Surviving Windows 8

Windows 8 is a strange animal. The most important trick to surviving it is to not fight it. I’m not saying that I love Windows. Far from it! What I’m saying is that looking for what it does well instead of what’s wrong with it will make things easier and save your sanity. That being said, here are a few tips and tricks that have made living with Windows 8 easier for me.

Andrew Clarke


Run programs as “administrator”

Even though you may be logged in as administrator, Windows 8 has its own ideas. Some programs do not run with full administrator privileges until you choose to run as administrator specifically. You can make a one-time selection or a permanent selection by right-clicking on the shortcut / icon, and making your choice.


Install programs in Program Files or Program Files (X86)

Most programs will install in one of these folders by default. Occasionally, however, a program will try to install in what is known as the root of C: . For example, if your program is called Jump, it might try to install in C:\Jump instead of C:\Program Files\Jump. Installing in this location can cause a problem because of additional security Microsoft has put on the root drive (C:\), even if you run as administrator. If your program acts erratically, try reinstalling it in a different folder.


Use shortcut keys

One of the biggest complaints we all have about Windows 8 is the lack of a start button. What were they thinkin’ ??!!?? They also created a whole new thing called Charms! Anyway, you can help yourself by learning a few shortcuts. First, you need to know what the Windows key is. It looks like this: and it works like the Alt key or the Control key, which means you press it at the same time as another key to make it work.

Windows key + C opens the Charms. Use this shortcut to search among other things.

Windows key +X opens a menu to commonly used functions. Try it out.

Windows key + E opens the file explorer.

There are other shortcut key combinations. We will explore them in future posts.


Exercise patience

This advice is the best of all, in my opinion. As long as I fought Windows 8 by complaining about it, I had trouble. Once I stopped complaining and decided to learn the changes, things went much better. I still miss my start button (which can be put back, by the way), but I’ve learned to work with Windows 8 without losing my patience (and my mind)! Hopefully you can, too.



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One Response to Surviving Windows 8

  1. Betsy Ertel says:

    As usual, excellent information, Mr. Andrew, and thanks for sharing! Could you point us less intelligent ‘puter users to the Win 8 shortcut keys available….or would that be stealing your future thunder? :)

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