Windows 8 Charms and Tiles

The new charms feature provides easy access to some of your most frequently used items. The Windows 8 Charms Bar is a menu that can be accessed at any time, in any app. Tiles are the new icons that allow you to access Windows 8 Apps. Tiles can be created or grouped as you like.

The new charms feature provides easy access to some of your most frequently used items.
The Charms BarThe Charms Bar

Use one of the following methods to open the Charms Bar:

  • Press the Windows (Windows 8 keyboard key)+ C key

  • Swipe from the right side of the screen (touchscreen)

  • Using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen

Two boxes display on the screen. The one in the lower left shows the date and time, network strength, and power or battery information. The charms menu opens on the right edge of the screen.

Figure 1: Charms Bar


  1. Search

  2. Share

  3. Start

  4. Devices

  5. Settings

The charms provide access to the following:

  • Search charm - Search for apps, settings, or files.

  • Share charm - share photos, music, movies, or links with other apps or people. For example, when viewing a webpage, use the share charm to send it. It is not necessary to open email, and copy and paste the link. Send a favorite recipe directly from the Recipe app, or photos from the Photo app.

  • Start charm - use the Start charm to return to the Start screen. If you are already on the Start screen, the Start charm returns to the previous page.

  • Devices charm - use the Devices charm to print, play media on TVs and audio systems, use more than one monitor, and send content to nearby computers and other devices such as phones.

  • Settings charm - use the Settings charm to personalize your computer. For example, change the volume or brightness, choose your keyboard type, access the PC settings, and turn off the computer are just a few of the selections.

Shutting down Windows using the Charms BarShutting down Windows using the Charms Bar

To shut down Windows using the Charms Bar, use the following steps:

  1. Press the Windows (Windows 8 keyboard key) + C key, or move the mouse to the upper-right edge of the screen. The charms menu opens to the right of the screen.

  2. Click Settings.

  3. Click Power.

  4. Select Shut down.

    NOTE: To restart, click Restart. To put the computer in sleep mode, click Sleep. Your selections might be different, depending on your power settings.

Tiles are the new way to access apps (software programs) in Windows 8. You can use them by clicking on them in the Start Screen. Tiles are larger than traditional icons, animated, and can be automatically updated.

Working with Windows 8 tiles

Use the following information to customize your tiles.

Right-click a tile to see the tile commands. Not all commands are available for each tile.

  • Unpin from Start - Remove the tile from the Start screen. This does not uninstall the app from the computer.

  • Uninstall - Removes the app from the computer.

  • Resize - Increases or decreases the tile size. Depending on the tile, choose from large, wide, medium, and small.

  • Turn live tile off or on - Turn on to display information from the app. For example, on the Weather tile, see the current temperature and forecast.

  • Unpin from Taskbar, or Pin to Taskbar - Use to pin (or unpin) tiles for desktop apps such as Paint or Notepad to the taskbar on the desktop.

  • Open new window - Opens a new blank window in desktop apps such as Internet Explorer or Paint.

  • Run as administrator - Available on desktop apps such as Paint or Notepad. Use when necessary to access or modify files or system configurations.

  • Open file location - Available for desktop apps such as File Explorer to open to that folder.

    Figure 1: Example of the tile commands for Paint


  • Pin an app to the Start screen
  1. To pin an app to the Windows 8 Start page, right-click anywhere on the background of the Start screen to display the All apps arrow (8.1_All_apps_arrowNew Component) in the lower-left corner.

  2. Click the All apps arrow (8.1_All_apps_arrowNew Component) to see a list of your installed apps.

    Figure 2: The All apps arrow


  3. Find the app you want to pin to Start, and then right-click it. At the bottom of the screen, click Pin to Start

    Figure 3: Pinning an app to Start


  • Unpin an app - To unpin an app on the Windows 8 Start screen, right-click the app, and then click Unpin from Start. The tile disappears; however, the app is still installed on the computer.
  • Toggle or switch apps - Press the Windows (Windows 8 keyboard key) key and the Tab key to switch back to the most recently used Windows 8 style app. Hold down the Windows key and press the Tab key to move between the Windows 8 apps running in the background. Release both keys to launch the app.

  • Add a Tile - To add a new tile to the Start Screen, click the Desktop tile to go to the classic desktop. Right-click the program shortcut you want to add as a tile to the Start screen and select Pin to Start.

  • Move a Tile - To move a tile with the mouse, click it, and then drag it to a new location. 

Figure 4: Moving a tile using a mouse


Figure 5: Moving a tile using touch


  • Organize your Tiles - You can organize your tiles into groups, arrange the groups, and assign names to groups. Use the following steps.
  1. To create a new group, select a tile, drag it to an open space, and drop it. You can have many groups on the Start screen. If the groups don't fit on one screen, scroll right or left to see your groups by click or tapping the scroll bar, and then dragging the bar to the bottom of the screen.

    Figure 6: Creating a new group


  2. To change the order of your groups, click the Zoom button in the lower-right corner of the screen.

    Figure 7: The Zoom button


  3. Drag the group to a new position.

    Figure 8: Moving a group to a new position


  4. To name a group, right-click anywhere on the background of the Start screen, and then click Customize.

    Figure 9: Customizing tiles


  5. In the Name box, type a name for the group
    Figure 10: Name the group


  6. Click the screen two times to return to the normal view. The new name for the group displays
  • Add a Folder - To add a new tile to the Start screen, click the Desktop tile to go to the classic desktop. Click the File Explorer icon in the Task Bar to open File Explorer.

    Figure 11: File Explorer 


    Right-click the folder (such as My Computer) that you wish to add to the Start screen and select Pin to Start.

    Figure 12: Pin to Start


The folder appears as a Tile on the Start screen.

Figure 13: New Tile


Finding and opening files, settings, and appsFinding and opening files, settings, and apps

You can search for anything from the Start screen by typing on the keyboard. For example, to search for an HP app, type HP on the keyboard. A list of all HP apps displays.

You can also search using the Search charm:

  1. Press the Windows (Windows 8 keyboard key)  + C key.

    Figure 1: Search charm


  2. Type the name of the thing you want to open or search for into the Search box, and then click your item in the search results to open it.

    Figure 2: Search example


Where is the Control Panel or Device Manager? Where is the Control Panel or Device Manager?

Many users use the control panel to perform administrative task such as creating users and uninstalling a program. You can access the control panel using any of the following three methods.

Use the Charms Bar in Desktop Mode:

  1. While on the desktop, bring out the charms bar.

  2. Click Settings.

  3. Select Control Panel.

Use the Start button:

  1. Right-click the Start button (Windows_8.1_StartButton).

  2. Click Control Panel.

You can also use the Start button (Windows_8.1_StartButton) to open other commonly used tools and utilities such as Device Manager, Task Manager, Disk Manager, Search and Run.

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