How To Use The Multitasking Feature In Windows 8

We here at The Windows Club, are currently testing the latest Windows 8 and are thus posting about new features, tricks and troubleshooting articles regularly on it. Windows 8, being slightly different form previous Windows editions, has introduced the amazing multitasking feature. We have already seen about the basic navigation in Windows 8. Today we will talk about multitasking of Metro apps in Windows 8.

The process of doing two or more tasks together on same computer screen is known as multitasking. As we all know that Windows 8 apart from the regular programs, also offer apps with Metro UI called simply as Metro apps. So running two or more Metro apps at same instant is referred as multitasking in Windows 8.

Multitasking Metro Apps In Windows 8

Now let us discuss how to do the multitasking in Windows 8. See, this is very simple and once you do it for yourself, you will find that it is very easy to multitask. This is how you go about it:

1. Press the Windows Key+ . combination on keyboard. It will snap the current Metro application to left side of screen. If you’re not running any Metro app, you’ll see the blank space.

2. Moving on, press the Windows Key now, it will take you to the Metro Start Screen. Choose any Metro app of your wish. For example, let us choose the Music app.

That’s it! As soon as you choose the Music app from Start Screen, it fills the blank space (shown in point 1). Also the one thing noticeable here is that the second app doesn’t opens in full screen. Thus you have entered in multitasking mode.

3. After entering multitasking, you can use various combinations to handle it.

  • Pressing Windows Key + Shift + .  to snap the current Metro application to the right side of the screen
  • Move cursor to top left corner to see thumbnail view of Metro Apps. If you slide your cursor, you can see a preview of the open apps. Alt-Tab will also let you cycle between the open apps.
  • You can expand or collapse the view of Metro app by stretching the separator in the middle
  • You can pick the tab you want from the sidebar, making swapping easy

Multitasking will make your Windows 8 PC experience far better and will help you to finish tasks faster. But do note that to be able to multitask Metro Apps on non-touch devices, your screen resolution needs the be at least 1366×768 to have the split screen available.

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An Electrical Engineer by profession, Kapil is a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Content Creator. Please read the entire post & the comments first & create a system restore point before making any changes to your system.

13 Comments

  1. jimsing59

    Can you make a complete list of Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts in the future? (once you find them all)

  2. Please check – Ultimate Guide to Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts and their Mouse & Touch equivalents – https://www.thewindowsclub.com/ultimate-guide-windows-8-keyboard-shortcuts-mouse-touch-equivalents
    (You can download the .doc file or increase the zoom level to 100% and scroll.)

  3. Arun Kumar

    I am not comfortable with Windows 8. I have not installed it so far hence could not test IE10, which I suppose is compatible only with Win8. Or am I wrong?
    Also, when I ran a compatibility check, Win8 won’t support MSE.
    Finally, would it be wise to use Win8 Consumer Preview to connect to the Internet, in case I install it? Are there any known problems with Win8 n Win7 dual boot? Read somewhere Win8 wont allow multiple boot environment.

  4. Yes, IE10 runs on Windows 8 only. I have installed Windows 8 and Windows 7 in dual-boot, and it is no problem at all.

    Regarding MSE in Windows 8, see https://www.thewindowsclub.com/windows-8-cp-windows-defender-microsoft-security-essentials

  5. Arun Kumar

    Thanks for the info. I tried to install Win8 but it says it will install on Drive C. There is no option to select any other partition. And when I try to install thru boot option, it shows me a dead bird. Any other idea? Replacing Win 7 at this point is not feasible for me.

  6. That option is available during Windows 8 setup. I have installed it on my G Drive, since Windows 7 is installed on C Drive.

  7. Have been using Windows 8 and Windows 7 as dual boot only since DP. Boot from the Windows 8 DVD & u can install on any drive. Will give the choice during install. I’m having Win7 on C & installed Win 8 on E when looked from Win7. This becomes Win8 as C , Win 7 as E when looked from Win8 . I use D drive for dtoring docs, etc. Or use Virtual machines to run Win8 within Win 7 or any other OS.
    Once you start using Win8 , it’ll grow on you. Yes at start . there’s a bit of learning curve.

  8. LR

    I see you have “windows live messenger” installed.What version is that? I need to know how did you make it work because on my windows 8 the “windows live messenger” doesn’´t run

  9. Kapil Arya

    Hello LR,

    Windows Live Messenger runs without a hitch in Windows 8. Please check if whether your IE 10 is in Work Offline mode or not. If it is in Work Offline mode, remove the check from there (press Alt then click File).

    Next run the Windows Live Messenger connection troubleshooter and repair IP.

    Now your Windows Live Messenger should work fine 🙂

  10. LR

    Thanks Kapil,but actually my issue it’s a compatibility problem.When I try running “Live Messenger” windows launches two,one the said “Windows live messenger stop working” and other that said “Do you want to sent more information about the problem?” if I sent the info or not windows close the program.

    the second windows contains a path of a minidump with information about the exception:

    Summary of the memory dump
    ——————————
    Memory dump file: WER9EA1.tmp.hdmp: C: Users Vostro AppData Local Temp WER9EA1.tmp.hdmp

    Time of last write: 03/24/12 14:05:40

    Process name: msnmsgr.exe C: Program Files Windows Live
    Messenger msnmsgr.exe

    Process architecture: x86
    Exception code: 0xC0000005

    Exception information: The subprocess tried to read or write to a virtual address for which it did not have the appropriate access permissions.

    Heap information: Present

    that only happen with “Live messenger” ,another products of live essentials like Windows Live Mail run with no problems

  11. LR

    Thanks Kapil,but actually my issue it’s a compatibility problem.When I try running “Live Messenger” windows launches two windows ,one the said “Windows live messenger stop working” and other that said “Do you want to sent more information about the problem?” if I sent the info or not windows close the program.

    the second windows contains a path of a minidump with information about the exception:

    Summary of the memory dump
    ——————————
    Memory dump file: WER9EA1.tmp.hdmp: C: Users Vostro AppData Local Temp WER9EA1.tmp.hdmp

    Time of last write: 03/24/12 14:05:40

    Process name: msnmsgr.exe C: Program Files Windows Live
    Messenger msnmsgr.exe

    Process architecture: x86
    Exception code: 0xC0000005

    Exception information: The subprocess tried to read or write to a virtual address for which it did not have the appropriate access permissions.

    Heap information: Present

    that only happen with “Live messenger” ,another products of live essentials like Windows Live Mail run with no problems

    I wrote it again 🙂 ,sorry about that ,in the last comment I typed something wrong.

  12. Kapil Arya

    First run the sfc /scannow command via Command Prompt with administrator privileges.

    Reboot and uninstall the Windows Live Essentials.

    Download a fresh copy again (MS has also updated it recently, so it will have less bugs than previous one) and re-install.

    Hope this helps you 😉

  13. LR

    the command did not find any integrity violations

    I did everything you said,but the problem did not resolve.

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