Getting Started with Windows 8

If you're new to Windows 8 getting started can be confusing. This free lesson offers tips on how to get started with this operating system.

Coping without the Start menu

One of the biggest complaints about Windows 8 is that it doesn't have a Start menu. The Start menu was a very important feature in previous versions of Windows, as it was used to launch apps, search for files, open the Control Panel, and shut down the computer. You can still do all of these things in Windows 8, but they're now found in different places.

To launch an app:

There are several ways to open an app in Windows 8:

To view all of your apps, click the arrow in the bottom-left corner of the Start screen.

Screenshot of Windows 8Navigating to all apps

To search for a file or app:

For more information about searching, check out our Using the Search Feature lesson.

To open the Control Panel:

  1. From the Desktop view, hover the mouse in the lower-right corner to access the Charms bar, then select Settings.


    Screenshot of Windows 8The Settings charm
  2. Locate and select Control Panel from the Settings Pane.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Clicking Control Panel
  3. The Control Panel will appear. You can then select the desired setting to change it.


    Screenshot of Windows 8The Control Panel

To shut down your computer:

  1. Hover the mouse in the lower-right corner to access the Charms bar, then select Settings.


    Screenshot of Windows 8The Settings charm
  2. Click Power, and select Shut down.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Shutting down the computer