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Learning How to Use Windows 8 Features and Apps
This document pertains to HP computers that came with Windows 8
NOTE:
If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.
Windows 8 is a Microsoft operating system environment based on Windows 7 but with significant changes to how you find and work with software. Windows 8 is designed especially for touch, providing easy access to the software and Internet applications that you use most often.
If you are familiar with previous versions of Windows, using Windows 8 might seem awkward at first. However, when you become familiar with the easy-to-use interface, you'll probably find yourself having more fun and being more productive.
Read this document to learn and discover more about the possibilities in Windows 8.
NOTE:
Windows 8 is a dynamic environment where the Start screen is easily changed and graphics update frequently. Some screen shots in this article might appear different from an actual Windows 8 experience.
View a video to help you learn about the new features in Windows 8
NOTE:
If you are unable to view the video, it may be due to the type of mobile device you are using. You can still use the written information on the screen or access the video with a PC or laptop.
Before you begin
The steps and graphics in this support document work with the latest version of Windows 8. Before taking the time to learn about Windows 8, make sure Windows is updated.
Make sure you update Windows!
Microsoft releases updates for Windows 8 to make it more secure and user friendly. The first thing you should do before using your computer is to connect to the Internet and get all the latest available updates from Microsoft.
Update to the latest version of Windows 8 (if an update is available) by clicking or touching the Store tile from the Start screen. When the Store app opens, type Windows 8 update to find an update from Microsoft that will update Windows to the next version. For example, if your computer came with the first version of Windows 8, you can update it to Windows 8.1 using the Store. If you cannot find a Windows 8 update in the Store, then your computer already has the latest version of Windows 8 installed.
Next, after you have updated Windows, make sure you have all of the latest Windows update files installed. Windows updates are not the same as updating the version of Windows 8. Windows updates are software files to fix problems, make your system more secure, or update hardware drivers. Microsoft makes this easy with the Windows Update tool. To use this tool, type Windows Update from the Start screen to find and open Windows Update. From this tool you can download and install all important or optional updates. You may be required to restart your computer for any changes to take effect.
By keeping Windows 8 up to date, you make your computer more secure and less likely to encounter errors or problems in the future.
New Features in Windows 8
Click an item in the following list for more information about the new features in Windows 8.
The Start screen
Windows 8 has a newly designed Start screen. The Start screen contains groups of tiles that represent your software programs, similar to desktop icons but with special advantages. It takes only one click or touch to open a software program from a tile. Tiles are typically larger and more colorful than desktop icons. And many tiles are animated and can display current information directly from the Start screen to keep you up to date without opening the software.
By using tiles, this new Start screen puts all of your most important software applications at your fingertips and allows you to easily move and group your tiles in a way that makes sense to you.
Figure : Windows 8 Start screen
Windows 8 Start screen
Apps
Windows 8 comes with new apps - software designed specifically to run from the Windows 8 Start screen - such as Music, Photos, Weather, and many more. The Store app is probably the most important app because you can use it to easily download and install more apps.
Many apps are similar in design and share features to provide a more consistent experience with back buttons, full page scrolling, and a similar use of icons or buttons. These new apps are also designed for touch, to stay open for fast access, and to be viewed full screen.
Apps work well together. You can "snap" or split the screen between apps in ratios of 70/30, 60/40 or 50/50. Plus, the apps will scale properly to fit their new window sizes. If you have a 1080p display, you can divide your screen between three apps.
For example, you can snap the Music app to listen to music while surfing the Internet with the Internet Explorer app.
Internet Explorer app - full screen
Music app snapped to the left and Internet Explorer app on main screen
Internet Explorer app
Music app and Internet Explorer app snapped
Tiles that keep you updated
The Windows 8 Start screen has tiles instead of desktop icons. Tiles easily open your software programs with one touch or click. They are typically larger, more colorful, and some are live , meaning that they can provide animated, timely updates displayed directly from their tile. For example, the Mail tile shows new messages as they come in, the Calendar tile shows upcoming events, the Weather tile shows the current forecast, and the Windows Store tile shows available update notifications for all apps.
Camera tile
Calendar tile - live
Camera tile
Calendar tile - live
Charms - easy access to options
The new Charms feature provides easy access to some of your most frequently used actions. These actions are always available from wherever you are in Windows. Whether you are working from the Start screen, the Windows desktop, or an app, Charms are always available.
To open the Charms, press the Windows + C keys.
When opened, a box in the lower left appears showing the date and time, network strength, and power or battery information. The Charms menu opens on the right edge of the screen.
Figure : Charms menu
Charms menu
Search
Share
Start
Devices
Settings
Charms provide access to the following actions:
  • Search charm - Search everywhere - apps, settings, files, even the Internet.
  • Share charm - Share photos, music, movies, or links with other apps or people. For example, when viewing a Web page, use the Share charm to send it to Facebook, or to your friends. You don't need to open email to copy and paste the link. You can send a photo directly from the Photo app instead of opening Mail, creating a message, and attaching the photo. If you don't have time to read an article now, you can share it with your Reading List and save it to read later.
  • Start charm - Use the Start charm to return to the Start screen. If you are already on the Start screen, the Start charm returns to the previous screen.
  • Devices charm - Use the Devices charm to print, play media on TVs and audio systems, use more than one monitor, and send content to nearby computers and other devices such as phones. For example, you can connect your computer to your television to share your vacation photos with your friends.
  • Settings charm - Use the Settings charm to personalize your computer. A few examples of what you can do are change the volume or brightness, choose your keyboard type, access the computer settings, and turn off the computer.
Works with your personal information
When you login to any Windows 8 computer that is connected to the Internet using your Microsoft login, you are automatically connected to your own information - no need to re-enter your contacts or set up your email. Windows 8 links all your email contacts, Facebook friends, Twitter contacts, and LinkedIn network in one place. Use the SkyDrive app to easily store and access your important files from any computer you are signed into.
