Many businesses are happy with Windows 7 and would rather not move to Windows 8.  Concerns regarding staff performance using Windows 8 is one of the main reasons, IT decision makers believe business productivity will be affected and staff training will be required if computers are upgraded to Windows 8.

With this is mind, we’ve created a short blog with tips to make Windows 8 quicker and more effective for business use.  These tips help make Windows 8 feel more like Windows 7, which, from our research, is what most companies are still looking for:

Navigate Windows faster again with a start menu

It’s not sure why it was removed in the first place, but after becoming one of Microsoft biggest customer requests,  a new start menu was included in Windows 8.1.  However the new style menu doesn’t quite offer the same shortcut experience as previous Windows start menus.

Windows 8 Start menu

Most business users find it quicker to navigate around computers using the old Windows 7 style start menu.  Fortunately there are a number of free tools that bring this useful feature back to your desktop.  Iobit Start Menu 8 works on both Windows 8 and 8.1, after trailing most third party options this is the best option for business users:

Find and launch programs easily with an alternate Start menu

If don’t want to use a third-party software option to get a Start menu, it’s possible to build your own. With this option you don’t have the traditional start menu and search button, but you do get a menu that lets you browse application and run them

Ensure that view hidden files is enabled in File Explorer, this can be achieved by following the steps in this link:

Right-click the Desktop’s taskbar and select Toolbars -> New Toolbar

From this screen,  navigate to:

C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart Menu  ( username is your  name )

Windows 8 Start menu

Click ‘Select Folder’ button, this will create a Start Menu toolbar on the far right of the taskbar

Click the double arrow to display folders that you can look through and select the application you need to launch

Get working quicker – boot straight into desktop mode

Like the start menu, business users were happy booting straight into the desktop.  Windows 8.1 now offers this time saving feature, once a machine has been upgraded to Windows 8.1, follow these steps to boot directly into the desktop:

Right-click on the taskbar, choose ‘Properties’, then select the Navigation tab

Tick the ‘Go to the desktop…’ option to load the desktop whenever you log into the computer

Open and close Windows instantly using Windows shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are rarely used but save time when you’re up against the clock.  Using just 2 or 3 keys can open, close and launch all kinds of settings and programs, here are some of the most useful:

Windows key:  (the key with the Windows logo) Use this key to instantly toggle between your last two locations

Windows key + f:  Opens the Windows Search Utility

windows 8 shortcut

 Windows key + x:  Launches a menu with options including Control Panel, Search and Run and Task Manager

  Windows key + d:  In Desktop mode this minimizes all open windows, press Windows key + d again and it restores all Windows again

  Windows key + r: Opens the Run dialog

  Windows key + e:  Opens Windows File Explorer