Microsoft designed the latest Windows desktop interface to work with a touchscreen, but a keyboard and mouse can still get you where you need to go, says Gizmodo tech writer David Nield.
Tap the Windows key to flip between your desktop and Start screen. Use the Escape key to get back to the app you were using.
Bring the cursor up to the top left to display the Start screen and desktop programs you have running. Click the one you want. To cycle through the open apps, click in the upper left corner. To activate a list of apps, press Windows, Alt and Tab.
Pressing Alt and Tab together cycles through running desktop programs and Start screen apps. To shut down or launch other operating system features, right-click the Start button.
Working the charms bar through your keyboard can save time, too. Some handy commands include:
- Windows+C charms bar
- Windows+S searches everything, including the Web and apps
- Windows+F looks through your computer’s files
- Windows+H shares files
- Windows+K opens Devices
- Windows+I opens Settings
As in previous versions call up the taskbar by moving the cursor to the bottom of any Start screen app.
Finally, boot straight to the desktop with a right-click on the taskbar, choose Properties and check the option under the Start screen heading.
— Adapted from “How To Use Windows 8.1 Just As Well Without a Touchscreen,” David Nield, Gizmodo.