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bigblueboo:

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Help I’m Stuck in Windows 8!

One big complaint I hear about Windows 8 is that people find themselves in a full-screen Windows Store App (aka Metro App, aka Windows 8 App, aka “App”, aka Tileland) and they don’t know what to do to get out of it.  So I decided the list out all the possible things you can do to get out of such a situation.

  1. If you have a touchscreen, you can swipe in from the right side of the screen.  This reveals the Charms.  Touching the charm in the center sends you back to the start screen.  Swiping from the right is an essential skill for Windows 8 touchscreen users.  If you have Windows 8.1, the first time you use a full screen Windows Store app, you’ll get a pop-up message about this.  If you are a new user, it is a good idea to practice this.
  2. If you have a touchscreen, you can swipe in from the left side of the screen.  This will switch you to another app that you have running.  The desktop counts as one app.  This is another essential skill, and Windows 8.1 will show a pop-up to help you learn this too.
  3. If you have have a touchscreen, you can close the app by dragging the top edge of the app down to the bottom of the screen and then let go.  The app will close and you’ll be back on the start screen.
  4. Some Windows 8 tablets and all-in-ones have a hardware Windows Flag button, usually placed on the bezel below the screen.  Touch that and you are sent back to the start screen.  Most smartphones have a similar “home” button, so you are probably quite used to doing this.
  5. If you have a mouse, you can show the Charms by slamming the pointer into the upper right-hand corner of the screen, then move down to click on Start Charm to go to the start screen.  The bottom right-hand corner also works.
  6. If you have a mouse, you can switch to another running app by slamming the pointer in the upper left-hand corner and clicking.
  7. If you have only Windows 8 and haven’t upgraded to 8.1, then you can use the mouse to get to the start screen slamming the pointer in the lower left-hand corner and clicking.
  8. If you have Windows 8.1 with the latest updates, you can just move the mouse pointer past the bottom of the screen, and the taskbar will appear.
  9. If you have Windows 8.1 with the latest update, you can move your mouse pointer to the top edge of the screen, and a title bar will appear for the app.  You can close or minimize the app just like desktop programs.
  10. The easiest way to go back the start screen is to just hit the Windows Flag logo key on your keyboard.  The Windows key has brought up the start menu since windows 95, so you shouldn’t be surprised about this keyboard shortcut.
  11. You can still use Alt-Tab to switch among apps and desktop programs.  This works anywhere.
  12. You can use Windows-Tab to bring up the list of running Windows Store apps along the left side of the screen.  You can use the up and down arrows to choose and app, or go all the way to the bottom and choose Start to go back to the start screen.
  13. You can bring up the charms if you want with Windows-C.  Then you can use the arrows to choose the Start Charm.  (It is much easier to just hit the Windows key.)
  14. You can jump right to the desktop from anywhere by using Windows-D.
  15. You can close a Windows Store App by hitting Alt-F4.  Alt-F4 has always closed windows programs.

Wow.  Four ways to get out of a program with a touchscreen, and 11 ways with a mouse and keyboard.  There are even more keyboard shortcuts that can get you over to the desktop too, like Windows-E which brings up the file explorer.  So help a Windows 8 user and spread the word!!

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