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Power User Menu

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Power User Menu screenshot in Windows 8.1

Power User Menu (Windows 8.1)

Definition: The Power User Menu, first available in Windows 8 and often referred to as the Windows Tools Menu, the WinX Menu, or the WIN+X Menu, is a pop-up menu with shortcuts to management, configuration, and other "power user" Windows tools.

You can bring up the Power User Menu with your keyboard by pressing the WIN (Windows) key and the X key together.

With a mouse, you can show the Power User Menu by right-clicking on the Start button.

On a touch-only interface, you can activate the Power User Menu by a press-and-hold action on the Start button or a whatever right-click action is available with a stylus.

Prior to Windows 8.1, prompting the Power User Menu was only possible using the already mentioned keyboard shortcut, as well as right-clicking in the bottom-leftmost corner of the screen.

By default, the Power User Menu in Windows 8 includes shortcuts to the following tools:

  • Shut down or sign out2
  • Desktop

The Power User Menu can be customized by rearranging or removing shortcuts within the various Group folders contained within the C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX directory.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is the hive in the Windows Registry where you'll find the registry keys associated with the Power User Menu shortcuts. The exact location is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ShellCompatibility\InboxApp.

[1] Mobility Center is usually available only when Windows 8 is installed on traditional laptop or netbook computers.

[2] These shortcuts are only available in Windows 8.1 and later.

[3] In Windows 8.1 and later, the Command Prompt and Command Prompt (Admin) shortcuts can be optionally changed to Windows PowerShell and Windows PowerShell (Admin), respectively. See How to Switch Command Prompt & PowerShell on the WIN+X Menu for instructions.

Also Known As: Windows Tools Menu, Power User Task Menu, Power User Hotkey, WinX Menu, WIN+X Menu

Examples: "It can be difficult to reach Device Manager in Windows 8 via shortcuts or by executing the program's run command, but the Power User Menu makes it a snap to start quickly."

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