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Windows 8 Start Screen tips and tricks

During the Build Developer’s conference, we got to see and hear about Microsoft’s next generation operating system, Windows 8. With the imminent release of the developer preview build, lets take a look at some tips and tricks for the new Start Screen.

  • Just start typing with a keyboard in the Start screen to quickly search and launch applications.
  • Find additional applications (e.g. accessories generally found in the Start menu) can be found in the application list by clicking on the “Search” charm.
  • New shell keyboard shortcuts:
    • WIN+Q for application search
    • WIN+W for settings search
    • WIN+F for files search
    • WIN+I for “settings” charm
    • WIN+O for rotation lock
    • WIN+C to bring up simple “Start menu” and time/date
  • Most old shell keyboard shortcuts also work: e.g. WIN+D activates desktop, WIN+R opens “Run”, WIN+L locks user. WIN+E opens Explorer.
  • In mouse mode, activate the options/charms by moving the mouse to the bottom left edge (where the Windows button used to be).
  • In mouse mode, right clicking activates in-app options.
  • With a keyboard, you can use the arrow keys and page up/down to select tiles. Enter launches them. The “menu” button (the key with a drop down) selects them.
  • Make sure to check the “settings” charm in applications to reveal app-specific settings.
  • Enable the “high contrast” mode in Control Panel > Ease of Access to see a dark themed Start screen (above)

Thanks to Long Zheng for putting this together.