There’s no denying that Windows 8 is a radical departure from previous versions of the operating system and that at first it can take a little getting used to the changes. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll see that really not much has changed and you’ll be up to full speed in no time.

Two of the major changes to Windows 8 from previous version are the Start and Lock screens. The Start screen is the biggest single departure from Windows as it was before version 8. Sadly, there’s not a great deal you can do to personalise the windows, but you can change the background pattern and colour. Go to the Settings charm and click on Change PC settings, once you’re there click on Start screen to choose your options.

The Lock screen offers you a bit more flexibility in terms of editing it to match your needs. The Lock screen can show as much or as little information as you choose with controls over which apps can display updates and notifications you can always be up-to-date even when you’re not working.

Go to the Settings charm and click on Change PC settings and click on Lock screen. Here you can change your lock screen wallpaper by selecting one of the options provided or by choosing your own image. Click on Browse to search your PC for an appropriate lock screen picture.

Scroll down the lock screen settings page to see the Lock screen apps settings. Click on one of the squares to select the app you’d like to display updates on the clock screen. If there’s already an app selected and you want to remove it click on the relevant square icon and then click on Don’t show quick status here.

Individual applications can still display notifications on the lock screen even if they’re not one of your chosen lock screen apps. To manage notifications go to PC settings and click on Notifications. In the list of applications simply click the toggle switch to turn notifications for individual apps on or off.

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