As many of you might know by now the start menu was added back to Windows 8.1, well kind of. It’s really the Start Button and not the full fledged, old-style start menu. That’s okay, it is still quite useful. Actually, it’s most useful in desktop mode, which you can configure Windows 8.1 to boot into when your computer starts instead of the Start Screen.
Note: If you are interested in how to make Windows 8.1 boot into desktop mode, then check out one of my previous articles on how to do that: Make Windows 8.1 Boot to the Desktop.
One of the nice little things that the start menu gives you is the ability to shutdown, restart, sleep, and so on a bit simpler. It also makes the hotkey combinations (which I always love to use when I can) a bit quicker as well. To demonstrate this I will walk through how you shutdown your machine in Windows 8 vs. how you can do it in Windows 8.1 with the Start Button.
Shut down Windows in Windows 8 (a.k.a. : the old way without the Start Button)
From the start I thought this was a bit more cumbersome than it needed to be in Windows 8.
Here are the steps using a mouse:
- Move you mouse to the top right corner of the screen to get the Charms Menu to fly out from the side.
- Select Settings as shown below.
- Select Power and then select the Shut down option. You might see the option to install updates when performing the shut down operation like you seen in my example below. The options and basic idea are the same with or without updates.
Using HotKeys (which is a bit quicker):
- + i : bring up the Settings menu.
- Select Power and then select the Shut down option as seen in step 3 above.
For more Windows 8 hotkeys read my earlier article with a simple cheat sheet for commonly used keyboard shortcuts: Windows 8 keyboard hotkeys.
Shut down Windows 8.1 with the Start Button
Now we will look at how you do the same thing with Windows 8.1 using a mouse:
- Right-click the Start Button and select Shut down or sign out.
- Select Shut down.
As mentioned previously, your options might include Update and shut down. This is essentially the same thing, except Windows has updates ready to install when you shutdown or restart as shown.
Using HotKeys :
If that doesn’t make sense you to, then I’ll break it down below:
- + x : this is essentially the same thing as right-clicking the Start Button.
- u : after step 1 you’ll notice the Shut down or sign out option has the ‘u’ underlined. This mean, you can just press the ‘u’ key to select that option.
- u : after step 2 you’ll see the ‘u’ in Shut down underline. Pressing ‘u’ key will select that option.For more Windows 8 hotkeys read my earlier article with a simple cheat sheet for commonly used keyboard shortcuts: Windows 8 keyboard hotkeys.
Okay, so as you can see this is just one example among many little refinements that Windows 8.1 brings to the table. They might seem small, but they add up and make using Windows 8.1 a better overall experience than Windows 8. I use Windows 8.1 multiple hours every single day, so I speak from first-hand experience. This is also why you might also notice that I have a fairly strong opinion about learning hotkeys. They just make you life easier.