Jonathan Sumner Evans
Sumner Evans
Software Engineer at Automattic working on Beeper

3 Tips to Survive Windows 8

Written by Human, Not by AI

If you got a computer within the past few months, you probably have a computer with Windows 8. If you got one at Christmas, it is almost sure to be one with Win8 (unless the people who gave you the computer intentionally put Win7 on it). Random comment alert, I think that a lot of people who got a new computer for Christmas (especially the less young) were a little disappointed with the loss of their start button. Just a though. Anyway, about survival. Here are a few things that will help you get started with Windows 8.

  1. Charms and the Charm Bar

    What is it?

    The charm bar is the go-to spot if you want to search, share, or get to your settings. It is also a way to get back to the Start Screen and a way to project to another monitor and do other things with peripheral devices.

    How do I get to it?

    Mouse: Move your mouse to the top-right or bottom-right corner of your screen and then move your cursor down along the right edge.

    Touch: Swipe from the right side of the screen.

    Why is this helpful to me?

    When not in an app, you will be able to search for files, settings, apps, and even search inside apps. You can also access common settings. In an app, you get all of the aforementioned features as well as in-app settings, be able to search the app and other app specific tasks.

  2. The Modern Task Bar

    What is it?

    The Modern Task bar is the new way of task switching that was implemented by Microsoft in Windows 8.

    How do I get to it?

    Mouse: Move your cursor to the top-left corner of the screen. You can then start clicking to cycle through all of your open apps, or, if you have more than two apps open, you can move the cursor down the left side of the screen to display more open apps.

    Touch: Swipe from the left side of the screen to cycle through all of your open apps. Swipe from the left side of the screen and then swipe back without lifting your finger to get the Modern Task Bar.

    Why is this helpful to me?

    This is the way that you can switch between open Metro apps in Windows 8. (You can also use Win + Tab to switch between Metro Apps. Alt + Tab does the same thing as Win + Tab except it includes desktop apps.)

  3. Start Screen

    What is it?

    Think of the Start Screen as a fullscreen Start Menu. It does all of the things that the old Start Menu did. You can search from it, run apps from it, access Computer from it, etc. I will make posts on all of those features on this blog.

    How do I get to it?

    Mouse: Move your cursor to the bottom left corner (where the Start Button used to be) and when a little picture of the Start Screen pops up, click.

    Keyboard: Press the Windows key. (It looks like the Windows logo.)

    Touch: Open the Charm Bar (see above) and tap on “Start”. It’s the button that looks like the Windows logo and is the only colored one on the bar.