Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)

Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)

Summary: So, you've installed the Windows 8 Developer Preview and you're feeling a bit disoriented? You've come to the right place. Here's a collection of shortcuts and tips to help you navigate the "reimagined" Windows 8 interface.


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  • Many backed-up files are saved with full thumbnails so you can see at a glance if you're restoring the right one instead of guessing from the file name. By choosing Icons view and then zooming the window contents, you can make these thumbnails big enough to read directly in the File History window.

  • You can add any classic Windows app (the kind that run in a desktop session) to the Start screen. Those tiles look like the ones shown here, with a tiny icon and a big text label.

    Swipe the tile down if you have a touch screen. If you're using a mouse, right-click to select a shortcut tile. In either case the result is shown by a check mark on the icon, as with the Windows PowerShell Modules tile here. Selecting the tile also opens the app bar at the bottom of the screen, with the commands and options shown here.

    To pin an app to the Start screen, use search to find the app, then right-click its entry in the results list and click Pin on the app bar. From the Start screen, click Unpin to remove the shortcut tile.

    Clicking Advanced opens the list of choices shown here, which include options to pin the selected app to the taskbar on the Windows desktop or run the program as an administrator.  

  • The technique for managing shortcut tiles to Metro-style apps is similar to that used for Windows desktop programs. Swipe down or right-click to expose the app bar options shown here, Click Smaller (or Larger) to change a wide tile to a square one half its size or vice-versa. Both sizes are shown here.

    You can also click Pin or Unpin to add or remove a program tile from the Start screen, or click Uninstall to remove the program completely. 

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software Development, Windows

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  • The easiest way to log in

    An even easier way to login from the lock screen is to make the first character of your password a capital letter. The act of hitting the Shift key will reveal the login screen and you just start typing. This way there isn't even an extra keystroke to log in.
    • RE: Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)

      @sbussinger You should try to use the 4-digit pin. While 4 digits isn't very strong, it's a single sign on for you.
  • Can a keyboard shortcut be set for a tile?

    That would make use on non-touch systems easier, especially if it defaults to the first letter.
    • Not that I am aware of


      I looked into that and couldn't find any way to assign keyboard shortcuts to tiles.
      Ed Bott
  • Keep it old school

    I just hit the CTRL button to reveal the password screen.
    Discovered it by using the old school CTRL+ALT+DEL combination.
    That combined with fingerprint credentials is super fast
  • File history

    You can also back up to a network location like a NAS box or even your My Documents on a corporate LAN ;)
  • is it support drivers ?

    is windows 8 support all drivers ( Sound,VGA,network,printers,....etc)
    • RE: Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)

      @mhdarwish My hardware worked out-of-the-box. However I note that it used a generic graphics driver rather than a more specialised one (which in Windows 7 it obtained via Windows Update). The thing to note here is that Windows Update in this preview is not hooked up to the driver distribution service.
    • RE: Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)

      @mhdarwish I used all my Windows 7 drivers and they worked perfectly.
  • I won't be using windows on a tablet every day.

    I Hope MS acknowledge that for most PC user, the Metro interface does not make any sense at all. There should be a setting that defines if we want to use the standard start menu or the Metro style interface. It is not like there no room for improvement on the Win 7 UI in any way. I'm absolutely convinced that Metro will be useful on a tablet but on a workstation, it will definitely be a pain and by far, the most obvious reason why many won't upgrade and stick win 7 or Even XP.
    Win phone, even if it doesn???t sell is a great phone, easier to work with than Android. I use and like mine every day. The tilling menu is nice on such a device but I do not wish to see them on keyboard/mouse and full size display monitor PC. We will most probably be millions out there still operating PCS sitting on a chair with a keyboard and a Mouse??? To be honest, for me, there is/was nothing wrong with that setup for programming, gaming, using photshop and other authoring apps.
    • RE: Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)


      I agree MS needs to get this right. When you introduce such a radical UI change you need to make sure there is an easily accessible setting to change it back to what is familiar. I hope for MS sake they have learned from past mistakes and do not repeat stupidity.
      • RE: Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)

        @MLHACK : No! If they put such a setting, dinosaurs like you will change the setting an never learn the new UI... Remember Office 2007 Ribans. We have to force dinosaurs to follow the evolutions...
      • RE: Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)

        @EricDeBerg LOL :D
      • RE: Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)


        You should probably just stick with W7. You're probably still complaining about serial connectors not being on MB's anymore.
      • +2 : I agree with both of you!


        I use Windows 7 at working for developing, and I just have a keyboard and mouse. The Metro UI is annoying the pants off me on the laptop I got it installed on. Windows 8 has some great features, but the UI is getting in it's way for me.

        I've also just noticed this article:

        I hope this is included in the final version, because I don't want to be dealing with the Metro UI when I'm doing my job on a standard (and still going to be around for a long time) PC.

        Otherwise I may have to resort to using Windows 8 Server as my desktop OS as I'm guessing that won't have the Metro UI?!
      • RE: Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)

        To me it feels like they just want everyone on the same page. So if someone hands you a Windows 8 Tablet or Smart phone, or you sit at the computer, it s intuative and you know what to do from the beginning instead of fumbling around trying to figure out how to get around the operating system.
    • RE: Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)

      @gbouchard99@... <br><br>Windows+R (brings up run box)<br>Open up regedit and navigate to:<br>HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer <br><br>change RPEnabled from 1 to 0 <br>Reboot and enjoy.
  • Your one slide title is misleading

    It says "click to reveal the hidden Start menu".

    You don't click - you just mouse-over it.
  • Start Search:

    This easy since Windows Vista.<br><br>Sorry if you had bad recollections of it (I sure didn't), but a lot of conventions we take for granted today started in Windows Vista, including the search mechanism in Windows 8 (Click Start. Start typing.)

    Ctrl-Alt-Esc for Task Manager dates back far earlier too.
  • RE: Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets (Developer Preview edition)

    So the Lock screen is same as a Screen Saver.
    Raju Das