Five Essential Windows 8 Survival Tips

Windows 8 is different. There’s no getting around it. But just because it is different doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad Operating System. Users running previous versions of Windows can perform the following simple steps to make the most out of Windows 8.

Steps To Instantly Improve Your Windows 8 Experience

Buy A Touchpad

Windows 8 is a touchy-feely Operating system. If you do not have the desire to buy a touchscreen monitor, a touchpad (similar to what you might find on a laptop) is a great way to use the swipe features of Windows 8 without actually having to touch your monitor.


The Logitech Touchpad is a great example of a large-area touchpad suited for Windows 8.

Create Desktop Shortcuts To Shut Down, Sleep, and Restart Your PC

One of the most frequent complaints we hear about Windows 8 is the inability to easily shut down or put Windows into sleep mode. Creating shortcuts and placing them directly on the Metro interface makes this process trivial. Read our article on adding a shutdown shortcut to Windows 8 for more details.

Clean Up Your Metro

Metro is great if you have it organized in a way that makes sense to you. Unfortunately, the interface can be a little cluttered right out of the box–especially if you buy one with from a major brand name. There could be tiles for trial programs, weather, Xbox, etc…You can drag them to a different location, right-click and un-pin these tiles, or uninstall the program all together. Once you have the Metro interface setup the way you like, it will be very convenient to use.

Windows + X is Your New Best Friend

Forget swiping and trying to locate the invisible hotspots in the corners of your screen, simply click the Windows key and x at the same time to reveal a text-based navigation panel filled with most of the links you’ll need to quickly manage your PC.


Pressing the Windows key and X at the same time will bring up a menu that provides you with quick access to the Task Manager, Device Manager, the Control Panel and more.

F8 Is Dead–Long Live Shift + F8

While Windows is killing traditions, it might as well kill the way you access Safe Mode and other recovery options. In the past, one would tap the F8 key while Windows was booting to access the boot options. You would do this if you wanted to access Safe Mode or attempt to repair your system. Windows 8 now requires you press the shift key and F8 to access this this option.


To get into your traditional Safe Mode menu, you will need to click Shift + F8 when booting, and then select Windows Startup Settings from the option. The next screen will ask that your restart your computer.


Once Windows reboots, you will be presented with the old Advanced Boot Options screen we all know and love. This screen allows you to select Safe Mode, Safe Mode With Networking, Safe Mode With Command Prompt and other modes of starting your computer for troubleshooting purposes.

Use these tips and let us know what your think. Or feel free to add your own tips in the comments section below.

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