Charm Facts that You Need to Know

Windows 8.1 offers a lot of brand new features that you need to know deeper so you can start using your brand new machine to its fullest. From the Lock Screen to the Start Screen and down to the tiles and some tiny feature which were added and others improved, Windows 8.1 is teeming with a lot of exciting stuff that will surely make you love everything about it.

One of the brand new features that Windows 8.1 has are called “Charms” and they take a lot of functions that makes Windows 8.1 a lot more comfortable to use. If it is your first time of hearing about it then you need to keep reading to learn more about some facts that will help you use the “Charms” in a more efficient way.

What are Charms?

Charms are hidden shortcuts that leads to some brand new features in the Windows 8.1 system. You can access the charms anywhere. This means that even if you are on the desktop screen or on the Start Screen, you will always be able to access the Charms and use them anytime you want. Most of the Charms are very efficient and are designed to work effectively with all the modern-style apps that are installed on your computer while others work for the overall Windows 8.1 system. There are five available Charms in each Windows 8.1 computer and they are arranged one after another from top to bottom seated on a bar at the right-edge of the screen as shown below.


How to Access the Charms

As I have mentioned earlier, Charms are hidden shortcuts. You won’t see them unless you do something that will summon them to appear on the screen. Unlike some desktop features like the taskbar which can be moved on every edge of the screen, the Charms are permanently anchored on the right edge of the screen and will stay just there. You can access the Charms in two different ways if you are using a keyboard and a mouse. Here’s how.

1. Press the Windows + C keys

One easy way of accessing the Charms is by using the keyboard shortcut combination “Windows + C”. Simply press these keys simultaneously and you’ll see the Charms bar appear at the right-edge of the screen. Once it appears, you can simply point the mouse to the Charm that you want to open. All of the charms except the “Start” charm opens in a small screen on the right edge of the screen.

2. Using the Mouse

If you’re more comfortable with using the mouse then you can easily access the Charms by simply pointing the mouse to the top or the bottom-right corner of the screen. If you pointed it on the top-right corner of the screen, you’ll need to drag the pointer down to make the Charms bar appear and if you pointed it at the bottom-right corner, simply drag it upwards to access the charms bar. If you are using a device with a touch-enabled screen, you can simply swipe your finger from the right edge towards the center or touch the top or bottom corner of the screen to summon the charms bar.

Which Charms to Use for Certain Situations

 There are five different Charms that appears on the bar at the right edge of the screen. They are the “Search”, “Share”, “Start”, “Devices” and “Settings” charm. To be able to use them effectively, you’ll first need to get into the details of how each one works so we’ll look at each one of them.

The Search Charm

The first charm that appears on the bar is labeled “Search” and as the name alone suggests, it is used in doing a quick search when you are using a modern-style app. The Search charm also works perfectly especially when you are trying to look for a place or location using the “Maps” app.


The Share Charm

There would be times that you’ll find some important information while using a modern-style app like News, Mail and others that give some important information and you might want to share this information with your friends, colleagues and other people that you know. If this is the case then you can use the “Share” charm so you can easily share everything in just a few clicks.


The Start Charm

If you are looking for a quick way to access the Start Screen on your Windows 8 machine then you can simply access the charms bar and click on the one located at the middle which is labeled “Start”. Clicking on this charm will open the Start Screen right away and when you’re already on the Start Screen, clicking or tapping on the Start charm will bring you to the last app that you opened.


The Devices Charm

Playing a content from a modern-style app, printing a document or projecting your screen to another device is made a lot easier using the “Devices” charm. Just be sure that the device which you want to use is connected properly to your computer. After checking all connections between your computer and the other device such as a media player, printer or a projector, simply access the charms and click on the one that is labeled “Devices”. After doing so, you should be able to see all available devices grouped according to the task that they can do such as “Play”, “Print” or “Project”. Just click again on the task that you want to do and select the right device that you want to use.


The Settings Charm

Back in the days of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, accessing the settings for the overall system required that you access the “Control Panel” section but in Windows 8.1, it has been made easier because of the presence of the “Settings” charm. All you need to do is access the charms bar and click on the one located at the bottom most part which is labeled “Settings”. After doing so, a screen will appear at the right edge of the screen containing some clickable links to the different system locations where you can make tweaks on your machine’s settings. Some major tweaks are still in the Control Panel but other tweaks especially those that are intended for the metro environment are already incorporated in the “Settings” charm. All you need to do is click on the right link that will lead you to the “PC settings” section.


Navigate Through Windows 8 Using Charms

The Charms feature is one of the most significant breakthrough that Microsoft has included in their latest operating system. These charms make navigating and accessing some key features a lot easier both in a keyboard and mouse set up and as well as in touchscreen devices. Mastering the use of charms will surely make your Windows 8.1 experience better than ever so be sure to learn and explore more about its functions by yourself. If you have any questions about this major feature then please feel free to tell us by posting them as comments on the space provided below.