If you just bought a Windows 8 computer, it’s normal to feel lost and puzzled on what to do first. As we all know by now, this new version brings so much changes and almost every user who gets to have a hands-on with it will say out loud: “Where do I start?” If you’re not yet familiar with Windows 8, setting up your computer may entail a lot of What, How, and Where questions. So to make your life a little bit easier, here are some tips that you can do to get started with your Windows 8 computer.

1. Create Your Microsoft Account

This is the very first thing you need to accomplish before you can start using your Windows 8 computer. Microsoft Account, formerly known as Windows Live ID, is the combination of an email and password that you can use to sign in to different services like Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive, Xbox LIVE, and Outlook.com. You can also use your Microsoft account to sign in using your Windows phone, Windows 8 PC, and Xbox console. To start creating your own Microsoft account, click here and then fill out all the required info. You can use either any email address you prefer, or create a new one with hotmail.com or live.com. Once you have successfully created an account and signed in to Windows, you will also be automatically connected to the cloud where you can access files on SkyDrive, Facebook, and Flickr. It will also allow you to sync your files and settings (desktop themes, language settings, browser history and favorites, and Microsoft apps and services) within all your computers and devices that are running on Windows 8.

2. Set Up a Lock Screen

The next thing you can do is to set up a lock screen for additional security purposes. The Lock Screen feature is adapted after the Windows Phone lock screen, which appears every time you boot your computer, lock it, or resume from sleep. Within the lock screen is the time and date, and other notification icon badges for apps and system settings like network and power. You can simply tap any key on the keyboard, click anywhere using your mouse, or swipe across the screen using your finger (for tablet PCs) to go around the lock screen. The Lock Screen feature can be set up in PC Settings, then Personalize, and then Lock screen. You can also browse for the background image should you prefer to replace it. You can also choose your background picture from the Camera app, which will allow you to take a live shot using your computer’s camera.

Another thing you can include on your Lock screen is the status updates for up to seven apps. For example, if you choose to include the Mail app, the Mail icon will appear on the lock screen indicating the number of unread mail that you currently have. If you would like to set up the Lock screen feature of your computer, click here.

3. Install a Strong Antivirus Program

Another important thing that you should do before you start browsing the net with your Windows 8 computer is to install a strong antivirus software that can detect almost any type of viruses, worms, malware, spyware, and other attacks. There are various companies that now provide free reliable antivirus software and Internet security tools that you can already download and install. These programs will help you browse, shop, and make transactions online with security. Others offer a monthly or annual subscription for bundled security programs that can also verify the contents or attachments of your emails since viruses and other phishing scams can now be attached in legitimate-looking emails. So if you’re really after the security of your files’ and confidential information, spending some amount for a trusted security program is, safe to say, worth it.

4. Run Windows Updates

Even if you just purchased your Windows 8 computer and taken it out of the box, there’s a great possibility that Windows has already released an update that you need to load on your computer. How do Windows updates actually affect your computer? Microsoft update, originally called as Windows update, is a service that allows for the periodic patching of system files to address known issues with Microsoft products. It improves your OS and non-OS components’ security, performance, and efficiency. Performing a Windows or Microsoft update on your computer helps prevent problems from occurring, fix known bugs in software and operating system, as well as security holes that could drastically affect your computer’s security.

To make sure that you have the latest updates on your brand new Windows 8 computer, launch the Charms bar by pointing your mouse cursor at the upper right corner of the screen, then click Settings. Go to Change PC settings option, then scroll down and select Windows Update, and then select Check for updates now.

5. Pin Your Favorite Apps to the Start Screen

With Windows 8, having to switch between two main screens — the Desktop and the Start Screen, can be exhausting and distracting at the same time. You’ll realize this when you’re working on a report in Excel, and then you also need to open a file in PowerPoint. Therefore, it’s better if you pin your frequently used apps in the Start Screen so that you can work smoothly and quicker. To accomplish this, just right-click on any app in your Desktop screen, then select the Pin to Start option. That’s it!

If you want to organize your pinned apps into groups, drag the apps’ tiles to an empty space on the Start Screen, then click the Zoom button at the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Right-click on the group, and when a menu bar shows up at the bottom, click the icon then specify a name you want to give for the group of apps.

Tags: ,

This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 7:26:15 AM and is filed under Sweet Tech.

Leave a Response