A better design for touch
The tiles are easier to use so you can open the app you want the first time. Just one touch opens your app - no need to double-click. The Start screen can scroll from left to right, so it can be expanded as much as you need to keep all your apps organized.
In addition, the new apps for Windows 8 are also designed for one touch and scrolling. In the News app for example, articles are displayed in tiles, so they are easy to browse and select.
Figure : Reading a news story
Reading a news story
Navigating in Windows 8
Use the information in the following sections to learn how to perform your tasks in Windows 8.
Using the Lock screen (Welcome screen)
The Lock screen covers the sign-in screen and displays the date and time, as well as notifications for email, calendar, and other apps. You can customize the Lock screen by changing the picture and choosing which apps display notifications.
The Lock screen can display the following information:
  • Date and time in the lower-left corner.
  • Network and power connection status icons.
  • Detailed status from the calendar app (by default).
  • Status updates such as new message notifications from apps like Messaging and Mail.
You can also choose to play a slide show on the Lock screen, and can take photos right from the Lock screen with the built-in camera.
If you are leaving your computer, press the Windows + L key to bring up the Lock screen to protect your data.
Figure : Windows 8 Lock screen
Windows 8 Lock screen
To customize the Lock screen:
  1. Press the Windows + C key.
    The Charms menu opens on the right edge of the screen.
  2. Click Settings .
    Figure : Charms with Settings selected
    Charms with Settings selected
  3. Click Change PC settings in the lower right, and then click Lock screen .
    Figure : Selecting the Lock screen
    Selecting the Lock screen
  4. Change the picture by choosing one of the pictures available, or browse your computer for a picture.
    Figure : Changing the Lock screen picture
    Changing the lock screen settings
  5. To view a slide show on the Lock screen, move the slider to the On position and select a picture source.
    Figure : Playing a slide show on the Lock screen
    Playing a slide show on the Lock screen
  6. In the Lock screen apps area, choose which app you want to run in the background to provide status and notifications.
    To use the camera from the Lock screen, move the slider to turn on the feature.
    Figure : Using the camera from the Lock screen
    Using the camera from the Lock screen
Signing in to Windows
To close the Lock screen and sign in to the computer, use one of the following methods:
  • tap the space bar
  • spin the mouse wheel
  • on a touch screen, swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen
On the sign-in screen, type your password. Then click the arrow to open Windows.
Figure : Sign-in screen
Sign-in screen
Learning about the Start screen
The Windows 8 Start screen contains tiles that are shortcuts to apps. Many of these tiles are live , meaning that they can report data from the app. For example, on the Weather app, you can see the current temperature and forecast. On the Mail app, you can see how many unread email messages you have.
Figure : Windows 8 Start screen
Windows 8 Start screen
The new Start screen gives you a larger desktop by expanding the borders left and right. This allows you to organize your apps into groups so you can see all of them.
To navigate through the Start screen, click and drag on the scroll bar at the bottom of the screen and then move the screen left or right.
NOTE:
You will see the scroll bar only if your groups do not fit on the screen.
Figure : Scrolling through the Start screen
Scrolling on the Start screen
Customizing your Start screen
You can customize and organize your Start screen to meet your needs and preferences. The list below shows some of the ways to do this:
  • Add a tile for almost anything: Windows 8 apps, desktop apps, Web pages, people, and file folders are a few examples.
  • Add new groups of tiles for similar or frequently used apps, change the order of the groups, and name your groups.
  • Change the size of the tiles and set them to display updated information about the app.
  • Change the Start screen background and color.
Shutting down the computer
To shut down the computer, press and release the hardware power button on your computer. Windows 8 knows when the power button is pressed and safely shuts down your computer - based on the current power settings.
If the power button cannot easily be accessed, you can still shut down the computer in Windows using the following steps:
  1. Press the Windows + C key.
    The Charms menu opens on the right edge of the screen.
  2. Click Settings .
    Figure : Charms with Settings selected
    Charms with Settings selected
  3. Click Power .
    Figure : Settings menu with Power selected
  4. Select Shut down .
    NOTE:
    To restart, click Restart . To put the computer in sleep mode, click Sleep .
    Your selections might be different, depending on your Power settings.
    Figure : Shutting down the computer
     Settings with Power, Shut down selected
Navigating with a mouse
Use the following information to navigate in Windows 8 with a mouse:
NOTE:
When using a mouse in Windows 8, remember the four corners of your main screen. Each corner provides access to useful features.
  • To switch between the Start screen and the desktop, move the mouse pointer to the lower-left corner of the screen, and then click the Start button that displays.
    Figure : Switching from the Start screen to the Desktop
    Switching to the Start Screen
  • To zoom on the Start screen, move the mouse to the lower-right corner of the screen and click the Zoom icon.
    Figure : Zoom icon in the lower-right corner
    Zoom icon in lower-right corner
  • To open the Charms with the mouse, move the mouse pointer to the upper-right corner of the screen, and then down to the Charms when they appear.
    Figure : Opening the Charms with a mouse
    Opening the Charms with a mouse
  • To close an app with the mouse, place the mouse pointer at the top of the screen so that it changes into a hand. Drag the hand down and to the bottom of the screen. Your app shrinks and then disappears off the bottom of the screen.
    Figure : Closing an app with the mouse
    Closing an app with the mouse
  • To switch to the previous app, move the mouse to the upper-left corner and click the thumbnail that appears.
    Figure : Switching to the previous app
    Switching to the previous app
  • To see all open apps, move the mouse to the upper-left corner to display the previous app. Then drag the mouse down the left edge of the screen to see thumbnails of the open apps. Click a thumbnail to switch to that app or right-click to close the app.
    Figure : Viewing open apps
    Viewing open apps
  • To snap an app to the side of the screen, open the app you want to run on the side. Then open the app you want to run on the main screen. Move the mouse to the upper-left corner to display the thumbnail for the first app.
