Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to use the Start Page the Dummy way

  1. #1

    How to use the Start Page the Dummy way


    The free e-book "Windows 8 for Dummies" explains how to use the Start Page, and, uhm, it works pretty well.

    First, I am using the word "press" for click, touch, or use your keyboard.

    1) Whenever you install any program, a shortcut appears on the Start Page. Don't delete it.

    2) If you click "Enter" on the Start Page, it takes you to the tile that is in the upper left corner. Put the Desktop tile there.

    3) Right-click any blank spot on the Start Page, and the "All Aps" button appears in your lower right corner. It shows all your programs in alphabetical order. Call it what you want: it's the Start button.

    4) When you press a shortcut to a program on your traditional desktop, it takes you there (to the desktop).

    5) From the desktop, the fastest way back to the Start Page is to press the Windows key, BUT, many third party Start Buttons take you to their own Start program instead. You need to disable that feature.

    Okay, suppose Slomka Joe wants to use a program but he's too stupid to find the icon. He presses a blank area of the Start Page, presses All Aps, and presses the Icon. That's three presses. Or he can press the Desktop tile, press his third party Start button, and select the program. That's also three presses.

    Later, Slomka's smart intelligent wife, who knows how to get into the program, logs on. She presses the shortcut on the Start Page and she's there in one press. Or she can press the Desktop tile, and then select the program. That's two steps.

    Folks, Windows 8 for Dummies shows that if you do it properly, the Start Page is an improvement over the Start Button.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    I just wanted to thank you for the tip about putting the desktop icon as the first upper most left icon, it has saved me a little grief.

    There seems to me to be a couple "dumb" things in Windows 8, for example...

    I want to uninstall an application from the new metro desktop... I have to right click the item, then move my mouse all the way to the bottom of the screen to click the uninstall button, which doesn't start an uninstaller at all, all it does is bring up the program and features app from Windows 7 to where I have to then still search in my massive list of installed apps to find it and then start the uninstaller.
    So... Click for click I suppose it's the same, so why even bother with the metro desktop at all if it's not going to be faster?

    Windows 7:
    Click Start
    Click control panel
    Click program and features
    Find program, click uninstall
    4 clicks

    Windows 8:
    Right click app
    Click Uninstall
    Find program, click uninstall.
    Finally, click corner of window or press Windows key to get back into Metro again.
    4 clicks

    If you have more tips for dummies like me please do share, I'm really needing tips right now with this thing that MS is calling an OS. It seems to me the whole new start menu (and I hate calling it that) so I'm going to continue calling it the metro desktop is a step backwards for PC's. It may be a blessing to tablets (I don't know, I don't own one) but for me it's not intuitive at all thus far.

    It's very confusing having both the metro desktop and the normal desktop with the way that the OS switches between them as it's needed to do.

    My only blessing right now is that I have a HUGE list of my most frequently used apps in my Quick links on the old start menu bar so those things that I really do have to access all the time is still easily available to me by going to the original desktop in Win 8.

    Again... Thank you for the tips about moving the desktop to the upper left of the start menu, it will save me a lot of grief in using this OS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Welcome aboard, Jalida. The Dummies book explains an important point: the tiles are for programs that ONLY work on the Start Page. Any other program that you download or install works ONLY on the Desktop; however, they create shortcuts on the Start Page. When you press a shortcut, Windows 8 takes you to the program, which is ALWAYS located on the Desktop. When you press a tile, Windows 8 takes you to the program, which is ALWAYS on the Start Page.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Jalida View Post
    I just wanted to thank you for the tip about putting the desktop icon as the first upper most left icon, it has saved me a little grief.

    There seems to me to be a couple "dumb" things in Windows 8, for example...

    I want to uninstall an application from the new metro desktop... I have to right click the item, then move my mouse all the way to the bottom of the screen to click the uninstall button, which doesn't start an uninstaller at all, all it does is bring up the program and features app from Windows 7 to where I have to then still search in my massive list of installed apps to find it and then start the uninstaller.
    So... Click for click I suppose it's the same, so why even bother with the metro desktop at all if it's not going to be faster?

