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Windows 8 Software FAQS

How do I determine which version of Windows is currently installed on my computer?
  • Open the Control Panel
  • Click “System and Security”
  • Click on “System
What is Metro?

Originally created for Windows Phone 7, Metro is a typography-based design language created my Microsoft, and used as a designing principle for the Windows 8 start screen, Xbox 360 dashboard, and Windows Live. For Windows 8, the Metro Start Screen has replaced the traditional “Start Menu”.

Can I change how the Metro Tiles are displayed?

 There are three types of tiles displayed on the Windows 8 Metro Screen:

  • Live Tiles – Metro Apps that have information continuously updated (weather, mail, calendar, …)
  • Metro Apps – Tiles with large graphical elements on colored backgrounds
  • Application Tiles – Tiles with the application icon in the lower left corner

Metro Apps can become Live Tiles by first selecting the tile (right click or flick down), and then selecting the “Turn Live Tile on” option in the app bar at the bottom of the screen.

Live Tiles can become static Metro apps by first selecting the tile (right clicking or flicking down), and then selecting the “Turn Live Tile off” option in the app bar at the bottom of the screen.

All tiles can also be moved within and between groups of tiles.  With a mouse, left click on a tile and then drag it to the desired location.  With the touch-interface, pull down on a tile, then drag it to the desired location.

Labels can also be added to the tile groups. Pinch to zoom out, then select a tile group (right-click or flick down), then select the “Name Group” option in the lower toolbar.

Please see the following Quick Guide for additional information on moving and labeling Metro Tile groups.

Where is the desktop?

The traditional Windows desktop remains a part of Windows 8. From the Metro interface, either select the Desktop tile, or press the Windows key on a keyboard to switch to the traditional desktop. Please note that the “Start Menu” is no longer a part of the desktop, it has been replaced by the Metro interface.

Where is the Start button?

Please note that the “Start Menu” is no longer a part of the desktop, it has been replaced by the Metro interface.

What is the Charms bar?

The Charms bar provides quick access to several commonly utilized features, including Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. The Charms bar can be launched via

  1. Touch – swipe from the right edge,
  2. Keyboard – WinKey + C, or
  3. Mouse – move the mouse to either the upper right or lower right corner of the screen, then move the mouse to the center of the right edge.
What is a Metro app?

Metro apps are touch-centric applications designed to run full screen, highlighting the content.

How do I launch a Metro app?

(Touch) Tap on the app tile

(Mouse) Left click on the app tile

How do I close a Metro app?

 (Touch) Swipe from the top of the screen to the bottom of the screen

(Mouse) Left click at the top of the screen and drag to the bottom of the screen

 Are additional Metro apps available?

Yes! Additional Metro apps are available from the Microsoft Store, and many of the apps are free.

What is the Windows Store?

The Windows Store is Microsoft’s app market for Metro apps. As of May 2012, the Windows Store is organized into several categories, including: Spotlight, Games, Social, Entertainment, Photo, Music & Video, Books & Reference, News & Weather, Food & Dining, Shopping, Travel, Productivity, Tools, Security, and Education.

What is a Microsoft Account? Do I need one?

 A Microsoft Account is needed to download and install apps from the Windows Store. Your Windows Live ID is also your Microsoft Account.

How do I change the image on the Lock screen?

 From the Windows 8 Metro Start screen, swipe from the right edge to display the Charms bar, then select Settings, and Change PC settings. On the Personalize tab, select Lock Screen. A picture of your current lock screen will be displayed. Just below this image is a Browse button that will allow you to select an image from your Picture Library. If you have connected additional services such as SkyDrive, Flickr, and Facebook, you will also have the option of selecting an image from those locations.

How do I change the background on the Windows 8 Metro Start screen?

From the Windows 8 Metro Start screen, swipe from the right edge to display the Charms bar, then select Settings, and Change PC settings. On the Personalize tab, select Start Screen. A picture of your current start screen will be displayed. Select one of the six background patterns and a background color.

How do I change my Account picture?

