aNewDomain.net—The new tiled interface of Windows 8 is pretty easy to get used to, but the desktop interface is not. The Windows 8 Desktop interface is very much like the Windows 7 Desktop, but it is missing links to much of the information that we are used to having at our fingertips. For instance, how do you quickly get to My Documents or to the Control Panel?
You can help control the situation by installing a third-party Start Button program. I reviewed three of them. You can also create your own Start Button with simple Windows 8 tools. The best way, however, to take control of your desktop in Windows 8 is to just set it up so you have easy access to items you use every day.
Start by making some of your much-used icons visible on the Windows 8 desktop.
To do that, right-click or press-and-hold any blank area of the desktop. Choose Personalize then choose Change desktop icons. In the window that appears, put a checkmark in front of all the desktop icons and press or click Apply.
When you go back to your desktop, you will see icons for Computer, Your User Files (under the name you set), Network, and the Recycle Bin.
Now take that one step further by creating icons for the folders that you access often. Do that by right-clicking or performing a press-and-hold on your user folder. Then right-click or press-and-hold the My Documents icon. Choose Create shortcut from the menu that appears (shown below) and a shortcut to that folder will appear on your desktop. Repeat this for the other folders you want easy access to like my Pictures, My Videos, My Music, and Downloads. You can also repeat this and choose Pin to Start and the icon to that folder will appear on the taskbar at the bottom of the page.
Now, press the Windows key to get to the tiled Start screen. Right-click or press-and-hold any program (not an app) and choose Pin to taskbar. When you go back to your Desktop you will see the item on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.this and choose Pin to Start and the icon to that folder will appear on the taskbar at the bottom of the page.
These simple steps make accessing your programs a lot easier when you work in Windows 8 Desktop mode. It’ll also—maybe not endear–but go a long way to making Windows 8 more likeable and more comfortable to use.
Based in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Sandy Berger is a veteran tech journalist and senior editor at aNewDomain.net covering tech tips and tricks, apps, gadgets, and consumer electronics. Email her at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @sandyberger, +SandyBerger on Google+, and www.facebook.com/sandyberger on Facebook.Tags: Gadgets & Devices,Software