Scott Hanselman

The Missing Windows 8 Instructional Video

January 12, 2013 Comment on this post [68] Posted in Screencasts | Win8
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A few months ago while sitting at a Burger King (yes, I know) I recorded a video on "How to use Windows 8 in 3 minutes" and threw it up on YouTube. It's been viewed nearly a half million times. Eek. It's got poor audio, and it's WAY too fast. I did it on a goof. However, people keep showing it to family and friends.

A man emailed me after sending it to his elderly uncle and let's just say that the uncle wasn't impressed with the speed of the video either. It's great for geeks but not for normal people.

So tonight I took a few hours and did a new video that I'm VERY happy with and I hope you enjoy it. It's clean, clear, and only 25 minutes long and it explains, I believe, Windows 8 and its changes for anyone with basic Windows experience.

I hope you like it and you share it with family and friends. Also check out the related posts at the bottom.

The Missing Windows 8 Instructional Video - 25 minutes

Related Posts you may enjoy

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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January 12, 2013 13:12
This is a really nice video to start with Windows 8.

I'll forward your post to some of my contacts :)

Thank you!
January 12, 2013 14:34
Nice video! Will save me from hours of educating family members.

A tip: You do not need to drag tiles along the Start Screen, which can be a pain if it is really long. Simply drag the tile to the bottom and Windows will zoom to the overview for easy placement of your tile. :-)
January 12, 2013 20:14
Nice video Scott. Made better by not being jazzed up by any marketing boys and girls. Just someone calmly showing me what can be done with out any "rah rah rah" isn't it great.
January 12, 2013 20:27
Nice video Scott, i wonder why this is not shown in Windows 8. As a "power user" i really struggled to find out how to do usual stuff.
January 12, 2013 20:58
Thank you Scott! I just watched this with my wife. She was silent the whole time except when you changed the start menu background when I heard an "ooooooooooh!"

We both learned a lot.
January 12, 2013 22:07
Great Video. Any chance you an produce a similar video for pwer users? A common question I get from power users is the ability to remove/rename the word 'Start' on the start screen.
January 12, 2013 22:11
I loved the short version. But this is what I am showing to everyone about why Windows 8 is a must-have on any machine it will install on or can be purchased with.

This should be featured in every on-line and bricks-and-mortar computer sales department.

And the OEM guys need to look at it too.

You've outdone yourself, Scott. Hurrah!!
January 12, 2013 22:48
This was a GREAT intro. Very helpful. Thank you!
January 12, 2013 23:09
@SD That is an odd question; I'd dig deeper if I were you. Are they really asking to do something else (to use that space for more tiles) or do they only mean to remove the word "Start"? If they are looking to show more tiles then, depending on the display, there may be the option to do under Settings->Tiles. You might also look to see if the display resolution is set adequately high.
January 12, 2013 23:31
Thanks Scott, this is useful. I did grab onto my seat for a couple seconds at the 29 second mark (when a bunch of text about the Start button flies by) but otherwise the pacing is great.
January 13, 2013 1:30
Great video. Extra credit for having Dustforce installed.
January 13, 2013 7:42
Nice video, I have figured most of this out on my own but it helped me anyway.

BTW, you have evil things on your start menu....(google...)
January 13, 2013 7:43
And very cute kids....
January 13, 2013 14:24
Good video, very informative!
January 13, 2013 23:44
I keep reading your first sentence in my head as follows: "A few months a Burger King...I...threw it up"

Great video :)
January 14, 2013 1:50
Outstanding overview - quick but FULL of great information for the new Win8 user from start to finish!

Thanks, your work is always appreciated.
January 14, 2013 4:20
Thanks Scott. Learned some new tricks like creating groups on the start screen and key board short cuts.
January 14, 2013 19:12
Great video!

Just one question. Do you know a way to change the settings of search so that will include all items in the same result, and make this the default way of searching?
January 14, 2013 21:11
Nice video - unfortunately it can't make Windows 8 usable. It's still terrible and clunky to use even if you know how to use it (now!).

