Windows 8: It's Not Just for Touch Screens - Page 2

By Joseph Moran
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Windows 8 Apps and Searching

Tip #6: Go back to the last app you were using

Why is it still called Windows when apps now run full-screen? We don’t know, but we do know that moving the mouse to the upper-left corner will pop-up a thumbnail of the last program you used. Click it to jump back to that app, and keep clicking to move further back through your recently used apps. (Note that when you’re using the Desktop, this thumbnail will always take you to the last Windows 8 app you were using.)

small business windows 8 tips

Figure 3: Move the mouse to the upper-left corner and then down slightly to see thumbnails of your running apps.

Tip #7: View and switch between open apps

To see all your open Windows 8 apps, move the mouse to the upper-left corner as described above, then down slightly along the edge of the screen to display a vertical row of your app thumbnails—clicking on a thumbnail switches to that app. Note that you can’t switch directly to a conventional Windows program this way, only to the Desktop. (Another option: hold down the ALT key and press the TAB key to view and cycle through your open apps. With this method, you can switch to a particular conventional Windows program.)

Tip #8: View all installed apps

Right-click an empty part of the Start screen then click All apps to see a complete list of Windows 8-built apps plus any you’ve installed yourself.

Tip #9: Close or access settings of a Windows 8 app

Technically, you should rarely need to close Windows 8 apps (they’ll run unobtrusively behind the scenes), but if you must, use ALT+F4. You can also right-click a program thumbnail and choose Close. To view or change the settings of a Windows 8 app, press Windows + I.

Tip #10: Searching your PC

You won’t find a Windows 7-style search box in Windows 8, but fortunately you don’t really need one. To search from the Start screen, just start typing. Windows 8 will automatically display matching app and program items, and also report how many settings and/or files match your search term so you can see those, too. To directly search for settings or files from the Start screen, press Windows + W or Windows + F, respectively.

Internet Explorer 10

small business Windows 8 tips

Figure 4: Right-click a Web page then click the plus button to open a new tab in Internet Explorer 10.

Tip #11: Open new tab in Internet Explorer 10

Internet Explorer 10 lacks the "New Tab" button of its predecessors, so to open a new tab, right-click somewhere on the Web page and click the + button at top-right (or just press CTRL + T).

Tip #12: Make IE open in the Desktop

If you’re not digging IE’s new look-and-feel, you can force the browser to open the old-fashioned way. Start by opening IE from the Desktop, then click the gear icon (at upper-right), then the Programs tab. Under Opening Internet Explorer, select Always in Internet Explorer on the desktop and check the box labeled Open Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop.


small business Windows 8 tips

Figure 5: Click your name on the Start screen to lock or log off the computer.

Tip #13: Log off, lock, shut down or restart the computer

To lock or log-off (sign out) options, click on your name at upper-right. You can also press CTRL+ALT+DEL to lock, log off, or switch users. And clicking on the power button at lower-left will allow you to shut down or restart. Another way to summon shut down and restart options from the Start screen is by pressing Windows + I and clicking Power.

From the Desktop, press ALT + F4 to get sign out, shut down, restart and switch user options.

Tip #14: Check your Windows password for typos

Not sure if you typed your Windows 8 password correctly? Click and hold the eye icon to view the characters.

Tip #15: Quickly summon administrator-related features

Pressing Windows +X from virtually anywhere in Windows 8 will bring up a menu of more than a dozen old-timey Windows features and settings (things such as Device Manager, Command Prompt, Event Viewer, and Power Options) that will be of interest to administrators and power users.

A final note: a slew of touch-enabled mice and external trackpads are waiting in the wings, which should make getting around Windows 8 a bit easier than with a conventional mouse. Look for their debut along with Windows 8.

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This article was originally published on October 31, 2012
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