Using Windows 8 

Index of Topics:

Windows 8 versus Windows RT

CTI Navigator Desktop and Navigator Web will run in Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows 8.1, but, like all legacy Windows programs, cannot run in Windows RT or (Windows RT 8.1).  Windows RT is a specialized "lite" edition that is designed to run only on highly energy efficient (hence longer battery life) but less powerful ARM architecture processors (as compared to Intel or AMD based processors).  


Visually, Windows 8, 8.1, and Windows RT tiles screens are indistinguishable. However, Windows RT is locked down to run only software included in Windows RT (such as a special non-commercial version of Microsoft Office 2013), or apps specifically written for RT and approved and distributed by Microsoft through its online Windows Store. Windows RT also does not allow plug-ins (such as Silverlight) to be added to its browser, nor does it allow any other plug-in compatible browser to be installed. (For more information on Windows RT, see "Windows RT 8.1 FAQ" by Microsoft in the related articles referenced at the end of this webpage.)  


Windows RT was orginally designed to allow manufacturer's to produce smaller, thinner, lighter weight, and less expensive Windows devices (largely due to smaller batteries and less processor heat to dissipate). If these factors are most important to you and you accept RT's feature limitations, you can use a Windows RT device to go to CTI's special website for Mobile devices. Here you can use any web-enabled mobile device to search MLS data, display listing details and photos, see property map location with directions, auto-find nearby similar properties, and email an MLS report to clients.


To be able to use CTI Navigator (or any existing Windows software) in Microsoft's new touch-optimized Windows, get or upgrade to Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro (recommended), or Windows 8.1 Enterprise  - not Windows RT or RT 8.1. (For comparison information, see Compare Windows 8.1 Editions in the related articles referenced at the end of this webpage.) These full versions of Windows 8 and 8.1 run on Intel and AMD processors (which are much more powerful than ARM processors, but typically require more electrical power). 

Note. To coincide with the release of Windows 8 in October 2012, both Intel and AMD released new, more energy efficient processors designed to maximize battery life in tablets. Intel's new Atom Z2760 Dual Core SoC (system-on-chip) code named "Clover Trail" is specifically optimized for Windows 8 mobile devices. Intel claims that its Atom Z2760 processor provides battery life rivaling that of ARM based devices while still providing the ability to run any full version of Windows 8.  AMD's new tablet-optimized chip (code named Hondo) with "much improved power consumption" is the Z-60. Both of these new processors definitely do extend computing capabilities with reduced energy consumption for tablets. However, they still are not nearly as fast nor as powerful as the manufacturer's main line of computer processors. 

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Overview of Windows 8 


The Windows 8 (and 8.1) operating system is designed to support touch as well as mouse and keyboard commands. This allows the same interface to be used on mobile devices (such as tablets and cell phones), as well as on personal computers (such as laptops, Ultrabooks™, and hybrid laptop-tablets with touch screens). This also means that there are multiple ways to do the same things in Windows 8 (via touch, mouse or keyboard). The following descriptions include mouse and keyboard commands that apply primarily to users of personal computers, laptops, and hybrids. (For a primer on types and technologies of mobile devices, see the related article "Mobile PC - Tablet Form Factors and Terminology".) 


Windows 8 runs in two modes: Tiles and Desktop. By default, Windows 8 always opens in the Tiles mode.  Windows 8.1 provides an option to open directly in the Desktop mode (see Windows 8.1 articles in the related articles at the end of this web page). 


The Tiles mode displays Microsoft's unified global interface for both mobile devices and touch-optimized commands. It has no Start button (see Windows 8.1 note below), Start Menu or programs list. Only apps specifically coded for the Tiles mode will run in tiles. However, tiles can contain links to apps that run in Desktop mode. The Tiles mode uses a special restricted version of Internet Explorer that does not allow adding any plug-ins (such as Microsoft Silverlight that is needed to support Navigator Web). The Tiles mode also does not allow you to use any other Internet browser. 


The Desktop mode is very similar to the Windows 7 desktop, except it has no Start button (see Windows 8.1 note below), no Start Menu and no programs list (see Start Menu Note below for third-party add-ons). Any program that runs in Windows 7 (and most programs for Windows Vista and XP) should run in the Desktop mode of Windows 8. This includes all versions of CTI Navigator (Desktop, Web and Mobile). The Desktop version of Internet Explorer in Windows 8 is full-featured, and supports plug-ins.  You also can add and use other Internet browsers (such as Chrome or Firefox) in Desktop mode. 