    Windows 7:
    Click Start
    Click control panel
    Click program and features
    Find program, click uninstall
    4 clicks

    Windows 8:
    Right click app
    Click Uninstall
    Find program, click uninstall.
    Finally, click corner of window or press Windows key to get back into Metro again.
    4 clicks

    If you have more tips for dummies like me please do share, I'm really needing tips right now with this thing that MS is calling an OS. It seems to me the whole new start menu (and I hate calling it that) so I'm going to continue calling it the metro desktop is a step backwards for PC's. It may be a blessing to tablets (I don't know, I don't own one) but for me it's not intuitive at all thus far.

    It's very confusing having both the metro desktop and the normal desktop with the way that the OS switches between them as it's needed to do.

    My only blessing right now is that I have a HUGE list of my most frequently used apps in my Quick links on the old start menu bar so those things that I really do have to access all the time is still easily available to me by going to the original desktop in Win 8.

    Again... Thank you for the tips about moving the desktop to the upper left of the start menu, it will save me a lot of grief in using this OS.
    There is a HUGE list of tutorials on the Tutorials section here!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I guess I'll add some dummy tips...

    You can click and drag tiles around to arrange them. If you move it around in such a way, a column appears that hints to you that you can make a new group of tiles. To label this new group, you hit the - icon on the lower right corner of the Start Screen, right click on that group and you can name it. You also can drag this group around as well.

    A tip to encourage good Start Screen hygiene , get rid of the tiles you don't need. Keep the application tiles, but get rid of the help files or the ones you will never use or you know you'll never use.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I saw the book at OfficeMax the other day. It reminded me of this book for some blasted ridiculous reason, someone gave to me just in case if I needed it. (Never did and recycled it) It was on how to navigate around with Windows xp and the interwebster. It was strange to see these icky screenshots of an icky UI that is so icky. Then I saw the screenshots from Windows 8 in that Dummy's book, seemed weird to see it. Mostly because Windows 8 is so easy to use for me, but that's just me.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Quick! Where's the Search function on the Start Page?










    Start typing what you're looking for, and the Start Page immediately starts the Search function without being told.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Vince53 View Post
    Quick! Where's the Search function on the Start Page?

    Start typing what you're looking for, and the Start Page immediately starts the Search function without being told.
    Now that *IS* truly handy. I don't generally like having to type when I'm searching for something, I'm old school, I'd rather browse in file manager than have to type, in general because I know where everything is on my computer, but this tip truly IS handy for Win 8 and when I can only remember a partial name of a program that I installed ages ago since the all apps screen (TO ME) is a huge jumbled mess of a screen that I really wish MS would allow me to customize how it presents itself to me.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

How to use the Start Page the Dummy way
Related Threads
I know if I transfer over to the desktop version of the home screen I can find out the percent of battery power remaining by placing the cursor over the little battery icon in the lower right of the task bar. But on the native 8.1 Start (the one with the metro tiles) screen I see no way to easily...
I used to have 2 different locations showing in weather, one after the other. How do I get that back.
I just got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and I've lost track of the Start page (I guess they call it Metro), the one with Start up on the left and all the tiles, including the one for Desktop...gone. Also I don't get the Charm Bar with a swipe, or any other movement for that matter. It opens up to a...
I just saw a Windows 8 laptop with a great background on the Start Page. But I cannot figure out, or find out, how to do it. Anyone know?
After installing Windows 8 Media Center I lost most of the Tiles on the Start Screen. Ican't find a way to get them back. Any suggestions?
What's all the fuss about? The Start menu is there it's just in a different format! Eventually we'll all get used to it! I personally prefer the Start Orb but nothing lasts forever. MS had to come up with a way to interact with other devices, and this is what we get, Windows 8. It's pretty much the...
I just spent 5 minutes seeing if I could pin a document to the Start Page and I think the answer is "no". I want a quick way to open an Excel document straight from the Start Page. Anyone know how to create a tile for a document?
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook