How to use Windows 8

Author and references

Start Screen

To understand how to use Windows 8 I suggest you first of all pay a minimum of attention to Start Screen, the Windows Phone-style menu that on the operating system in question replaces the Windows Start menu and that allows users to access the programs that are installed on the computer, the apps from the Windows Store and most of the features of the OS.

To access the Start Screen, simply press the "usual" button Home present on the taskbar attached to the Windows desktop.

The Start Screen looks like a set of tiles of various colors. These tiles can be static or dynamic and in this case they take the name of live tiles and automatically show specific information that it can be useful to have always and in any case at your fingertips! For example, the application live tile Money shows the situation of the stocks on the stock exchange while the live tile of the application News shows the most important news of the day.

Depending on your preferences and needs, you can move, resize and / or delete the tiles attached to the Start Screen. To move the tiles, all you have to do is click on them and drag them with the mouse from one point to the other on the screen while to resize a tile you just need to right-click on it, move the mouse cursor over the item Resize attached to the displayed menu and select an option to choose from Small, Middle o Long. To delete a piece you have to right-click on the element on which you intend to act and then select the item Remove from Start attached to the menu that is shown on the screen.

If you deem it appropriate, after moving, resizing and / or deleting the tiles attached to the Start Screen you can organize the app tiles into groups in such a way as to be able to more easily identify what you actually need. To do this you must first click on the button - located at the bottom right, in order to activate the panoramic view of the screen and then you have to press with the right mouse button on the group to be renamed and select the item Name the group from the menu that appears at the bottom of the screen.

Then know that you can view a "classic" list of all the applications installed on your computer by clicking on the button with an arrow pointing downwards that you can view by moving the mouse cursor in the lower left part of the Start Screen. You can then restore the default display of the Start Screen by pressing the button depicting an arrow pointing upwards always attached on the left.

If then, regardless of the motivation, it was not your intention to display one or more animations of the dynamic tiles, you can proceed to deactivate them by clicking with the right mouse button on the element on which you intend to go to act and select the item Disable Live Tile from the menu that appears.

After logging into the Start Screen you can then display the desktop again using the combination of buttons Windows key + D or by clicking on the tile desktop, by default present in the first group on the left of the Start screen.

Search for applications and files

In order to better understand how to use Windows 8 I also suggest you pay a minimum of attention to the system used for search for applications and files that has been implemented in the operating system and that you can take advantage of simply by clicking on the button in the shape of a magnifying glass located in the upper right part of the Start Screen. This system allows you to find all the programs, data and information you want instantly, without having to open various applications, menus and submenus. In short… it is a great convenience!

To perform a search with Windows 8 then access the Start Screen, press the magnifying glass at the top right and type the terms to search for. Once this is done, a tab will open automatically containing all the results. Depending on the keyword you type, the search results can include applications, control panel items, files, and web pages. For example, if you type the term video you will see the app appear first Video in the search results you will then be shown the corresponding Windows settings as well as the results of online searches that presumably are most relevant.

Charms Bar

Another element on which I invite you to dwell in order to understand how to use Windows is the Charms Bar. This is a special panel that allows you to quickly access various system resources.

To view the Charms Bar, simply move the mouse cursor to the top right or bottom right corner of the desktop or Start Screen.

Once the Charms Bar is displayed, you can then select the item Research, to start a new search for data and information, or the item sharing, to share items currently consulted in applications from the Windows Store online or with other applications. Pressing on the voice instead Home you can call up the Start Screen instantly while the options devices e Settings they allow, respectively, to manage the devices connected to the computer and to access the system settings (for example, you can manage network settings, notifications, turn off or restart the computer and so on).

Programs and applications

Unlike the previous operating systems made available by Microsoft, Windows 8 supports two types of software: the classics programs, i.e. executable files with the extension .exe e which were already supported by all other versions of Windows, and the applications of the Windows Store, that is, universal applications that only work from the Start Screen and are also compatible with mobile devices.

As for the classic programs you can find and install everything you need as it has always been possible on other versions of Windows (maybe you can find some useful tips in my guide on how to download free programs).

As for the Windows Store applications, these work in a very similar way to the Windows Phone applications on smartphones. These apps can in fact be downloaded and installed in a few clicks using the Windows Store, the application store that you can access by simply clicking on the appropriate link attached to the taskbar or by clicking on the tile Store which by default you find on the Start Screen.

The Windows Store works like the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store and contains many applications for all tastes, both paid and free. All the apps on the Windows Store can be installed and deleted in a few steps.

To install an app from the Windows Store, just click on its name and press the button Install located on the left side of the screen. To remove an app, just click with the right mouse button on its tile and select the item Uninstall from the menu that appears at the bottom of the screen.

Note that all apps downloaded and installed on Windows 8 through the Windows Store are linked to your address Live / Hotmail. As a result, all applications installed through the Windows Store are automatically synchronized on all Windows 8 computers and devices used with the same account.

Also know that bringing the cursor down or up to the left and moving the arrow up or down shows previews of the running apps so you can switch between programs faster.


At this point I would say that here we are, you have finally understood how to use Windows 8 or at least how to make the most of its basic features. Before leaving you free to have fun with your computer, however, there are some guides that I would like to point out if, in the future, you wish to deepen your knowledge about the OS in question and in case you want to carry out some specific operations.

In case you want to perform burning operations I suggest you consult my guide on how to burn with Windows 8 while if you need to activate and use Bluetooth you can take a look at my tutorial on how to activate Bluetooth Windows 8. If instead you want to avoid typing the password to access your account every time you turn on the computer take a look at my guide on how to remove Windows 8 password while reading my tutorial on how to speed up Windows 8 you can find out what operations to perform to make it faster and performing the operating system. Among the other guides concerning the use of the operating system that you may find interesting, I would like to point out how to scan with Windows 8 and how to customize Windows 8.

How to use Windows 8

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