Windows 8 & Windows RT tutorial

All about apps—and get more

"App" is another word for program. In Windows 8 and Windows RT, some apps come built in to Windows, and there are even more available in the Windows Store.

To search, browse, and download apps in the Windows Store, you need to have Windows 8 or Windows RT. You also need a Microsoft account. If you don’t yet have Windows 8 or Windows RT, you can see some of the popular apps available.

Built-in apps

Windows 8 and Windows RT come with many built-in apps—you'll see tiles for them on your Start screen when you sign in to your PC. These apps will help you stay in touch with friends, quickly get to your documents and important info, listen to your music, and stay up to date on the news.

Note Free streaming songs might not be available in your country or region.

People app


Stay connected and see real-time updates from your email accounts, and Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Mail app


Get email and send messages from your accounts—including Yahoo! Mail and—all in one inbox.

Photos app


See and share your photos and videos in one place, whether from Facebook, Flickr, SkyDrive, or another PC.

Music app


Listen to free streaming songs and get personalized music recommendations. Share your playlists and download songs you love.

SkyDrive app


Connected with your Microsoft account, SkyDrive lets you enjoy seamless sharing and access and to your files, photos, and videos.

News app


Customize your news, and see it in a dramatic, photo-rich format. See breaking updates and stay up to date on what's happening around the world.

Apps from the Windows Store

Windows Store

You can either browse or search for apps in the Windows Store. To open the Store, tap or click the Store tile on the Start screen.

You can browse for apps in a category, or in groups like "Top free" and "New releases." And if you already know what you want, just open the Start and start typing—you'll immediately see results for apps that match your search. When you find the app you want, tap or click Buy or Try (free trial) if it’s a paid app, or Install if it’s free.

For more info, see Apps in the Windows Store.

See all of your apps

If you want see all of the apps installed on your PC, here's how:

On the Start screen, swipe up from the bottom edge or down from the top edge of the screen, and then tap All apps.
(Or, if you’re using a mouse, right-click anywhere on the Start screen, and then click All apps.)

How to use apps

Here's a brief summary of what you can do with apps. Be sure to check out the following short videos and instructions to learn how to do these things with touch and a mouse.

App commands. When you’re using an app, you’ll probably want to do specific things with it. To see the things you can do, bring up the app commands.

Use two apps at the same time. You can use two apps at the same time by snapping them, which means that you see two apps on the screen at once.

Switch between apps. You can return to an app you were just using or quickly switch through other recent apps.

Close an app. When you’re not using an app you opened from the Start screen, Windows will eventually close it. But you can also manually close an app if you want to.


Use two apps at the same time

Switch between apps

Close an app

App commands

With touch, swipe up from the bottom edge or down from the top edge, and then tap the command you want.


Use two apps at the same time

Switch between apps

Close an app

App commands

With a mouse, right-click within the app, and then click the command you want.

Next: 7. Work in the familiar desktop