20 must-know Windows 8 tips and tricks

Bring up the Quick Access Menu

The secret Start button for power users is hidden at the bottom-left.

Right-clicking on the lower left of the screen—whether you’re in the Windows 8 Start screen or in the desktop—will bring up the Quick Access Menu, which enables a direct line to many key system management chores, including Disk Management, Task Manager, Device Manager, and Control Panel.

Use Windows 8 apps and your desktop simultaneously

Because the Windows 8 experience is split between new Windows 8 Store apps and old-school desktop apps, the operating system is prone to some strange behaviors. Case in point: When running a multimonitor setup, Windows 8 apps will consume your main screen, leaving your secondary screen running the desktop. This arrangement would seem to allow full-screen multitasking among both types of apps—a modern app on the left side, a desktop app on the right side—but this isn’t the case. Indeed, as soon as you begin using the desktop on your secondary screen, the new-style Windows 8 app disappears, and your primary screen begins running the desktop.

But here’s a workaround. On your primary screen, use the new Windows 8 split-screen “snapping” function to run the desktop and a new Windows 8 Store app together. The desktop can take up the left-hand sliver, while the Windows 8 app consumes the majority of the screen. Now use your second display for a full desktop view. In this arrangement, you can fully multitask between new-style apps and desktop apps, and both windows will be large enough to be useful.

Go to Task Manager for Startup items

Task manager is more useful than ever.

You no longer have to run the MSConfig program to change startup items. Startup items now show up in a tab on Task Manager. Simply press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task Manager. Click the "More details" tab at the bottom and find the Startup tab at the top.

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