Admin Tools Quick Access and More Found in Windows 8

Windows 8 has been criticised by some IT Pros and businesses for, seemingly, forgetting all about them.  Now though it is beginning to emerge that Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about them after all.  On the face of things access to the full Control Panel, Administrative tools and Computer Management Console are difficult.  It’s not easy to access the Run panel or start the Command Prompt with Administrator rights.

If you mouse to the bottom left of your screen though and right-click (yup, this is a mouse only action) you get a menu giving you quick and easy access to all of the administrator tools and more.  Here you will find Programs and Features for uninstalling software, Network Connections, Power Options, the Event Viewer, System, Device manager, Disk Management, Computer Management, the Command Prompt (also with Administrator rights), the Task manager, Control Panel, Windows Explorer in case you accidentally unpin it from the Taskbar), Search and Run.

This will be welcomed by a great many people as, to be honest, it makes accessing some of these tools even easier than in Windows 7.  Previously you could right-click on Computer in the Start Menu to bring up the Computer Management Console or simply access the full Control Panel from there.  Some more advanced features however were slightly more complex to access.

The removal of the Start Menu from Windows 8 meant that on the face of things some features and software would be harder to access.  It is good to see that Microsoft have addressed this problem in a sensible and common-sense way.  This bottom-left screen right-click works in both the new Start Screen and the desktop.

It is interesting to note that in the Group Policy settings for the Consumer Preview the references to both the Start Menu and the Classic Start Menu still exist.  This bodes well for people looking for third-party hacks to turn them back on.  No doubt many more useful information will be found in Group Policy and the Windows Registry in the coming weeks.

Additionally the screen grab feature has at long last been improved with WinKey+PrntScrn now automatically saving a screen grab for you in your Pictures folder.  There’s no longer any grabbing and saving of an individual window using this feature meaning that it’s still no alternative to third-party tools, but for casual use this will be welcomed by many.

One of the most useful, and most hidden, tools in Windows 7 has also survived in Windows 8.  The Problem Steps Recorder, that can only be accessed by searching for PSR, takes screenshots of your desktop when something changes, automatically highlighting the change and annotating the image(s) with technical details of what is going on at the time.  This is an incredibly useful diagnostic tool for Windows and was originally only intended as a temporary tool for the Windows 7 beta, thus explaining why it never made it into the Start Menu.  Testers and IT Pros liked the feature so much though that Microsoft agreed to keep it in the final product.  It is very nice to see it is in Windows 8 as well.

Here at Windows8News we’ll continue to keep you up to date on everything that’s found in Windows 8.  Why not tell us what you think of this features in the comments below?

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7 Responses to Admin Tools Quick Access and More Found in Windows 8

  1. Sylvain March 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    That menu is also accessible with the Win+X keyboard shortcut.

  2. Derick March 4, 2012 at 1:49 am #

    If I wanted to do all my office work on a tablet, I would have gone and bought myself a new iPad (which I still might do, if I’m forced to choose between a Windows tablet and an iPad). Why can’t we just leave the tablet market to Apple and the PC market to Microsoft? Don’t get me wrong, I like Windows 8 in general, but what happened to freedom of speech and choices. In Windows XP we had the choice to switch back to the Classic Start Menu and in Windows 7 we have XP Mode. It looks like in Windows 8, the only choices we have are to tablet or not to tablet. Rizonesoft started a petition to ask Microsoft to at least give us a choice between the interfaces and bring the Start Menu back. Go here: for more information about the petition. Please help Rizonesoft accomplish this almost impossible task by signing and sharing this petition.

  3. Mike March 4, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    This handy tip allowed me to remove several W8-CP utilities from my Taskbar. Thanks

    #MSFT might want to consider adding the “System Configuration” utility to the list of right click options. As far as I can figure out Sys Config is not accessible from the Control Panel even via search. I keep it pinned to the Taskbar.

    • Dan Dar3 March 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      Try Windows + Pause, it’s always been there. Or if you meant Advanced System Properties, Run > sysdm.cpl

    • adhammagdy March 6, 2012 at 1:49 am #

      u can right click on control panel stuff to pin them to start screen
      also u can right click computer tile (if it’s pinneed) and choose properties
      unless u meen system config that has boot options..then u can type msconfig to run it

  4. adhammagdy March 6, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    also u can search for it in settings not apps (in the right search pane)
    it will search in all control panel functions then u can pin them for faster access

  5. Janneman27 March 8, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    …this post made me glad…

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