Windows 8 – Close an app, shut down your PC, and more

Here is a recent post from the Microsoft “Getting to know Windows” Site:
Settings with shut down options showing

Some things you’ve done before are now in new places. Here’s how to do some of those common tasks.

Using Windows


Whenever you want to search for something, use the Search charm. From there, you can search:

  • The app you’re in (for example, find a specific app in the Windows Store)
  • Another app (for example, quickly look up something on the web with Internet Explorer)
  • Your entire PC (find an app, setting, or file)

Use Start:

The Start button and menu from previous versions of Windows have been replaced with the Start screen. Start is your new home base. You can open apps (both apps you install from the Windows Store and desktop apps), websites, contacts, and folders. Or, you can just glance at the tiles to get the latest headlines, updates, and info.

Here are the quickest ways to return to Start:

  • With touch, swipe the right edge of your screen, and then tap the Start charm.
  • With a mouse, move the pointer into the lower-left corner. When Start appears, click in the corner.
  • With a keyboard, press the Windows logo key Windows 8 - Windows logo key.

Use the desktop:

  • On Start, tap or click Desktop.
  • If you’re using a keyboard, press the Windows logo key Windows 8 – Windows logo keyWindows 8 - Windows logo key+D.

Open Control Panel:

There are a few different ways to find and change your settings: Control Panel, PC settings, and by searching. Many of the common settings were moved into PC settings, so try checking there first.

Here’s how to get to PC settings:

  1. Open the Settings charm.
  2. At the bottom, you can change the settings shown here (network connection, volume, brightness, notfications, power, and keyboard) or tap or click Change PC settings for more options.

Here’s how to open Control Panel:

  1. Open the Search charm.
  2. Enter Control Panel in the search box, tap or click Apps, and then tap or click Control Panel in the results.

Here’s how to find individual tasks or settings:

  1. Open the Search charm.
  2. Enter a word or phrase into the search box, and then select from the list of results on the left. What you’re looking for might be in either Apps or Settings, so check both options. They’re listed on the right under the search field.

Get to Help and Support:

You can find help about Windows in general, or for specific apps. Here’s how:

  • When you’re using the desktop, you can find help about how to use Windows. Open the Search charm, enter Help, and then tap or click Help and Support.
  • When you’re on the Start screen, you can find help about rearranging and adding things to Start. Open the Settings charm, and then tap or click Help.
  • When you’re in an app, you can find out how to use and customize that app. Open the Settings charm, and then tap or click Help. (Some apps might put help in other locations, so check the company’s website if you can’t find help in the Settings charm.)

Turn off or shut down a PC:

In Windows 8 and Windows RT, there’s really no need to shut down your PC completely—put it in sleep mode instead. This uses very little power, your PC starts up faster, and you’re instantly back to where you left off. You don’t have to worry that you’ll lose your work because Windows automatically saves it and turns off the PC if the battery is too low. For most laptops and tablets, sleep is the default shutdown mode so all you need to do is close your lid or press the power button. If it isn’t, you can change that.

Here’s how to set sleep mode as the default:

  1. Open the Search charm, enter power, tap or click Settings on the right, and then tap or click Power options.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you’re using a desktop or tablet, tap or click Choose what the power button does and under Power button settings, select Sleep, and then tap or click Save changes.
    • If you’re using a laptop, tap or click Choose what closing the lid does. Then, next to When I close the lid, choose what you want your laptop to do, both for when it’s running on battery and when it’s plugged in, and then tap or click Save changes.

If you’re getting on an airplane or don’t plan to use your PC for a while, you might want to turn your PC completely off. Here’s how:

  1. Close any desktop apps you have open–this will prompt you to save your work.
  2. Open the Settings charm.
  3. Tap or click Power, and then tap or click Shut down.

Using apps


If you can’t find a Print command in an app, check the Devices charm or press Ctrl+P. You’ll see a list of printers that have been added to this PC and work with that app. (Note that some apps don’t support printing.)

If you need to add a printer, here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings charm, and then tap or click Change PC settings.
  2. Select Devices, tap or click Add a device, and then follow the on-screen instructions.

See all apps (programs):

  • On Start, open the app commands, and then tap or click All apps.
  • If you’re using a keyboard and know the name of the app, you can go to Start and start typing it. This automatically searches all of your apps.

Install apps:

You can install apps using the Windows Store, from media, such as a DVD, or download them from the Internet.

To get the most out of your apps and the Windows Store, make sure you’ve connected your Microsoft account.

Add an account to an app:

You’ll get the most out of the Mail, Calendar, and People when they can work together with your existing accounts. Here’s how:

  1. If you don’t have a Microsoft account set up, do that first.
  2. In the app, open the Settings charm, and then tap or click Accounts.
  3. Tap or click Add an account.
  4. Tap or click the type of account you want to add, and then follow the on-screen instructions.

Change settings in apps:

For apps that don’t run in the desktop, open the app, and then open the Settings charm. This is where you can find app-specific settings and do things like change preferences, find help, and add accounts. You’ll also find common PC settings at the bottom, like volume, brightness, and shut down.

Close an app:

Apps you install from the Windows Store don’t slow down your PC, so you don’t need to close them. When you’re not using an app, Windows will leave it running in the background and then close it eventually. It’s still a good idea to close desktop apps when you’re done using them, particularly before shutting down your PC.

Here’s how to close the app you’re using:

  • With touch or a mouse, drag the app from the top of the screen to the bottom.

Here’s how to close an app you were using recently:

  • With touch, swipe in from the left edge without lifting your finger, and then push the app back toward the left edge. You’ll see the apps you’ve used recently, plus Start. Drag the app you want to close from the list to the bottom of the screen.
  • With a mouse, move your pointer into the upper-left corner and then move it down the left edge. You’ll see the apps you’ve used recently, plus Start. Right-click the app you want to close, and then click Close.

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