Knowledge Base

Getting Started with Your Dell Windows 8 Computer - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Table of Contents:

  1. What Are Charms?
  2. What Are Apps?
  3. What Are Hot Corners?
  4. What Is a Microsoft Account?
  5. How do I Create a Microsoft Account?
  6. Where Is the Start Button or the Start Menu?
  7. How do I Search?
  8. How do I Disable the Windows Experience Interface?
  9. How do I Add a New Email Account?
  10. How do I Shut Down or Turn Off My Computer?

This article provides information on general use of Windows 8.


What Are Charms?

Charms are a set of features which are located within the Start screen. Charms include Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings.

To open the Charms menu, you can swipe in from the right edge of the screen. If you are using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down. If you are using a multi-touch touchpad, place your finger to the right of your touchpad and swipe left onto the touchpad.


What Are Apps?

Windows 8 supports two types of applications.

  • A Windows app is developed to run within the new Windows Experience user interface.
  • A desktop application is designed specifically to run on the desktop view.

What Are Hot Corners?

Hot corners are a new feature which allows you to hover your mouse on any of the four corners of the screen to initiate a shortcut.

  1. Hover your mouse over the top right or bottom right corners of the screen to be presented with the Charms shortcuts, where things like Search and Settings are.
  2. Hover your mouse over the top left or bottom left corners of the screen to be presented with the Switch List, where you can see your latest open apps and switch between them.

When using hot corners, remember to keep the mouse in the corner of the screen when selecting the Hot Corners to activate the shortcut.


What Is a Microsoft Account?

A Microsoft account is an email address and password that you use to sign in to Windows. Dell recommends that you create and use one. You can use any email address, but it is best if you choose the one you already use to communicate with friends and sign in to your favorite websites.

Some benefits of a Microsoft Account include:

  • You can reset your password online if you forget it. This is a major improvement over local accounts and you can avoid having to reinstall your operating system.
  • Your PC is connected to the cloud.
  • Your friends' contact info and status automatically stay up to date from places like Hotmail, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as soon as you connect those services to your Microsoft account.
  • You can get to and share your photos, docs, and other files from places like SkyDrive, Facebook, and Flickr.
  • Your personal settings are synced to any PC running Windows 8 that you sign in to, including your themes, language preferences, browser favorites, and apps.
  • You can get apps in the Windows Store and use them on any PC running Windows 8 that you sign in to.

How do I Create a Microsoft Account?

To create a Microsoft Account, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Store app, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then select Settings. If using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then select Settings. If you are using a multi-touch touchpad, place your finger to the right of your touchpad and swipe left onto the touchpad and select Settings.
  2. Select Your account, select Sign in, and then select Sign up for a Microsoft account.
  3. Follow the on-screen directions to complete the registration process.

Where Is the Start Button or the Start Menu?

The Start screen replaces the Start menu and Start Button in Windows 8. You can pin apps, contacts, and websites to Start for easy access to what you use most. All of your apps-both apps you install from the Windows Store and desktop apps-are available from the Start screen. You can organize, group, and name categories of applications. Tiles and notifications show what is new so you can get important information and updates at a glance.

You can easily get to Start by using the <Windows> key on your keyboard. Also, you can get to the Start screen by swiping in from the right edge of your screen and tapping the Start charm or (by pointing your mouse to the upper-right corner of the screen and then select Start charm or if you are using a multi-touch touchpad, place your finger to the right of your touchpad and swipe left onto the touchpad and select Start).


How do I Search?

You can search while you are in the Start screen by simply typing what you want to find.

You can also use the Search charm to search for apps, settings, and files on your PC. The Search charm can also search within the app you have open or in a different app you select. For example, you can use the Search charm to search for a new app in the Store or for a contact in the People app.

To use the Search charm:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. If you are using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then select Search. Or, if you are using a multi-touch touchpad, place your finger to the right of your touchpad and swipe left onto the touchpad and select Search.
  2. Enter your search term.
  3. To search for an app, setting, or file on your computer, select Apps, Settings, or Files. To search within a particular app, select the app in the list.

How do I Disable the Windows Experience Interface?

Windows 8 does not allow you to disable the Windows Experience Interface. The new Start screen has replaced the Start menu. There is a Desktop tile that will take you to a familiar Windows environment where you can use your desktop apps.


How do I Add a New Email Account?

If you sign into Windows 8 using your Microsoft Account during setup, you will have everything set up for Hotmail and your email messages will appear in the Mail tile immediately when you log into the system.

If you do not use a Microsoft Account during set up, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Mail app from the Start screen.
  2. Swipe in from the right edge of your screen. If you are using a mouse, point to the upper right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down. Or, if you are using a multi-touch touchpad, place your finger to the right of your touchpad and swipe left onto the touchpad.
  3. Select Settings, select Accounts, select Add an Account and follow the instructions to set up your email account.

How do I Shut Down or Turn Off My Computer?

To shut down your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, opening the Charms menu, and then select Settings. If you are using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then select Settings. Or, if you are using a multi-touch touchpad, place your finger to the right of your touchpad and swipe left onto the touchpad and select Settings.
  2. Select Power, and then select Shut down.




Article ID: SLN127904

Last Date Modified: 04/28/2015 03:33 PM


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