Download free Windows 8 ebooks

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 3, 2012
Updated • Nov 4, 2012
Software, Windows, Windows 8

Microsoft has changed the Windows operating system considerable with the release of Windows 8. While it should not take experienced users longer than half an hour or so to get acquainted with the new features and work flows, it may be more difficult for inexperienced users to know how to work with the operating system.

While instructional screens and videos may be solid options to get a quick overview of the new features of Windows 8, some users may prefer ebooks instead that explain all the concepts in detail. Several free Windows 8 related ebooks have been released in the past two weeks, often to promote the operating system itself or devices that ship with it. While that usually means advertisement of some kind or the requirement to fill a form before you can download the ebook, it does not at all mean that you won't get the information that you are looking for out of the offerings.

Windows 8 for Dummies

windows 8 for dummies

This is a special, and likely shortened, version of the Windows 8 for Dummies book for the PC manufacturer Dell. You are asked to fill out a form on the Dell website to download the Windows 8 ebook or view it online. The book has 147 pages and offers the following chapters:

  1. The new start screen
  2. The traditional desktop
  3. Storage: internal, external and in the sky
  4. Working with apps
  5. Engaging the social apps
  6. Getting connected and having fun through the start screen
  7. Ten things you'll hate about Windows 8 (and how to fix them)

The book starts with a short introduction on how to read the book and use the information. The author provides these information for mouse, keyboard and touch screen users so that every input method is covered in the book.

The most important chapter of the book is the first one, as it introduces the start screen with all of its new features. It also explains how to go to the traditional desktop, and goes into detail about the changes there in the second chapter. It covers the sign in process, how the start screen works, how to work with the new Charms Bar, how you can load the traditional desktop, and how you can check out free apps.

It should not take too long to read the ebook, considering that the text font is rather large and that it contains images and screenshots as well. Some chapters may not look like much, like the engaging the social apps chapter, when in fact it is quite interesting considering that it covers setting up email, the calendar, and adding accounts.

The book provides you with solid information about Windows 8 and the majority of its new features that you will encounter.

Windows 8 for IT Pros

The free ebook Windows 8 - An Overview for IT Professionals  targets IT professionals, administrators and tech savvy users mostly. You will notice immediately that it targets a professional audience when you look at the (free) chapters it offers:

  1. Hardware Innovations - Touch; Long battery life; Thiner, lighter, faster; Sensors and security; New Form Factors
  2. Experiencing Windows 8 - Walk-through the new UI and key improvements to Task Manager and File Explorer.
  3. Customizing and Configuring Windows 8 - Profile customization, Tile configuration, PC Settings, Redesigned NTFS
  4. Networking Enhancements - BranchCache, DirectAccess, Mobile broadband, IPv6
  5. Deploying Windows 8 - Windows 8 SKUs, Application Compatibility, User State Migration, Deployment and Imaging, Windows PE, Volume Activation Management Tool, Windows-to-Go
  6. Delivering Windows Apps - Windows app lifecycle, Distributing via Windows Store, Distributing with an Enterprise
  7. Windows 8 Recovery - File History, Refresh and Reset, Windows Recovery Environment, DaRT, Advanced Options
  8. Windows 8 Management - PowerShell 3.0, Group Policy Improvements, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, Windows Intune
  9. Windows 8 Security - Secure boot, SmartScreen, Vulnerability mitigation and sandboxing, BitLocker, Virtual smart cards, Dynamic Access Control
  10. Internet Explorer 10 - New features, Group Policies for IE 10
  11. Windows 8 Virtualization - Client Hyper-V, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Application virtualization, User state virtualization

To get a download link you either need to tweet to promote the ebook on Twitter, or to contact the author via email to get a direct download link instead. It is far from ideal if you ask me and I'd suggest the email option unless you do not mind promoting a Windows 8 ebook on your Twitter account.

Update: Microsoft has posted the download link here. Just visit the site and click on the link in the article to download the pdf ebook to your computer.

Programming Windows 8 Apps

The Windows Store needs to be pushed, and what better way to push it than to offer free programming ebooks for developers? The free ebook has been released  in pdf format. You can download it and its companion content from this Microsoft Press web page.