The best way to make Windows useable (besides not installing it!) is to get one of the free 'bring back the start menu and desktop on boot up' utilities. Use Pokki here which at least makes it usable. Have purchased a number of upgrades for our PC's here but no-one wants to use Windows 8 - it really sucks especially when used on multiple monitors.

Hopefully Windows 9 will; be what Windows 7 is to Vista!
January 14, 2013 21:59
Thank you so much Scott. It's great that you have spent your valuable time in response to a reader’s mail request. As you said, it is clean and clear and taught most of the WIN8 features in the matter of just 25 minutes. Till date I was in little dilemma of whether to upgrade to win 8 or not in the fear of losing my favorite win 7 features. But after watching this video I can safely upgrade to WIN 8 with even better control and accessibility without any further questions and I can’t wait to do so. This is a must watch video for everyone who are under impression that WIN 8 is not user friendly. I am going to recommend this to my friends and colleagues.Once again thank you so much HanselMAN.
January 14, 2013 22:38
Great tutorial, Scott. I've been struggling to navigate Windows 8 and this video helps. Like others here, I'd love to see a follow-up for power users. I'd also like to hear about your experience with multiple monitors. Is it difficult to call out the charms and applications menus? Can I run the Start screen on one monitor and Desktop on the other? (This would be ideal.) Thanks again!
January 14, 2013 23:30
Fact of the matter is... if Window 8 OS is really good... Microsoft doesn't even have to spend a lot of money on marketing...cause the OS is gonna speak for itself. Fact remains that Windows 8 is not really we will continue to see these articles about how it is easy to use or instruction video...blah blah blah...and continue to defend Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Fact that you need an instructional video is a failed! I love Microsoft products...but if ppl are afraid to speak the truth and admit the faults with this OS so that it can be fixed, then it will continue to suffer and decline in market share. There is a lot wrong with Windows 8, not just the Start menu...but what do I know!!
January 15, 2013 1:39
@SeanS- I've been using Windows 8 with dual monitors with no problems. The main monitor displays the start screen, and the second monitor displays the desktop. If you click on the desktop tile on the main monitor, it displays the desktop there as well. OTher than that, multiple monitors on 8 work like multiple monitors on 7, Vista, XP... The only thing you can't do with multiple monitors is drag a Windows app on to the Modern screen. It will automatically open the desktop for that monitor. Also, even though the desktop is extended, you can have individual wallpaper for each monitor.
January 15, 2013 1:43
@SeanS- Bringin out the charms menu is easy. Move the mouse to the right hand side of the screen, or press Win-C. (That would be the Windows key and the C key).

If you're fortunate enough to have a touchscreen monitor (or are using a Surface) just swipe in from the right side to display the charms menu.

January 15, 2013 9:59
Thank you so much Scott.. Happy to go back to my laptop Which I haven't been using after installing Windows 8 :(
and was thinking about going back to Windows 7. Also tried to give my powerful laptop to my wife and she hates it.
Now here is the video should be part of each installation of Win 8 will help all users love Win 8.

You converted my hatred to love..

Appreciate all the help, all these years..!

January 15, 2013 15:59
I am following you on every platform from last 2+ years

You are not only doing great job but inspiring as well

Thanks for all
January 15, 2013 17:04
Great work as always!
January 15, 2013 17:56
Nice video Scott, I can't believe that Microsoft did not create these to help the users to learn about Windows 8.

I created a free app for Windows 8 called Keyboard Shortcuts to help learn shortcuts for Windows 8. Sorry for the shameless promotion, but I hope it can be useful for someone here. :)
January 15, 2013 18:43
My family thanks you!

I'm trying to upgrade as many of my family's machines as I can, and this is the perfect follow up after I move their cheese.
January 15, 2013 20:04
Hi Scott,

I know you don't work in Windows division and there is pretty much nothing you can do to influence their decisions, but how come nobody over there is not asking the question: Why the users need instructional videos about how to use Win 8? Isn't that a clear indication something is wrong? What happen with listening to the users especially now when the market is extremely competitive and Microsoft is no longer the top dog. Why not having something like: if the device has a mouse boot automatically in desktop mode, if not go to Metro mode?
January 16, 2013 4:01

Your tutorial is nice.
Can you also make one for users that that develop SW on a desktop or laptop and that are annoyed by the Metro interface (full screen, multi-touch, corners and edges on the "desktop", ...
For many applications I have found how to create a shortcut on my desktop, but for example Skype fills my screen (30").
How can I switch off "the corners" and "the edges" on "desktop".
How can I switch off multi-touch (on my laptop), keeps zooming in and out when I accidentally touch with two fingers, ...
Is there a "magic" button to make W8 behave like W7?


