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Windows 8 Without Touchscreen?

Sunday, April 7th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Windows 8

Robert from Bossier City, LA writes:

I know, eventually, I will need to replace my Windows XP computer. I am wondering if I can use Windows 8 with a mouse and keyboard not using the touchscreen at all. I haven’t seen any information on this and since no computer company is really getting into how Windows 8 works, I am curious if there is a way to use Windows 8 without having to touch the screen? Thank you.


The good news is that you do not need a touchscreen to operate Windows 8. While many of the features of Windows 8 are more intuitive with a touchscreen display, you can still navigate with a mouse and keyboard. Below is a list of the gesture motions for Windows 8 and the corresponding mouse and keyboard actions.

Start Menu

  • Touch: Open the charms bar and tap start.
  • Mouse: Hover your mouse in bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
  • Keyboard: Press the Windows key.

Charms Bar

  • Touch: Swipe in from the right side of the screen.
  • Mouse: Hover the mouse over the upper-right corner or lower-right corner of windows 8 interface.
  • Keyboard: Hold Windows Key and press C

Zoom In/Out

  • Touch: Hold two fingers on screen close together and pull fingers apart to zoom in. Hold two fingers on screen further apart and pinch together to zoom out.
  • Mouse & Keyboard: Hold down the Ctrl key and rotate the scroll wheel on mouse forward to zoom in or backwards to zoom out. This works inconsistently through, as some apps support it and some do not.

Options Menu

  • Touch: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen
  • Mouse: Right click empty area inside of an App
  • Keyboard: Hold down Windows Key and press Z

App Switcher

  • Touch: Swipe in from the left edge of screen
  • Mouse: Hover mouse in upper-left corner to middle-lower left corner of screen.
  • Keyboard: Hold Windows Key and press Tab, keep pressing tab to cycle through options.

Close Apps

  • Touch: Hold down from top of screen and drag down until app shrinks then fades.
  • Mouse: Hold down left mouse button on top edge of screen and drag app down until app shrinks then fades.
  • Keyboard: Hold down Alt Key and press F4


P.S. If you want to add a touchscreen to your computer to get the full Windows 8 experience make sure it’s listed as a capacitive multi-touch display. Resistive touch screens that do not support multiple finger inputs are not going to give you the ideal experience.

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8 Responses to “Windows 8 Without Touchscreen?”

  1. Mike Fratto says:

    Windows 8 is the most worthless product from Microsoft. Maybe its okay for touch screens but I don’t have one/ Nor so I want most of the apps that appear on my screen.. They provide nothing to me.

  2. Barbara Pickett says:

    Thanks for keeping us up to date…on all things PC!

  3. Lyn Brown says:

    Good information to have available when it becomes time to make the leap to Windows 8. Thanks!

  4. Carol says:

    Thank you – Most senior citizens do not have a touch screen display and this really helps. Your tips are the greatest.

  5. Brenda Caldwell says:

    Im sorry, but Microsoft really had their ‘head in the clouds’ when they came up with Windows 8 !!!

  6. Calvin Christian says:

    I see people calling their computer an XP computer, I don’t think any computer has been made to run only one OS, I started with DOS and have had different Operation Systems on several computers. If you have a computer with XP on it chances are you can upgrade to Vista, Windows 7 or maybe even 8.1 with no problem. If you do still run XP on your computer on line after April not only are you taking a chance but you are putting your friends in danger of getting a bug from you.

  7. Jose Caceres says:

    Even if you can have Windows 8.1 on an XP computer, a lot of the programs for XP are not compatible with newer versions of Windows. What’s the use of having Windows 8.1 if you cannot use programs that you have bought before? I also want to know how to send a question to Dave, or WorldStart, on PC issues, as I have tried before but I do not see any place where I could do that.

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