New Computer For Christmas?

If you got a new personal computer for Christmas chances are it's running Windows 8.1.

The latest version of Windows is quite different to previous versions, and if you persevere with it you'll find Microsoft is right in saying that there are all kinds of new and exciting ways to do the things you love, like using apps and going online.

The tech giant will send you an email giving you advice on how to get around your new computer if you sign up for a Microsoft account which helps synchronise files and settings between your computers when you sign in with it.

"Get more done with improved touch and mouse navigation," Microsoft suggests. "Quickly go back to the last app you were using by swiping in from the left edge of your screen (or pointing and clicking with your mouse in the upper-left corner)"

If you're running Windows 8.1 it's not necessary to close apps because they don't affect performance of the machine when they are running. "But if you really want to close an app, just drag it to the bottom of your screen. You can easily minimise or close any app with the mouse or keyboard friendly commands" Microsoft advised.

For any of this to work you need to connect to a network.

Swipe from the right edge of your screen (or point with your mouse to the lower-right corner) to open the charms. Tap or click the Settings charm , and then tap or click the Network icon. Choose the network you'd like to connect to, and tap or click Connect. Tap or click the Settings charm, and then tap or click the Network icon Now to go online, tap or click the Internet Explorer tile. Use the address bar to type in the website or search term you'd like to explore and press Enter. There are two versions of Internet Explorer in Windows 8.1. A traditional desktop style app you'll get to from clicking on the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen, and a touch friendly version installed on Start screen.

You can print to either a printer connected via USB or wirelessly in Windows 8.1

To start printing, make sure that your printer is turned on and plugged in to the USB port on your device or wirelessly connected to your home network.

Then to print, just tap or click the Devices charm, choose your printer, and tap or click Print. If you don't see the printer you want to use, that means that it still needs to be installed.

Shutting down your PC is different in Windows 8.1

Simply tap or click the Settings charm, tap or click Power, and then tap or click Shut down.

If you need more help with your new machine Microsoft has provided it in the Help + Tips app available in the Windows Store and there is also more help online at