If you’ve gotten a new computer or laptop recently, or are about to make the purchase – you may suddenly feel like you’ve never used a computer before. Where did the start menu go?! Where are all of the programs you use every day?! How the heck do you shut this thing down?! The first few times you try to use a computer with Windows 8, there is a good chance you will feel… well, kinda stupid. Here are the top 4 tips for surviving the change to Windows 8:

  1. The Windows Start Menu

The most common cry for help we hear from people who start using Windows 8 is: Where is the start menu?! For years, you’ve been trained to send your mouse pointer down into the left hand corner of your screen to access everything on your computer. Sure, there is a new Start screen provided that supposedly can do everything the start menu can do, but you know that’s just not true. You can bypass Microsoft’s new Start screen with any number of free, third-party Start menus designed for use with Windows 8. The most familiar and easy to operate is probably the Classic Shell. It’s basically what you remember from the Windows 7 Start menu. It’s free – so go ahead and download it, install it, and watch the magic when you test out the Start menu. Once this program is installed, you’ll go back to feeling like the expert computer user you are again.

  1. How do I Right-Click with a Touch Screen?

Did you try using multiple fingers on the touch screen to “right-click”? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, the touch screen doesn’t know which finger you’re using and so you can’t just click with a different finger to simulate the right-mouse-click. Instead, touch an object on the screen and hold your finger there until a square appears. Remove your finger and the right-click menu will appear.

  1. How do I Shut Down Windows?

If you’re looking at the Home screen, use your finger to swipe from the right edge to the center of your touch screen – or use the mouse and click and slide off the edge at the top bottom corner or right top corner. From the menu that appears, select Settings>Power and then choose shut down.

If you’re looking at the desktop, touch and hold the Start button or right-click to get a menu to appear. Choose Shut down from the menu (this works with Windows 8.1).

If you installed the Classic Shell, simply use your mouse to click the Start menu and Shut Down like you did before Windows 8.

  1. How Do I Switch to a Different User?

Before Windows 8, you knew how to switch between different users if you shared the computer with family members or needed to use a separate Administrator and Regular User account. Like many other things, switching users is a little different on a Windows 8 machine. There is no “log off” option like you used to have when switching users; now you sign out.

Look at the upper right corner of your Start screen, tap or click the name or the picture you set up for yourself. Then choose “Sign Out”. This provides the logon page to choose a new user.

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