Setting up a Windows 8.1 Computer

                                                                                  By Don Trauger – Kennett 
      If you have purchased a new Windows 8.1 computer, reading the following will help in the transition from Windows XP To Windows 8.1. If you have held off buying a new computer go to our web site at http://hersheysmill.org. Move your mouse to Resources > Tech Tips > General Computer/Printer Tips > and click on Buying a New Computer. The article mentions Windows 7 but the information also applies to Windows 8 and 8.1. The information on the web site should help you to decide what to buy. An all-in-one computer (not mentioned in the article) is also a good choice for efficient use of space and minimal cables.

          After unpacking, connecting cables and turning it on, you will be prompted to configure your computer for its first use. The on-screen information is mostly straight forward except for one new item. During the configuration you will be asked to set up a Microsoft account. This is new and is required to proceed with the configuration. Simply use your regular or an alternate email address and password. The following explains how Microsoft would use your email address. When you sign in to your PC or device with a Microsoft account, you can get apps from the Windows Store, back up all your important data and files using free cloud storage, and keep all your favorite stuff—devices, photos, friends, games, settings, music, and so on—up to date and in sync. If this isn’t your preferred way to start operating your new PC you can revert back to what Microsoft calls a Local Account. Converting to a Local Account will allow your computer to start up and optionally present you with a log-on (sign-in) screen.

          Here’s how to convert to a Local Account. Point the mouse to either the extreme upper right or lower right corner of the screen. You should see the “Charms” bar with five icons pop out from the right edge of the screen. Move the mouse to the gear icon which is the bottom one and click it. At the bottom of the right side of the screen click “Change PC settings”. The next window will show various PC settings on the left. Click “Accounts” then click “Your Account”. Click “Disconnect” on the right, type your password, click Next, leave all the fields blank if no password is desired except for your User name field then click Next again. Click “Sign out and finish”.  If you see a rainbow colored screen appear just click it to continue. Click the user name you assigned to continue. Also, remember when you are in Windows 8 full screen mode you must put the mouse in the right hand upper or lower corner to access the Charms bar and click the Windows 8 Start button to get back to the tile interface screen.

          The following change is quite easy and will boot the computer into the familiar Desktop screen mode like Windows XP.

          Locate the Desktop tile on the Windows 8 interface screen and click it. Next, right click a blank spot on the Task bar (the bar at the bottom of the screen) and right click it. Click Properties and click the Navigation tab at the top. Under Start screen click “When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start”.

          Of course there’s more to learn, but changing these 2 items will help in transitioning from Windows XP to Windows 8.1.

          The PC Club meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 7 PM upstairs in the Ardmore room of the Community Center to help you with computer problems.