 From the Windows 8 Metro Start screen, swipe from the right edge to display the Charms bar, then select Settings, and Change PC settings. On the Personalize tab, select Account Picture. A picture of your current account picture will be displayed. Just below this image is a Browse button that will allow you to select an image from your Picture Library. If you have connected additional services such as SkyDrive, Flickr, and Facebook, you will also have the option of selecting an image from those locations. Additionally, the Webcam button will allow you to take a picture with the webcam to use as your account picture.

How do I customize the Windows 8 Metro Weather app?

From the Windows 8 Metro Start screen, launch the Weather app. Reveal the toolbar by either:

  1. Touch – pulling down from the top to the middle of the screen, or
  2. Mouse – right click

Select the Places option. Select the plus inside the rectangle to enter a new location. Type the name of the location, then select the Add button.

 From the list of locations, it is possible to set a location as the default location or remove it from the list of locations. Reveal the lower toolbar by either:

  1. Touch – press a location, then drag the tile down and release it, or
  2. Mouse – right click on a location.

Select the Set as Default option to set the default location. Select the Remove option to remove a location from your list of places.  It is also possible to Pin a specific weather tile to your Metro screen.

How do I initiate sleep mode / shut down the PC / restart the PC?

From either the Windows 8 Metro Start screen or the Windows 8 desktop screen, display the Charms bar via

  1.  Touch – swipe from the right edge,
  2. Keyboard – WinKey + C, or
  3. Mouse – move the mouse to either the upper right or lower right corner of the screen, then move the mouse to the center of the right edge, then select Settings and then Power. Select between Sleep, Shut Down, or Restart.
Why do some Windows 8 Metro apps have “APP PREVIEW” at the top of the screen?

A number of Windows 8 Metro apps are being developed both my Microsoft and 3rd party companies during the Consumer Preview period for the Windows 8 operating system. The “APP PREVIEW” label is an indication that the app is currently being tested for functionality, and an update with additional functionality and features will likely be released.

Why does the sound not work when the Slate is in the dock?

When the Slate is in the dock, it switches to use USB Audio devices, which may not be attached to the dock. It is possible to disable the USB Speakers and use the speakers built into the Slate.

From the Windows 8 Desktop, right-click on the speaker icon in the taskbar and select Playback Devices. From the Playback tab, right-click on the High Definition Audio Device icon and select “Set as Default Device”

How do I turn on / off the notifications on the Windows 8 lock screen?

The Windows 8 lock screen (Windows Key + L) can display information from Metro apps that are running in the background.  This includes items such as new email notification, next calendar appointment, and weather information.

Up to seven applications can be set to display a quick status, such as the number of unread email messages.  Detailed status for one application can also be displayed on the lock screen.

From the Windows 8 Metro screen, swipe from the right edge to display the Charms bar, and select Settings.

At the bottom of the screen, select Change PC Settings, then the Personalization tab. 
The Lock Screen Apps section will allow you to select up to seven apps to display quick information, and one app to display detailed status (select the + icon).

Selecting the + icon will also allow the option to “Don’t display a badge here”

Can the Metro Live Tiles be disabled?

Windows 8 Metro has multiple types of tiles, including Metro Live tiles, App tiles, and bookmark tiles.

Metro Mail and Calendar apps are two examples of Live Tiles, which are able to display dynamic information, such as the subject line of new email messages and upcoming calendar events, on the tile.

Live Tiles can be set to not display these updates by selecting the tile (right click), and then selecting the "turn live tile off" from the settings bar at the bottom of the screen.

How can I pin a bookmark to the Metro screen?

Yes! The Metro tile for the Internet Explorer browser can be restored to the Metro screen.

When an alternate web browser is set to be the default browser, the Metro tile for Internet Explorer browser is disabled.

Please see the following  Quick Guide for directions on restoring the Metro tile for Internet Explorer browser.

The Metro tile for Internet Explorer has disappeared – Can I restore it?

Yes! The Metro tile for the Internet Explorer browser can be restored to the Metro screen.

When an alternate web browser is set to be the default browser, the Metro tile for Internet Explorer browser is disabled.

Please see the following Quick Guide for directions on restoring the Metro tile for Internet Explorer browser.

This page developed and maintained by the Information Technology Department. Send comments and suggestions to helpdesk@ccri.edu .


Last Updated: 3/15/16