    Figure : Snapping an app
    Snapping an app
    Drag the thumbnail to the side of the screen where you want the app. Release the mouse to see both apps on the screen. You can split the screen between apps in ratios of 70/30, 60/40 or 50/50. If you have a 1080p display, you can divide your screen between three apps.
    Figure : Dragging the thumbnail
    Dragging the thumbnail
    To close the snapped app, drag the divider bar to the edge of the screen.
    Figure : Snapped Music and People apps
    Snapped Music and People apps
    If you have a 1080p display, you can divide your screen between three apps.
    Figure : Three apps "snapped" to the screen
    Three apps
Navigating with the keyboard
Use the following information to navigate in Windows 8 using the keyboard.
Keystroke
Result
Windows key
Switches between Start Screen and the Desktop (or the last full screen application).
Windows key + C
Shows the Charms and the clock.
Windows key + H
Opens the Share charm.
Windows key + I
Opens the Settings charm.
Windows key + K
Opens the Devices charm.
Windows key + O
Turns the screen orientation lock on or off if your computer can detect screen orientation.
Windows key + W
Opens the Search charm with Search Settings selected.
Windows key + F
Opens the Search charm with Search Files selected.
Windows key + Q
Opens the Search charm with Search Everywhere selected.
Windows key + X
Opens the advanced menu on the desktop or the Start Screen.
Windows key + Z
Opens commands for the current app.
Windows key + Tab
Shows the most recently used running apps and Start. Hold the Windows key and press Tab to move from app to app.
Windows key + Prt Scr (Print Screen)
Takes and saves screenshots instantly. Windows saves the screenshot to your Pictures folder as a PNG image file.
Alt + Tab
Shows all open apps. Hold Alt and press Tab to move from app to app.
Alt + F4
Closes the software you are currently using. If the Windows Desktop is selected, the Windows Shut Down menu displays.
Ctrl + mouse wheel
Zooms - Hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard while using the mouse wheel to grow or shrink an item on the screen.
Navigating on a touch screen
Use the following touch gestures to navigate on a computer with a touch display.
Gesture
Action
Result
Tap / Double tap
Select an item.
Swipe from the right edge of the screen.
Open the Charms.
Swipe from the right edge to open the Charms, tap the Search charm, and tap the category such as Files . Then tap the search box to use the onscreen keyboard.
Search for an app, setting, or file.
Swipe from right edge to open the Charms, and then tap Start .
Open the Start screen.
Swipe from the right edge of the screen to open the Charms, tap the Settings charm, and then tap Power .
Shut down the computer.
Swipe from the left edge of the screen.
Open the previously used app.
Swipe from the top edge of the screen.
Display the app commands.
Swipe from top of screen to the bottom.
Close a Windows 8 app. (Close Desktop apps using the Close icon in the upper-right corner of the app window.)
Slide left and right or up and down.
Scroll left or right and up or down.
Use two fingers to pinch or stretch.
Zoom in and out.
Navigating with a touch pad
Use the following gestures to navigate in Windows 8 using the touchpad on a notebook computer.
Gesture
Action
Result
Tap / Double tap
Select an item.
Swipe from the right edge of the touchpad.
Display the Charms.
Swipe from the left edge of the touchpad.
Open the previously used app.
Swipe from the top edge of the touchpad.
Display the app commands.
Slide two fingers left and right or up and down.
Scroll left or right and up or down.
Use two fingers to pinch or stretch.
Zoom in and out.
Working with multiple apps
Windows 8 provides several options for switching from one app to another.
  • Windows key . Switch between Start Screen and the Desktop (or the last full screen application).
  • Move the mouse to the upper-left corner to display a thumbnail image of the previous app. Click it to switch to that app.
  • To see all open apps, move the mouse to the upper-left corner to display a thumbnail of the previous app, and then drag the mouse down the left edge of the screen. Click a thumbnail to switch to that app or right-click to close the app.
  • Alt + Tab . Shows thumbnails of all open apps. Hold Alt and press Tab to move from app to app. Release both keys to switch to that app.
  • Windows key + Tab . Shows the most recently used running apps and Start. Hold the Windows key and press Tab to move from app to app. Release to switch to that app.
  • If your screen is wide enough (1366 pixels), you can use snap to keep two apps on the screen. With snap, you can move an app to either the right or left side of the screen and open another app. For example, you can snap the Music app to the side so you can listen to music while surfing the Internet on the main screen.
Finding files, settings, and apps
To find anything from the Start screen, just start typing. You can search for anything from Start by typing on the keyboard. For example, to search for an HP app, type HP on the keyboard. A list of all HP apps displays.
You can also search using the Search charm:
  1. Press the Windows + C key.
    Figure : Search charm
    Search charm
  2. Type the name of the thing you want to open or search for into the Search box.
    Figure : Searching in Windows 8
    Searching in Windows 8
  3. Then click your item in the search results to open it.
    Figure : Searching for an app
    Searching for an app
Closing apps
Windows 8 apps do not have close buttons. When you change to another app, the previous app is suspended and continues running in the background using very few system resources. If your system needs resources, Windows automatically closes the apps. When you re-open that app, you can continue where you left off.
If you want to completely close an app, use one of the following methods:
  • Move the mouse cursor to the top of the screen. When it changes from an arrow into a hand, drag it down to the bottom of the screen. Your app shrinks and then disappears off the bottom of the screen.
    Figure : Closing an app with the mouse
    Closing an app with the mouse
  • Move the mouse to the upper-left corner to display a thumbnail of the previous app. Then drag the mouse down the left edge of the screen to display thumbnails of the open apps. Right-click a thumbnail to close the app.
    Figure : Closing apps
    Closing apps
  • With the app open on the screen, press Alt + F4 .
Working with Windows 8 tiles
Use the following information to customize your tiles.
  • Right-click a tile to see the tile commands. Not all commands are available for each tile.
