April 23, 2017

Fast way to get to application list in Windows 8?

Okay, I accept that without a third party add-on I’m never going to see my beloved Start Menu again. I can adjust. But is there at least a simple way to get to my full app or application list from the Start Screen in Win8?

The user experience in Windows when you switch from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is pretty radical. It’s like going from a desktop to, well, a tablet computer, and that’s no accident because the entire interface experience seems to have been designed for touch screens and tablet computrs, not laptops, desktops and devices with mice and trackpads. On a tablet, the Start Screen is definitely easier to work with than the tiny entries of a start menu.

But what about all of us who don’t have a tablet and either don’t have or don’t need to slavishly use our touchscreens if we have mice, trackpads and keyboards available? The answer is mostly “tough luck” from Microsoft. I mean, sure, the 8.1 “preview release” includes a start button, but let’s be clear: all it does is flip you to the Start Screen. It doesn’t reintroduce the start menu.

Third party solutions offer ways to get around this limitation if you’re so inclined, like Classic Start Menu. Suddenly WIndows 8 isn’t quite so bad.

You want to just jump into the new interface world, however, and I can appreciate that! The problem is, there really isn’t any easy way to flip directly to the Applications view. No keyboard shortcut (wouldn’t Windows+A make sense?), nothing.

There is, however, one little trick…

Here we are at a typical Start Screen. Looks very familiar to any Windows 8 user, of course:

win8-apps-shortcut-1

The question is, have you ever noticed what’s lurking on the lower left corner?

Let’s zoom in:

win8-apps-shortcut-2

Yup. A down arrow. Very intuitive. Still, click — or tap — on it…

win8-apps-shortcut-3

Aha! And indeed, that’s the fastest way I know to get to the Apps screen. For now.

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About Dave Taylor 3 Articles
Dave Taylor is known as an expert on both business and technology issues. Holder of an MSEd and MBA, author of twenty books and founder of four startups, he also runs a marketing company and consults with firms seeking the best approach to working with weblogs and social networks. Dave is an award-winning speaker and frequent guest on radio and podcast programs. AskDaveTaylor.com http://www.intuitive.com/blog/