January 16, 2013 6:58
"Random crap I will get to later" That's classic. I call my miscellaneous program group "Junk Drawer" - but I might have to steal your name. Love the snark.

All joking aside - this is a great no-BS, no marketing fluff screencast. Thanks for sharing your Win8 knowledge and passion with the public.

January 16, 2013 9:26
Scott, this post pushed me over the edge and I finally upgraded my life to Windows 8. Well, not everything but PC to start next will be my laptop.

I love it. It's less foreign now that I've watched your video. Honestly.

You are an inspiration.
January 16, 2013 18:47
"It's still Windows, but just with a giant Start button screen."

I'm surprised that there are still a few detractor comments after watching that video, especially about the "missing" Start button.

Scott's video clearly showed that all you have to do is hit the Windows key and start typing. No longer do you have to know what program or setting is nested under what menu -- you just type its name and it instantly shows up.

Yes, the cheese has been moved, but it's actually in a better place now.
January 17, 2013 7:05
My husband and I have watched your "Missing" video many times. It is the best we have seen and has been recommended to others who are beginning Windows 8. Thank you for a job well done.
January 18, 2013 1:11
I really like the interface on my Windows 7.5 phone, that works well for consuming media, etc... But Windows 8 on the desktop doesn't work for my job,(programming, financials, data analysis), we had revert back to Windows 7 to get our productivity back up to normal.

I'll keep Windows 8 confined to a VM and only use it for testing. Ubuntu with it's flaws is more user friendly to the programmer than Windows 8.
January 18, 2013 12:46
Hey Scott,

This guy really needs a piece of your mind. Mind giving him a video response?

Great video btw.
January 19, 2013 9:09
You did the impossible, for the first time you made me feel positive about the idea of moving to Windows 8 instead of dreading it. Unfortunately I'll never be able to get my 82 yr old father's Lotus 123 to run.
January 20, 2013 22:27
Beautiful video. But my computer won't cooperate sometimes. The 'hot corner' trick where you get a column of icons which are the programs you're running? I can't get it to work nohow. Consequently, I don't have good control over full screen apps.

The trick of searching from the start menu, just by typing something, is cute. But how do you get back to the start menu from the results of a search? I can only do it by 'force quitting' the search. But you did it some easy way which the video doesn't tell us about.

MOST IMPORTANT: there's a full-screen app that certain videos link to. But I can't play them in a 'window': they hog the whole screen, or I have to make it 1/3 or 2/3 the screen. No flexibility, it seems.

WORSE: I can't control the volume when the full screen app is playing. Right click doesn't give me the volume control.

I'm afraid i STILL dislike windows 8 and Microsoft, even after your fine video

January 20, 2013 23:41

After you type something at the Start Menu, just press the Windows key on your keyboard to get back to the menu from the results page. You can also press Escape to get back to the last app.

To get the volume, you can either use the volume keys on your laptop or keyboard, OR you can go mouse to the lower right corner and click Settings, then Volume. Or, you can press Windows+C to get the charms menu, then Settings and Volume is there.

What full screen app are you having trouble snapping to one side?
January 21, 2013 0:16
Paul A - That sounds like a challenge I'd like to take. What version of Lotus 123? Email me.
January 21, 2013 13:36
Hey Scott,

Thanks for the great video.
So far the best Windows 8 intro I've seen.
And like many of your presentations, never boring!

Definitely will recommend it to any Windows 8 skeptics out there.

Indy Lawi
January 21, 2013 21:01
Thanks for the Video. I was wondering if you (or someone else) have see the following problem: Windows Store App do not work and Windows Desktop Apps work. For example Windows Store cannot connect at all. IE does not work from Windows Store Apps and IE from the desktop works.

