What is Windows 10 Power User Menu and How to Customize it?

An Ultimate Guide to Windows 10 Power User Menu

by: - Last updated on: August 28th, 2021
Key Takeaways
  • Power User menu was first introduced in Windows 8. Microsoft brought it to Windows 10 due to popular demand.
  • The Power User menu is basically a context menu that provides quick access to some of Windows 10’s more advanced or frequently used features.
  • Windows 10 Power User menu can be customized using third-party software like Win+X Menu editor.

Windows 10 has been around for quite a while now. It was released in 2015 and since then Microsoft has been updating it continuously. One of the most popular features, first introduced with Windows 8, was Power User Menu. Due to popular demand, Microsoft has introduced Power User Menu in Windows 10 as well.

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With Windows 8, the Start menu was completely removed. Instead, Microsoft introduced a hidden feature called “Power User Menu”. It was not intended to replace the Start menu. However, users of the Power User menu could access some advanced Windows features. Windows 10 has both the Start menu and the Power User menu. While some Windows 10 users are aware of this feature and how to use it, many are not.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the Power user menu.

What is Windows 10 Power User Menu?

The Power User menu is basically a context menu that provides quick access to some of Windows 10’s more advanced or frequently used features. The Power User menu was introduced in Windows 8 and due to its popularity, it was adopted in Windows 8.1 and then in Windows 10 – with new updates and features, of course.

It’s a pop-up menu with shortcuts to frequently used tools. As a result, the user saves quite a bit of time.

Other names for Power User menu includes Win+X menu, WinX menu, Power User hotkey, Windows tools menu, and Power user task menu.

How to open the Power user menu on Windows 10?

The Power user menu can be accessed in a couple of ways – you can either press Win+X on your keyboard or right-click on the Start menu. If you are using a touchscreen monitor, press and hold the Start button to open the power user menu.

What options are available in Power User menu?

Here’s a list of the programs that are included in the Power User menu by default, as well as a key combination that you can use to start the respective program from the menu:

  • Device Manager (M): Opens Device Manager, which allows you to configure and/or troubleshoot all internal and external hardware devices.
  • Apps and Features (F): Opens Apps and Features in the Settings app.
  • Settings (N): Opens the application Windows Settings.
  • Desktop (D): Minimizes everything.
  • Shutdown or Logout: (Press U first, then “L” to log off, “S” to go to sleep, “U” to shut down, or “R” to restart).
  • Network Connections (W): Opens your network status information in the Settings app.
  • File Explorer (E): Opens the File Explorer.
  • Event Viewer (O): It is an advanced administrative tool that opens the Event Viewer, which displays a log of application and system messages.
  • Disk Management (K): Opens Disk Management, which allows you to manage your hard disks and drives.
  • System (V): Displays your device’s system information in the Settings app.
  • Mobility Center: Opens the Windows Mobility Center, a place where you can quickly adjust certain audio, visual, and battery settings.
  • Search (S): Opens Windows Search and places the cursor in the search bar.
  • Run (R): Opens Run, a function that allows you to open folders and run programs with commands.
  • Task Manager (T): Opens the Task Manager, which displays resource usage and process statistics.
  • Computer Management (G): Opens Computer Management, a feature that includes management tools such as Event Viewer and Disk Management.
  • Power Options (B): Opens Power & Sleep in the Settings app.
  • Windows PowerShell (i): Launches PowerShell.
  • Windows PowerShell Administrator (A): Starts PowerShell as an administrator.

What are Power user menu hotkeys?

The Power user menu options have special keys assigned to them that can be pressed for quick access to them. When you use these keys, you do not have to click or tap on the menu options to open them. They are called Power user menu hotkeys. For example, if you open the Start menu and press U and then S, the system will go to sleep. You can find the complete list of hotkeys in the previous section.

How to Customize Windows 10 Power User menu?

Microsoft has made it difficult for us to customize the Power User menu to prevent third-party applications from adding their shortcuts to the menu. The existing shortcuts were created by running them through a hash function of the Windows API, and the hashed values were then stored in the keyboard shortcuts. It indicates that it is a special shortcut, so only special shortcuts are shown in the Power User menu. There are no other normal shortcuts in the menu.

To make changes to the Windows 10 Power User Menu, Win+X Menu Editor is a commonly used application. It is a free application. Adding or removing items from the menu is possible. Also, shortcuts can be renamed and rearranged. The application can be downloaded here. The user interface is easy to use, and you do not need any instructions to get started. The application also allows users to group shortcuts.

FAQs about Windows 10 Power User menu

1. How do I add Control Panel to the Power User menu?

Control Panel used to be part of the Power User menu, but Microsoft has removed it as of build 14942 and replaced it with the Settings option. Unfortunately, the Settings option does not provide the same functionality as the Control Panel option but can be added with the Win+X Menu Editor key combination.

The procedure for adding Control Panel to the Power User menu is the same as that described above. To do this, you need to download, install and open the software Win+X Menu Editor and then click on “Add a Control Panel item”.

2. What is the difference between a power user and an administrator in Windows 10?

Power users used to have some special powers earlier. Since Windows 7, by default, members of this group have no more user rights or permissions than a normal user account. The Power Users group was intended in earlier versions of Windows to give users specific administrative rights and permissions to perform common system tasks. But now, standard user accounts inherently have the ability to perform the most common configuration tasks, such as changing time zones. For older applications that require the same Power User rights and permissions as in earlier versions of Windows, administrators can apply a security template that allows the Power Users group to assume the same rights and permissions as in earlier versions of Windows.

3. How to replace the Command Prompt?

You can replace the command prompt with PowerShell if you prefer. To replace, right-click the taskbar, select Properties, and click the Navigation tab. If you right-click on the lower-left corner or press Windows key+X, you will find a checkbox in the menu – Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell. Check the box.

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