Windows 8.1 has two interfaces, the old Windows 7 interface and the new “Modern” interface. Think of the Modern interface as the “Start Menu” for programs. Note that while you are in the Modern interface, simply typing the name of a program will search for that program. Some new programs run in the Modern interface, while other applications run on the old Desktop interface.
How to navigate from the desktop and the Start screen
To switch to the Windows Desktop from the Start screen, either click on the “Desktop” panel or press the Windows key + D on the keyboard.
To return to the Start screen, press the Windows key or click on the Start button.
To navigate out of a Modern application, press the Windows key on the keyboard. This does not close the program completely - it can still be accessed by sliding your mouse down the left side of the screen. To completely exit the program, click the top of the window and drag it to the bottom of the screen, or right click on the app and click “Close”.
How do I log out ?
To log out of your computer, navigate to the Modern interface, click on your name in the upper right corner of the screen and then click “Sign Out.”
To shut down your computer, hover your mouse in the upper or lower right corner of the screen to open the “Charms” menu, click on Settings and then click on “Power.” You will be presented with the options to have the computer Sleep, Shut down, or Restart. A shortcut to the power options is pressing the Windows key + I. You can also shut down your computer by navigating to the Modern interface, and clicking the power options button next to your name.
How to access All Programs
To see a list of all programs on your computer, go to the Modern interface, click on the down arrow on the bottom left hand of the screen and it will take you to another screen that displays all programs.
To exit the “All Apps” interface, click on the Windows button on the keyboard or the up facing arrow in the bottom left corner of the screen. Application tiles can be rearranged by clicking and dragging them.
Add/ Remove an application to the Start screen
To add an application to the start screen, right-click on it and click on the “Pin to Taskbar” button on the lower left.
To remove an app from the start screen, right-click on it and click on the “Unpin from Taskbar” button on the lower left of the screen.
Modern interface applications are designed to run at full screen, but it’s possible to run two apps at one time. To open another Modern program next to one that is already open, click and drag the open app from the top to the left or right side of the window, then press the Windows key to access the Start screen and select another Modern app or slide your mouse down the left side of the screen to find any apps running in the background. To change widths of the apps, click and drag the black bar that separates them. To close one of the apps, drag the black bar over the app you want to close.
Last updated: March 23, 2018