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Your default environment here in Windows 8.1 is this Start screen. Many of the apps and tiles that you see on this screen will run in this environment. But there are still many programs that were not designed to run in the new Windows 8 point environment, and they will continue to run in another environment. That's what we're going to talk about now. The old desktop environment. There's a couple of different ways to get there. First of all, here on the Start screen, you will find a tile labelled, Desktop. Mine, as you can see, is a solid blue background.
You may see something different. But give it a click and you'll switch to that environment. Now this should look familiar to Windows 7 users, where you'll see the background on your desktop. You'll find the Recycle Bin in the top left corner, that's where all of the files, folder that you delete go temporarily, you might have the Exercise Files folder like me. Down at the bottom of your screen, as you move your mouse down, automatically hidden is the old task bar. And this is going to look a little bit different than it did in Windows 8.
First of all, in the bottom left hand corner we have the return of the Start button. Just simply clicking this will return us to the Start screen, so let's go ahead and do that. So there we are. Now, the desktop is actually running like any other app in the background. That means if we go to the top left hot corner We'll see a tile representing the desktop, and we can click it to flip back. Let's go back down to our taskbar. When it appears, notice there's also Internet Explorer and File Explorer icons, little shortcuts.
And of course we can customize the taskbar and add additional icons down here if we wanted to. In the bottom right hand corner, we have a keyboard icon for the touch keyboard, which will appear on your screen like a virtual keyboard. And if you have a touch screen, you can start tapping the screen to type. If you're like me, working with a standard hardware keyboard, then you won't need this. Also, the action center, network and speaker icons appear. Here you might also see the date and time. Again, fully customizable.
I'm going to change my speaker volume. I'm going to bring it down a little bit to about 37. There we go. I'll click in the background to turn that off and go back down to my task bar now and let's customize this. Let's right click Where you'll see options like displaying additional toolbars. There's that Touch keyboard. If you don't need it, you can turn it off from here. Let's right click again, and go to Properties this time. One of the properties that I like to turn off is the Auto hide.
I like to see it all the time, so I'm going to deselect that check box, and click Apply. Now it'll appear across the bottom of my screen, no matter what else is running. I don't mind having it locked to the bottom of the screen, so I can't move it, I'll leave that one checked. Other options for navigations, jump list, toolbars, just as we're accustomed to seeing in a Windows 7 environment appear here. Let's click OK, to save any changes we may have made. The other customization of course is to the background itself.
You might be seeing a new pattern. I have this solid color. Let's right click and from here we can change how we view and sort our icons on our desktop. We could also adjust the screen resolution directly from here. Just as we could in Windows 7. We can create new folders and shortcuts, but also, new files. Notice bitmap images, contacts and documents, can all be created and the appropriate accessory or program will launch, when we select one of these. We'll be doing that a little bit later as well.
For now though, let's just go to Personalize to make some changes to your desktop. You're probably looking at the default theme. Which is this gold background and for me, I prefer to go with a solid background. It's not so busy and easier to see my icons. That's why I have this sinked theme under my themes, but of course, you can create your own, save those themes and be able to use them. For example, if we go to the desktop background down below, you can choose from different images, patterns.
Let's go to picture location, click the dropdown and choose Solid colors. Now, from here you can choose a color such as solid blue. Notice it changes in the background. Save those changes and notice we have a new unsaved theme that we can save. I'm going to click Save Theme and call it David's Default and that is a theme I can now go to if I change to something different and want to come back.
Still fully customizable just like we could in Windows 7, that's our desktop environment. Now, let's just press the Windows key on the keyboard. Takes us back to the Start screen. Now press it again. It'll always take you back to the last app you were running. In this case, our Desktop. So we can toggle back and forth at the tap of a single key. The Windows key on your keyboard. Let's go back to the Start screen now, and look at a different way to get to the desktop. We'll move down to where it's the bottom left side of our screen and click the arrow that's pointing down to Display All Apps.
Now many of these have icons that you can tell will run in the new modern style in the new Windows 8.1 environment. But as we scroll over to the right, you're going to see some that looked just as they did in the old Windows 7 environment. The calculator, Notepad, for example. Let's click Notepad. Notice that this is designed to run in the old environment. It was not programmed to run in the new Windows 8.1 environment, and that's why we're sent to the Desktop to use Notepad. So off we go typing our text.
We close this up, and we're left on that old desktop environment. Let's go back to our Start screen and we'll continue from there. Now that we have a, new Start screen, a new work environment, it's good to know many of the programs that we used to use in, older versions of Windows will still work here in Windows 8.1. That will be sent back to that old desktop environment to work with them.
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