Windows 8 Starter Guide

Windows 8 Start Menu


The Start Menu

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The Start menu has changed and is now displayed when you log on. You have the main tiles displayed like you can see below:

Windows 8 Start Menu

This Menu has the most commonly used Programs. However in Windows 8 they are all now called “Apps”, this is short for Applications.  To Access the  main desktop, you can either select the tile called “Desktop” or press the “Windows” key and the letter “D” on the keyboard.

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On the desktop you no longer have a Start button in the bottom left hand corner. In Windows 8 you use what is called the sidebar. To get to this, move your mouse to the top right hand of your screen as you can see this will bring out the sidebar (this is accessible in all area of Windows 8).


From here you can do many functions such as;

  • Search for an application/file
  • Get back to the Start Menu
  • Get to the power options
  • Connect to a network
  • Connect devices
  • Get to computer settings
  • Display large clock/battery and wifi status in the right hand side of the screen.

Turning off / Power Options

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To get to the power options, go to the “Sidebar” and select the “Settings” icon and the menu, as shown below, will be displayed.

Select the “Power” icon and  further options will be displayed (as shown in the image below);

  • Sleep
  • Shutdown
  • Restart

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Once you have installed an application or have a file you may want locate it easily, this can be done via the “Sidebar” and the “Search” function.  Once you have selected the “Search” function from the Sidebar, you will get the screen below. Type the name of the file, setting or application you are trying to find. Windows 8 automatically cuts down what you can see on screen to match your search criteria.  Remember if you are searching for an application, file or setting, to highlight the relevant icon on the Sidebar below the search bar.

Pin an Application to the Start menu and other Application functions

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To have the application to come up on the Start menu you need to pin it, to do this search for the file/application you want to pin to the Start menu. Also this will give you access to the admin functions to that application as well, see picture below:

As you can now see if you scroll along the Start menu |(using the scroll bar at the bottom of the screen) you have now pined that application to the Start menu:

You also while accessing the menu to Pin the application to the start menu can do the following functions:

  • Pin to Taskbar
  • Un-install the application
  • Open new Window
  • Run as Administrator
  • Open file location

Create a desktop shortcut.

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Using the search function find the application you want to create the shortcut to and then open the file location using the right hand side icon at the bottom as you can see below:

After this it will take you to your desktop with a Window open and the file location. After this right click on the highlighted Application and from the drop-down menu go to “Create Shortcut” as you can see pictured below:

Once you have done this you will now have a shortcut on you desktop as you can see below:

Connect to a Network using the sidebar

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To connect to a wireless network click on settings in the sidebar and you will have access to this menu as you can see below:

The top icon on the bottom left hand side will tell you if you are already connected to a network and if not then what available networks there are. Once you click on this you will be given this menu as pictured below:

Once you have found the network you want to connect to click on it and you will then be asked if you want to connect automatically, once you have clicked “Connect” you then put you network key in (if needed) as you can see below:

Changing your password

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To change the password you use to log on the machine you need to go to the sidebar and go to Settings icon as pictured below:

Once you have clicked on this you then get this menu below and need to click on “Change PC settings” as you can see below:

Once you have done this the next menu you will get will have under “Sign-In Options” a button that says “Change Your Password” (see below):

Once you have clicked this you will then be taken to another screen where you put your old password in and change it to the new one like this:

Once you have done this click next and you will have changed your Log-On password.

How to Change your PC settings

To change the background of the Start menu you need to go to settings and then “Change PC settings” in the sidebar and from here you will have this screen:

You can then choose what colour you would like the Start menu background and/or one of the artworks above to have.

You can also change the notifications of certain applications as well as where to display them as shown below:

To check for windows Updates go down to the sections that says Windows Updates and click on the button below and this will check if there are any updates needed for your machine as well as telling you how you have it set to update (see below):

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