Start Menu Note: There are several free and low-cost third-party apps that can add a Start Menu to Windows 8. For a review of Windows 8 Start Menu add-on apps, see "How to get the Start Menu Back in Windows 8" in the related articles at the end of this webpage (or Search the Internet for other reviews). Two of the most popular free Start Menu apps are "Classic Shell" and "Pokki for Windows 8". 

Windows 8.1 Note: Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade to Windows 8 that has a Windows logo Start button () that can be set to open a customizable view of available apps (see Windows 8.1 articles in the related articles at the end of this web page). It also provides an option to boot directly to Desktop mode by default. 

It is easy to switch modes. 

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While a desktop program is open, its icon displays in the taskbar at the bottom of the Desktop screen. To save this icon as a convenient shortcut for opening the program in the future, you can right-click on the program icon in the taskbar and click on "Pin this program to taskbar".  


By default, Windows 8 leaves opened apps running. To close an app, you can press the Windows logo key Windows 8 logo key + F4  or move the cursor to touch the top of the window and then left-click and drag all the way down to the bottom of  the screen. To switch between open apps, hold down the Ctrl + Alt key and press the Del key. 


Both Tiles and Desktop modes have a universal toolbar called the Charm Bar that can be accessed on any screen. You can open the Charm Bar either by positioning your cursor in the top or bottom right corner of a screen; or by simultaneously pressing the Windows logo key Windows 8 logo key + C on your keyboard. 


There are five (5) Charm functions: Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. What the charms do can change depending on which mode of Windows 8 they are opened in. The basic Charm functions are as follows:

Note: To disable Charms, see "Disable Charms with Task Bar Navigation Options or with "Winaero Charms Bar Killer".

Both Windows modes also have a "Quick Link" menu that can be displayed by holding down the Windows logo key Windows 8 logo key and pressing the X key on the device keyboard (or by right-clicking on the bottom left corner of the screen). This menu includes links to the commonly used Windows functions listed below (as well as other advanced computer management functions):

Show System and Hidden Files


You can set Windows to display hidden system files and folders either in the Control Panel or in the File Explorer.

In File Explorer:

  1. Click the View tab in the top toolbar of File Explorer

  2. Click the Options icon

  3. Select "Change Folder and Search Options"  (click on image below to enlarge)

  4. Click the View tab at the top of the Folder Options screen

  5. Check "Show hidden files, folders & drives"

  6. Click OK.

In Windows Control Panel:

  1. In Icon View, select Folder Options; or 

    In Category View, either select "Appearance & Personalization", or type  Folder  in the Search box (in the top right corner), then select Folder Options

  2. Under Folder Options, click on "Show Hidden Files & Folders"

  3. Check "Show hidden files, folders & drives"  (click on image below to enlarge)

  4. Click OK. 

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Internet Explorer in Windows 8 and 8.1


Internet Explorer runs in two modes in Windows 8: Tiles and Desktop. The Internet Explorer app preinstalled in a tile on the Windows 8 (or Windows RT) Start screen opens IE 10 in Tiles mode. (Windows 8.1 opens IE 11.)


IE Tiles Mode

In the Tiles mode of Internet Explorer, the Address bar is at the bottom of the screen and some functions are restricted. Right-click anywhere on a web page to display the Address bar at the bottom, as well as a list at the top of the screen of open tabs and options to open or close tabs. Click inside the Address box to enter a web address or search term, and to display tiles of your Pinned, Frequent, and Favorite websites. When in Tiles mode, Internet Explorer does not support plug-ins (see IE tiles mode warning below). 


IE Tiles mode Warning: clicking on a tile or entering a web address in the bottom Address bar of Internet Explorer (10 or 11) that links to a website that requires a plug-in (such as Microsoft Silverlight that is required to run CTI Navigator Web) will prevent the website from loading properly in IE's Tiles mode. Internet Explorer does not automatically switch from its Tiles mode to its Desktop mode


Switch to IE Desktop: From IE's Tiles view, you can go directly to the same website in IE Desktop view by either 

To close a browser screen in Tiles mode and return to the previous view, hold down the Alt key and press the F4 key on your keyboard; or move the cursor to touch the top of the window and then left-click and drag all the way down to the bottom of  the screen. 


To leave a tile app open but switch view to the Start screen, either position your cursor in the top or bottom right corner of a screen and open the Start Charm (see above);  or position your cursor in the bottom left corner of the screen to display and click on the Start "tip" () in Windows 8 or Start button () in Windows 8.1. To close the Search Charm, press the Esc key on your keyboard.


