Windows 8.1 Quick Start Guide

Where is my start menu?

Windows 8.1 uses a Start screen rather than a start menu. Click the Windows icon or press the Windows key on your keyboard at any time to switch to the Start screen. Alternately, you can use the right hot corners and select the Start charm. Select the Desktop tile from the Start screen to see the traditional Windows desktop.


Navigating with hot corners

Windows 8.1 navigation is done through hot corners. Move your mouse into any corner to get shortcuts to your start screen, open Apps, links, charms, settings etc. The right corners will provide Search, Settings, etc. The Power/Shut Down options are under Settings.

Navigating with search

Windows 8/8.1 search is a powerful way to find programs, apps, files, and even Web information. Use the right hot corners and select Search to search for whatever you need. Search is contextual so the results may be different depending on what applications you have open.

Start screen

All installed applications can be found on the Start screen. If you can’t see the icon for an application, click the down arrow to view all apps.

Don’t want to go to the Start screen to open a program? From the Start screen, right click the icon for the application and select Pin to Taskbar so it will appear on the Desktop taskbar.

Using a Metro application

Applications that run at the Start screen are called Metro Apps. Open and use them as you would any program. To close or minimize a Metro App, move your mouse to the very top of the screen. The 'X' (close) and '-' (minimize) icons will appear in the upper right corner when your mouse is close. Only one Metro App appears on the screen at a time. You can switch between open apps using the top left hot corner.

Recommended reading

It is recommended that you read through Microsoft’s illustrated quick start guide available at:


Please send any questions to