Frequently Asked Questions for Windows 8.1

  1. What is Windows 8.1?

    Windows 8.1 is the latest operating system developed by Microsoft for use on personal computers.

  2. How many editions are there for Windows 8.1? What is the edition using in CityU?

    There are 4 different editions, namely Windows 8.1 RT, Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Enterprise. The edition we are using in CityU is the Enterprise edition. For a detailed description on Windows 8.1 and the different features offered in the different editions, users are encouraged to visit the web page of Windows 8.1 from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/products-and-technologies/windows-8-1/compare/default.aspx

  3. What's new in Windows 8.1?

    The CSC has prepared two articles for introducing the new Windows. Please refer to our articles on “Windows 8 - The Unified Experience at First Glimpse” (Ref: Network Computing Issue 74 - December 2012) and “Moving Forward with Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11” (Ref: Network Computing Issue 78 - December 2013) for more information.

  4. Where can I get the information about the compatibility of Windows 8.1?

    Windows 8.1 is designed to be compatible with the most popular hardware and software products you use every day.

    For more information about the compatibility of Windows 8.1, please visit Windows Compatibility Center or download the Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant from Microsoft.

  5. Can I upgrade my system to Windows 8.1 without re-installation?

    No, Windows 8.1 can't be upgraded from previous version. A fresh installation is required for machines running Windows 7, Windows Vista.

  6. Should I install the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 8.1?

    You are recommended to install the 64-bit version to reap the following benefits.
    • Increased memory support to 16TB (32-bit version has a memory limit at 4GB)
    • Increased performance for the program written in x64 technology
    • Enabling the installation and use of 64-bit editions of software

  7. What are the requirements for running 64-bit Windows 8.1?

    • You should use a computer that has a 64-bit processor.
    • You should have 64-bit device drivers for the devices that are in the computer.

  8. Can I install the 32-bit versions of Windows 8.1 on a PC with 64-bit processor?

    Yes, but you will unnecessarily underutilize your processor unless you have a reason for doing so.

  9. Can I install 32-bit applications on 64-bit Windows 8.1 and vice versa?

    Most 32-bit applications except device drivers can be installed on 64-bit Windows 8.1 but 64-bit applications can’t be installed on 32-bit Windows 8.1. The compatibility among different combinations of 32-bit/64-bit Windows 8.1 and 32-bit/64-bit applications is shown as below:

    Compatibility 32-bit Windows 8.1 64-bit Windows 8.1
    32-bit Applications Yes Yes, except device drivers and certain applications
    64-bit Applications No Yes

  10. Where is the Start menu?

    The Start screen, containing tiles, replaces the Start menu.

    win8.1 start screen

  11. How can I launch the Start screen?

    You can launch the Start screen in the following ways:
    • Press the Windows keyWindows key on your keyboard.
    • If you're using a mouse, you can point to the lower-left corner of the screen and click the Start buttonStart button wherever you are in Windows.
    • If you're on the desktop, tap or click the Start buttonStart button.

  12. How can I find and run the application I want in the desktop screen?

    You can use the Search function of Windows 8. 1 to find the required application. Use one of the following methods to open the Search function:
    • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search
    • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + S on your keyboard
    • Tap or click the Search button Windows Search on the Start screen

  13. What is the use of “pinning” an application to the taskbar of the desktop and how can I do it?

    "Pinning" an application to the taskbar of the desktop is to attach the shortcut of the application directly to the Windows taskbar so that you can open the application quickly and conveniently without searching.

    To pin an application to the taskbar:
    • On the Start screen, press and hold or right-click the app, and then tap or click Pin to taskbar.
    • If the app is already open on the desktop, press and hold or right-click the app's taskbar button, and then tap or click Pin this program to taskbar.

  14. How can I close the app I don't want any more from my desktop?

    To close the unwanted app:
    • If you're using a mouse, move your mouse pointer to the top of the screen and then click the Close button in the title bar.
    • Or, drag it from the top of the screen to the very bottom.

  15. Can I skip the Start screen and boot to the Desktop directly?

    Yes, you can set it by going to the Desktop and right click on the taskbar. In the contextual menu, click Properties and then click Navigation tab. In the Start screen section, check the box which says "When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start".

  16. Taskbar and Navigation Properties

  17. How can I shut down Windows 8.1?

    You can shut down Windows 8.1 in two easy ways:
    • Press Power Options buttonPower Option at the top-left corner of the Start screen next to your account photo.

      Options of Start screen
    • Right-click on the Start buttonwin and then select the Shut down or sign out option.

  18. What is Windows Store?

    Windows Store is the online marketplace for Windows 8 users to download free apps or purchase apps.

  19. Can I change the user interface to a different language in Windows 8.1?

    Sure, you can change your user interface to a different language by installing the respective language packs for Windows on your Windows Enterprise.

    The language packs can be downloaded by the following steps:
    • Point to the lower-right corner of the screen, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.
    • Tap or click Time and language, and then tap or click Region and language.
    • If the language says Language pack available, tap or click Options.

  20. References:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/where-is-start-menu
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/search-apps-files-settings
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/create-desktop-shortcuts-icons
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/using-multiple-languages
csc@cityu.edu.hk