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Windows 8.1 Tips

Pinning apps to your Start screen in Windows 8.1

After an app is installed from the Store, you’ll find it listed in the Apps view with all the other apps on your PC. You can pin the app to your Start screen so it’s easier for you to find and use later.

Step 1

On the Start screen, slide up from the middle of the screen to see the Apps view. (If you’re using a mouse, click the arrow The arrow button near the lower-left corner of the screen.)

Step 2

Press and hold or right-click to select the apps you want to pin.

Step 3

Tap or click Pin to Start. The apps you pinned will appear at the end of your Start screen.

You can rearrange pinned apps, resize tiles, and group related apps together. For more info about personalizing your Start screen.

Unpinning apps from Start

If you decide you don’t want a tile to be on your Start screen any more, you can unpin it from Start. Unpinning an app is different than uninstalling it—if you unpin an app from your Start screen, the app will still appear when you search for it, and it’ll still be in the Apps view if you need to find it again.

To unpin an app from Start

  1. On the Start screen, press and hold or right-click the tile you want tounpin.
    • You can select more tiles to unpin them all at once. To clear your selections, on the Start screen or in Apps view, tap or click an open space on the screen, or tap or click Customize.
  2. Tap or clickUnpin from Start.
    • The apps you selected will be removed from your Start screen, but will still appear in Apps view and when you search for them.

Working with Tiles

To move a tile on your Start screen

  1. On the Start screen, press and hold the tile you want to move. (If you’re using a mouse, click and hold the tile).
  2. Drag the tile to where you want to place it.

To resize a tile on your Start screen

  1. On the Start screen, press and hold the tile you want to resize. (If you’re using a mouse, right-click the tile.)
  2. Tap or click Resize.
  3. Choose the size you want.

To create a group of tiles

  1. On the Start screen, press and hold or right-click the tiles you want to group together.
  2. Drag them to an open space, and when a gray bar appears behind them, release the tiles. This will create a new group.
  3. If you want to name the group, tap or click where it says Name group above the group, and then enter a new name.
  4. Once you’ve created a group, you can move the entire group around on your Start screen.

To move a group of tiles

  1. On the Start screen, pinch to zoom out. (If you’re using a mouse, click the zoom icon zoom icon in the lower-right corner of your screen.)
  2. Press and drag or click and drag the group of tiles you want to move to where you want it to go.
  3. Once you’re done moving groups, tap or click anywhere on the screen to zoom back in.

Getting Around with Touch or Keyboard

Action Touch Mouse Keyboard
Open the charms Swipe in from the right edge of your screen. Move your mouse pointer all the way into the upper-right or lower-right corner. When the charms appear, move up or down the edge and click the one you want. Windows logo key Windows logo key + C
Show commands for an app Swipe in from the top or bottom edge of the screen. Right-click within the app. Windows logo key Windows logo key + Z
Switch to your last app Swipe in from the left edge of the screen. Move your mouse pointer all the way into the upper-left corner of your screen, and then click. Windows logo key Windows logo key + Tab
See a list of recent apps Swipe in from the left edge, and with your finger still on the screen, move it back toward the left edge. Move your mouse pointer into the upper-left corner, and then move it down the edge. Windows logo key Windows logo key + Tab
Close an app Drag the app from the top edge of the screen to the bottom of the screen. Drag the app from the top of the screen to the bottom of the screen. Alt+F4
Zoom Touch the screen with two or more fingers, and then move your fingers toward each other (pinch) to zoom out or away from each other (stretch) to zoom in. Press Ctrl while you rotate the wheel button. Ctrl+Plus Sign (+) or Ctrl+Minus Sign (-)
Select an item Swipe down or across the item, or press and hold to select it.

Using apps side by side

Depending on the resolution of your screen, you can have up to four apps on a screen at a time. You can schedule meetings on your calendar while you respond to email, or record a lecture in class with Sound Recorder while you take notes in the desktop.

To use two apps side by side

  1. Open an app that you’d like to use.
  2. Slide in from the top of the screen until an opening appears behind the app, then drag the app to the left or right side.
    • (If you’re using a mouse, drag the top of the screen down until an opening appears behind the app, then drag it to the left or right.)
  3. Go back to Start and open a second app. It will appear next to the first app.
  4. To resize the apps, drag the divider between the apps.

To open a third app

  • If you go back to Start and open a third app, it’ll appear on top of the first two. You can tap or click the left or right side of the third app to replace one of the apps underneath it.
  • If you want use all three apps on the same screen, drag the third app until an open space appears next to or between the other apps. If a space doesn’t open, your screen can only fit two apps at a time.
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