If you have just upgraded to Microsoft Windows 8.1, you might be feeling bit overwhelmed with all of the changes. Fear not, the experts at Springhouse are here to show you a few tips that will help get up to speed on Windows 8 and make sure you get the most out of your new operating system!
The Start menu may be gone, but accessing applications is now easier than ever! To search for an Application (or anything else for that matter) you have two options. If you are already on the Start Screen simply start typing and a list of search results will appear on the right hand side. If you are inside an Application or on the Classic Desktop, simply hit the Windows Button on your keyboard then start typing.
Customized Start Screen
Windows 8.1 gives you more control over the size and location of your app tiles on the Start Screen. To customize the size and appearance simply right click on a tile and choose 'Resize' from the menu on the bottom of the screen. In addition to resizing your app tiles, right-clicking allows you to pin (or unpin) the app to Start and the ability to turn off Live Updates on the tile.
Microsoft's OneDrive (formally known as SkyDrive) allows you to store your files and personal data in the Microsoft Cloud. By default all OneDrive users are given 15GB of storage for free, with an incredible 1 TB of storage space for Office 365 subscribers! That means for as little as $6.99 per month you get the same amount of online storage space other cloud storage providers offer AND a full productivity suite in Office 365!
OneDrive is easy to configure and can be activated from the Start Screen, all you need to do is sign in to your Microsoft Account and you're ready to go. You can configure what folders on your hard drive you want synced to the cloud and it happens in the background. Once your data is in the cloud, you can easily configure other Windows 8 (or 7) computers and mobile devices to connect to your OneDrive. This means you have access to your files where ever you are with an internet connection. The cloud even allows you to share and edit the file online through web-based applications or directly from your mobile device.
The classic Windows Desktop will be instantly familiar to anyone that has used Windows in the last 20 years and includes the familiar Taskbar and the Start button. You can easily access the Classic Desktop by choosing the Desktop Tile from the Start Screen.
Boot to Classic Desktop
In an effort to make Windows 8.1 look and function more like previous versions of Windows, Microsoft has added the ability for users to skip the Start screen and boot directly to the desktop. In order to achieve this, simply right click the taskbar, select 'Properties', then select the Navigation tab. You want to select the checkbox for 'Go to the desktop…' option to load it first instead of the Start screen.
Windows 8.1 keeps the short-cut menu that appears when you right click on the start button, but adds some new options. One of the new options allows you to shutdown, restart, or log out of your account from this menu - eliminating the need to go through the Settings charm or back to the Start Screen.
Touch Screen Gestures
Windows 8.1 is designed to be used on a wide range of devices; including mobile phones, tablets, laptops - including ones with touch screens and traditional desktops. In order to maximize the experience for a variety of input methods, Windows 8.1 includes a variety of Touch Screen Gestures.
Windows 8.1 Shortcuts