Windows 8.1

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What’s New in Windows 8.1 for XP Users

If you’re an experienced Windows XP user and you’re looking at Windows 8.1, one of two things happened: Either your trusty old XP machine died and you [more…]

32-Bit versus 64-Bit Versions of Windows 8.1

If you’ve settled on, oh, Windows 8.1 as your operating system of choice, you aren’t off the hook yet. You need to decide whether you want the 32-bit flavor or the 64-bit flavor of Windows 8.1. [more…]

Can You Upgrade Your Old PC to Windows 8.1?

If you’re currently running Windows Vista or Windows 7 or 8 on a PC, the answer is yes, you can almost certainly upgrade it to Windows 8.1 — and it’ll probably run faster than Vista, at least. [more…]

How to Navigate around a Windows 8.1 Touchscreen

Navigating with your fingers on a touchscreen might be new to yiou. In the land of tiled Windows Store Metro programs, the one-finger swipe (dragging your finger across the touchscreen) is king. [more…]

How to Navigate Windows 8.1 with a Mouse and Keyboard

Microsoft has been very careful to ensure that anything you can do with a finger on a touchscreen can also be done with a mouse. You have to make sure that you run your mouse properly, but the general [more…]

How Do You Turn Windows 8.1 Off?

Among the thousand ways to turn off Windows 8.1, none of them are obvious or intuitive. If you’re looking at the old-fashioned desktop, you can turn the machine off by right-clicking the Start icon in [more…]

What You Need to Know About Buying a Windows 8.1 PC

Purchasing a Windows 8.1 PC doesn't have to be the confusing process you went through the last time you bought a PC. Here's everything you need to know about buying a Windows 8.1 PC: [more…]

How to Add Your Own Picture to the Windows 8.1 Lock Screen

Changing the picture for your Windows 8.1 lock screen is easy. Customizing the picture is a favorite trick at Windows demos, so you know it has to be easy, right? Here’s how: [more…]

What’s New in Windows 8.1 for Windows 7 and Vista Users

Anything that works with Windows 7 — and almost everything from Vista — will work in Windows 8.1. Programs, hardware, drivers, utilities, just about anything. That’s a remarkable achievement, particularly [more…]

What’s New in Windows 8.1 for Windows 8 Users

You’re joking, right? Windows 8.1 is a no-brainer if you already have Windows 8. If you're still running Windows 8, drop everything right now, and install Windows 8.1. Here's what you'll find, when shifting [more…]

The 5 Versions of Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 appears in five — count ’em, five — different versions. Three of those versions are available in 32-bit and 64-bit incarnations. That makes eight different versions of Windows to choose from [more…]

How to Upgrade XP or Win7 to Windows 8.1 Online

Unless you have a fake copy of Windows, you’ve lost your original product key, or your Internet connection’s slower than a filibustered Senate, you should buy the Windows 8.1 Online Upgrade. [more…]

How to Install Windows 8.1 from a DVD or USB Drive

If you want to wipe your computer and install Windows 8.1 from scratch, do that by booting from a DVD or USB drive and running a clean install. If you’re going to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, [more…]

The 2 Faces of Windows 8.1

As you undoubtedly know by now, Windows 8.1 has two faces. They’re designed to work together. You can be the judge of how well they live up to the design. The first face you see when you start Windows [more…]

Switch between the Windows 8.1 Start screen to the Old-Fashioned Desktop

Get your computer going. You’re looking at the Metro Start screen, right? To get your desktop back when you’re in the Metro Start screen, just click or tap the big Desktop tile. [more…]

How to Use the Windows 8.1 Controls for Switching Programs

Windows 8.1 has some built-in controls that let you switch programs. The controls work even when you’re running a “legacy” program on the old-fashioned desktop. The controls frequently work when Windows [more…]

How to Add and Remove Apps on the Windows 8.1 Lock Screen

Badges are the little icons that appear at the bottom of the Windows 8.1 lock screen. They exist to tell you something about your computer at a glance, without having to log on — how many e-mail messages [more…]

How to Create a Picture Password for Windows 8.1

A picture password consists of two parts: First, you choose a picture — any picture — and then you tell Windows 8.1 that you’re going to draw on that picture in a particular way, such as taps, clicks, [more…]

For Seniors: How to Add a Program Tile to the Start Screen in Windows 8.1

On the Start screen, you can launch an app or program by selecting its tile. When you install Windows 8.1, only Microsoft app tiles are on the Start screen. To start a non-Microsoft app or program, you [more…]

For Seniors: Using a Family Photo for the Windows 8.1 Lock Screen Background

When you turn on a computer that runs Windows 8.1, the lock screen is the first thing you see. So, why not make your day a little brighter by putting the photo of a loved one on the lock screen? You can [more…]

For Seniors: How to Change the App or Program that Opens a File in Windows 8.1

Suppose you double-click a filename in File Explorer but the file opens in the wrong app or program. For example, an image file opens in the Photos app but you want it to open in the Paint program. [more…]

Basics of the Windows 8.1 Charms Bar

In lieu of a Control Panel, Windows 8.1 has a simple bar with a charming name, the Charms bar, and a somewhat limited repertoire. You can get to the Charms bar from either the desktop or the Metro side [more…]

The Problem with Windows 8.1 Smart Search

The new Windows 8.1 Smart Search — invoked by default through the Windows 8.1 Search charm — not only searches your computer for the string you specify. It also, all by itself, gathers up the terms and [more…]

How to Set and Respond to Notifications in Windows 8.1

The desktop side of Windows 8.1 allows all sorts of notifications: blinking taskbar tiles, balloon messages over the system time (in the lower-right corner, dire-looking icons in the system notification [more…]

How to Add Windows 8.1 Users

The first account on a new PC is always an administrator account. If you bought your PC with Windows 8.1 pre-installed, the account that you have — the one you probably set up shortly after you took the [more…]

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