15 Windows 8 Tips and Tricks

Microsoft made many drastic user interface changes in Windows 8. The Start menu we’ve all gotten accustomed to over the past one and half decades is completely gone. They’ve given us what they call a Start screen, charms, and mouse and touch gestures, but Window 8 will require quite a learning curve for new users to figure out how to get around and be productive. Based on our experience thus far with the public Windows 8 Release Preview we offer these efficiency tips.

And if you have some tips and tricks of your own, or you’d like to share your thoughts on the interface changes of Windows 8, leave a comment.

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  • K2N hater
    When you logon again you should be taken to the familiar desktop where you'll also find a Windows Explorer window opened to your Libraries.

    Any clue on setting it to go straight to the desktop screen without the Libraries window?

    Is autologon possible?
  • math1337
    Boot to desktop? cool. Adding start menu? cool.

    Metro crap? no one cares.
  • mayankleoboy1
    just saying, but if you are not using the METRO UI, why not keep using win7?
    win8= win7+metro
  • Anonymous
    ALT + F4 to close anything including shut down.....Windows key + Q to search from anywhere
  • billgatez
    Tip #1 downgrade to Windows 7. Done.
  • liemfukliang
    How to disable the ?
  • math1337
    mayankleoboy1just saying, but if you are not using the METRO UI, why not keep using win7?win8= win7+metro

    Ribbons, faster file copy, faster bootup, lower mem usage, faster performance.
  • sviola
    mayankleoboy1just saying, but if you are not using the METRO UI, why not keep using win7?win8= win7+metro

    There are plenty of performance and under the hood improvements on Win 8. This said, I like the Metro UI (I find it nice looking, non-convoluted and information-centric - i've really been enjoying my windows phone) and will be using it.
  • leaderWON
    sviolaThere are plenty of performance and under the hood improvements on Win 8. This said, I like the Metro UI (I find it nice looking, non-convoluted and information-centric - i've really been enjoying my windows phone) and will be using it.

  • eadthem
    Dont worry in 18 months, windows 9 will be out, and with a new innovative start menu.
  • prothera
    win+t key bind is very useful.

    it hides the apps and new tile screen and make sure to show* the task bars.
    There are several nice scenarios that make win+t useful, single and multi screen.
    I explained some, but I lost my post when l had to log in to post.

    *if you're playing full screen games, the task bar will be a layer under the game
  • Bob55
    Until I tried Win 8, I was fairly neutral about all the UI changes but not any longer. I tried Release Preview on an existing laptop of mine, using a mouse instead of the trackpad most of the time.

    A great deal of these tips will help me when I have to use Win 8, but I shall not go willingly. The mouse gestures are completely unintuitive to those used to click, click and hold, double click and similar mouse operations. There are few to no hints available to mouse users about what to do in Win 8. Some of the keyboard shortcuts will be very useful to have when on a desktop or laptop, but completely unusable on a tablet. What are the gesture equivalents of some of the administrative shortcuts? I'd like to see my resource usage on a tablet. I'd like to access the left click menu on the traditional desktop when using a tablet, but how do fingers 'left click"?

    I have a few standards for intuitive user interfaces and most all of them are broken by Windows 8. First and foremost, what to do should be visible or easy to discover when one knows the basics of the interface, mouse or multi-touch. Secondly, once you learn how to do something one place, that way of doing 'it' should be rigidly adhered to everywhere else. This is known as consistency and Windows 8 is not the only UI to suffer from inconsistency - 2 different Sodoku games on my iPod Touch use exactly opposite protocols to edit the 9 by 9 box. As all of us know, what you do with a computer evolves and UIs cannot keep up with all the new usages. This is one area where I advocate continual evolution of UIs in the form of new interface conventions that are established periodically and supported by additional OS APIs in new releases. Given enough screen space, I LIKE using overlapping windows and have some ideas on how to make that easy; number one is Windows' invention - the menu inside the program window. There is more life in the old WIMP UI yet, just as command lines have gotten easier to use with inline editing - now if only the arguments could be consistent! 8-))
  • kewltoyz
    I'll pass on Win 8. I don't see any benefit or gain in a work environment at all for the users already struggling to continue being productive with the convoluted messes already being forced down their throats by irresponsible money hungry software vendors. Retraining users to do the same thing they already do is a waste of resources and a completely unnecessary investment of time.
  • dreadlokz
    Looks awesome... for touch mobile devices!
    For power Desktop users? Looks like a pile of sh!t!!!
    I'm not upgrading anytime soon, and I don't even pay for it, just a torrent version to see if the start addon works and if I can tell the difference in performance on every day usage, not some bs benchmarks that tell its faster and better but don't look faster and better!
  • kewltoyz
    I will admit, I had Win 8 RC setup and install faster and easier than Win 7 with dual hard drives and I installed Win 7 after installing Win 8 on an older Dell. 7 Automatically setup the PC for dual boot. Starting up both, Win 8 won every time, even after setting it up to boot to Desktop with a psuedo start menu. But with all of the tweaks to make it work that way, I would just assume use Win 7. I have too many concerns with work related software compatibility and functionality. Also, I already own Win 7 Ultimate. If MS would have followed thru with packaging Office into the OS instead of making it separate, I would have considered it.
  • FloKid
    If you don't play the Windows 8 game propa go play something else go play the taxi game : )
  • kewltoyz
    I'm still playing with it. Tweaked a few programs installation cfg to get them to work with it due to dotnet framework issues. It is more resource friendly. The file copy & download dialogs are nice. Seems faster to copy files to it over the network. I've installed the DVD codecs and used it as a media center PC for my TV to watch Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, & Google. The task manager is improved as well. Tried Classic Shell with it too. One serious bug is if you turn off the hardware switch for WiFi, 8 won't reinitialize it once it is turned back on. I had to reboot to 7 to reinitialize it then reboot back to 8 to get it working. 8 really needs a "Send To:" option for creating a Metro Tile. 8 Also needs a Metro Tile Manager to handle items in mass, perhaps creating a folder type tile for specific Administrative apps. Otherwise the Metro gets convoluted and ugly in a hurry. It is much faster to boot, but what a pain to shut down, sleep, or restart. That should have been immediate options in the Windows Key Menu.
  • kewltoyz
    Also, I find the image screen pretty useless. Why not combine it with the login screen so it serves a functional purpose? I would think using a background image for the Metro screen would have been much nicer too with a glass appearance to the metro tiles. It is a concept not quite finished in implementation. I still look for a hardware & services profile option in the system. The Metro somewhat accomplishes that. Lets say I login to Develop apps, then those are the services and profiles initialized and in use. But if I login to game, then only those services and profile initialize. 8 Still seems to initialize all of those options when they are un necessary to usage. Also, Windows Mail, should allow multiple accounts!
  • kewltoyz
    If they tweaked 8 with the things I have mentioned, they could very well release their Xbox running the OS for the markets very first console PC. I think it would be a great milestone for Microsoft to do. Especially using SSD hard drives as a primary drive holding the OS and a secondary SATA disk for large capacity storage.