Windows 8 Tip: Initial List of Tips

It’s a little early for people to have Windows 8 at this point, but it’s been released to MSDN, so it’s fair game… and I’m in my third week of using the bits so I’ve got some tips.

One thing I’ve noticed that I like about Windows 8 is the new Start Menu Screen: it makes sense. Sure it’s different, but to me, it works. Another thing that I’ve only recently realized is that when they hit the Start button in Windows 7 (or Vista or XP) and the Start Menu opens, no matter how small or large the menu is, all of my focus is on that menu and the rest of the screen is wasted. Additionally, it’s a pretty solid customizable tool bar in it’s own right… think of this top level part of the Start Menu as the “most used” applications page… the bottom line is that I like it.

Onto the other tips…

Update: Serena has a similar list and calls out Start8 (which I also use but I have it launch the full Start menu) because it’s useful for remote sessions.

How to avoid Start Menu icon overload: Right click on any tile and you can unpin it from the Start. You also can right click on many of the tiles and unpin them all at once. Want to see more of the apps? Right click on the Start page and in the lower right is “All apps”: Boom. Now you have everything that was in the Start Menu > All Programs from Windows past.

Win+D takes you to the Desktop wicked quick. And if you are using older applications from Windows 7, you may not ever leave the Desktop anyway.

Win+X is you new best friend, while you’re in the Dashboard. One keystroke away from a ton of things on a nice popup menu.

Win+C slides out the menu that’s on the right side of your screen; this will bring you to a Start button as well as settings.

Win+I slides out the settings pane which makes it wicked quick to do PC-level settings.

I’m sure there’s other things that I’ll add to this list, but this is a quick list so I remember what I was thinking at the start of my time with Windows 8.

It’s been pretty fun so far.


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