    • Unpin from Start - remove the tile from the Start screen. This does not uninstall the app from the computer.
    • Uninstall - removes the app from the computer and uninstalls the app from the computer.
    • Resize - Increases or decreases the tile size. Depending on the tile, choose from large, wide, medium, and small.
    • Turn live tile off or on - turn on to display information from the app. For instance, on the Weather tile, see the current temperature and forecast.
    • Unpin from Taskbar or Pin to Taskbar - use to pin (or unpin) tiles for desktop apps such as Paint or Notepad to the taskbar on the desktop
    • Open new window - opens a new blank window in desktop apps such as Internet Explorer and Paint.
    • Run as administrator - available on desktop apps such as Paint and Notepad. Use when necessary to access or modify files or system configurations.
    • Open file location - available for desktop apps such as File Explorer to open to that folder.
    Figure : Example of the tile commands for Paint
    Example of the tile commands for Paint
  • Pin an app to the Start screen:
    1. Right-click anywhere on the background of the Start screen to display the All apps icon in the lower-right corner.
    2. Click All apps arrow to see a list of all your installed apps.
      Figure : All apps
      All apps
    3. Find the app you want to pin to Start, and right-click it. At the bottom of the screen, click Pin to Start .
      Figure : Pinning an app to Start
      Pinning an app to Start
  • To move a tile with the mouse, drag it to a new position.
    Figure : Moving a tile with the mouse
    Creating a new group
    To move a tile using touch, first drag it up or down. Then drag it to the new position.
    Figure : Moving a tile using touch
    Moving a tile using touch
  • You can organize your tiles into groups, arrange the groups, and assign names to groups. Use the following steps:
    1. To create a new group, select a tile, drag it to an open space, and drop it. You can have many groups on the Start screen. If the groups don't fit on one screen, scroll right or left to see your groups by clicking and dragging the scroll bar at the bottom of the screen.
      Figure : Creating a new group
      Creating a new group
    2. To change the order of your groups, first click the Zoom button in the lower-right corner of the screen.
      Figure : Zoom button in lower-right corner
      Zoom button in lower-right corner
    3. Drag the group to a new position.
      Figure : Moving a group
      Moving a group
    4. To name a group, right-click anywhere on the background of the Start screen, and then click Customize .
      Figure : Customizing tiles
      Customizing tiles
    5. In the Name box, type a name for the group.
      Figure : Naming a group
      Naming a group
    6. Click the screen two times to return to the normal view. The new name for the group displays.
Using Windows 8 apps
Use the following information to learn how to use the new Windows 8 apps.
Windows 8 app: Alarms
Figure : Alarms tile
Alarms app tile
Alarms is an app that provides you with alarms, timers, and a stopwatch to help you manage and keep track of time.
  1. To add an alarm, click the Plus button.
    Figure : Adding an alarm
    Adding an alarm
  2. Use the dials to set the alarm time.
    Figure : Setting the alarm time
    Setting the alarm time
  3. Choose whether the alarm will occur one time or several times, and then choose the sound.
    Figure : Set the reoccurrence and sound
    Set the reoccurrence and sound
  4. Click Save .
    Figure : Saving the alarm
    Saving the alarm
Windows 8 app: Calculator
Figure : Calculator tile
Calculator tile
Calculator provides standard and scientific calculators in addition to many different converters, such as volume, length, weight, and temperature.
Figure : Standard calculator
Standard calculator
Figure : Scientific calculator
Scientific calculator
Windows 8 app: Calendar
Figure : Calendar tile
Calendar tile
The Calendar app is part of the Windows 8 Communications apps that are designed to help you stay organized and connected with the people in your life.
  1. Click the Calendar tile to open the calendar, and then right-click the screen to select your view - Day, Week, or Month.
    Figure : Selecting the Calendar view
    Selecting the Calendar view
  2. To add an item, click the New item button.
    Figure : New calendar item
    New calendar item
    Figure : Creating a new calendar item
    Creating a new calendar item
  3. If you have more than one calendar, such as Hotmail, Outlook, or Google, you can view them all by adding that account to the Calendar app. Use the Settings charm to add accounts and set calendar options and permissions.
    To add a calendar, open the Settings charm, and click Accounts .
    Figure : Adding an account
    Adding an account
  4. Click the type of account you want to add.
    Figure : Selecting the account type
    Selecting the account type
  5. Enter your email address and password, and click Connect .
    Figure : Enter the account information
    Enter the account information
  6. Click the account name to set download frequency and the content you want to sync.
    Figure : Setting Calendar options
    Setting Calendar options
  7. Close the Settings. The Calendar app retrieves your information.
Windows 8 app: Camera
Figure : Camera tile
Camera tile
With the Camera app, you can take photos or shoot video using the camera in your computer or with an external USB webcam. When you open the app, the camera displays an image preview. Tap or click anywhere on the screen to take a picture. The following commands are available:
  • Video Mode: Switch Camera from taking still photos to recording video. Tap or click the screen to start recording, and tap again to stop.
  • Timer: Delay for three seconds before snapping a picture or starting the video recording.
  • Exposure: Move the slider up and down to change the exposure setting.
  • Camera roll: View the pictures you have taken.
To view your pictures and videos, click Camera Roll. Then continue clicking the left and right arrows to browse all of the images and videos that have been taken with the Camera app.
Figure : Browsing pictures and videos
Browsing pictures and videos
To edit your pictures, right-click the screen to see the commands. To delete both pictures and videos, click the Delete button.
Use the following steps to crop a picture:
  1. Click the Crop button to display the four dots on the screen.
  2. Drag the dots to select the area of the picture you want to remain after cropping.
  3. Select Apply to complete the crop.
Figure : Cropping an image
Cropping an image
Use the following steps to edit videos:
  1. Tap the screen to play the video.
  2. Tap the screen again to show the Play button in the center of the screen, the media slider bar, and the Trim and Delete buttons.
