When Windows 8 was released in 2012, many users complained that it was difficult and confusing to use, especially compared to older versions of Windows. Windows 8.1 includes a number of improvements and features to address some of these issues. Below are some of the most helpful and notable features:
- Start Button: Windows 8 replaced the traditional Start menu with the Start screen and removed the Start button from the Desktop. Windows 8.1 adds the Start button back to the Desktop. Clicking the Start button on the Desktop will launch the Start screen, which you’ll use to open programs and search for files.
- Boot to Desktop: Rather than launching the Start screen when you turn on your device, Windows 8.1 now gives you the option to boot directly to the Desktop, much like older versions of Windows. This is especially helpful if you’re not interested in using the Start screen very often.
- Snap Start Screen Apps: Windows 8 introduced full-screen apps for the Start screen, but it did not allow you to view more than two apps at once. Windows 8.1 allows you to view several different Start screen apps and snap them to different parts of the screen. Traditional desktop apps still work the way they did in earlier versions of Windows: They’ll appear in individual windows that you can move and re size.