Using a Windows 8.1 Computer -published June 2014 in the Guide and Digest
By Don Trauger – Kennett
In the May issue of the Guide & Digest I mentioned 2 items that would help in getting you started with Windows 8.1. This month I’ll cover some more points that are explained in the following paragraphs.
Windows 8.1 requires that you learn to right click the mouse. For example, to turn off or restart the computer from the Desktop screen, right click the new Windows 8 Start button, located in the lower left corner of the screen, then move the mouse to “Shut down or sign out” and click either “Shut down” or “Restart”. Notice other available options when you right click the Start button, such as the Control Panel and Program & Features. Tap the Windows key on the keyboard and you have instant access to the Live Tiles or Metro look of Windows 8. Click the down arrow in the lower left part of the screen and you can access all the installed programs now called “Apps”. Use the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the screen to view all the Apps. Tap it again and it goes back to where you were on the Live tile screen, then tap it again and you are back in Desktop mode. Not only have you learned to use the right mouse key, you are also using a previously unused key on the keyboard.
If you would like to put an App on the Task bar of the Desktop you must right click it and click “Pin to taskbar”. It will appear on the bar at the bottom of Desktop screen. Placing icons on the Desktop screen is almost as easy. Again, right click the App and click “Open file location”. Next, right click the App and move the mouse to “Sent to” and click “Desktop (create shortcut)”. If done correctly you will now have an icon on the Desktop screen. After a little work, things will start to look familiar again as they were in the old XP days.
The Charms Bar works in Desktop or Live Tile mode. If you position the mouse in either the extreme upper right or lower right corners you should see 5 icons appear. It can be touchy so be careful as mouse position is all important to make this feature work. However, once the icons appear, run the mouse down to each one to see the description. The Start icon takes you to the Live tile screen and the Settings icon will allow you another way to turn off or restart the computer. To do this click Settings, click Power and make your choice of restarting or turning off the computer.
Windows 8 was updated some time ago to Windows 8.1. If you are still running the old version 8.0, you must go the Windows Store (it’s a Live Tile App) and download 8.1 from there. Most new store bought computers are now selling Windows 8.1 so you don’t have do that. However, one of the first things you need to do is to update or at least check to see that you have all of the Microsoft updates. Open the Control Panel as described above in the second paragraph, and click System and Security. Click Windows Update, then click “Check for updates”. Wait for results then install all important and recommended updates. You will have to restart the computer, then go back and click “Check for updates” again. Repeat a 3rd time if necessary until there are no further updates available. Some of the features I write about will not be available for you until all of the updates are installed.
If you are successful in performing the above, then you are well on your way to operating a windows 8.1 computer. 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 Windows 8, 7, Vista, or even good old XP computer problems.