  3. Click the Trim button.
  4. Drag the white dots on the slider bar to your new beginning and ending positions, and then click Save a copy to save the trimmed video.
Figure : Trimming a video
Trimming a video
Your pictures and videos are saved to the Webcam folder in your Pictures library: \Pictures\Webcam. Pictures are saved as a JPEG. Videos are saved as MP4.
Windows 8 app: Finance
Figure : Finance tile
Finance tile
The Finance app provides information and news about business and the stock market. The data in the app is updated every 15 minutes. The data on the Finance tile is updated every 30 minutes.
  1. Click the tile to open the app. The app opens to the main page, showing current top stories, watchlist stocks, market indices, rates, and top movers. Scroll to the right for more information.
    Figure : Finance app main page
    Finance app main page
  2. You can view a quote by searching for the business using the Search box. Type the Company name or Symbol in the Search box, and click the Search icon.
    Figure : Searching for a business
    Searching for a business
  3. To open the app commands, right-click anywhere on the screen. The following options are available:
    • Today: Switches to the main page showing current top stories, watchlist stocks, market indices, rates, and top movers.
    • Watchlist: Takes you to tiles for the stocks in your list. You can also pin items from your watchlist to the Start screen. Use the following steps to customize your stock watchlist.
      1. To add a stock, click the Plus button.
        Figure : Watchlist stocks
        Watchlist stocks
      2. Type the company name in the box, select it from the list, and click Add .
        Figure : Adding a stock to the watch list
        Adding a stock to the watch list
      3. To remove a stock, right-click a stock tile, and click Remove in the lower-left corner of the screen.
    • News: Switches to a page with business-related news stories.
    • Tools: Use a mortgage calculator, currency converter, figure auto payments, track your savings, and use the retirement planner.
    • World Markets: Switches to a page that displays the current rates for stock indexes around the world. Scroll to the right for more.
      Figure : World Markets
      World Markets
Windows 8 app: Food & Drink
Figure : Food & Drink tile
Food & Drink tile
The Food & Drink Bing app offers access to a variety of recipes from recipe websites, popular cookbooks, and food bloggers. The app includes a wine encyclopedia with information on over 1.5 million bottles of wine and hundreds of popular cocktail recipes.
With Food & Drink you can browse recipes by cuisine, level of difficulty, preferred cooking method, or by specific ingredients. In addition, you can browse pictures of meals and then click the image to see the full recipe.
Figure : Bing Food & Drink app
Bing Food & Drink app
You can also save your own recipes into the app, and easily save other recipes in your collection. The app includes a meal planner, the ability to create shopping lists to email or print, and a hands free cooking mode.
Scroll to the right to reach the Next Steps menu and make a selection.
Figure : Next Steps menu
Next Steps menu
Windows 8 app: Games
Figure : Games tile
Games tile
With the Game app, you can get games from the Windows store or from the Xbox Live Marketplace. You can also customize your avatar and manage your profile and other account settings.
Open Games by clicking the app tile in the Start Screen. The Games welcome screen shows your Xbox avatar and your profile details.
Figure : Games welcome screen
Games welcome screen
You can create a new avatar, customize your existing avatar, or edit your profile details. Scroll to the right for the following sections.
  • Friends: Shows your Xbox friends.
  • Game activity: Shows games that you have purchased recently.
  • Home: Lists some of the games available in the Windows Store specifically for Windows, as well as your achievements, messages, and friends.
Windows 8 app: Health & Fitness
Figure : Health & Fitness tile
Health & Fitness tile
The Bing Health & Fitness app features diet, health, and exercise trackers, plus step-by-step instructions and videos for hundreds of exercises and workouts.
Figure : Bing Health & Fitness Quick Access
Bing Health & Fitness Quick Access
Use the Diet Tracker to help you calculate your daily food and stay on your eating plan.
Figure : Diet Tracker
Diet Tracker
Use the Health Tracker to record your weight and see graphs of your progress. You can also track your cholesterol, blood pressure, and pulse.
Figure : Health Tracker
Health tracker
Windows 8 app: Help + Tips
Figure : Help + Tips tile
Help + Tips tile
The Help + Tips app Help + Tips provides overviews of basic Windows 8 features and includes short videos. It has the following sections: Start and apps, basic navigation, accounts, settings,
Figure : Help + Tips screen
Help + Tips screen
Windows 8 app: Internet Explorer 11
Figure : Internet Explorer tile
Internet Explorer app
There are two versions of Internet Explorer in Windows 8: Internet Explorer 11, the touch-optimized version on the Start screen, and Internet Explorer for the desktop, the desktop version of Internet Explorer.
  1. Click the tile to start Internet Explorer.
    Figure : Internet Explorer 11
    Internet Explorer 11
  2. Right-click the screen to display the app commands at the bottom of the screen:
    • App commands at the bottom of the screen
    Figure : Internet Explorer 11 app commands
    Internet Explorer 11 app commands
    Back button
    Site icon
    Address bar - type address or search term
    Refresh button
    Favorites
    Page tools - Get app for this site (if available), Find on page, View on the desktop, View downloads
    Forward button
  3. To open a new tab, open the commands and click the plus sign.
    Figure : Opening a new tab
    Opening a new tab
  4. Click the address bar at the bottom of the screen to type an address or search term, or select a tile from your Frequent or Favorites to go to a Web page.
    Figure : Typing a Web address
    Typing a Web address
  5. If you have problems viewing a Web page in Internet Explorer 11, click Page Tools , and then click View on the desktop . Internet Explorer for the desktop automatically opens to the Web page you were viewing.
    Figure : Switching to Internet Explorer for the desktop
    Switching to Internet Explorer for the desktop
Windows 8 app: Mail
Figure : Mail tile
Mail app - wide tile
The Mail app works with several mail providers, including Google, Hotmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.
