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The top 10 Windows 8 questions everyone asks

Lincoln Spector | June 30, 2014
Here are the 10 most common ones we hear about Microsoft's latest operating system. With these answers under your belt, you can consider yourself well past the beginner stage.

My favorite, Classic Shell, is one of the free ones. It's capable of giving you, with no trouble at all, a close facsimile to the Windows 7 Start menu. But you can change that look with additional skins, add separate Programs and Apps menus in place of the traditional All Programs, and pick an image for the Start button. You can also control what happens when you left-click and shift-click the Start button.

3. What's that screen with all the little tiles?
You may have stumbled upon it accidentally. You're at the Start screen, you do something (you're not sure what), and suddenly you have a screen filled with tiny tiles instead of big tiles.

That's the Apps screen, which Microsoft added with Windows 8.1. It lists every program and app installed on your PC. Think of it as the equivalent of the Windows 7 Start Menu's All Programs submenu. Or Android's All Apps screen.

You get to it through the Start screen. If you're using a touchscreen, swipe up. If you're using a mouse, move that mouse, and a little arrow icon will appear near the lower left corner of the screen. Click it.

Unlike Windows 7's All Programs, you can sort this list. The default is to sort by name, but you can also sort by date installed, most used (which makes it a bit like the Windows 7 Start menu's left pane), and category. Note, however, that it lacks All Program's ability to use submenus.

One other important point: If you sort by name or category, it lists apps first, and traditional desktop programs after them.

4. How do I do some of the simple tasks that should be obvious to anyone?
The Windows 8 learning curve isn't just about the big stuff. Here are three minor issues that vex new users.

Right-click in a touch interface

Your index finger lacks left and right buttons, and the touchscreen doesn't know one finger from another.

To bring up a context menu on a touchscreen, touch the object and keep your finger there until a square appears around the object. Then release, and the menu will pop up.

Search

Windows 8's equivalent to Windows 7's "Search programs and files" field is the Search charm. There are a lot of ways to bring it up, so I'll just give you the most convenient:

· On the desktop, press Winkey-S.

· On the home screen, just start typing.

Relearn more seemingly simple tasks in Windows 8 on the next page...

Sleep or shut down Windows

This is the one that puzzled a lot of people when Windows 8 first came out.

 

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