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Windows 8.1 For Dummies, Portable Edition (1118513614) cover image

Windows 8.1 For Dummies, Portable Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-51361-3
224 pages
September 2012
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Introduction 1

About This Book 1

How to Use This Book 2

Tablet Owners Aren’t Left Out 3

Icons Used in This Book 4

Where to Go from Here 4

Chapter 1: Revealing Windows 8  5

What Is Windows 8, and Why Are You Using It? 5

What’s New in Windows 8? 7

Should I Bother Switching to Windows 8? 9

Can My Current PC Still Run Windows 8? 9

The Four Flavors of Windows 8 11

Chapter 2: The Mysterious New Start Screen 13

Being Welcomed to the World of Windows 8  14

Understanding user accounts 17

Keeping your account private with a password 18

Signing up for a Microsoft account 21

Figuring Out the New Start Screen in Windows 8 23

Launching a Start screen program or app 26

Viewing or closing your open apps 27

Finding a Start screen app or program 29

Adding or removing Start screen items 30

The Charms bar and its hidden shortcuts 31

Introducing your free apps 33

Managing the Start screen  36

Exiting from Windows 41

Temporarily leaving your computer 42

Leaving your computer for the day 43

Chapter 3: The Traditional Desktop 45

Finding the Desktop and the Start Screen 46

Working with the Desktop 48

Summoning the Start screen and open apps 49

Cleaning up a messy desktop 51

Jazzing up the desktop’s background 52

Snapping an app alongside the desktop 54

Dumpster diving in the Recycle Bin 56

Bellying Up to the Taskbar 58

Shrinking windows to the taskbar

and retrieving them 59

Switching to different tasks from

the taskbar’s Jump Lists 60

Clicking the taskbar’s sensitive areas 60

Customizing the taskbar 63

The taskbar’s crazy toolbars 64

Making Programs Easier to Find 65

Add five helpful icons to your desktop 65

Creating taskbar shortcuts for

your favorite programs 66

Chapter 4: Basic Desktop Window Mechanics 69

Dissecting a Typical Desktop Window 70

Tugging on a window’s title bar ..... 71

Navigating folders with a window’s Address Bar . 73

Finding commands on the Ribbon . 74

Quick shortcuts with the Navigation Pane  76

Moving inside a window with its scroll bar ... 78

Boring borders  79

Maneuvering Windows Around the Desktop .. 79

Moving a window to the top of the pile 80

Moving a window from here to there 81

Making a window fill the whole screen 81

Closing a window 82

Making a window bigger or smaller 82

Placing two windows side by side 83

Making windows open to the same darn size 83

Chapter 5: Storage: Internal, External, and in the Sky 85

Browsing the File Explorer File Cabinets 86

Getting the Lowdown on Folders and Libraries 88

Peering into Your Drives, Folders, and Libraries  89

Seeing the files on a disk drive 89

Seeing what’s inside a folder 91

Managing a library’s folders 92

Creating a New Folder 94

Renaming a File or Folder 96

Selecting Bunches of Files or Folders 96

Getting Rid of a File or Folder  97

Copying or Moving Files and Folders 98

Writing to CDs and DVDs 100

Buying the right kind of blank CDs

and DVDs for burning 100

Copying files to or from a CD or DVD 101

Table of Contents vii

Working with Flash Drives and Memory Cards 103

SkyDrive: Your Cubbyhole in the Clouds 104

Accessing files with the SkyDrive app 105

Accessing SkyDrive from the desktop 107

Chapter 6: Working with Apps 109

Starting a Program or App 109

Adding and Deleting Apps 112

Adding new apps from the Store app 113

Uninstalling apps 115

Updating Your Apps 115

Finding Currently Running Start Screen Apps 116

Locating a Missing App, Program, Setting, or File 117

Chapter 7: Engaging the Social Apps 121

Adding Your Social Accounts to Windows 8 122

Understanding the Mail App 125

Navigating the Mail app’s views,

menus, and accounts 126

Composing and sending an e-mail 129

Reading a received e-mail  132

Sending and Receiving Files through E-Mail 133

Saving a received attachment 133

Sending a file as an attachment 135

Managing Your Contacts in the People App 136

Adding contacts 137

Deleting or editing contacts 138

Managing Appointments in Calendar 139

Chatting through Messaging 141

Chapter 8: Entertaining Yourself

through the Start Screen 145

What’s an ISP, and Why Do I Need One? 146

Connecting Wirelessly to the Internet 147

Browsing Quickly from the Start Screen 151

Moving Among Web Pages 154

Clicking links 154

Typing web addresses in the Address Bar 154

Using Internet Explorer’s toolbar 155

Playing Music from the Start Screen  158

Taking Photos with the Camera App  161

Viewing Photos from the Start Screen 163

viii Windows 8 For Dummies, Portable Edition

Chapter 9: Customizing Windows 8

and Computing Safely  167

Finding the Right Switch 168

The Start Screen’s PC Settings Screen 169

The Big Guns: The Desktop’s Control Panel 172

System and Security 174

Assessing your safety in the Action Center 174

Avoiding Viruses with Windows Defender 175

Avoiding phishing scams 177

User Accounts and Family Safety 178

Network and Internet 180

Changing the Windows 8 Appearance

and Personalization 180

Changing the desktop background 181

Choosing a screen saver 182

Changing the computer’s theme 183

Changing the screen resolution 184

Hardware and Sound 186

Adjusting volume and sounds 187

Installing or setting up speakers 188

Adding a Bluetooth gadget 189

Adding an Xbox 360 game console 191

Adding a printer 192

Clock, Language, and Region 193

Adding or Removing Programs 194

Removing apps and programs 195

Installing new programs 196

Modifying Windows 8 for the Physically Challenged 197

Chapter 10: Ten Things You’ll Hate

about Windows 8 201

I Want to Avoid the Start Screen! 201

I Want to Avoid the Desktop! 203

I Can’t Copy Music to My iPod  205

Windows Makes Me Sign In All the Time 205

The Taskbar Keeps Disappearing 206

I Can’t Keep Track of Open Windows 207

I Can’t Line Up Two Windows on the Screen 208

It Won’t Let Me Do Something Unless

I’m an Administrator! 208

I Don’t Know What Version of Windows I Have 209

My Print Screen Key Doesn’t Work 210

Index 211

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