  1. To add a mail account, open the Settings charm , click Accounts , and click Add an Account .
    Figure : Adding a mail account
    Adding a mail account
  2. Click the type of account and then follow the instructions to add the email address and password.
    Figure : Selecting the mail account
    Selecting the mail account
  3. Click the tile to open the Mail app, and click Inbox to see your messages.
    Figure : Mail Inbox
    Mail Inbox
  4. To send a message, click New in the upper-right corner.
    Figure : Inbox commands
    Mail commands
    Respond
    New message
    Delete
  5. Type a name in the To box, or click the plus button to see your contacts. Then type the subject and message.
    Figure : Creating a new message
    Mail commands
  6. To format your message, highlight the section or right-click in the message. Mail opens the formatting commands at the bottom of the screen.
    Figure : Formatting commands
    Formatting commands
    Copy/paste
    Font
    Text color
    Highlight
    Bold
    Italic
    Underline
    List
    Emoticons
    Hyperlink
    Open in new window
    More - Save draft, Undo, Redo, Clear formatting
  7. When done, click Send .
    Figure : Send button
    Send button
  8. To print a message, open the Devices charm and select the printer. Click Print .
    Figure : Printing a message
    Printing a message
Windows 8 app: Maps
Figure : Maps tile
Maps tile
The Maps app uses Bing Maps to provide information such as driving directions, and traffic or aerial views.
Figure : Map app with commands displayed
Map app with commands displayed
Right-click on the screen to see the app controls. The following options are available.
  • Pin to Start
  • Add a pin
  • Map style: Change between road view and aerial view.
  • My location: To center the map on your location, click My location .
    NOTE:
    Open the Settings charm and click Permissions to allow Maps to access your location.
  • Directions: Use to get directions from one place to another.
    Figure : Getting directions
    Getting directions
  • Search: Use the Search feature to search for a location or business.
    Figure : Searching with the Search charm
    Searching with the Search charm
Windows 8 app: Music
Figure : Music tile
Music tile
With the Music app, you can play music files from your computer or you can buy and download music from the Xbox Marketplace.
NOTE:
The Music app does not play traditional music CDs. To listen to songs from your music discs using the Music app, the disc tracks must be converted to files. Use Windows Media Player to convert the tracks on your music discs to music files such as WMA or MP3. These files can then be played by the Music app.
  1. To play music already on your computer, click the Music tile and then click Collection .
    Figure : Xbox Music
    Xbox Music
    Click an album tile to play it.
    Figure : Music app
    Music app
  2. Right-click the screen to display the Music commands. You can play, add a song to a playlist, delete, shuffle, and perform other actions with the music track.
    Figure : Music commands
Windows 8 app: News
Figure : News tile
News app
The News app provides news gathered from a variety of sources across the Web. News stories are grouped into categories such as World News, Business, and Technology.
  1. Click the News tile to open the app.
    Figure : News app
    News app
  2. Scroll to the right to see top stories in other categories such as World, Technology, and Business.
    Figure : News categories
    News categories
  3. Select a category to display stories from that category on a separate page. Select a tile to open and read the new story.
    Figure : Reading a news story
    Reading a news story
  4. Right-click the screen to open the app commands.
    • Bing News: see top news stories in predetermined categories such as World News, Technology, and Politics.
    • Topics: create and add new categories to fit your interests. To create a new category, click Add a add a topic .
    • Sources: a list of all the news sources sorted by category such as National and World News, Business, Entertainment, Sports, and Science. Click individual tiles to see news in that publication.
Windows 8 app: People
Figure : People tile
People app - large tile
With the People app, you can keep track of all of your contacts from your email accounts, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in one central location that is automatically backed up. When you sign in from a new Windows 8 device, your contacts are available - no need to enter them again.
NOTE:
The People app has a memory cache so you can add or edit contacts while you are offline. When you go back online, the changes are synced so your updates are backed up.
  1. Click the People tile to open the app.
    Figure : People app
    People app
  2. To add another account, click the Settings charm, click Accounts , and then click Add an account . Select the type of account.
    NOTE:
    The account list you see might be different, depending on what accounts are already installed in the People app.
    Figure : Adding an account
    Adding an account
  3. Type your email address and password. The app automatically retrieves the contact information and adds it to the People app.
    Figure : Entering the account information
    Entering the account information
  4. Click a person to see their individual contact information. From this page, depending on which services you have linked to People, you can:
    • send e-mail
    • view their profile
    • pin to Start
    Right-click the screen to see the app commands and you can:
    • Edit the profile
    • Delete the profile
    • Add the profile to your Favorites category on the People home page
    • Link multiple profiles for this person
Windows 8 app: Photos
Figure : Photos tile
Photos app - large tile
With the Photo app, you can keep all your photos in one place. Upload photos from other devices such as your cell phone, external hard drive or memory stick, or digital camera. You can also connect the Photo app to your SkyDrive and to your social media services such as Facebook and Flickr.
  1. Click the tile to open the Photo app. Click the down arrow to choose between your Pictures library and pictures on your SkyDrive.
    Figure : Photo app
    Photo app
  2. To add photos from another device such as a digital camera or memory stick, first connect the device to the computer. Then right-click anywhere on the screen and click Import .
    Figure : Import photos from a device
    Importing photos from a device
  3. To share your photos, first select a photo, and then open the Share charm.
    You can post to Facebook or email the photo. You can also upload the photo to your SkyDrive from the Photos app.
    Figure : Sharing a photo
    Sharing a photo
  4. To print a photo, open the Devices charm, select a printer, and click Print .
  5. If you want to see a thumbnail view of your pictures, click the thumbnail button in the upper right corner.
    Figure : Thumbnail view
    Thumbnail view
Windows 8 app: Reading List
Figure : Reading List tile
Reading List app tile
Use the Reading List app to bookmark or save articles you find on websites that you would like to return to. Reading List is synchronized between apps - you can start reading an article on your computer at work, add it to your Reading List, and finish reading it at home on your tablet.
