Windows 8.1

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How to Show All Apps on the Windows 8.1 Start Screen

Windows 8.1 introduces the ability to show all of your apps in one massive blob on the Start screen. It also has a couple of tricks for organizing the list of All Apps. Here’s how to approach it: [more…]

How to Form and Name Groups on the Windows 8.1 Start Screen

After you have all of your tiles on the Windows 8.1 Metro Start screen, it’s easy to get your Metro Start screen organized. Try this: [more…]

How to Move Windows 8.1 Groups with Semantic Zoom

You may have discovered that you can’t move entire groups of tiles in Windows 8.1. In order to re-arrange the groups, you have to pop in to Semantic Zoom. Here’s how: [more…]

How to Work with Windows 8.1's Tiled Metro Snap

Windows 8.1 has a new, odd way of running two — and possibly more — programs side by side. Call it Tiled Metro snap to distinguish it from Aero Snap (also known as [more…]

General Approaches to Searching in Windows 8.1

Microsoft, through its Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP), keeps an enormous amount of data about the way people use Windows. The folks who designed Windows 8.1 pondered mightily over the telemetry [more…]

How to Search for Programs/Apps in Windows 8.1

If you know that you’re looking for a program (er, an app) in Windows 8.1 or you think that you’re looking for a program, keep in mind that you need to know the program name, or at least part of the program [more…]

How to Share a Web Page through Windows 8.1’s Mail App

Windows 8.1’s sharing goes way beyond the old cut and paste. In older versions of Windows, and the desktop of the current version of Windows, you can copy the web address of a site and paste it into, say [more…]

How to Use the Windows 8.1 Metro Photos App

You can share a photo through e-mail by using the Windows 8.1 Metro Photos app. As usual, you start on the the Start screen (press the Windows key on the keyboard or the Windows button on your tablet). [more…]

How to Change PC Settings through Windows 8.1

No matter where you are in Windows 8.1, the Settings charm gives you immediate access to six common settings, plus a hook to get into more settings.

At the bottom of the Settings pane is the Change PC Settings [more…]

Understanding the Devious Devices Charm in Windows 8.1

Most people go to the Windows 8.1 Metro Start screen, bring up the Devices charm, click on one of the offered entries, get an error message — You Can Only Play from Apps, for example — and figure the Devices [more…]

The Case Against Smart Search in Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 brings plenty of improvements to the Win8 way of working, but one of the really bad new "features" is Smart Search. When you install Windows 8.1, Smart Search is turned on by default. You should [more…]

Inside Windows 8.1 Share Contracts

Share contracts are one of many contracts built into the Windows 8.1 (and Windows 8) platform. Contracts, which are a key element to the Win8 platform, are a sort of agreement between one or more apps [more…]

How Windows 8.1 Arranges Tiles for New Desktop Programs

When you install a new program in Windows 8.1, the installer throws a bunch of tiles up on the All Apps screen — the screen you see if you go to the Metro Start screen, and then tap or click the down arrow [more…]

Why Did Microsoft Mess with Libraries?

In both Windows 7 and Windows 8, Windows builds powerful default Libraries for you: Your Documents Library, for example, includes the Documents folder as well as the [more…]

The Reading View in Internet Explorer 11

Windows 8.1 ships with Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11), which has a host of new features, but one that will appeal the most to tablet users is the new Reading View. [more…]

A Few Tips for Using TweetDeck for Windows 8.1

While Windows 8.1 has a Twitter client built into it, you can use a Twitter client like TweetDeck on your old-fashioned desktop for high-volume tweeting. There are lots of pros and cons of various Twitter [more…]

How to Browse the Windows Store from Win8.1

Don’t confuse the Windows Store — which hooks directly into the tiled Metro part of Windows — with the Microsoft Store, which has both Internet and meat-space manifestations. Moving around in the Windows [more…]

How to Search the Windows Store from within Windows 8.1

You can search the Windows Store using the Windows 8.1 Search box in the upper right corner, and/or by taking advantage of built-in categories. Here’s how: [more…]

How to Adjust Your Windows 8.1 Store Accounts and Preferences

In the Windows Store app in Windows 8.1, you can adjust a limited number of settings for your accounts and preferences. To make these adjustments, begin by tapping or clicking the Windows Store app from [more…]

The Two Faces of Internet Explorer in Windows 8.1

Microsoft insists that there’s just one Internet Explorer in Windows 8.1, but it has two faces — a traditional interface, similar to the one you’ve probably seen many times before; and a tiled Metro-style [more…]

How to Navigate Windows 8.1 Metro Internet Explorer with Flip Ahead

Flip Ahead is an Internet Explorer option that works in the Windows 8.1 Metro IE and the desktop version. It’s designed primarily to give you a consistent way to “flip ahead” in websites with multiple [more…]

How to Navigate Metro Internet Explorer from Windows 8.1

When you click the Internet Explorer tile on the Windows 8.1 Start screen, Metro Internet Explorer usually appears without any navigational aids. But a swipe from the top or bottom, or a right-click just [more…]

How the Windows 8.1 Metro Mail App Compares to Other Mail Apps

Metro Mail in Windows 8.1 has its benefits, but it may not best suit your needs. Complicating the situation: Metro Mail isn’t an either/or choice. For example, you can set up Hotmail/ or Gmail [more…]

How to Navigate the Windows 8.1 Mail Screen

If you signed in to Windows 8.1 or the Mail app with a Microsoft account that’s also a Hotmail/ ID, Mail reaches out to your Hotmail/ account and pulls the last two weeks’ worth of [more…]

How to Add a New Account to Windows 8.1 Metro Mail

The Windows 8.1 Metro Mail app has built-in smarts for you to connect to any Hotmail/, Gmail, Exchange Server (including Office 365 business edition), AOL, Yahoo!, or IMAP accounts. You can [more…]


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