Windows 8 / Server 2012 Essential Knowledge

Compared to all previous Windows versions, many of the working of the GUI has changed. On this page you will learn the essentials of the new Windows Operating System. The actions are similar for both Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.


There are multiple ways to shutdown, restart or put the system in sleep mode.


Press the Ctrl + Alt + Del key combination. You will now get the following screen at which you can click the shutdown icon in the lower right corner.
Press the Ctrl + Alt + Del key combination and click the icon in the lower right corner

Right bar

1. Move your mouse to the upper right or lower right corner of the screen, a bar will now appear in which you click the Settings option.
Right bar

2. The new options that appear includes the Power option which you can click to shutdown, restart or put the system in sleep mode.
Shutdown/Restart/Sleep the system via right bar

Alt + F4

Go to the classic and press the Alt + F4 key combination while no application window is active. The Windows shutdown window will now appear in which you can select what Windows should do.
Shutdown window after pressing Alt + F4 at classic desktop

Show all Programs

In the classic Start menu, one could browse all applications by expanding the ‘All Programs’ item in the Start menu. In Windows 8 / Server 2012, this changed slightly.

Right click

Open the Start screen, right click somewhere at a empty spot and in the lower right choose All Apps from the bar that appears.
Right click at a empty spot in the Start screen and choose All Apps

Windows Key + Q

Press the Windows Key + Q combination to go straight to the screen with all applications. Then click on an empty spot somewhere on the left to hide the search bar.
Search in apps

Power User Menu

For advanced users to quickly perform advanced system functions, it is possible to open the Power User menu by right clicking in the lower left corner of the screen. The short key to open this menu is Windows Key + X. The Power User Menu contains: Programs and Features, Power Options, Event Viewer, System (System Properties), Device Manager, Disk Management, Command Prompt [Admin], Task Manager, Control Panel, File Explorer (Windows Explorer), Search, Run and Desktop.
Power User Menu

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