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Windows 8: Tweaking the Desktop


One of my previous articles talked about the difference between these two operating areas of Windows 8.

You can see from the picture above that the Windows 8 Desktop only has one icon on the desktop, and that is the Recycle Bin.  Down in the Taskbar you have Internet Explorer and the Explore icons.  How do you get to your programs, without going to the Modern UI?  As a refresher, to get to the Modern UI you have to move and hover your mouse in the upper right corner of the screen until you see a pop-out window with options.  Clicking on the Start icon gets you to the Modern UI.

If you want to operate Windows 8 strictly from the Desktop, here are some tweaks you can incorporate to have the programs and features you want, right on the Desktop.

Modern UI Shortcut

First, lets do away with having to move and hover your mouse in the upper right corner to get a menu.  That is ridiculous.  This first tweak will involve installing a program to give us a shortcut.  No worries, it is safe.  Open Internet Explorer and go here  to download the Tweaks.com Start for Windows 8.  Download and install the software.  The download will take you through 5 screens.  Make sure at each screen  you uncheck any boxes to install additional software.  Once Tweaks.com is downloaded, you will be taken to the folder that has the tweaks-start.msi file.  Double click on this file to install.

Once this is installed, you will have to go back to the Modern UI screen and it will be located over to the right.  Scroll as far to the right side of the screen as you can and you will see it.  Right click on it, and choose Pin to Taskbar.  You can now click on the Desktop App, (usually all the way over to the left), and you will get back to your Desktop.  You will now see the Tweak.com icon in your Taskbar, and it looks like the photo below.

With Tweak.com now in your Taskbar, you can click on it to get to the Modern UI.

Shortcuts for Restart or Shutdown

The options for restarting our shutting down your computer are buried in the pop-out window.  When I first started working with Windows 8 back in July, finding out where to go to shut my computer down was extremely frustrating.  I quickly found out how to do this, but decided it was much easier to put shortcuts on the desktop to accomplish this task.  Here is how you do it:

Restart Shortcut

  1. Right click on the Desktop and choose New, and then Shortcut

  2. In the field for Location of the item, type  C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe -r -t 00

  3. Click Next

  4. Type Restart for the name of the shortcut and click Finish

You now have a shortcut on your Desktop to restart your computer.

Shutdown Shortcut

  1. Right click on the Desktop and choose New, and then Shortcut

  2. In the field for Location of the item, type  C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe -s -t 00

  3. Click Next

  4. Type Restart for the name of the shortcut and click Finish

You now have a shortcut on your Desktop to restart your computer.

#Windows8

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