Windows 8

Windows 8 Guide

Guide to the Desktop

The desktop is what you see when you load Windows 8.1 and where you would work from such as running applications and managing your files via Explorer.

desktop example

Windows 8 desktop is similar to Windows 7's desktop, you have all the features including a backdrop, start, task bar, system tray and so on. There are some subtle differences though.

The Start button has become a white window icon and when you click on it you get a different Start screen than before. Clicking it will no longer bring up the old Start Menu as on previous windows, instead it will bring the new style Start menu. Programs appear as tiles on the screen which can add or remove as you will. You can switch to the desktop by clicking on the Desktop tile at the bottom left.

Start sceen

When you first login to Windows 8.1, you get the new Start scrren above, in Windows 8.1 you can now configure to it to show the desktop first in the Taskbar and Navigation control panel. The Windows 8.1 theme which consists of the Default Windows backdrop of an ornge background with shapes the new style start button, rounded windows and only one icon, the Recycle Bin. You can get the other icons such as Computer, Network, User File's and Control Panel via the Display Icon properties. Right click the desktop, select Personalise, click Change desktop icons link.

Desktop icons

To add the Internet Explorer icon, right click the desktop, select New, Shortcut and enter "C:\Program files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" and enter the name Internet Explorer.

The Quick Launch area is shown by default, and it will contain icons for Explorer and Internet Explorer Icons can be added or removed from this area by dragging the icon to or from the Quick Launch area. If more than three icons are available, clicking the >> arrows will reveal the others.

In Windows the system tray area can become quite full with icons, some you can turn off via the properties or preferences of that program, if you get a lot of icons, Windows will auto-hide some of them less used icons for you. They can be revealed by clicking on the up ^ arrow.

You can change other properties of the desktop via the Personalisation control panel where you can select the desktop background, colours, sounds, screen saver, desktop icons, and mounse pointers. The screen size can be changed via a seperate Screen resolution option.