Windows 8 Hints & Tips

Over the past few weeks we have been using the new Windows 8 operating system. In this post we would like to share a few hints & tips with navigating your way around the new tablet style start screen and a few other new layout changes.

Where is the start button?

The start button has been with us on Windows since the early days of GUI (Graphical User Interface) Windows. With the launch of Windows 8 it’s hidden – but not gone! There are three easy ways to use the “Start Button”.

  1. Move your cursor to the bottom left corner of your screen (where the button used to be) and it will appear.
  2. Simply press the “Windows” key on your keyboard
  3. Move your cursor to either the top right or bottom right corner of the screen. A vertical bar will appear down the right edge of the screen with a series of icon button – the middle one of which is the “Start Button”

It is also possible using a registry hack to bring back the start button, however this is out of the scope of this article and we wouldn’t recommend changing altering the registry unless you know what you are doing.

The Windows 8 Start Screen

Windows 8 search screen

Once you are on the start screen you will notice that all of your programs are now arranged as tiles rather than a simple list as in previous versions of windows.

One thing you will realise with Windows 8 that you will use the search facility much more than in older version of Windows. To search simply start typing whilst on the start screen and your result will appear.

You can filter your search results on the right hand toolbar.

From these filtering options you can even search within applications that are installed on your PC, simply by clicking on the relevant tile in the list.

The Keyboard

You will find that you use your keyboard a lot more than you used than in previous versions of Windows – well at least when you are using Windows 8 on a PC. This is mainly due to the search based nature of the new start screen.

Click here to see a list of useful keyboard shortcuts (clicking this link will take you to an external website).

 Windows 8 Desktop

The desktop is much the same as Windows 7, although at first you might be wondering whether it even exists! To get to your desktop you can either press the windows key whilst on the start screen or find the “Desktop” tile and click it.


With the removal of the start menu as we know it also means that to shutdown your computer is different. Windows 8 power settings

The fastest way to reach the Power menu is to press the Windows Key + i and then click power, this will give you the option to Sleep, shutdown or restart.

The long winded way to get to this menu is to move your cursor to the top right or bottom left corner of your screen, select the settings option and the click the power icon to display the shutdown options.

I find shutting down is now a bit long winded whatever method you choose.

Further Help

This article has just touched on a couple of things that Windows 8 does completely different to Windows 7, however if you need any more help please comment or contact us by clicking here.

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