The book has 834 pages and the following chapters:

  1. Chapter 1: The Life Story of a Windows Store App: Platform Characteristics of Windows 8
  2. Chapter 2: Quickstart
  3. Chapter 3: App Anatomy and Page Navigation
  4. Chapter 4: Controls, Control Styling, and Data Binding
  5. Chapter 5: Collections and Collection Controls
  6. Chapter 6: Layout
  7. Chapter 7: Commanding UI
  8. Chapter 8: State, Settings, Files, and Documents
  9. Chapter 9: Input and Sensors
  10. Chapter 10: Media
  11. Chapter 11: Purposeful Animations
  12. Chapter 12: Contracts
  13. Chapter 13: Tiles, Notifications, the Lock Screen, and Background Tasks
  14. Chapter 14: Networking
  15. Chapter 15: Devices and Printing
  16. Chapter 16: WinRT Components: An Introduction
  17. Chapter 17: Apps for Everyone: Accessibility, World-Readiness, and the Windows Store

Thanks go to Jojo and Ilev for sending me information about those books. Do you know of other Windows 8 ebooks that are free to download? Post links in the comments and I will add them to this list.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Does it come back after every “moment” update?

  2. Baloney said on March 9, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah right.. Like this is going to stop defender from running =) This is comedy gold right here.

  3. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    no ‘about the author’ paragraph?

  4. Gregory said on March 9, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    For permanent disable defender is if removed complete from system no just change permission folder.

    Just this is joke.

  5. moi said on March 9, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    simpler, load Autoruns (SysInternals)
    – filter “Defender”
    – untag all entries
    – reboot
    nothing has changed since my 1st modification years ago

  6. John G. said on March 9, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    I wouldn’t disable Defender imho, it has too many hidden roots inside Windows itself. One time I tried to uninstall it using brute force scripts and then the Onedrive feature stopped working definitely. A reinstallation was needed and since those times I prefer to maintain Defender untouched. It’s a better method to install another antivirus and it will disable Defender in a safer and easier mode (e.g., Avast is the best in this way, and also Panda Cloud Free is good too).

  7. boris said on March 10, 2023 at 12:19 am

    You can not stop defender from running in background or remove it without some penalty. All you can do is to limit telemetry.

    1. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:52 pm


      It’s probably Smartscreen which is preventing WD from being disabled. Get rid of that and the problem should be solved:

  8. hoho said on March 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Remove Windows and go for Linux.

    1. basingstoke said on March 10, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      Linux sucks dude. Besides it’s not comparable to Windows, these OSes are in different classes entirely.

      1. Derp said on March 10, 2023 at 4:36 pm

        I use Linux as my daily driver. It’s far more stable than Windows. When’s the last time you used Linux, 2010?

      2. Bromosexual said on March 11, 2023 at 2:04 am


        You’re right, dude. Bro, linux is just a bunch of code that starts before the OS, dude. Brobrodude, that shit ain’t even got emojis, dudebrodudeman! Dudebro, it’s no way near as cool as Windows with its hardcoded abilities to make money off the user, bro. Yo brodude man, you’re the coolest dude ever man, bro. Dude.

      3. basingstoke said on August 16, 2023 at 7:20 pm

        Lol what? Windows 7 doesn’t come with any Emojis

  9. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Download Autoruns and remove the checkmark from Windows Defender. It doesn’t remove it, but it will never run.

  10. Simon said on March 10, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Just use “Defender Control”:

    Per this video,
    it also works on Windows 11 too…

  11. Someone said on March 10, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Win Defender, is completly the most succesful free-built in antivirus of Microsoft. Really nice product. Saved my ass a lot of times. Has updated malware database, completly strong defence
    from whatever smart screen disables. Or if you want better and more upgrated (paid) program,
    you can go further. But defender is always on your side.

  12. CalixtoWVR1 said on March 10, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Why would one disable Windows (or Microsoft) Defender in the first place?. I consider this to be playing with fire big time. Everybody knows that if one is using another A-V, Defender will be disabled on its own and won’t be in one’s way.

  13. Ed D said on March 10, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    Why would I want to disable Windows Defender in the first place? It’s a great anti virus in my opinion. Been using it since Windows 8 and and never had a problem or a virus. Why mess with a good thing, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. owl said on August 17, 2023 at 1:57 am

    How a ridiculous article!
    I am thoroughly stunned.

    Why Should You Disable First-Party Windows Defender?
    I can only think that it is “malice or perversely intention (want you to buy a third-party AV where you can expect a back margin)” to guide invalidation without showing the premise.
    No sane company will use third-party closed source programs (such as AV).

    As I thought, “Ghacks Technology News” seems to be coming to downfall.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.