IE Desktop Mode

In the Desktop mode of Internet Explorer (10 and 11), the Address bar, Menu bar, tools and favorites icons are at the top of the browser screen, and all browser functions are supported (including plug-ins such as Silverlight). Click and type in the Address box to enter a web address, or enter a search term and then click the search icon. (IE 11 in Windows 8.1 allows users to always show the address bar and to have as many tabs open as desired.) 


To set the Internet Explorer tile on the Start screen of Windows 8 and 8.1 to always open Internet Explorer in Desktop mode:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel

    • in Windows 8 Tiles mode by typing and selecting "Control Panel", or in Tiles or Desktop mode by opening the Quick_Link_menu;

    • in Windows 8.1 by right-clicking on the Start button

  2. Open Internet Options (in Category View, first select "Network and Internet" then select Internet Options) 

  3. Click on the Programs tab 

  4. Under "Opening Internet Explorer...Choose how to open links":  


    • click the down arrow beside "Let Internet Explorer Choose" and select "Always in Internet Explorer on the desktop" (click on image above to enlarge) ; and

    • check the box beside "Open Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop."

  5. Click the OK button.

To add a shortcut to Internet Explorer in Desktop mode on the Windows 8 or 8.1 Desktop:
  1. Open File Explorer (click on the yellow folder icon in the Windows task bar at the bottom of the Windows Desktop)
  2. Browse to and open the OS (C:) folder
  3. Open the folder for “Program Files
  4. Open the Internet Explorer folder (path = C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplorer.exe\)
  5. Right-click on iexplore.exe and select “Send to > Desktop (create shortcut)”.

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Using CTI Navigator in Windows 8 and 8.1


CTI Navigator Web


To use the browser based CTI Navigator Web in Windows 8 and 8.1, open your Internet browser in Desktop mode, and go to the website for your MLS (click here to choose the appropriate website address). Sign-in with your 6-character agent code and password for CTI Navigator. You can save this website address in your browser's Favorites, pin it to the taskbar, or pin it in a tile on the Start screen. 


To add a tile on the Windows 8 or 8.1 Start screen that opens CTI Navigator Web for your MLS in the browser's Desktop mode:

  1. Open CTI Navigator Web for your MLS in your browser's Desktop view

    • Note: If you enter your User Name on the CTI Navigator Web website before you pin the link to the Start screen, your User Name will be saved with the link. 

  2. Click the tools icon at the top of the browser's screen 

  3. Select "Add site to Start Screen" or "Add to Apps" as appropriate

  4. Confirm that the web address is correct (http://{YourMLS}

  5. Click the Add button. 

To pin CTI Navigator Web website to the Desktop taskbar (at the bottom of the screen), click on the site tab in the browser and drag it to the taskbar. 


To set Internet Explorer to allow Popups (such as MLS Announcements, Reports, and Print Preview screens) in both CTI Navigator Web and Desktop:

  1. Open Internet Options (either in Internet Explorer's Desktop mode or in Windows Control Panel) 

  2. Click the Privacy tab

  3. Check "Turn On Popup Blocker"

  4. Click the Settings button

  5. Enter as the address of the website on which to allow Popups 

  6. Click the Add button

  7. Confirm the address is entered correctly and then click the Close button. 

To set Windows to "trust" (not interfere with) CTI Navigator Internet transactions with CTI's server: 

  1. Open Internet Options (either in Internet Explorer's Desktop mode or in Windows Control Panel)    
  2. Select Internet Options 
  3. Click the Security tab 
  4. Select Trusted Sites 
  5. Click Sites button > un-check "Require server verification (https:)... " 
  6. Click in the "Add this website to the zone" box and type 
  7. Click the Add button 
  8. Click the close button.

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CTI Navigator Desktop


Installing CTI Navigator Desktop in Windows 8 and 8.1 is essentially the same as installing in Windows 7. However, during installation you may be prompted to install the Windows ".NET Framework 3.5" feature if it has not already been activated (see .NET Framework on Windows 8 and 8.1).

Installation will place a CTI Navigator shortcut icon on the Windows 8 Desktop. To add a tile on the Windows 8 Start screen that opens CTI Navigator Desktop when clicked, right-click on the CTI Navigator shortcut icon on the Windows Desktop and select "Pin To Start."  

