There’s a neat menu, often called the Power User or WinX menu, that’s hidden on the Windows 10 desktop. Whatever you prefer to call it, this menu is extremely useful. Here’s what it is and how to find it.
The Power User menu is, at its most basic, a context menu that provides quick access to some of Windows 10’s more advanced or frequently accessed features. The Power User menu was introduced in Windows 8 and was carried over to Windows 8.1 and then Windows 10 due to its popularity—with new updates and features, of course.
Here’s a list of what’s on the Power User menu by default, along with a shortcut key that you can use to launch that program from the menu:
- Apps and Features (F): Opens Apps & Features in the Settings app.
- Mobility Center: Opens Windows Mobility Center, a place in which to quickly adjust certain audial, visual, and battery settings.
- Power Options (B): Opens Power & Sleep in the Settings app.
- Event Viewer (O): Opens Event Viewer, which shows a log of app and system messages.
- System (V): Shows the system information of your machine in the Settings app.
- Device Manager (M): Opens Device Manager, which lets you configure and/or troubleshoot your PC hardware.
- Network Connections (W): Opens your network status information in the Settings app.
- Disk Management (K): Opens Disk Management, which allows you to manage your disks and drives.
- Computer Management (G): Opens Computer Management, a feature that contains admin tools like Event Viewer and Disk Management.
- Windows PowerShell (i): Launches PowerShell.
- Windows PowerShell Admin (A): Launches PowerShell as an admin.
- Task Manager (T): Opens Task Manager, which displays resource usage and process statistics.
- Settings (N): Opens the Windows Settings app.
- File Explorer (E): Opens File Explorer.
- Search (S): Opens Windows Search and places the cursor in the Search bar.
- Run (R): Opens Run, a feature that lets you open folders and run programs with commands.
- Shut Down or Sign Out: (First, press U, and then press i to Sign Out, S to Sleep, U to Shut Down, or R to Restart).
- Desktop (D): Minimizes everything.
You can also tweak what appears on the Power User menu from the Settings app, but your options are extremely limited. Complete customization of the Power User menu requires digging through and making changes to the Windows Registry.
But knowing what’s on the Power User menu doesn’t matter unless you know how to access it.
There are two equally simple ways to access the Power User menu. If you’re a fan of keyboard shortcuts, then press Windows+X (hence the nickname “WinX” menu). The Power User menu will open.
Another way is by just right-clicking the Start menu in the bottom-left corner of your desktop.
The Power User menu will then open.
So now you know what the Power User menu is and how to access it. Microsoft is known for hiding neat features in its Windows OS, and the Power User menu is far from the only one.