, select ‘New’, and enter ‘explorer’ for the Program/Script value. Press OK and save the task.

7. Refreshing Your PC
Want to hear something cool? Windows 8 allows you to reinstall from within Windows without losing any data – no need to call for back up. Simply go to Settings, click ‘Change PC Settings’, select the ‘General’ tab and find “Refresh your PC without affecting your files” section. Select “Get Started” and press “Refresh”. After your computer has restarted you will have a fresh Windows 8.

8. Shutting Down
To shut down on Windows 8 move the cursor to the bottom right corner of the screen and press the settings icon. Alternatively, you can press ‘I’ whilst holding down the Windows key. Click the power button that appears which will give you the option of ‘Shut Down’ or ‘Restart’. Note some of the methods from previous versions of Windows still apply.

For any other queries or IT support contact us now by calling 0843 636 6700.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 13th, 2014 at 2:00 pm and is filed under IT Guides, Top IT Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply