Scott Hanselman

Three all new Windows 8.1 video tutorials - what's new in 8.1, keyboard shortcuts, and managing windows

December 08, 2013 Comment on this post [32] Posted in Screencasts | Win8
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I'm really happy with the response from my "Windows 8 moved my cheese" YouTube Tutorial. It's helped thousands of people lose their fear of the change that Windows 8 represents. I encourage you to check it out.

I decided to sit down today and create three more short tutorials that all address Windows 8.1. If you find them useful, please share them with your friends, family, and the people on Twitter and Facebook you call your friends. ;)

I've created a single link to a YouTube Playlist that you can share, or watch them below.

Here's the How to use Windows 8.1 YouTube Playlist.

What's new in Windows 8.1?

Using Windows 8 or 8.1 with a Keyboard

Effectively Managing Multiple Full Screen Windows Store Applicatons

The 25 min Windows 8 Missing Instruction Manual (VIDEO)

Sponsor: Big thanks to Red Gate for sponsoring the blog this week! Easy release management - Deploy your .NET apps, services and SQL Server databases in a single, repeatable process with Red Gate’s Deployment Manager. There’s a free Starter edition, so get started now!

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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December 08, 2013 11:02
I really wish I could get Windows 8.1, but the two laptops I upgraded are so slow as to be unusable (5 minutes + to boot up) and the desktop upgrade had to be backed out because my wifi connection refused to find any networks. Each and every upgrade costs me a 3.6Gb download and takes hours with no guarantee that it'll be any better the second time round than the first.

I really like windows 8 now that I have gotten used to it. But windows 8.1 has put me right back to hating it again. In in bad old days, the minimum you could rely on was that the operating system worked (except ME of course) and that the fundamentals functioned.
December 08, 2013 12:51
Top class - thanks, Scott. I'm a techie but obviously not a very savvy one - I learned a lot.
December 08, 2013 13:19
Well, I have heard that Windows 8.1 is nice operating system with some of the best updated features but I am really sad that I am not able to install this OS into my laptop since my notebook doesn't allow or support it, I hope I'll be able to solve it soon!
December 08, 2013 15:17
I am surprised at the guys above who cannot install Windows 8.1 cause I recently installed it on a NETBOOK of all things! The same hardware that can take Windows 7 should take Windows 8 very ably (1gb ram, 1.6ghz processor and 10" screen).
As usual Scott, thanks for these videos. I always learn something new.
December 08, 2013 19:46
Hi Scott,

awesome videos! Even a person working on Windows 8.1 daily can learn something :-)

I was searching for the software you used to display your keypresses on the right side of the window, but could not find anything via Google.... er.....Bing... :-)

Could you provide a URL?

December 08, 2013 20:24
James... No more surprised then me. I'm a staunch Microsoft follower and have always defended MS in the past when it was called for. However, win 8.1 seems to be one of those upgrades that just works or fails. There are one or two other people having the same problems on the web. After the first screen, you end up with a black screen for a long time. I've spent the day wiping one of my laptops and reinstalling. I did Win 8, all the patches I could find and then win 8.1 and it seems to be behaving, but wiping and reinstalling isn't always an option.

It could be coincidence that AMD processors seem to suffer this problem.

The loss of wifi means that I will not update the desktop since it's my development machine and I cannot afford for it to be down for any length of time.

Scott... Love the videos. At least I know what I'm missing! :)
December 08, 2013 23:38
This is great because I've recommended Scott's "Missing Windows 8 Instructional Video" to friends and family who have upgraded to Win8. Now I can send them this new one.

I just looked at YouTube at his shorter video on Win8 and in the comments I see there's a guy from only yesterday still complaining about the missing Start button. I thought we've all moved past that by now.

Personally, when you can just hit the Windows key and start typing whatever you're looking for, I can't see why anybody would want the Start button back. And I'm baffle that Microsoft hasn't put up a video demonstrating why the button is no longer necessary.

So, I think that another short video that Scott would be superb with is a video on why you no longer need the Start button. Maybe several common tasks down on Win7 with the Start button could be demonstrated and then each time comparing it to how simpler it is in Win8.
December 09, 2013 0:27
Hello Scott,

What kind of window opens when you press the "cmd.exe" Icon in the taskbar? I could just see the awesome "lambda" ʎ symbol there.
December 09, 2013 1:44
Good stuff, but there are a few more very useful keyboard shortcuts :)

On the desktop shift + win + <number> will open a new instance (no click needed)

In a metro app, win + arrow keys allows you to "snap" to the left or right, suspend (down arrow) or "maximize" (up arrow)

Win+tab will cycle metro apps, equvalent to the left hand menu, its also useful together with win+arrow keys for quickly placeing two apps side by side, the next app that is opened or selected will occupy the "empty" space

In the left menu (win+tab) you can also right click on an app to snap it left or right as well as close it

Another note, with two metro apps side by side, a small dash appears on the splitter indicating the one in focus. alt+tab will switch between the snapped metro apps (and any other windows) while win+tab will switch out all the snapped metro apps for the next "fullscreen" one.

Like in desktop IE, ctrl+tab will cycle tabs in metro IE
December 09, 2013 1:51
oh, one more :)
when switching between metro apps and there is no more space on screen, the arrow keys can also be used to decide where to place the new window, or to maximize (up) or close it(down)
December 09, 2013 6:51
@Sebastian - this? (haven't watched the video yet)
December 09, 2013 17:40
Scott, I love that you included Lemmings in your tutorial video. That's a must-download when I get home from work tonight!

Awesome videos as always. However much MS pays you, it's not enough. You often do a better job than the entire marketing department at showing all the value in MS's products.
December 10, 2013 3:06
That's amazing work, thanks.
December 10, 2013 8:05
Hey Scott. So glad you put these together. Very helpful for those techies and non-techies alike.

Just quick note though. It appears the second and third videos are the same and I thought you'd want to know. Just me and my OCD here. :-D

Keep up the great blogging. I appreciate much of your work!
December 10, 2013 13:50
Hey Scott,

The shortcut I use the most in 8.1 is WIN-Q, it let's you stay in desktop while searching everywhere (kinda like the win 7 startmenu).

Thanks for the other videos!
December 10, 2013 15:13
Richard - I checked, and while they have similar thumbnails they are different videos.

Great tips, thanks Alan!
December 10, 2013 18:07
Hi Scott!

Great to-the-point videos!

You mentioned an app used to display the hot-keys pressed during the "Using Windows 8.1 with a keyboard" video. I didn't catch the name correctly, and can't find anything on Google. Could you write down the name here?
December 11, 2013 11:48
Hey Scott,

I just wanted to thank you for the Baby Smash computer game, My 2yr old nephew and 1yr old niece love pressing the keys and saying the letters. I think its helped them both with learning their alphabet. I just wanted to see if by ANY chance you could update it so that the upper case I has the lines to differentiate the lower case L and the upper case I. If you could make that an update that would be Amazing! Anyways keep up all your great work and thanks again for this awesome product!
December 12, 2013 4:28
For those looking for the keyboard utility from the keyboard shortcut video check out Carnac

I think that is it.
December 13, 2013 13:19
Hi , My Windows 8.1 was working great but a few weeks ago all the apps stop working , like email , weather , they just crash when launched , same happens to the windows store , I have installed all the updates etc but still the issue is there ... any help ??
December 22, 2013 17:04
Hi Scott, Thanks for the article and the video tutorial..
December 23, 2013 6:11

Windows 8.1 is a great update. I am really feed up with the no-task bar interface of Windows 8. Great article.
December 23, 2013 6:16
Hi Scott,

Cheers for the video on using Windows 8.1 full fledgedly just with the keyboard, thanks to the intuitive new shortcut keys.
January 06, 2014 9:27
Fantastic Scott!!!!

I learn so much in 30 minutes that I spent a few days figuring out...

Didn't know about the zoom out view or the task menu on the left...

Maybe if Microsoft put you in charge of marketing - cough, cough, people wouldn't be so intimated...

Now if I can just figure some of these flaky bugs, I'll hooked until um... Win 9??? LOL..
January 06, 2014 21:41
Hi Scott,I'm a Windows 8 user and i love to read your article.Windows 8.1 is great and they fix many of the lackness and bugs.Any way great post :)
January 13, 2014 11:54
For those above who have had trouble installing Windows 8.1 update on their computers, I had the same problem. The computer would download the 3.6 gB file and appear to go through the installation process and then just when I thought everything was OK up came a message "Windows 8.1 cannot be installed on this computer".

Eventually I found the solution. One of the Windows update files is essential but not necessarily automatically downloaded and installed. What you need to do is go to windows update manually and install every update available, only one is essential I think but get the lot in case. After this the Win 8.1 upgrade should go smoothly.

Like James above I have Windows 8.1 running on a netbook, the only problem is windows store needs a minimum 1024x760 screen and the netbook is only 1024x600 at best, fortunately if I use an external monitor with a higher resolution everything store works fine, explain that one.
January 17, 2014 18:34
This is pretty good. I think I'll give also a try to this new version of windows 8.
February 03, 2014 1:48
An additional trick regarding closing/suspending an app via dragging it down: if you drag it down and then instantly re-open it again via Start screen, it will get killed in between and you'll see the app in fresh state (= not suspended and resumed). However, if you just drag it down and wait for a moment doing other things, only then it will get suspended and resumed from previous state once opened again.

Not sure if this is documented anywhere and not sure if this 100% correct, but apparently the idea behind this is that Windows assumes closing an app and then immediately starting it again meaning that the app was behaving badly and user's desire was to restart it. A nifty feature, but can imagine it causing some confusion in some scenarios as well. At least this is something to remember when developing & testing Store apps.
February 10, 2014 7:49
Hi I'm user of windows 8 and there are some lackness in it, but now in windows 8.1 they try to fix them. It's feeling wonderful to reading this article thanks for sharing.
February 10, 2014 7:52
Right now I'm not able to install windows 8.1 don't know why. maybe my laptop doesn't allow to install it. I'm trying to solve this problem soon hope soon I'll fix it.
February 19, 2014 0:21
Hello, Windows 8 Lover here, I want to confess that I really love this operating system but have to revert to Windows 7 since my laptop is not able to install it.
March 06, 2014 23:47
Hi Scott...

We are testing ActiveWords for Windows 8.1.

The beta it is here:

It has the final fix where the edit dialogs now appear on top of the group windows.

The Windows Store App Add Wizard is working great.

You can ink ActiveWords or use the keyboard in any context, whether at the Desktop, Start Screen, or when Windows Store Applications are the current context.

Our plans is to update the version ID to 2.1 and we will notice our customer base and trial users about the upgrade (free to version 2.0 license holders) after more people beat on this.

Our next steps are to build a version that syncs to your cloud repository of choice, then who knows maybe ActiveWords for Mobile devices? 

Love to have your feedback and that of your readers.



Burton L. Bruggeman
ActiveWords, Inc./Seattle

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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.