Emailing MLS information in Windows 8, 8.1, and RT

Microsoft's Mail app included in Windows 8 and 8.1 can send and receive email from the Tiles mode, but does not support mail code created by apps running in the Windows 8 Desktop mode. To email from a desktop app (such as CTI Navigator Desktop) in Windows 8 or 8.1, first install and configure a desktop email app such as Windows Live Mail, Office Outlook, or Mozilla Thunderbird. (For information on Windows email programs, see "Setup and Use Email Service to Send MLS Information" in the related articles at the end of this web page.) It is not necessary to install a desktop email app in Windows 8 or 8.1 if you use CTI Navigator Web (or CTI Navigator Mobile) instead of CTI Navigator Desktop to email MLS information  

Windows RT does not allow desktop email apps to be installed, cannot send mail from File Explorer, does not allow plug-ins (such as Silverlight) to be installed in its Internet browser, and does not include Outlook in its special edition of Office 2013 (see Windows RT 8.1 note). Consequently, only CTI Navigator Mobile can be used in Windows RT (not Navigator Web or Desktop). Any web enabled device (including Windows RT, Apple iOS, Android, or Chromebook) can send email from CTI Navigator Mobile. This is because Navigator Mobile sends email through CTI's Internet service (or Gmail's service if you have setup that option in Navigator Web) rather than through your device's operating system or browser plug-in. 

Windows RT 8.1 Note: The Windows RT 8.1 upgrade (starting October 22, 2013) includes the Outlook desktop email client in Office Home & Student 2013 RT, although it is licensed only for non-commercial (non-revenue generating) use (see the Windows 8.1 section of related articles below).

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Upgrade Windows 8 to 8.1

Windows 8.1 was officially released October 17, 2013. Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade for current Windows 8 users, and 8.1 is the version of Windows normally installed by OEM's on new Windows computers and hardware compatible Windows tablets. Non-Windows 8 users must pay full retail price ($120 base to $200 Pro) and do a clean install. This includes reinstalling all programs and data from a backup or original source.  For details, see "Microsoft Pricing and Packaging for Windows 8.1" in the related articles at the end of this web page. For Windows 8.1 system requirements, see "Upgrade Earlier Versions of Windows to Windows 8.1" below.

Windows 8.1 Enhancements

Windows 8.1includes many user requested enhancements and refinements. Following are some of the new options designed to benefit mouse and keyboard users of traditional (non-touch screen) computers, laptops, and business tablets.


PC Settings

Smart Search


Windows Store Apps

For further details see the Windows 8.1 section of related articles at the end of this web page.

Windows 8.1 "Preview" version Warning

Preview software is unfinished trial code that may be buggy. It can potentially damage files and corrupt the Windows operating system on your computer. Microsoft warns that "you should back up your data and you should not test the {Windows 8.1} Preview on your primary home or business PC" (see Windows 8.1 Preview: Selected FAQs).

Microsoft has also warned that if you install the Windows 8.1 Preview, upgrading to the final release of Windows 8.1 may require that all Desktop and Windows Store applications be reinstalled. Only data is assured to be transferable from the Preview to Final Release of Windows 8.1.

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Upgrade Earlier Versions of Windows (XP, Vista or 7) to Windows 8.1

Click here to run Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 Upgrade advisor to find out if your PC can run Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.1 system requirements:

Physical Address Extension (PAE), NX processor bit (NX), and Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2) are features of the processor, and they're needed to run Windows 8.1.

If your PC doesn't support PAE, NX, and SSE2, you won’t be able to install Windows 8.1.

How to turn on NX in the BIOS

You can check if your processor supports NX and turn it on if it is turned off by going into your PC's BIOS. How you get to the BIOS varies, depending on your PC manufacturer. On most PCs, you need to press a key (like F2, F12, Delete, or Esc) or a key combination immediately after you turn on your PC, but before Windows starts. For details, check the info that came with your PC or your PC manufacturer's website.

Once you're in the BIOS, look for the NX or XD settings on the Security tab to turn on NX support. If the BIOS setting for NX support isn't available on your PC, you might need to contact the PC manufacturer for info on updating the BIOS. If you need help getting to the BIOS on your PC or turning on NX, contact support.

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Upgrade Windows 8 and 8.1 to Windows 10

Starting July 29, 2015 Microsoft is offering a free upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 (but not Vista or XP) to Windows 10 for one year. For information, on using CTI  Navigator in Windows 10 click here

Related articles and Internet links:

Reviews of Windows Tablets, Ultrabooks and Convertibles

Windows 8 Basics Video Tutorials (2 to 4 minutes for each topic - by

Windows 8 Quick Tutorials (with Video) by Microsoft:


Mouse and Keyboard

Keyboard Shortcuts

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To return to CTI's on-line menu of Help and Tutorials for CTI Navigator, click here or use the back arrow at the top of your Internet browser. 

To go directly to CTI's menu of Error Fixes, click here.


rev. 07.29.2015