A Winning Combination – Win Key + X and Classic Shell

While there are many useful keystroke combinations for Windows 8, perhaps the Win key + X combination is one of the most useful. It opens up access to Windows managerial tasks providing access to many useful tools – Control Panel and functions – Command Prompt, Run and Search and so on. If you are working on Metro, if you want to access the Desktop, press the Win key + X and choose Desktop. The Win key + X combination works no matter if you are in Desktop or the Metro mode.

Win key + X Menu

For those who don’t know about Win key + X, give it a try and I’m sure you’ll find it one of the best keystroke shortcuts available in Windows 8.

Does Win key + X compensate for the loss of the Start Menu?

Yes, as it makes access to Windows managerial tasks easy and No, because the Start menu is still missing.

If you install Classic Shell, see my previous blog “Get the Start Menu back with Classic Shell“, you can have both worlds. Classic Shell adds the icing on the cake!

Tip! Normally pressing the Win key toggles between Metro and Desktop but on installing Classic Shell, Windows 8  automatically defaults to Desktop view. So, if you hanker for the Metro screen, press Shift + left click on the Start button.

Start Menu from Classic Shell

This combination, Win + X and Classic Shell, will improve your productivity and maybe make Windows 8 more user friendly. Let us hope that, when the final version of Windows 8 is released, Microsoft hasn’t shut the door on the add-on, Classic Shell.


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