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Want to learn more about Windows 8.1? Check Windows 8.1 Essential Training.
Skill Level Beginner
- [Voiceover] My name is Jess Stratton, and welcome to your first look at Windows 8.1 Update 1. You can get this free upgrade on April 8, 2014 by doing a standard Windows update on your computer, or just by waiting until your computer does the automatic updates on its own. If you currently haven't upgraded to Windows 8.1 yet, meaning you're still in the base version of Windows 8, you can absolutely get this upgrade, but you have to go to the Windows Store first to get it. I'm focusing on a desktop PC using a mouse to show you these changes.
The main notable change in this update is the further separation of touchscreen features versus using a traditional desktop with a mouse. Let's dive in and start by finding out what happens now when the system boots up. In Windows 8.1 Update 1, if Windows detects that you're using a non-touchscreen version of Windows, it will now boot to the desktop by default, which is where I am right now, where it will continue to boot to the modern app start screen, formally called Metro, if you're using a touchscreen.
Now I'm gonna click to go back to the desktop, because you can change this. If I right-click on the taskbar and choose Properties, change to the Navigation tab, and now uncheck When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of start. When you're done, click OK, and that change will be updated. The ability to boot to the desktop is not new. That's been there since the original 8.1 update, but having it boot there by default according to which device you're using is what's new.
Let's move on to some more desktop changes. The Windows app store is now pinned by default so that you can find new apps more quickly. Also, you can now pin those Metro apps to the desktop taskbar. I'm gonna click to go back to the start screen. I can choose an app, and right-click it, and you'll notice that now that I'm using the mouse, I get some new context-sensitive menus here. I'll choose pin to taskbar. I'll click back on my desktop, and you'll now see that a Metro app has been pinned to the taskbar.
You can also hover your mouse over them for a popup preview, and some apps will even allow you to interact with them in this preview mode. Here's something else that's new. Clicking on an app in the start bar will still launch that app in full screen mode, but now you can close a Metro app by moving your mouse to the top of the screen, going all the way to the top right-hand side and clicking the X. You can also click the dash to minimize it, but now it's much easier to close a Metro app if you're using a mouse.
Now let's talk about some start screen changes. I'll click to get back to my start screen. There's now a new app notification at the bottom of the start screen. Previously, it was more difficult to find out any new apps that you've installed, but clicking on the arrow will take you to the main Apps screen, and now you can see that all the new apps are highlighted with the word new next to them so that you can quickly find all your new apps. I'm gonna click the arrow to go back to that main start screen.
On the very top right here, you'll notice a much easier to find power button to the right of your profile. If I click on that power button, I can now put the computer to sleep, shut down, or restart. You'll also notice next to that, we have a nice handy search button here so that we can search for apps directly right from this start screen. That's it for the new major changes in Windows 8.1 Update 1. Again, the most notable difference is the difference between using a mouse versus using a touchscreen.