I’ve been using Windows 8 for a while now, and while I love it, there are still some really annoying aspects of the OS that I just don’t understand. For example, why is it so hard to do something that used to be so easy? Reboot your computer? Printing from a Windows application?
The operating system has been “reimagined”, but I find some new ways of doing simple tasks frustrating. Here’s my list of Windows 8 gripes.
Shutting down and restarting Windows 8
Shut down and restart Windows 8
I don’t often restart or shut down my computer, but it really should be easier than opening the Charms bar and pressing three times! I’m not really sure why Microsoft hasn’t put a shutdown and restart option somewhere on the start screen, just click, they have lock and exit options. Instead, you need to open the charms bar, tap Settings, then tap Power, and then tap Restart or Shut Down.
You can add shutdown and restart options to the context menu or create shortcuts on the Start screen, but in the end it should have been easier to accomplish.
Printing from Windows Applications
Print from Windows applications
This one really gets me too! It took me a while to figure out how to print from a Windows application. I tried my best not to google it because I wanted to figure it out myself. I thought it would be easy enough, since this is something that almost everyone under the sun does quite often.
Again, you need to open the Charms bar and click Devices. There you will see your list of printers. Not very intuitive if you ask me. Fortunately, you can still press CTRL + P to print from Windows applications. If you’re trying to print a PDF using the built-in Reader app, then here’s how you do it!
Closing applications in Windows 8
Close applications in Windows 8
The transition from pressing X in a regular desktop app to closing apps in Windows 8 is from Earth to Mars. Basically, Microsoft thinks that you can just keep Windows apps open all the time and switch between them. I personally don’t like this idea very much.
There are several ways to close an application in Windows 8. The easiest way is to move the mouse pointer up to the center of the screen, left-click and then start dragging down. Application windows get smaller and then just disappear when you get to the bottom of the screen. After closing the applications, you will be returned to the home screen.
You can also read my previous post on using the hot corners on the left side of the screen to close running Windows 8 applications. However, this method still requires you to manually close each application. What if you have 20 applications open? Check out the last tip of my 5 tips to speed up Windows 8 for how you can close all running Windows applications at the same time.
Boot in Safe Mode
Boot into safe mode
Gone are the days when you had to press F8 to get a list of boot options. You now have a multi-step process for getting into Safe Mode in Windows 8. First, you need to boot into System Recovery Options Once you get there, you will need to complete several requests before you can finally boot into Safe Mode
The new boot screens look much better than previous versions of Windows, but this makes the process much more complicated. It used to be that easy to enter Safe Mode, now it is not!
Microsoft removed Windows 8’s ability to play DVD due to licensing costs, but if you’ve been enabling something on Windows for so long, it’s frustrating to simply uninstall it without any clear directions. Obviously, most consumers buying new Windows 8 PCs won’t get hurt because the manufacturer is likely to install some kind of DVD playback software.
However, when upgrading to Windows 8, even to Windows 8 Pro, you still have to either download third-party software or purchase the optional Windows Media Center package. It’s not that expensive for an add-on pack and you can always download a program like the VLC media player, but it definitely confuses novice users.
I’m sure that over time, everyone will get used to these new ways of doing things, but right now this is what makes me feel like I need to do extra work. What do you think? Do you like Windows 8? Are any tasks that you think are taking longer in Windows 8 than in previous versions? Let us know in the comments. Enjoy!