Changing the way you navigate through Windows is one of the reasons why the Windows 8 interface completely looks different. So different that even the usual Start button was removed from the desktop. And because of this major change, launching desktop applications is somehow exhaustive. For example, if you’re currently working on a Word document, and then you also need to open PowerPoint, you need to leave the Desktop, switch to the Start Screen and then launch PowerPoint by clicking its tile on the Start Screen. What’s more painful than that is if PowerPoint or the app that you need to access is currently not pinned in the Start Screen, which means you’ll need to do a search or go through a couple more clicks before you can open it from the All Apps menu.
Not only does it take much of your time, especially if you’re rushing to finish your work, it can also affect your concentration on what you’re currently doing because of the many clicks and screens that you have to go through just to open the program that you need.
And because of this, you can avoid all this trouble with the help of these easy workarounds.
Install an Alternative for Your Start Menu
A number of free, open-source programs have been developed to bring back the look and feel of the old Windows interface to your Windows 8 computer. Some programs that were created for the said purpose are the Classic Shell, Start8, and IOBit StartMenu8. The most commonly used one is the Classic Shell, which is completely configurable and includes skins that can copy the Start menus of previous Windows versions.
If you want to know more about Classic Shell, click here.
Pin Commonly Used Apps to the Taskbar
You can also pin your favorite and commonly used apps to the taskbar for a much easier and faster access. To do this, simply right-click on the shortcut or tile of the app that you want to pin, then select Pin to Taskbar.
Create Keyboard Shortcuts
Another alternative to make your access to Desktop app faster is to assign it to a Ctrl + Alt + Key combination. To do it, right-click on the shortcut, then select Properties. On the Shortcut tab, look for the Shortcut key field, then provide the command you want to assign it with. In the sample screenshot below, we’re going to assign the MS Paint application with a key combination of Ctrl + Alt + P.
If in case the Desktop app that you want to assign does not have a shortcut icon on the Desktop, try looking for it on the Start Screen or perform a search. Right-click on its tile, and then select Open file location. An Explorer window will open that now shows its shortcut icon, where you can proceed and go to its properties and specify its Ctrl + Alt + key combination.