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Microsoft introduced the “Quick Access” menu in Windows 8. This menu, also known as the “Power User menu” features a number of shortcuts to system utilities such as the Control Panel, Command Prompt, Task Manager, File Explorer, Device Manager, and more.
The menu is accessed through the Windows Key + X shortcut, or right-clicking the Start Menu icon. And while it is handy, it is limited. However, we can use the free Win+X Menu Editor to make this useful feature into central navigational tool for your computer.
Start by heading to the Winaero site linked above. Scroll to the bottom of the page and download the Win+X Menu Editor. In the archive, you’ll find two folders: x86 and x64. Choose x64 if you have 64-bit Windows and x86 if you have 32-bit Windows. Unsure what you’ve got? Hit Windows Key + X, select System, and check your System type. See, you’re already using the Win+X menu, and we haven’t even got started!
Once you’re sure, extract the relevant archive. Then run WinXEditor.exe to install the tool.
Move Them All Around
We’ll start with a basic Win+X Menu Editor function. Even if you don’t want to add or remove programs from the Quick Access menu, you might want to move them around, or group them differently.
Create a Group
Select Create a group from the menu. The new group will appear at the top of the list. You’ll have to populate it with programs before it appears in the Quick Access menu.
Move a Program
Now you’ve created a group, you’ll need to add a program to it. You have two options. You can:
- Right-click the newly created group, and select Add. Then select an application.
- Right-click an existing Quick Menu application, and Move to group
Once you’re done, hit Restart Explorer.
Delete a Program
There are several Quick Access menu entries I have never clicked. I’m talking since the menu was introduced in Windows 8. Luckily, Win+X Menu Editor lets you delete any unused options.
Right-click the offending entry and select Delete. Then, Restart Explorer.
If you have a change of heart, you can easily Restore Defaults.
Unfortunately, Win+X Menu Editor cannot create a new sub-menu. The sub-menu is reserved for Shutdown Options. However, you can arrange your Quick Menu shortcuts using groups that in turn create spacers.
Each group will appear between a set of spacers. You can create as many groups as you like or use a single list instead.
Add or Change System Utilities
One of the best Win+X Menu Editor modifications is adding system utilities to the Quick Access menu. Instead of having to browse through multiple menus, or remember numerous shortcuts, we can add items from the Control Panel, Administrative Tools folder, and more.
Click Add a program > Add a Control Panel Item/Add an Administrative Tool, then select the tool or item you’d like to add.
Do the Same for Applications
The basic Quick Access menu offers a reasonable selection of programs. But it doesn’t feature your frequently used applications. The Quick Access menu can work alongside or instead of Taskbar shortcut icons.
Select Add a program > Add a program INS, then browse to the application you’d like to add. Add more until you’re satisfied, then Restart Explorer to see the changes.
Adding applications to the Quick Access menu is a great idea, but I think it depends on your workflow. Personally, I prefer to keep my Quick Access menu for system utilities and administrative tools, utilizing the Taskbar for my frequently accessed applications. But that’s just me.
Quick Website Access
Did you know that it is possible to add website shortcuts to the Quick Access menu? Win+X Menu Editor takes advantage of the fact that the Quick Access menu is essentially a shortcut manager in disguise. Meaning we can add Quick Menu shortcuts to our favorite websites, like MakeUseOf.
First, you’ll need to create a shortcut. Drag and drop the website shortcut from your browser’s address or bookmark bar into a folder. Then select Add a program > Add a program INS, and browse to the website shortcut.
This is a perfect opportunity to create and use a new Quick Menu group. See the first section of the article for instructions on how to do that.
Return the Command Prompt
The Windows 10 Creators Update introduced several new features to the operating system. Unfortunately, it also modified some long-standing Windows features too. For instance — and this is jolly irritating — the option to “Open Command Prompt here” was replaced with “Open PowerShell window here.”
PowerShell also replaced the Command Prompt option in the Quick Access menu. If this is a bother, you can use Win+X Menu Editor to return the Command Prompt to the Quick Access menu.
Windows 8: Add Shutdown Options
Microsoft expanded Quick Access menu system shutdown options in Windows 8.1. The shutdown options sub-menu made the jump to Windows 10. However, Windows 8 users have no such functionality — unless you add them yourself.
Head to Add a program > Add a preset > Shutdown options. The full range of shutdown options, including Advanced boot options, will be inserted in a new group.
Streamline Your Operation
Use the Win+X Menu Editor to streamline your Quick Access menu. You can go several ways. Bulk out the menu with extra applications, system utilities, and so on. Completely streamline the menu, cutting out anything you don’t use. Or hit the middle ground, tweaking it into perfect functionality.
The Quick Access menu is an underused Windows 10 feature. Microsoft continues to merge the Control Panel with the new Settings panel making control of Windows 10 easier than ever. Accordingly, the Quick Access menu is easily overlooked.
Give it some attention, and you can call yourself a “Power User” too.
What Quick Access menu shortcuts are you going to change? Are there any Win+X Menu Editor features I’ve missed? Do you even use the Quick Access menu? If we’ve helped you, drop us a line and hit one of the share buttons!