Tip: finding Start menu groups in the Windows 8 Start screen

The Windows 8 Start screen, which occupies the full screen and uses large tiles instead of a hierarchical menu, is a contentious feature which many dislike (though there are ways to get the old Start menu back, or something very like it).

Personally I like the new Start screen, though it does require learning new habits.Instead of clicking a button and navigating a hierarchy of menus, you tap the windows key and type a letter or two matching the app you want to start. You can use the same technique with the Windows 7 Start menu, though not many do.

A complaint I have heard though is that the Start screen loses the group structure of the Start menu. What if you want “that Visual Studio tool that inspects window handles and messages” but cannot remember what it is called? In Windows 7, you go to the Microsoft Visual Studio group, then Visual Studio Tools, and there it is:

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How would you find it in Windows 8? Here’s how:

1. Press the Windows key to open the Start screen

2. Right-click and click All apps in the menu

3. Scroll right. Once you get past the alphabetical listings, the group listings appear.

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Somewhat long-winded, but I doubt it is worse than clicking down through the hierarchy in the Start menu, and it is not something you need to do often. Next time, just type “Spy”!

Related posts:

  1. Windows 8 usability: still a struggle for new users
  2. Fixing an unresponsive screen on a Samsung Series 7 Slate with Windows 8
  3. Uh-oh, here come the OEM improvements to Windows 8
  4. Windows 8 survival guide for touch and tablet users
  5. Desktop Windows 8 survival guide