How do I print in Windows 8 or 8.1?

I’ve heard this question multiple times from new users of Windows 8 and 8.1. It is actually really simple, but there are a few things to know.

What type of app are you using? If it is a modern app it will be different than it will be for a regular desktop app. Basically,  a modern app will use the “device” option under the charms menu, but desktop apps will expose the print functionality from their own menu within the app. I’ve separated the steps below so you can just follow the steps for your scenario.

Modern Apps

  1. Launch the app from which you want to print.
  2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen to get the charms to show up. Tap the Devices charm and then tap Print.Keyboard and mouse users: if you’re using a mouse and keyboard, then you will drag the mouse to the bottom right corner of the screen to get the charms menu to show up.Note: note all apps support printing. In the case that you’re trying to use an app that doesn’t support printing you will see a message “This app can’t print” when trying to print.
  3. You should now see a list of available printers. Pick the one you want to use from the list.
  4. Tap Print.

Desktop apps

If you have used previous version of Windows, then printing from a desktop app should be familiar. The printing options for a desktop app will be specific to the way the app was implemented, but typically you will find the print options under the File menu in the app and/or a toolbar button with a print icon.

Make Windows 8.1 Boot to the Desktop

By now, whether you love it or hate it, you are probably aware of the new Windows 8 Start screen. Personally I think it is really good on a tablet and pretty good on a desktop. However, when I’m on a desktop machine I don’t want to boot up to the Start screen. I would rather boot into the Desktop instead. With Windows 8.1 this is now a built-in option.

Btw, you can visit the Windows Store top upgrade Windows 8 to 8.1.

I’ve included the steps to configure Windows 8.1 to boot to the Desktop instead of the Start menu below:

  1. Go to the Desktop view. (You can get there using the Desktop tile from the Start menu).
  2. Right-click the taskbar and select Properties.Properties
  3. This should now launch the “Taskbar and Navigation properties” dialog. Under the “Start screen” section,  select the “When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start” option.BootToDesktop
  4. Click the OK button.

Now Windows 8.1 will boot up to the Desktop instead of the Start menu.


Windows 8 keyboard hotkeys

Windows 8 is really good on a touch screen, but it has a lot keyboard hotkeys for using it with a keyboard as well. Here are some of the more useful ones that you’ll want to know:

winkey Switched between the modern start screen and the last accessed application.
winkey + start typing Starts searching your PC with whatever you are typing.
winkey + D Takes you to the desktop mode.
winkey + X Brings up the advanced system options menu (Control Panel, File Explorer, Command Prompt, Task Manager, …).
winkey + I Shows the settings charm.
winkey + H Brings up the Share charm.
winkey + K Brings up the Devices charm.
winkey + Q Brings up the Apps search screen.
winkey + R Opens the Run menu, which allows you to run applications by typing in their executable name.
winkey + . Docks the current Windows 8 app to the left or right. Each time cycles through left or right.
winkey + Tab Opens the switch list. This is the list or currently running Windows 8 apps. You’ll see them in a column on the left side of the screen.

Keep in mind that there are a lot more hotkey options in Windows 8. This is just a small list of common ones.