The Windows 8.1 user's guide to navigating Windows 10

If you're one of those who actually liked the Windows 8.1 interface, here's what you need to know to use Windows 10.


You lived through the switch to Windows 8 and believe it or not, you actually like it now. Well guess what, Timmy? You’ll have to learn a whole new OS with Windows 10. But don’t worry, here’s what Windows 8 users need to know to survive Windows 10.

They’re always after me lucky charms! And they finally got them this time. The hated Charms bar is gone -- but only after it’s taken you two years to get used to it. So how do you shut down without it? Just click Start, and then the power button, silly! Just like Windows 7.

If you’re in the 10 percent of PC users who actually liked the Metro interface and you’ve got a frowny face now that it’s gone, don’t worry -- you can still have a Metro vibe on your PC. Convertible laptops with touch will switch back and forth between the two Windows modes, but desktop users will default to the non-Metro look. To go back to Metro, just click the Action Center icon in the tray and select Tablet Mode. Voila! , “Voila! You’re living la Metro loca.”

There’s one thing that may annoy the loyal Metro user, though: In Windows 8, metro apps scrolled to the right and left. With Windows 10, they scroll up and down.

So commit this to memory: Windows 8, right to left. Windows 10: up and down.

That nifty swiping move you learned to swap between open apps is now also a goner. With Windows 8, you could switch between open apps by swiping in from the left. On Windows 10, the left swipe only gives you a selection of open windows.

It hasn’t been called My Computer in a long time, but if you’re like me, you have to have a desktop icon to represent your PC. To get that on Windows 10, right-click on the desktop, click personalize, select Themes and then click Desktop icon settings. From there, just put a check mark next to Computer and you’ll have My Computer back where it belongs… except it’s called This Computer.

If you’re grumbling that you don’t want a Microsoft account because Microsoft is Big Brother, blah, blah, blah. You better be using a flip phone because if Apple or Google are good enough to know everything about your life, why not Microsoft? With that said, if you want to use Cortana or you want to synchronize your applications and settings across your PCs just like your smartphone, you will need a Microsoft account. So just do it!