In Windows 8, Microsoft introduced a feature for mouse users which can be accessed with a right click on the bottom left corner of the screen - the Win+X menu. In Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, you can simply right click on the Start button to show it. Although this menu is far from being a Start Menu replacement, it does have shortcuts to useful administrative tools and system functions. In this article, we will see how to use and customize this menu in Windows 10.
To access the Win + X menu in Windows 10, you have two options:
- Right click the Start button. Instead of the context menu of the taskbar, Windows 10 shows Win + X menu.
- Or, press Win + X shortcut keys on the keyboard:
By default, Windows 10 has the following items in the Win+X menu:
- Programs and Features - allows you to uninstall software.
- Power options - opens the power plan and related settings.
- Event viewer - shows the complete list of events on your PC.
- System - shows the system properties window.
- Device Manager - allows managing device and driver settings.
- Network Connections - opens the list of network adapters.
- Disk Management - allows you to manage partitions and hard drives.
- Computer Management - opens a set of various administrative settings, including Disk Management and Event Viewer mentioned above.
- Command Prompt - opens a new command prompt instance.
- Command Prompt (Admin) - opens a new elevated command prompt instance.
- Task Manager - opens the Task Manager. See this article for more information.
- Control Panel - opens the Control Panel.
- File Explorer - opens the File Manager
- Search - launches the Search app.
- Run - opens the Run dialog.
- The shutdown options menu - shows a submenu with Sign out, Reboot and Shutdown.
- Desktop - minimizes all opened windows and shows Desktop.
Replace the command prompt with PowerShell
If you prefer to work with PowerShell instead of the command prompt, you can put PowerShell shortcuts instead of the command prompt using the taskbar properties. Right click the taskbar, open its properties and go to the Navigation tab. Tick the checkbox Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the lower-left corner or press Windows key+X:
The Win+X menu entries actually are all shortcut files (.LNK) but customizing the Win+X menu is no easy task because Microsoft intentionally made it harder to customize probably to prevent third party apps from abusing it and putting their own shortcuts there. The shortcuts are all special - they are passed though a Windows API hashing function and the hash is then stored inside those shortcuts. Its presence tells the Win+X menu that the shortcut is special and only then it will show up in the menu, otherwise it will be ignored.
To customize the Power user menu, you can use my Win + X Menu editor app. Win+X Menu Editor is a free tool with an easy-to-use GUI to let you customize the Win+X menu. It does not patch any system files to disable the hash check. Using it, you can add or remove shortcuts to the Win+X menu, change their names and order.
- Download Win+X Menu Editor from here.
- The UI is pretty self-explanatory. You can add any program. It has presets for common system tools. You can organize shortcuts in groups and reorder them.
- When you are done editing the menu inside it, click the Restart Explorer button to save changes and restart Explorer.exe.
That's it. Am I missing some functionality related to the Win+X Menu? Please let me know in the comments.
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