Windows 8 doesn’t have a Start menu but it does have an abbreviated menu with some commonly used functions. It is called the “Power User Menu”, the “Power Tasks Menu”, or sometimes the “Quick Access Menu” (Microsoft seems to have a problem with consistency of names in Windows 8). In this tip, I’ll point out a free program that gives a quick and easy way to customize this menu to suit your own needs and usage patterns.
The Power User Menu isn’t listed anywhere but is brought up by the keyboard shortcut Winkey+X. (See this previous tip.) It can also be opened by placing the mouse cursor on the lower left corner of the screen and right-clicking the thumbnail that is displayed (described here). The figure on the right shows an example of the menu. Editing the menu directly is possible but rather complicated. However, there is a free little program that makes it easy to customize the menu.
It is called the “Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8” and is from Winaero (link here). It requires no installation but does need two small DLL files that come with it. There are both 32- and 64-bit versions. It has had several updates and bug fixes and is now in version 2.60. It may trigger UAC warnings but is safe to use. With this editor you can easily add, remove, rename, or reorder items in the Power User Menu. An example of the interface is shown below. Instructions on using the editor and a video are at the developer’s site,
Update: This utility also works fine in Windows 8.1.
And there you have it – how to get your own customized menu the way you want it.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.
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