January 23, 2013 8:32
An awesome video. Thank you for doing it. It really helped me over the initial learning curve.

Can anyone tell me if it's possible to change the default background color of ordinary windows? The stark white with black text is amazingly hard on the eyes. I've hunted around but apparently it's not configurable any more. Surely that can't be right?

Anyhow, appreciate any help.

-- Robert
January 24, 2013 13:30
Nice video and must ry Podcast! app .
February 04, 2013 23:19
Thanks Scott, this really helped in my understanding. Now I'm not so scared to try Windows 8
February 09, 2013 20:31
Hey Scott,

I switched to Mac back in 2009 so haven't been following you like I did before but you still have it; you're one of the best educators on the web. Kudos for a great video.

Recently I purchased a headless Windows 8 box so I could run Quicken and QuickBooks rather than try to use VMware which is what I used before. I'm using CoRD for Remote Desktop Protocol to access the Win8 box rather than Microsoft's RDC for Mac because it hasn't been updated and has issues.

Anyway what I'm finding is the Win8 experience is really bad when viewed through at windowed Remote Desktop Connection. The corner hotspots are almost impossible to select, you can't drag full screen windows to close them, and a lot of things just don't work i.e. Ctrl Right Click in full screen mode.

Do you know if there are ways to map these behaviors to other gestures or keyboard shortcuts? Without some alternate ways to reach functionality Win8 borders on being unusable via remote desktop. I've googled and can't find anything that supports how to fix it.

Thanks in advance for any potential help you might be able to provide.
February 10, 2013 1:43
Thank! Although I found Win 8 experience confusing, but this video clears it all up.
February 13, 2013 1:04
Watching this video gave me the confidence that I needed to buy a new "Touch-Screen" laptop. I was so hesitant to buy Windows 8 because it looked a bit complex and unusual to use. But this video shows me that you can navigate the program and with a touch-screen it will even be fun to use, almost like a video game of sorts.

Thank you for posting the video.
February 20, 2013 19:31
My wonderful geeky computer savvy son sent us this video and it really helped us understand how to use Windows 8. Keep up the good work and yes, I will forward to other 'older, slower user friends"! Thank you, judy
March 01, 2013 18:37
Yes, it's a good, calm,well-made video. However it's not quite enough to convince me to take a leap into the unknown, even if it is a little less unknown than 20 minutes ago! Are there things you can't do that you could do with 7? If there are, what are they? What about working with 2 monitors? Does 8 just give you one big screen or is it more sophisticated than that? Often you need to have more than 2 applications sharing the same screen real estate. Can you do that?
March 02, 2013 3:10
Allen Conway - Some answers for you.

It's 7, but fixed, updated, improved. You can do EVERYTHING you could with 7. You can run all the same stuff.

Yes, I run with 3 monitors. You get a taskbar on each screen (or you can choose). Full screen "metro" apps are on whatever monitor you pick and you can move them between monitors with WinKey+PageUP/PageDOWN.
April 05, 2013 6:52
So, on non-touch devices, I've been pushing my comfort level and memory to learn hotkey-ness. I just finish building the last of my home devices on 8 and I'm installing all and merging profiles, etc. to get back to productive...

I want to pin something to the task bar and know I could go for right-click in the start screen on the tile. I know Win+C for charms. How do I get that bottom options/task bar up? boogle it with duck duck ding. Nothing.

Then I do it accidentally. Space bar.

It was Filezilla. So...

1. Windows key to get to start screen
2. Just start typing "file"
3. Arrow keys to highlight the tile
4. Spacebar to bring up the options/task bar
5. Arrow keys to "Pin to task bar"

I <3 the start screen more each time I learn a new combo. Wish there was something of a discovery mode. i.e. Win+? pops up a list of key combos available based on the current context. I twatted @windows, but is there a better sink for feature requests?
April 20, 2013 20:47
Scott, I can't thank you enough for doing this I am sooo happy to have found your site, heck I was thinking about getting win 7 and loading it over or replacing my win 8, or even donating my brand new computer to a charity and re order new one with Win 7...ouch/ Thanks again from Vermont
April 30, 2013 15:52
Thank you for this informative video!
June 11, 2013 5:55
A very helpful video - for example, I wasn't aware of "snapping" more than one program open at once. Thank you for taking the time to produce and share it!
July 03, 2013 18:18
When the REAL and ORIGINAL Start MENU (not just the Start BUTTON) comes back, unlike the joke that is being shown in Windows 8.1, then MAYBE I will consider leaving Windows 7. Until then, I am starting to eye other operating systems. Very sad that Microsoft would force a user interface that was seemingly designed by 5 year olds and believes that we ALL have tablets with fingers moving these nice little boxes around...

