10 Windows 8 tips, tricks and hacks

Take control of Windows 8 on the Desktop, the lock screen and more.

By Preston Gralla, Computerworld |  Software, windows 8

The Mobility Center sends you to an applet that lets you do things such as change your display brightness, screen orientation, presentation settings and so on. And in case you didn't realize that the Control Panel still existed, there's a link to that as well.

Another nice thing about the Power User menu: It's hackable. You can delete items you don't want to appear there and add items you do want to appear there, such as programs you run frequently or even individual files.

To do it, you'll first have to make sure that you can view hidden files in File Explorer, as outlined previously. Then go to

C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX

where username is your account name. You'll see three folders there: Group1, Group2 and Group3. Each has shortcuts to the apps that appear on the Power Menu. Group1 contains the Desktop; Group2 contains the Control Panel, File Explorer, Run, Search and Task Manager; and Group3 contains two for the Command Prompt (one of which is an Admin command prompt), Computer Management, Device Manager, Disk Management, Event Viewer, Power Options, Programs and Features, System and Windows Mobility Center.

These shortcuts show up as menu items on the Power User menu.Click to view larger image.

Look back at the Power User menu. Notice that there are three groups separated by two faint lines? They correspond to the folders in the WinX folder. The app in Group1 (Desktop) is at the bottom, then there's a line, then there are the apps in Group2, then there's a line, and then there are the apps in Group3.

To edit the Power User menu, just make changes to the contents of the folders Group1, Group2 and Group3. Delete a shortcut and it vanishes from the menu; add a shortcut and it appears on the menu.

Delete a shortcut as you would any other shortcut: Select it and press your Delete key. (When you delete a shortcut, the file it points to isn't deleted; only the shortcut goes away.) To add a shortcut, open the folder into which you want to place it, right-click on an empty spot, select New --> Shortcut, and follow the wizard that appears.

After you've finished deleting shortcuts and adding new ones, sign out of Windows and then sign back in. Your new Power User menu will be waiting for you on your return.

4. Customize the lock screen


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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