  1. When you find an article you want to add to your Reading List, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select the Share charm.
  2. Then select Reading List .
    Figure : Sharing to Reading List
    Sharing to Reading List
  3. Click Add to add the article to your Reading List. Open Reading List and read the article.
    Figure : Adding to Reading List
    Adding to Reading List
Windows 8 app: SkyDrive
Figure : SkyDrive tile
SkyDrive app tile
With the SkyDrive app you can easily view the data stored on your SkyDrive, upload and sync files, and then access them from anywhere.
Click the SkyDrive tile to start the app.
Figure : SkyDrive home page
SkyDrive home page
Right-click the background to open the app commands.
Figure : SkyDrive commands
SkyDrive commands
The following commands are available:
  • Select all - select all the files in the folder.
  • New Folder - create a new folder that will appear in the file column on the left.
  • Add files - transfer files from the computer to SkyDrive.
Right-click an item to select it and open additional commands. The following commands are available:
Figure : Item commands (document and photo)
Item commands (document and photo)
  • Delete - remove the currently selected item from SkyDrive
  • Open with - select a software program to open the file for editing.
  • Set as Lock screen - Use the photo for the Lock screen background.
  • Slide show - add the current selections to a slide show.
  • Rotate - rotate the item.
  • Crop - crop the item.
  • Edit - edit the photo with auto fix, basic fixes, adjust the light, color, and add special effects.
Use the following steps to post a photo to Facebook:
  1. Right-click an item to select it. Note the check in the upper-right corner.
    Figure : Selecting an item
    Selecting an item
  2. Press the Windows key + H to open the Share charm, and click Post to Facebook .
  3. In the Add a message area, type your message. Then click Send .
    Figure : Posting a picture to Facebook
    Posting a photo to Facebook
Windows 8 app: Sports
Figure : Sports tile
Sports tile
The Sports app makes it easy to keep up with your sports teams. Get news stories, scores, schedules, league standings, and more. You can personalize the app by adding a tile for your favorite teams.
Open the app by clicking the tile. Sports opens to the home screen with today's news stories, and schedule and scores for any games that are playing today. Type a team or player name in the Search box.
Figure : Sports app
Sports app
Scroll through the app for top news stories, scores, schedules, videos, and slide shows. You can add your favorite team to get their latest scores. To add a team, click the Add button under Favorite Teams .
Figure : Adding a team to Favorites
Adding a team to Favorites
Type the team name in the box, and click Add .
Scroll to the right to see the video and slide show selections.
Figure : Videos and Slideshows
Videos and Slideshows
Windows 8 app: Travel
Figure : Travel tile
Travel tile
Use the travel app to plan your vacation, book flights and hotels, and decide what to see when you get there.
Click the tile to start the app. Scroll to see featured destinations, panoramas, and magazine articles. To search on a particular destination, type the name in the Search box.
Figure : Travel app
Travel app
Right-click anywhere on the background to open the app commands.
  • Search flights . Search for flights, look up schedules and see the status of a particular flight. When you are ready to book your flight, Travel automatically takes you to a third-party site to make your reservations.
  • Flight status . Check the status of your flights.
  • Flight schedules . Check for flight schedules.
  • Search hotels . Search for a hotel based on price, class, and amenities. Get information for each hotel including a description, maps, and photos.
Windows 8 app: Windows Store
Figure : Windows Store tile
Store tile
If you want to update Windows or get more apps, go to the Windows store where you can get free apps or purchase apps.
  1. To open the Windows Store, click the tile on the Start screen.
  2. The Windows Store opens to the home page of the Windows Store. Scroll sideways to see more categories. Tiles for individual apps show the name and logo for the app, as well as the price and current rating.
    Figure : Windows store home page
    Windows store home page
  3. To browse all of the apps that fall into a category, right-click an empty space on the Windows Store home page and select the desired category from the list.
    Figure : Viewing a category
    Viewing a category
  4. To search in a category, scroll all the way to the right, and then click See all .
    Figure : Searching in a subcategory
    Searching in a subcategory
    NOTE:
    These subcategories will be different, based on the category you are searching. For small categories, the subcategory setting might not be available.
  5. Choose a subcategory such as Card to browse all the card games.
    Figure : Selecting a subcategory
    Selecting a subcategory
  6. For more information about an app, click the tile.
    Figure : Search results
    Search results
  7. On this page, you can find more information, or purchase and install the app. When you click Install , text displays on the upper-right corner indicating that the installation is in progress.
    Figure : Installing an app
    Installing an app
  8. When the installation is complete, Windows displays a notification stating that the app was installed and adds a tile to the Start screen. Click the tile to open the new app.
Windows 8 app: Video
Figure : Video tile
Video tile
With the Video app, you can play movies already on your computer or buy and download movies and TV shows from the Xbox Marketplace.
Figure : Video app
Video app
  1. To play videos that are already stored on your computer, click the Video tile and scroll to the left to see personal videos .
    Click an tile to play it.
    Figure : Video app
    Video app
  2. Right-click anywhere on the background to display the Video commands.
    Figure : Video commands
    Video commands
    The following commands are available:
    • Previous: Move to the previous video
    • Pause: Pause the video
    • Next: Move to the next video
    • Volume : Adjust the volume
    • Play to : Play on a connected device
    • Playback options : includes repeat and closed captioning
  3. You can also buy movies and TV shows in the Xbox marketplace. When you select a video in the marketplace, you can:
    • Play a movie trailer.
    • See TV series description and links to episodes
    • Buy or rent the video. Media that you purchase is downloaded to your video library.
Windows 8 app: Weather
Figure : Weather tile
Weather tile - large (live)
The Weather app provides the current weather in your location. You can scroll to see more information such as the hourly forecast, weather maps, and historical weather data.
