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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  • Sometimes the Explorer.exe process hangs. When that happens, parts of the Windows shell can be inaccessible. In Windows 7 and earlier versions, you can select this process and click End Task, then enter Explorer in the File, Run box to restart it.

    The new Windows 8 Task Manager makes itr possible to restart this process with one click. When you click Windows Explorer from the  list under the Process heading, the button in the lower right corner is different from the one you see with any other process. Instead of End Task, it reads Restart. Click to kill the current Explorer.exe process and start a fresh instance.

  • The Windows 8 Developer Preview edition includes its own hypervisor, which allows you to create virtual machines that can run other versions of Windows. You can install virtual copies of Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 for backward compatibility and testing. Or you can install a virtual copy of Windows 8 to experiment without putting your main Windows 8 installation at risk.

    Hyper-V is turned off by default. To enable it, enter Features in the Search box, click Settings, and then click Turn Windows features on or off from the results list. That opens the dialog box shown here.

    Click to select Hyper-V and its components, and then click OK. That installs the necessary components, and you can now use the Hyper-V Manager to create a new virtual machine or import an existing one and begin working with it.

  • File History consolidates the Windows 7 backup program and the Previous Versions feature into a single tool that automatically keeps backups of your important files, typically on an external disk drive. If this feature is enabled, you can recover a deleted file or restore a previous version of a file very easily.

    One of the options available when you plug in a new USB flash drive or external hard disk is Configure this drive for backup using File History. You can enable or disable these automatic backups and fine-tune what's backed up from this desktop Control Panel window.

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