Windows 8 Tutorial on getting started with Win8: Take the scary out of this new OS, DO NOT PANIC!

Tutorial on customizing (Navigating) your Win 8 installation:

When you open Win 8 for the first time you will be very startled. You will be presented with what is called the Metro Start Menu. This replaces the well know Windows Start Menu. Do not panic!

Note: This tutorial is generally for conventional PC (desktops and laptops) users, but most of the tips are transferable to touch screen users. Just substitute Swipe (Touch) for Click


The method to go to the Desktop is as follows:

Click the Win Key + D


Click on the Desktop Tile (see Screen Shot above)

You will now be on the familiar Desktop. Whew, that was a scary start. Everything will get easier from here on.

To go back to the Metro Start Menu simply click on the Win Key (Win)

You can access all your apps from here. Many will already be pinned to this Metro Start Menu (see the Screen Shot above). For any that are not found on this Metro Start Menu you can Right Click anywhere on this Metro screen. You will see a banner at the bottom of the screen with All Apps at the right side. This will open a screen with all installed apps that scrolls from left to right.


Whenever you install an app you will find tiles to that app on the Metro Start Menu.


This screen scrolls Left to Right. There are actually about 3 pages of apps on my PC, I can only display the first. The apps on the Left are the Metro apps you have probably heard so much about. Most of the remaining apps are conventional Legacy apps that open the Desktop UI.

The remainder of this tutorial will be dedicated to the Desktop UI as this is where most of you will feel the most comfortable. All conventional PC’s (both desktops and laptops) with keyboards and a mouse will work on either the Metro UI or the Desktop UI, but most users of Win XP, Win Vista, or Win 7 will feel most comfortable initially on the Desktop UI.

Charms Bar

If you place you cursor in the Upper Right corner or Lower Right corner you will open a Charms Bar. You can access many of the user customizable functions from this Charms Bar.


Settings will take you to several areas of your PC to set options in Win 8. Play with these various settings until you feel more comfortable with them.

Devices does just as it sounds.

Start will take you to the Metro Start Menu

Share does just as it sounds

Search also does as it sounds

There is a separate Charms bar while in any Metro app, but that is beyond the scope of this tutorial.

Power Users Menu

To activate this menu move your cursor to the Bottom Left corner


Select Win + X

This opens the Power Users Menu where you will access many of the System Controls and the Run and Search commands. Play with this a little to see how powerful it is.


The remainder of this Tutorial will be in the next post because the Forum S/W limits the numbers of screen shots per post.
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This bar at the bottom of the screen is very powerful. It will be seen whenever you are on the Desktop UI.

You can pin items (almost any item) to this Taskbar. Commonly pinned items are shortcuts to browsers, email clients, folder, apps, etc.

To pin something to the Taskbar, Right Click on an item anywhere and select Pin To Taskbar. This will pin a shortcut to this item directly on the taskbar



Some specialized items can be pinned here. Let’s say you want to access all your apps without going to the Metro Start Menu. Easy as pie.

Right Click on an empty space on the Taskbar and select Toolbars, New Toolbar

This will open File Explorer (Renamed from Windows Explorer in all other versions of Windows)

Drill down to (C: ), Users, “User Name”, AppData, Roaming, Microsoft, Windows, Start Menu, Programs


Click on Programs and choose Select Folder. You will see a new Toolbar on the Taskbar called Programs. You can click on the >> to open the entire Programs Tree to go to any app you have installed.

I like to set up a specialized Shortcuts folder in My Documents that I place shortcuts to my most commonly used apps. I then use the above procedure to create a Toolbar of this Shortcuts folder. Easy!


You will also see a Links Toolbar. This is actually the Favorites Bar in IE 10, but also will work if you use a different browser as your default browser.

Start Orb alternative

OMG, when you go to the Desktop, the Start Orb you are accustomed to is missing, OMG! Never fear, using the above procedure, you can create toolbars to any folder you wish, Favorites, Links, etc.


There are several alternatives to the Start Orb you have grown accustomed to. The one I use is Classic Shell V 3.5.1. (You will see the Classic Shell Orb in the Taskbar Screenshot above.) Once you install this app, it will give you a Win XP, Vista or 7 Start Orb with all the same functions except it is more customizable. Right Click the Classic Shell Start Orb and choose settings. Advanced mode gives many more settings to customize.

This tutorial will get you started on customizing your Win 8 installation so it’s not quite so scary.

I’m sure many additions will be placed here to aid you in your customization efforts. I hope this start will help you get over your initial shock!

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To choose what apps to use as Default apps go to Control Panel, Default Programs, Set Default Programs:


If your Program is listed, for example FireFox, highlight it and choose Set this program as default.

If your program is not shown, for example Chrome does not display here, then Default Programs, Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program, then scroll down to the file type or program you wish to change and choose the program:

SetDefaultProgramsFile Association.jpg

For example the file types shown here, one at a time highlight a particular protocol and choose Change Program
So you've heard of this new Picture Password and would like to check it out, but don't know how.

