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In the latest build of Windows 8.1 to hit the Web, the Help & Tips app that laid dormant when the Windows 8.1 Pro Preview first went live has now been activated. It’s a fully immersive guide to everything Windows 8 and can be beneficial for those trying to get used to the OS. In this article, we look at what the Help & Tips app has to offer a new Windows 8 user.

Help & Tips is a Metro-style app that helps Windows 8 users get the hang of the basic functions of using it. It offers tutorials and videos to show you exactly how Windows 8 works. The app will go live when users upgrade to Windows 8.1 in October but for now, it’s working as intended in the Windows 8.1 Pro Preview.  The Help & Tips app will help consumers who initially had many troubles getting used to using Windows 8.  If you’re skeptical about what Help & Tips can provide, read on to see just what it does for users who need a little hand holding in Windows 8.1.

How to Use Windows 8.1 Help & Tips App

Windows 8.1’s Help & Tips app is pre-loaded into the upgrade for users, so there’s no additional downloading required.  Head to the Start Screen and search for “Help,” then click on “Help & Tips” to get started.

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Opening Help & Tips will give you an app’s view of what it can help you with in Windows 8.1.

It has no settings to work with, so you don’t need to customize or tweak anything. Help & Tips comes as is and is ready to use once you open the app.

Help & Tips offers several areas for users to go through, starting with Start and apps. Each area has its own tips, tricks, tutorials and videos to work with. The more advanced the concept, the more likely you’ll see a video to help guide you.

Click on “Start and apps” to get started.

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From here, you can learn about the Start Screen, and how apps work in Windows 8.1.

Scrolling to the right gives you more options from Windows’ website.

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At the top right of the app, you can search for something specific you may need help with.

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However, at the moment, when you search your results will come back through your Web browser at Windows’ website as opposed to something linked within the app.

Some tutorials come with videos to walk you through the steps.

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What’s nice about these videos is that they aren’t downloaded onto your PC, they’re streamed to it so as long as you have a decent Internet connection, you’ll have access to them to help you with Windows 8.1.

Each area of Help & Tips gives users a different set of guides for Windows 8.1, you have access to the following help sections:

  • Start and apps
  • Get around
  • Basic actions
  • Your account and files
  • Settings
  • What’s new

What’s new in particular can help users understand what changed between Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, so that if there are any features they haven’t discovered, they’ll be able to see what the upgrade can do for them.

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As Windows adds features to the OS, either through upgrades like 8.1 or patches, the Help & Tips app will be updated to reflect that. This way you’ll always know about any new features that are added the OS.

Troubleshooting the Windows 8.1 Help & Tips App

So far, we haven’t seen too many issues reported for the Windows 8.1 Help & Tips app other than the complaint that it seems somewhat incomplete. We’ll keep our eyes on any troubles that pop up and report on them as soon as we can. Bookmark this page for the latest updates on the Help & Tips app.

Conclusion

The biggest issue with the Windows 8.1 Help & Tips app is that if you’re not already familiar with how Windows 8 works, you may not be able to get the app easily enough for it to make a difference. Since most of those who give up on Windows 8 do so before they even open an app, opening Help & Tips may pose to be a challenge. There’s certainly room for improvement with this app, only time will tell if Microsoft will make it more user-friendly before Windows 8.1 is released in October 2013.

What ways do you think Help & Tips can help Windows 8 users?  Do you think Microsoft could improve upon the app?  In what ways do you think Help & Tips would be much better that it currently is.  Let us know in the comments!

Please Note: Windows 8.1 is still in its preview form. The Help & Tips app only went live with Build 9471, which means it may be glitchy and still need some work. Let us know if any issues arise in the comments below and we’ll do our best to troubleshoot with you to get Help & Tips working as it should.