Some of us run real businesses on real computers, not toy tablets. Some of us CREATE the toys that these tablets run and the development is done on DESKTOPS. I would very much like to see if the back-office staff at Microsoft is actually using this horrendous user interface of Windows 8......... I really doubt it.

But if they are, then THAT would your missing (AND BEST!) marketing video ever!
July 10, 2013 17:11
Thank you very much... i was actually in process of switching back to windows 7 while i learn Mac iOS through and through coz windows 8 was frustrating me.
July 26, 2013 12:08
Hi Scott

I have been considering buying a new Laptop for an age but have been put off by all the negatives aimed at W8.

Having found your video I can't wait to move forward

Your presentation style is fantastic and very inspirational. No doubt I will be checking the vid out again whilst familiarising myself on my long planned new purchase.


August 01, 2013 12:27
It's not Microsoft's fault that some of its users are utter and complete fucking idiots. Windows 8 is an amazing iteration and welcome step forward by anyone who understands that things will change and that one-a-missing-start-button does not an operating system render useless!!! Fuck all of you cunt retards for not taking the time out to appreciate this release...and thank you for taking the rest of us a step backward!!
August 04, 2013 3:34
Enjoyed your video and it was very helpful. Great work, thank you
August 05, 2013 18:32
Loved it. Especially the Windows X command :)
September 28, 2013 10:42
Very nice! Very helpful! I think Windows should pay you.. :-). This makes me like Windows 8 better and I don't find it so frustating. Thank you SO much!
October 01, 2013 10:53
marry me. this was incredibly helpful. thanks!
October 24, 2013 22:41
Thank you! I am so glad I found your video. I'm sending it to everyone who has or is thinking about getting W-8. Seeing it through new eyes, it's really not that different from 7.
October 30, 2013 13:49
Hi Scott.
I'm trying to operate Windows 8.1 Pro, without needing the monitor powered up all the time, because I use the computer remotely, controlling it thru my iPad2, using an App called RemoterVNC.

It all works very well, when the monitor is kept on stand-by, and I activate the computer thru WoL (Wake-on-LAN). Or does it mean Wake-over-LAN... No matter...:-) you get the idea.

When the monitor is powered OFF, but still connected to the Computer, Windows 8.1 Pro complains, by making a beeping sound, and shifting the screen size high and low, which makes the screen data being sent to my iPad jump, and hence, I can't use the computer without keeping the monitor in stand-by all the time. Kind of defeats the purpose of saving power.

Is there a setting in the OS that will allow the system to NOT notice the monitor is powered down?

This was possible using WinXP, without any settings, why has Microsoft made the OS not allow this in Win 8.1, or hidden it's setting to allow it now?

By the way, I really like the new update. I also have the Media Center addition to the 8.1 Pro update, and find it just as good, if not better, as Windows 7 is.
November 26, 2013 2:13
You are totally awesome! Win 8 was so frustrating for me until I viewed your tutorial, 5 minutes in and it was like, okay, this is easy! I can now stop bashing Win 8; I will recommend your video to one and all. Also, shame on Microsoft for not including all this information to new users on the actual program! They need you to help rebuild their shattered image. Why not write up a quick proposal and send to their CEO? Hope you've copyrighted all your material. Once again thank you because I was one the verge of returning my brand new 27" dell touch screen!
November 30, 2013 22:51
I have been Mac user since 2008 and i always loved win XP ,but it look like I am going back to Windows again . Specially after getting fully educated about WIN8, Thanks a lot Scott.

now i can not wait to get my new computer with win8 to start work on .

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.