Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


I'm in over my head. Please help.

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8

    I'm in over my head. Please help.


    Hi all, new guy here and I'd appreciate some help or advice.

    I recently purchased a new Dell Inspiron 17R that came with Windows 8. While the laptop is fine and is actually more than I need, all is not well with the Windows 8 operating system.

    I'm an old guy but have been using PCs for 25 years and have never had a problem with newer systems until now. The Windows 8 OS is simply not intuitive enough for me. I don't even own a smartphone or any Bluetooth devices, so much of the terminology and navigation is frustrating.

    I'm retired, have lots of time on my hands and have been really trying to "get it" for a couple of weeks.

    It ain't working for me.

    I really, really would like to install Windows Vista on this thing so I can actually use it instead of spending hours and hours trying to "figure it out".

    Is it even possible to "downgrade" to an old OS?


    Thank you.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,770
    Windows Phone 6, Windows CE 5, Windows Vista x32, Windows 7 x32/x64, Windows 8 x64


    Download and install this free program and most of your troubles should be gone: Welcome to Classic Shell.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8


    I'll give it a try. Thanks!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Stardock has Start8 which cost's but only $4.99 but the GUI is a lot better. There is a 30 day trial period, do you can decide if you want to purchase it.

    Start8 for Windows 8 - Bringing back the Windows Start menu
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Hello and welcome!

    This is a repost of a post I posted earlier on a different post with a similar issue.

    My suggestions, tips, and other stuff...

    1. Learn how to pin things to Start. The Start Screen is VERY easy to get configured when you figure out what to do. This is simple. Open File Explorer (the file folder icon) and go through and find things like Documents, Pictures, Videos, and Music Libraries (if you skipped over 7, this is a VERY handy feature if you have things like two video folders to consolidate them down into one view) and right click on them. Then, you will see, Pin to Start. Do that for all sorts of things other than libraries, like folders, program shortcuts, Recycle Bin, Computer, ect. Hit Start, go to the end, and click and drag the tiles around to how you'd like. I'd bet you might move them to the very left of the screen. To remove said tiles, right click them, then hit Unpin from Start at the bottom.

    2. Uninstall the apps you don't want. This is dreadfully simple that most that decry Windows 8 don't seem to know. Right click on the app tiles, on the bottom of the screen you'll see an option to Uninstall. Hit that, and hit Uninstall again and that's it. But I'd suggest to keep the Weather, News, Finance, and maybe the Calendar or Mails apps as they're nice to have.

    3. Choose program defaults. If you want IE 10 to ALWAYS open on the Desktop, you can do that by opening up IE on the Desktop, hit the Tools cog on the top right of the window, Internet Options, Programs, and set IE to always open on the Desktop. Do this for other programs like Photo Viewer over Photos, Windows Media Player (or VLC or whatever music player you'd like) over Music.

    4. Learn the touchpad gestures. There are A LOT depending on the PC. My bet is that you have all so this won't be a problem. Swipe from the right side of the pad inward, opens the Charms. From the left, switches apps that are open. Swipe from the bottom of the pad opens the app command bar. Pinch to zoom to go to zoom in or out. On the Desktop, three finger gesture downwards minimizes all your open windows. Three up will show the window/app selector ribbon. Three left or right is the same as clicking the back or forth button in any program. You can probably also do a rotate gesture with Photo Viewer as well. Two fingers up or down will scroll. Pretty nifty! Although I'm not sure on your particular laptop, please report back if the gestures do work on that.

    5. Install Decor8. It will make the Start Screen look very cool!

    6. Ideally, you'd want to uninstall all the crap and bloatware that comes on OEM PCs such as from Dell. Makes things a tad faster and improves boot time.

    7. Open the Task Manager, hit the Startup tab, and disable all the items that don't deal with needed programs like idiotic power utilities. Leave things like the touchpad software enabled.

    8. Open some apps, and use the touch gestures I said of earlier to navigate around. Just a simple type to search will start searching. No need to hunt down a search bar. The Settings charm is what is used to change app settings, sound, power, and screen brightness. This is used very often. Share will be used if you're in an app and want to email someone a link to a website, but this is ONLY within apps, not on the Desktop. Things work differently. To close an app, move the mouse pointer to the top of the screen, see the little hand icon, click, and just drag down. BAM! That simple. To change some settings like Start Screen colors, account picture, picture password, and some other things, open the Charms, hit Settings, and you'll see PC Settings at the bottom. PC Settings is a condensed down Control Panel of very commonly changed settings within Windows. Also, on the Desktop, opening the Settings charm will display a few things from the Control Panel, like Personalization and PC Info.

