Windows 8 tutorial, with screen shots

1. Open from the lock screen

60 Windows 8 tips, tricks and secrets

Windows 8 opens on its lock screen, which looks pretty but unfortunately displays no clues about what to do next.

It's all very straightforward, though. Just tap the space bar, spin the mouse wheel or swipe upwards on a touch screen to reveal a regular login screen with the user name you created during installation. Enter your password to begin.

2. Handle basic navigation
Windows 8's interface is all colour ful tiles and touch-friendly apps. And if you're using a tablet then it'll all be very straightforward: just swipe left or right to scroll the screen, and tap any tile of interest.
On a regular desktop, though, you might alternatively spin the mouse wheel to scroll backwards and forwards.
And you can also use the keyboard. Press the Home or End keys to jump from one end of your Start screen to the other, for instance, then use the cursor keys to select a particular tile, tapping Enter to select it. Press the Windows key to return to the Start screen; right-click (or swipe down on) apps you don't need and select Unpin to remove them; and drag and drop the other tiles around to organise them as you like.

3. Group apps
The Start screen apps are initially displayed in a fairly random order, but if you'd prefer a more organised life then it's easy to sort them into custom groups.
You might drag People, Mail, Messaging and Calendar over to the left-hand side, for instance, to form a separate 'People' group. Click the 'minus' icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to zoom out and you'll now find you can drag and drop the new group (or any of the others) around as a block.
Right-click within the block (while still zoomed out) and you'll also be able to give the group a name, which - if you go on to add another 20 or 30 apps to your Start screen - will make it much easier to find the tools you need.

Check out the rest
Windows 8 How to Walk Through

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Is backing up data on my computer important?

As a general rule, people who use their computer occasionally (5 hours/week or less) should be backing up their data on at least a weekly basis. If you use your computer more frequently, however (more than 10 hours/week), backing up daily is probably a good idea. Another variable is the type of data you store on your computer. Obviously, the more important it is to you, the more important backing it up becomes. There are many ways to backup data on your computer - the least effective of which is having the only backup location on your actual hard drive. Instead, use external hardware such as an external hard drive, CD's, or a memory stick. Online backup is another option. This requires the use of an Internet-based data backup storage service.

keep getting this pop-up window about a virus alert? What do I do?

Watch out for fake virus alerts! Rogue security software, also known as "scareware," is software that appears to be beneficial from a security perspective but provides limited or no security, generates erroneous or misleading alerts, or attempts to lure users into participating in fraudulent transactions. Here's what to do if you think you might have rogue security software on your computer: 1) Scan your computer. Use your antivirus software or do a free scan with the Microsoft Safety Scanner. The safety scanner checks for and removes viruses, eliminates junk on your hard drive, and improves your PC's performance.

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Check your accounts. If you think you might have entered sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or passwords into a pop-up window or at a rogue security software site, you should monitor your associated accounts.