As you probably know, Windows 8 removed the Start Menu completely, and this is why Microsoft implemented a somewhat hidden feature in Windows 8 called the Power User Menu. Although Power User Menu is no Start Menu replacement, it’s still rather useful since it provides access to some of the advanced features of Windows.
With Windows 10 we got Start Menu back, but since Power Menu turned out to be such a popular feature, it’s still present in Windows 10. In fact, in many of our how to articles we mentioned the Power User Menu, so you might be already familiar with it.
What is Power User Menu and how to use it?
Power User Menu gives users a quick way to access some of the most commonly used tools and features in a matter of seconds. This menu is rather useful, since it makes some of the most popular tools available at your fingertips, and you can easily access them with a single keyboard shortcut.
If you want to access Power User Menu, you just need to right click the Start Button or press the Windows Key + X on your keyboard.
As you can see, Power User Menu offers quick access to some of the popular tools on Windows 10, and we’ll explain quickly what each of these tools does.
First is Programs and Features, and this tool is used to remove installed software, but you can also use it to view and remove installed Windows Updates or to turn certain Windows features on or off.
Next on our list is Power Options. Using Power Options you can change your power plan, which is rather useful if you’re using a laptop, change what the power button does, or set your PC or monitor to turn itself off after a certain time of inactivity.
Event Viewer is an advanced tool that lets you see log of events that happened on your PC. You can use this tool to see when your PC was turned on or off, or you can use it to see when and why certain application crashed. Event Viewer is one of more complex tools on our list, and it’s and due to its complexity, it might not be suitable for basic users.
Next we have System, and by using this shortcut you can see some of the basic system information, such as the version of Windows 10 that you’re running, amount of RAM or the CPU that you’re using.
Device Manager is a tool we mention and use rather often. This tool will allow you to view all your installed devices and uninstall or update their drivers. In addition, Device Manager allows you to change the properties of installed devices, so it can be rather useful tool.
Network Connections will allow you to see all network adapters on your PC. By using this shortcut you can easily change the properties of your network adapter or even disable it completely.
Disk Management is another advanced tool that allows you to create new partitions or to change the size of hard drive partitions. This tool can delete entire partitions, so be extra careful if you’re going to use it.
Computer Management is a tool that lets you access many hidden Windows 10 features. In fact, you can even use Computer Management to access some tools that are available in Power User Menu. Since this tool can be used to access many other advanced features and tools, you should be careful if you’re going to use it.
Command Prompt and Command Prompt (Admin) are the same tool, but they come with different privileges. Command Prompt comes in a form of command line, and you can use it to create files, delete folders, check your network adapter properties, create new users, or even format your hard drive.
There are countless ways you can use Command Prompt, but not all of the advanced features are available in regular Command Prompt, so you’ll have to use Command Prompt (Admin) that has full administrator privileges.
Next on our list is Task Manager, and you are probably familiar with this tool, so we won’t go into much detail. You can use Task Manager to view all your currently running applications and close them instantly if they stop responding. In addition, you can set which applications will start alongside Windows 10 every time you start your PC.
If you used any previous version of Windows, you’re probably familiar with Control Panel and you know that you can use it to change almost any setting on your PC.
File Explorer and Search options don’t offer access to any advanced features, and instead they work as a shortcuts to File Explorer and Search.
Run option will open a Run dialog that allows you to run almost any application from your PC. You can use this feature to run tools such as Command Prompt or Registry Editor by simply entering the name of the file in the input field.
Shutdown or sign out option allows you to quickly turn off or restart your computer, so you might use this option from time to time. Last option on our list is Desktop, and by using this option you will minimize all open windows and instantly show your Desktop.
As you can see, Power User Menu offers shortcuts to some of the most used and most powerful features on Windows 10. It’s also worth mentioning that you can access any of these options by using a simple keyboard shortcut. When you press Windows Key + X shortcut, you should see Power User Menu, and each option on the list will have an underline under a certain character, and you can simply press that character on your keyboard to quickly access a specific tool. For example, if you press Windows Key + X and then press T, you’ll open Task Manager. These shortcuts are available for all options on the list, thus making these features easier to access.
Power User Menu is rather useful and it can be used to access many tools and features of Windows 10 quickly. Bear in mind that some of these tools are rather powerful, so use them with caution.