First, what the heck is a Picture Password? Win 8 RP has the ability to use any picture located on your PC combined with 3 gestures that you set up using either you mouse or finger (on a touch screen) instead of a conventional password. This is a neat feature because after entering your password once, you set up the picture gestures, and then from that point on Win 8 opens the picture you have chosen, you enter the 2 gestures in the order and place you set them up, and the PC signs on to your account. Neat!

First go to the Charms Bar and select Settings, Change PC Settings.

Next Select User tab and you will see the Password section. Choose Picture Password. You will be asked to enter your password once, then you will need to choose a picture on your PC. Once you choose a Picture, you will have to do 3 gestures on the Picture, then repeat the 3 gestures a second time to set the Picture Password. That's all it takes.
Now each time you boot, the sign on will go to the chosen picture and you repeat the 3 gestures and you are signed on.

The instructions will show you the excepted gestures. These include clicks, straight lines in any direction, and circles. The gestures have to be made in approx. the same place and same order each time.

There are several ways to go through Metro UI quickly to the Desktop UI.

1) Ensure the Desktop tile is in the upper left hand position on the Metro UI. When you enter your password, instead of tapping the Enter button, hold it down for a couple of seconds. Holding the Enter button after entering your password activates whichever tile is the upper left hand tile. If this is desktop, then voila, you go to the desktop. If this is IE then IE opens.

2) After entering your password, tap Enter, then as soon as the Metro UI opens, tap Enter again. Which ever tile is in the upper left hand tiles will activate. If that's the Desktop tile then you will go to the Desktop UI.

3) Click the Desktop tile in the Metro UI

4) When on the Metro UI, click Win + D

5) Install Classic Shell. On the General Behavior tab, put a check mark in Skip Metro UI.


OK, so there are 5 easy ways to go to the Desktop UI.
"Drill down to (C: ), Users, “User Name”, AppData, Roaming, Microsoft, Windows, Start Menu, Programs"

Now tutor us how to get permission to access AppData. It's now way more protected than ever.

only just noticed the above post.

Now tutor us how to get permission to access AppData. It's now way more protected than ever.

Actually it's easier to access thanks to the ribbon. Click on 'View' and see the Ribbon open up with three check boxes revealed on the right. The bottom check box is called 'Hidden items' and indeed if this checked hidden files and folders are revealed saving the longer process of opening folder options etc..
Very nice. I had not noticed that before. Also in View, under options you can open the folder options from here. No need to go to CP.
I find the ribbon shortcuts really useful as well as time saving. I guess this is why it's important to spend some time with the os as there's lot's of nice little tweaks like that..
Method to hide the Charms Bar

For those (of us) that want to stay on the old familiar Desktop when using Win-8, having the charms bar pop up when we touch the right corners of the screen, is just not acceptable.
Here's a fix that removes that activity.

How to disable the Edge UI panels aka Charms Bar and Switcher in Windows 8
1. Open Registry Editor (press Win+R, type regedit.exe in Run dialog and press Enter) and go to key
2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\ImmersiveShell
3. Create here a new key “EdgeUI“.
4. Select the EdgeUI key in the left pane and create two new DWORD values in the right pane of Registry Editor.
⦁ DisableTLcorner – stands for “Disable Top-Left corner”. Set it to 1, and Switcher will not appear when you move your mouse to the top-left corner of the screen. Note that it will still appear if you move the pointer to the bottom-left corner and then move it upwards along the left edge of the screen.
⦁ DisableCharmsHint – Set it to 1 to disable the Charms bar when using the mouse. It will not appear when you move the pointer to the top-right or bottom-rights corners. But as above, if you move the pointer to the top-right corner and then move it down along the right edge of the screen (or from the bottom-right corner up to the screen center along the right edge), it’ll appear again.

both settings prevent the Edge UI panels from appearing accidentally. They will take effect immediately - you do not need to restart Windows Explorer or log off. You will still be able to show them when you actually want to use them.
If you want to enable the default behavior of Switcher, simply set DisableTLcorner value to 0 or delete it. Same goes for DisableCharmsHint value – set it to 0 or delete it to enable the Charms Bar popup.
For those who prefer ready-made registry files:
Download Edge UI Tweaks, found here:

Now we can enjoy our Desktop in peace.
Very Cool!. The Charms Bar is still available, but does not pop up until you actually put your cursor in the Top, Right or Bottom Right corner and slide it along the right edge, then Charms pops up. Gives a way to not have Charms pop up when you do not want it, but still have it easily available when you wish to use it. This is a hack many were asking for.

only just noticed the above post.

Actually it's easier to access thanks to the ribbon. Click on 'View' and see the Ribbon open up with three check boxes revealed on the right. The bottom check box is called 'Hidden items' and indeed if this checked hidden files and folders are revealed saving the longer process of opening folder options etc..
The quickest way to access your appdata without needing to bother with the "Hidden Items" check box is to simply type %appdata% in the address bar and hit enter. That will take you directly to the "C:\users\[username]\appdata\roaming" folder.

Appdata is an environment variable that points to the current user's roaming data folder and bracketing it with % on either end lets the system know to use the value of the environment variable instead of the literal string "appdata".
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