  1. Click the tile to open the app.
    Figure : Weather home screen
    Weather home screen
  2. To add a location, right-click to open the commands, and click the Add button .
    Figure : Adding a favorite
    Adding a favorite
  3. .
  4. Type the city name and then click Add .
    Figure : Adding a location
    Adding a location
  5. You can also use the Search feature to get weather. Open the Search charm, type a name, and click Search .
  6. To change the temperature units, right-click to open the commands, and click Change to Fahrenheit (or Celsius) .
    Figure : Changing temperature units
    Changing temperature units
Frequently asked questions
FAQ: Where is the Start button?
In Windows, the Start menu has been replaced with the Start screen. However, In Windows 8.1 there is a Start button. You can use the Start button to switch between the Windows 8 Start screen and the desktop, move the mouse to the lower left corner until the Start button displays, and then click it.
Figure : Start button on start screen
Switching to the desktop
Windows 7 Start menu
Windows 8 Start screen
Windows 7 Start menu
Windows 8 Start screen
FAQ: How do I open my documents?
To open your documents, from the Start screen, type documents . The Search charm displays and begins your search. In the results, click documents .
Figure : Opening the documents folder
Opening the documents folder
FAQ: How do I change my background picture?
There are three different places in Windows 8 where you can change the background picture: the Start screen, the Lock screen, and the Desktop. Use the following instructions to customize your computer backgrounds.
  • To change the background for the Start screen, use the following steps:
    1. Click the Settings charm, and then click Personalize .
      Figure : Changing the Start screen background
      Changing the Start screen background
    2. Select a new background and color.
      Figure : Selecting a new background
      Selecting the Start screen background
  • To change the background picture for the Lock screen, use the following steps:
    1. At the Windows Start screen, type change lock screen picture to open the Search charm, and then click Change the picture on your lock screen .
      Figure : Changing the lock screen picture
      Changing the lock screen picture
    2. Click Change PC settings in the lower right, click Personalize , and click Lock screen .
      Figure : Personalizing the Lock screen
      Personalizing the Lock screen
    3. Click Browse to select one of the pictures available or find one on your computer.
  • To change the background picture for the Desktop, use the following steps:
    1. On the Start screen, type Change desktop background . Then click Change desktop background in the Search results.
      Figure : Searching for the desktop background setting
      Searching for the desktop background setting
    2. Select a new picture from those displayed or click Browse to find a picture in another location. Click Save changes when done.
      Figure : Choosing a new background picture
      Choosing a new background picture
FAQ: How do I change my account picture?
Use the following steps to change your account picture:
  1. Click the Settings charm, click Change PC settings in the lower right, and then click Account Picture .
    Figure : Changing the Account picture
    Changing the Account picture
  2. Click Browse to find another picture or click Create an account picture to use the camera to create a picture.
    Figure : Changing the Account picture
    Changing the Account picture
  3. When done, click Choose image .
FAQ: How do I add a folder to Start? (shortcut)
Use the following steps to add a folder to the Start screen. The following instructions show how to pin the Documents folder to Start; however, you can add any folder to Start from File Explorer.
  1. On the Start screen, type documents to open Search charm, and the click Documents in the Search results.
    Figure : Finding the Documents folder
    Finding the Documents folder
  2. File Explorer opens in the Documents folder. Right-click Documents , and then click Pin to Start .
    Figure : Pinning Documents to the Start screen
    Pinning to Start
  3. The My Documents tile displays on the Start screen.
    Figure : Documents tile
    Documents tile
FAQ: What's the difference between an app and other software?
In Windows 8 you can use two types of software programs. Software programs designed specifically to be used with the Windows 8 Start screen are called apps. Programs designed to be used from the Windows desktop or for previous versions of Windows are called Desktop apps.
FAQ: What do you use the desktop for?
Use the desktop for Desktop apps or software that was designed for previous versions of Windows. You will notice that when you click on some types of software from the Start screen that Windows switches to the Desktop. When this happens, you are using a Desktop application.
FAQ: Where did the desktop gadgets go?
Desktop gadgets are not supported in Windows 8.
FAQ: Where is Windows Media Center?
To unlock the Media Center features, you need a separate product key for the Windows 8 Pro Pack and the Windows 8 Media Center Pack. These can be purchased and downloaded from Microsoft in much the same way that Windows is activated.
Use the following steps:
  1. Right-click in the lower-left corner to open the menu, and click Control Panel .
  2. Click System and Security , click System , and click Get more features with a new edition of Windows .
    Figure : Upgrading Windows features
  3. If required, type an administrator password, and then click Yes .
  4. Click I want to buy a product key online and follow the instructions.
    Figure : Upgrading Media Center
    Upgrading to Media Center
FAQ: Where is Control Panel?
To open Control Panel, move the mouse to the lower-left corner and right-click to open the menu. Click Control Panel .
Figure : Opening Control Panel
Opening Control Panel
FAQ: Where is Device Manager?
To open Device Manager, move the mouse to the lower-left corner and right-click to open the menu. Click Device Manager .
Figure : Opening Device Manager
Opening Device Manager
FAQ: Where is Task Manager?
Use one of the following methods to open Task Manager:
  • Move the mouse to the lower-left corner and right-click to open the menu. Click Task Manager .
    Figure : Opening Task Manager
    Opening Task Manager
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + Del on the keyboard to open the security screen. Click Task Manager .
FAQ: Where is Windows Movie Maker?
Windows Movie Maker was not included in Windows 8. However, you can download Windows Movie Maker from the Microsoft Web site for free. To download and install Movie Maker, go to www.microsoft.com and search for Windows Movie Maker.
FAQ: Where is Windows DVD Maker?
Windows DVD Maker is not included in Windows 8. To create you own video discs using the DVD format, use another software program such as CyberLink Media Suite.
FAQ: Why can't I watch movies in Windows Media Player?
The DVD function is not included in Windows Media Player 12 which comes with Windows 8. To view DVDs, use another software program such as CyberLink Power DVD.