Whether you’ve used previous versions of Windows or not, Windows 8 Pro is almost guaranteed to confound and confuse you from the start. That’s not to say that this OS is completely lacking in merit. In fact, the latest version touts a sleeker, more user-friendly design, offers a better touch screen experience and has major advancements in the security sector. That being said, initial usage requires a few navigational tips from the professionals, so here are some keyboard shortcuts, hints and tricks that will help you find your way within this innovative Windows update.
Live & Learn: Windows 8 Tips
Windows 8 Pro is similar to the standard version, but it includes a few more impressive features such as remote desktop capabilities, virtual hard disk booting, BitLocker and a more advanced encryption file system.
Here are a few important pointers:
- The default setting for Windows 8 is PST, so for the vast majority of users, you’ll need to change the time zone settings to reflect your current location.
- Link your Windows to your Microsoft account. Not only will this make it easier to log in each time you use your computer, but it will enable cloud sharing features, so you can work or surf across multiple devices seamlessly.
- Organize your start screen by dragging and dropping the icons into the various columns available. If you like having your desktop readily available, then drag it into the uppermost part of the start screen column. Now all you have to do is hit Enter when the start screen appears, and you will automatically be brought to your desktop (this can also be done by hitting Win Key+D).
- Keep other important apps close together and at the top. This way you can easily maneuver through them with the arrow keys, pressing Enter as mentioned above to launch the required app.
- You can also group like apps together by dragging them next to one another, or, to organize multiple programs or create and rename groups, click on the minus symbol at the bottom right corner of the startup screen. This will minimize all the applications available so you can more easily navigate through them.
- To get your most popular programs on your toolbar, simply click on the icon (while it is running and appears on the taskbar) to choose the Pin to Desktop option. Now that icon will always appear on your toolbar for instant access.
Helpful Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 8
These keyboard shortcuts will get you moving quickly and seamlessly through Windows 8:
- Win Key: to go straight to the startup screen.
- Win Key+M: minimize everything on the desktop.
- Win Key+Print Screen (PrtScn): take a screen capture and save it to a folder called Screenshots (it’s in your pictures folder).
- Win Key+Q: for general queries.
- Win Key+the period key: toggle between windows. This can be particularly helpful when working on multiple tasks or with multiple programs simultaneously.
- Win Key+I: for faster access to power off button. You can also access your control panel and personalization from here.
There are a lot of other keyboard shortcuts available for Windows 8 like accessing the task manager so you can see what’s taking up your computer’s memory, split screen capability and show admin tools, so make sure to play around with the settings and find them all.
Touch Capability Enhanced
As you can see, Windows 8 has many updates that you can appreciate. Touch support is probably the most impressive feature that has been used to enhance their platform. The user interface is beyond intuitive with motions like swiping from the edges to return to the startup screen, tapping to open files, and holding onto an icon for information about the program or file. The movements become second nature, and navigation is totally revolutionized with this mouse-less experience.
Windows Server Pro Tips & Tricks
Windows Server, on the other hand, is a completely different species of programs and requires a slightly different approach. The Server series is what people in high-tech might call an OS on steroids. It’s got a lot of the same capabilities, but it turns up the volume and increase the power. Windows Server is most frequently used by corporations for enterprise level networking and functionality, though, recently, Microsoft has released a Server for Small Businesses as well. Installation is pretty straightforward and can be used GUI or GUI-less depending on your preference.
The worst thing you’ll probably hear about it is that the interface takes time to learn, but, apart from that, the reviews are glowing, so use the below tricks to get things running smoothly and efficiently.
- Rebooting, one of the most essential steps, can be a bit tricky since it is not readily apparent as with other versions. Simply move your mouse to the top right corner to reveal the settings icon. From here you can run a number of functions including powering down.
- Choose whether or not you want immediate access to the admin tools by selecting or deselecting them from the Tiles menu on the startup screen. Again, go to the upper right corner to find the settings icon. This is where the Tiles menu is found.
- When setting up network cards in teams, choose to designate individual adapters as standby if you are looking for more accessibility or to combine speeds for a better overall performance.
- Remotely connect your computers to your domain regardless of location using the “/connect” wizard.
- Use the Health Report tab to tailor these important reports that will tell you how your network is doing.
Access the Run Prompt/Command Line options by clicking on the start menu from the desktop view. This will make running basic programs faster, easier and more efficient.
Whether you are a small business or a major corporation, there is a lot to gain from using the Windows OS properly. Utilize the tips above, and don’t be afraid to explore the many new features that are awaiting discovery.
Author: Menachem Pritzker has both personal and management experience in every aspect of the marketing and sales process, customer service and retention in e-commerce and online services. He’s also the point man for acquiring and developing relationships with new clients using a wide array of marketing techniques, including traditional SEO, Google AdWords, other PPC platforms, as well as leveraging current client relationships into additional business and among all, writes for top10bestwebsitehosting.com.