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The First Five Things You Need To Know After Installing Windows 8

Updated on August 8, 2013
Windows 8 Start Screen
Windows 8 Start Screen | Source

If you've just installed Windows 8 on your PC, you may be somewhat confused by the new interface. The first thing you see is the Start Screen with a bunch of very slick looking “live” tiles. This is the new Windows 8 user interface, and it has some great features. Although designed for a touch screen, it's very easy to master without the touch capability. However, first you'll need to know where certain familiar things are in order to perform the simplest of tasks. Here are the first five things that you should know to get started using Windows 8. This guide is intended for those PC users without a touchscreen.

1. Bringing Up the Charms

First, get used to bringing up menu options, called Charms, from the Start Screen:

  1. Move your mouse to either the right top or right bottom of your screen, and the Charms will appear.
  2. Slide the mouse down to select the Charm that you want.

Once you've mastered bringing the Charms up, you're ready to get answers to some of your questions.

The Windows 8 Desktop
The Windows 8 Desktop | Source

2. Where is the Desktop?

Don't despair. The Desktop can be found on the bottom left tile of your Start window. If you installed Windows 8 on top of an older version of Windows, all of your old icons should appear there. Once you're in the Desktop, you can get back to the Start screen by bringing up the Charms and selecting Start.

You can also quickly move back and forth from the Start screen to the Desktop by pressing the Windows key. This is really handy and saves you from having to bring up the Charms.

3. Where is the Control Panel?

One of the first things that I did was to find the Control Panel, and put it in both the Desktop and the Start window. Here's how to do it:

  1. Make the Charms visible by moving your mouse to the top or bottom corner of your screen.
  2. Select the Search Charm.
  3. Type in Control Panel (as you type, the programs will show up on your screen).
  4. Right click on Control Panel – a series of options will show up on the bottom of your screen.
  5. Select Pin to Start
  6. Right Click Control Panel again.
  7. Select Pin to Taskbar

Now your Control Panel is easily accessible from the Start screen and the Desktop.

Getting to the Control Panel through the Search Charm
Getting to the Control Panel through the Search Charm | Source

4. How do I close an application?

When you run an App from the Start screen and want to close it, put your mouse towards the middle of the top of the screen, and the hand icon appears. Drag the hand down to the bottom of the screen, and the App will close.

5. How do I shut down my computer?

This is not particularly intuitive in Windows 8, but here's how to do it.

  1. Make the Charms visible by moving your cursor to either the top right or bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. A the bottom of the menu, select Power.
  4. Options appear to Sleep, Shut Down or Restart.

The Shutdown Menu
The Shutdown Menu | Source

Check out my Windows 8 Video

I love the new Windows 8 interface – especially the live tiles and the integration that the Mail, Calendar and People app give you. I hope that this guide will help you enjoy your Windows 8 Experience.


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Bingo! Perfect hub. I am going to buy a new laptop and I needed this advice about Win. 8. Thanks for sharing.

      As for your writing, I love this hub and how you wrote it. You possess an amazing writing style.

      I was proud to vote Up and all of the choices. Loved your graphics.

      Just keep up the fine work for you will always have a fan and follower

      in me.


      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, AL.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Au fait - thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing this. I'm still having great results with this operating system. It seems to be the most bug-free OS that Microsoft has ever come up with.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      I have a MAC, but most people still have PCs, so I'm going to share this with my followers because it may be very useful to some of them. I run into people all the time who feel lost on computers, and the surprising part for me is that more of these people than you might think are college students. Voting this up and useful.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Thanks for reading and commenting, w8info - much appreciated!

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      CloudExplorer, you have such wonderful tutorials and videos, and I'm so pleased that you liked my first attempt at a technical video. I plan on doing some more of them, but am trying to decide on the right topics. Thanks for stopping by and for the wonderful feedback. I really appreciate it!

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 5 years ago from New York City

      I do the same with my Windows 8 tutorials, I like your style of how to articles for sure, and that video was to cool, nice!

      I subscribed to your Youtube channel, and will be looking to see what else you have to offer for us all, thanks for sharing this cool useful hub, thumbs up and getting shared no doubt.

      Oh and thanks for the visit to my hub recently, that was cool of you to do for me.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      carl7777 - I saw that you had problems - in fact, I answered your question concerning the keyboard, since I also had a similar problem. My issue was due to the incompatibility of the Constant Guard program that I had on the computer (offered through Comcast). I really like Windows 8 too - it's pretty slick. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      androidphone - Lots of people are waiting to upgrade, and I don't blame them. It's always good to wait until the bugs are worked out. I just had to rush into it, and have been lucky so far - a few minor problems, and the install went pretty easily.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Alison Graham - It took me other familiar functions. I hope that this saves you some time when you upgrade. Thanks for reading and voting!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      You did a great job on this. we installed it the thing went haywire Called support and got it worked out. Thanks for sharing all of this. So far i like it.

    • androidiphone profile image

      androidiphone 5 years ago from Pakistan

      windows 8 is good but i am still stuck @ windows 7

    • Alison Graham profile image

      Alison Graham 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the great information here - especially the bit about how to switch the computer off. My husband and I still have windows 7 but when we upgrade, I just know that would have caused us problems! Voted up and useful!

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Thanks for reading and commenting, shiningirisheyes - I really appreciate it!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Stellar direction and guide for the new interface.

      Easy to follow.