    I think that is 8 simple tips/suggestions to use Windows 8. Wow.

    And for a screenshot of a few Start Screens to show how to arrange things nicely...



    Windows 8 was designed for touch, you have a touchpad that makes interacting with Windows 8 better than a standard three button mouse. Simply, learn to take advantage of the Start Screen, make things your own, and use the touch gestures of your new and shiny laptop and you'll quickly start liking things and won't feel so lost. Also, ask us questions, we don't bite. At least, not too hard.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1,770
    Windows Phone 6, Windows CE 5, Windows Vista x32, Windows 7 x32/x64, Windows 8 x64


    Save yourself a lot of heartache and start with something that you are familiar and comfortable with using, by installing one of the third party desktop menus (these will bring back the familiar). You can then take your time to explore the new, in your own time, and find out if it offers you anything of value.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 740
    Windows 8.1


    Here's what I recommend:

    IObit Start Menu 8 Free download, Bring Start Menu back to Windows 8

    It's free and simple and it will make Windows 8 work like Windows 7 as close as possible. Over time you can disable it's overrides as you get used to Windows 8 itself.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Nor Cal
    Posts : 3
    windows 8


    Hi there, just got here but I like to help whenever I can. I had some of the same trouble as you it seems. I suggest you try this free start menu Pokki. Its simple and customizable, if you like it that way give it a try

    Edit: as for the original question, yes you can downgrade just about any machine. I would suggest you try to make win8 work for you first as all the drivers are all set from the factory as you have it now, a new install of an older os might be more headache than its worth. Just my two cents...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    My best advice.


    As I have said numerous times, Windows 8 is a scientific marvel. It is far advanced over Win 7 or any other OS.

    Humans have 5 senses. There was always talk of a sixth sense and now I think it has been found. The dielectric impulses of the human finger that are detected by a touch pad or touch screen that commands the computer.

    No-one is going to master Windows 8 without help. It's foolish to even try.

    There is plenty of help available in several forms including these forums and tutorials. But anyone who is dedicated should go to the book store and "Buy A Book" on Windows 8.

    Windows 8 isn't that difficult. It has at least 3 different ways to do anything. It is actually light years ahead of the older systems.

    It saddens me to see dropouts fold and give up.
    Last edited by wetibbe; 19 Feb 2013 at 09:13.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by wetibbe View Post
    As I have said numerous times, Windows 8 is a scientific marvel. It is far advanced over Win 7 or any other OS.

    Humans have 5 senses. There was always talk of a sixth sense and now I think it has been found. The dielectric impulses of the human finger that are detected by a touch pad or touch screen that commands the computer.

    No-one is going to master Windows 8 without help. It's foolish to even try.

    There is plenty of help available in several forms including these forums and tutorials. But anyone who is dedicated should go to the book store and "Buy A Book" on Windows 8.

    Windows 8 isn't that difficult. It has at least 3 different ways to do anything. It is actually light years ahead of the older systems.

    It saddens me to see dropouts fold and give up.

    What? 6th sense?!? Buy a book? Light years ahead? Scientific marvel? Slow down Socrates.

    My smartphones OS is better than Windows 8 and no one is having a hard time figuring that system out.

    Actually, maybe you're on to something here. Perhaps Windows 8 is SOOO advanced that us mere mortals on Earth just cant handle it. . . Who is it that Microsoft is marketing this OS to. . Oh ya, us mere mortals. Whoops.


    "No-one is going to master Windows 8 without help. It's foolish to even try"
    What is so difficult about figuring out Windows 8?

    "Windows 8 isn't that difficult"
    Wait, what?

    I'm not so sure you're helping out Mr. DJJ that much. Your post is pretty confusing, and well, a bit out there.

    To DJJ: I don't think Windows 8 was designed for users such as yourself. I am not sure why they didn't build into the OS more customizable options to give users who want a more XP or Windows 7 experience (I wont bring up Vista since that was a failed OS as well as just about every other version of Windows has been).

    I think you would like Windows 7. If you're familiar with Vista it wont be a problem for you and it gives you a very XP like experience. It doesn't try to be too much and it just lets you use your computer. It's what I use and I am very, very happy with it. Stable, reliable, compatible. Below are some links to downgrade rights info. You'll have to figure out which one applies to you since I think you have an OEM version.

    Understanding downgrade rights

    Downgrade Your New Windows 8 Computer to Windows 7 for Free

    Good Luck DJJ and welcome to the forums.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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