So you make the plunge into Windows 8 and before you know it, you’ve been thrown from the frying pan into the fire.
1. Find the corners—
2. Use Win+X—
3. Use the other shortcut keys— You just learned about Win+X, the most important shortcut key.
Some other useful keystroke combinations include:
Win+C opens the Charms bar,
Win+I (that’s i) opens the Settings charm,
Win+K opens the Connect charm,
Win+H opens the Share charm,
Win+Q opens the Search pane,
Win+Tab cycles through running apps, and
Win+Z opens the app bar.
4. Use Search—Search is now an essential way to start programs from the Start menu.
5. Customize the Start screen—Unlike the old Start menu, the Windows 8 Start screen isn’t static.
6. Closing Apps—Windows 8 apps don’t always work like you expect. One prominent example is closing apps. While it’s easy to start an app just by clicking its tile on the Start screen, once the app is opened you’ll quickly see there are no close or minimize buttons in the upper right corner like a Windows desktop program. To close an app, move the mouse pointer to the top of the screen until it becomes a hand icon, then left click, hold, and drag down. The app will minimize, then you can drag it off the bottom of screen. Alternatively, you can press Alt-F4.
7. Enable Administrative Tools—If you’re a Windows IT Pro reader, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to use the Windows 8 Administrative Tools. To enable Administrative Tools, open Settings either using the upper right corner hot spot or by pressing Win+I (i). Next, select Tiles and move the Show administrative tools slider to the right. The Start screen will be populated with many of the familiar administrative tools you know and love.
8. Make RDP Windows 8 friendly—If you remotely connect to a Windows 8 system (or Windows Server 2012) via RDP, you’ll find the experience is less than awesome because the default RDP settings don’t capture the local hot key combinations that are used elsewhere in Windows 8. To allow RDP to send the Win hot key to a remote Windows 8 (or Windows Server 2012) system, go to Remote Desktop Connection options and select the Local Resources tab. In the Keyboard drop-down menu, select On the remote computer, or if you run RDP in full screen (which I don’t), select Only when using the full screen.
Yeah, I know it’s not really a Windows 8 tip, but it might help you survive the move to Windows 8. If you really miss the Start menu, you can get it back with the free Classic Shell. You can download Classic Shell from SourceForge.