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Launch Desktop Programs on the Surface

Although the Desktop app of the Surface may seem like a self-contained world, it’s not. The Desktop app tosses you back onto the Start screen on several occasions, most noticeably when you want to load a program.

Because the Windows 8 desktop lacks the Start button of yesteryear, you load a desktop program on your Surface by following these steps:

  1. Return to the Start screen.

    You can return to the Start screen by pressing your Surface’s Windows button, pressing the Windows key on a keyboard, or swiping in from your Surface’s right side and tapping the Windows icon on the Charms bar.

  2. Tap your desired program’s icon from the Start screen.

    Here are some quick tips:

    • If your desired program doesn’t have a tile on the Start screen, swipe up from the bottom of your Surface’s screen and tap the All Apps icon. The Start screen changes to show icons for all of your installed apps and programs.

    • Desktop programs appear along the All Apps screen’s farthest right edge.

When you tap the desktop program’s icon, Windows 8 returns you to the Desktop app and begins running the program on the desktop.

To skip some trips to the Start screen, add your favorite desktop programs to the desktop’s taskbar — that strip along the desktop’s bottom edge. To stock your taskbar with your favorite programs, follow these steps:

  1. From the Start screen, slide your finger up from the bottom edge to reveal the App bar, and then tap the All Apps icon.

    The Start screen reveals icons for every app and program installed on your Surface.

  2. Select a favorite desktop program by sliding your finger up or down slightly on its icon.

    A check mark appears next to the program’s name, and the menu along the screen’s bottom changes.

  3. From the bottom menu, tap the Pin to Taskbar icon.

    The next time you visit the desktop, that program’s icon is waiting on the taskbar, where you can launch it with a tap. By stocking the taskbar with your favorite programs, you can minimize your trips to the Start screen.

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