Starting Up with Windows 8.1

Whether it’s a brand new laptop computer or one that you’ve upgraded to Windows 8.1, you’ll always need to get through a process so you can start using your machine in doing some of your daily tasks and Internet routines. The same is true even in other devices running in Windows 8.1 like tablets and smartphones.

The very first thing that you need to do is of course turn on the computer by pressing the power button. Each computer brand have different locations of the power button so there’s no definite rule of where or what to press. Just look for the button that has the power  symbol and press on it. After doing so, simply wait until the system takes you to the Lock Screen which you first need to get through before you can finally choose an account to open (if there are multiple user accounts registered on the computer) by entering the corresponding password (if a password has been assigned to it).

Windows 8.1 is equipped with some brand new features and improvements which makes it a lot better and easier to use than its predecessor Windows 8. When you power up your Windows 8.1 machine, you’ll meet the Lock Screen and Start Screen which are two of the newest  features included in all Windows 8-based devices.

The Lock Screen

One of the coolest features in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is called the Lock Screen. This brand new feature provides some quick and up-to-date information about your computer’s network connection status, time and date and as well as the latest emails you’ve received in your inbox. Another important function that it does is providing protection against unauthorized access. The information shown on the Lock Screen can also be changed. You can either add an app that will show up-to-date information on it or remove one that is somewhat not needed. Windows 8.1 also offers different Lock Screen patterns for you to choose from so if you feel bored of the default image, you can always change it whenever you want simply by accessing the “PC Settings section.

The Lock Screen will most likely appear after a certain interval of time that you leave your computer inactive, when you put it to sleep manually or even when you hibernate it and you wake it up again. It also appears when you turn on your computer after you shut it down a moment before.

Locking the Screen Manually

To manually lock your computer screen, all you need to do is press on the “Windows + L” keys. You can also do the same thing by first accessing the “Start Screen”, clicking on your account picture located at the top-right corner of the screen then on the menu that appears, simply click “Lock”.


The Lock Screen is a new feature in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. It is designed to make your machine look good even when it is locked but if you feel annoyed with it, you can make some tweaks on your computer settings so you can directly go to the Start Screen or the desktop when you open your machine. More of this will be discussed in greater detail in one of our future tutorials.


Getting Through the Lock Screen

There are several ways of getting through the Lock Screen. If you didn’t set any password for your computer, all you need to do is swipe upwards, downwards, to the left or to the right if your machine is equipped with a touch-enabled screen or if not, you can simply press any key or click on any part of the screen and the Lock Screen will simply get out of your way and you’ll be taken right away to the Start Screen. If a password is set active, the log in screen will appear next after you get passed through the Lock Screen and you’ll need to enter your password so you can access the Start Screen.

The Redesigned Start Screen

Unlike its predecessor Windows 8, the all new Windows 8.1 has three sizes of tiles in the Start Screen which makes more apps, desktop programs or even your files fit together without having you to scroll over a great space. This saves time of course and gives a more comfortable view of the entire Start Screen itself.


Accessing the Start Screen

There are several ways of accessing the Start Screen in your Windows 8.1 machine and we assume that you already know most if not all of it but for the benefit of the newbies, we’ll give all of the methods of getting to this important feature on your computer.

1. Pressing the Windows Key

Every Windows machine is equipped with a key that bears the Windows logo on it. This key serves as an easy way of accessing the Start Menu in previous Windows versions but in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, pressing on it will allow you to access the Start Screen. Simply press it wherever you are within the Windows 8.1 system and the Start Screen will open right away. While on the Start Screen, pressing the Windows key will then take you to the location that you stayed in previously

2. Click or tap on the Start Charm

Another brand new feature in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are called “Charms”. These are hidden icons on the right edge of your computer screen which provides easy access to some important locations and features of the operating system. The one at the middle which bears the Windows logo is called the “Start Charm” and clicking or tapping on it will instantly take you to the Start Screen.


3. Click or Tap on the Start Button

Microsoft has received a lot of complaints because of the absence of the “Start Button” in Windows 8 so they made a solution to it in the new Windows 8.1 environment. Yes! The Start Button is back with all its glory and it’s still located on the same location where it used to be. Just drag your mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen and click on the Windows logo. You can also tap on it if you’re using a device that has a touch-enabled screen and the Start Screen will instantly appear.


4. Press the Windows + C keys

Another way of accessing the Start Screen is done by first accessing the Charms then clicking or tapping on the Start Charm. To do this, simply press on the “Windows + C” keys and once the Charms bar appears, simply click on the one that is labeled “Start” to access the Start Screen.

The Metro Environment

Windows 8.1 features two environments merged into one efficient operating system. These are the Desktop and the Metro environment. The Desktop world is the one that we’ve all got accustomed to in the older Windows versions while the Metro environment is the newest feature which includes the mobile apps, the Start Screen, Charms and a lot more innovations making everything a lot comfortable to use. Before, owning a Windows machine meant getting access to some desktop applications but now that Windows 8.1 has is available, you can have access even to some mobile apps by downloading them from the Windows Store while still being able to use the traditional desktop applications. Just stay tuned with us or join our email list to get the latest news and some cool tips about Windows 8.1.